Insider Predictions: UA/BYU

Football wouldn't be football without pre game predictions. Nowadays, entire television shows are built around them. Following this tradition, our Wildcat Insiders and contributors share their thoughts on Saturday's showdown with BYU and even go as far as to provide their final score predictions. Will you agree or disagree? Read on to find out.

 

 

PREDICTION

Offensively one would think that BYU would have the edge due to their overall knowledge of their offense but that might not just be the case.  The Cougars have a new quarterback, Max Hall, that hasn't taken a legitimate hit in almost four years and they must replace some very good skill position talent that departed.  They return wide receiver Austin Collie from his church mission and a few other dynamic athletes to what was a loaded offense.  They will also be facing a defense that returns everybody from a squad that was second in the Pac-10 a year ago and only gave up 13 points to the 2006 version (the loaded version) of the Cougar offense.  Arizona is breaking in their version of the spread offense this season and the Cats have already learned the system and have put their own twist on it.  The Arizona version will look a lot like Texas Tech and will also resemble BYU's version thanks to the very deep and talented corps of tight ends in Tucson.

 

Defensively the Wildcats have a huge advantage in every category.  The Cats are loaded with 2-deep talent at every position and they return 10 starters from last year's already stout defense.  The Cougars return some solid defenders but lose some key help in their linebacking corps from a year ago.  BYU insiders say this year's crop of backers is faster and potentially better but until they prove it on the field, they have lost the experience and talent.  Both defenses should prove to be good in 2007 but The Wildcat defense is very good and borderline great.

 

You have to give the Cougars the customary 3 points because the game is in Provo but where the game is being played won't matter in the end.

 

- Chris Bonney, Football Editor

Final Score:  UA 38  BYU 16

Arizona Wildcats

 

PREDICTION

I love the fact that Arizona is receiving no hype from the media heading into this season.  In fact, so many prognosticators, myself included, were so burned by UA's 6-6 season in 2006 that many have practically gone out of there way to be overly critical of the ‘Cats this time around.  The billboard material has been piling up since the disheartening loss to ASU last November and the team hasn't forgotten the disappointment of missing out on a bowl game despite being bowl eligible.  BYU is a great home team.  They're talented and have one of the game's finest young coaches.  They're also favored to win.  Surprising?  Not really.  In all honesty, the Cougars probably should've beaten the Wildcats last season, but they didn't.  This year, I think the road team is actually the better team and unlike last year, I think the road team will pull off the upset.  UA's defense will look to silence the BYU faithful from the start but the unit that needs to do the silencing is the Arizona offense.  I expect a little more scoring than last year's game but it'll still come down to a key play in the fourth quarter.  I think Willie Tuitama makes that play when he needs to.

 - Gary Randazzo, Basketball Editor 

Final Score:  UA 23  BYU 20 

Arizona Wildcats

 

PREDICTION

After close consideration and comparison of both teams I have come to the striking conclusion that both BYU and UA are equally matched.  I have to give the edge to our Safety and Defense.  Regardless, this is no cake walk for either team and will be a tough contest.  The odds makers have missed this one and it should be a toss up. 

 

There comes a time in one's life that they must FEED THE CAT.  I am in the belief that the Cougars are full and are in no need of being fed.  UA is a young and VERY HUNGRY group of feline and will prevail in a tight contest.

 

- Tony Melendez, Contributor

Final Score:  UA 27  BYU 24 

Arizona Wildcats

 

PREDICTION

If Arizona wants to get to the next level on year four of the Mike Stoops era, they need to beat BYU. The Cougars are the class of the MWC, but to be an upper half of the Pac-10 type team the Cats need a win. Expect a close battle, but the Wildcats improved depth should be the difference. The Wildcats are breaking in a new offense, while the Cougars are breaking in a new quarterback and trying to replace some key contributors. Arizona did not lose much, but needs to prove that they can win close games. Expect the Cats to pressure Max Hall, while the Cougars will try to rattle Tuitama. Don't expect the most well played game, but it should be entertaining. The team that limits mistakes takes this one and I see that being the Cats.

- Brad Allis, Editor-in-Chief

Final Score:  UA 21  BYU 17

Arizona Wildcats

 

PREDICTION

Well Yogi Berra would say it's deja vu all over again, but this admittedly bias Cat fan is expecting a much different outcome from last year.  On paper this would seem to be a pretty even match-up with the edge going to BYU for being at home.  Plus the Cougars are supposedly going to be playing for some revenge after last years last second defeat (thanks to my Cowboys new kicker, Nick Folk).  Well I did a little research (very little actually) and it seems that football games are played on grass (or some man made stuff that looks and kinda feels like grass) and not paper. So here is how I see the match-up through my Cardinal and Navy colored glasses.

 

Offense:  Both teams are running a version of the spread.  Critics say it will take my Wildcats a year to really "get" their new offense and show their full potential.  I'm thinking the offense isn't all THAT complicated and these boys are getting a fine education at a great University so they pick it up in camp and start rolling.  I will give you that BYU has been running the offense longer, but our defense has seen their offense. .  . and they haven't seen ours.  +14 Arizona

 

Defense:  The defense expected to be 2nd in the PAC against one that usually plays in the MWC?  I'm taking the PAC D.  And the BYU players start talking smack about Antoine Cason?  I figure he's just motivated enough to pick off half the passes thrown his way.  So 3 picks for Antione, 4 sacks apiece for Louis and Spencer.  +14 Arizona

 

X factor:  Or in this case Z factor (as in Zendejas).  Ok he might not be starting for the BYU game but B factor just doesn't have the same ring.  Our kickers go for at least 2 FG's.

- Blake Phillips, UA Homer

Final Score:  UA 31  BYU 3 

Arizona Wildcats


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