Cody James Martin: I think Arizona is the better team in this game, but it is going to be a dogfight throughout the day. If either team gets a lead, it won't be safe because both offenses are high powered and can put up points in a hurry.The Wildcats are the favorite in Vegas and they're my favorite as well. Anu Solomon is finally healthy and he plays much better when he is able to be mobile and get out of the pocket. Also, since he is not worried about his ankle, the oncoming pressure turns into less of an issue for the signal caller. Boise State may have seen some decent running backs, but there just isn't a way to prepare for a running attack that Solomon and Nick Wilson bring to the table. Wilson rushes for over 150 and two touchdowns in the win. I do think that the Broncos find a way to neutralize Scooby Wright on the defensive side of the ball and is able to get some points on the board in the first half. Even with that, Jeff Casteel makes some adjustments at halftime and the Wildcats are able to hold Boise State to limited scoring opportunities in the second half.
Arizona 38, Boise State 28Overall: 6-7
Michael Luke: Quite frankly, I don’t think Boise State is as good as the record indicates. Offensively, the Broncos will move the ball and Jay Ajayi is every bit as good as any running back that Arizona faced all season because he is a threat to take it the distance off a hand off or break one off a simple swing pass.
If Arizona can shut down Ajayi, that puts a lot of pressure on Grant Hedrick and while Hedrick is a more than capable quarterback, he has been extremely mistake prone in big games. Boise State isn’t running away with this game, so his performance will be key.
Boise State’s other skill guys, particularly Shane Williams-Rhodes, are more than capable, but Arizona’s angular defensive backs figure to match up well.
Defensively, Boise State has done a good job of stopping the run this season, but the Broncos haven’t played a team with nearly the same level of explosiveness as the Arizona Wildcats. Nick Wilson figures to be healthy and rested, which will only make the Arizona passing game more dynamic.
Look for a competitive first half, but expect Arizona’s talent advantage to take over in the second half.
Arizona 28, Boise State 17
Jason Scheer: I am legitimately torn on this game only because unlike the two picks before me, I actually think Boise State is better than people think.
Ajayi is just as good as any running back that Arizona will face this season and the Wildcats typically have some difficulty with the backs that are more power than finesse and that is what Ajayi is. He gets behind his pads and isn't afraid of contact, so the Wildcats need to make sure that those initial tackles are being made.
I do think having Anu Solomon healthy is a big deal and I am curious how the coaches handle the playbook now that he can seemingly make more plays than he has been able to for at least a month.
Bowl games usually come down to which team is better coached and more prepared. Some teams, for whatever reason, just don't have a major interest in being in a bowl game and it shows right away. I don't think that will be the case here and I believe it will be one of the better bowl games of the season.
I have gone back and forth with my pick, but now that it is time to get a final one in I am going to go with Arizona with some fourth quarter heroics.
Arizona 38, Boise State 35