Arizona vs. Northern Arizona - 9/2/17 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Arizona vs. Northern Arizona - 9/2/17 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction Photo by USA TODAY Sports

Northern Arizona Lumberjacks (0-0) at Arizona Wildcats (0-0)

College Football: Saturday, September 2, 2017 at 11:00 pm (Arizona Stadium)

The Line: Arizona Wildcats -- Over/Under: Click to Get Latest Betting Odds

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The Northern Arizona Lumberjacks will travel to Arizona Stadium to take on the Arizona Wildcats this Saturday night in College Football action.

The Northern Arizona Lumberjacks had a difficult 2016 season as after being a pre-season favorite to win the Big Sky Conference, Northern Arizona finished the season with just a 5-6 overall record. Offensively, Northern Arizona averaged 32.8 ppg on 475.5 total yards per game (156.6 rushing yds/g; 318.8 passing yds/g). Offensively, Northern Arizona will get back QB Case Cookus who had 13 TD’s and averaged 293.2 passing yards per game, however, only played in 4 games last year before being lost for the season due to injury. Cookus will have a great target to throw to in Emmanuel Butler who finished last season with 9 TD’s while averaging 91.2 receiving yards per game. Leading the way for the Lumberjacks backfield will be Joe Logan who finished last season with 5 TD’s while averaging 80.7 rushing yds/game. Defensively, Northern Arizona allowed their opponents to average 28.5 ppg on 413.1 total yards per game. The Lumberjacks only have 3 starters returning on the defense end and it looks like it could be a long season for the Lumberjacks look like they have the potential to give up a lot of points.  

The Arizona Wildcats had a disappointing 2016 season that saw the Wildcats finish with just a 3-9 overall record. Arizona lost their first 8 Pac-12 games in 2016 but was able to at least finish the season on a positive note after defeating in-state rival, Arizona State, 56-35. Offensively, Arizona averaged 24.8 ppg (ranked 100th) on 413.1 total yards per game. The Wildcats offense will be led by QB Brandon Dawkins who finished last season completed 53.6% of his passes for 8 TD and 6 INT while averaging 134.5 passing yds/game. Dawkins is a duel-threat QB who also got it done with his legs last season finishing with 10 rushing TD’s while averaging 94.4 rushing yds/game. In the backfield with Dawkins will be RB Zach Green (7.0 att/g, 33.9 yds/g, 3 TD) and Nick Wilson (11.0 att/g, 64.0 yds/g, 3 TD). Arizona lost 3 of their 4 top receivers from last year’s team but do return Shun Brown who had 3 TD’s last season while averaging 43.4 receiving yds/game. Defensively, Arizona allowed their opponents to average 30.5 ppg on 429.2 total yards per game. The Wildcats defense returns 7 starters however, Arizona will need big plays up front from defensive linemen Justin Belknap, Parker Zellers, and Sione Taufahema if they hope to compete in a loaded Pac-12 Conference.

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In their last 4 matchups against the Wildcats, Northern Arizona is 1-3 ATS. The Wildcats are just 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games and 1-3 ATS in their last 4 home games.

Northern Arizona should be able to compete in the Big Sky Conference this season and although their defense is going to give-up points, the Lumberjacks have the offense talent to put up a lot points on the board. Rich Rodriguez needs a big bounce back season as he job is most likely in jeopardy after a few disappointing seasons, however, the Wildcats have one of the worst defenses in the Pac-12 and I just don’t think they have enough offense weapons to outscore the top teams in the country. The line has yet to be released for this one however, if there is an O/U, I’m going over as I think this is going to be a very high scoring affair. Please check back when the line is posted. 

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Brett’s Pick Please Check Back When Line Is Posted

The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a Sports Chat Place site consensus.

Mitch's Take...

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