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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Staff predictions for Arizona football against Utah

Amy Bailey
Arizona quarterback Grant Gunnell(17) looks to throw the ball to his teammate during the Arizona-Oregon State game on Saturday November 2 in Tucson.

Arizona men’s football takes on the No. 7 Utah Utes for its final home game of the regular season. Beat reporters Jack Cooper, Amit Syal and Austin Wales predict what will go down at Arizona Stadium on Saturday evening.

Jack Cooper:

Simply put, no, I don’t think Arizona will make a bowl game this year and there isn’t a good chance they’ll win either of their last two games. But for some reason, I think the Wildcats will find a way to get in the victory column one more time. People have been calling me crazy for a couple of weeks now, but I really think that for some reason, Arizona will beat the University of Utah. These are two teams going in complete opposite directions at the moment, as Arizona is on a five-game losing streak and Utah has won their last six. With that being said, there’s just something about Arizona football playing a top-10 team at home on senior day in late November with a late kickoff time that intrigues me. Just look back at 2015 when No. 10 Utah came to Tucson when Arizona was 5-5 in the middle of November and the Wildcats won a thriller in double-overtime.

If Arizona hopes to have any chance in that game, they’ll need every single bounce to go their way. The game against University of Oregon this past weekend wasn’t as bad of a blowout as people thought, and the Wildcats were in it until the third quarter. If they don’t have any bad mental mistakes and win the turnover battle, I could see that game being much closer than people think. And who knows, maybe they’ll stick around until the end and put themselves in a position to win.

Prediction: Arizona 24 Utah 21

Amit Syal: 

Arizona’s next battle is back at home at Arizona Stadium against a very strong program: the University of Utah. The Utes are currently 9-1 on the season with a 6-1 conference record. They are also leading the Pac-12 South and have won their past six games. If the past month and a half has been any indication for this Saturday, it is almost certain that the Wildcats will drop their sixth consecutive game and actually eliminate all hopes for a bowl game. Arizona’s game against Utah is a must-win if they want to play in a bowl game this year. Unfortunately for Arizona, the Wildcats won’t get it done this year and suffer another loss for the last home game of the regular season.

Prediction: Arizona 14 Utah 49

RELATED: Can Arizona football make a bowl game this season?

Austin Wales:

With two games left in the season, Arizona has to win both games to become bowl eligible. However, the possibility of this happening is quite slim considering who they’re playing this week. Arizona plays No. 7 Utah this week at home, a team who has the possibility of also playing in the College Football Playoff if everything works out for them. The Utes are currently sitting atop the Pac-12 South at 9-1 overall and 6-1 in Pac-12, and if Arizona continues to play the way they have the past five games, their chances of a bowl game this season are going to be eliminated this next weekend after suffering another blowout at home.

Prediction: Arizona 7 Utah 35

For a different perspective, Wildcat Sports teamed up with the football reporters at the Daily Utah Chronicle to talk about this weekend’s game.

Sammy Mora and Brayden Ramsay:

The No. 7 Utes roll into Tucson this weekend to face their last road opponent in Arizona. The Utes are coming off a dominating win against UCLA 49-3 while the Wildcats are coming off a 36-6 loss against Oregon.

If the Utes want to nab one last win on the road this season, the team needs to produce turnovers on the defensive side of the ball and keep the ball safe when they have it on offense. If the Utes can create turnovers and score off of them, then the Wildcats will have a long night.

The Utes may have their work cut out for them, as Utah’s defensive line will be going up against a young and inexperienced Arizona offensive front. If the Utes are able to keep Khalil Tate or Grant Gunnell within the pocket, they should be able to have a field day against the Wildcats. Look for Bradlee Anae, Leki Fotu and John Penisini to have big games on the defensive line. 

The Utah secondary will need to shut down the pass game and force Arizona to run against the stout Utah defensive line.  

Utah’s offense will be led once again by Tyler Huntley and Zack Moss. Huntley is now having his name mentioned among Heisman candidates and has proved that he belongs throughout the 2019 season. Known for his laser-like accuracy and dynamic footwork, the quarterback for the Utes should be able to evade pressure and make plays that will set Utah in a good position to get the road victory in Tucson.

Moss will also need to have a big game on Saturday. The now all-time leading rusher in school history has broken countless records this year and looks to break a few more before his time at Utah is done. 

Prediction: Arizona 7 Utah 49

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