Stanford vs. Arizona Prediction, Game Preview

    Stanford vs. Arizona prediction and game preview. Both the Cardinal and Wildcats look to improve to 4-1 as they battle in Stanford Stadium.

    September 28, 2015

    The Stanford Cardinal (3-1) will try to protect its perfect league mark when the Arizona Wildcats (3-1) visit this weekend. Check out the Stanford vs. Arizona prediction and game preview.

    Stanford vs. Arizona Game Preview

    Broadcast

    Date: Saturday, October 3

    Game Time: 10:30 ET

    Network: Pac-12 Networks

    Follow and/or Contact @Rich Cirminiello

    Why You Need To Care

    Stanford is back, though the Cardinal would be quick to point out that it never went anywhere.

    Given up for dead after imploding in the opener with Northwestern, No. 18 Stanford has bounced back with three consecutive wins, including two on the road in Pac-12 play. Coupled with the unexpected demise of Oregon, the Cardinal is back in a familiar position—contending for a North Division crown.

    Arizona and Stanford are heading in opposite direction after the Wildcats failed to measure up in last Saturday’s 56-30 home loss to UCLA. In one of the highest profile games in school history, the ‘Cats flopped to fall out of the rankings and into the South Division background. Adding insult to injury, star LB Scooby Wright will miss more time after suffering a sprained foot.

    Why Arizona Will Win

    It would be foolish to lose faith in Rich Rodriguez’s offense.

    Stanford has had problems with spread attacks in the past. And as long as QB Anu Solomon can return after having his bell rung last week, the Wildcats should be able to moves the chains. They’ve scored at least 30 points in all four games, with contributions coming from both the running and the passing game. Not only has RB Nick Wilson gone over 100 yards in three straight games, but RichRod is also getting ground production from backup QB Jerrard Randall.

    Why Stanford Will Win

    Everything is clicking.

    While this isn’t Jim Harbaugh’s 2010 team, everything seems to be coming together for this edition of the Cardinal. QB Kevin Hogan has been crisp. The defense is generally keeping the ball in front of it. And the running game, unimpressive for a long spell, produced 325 yards against Oregon State last Friday. With better support for Hogan, Stanford has averaged 38 points during the winning streak. Without Wright, or momentum after being trucked by UCLA, Arizona will have a tough time slowing down the surging Stanford offense.

    Player Who Matters

    McCaffrey plus Sanders equals problems for the fading Wildcat D.

    Stanford backs Barry Sanders and especially Christian McCaffrey were revelatory last week in Corvallis. The pair combined to rush for 303 yards, 206 from McCaffrey, and two touchdowns, both from Sanders. Since the Cardinal’s identity is so closely tied to a blue-collar ground game, the Week 4 outburst was profound. And profoundly problematic for a Wildcat defense that’s mediocre up front and particularly vulnerable now that Wright won’t be around to patrol the second level.

    What’s Going To Happen?

    Two teams heading in opposite directions will continue down those disparate paths.

    Arizona could have used a bye week or an FCS opponent this Saturday. Instead, it must travel to the Farm to face a Stanford team that’s confident and clicking. The Cardinal is liable to run the Wildcats out of the building, with its ability to control the line of scrimmage and operate with offensive balance. If Solomon doesn’t suit up—or is less than full strength—this one could be over before halftime. Either way, Stanford is poised to roll to its fourth double-digit win in a row.

    Stanford vs. Arizona Prediction

    Prediction: Stanford 41, Arizona 23, Line: Stanford -17.5, o/u: 63.5

    Must See Rating: 5: Steve Jobs – 1: Dr. Ken … 3

    MORE: College Football Bowl Projections After Week 4

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