Ritter’s Rules: Breakdown


Dennis Dixon is a legitimate Heisman contender with his 2,074 yards passing, 549 rushing, 20 passing touchdowns and eight rushing TDs. Willie Tuitama is poised to break just about every single-season school passing record this season, but he’s no Heisman favorite. Arizona might be hoping Dixon’s knee is more banged up than originally expected and to see Ryan Leaf’s little brother, Brady, instead.

Advantage: Oregon

Running backs

Add in Jonathan Stewart to the Duck offense, and you realize just how mixed its offensive attack is. With 1,142 rush yards and 10 TDs, Stewart is eighth in the country in all-purpose yards. With a 38 yards, Arizona’s Nicolas Grigsby can set the record for most yards in school history by a true freshman.

Advantage: Oregon

Wide receivers

Arizona’s receivers get a lot more looks than Oregon’s, but that’s also because the Ducks have a combined 2,443 rushing yards.

Advantage: Arizona

Offensive line

The Ducks are second in the Pac-10 in sacks allowed, 13. Double that total, in one more game, and you get 26, the number Arizona has allowed.

Advantage: Oregon

Defensive line

The Ducks rank eighth in the country in sacks. A big reason is Nick Reed, a junior who has “”NFL”” written all over him. He has 11 sacks, twice the total of Arizona’s leading sacker, Lionel Dotson. Reed has 44 total tackles, 18.5 for losses totaling 101 yards. Oregon is third nationally in tackles for loss, while Reed is third in tackles for loss and sacks.

Advantage: Oregon


The magic number is 10. In 10 games, Spencer Larsen has averaged 10 tackles. That’s 100 tackles on the season, 34 more than the guy behind him, fellow linebacker Ronnie Palmer.

Advantage: Arizona


The spotlight will be on cornerbacks Antoine Cason and Wilrey Fontenot, who will be playing the final home games of their illustrious careers. They’ve been alongside each other the last 44 games, starting every single one of them. On defense, the Ducks are most susceptible to the pass.

Advantage: Arizona


So Oregon is fifth in the country in scoring offense (42.8 points per game), fifth in total offense (510.6 yards per game), fifth in rushing (271.4 ypg) and fifth in passing efficiency. Both teams clearly have good defenses, but this one is going to be a shootout. The Wildcats are definitely amped to be in the spotlight. But Dixon and the Oregon offense are just way too much to handle.

Oregon 42, Arizona 34

– compiled by Mike Ritter