Arizona Wildcats vs. Oregon Ducks: Complete Game Preview
The Oregon Ducks (3-0) will play host to the Arizona Wildcats (3-0) at Autzen Stadium on Saturday evening.
Not only will this matchup be the first of a competitive Pac-12 slate of games for both teams, it will also be the first time the Ducks will have seen a high caliber opponent, who is respectively ranked at 22 in the AP Poll.
The contest between these two teams will feature two spread offensive attacks that should provide for a lot of fireworks to finish off what should be a great day of college football.
Here is the Arizona vs. Oregon complete game preview.
Who: Arizona Wildcats (3-0; 0-0 A) at Oregon Ducks (3-0; 3-0 H)
When: Saturday, September 22, 2012 10:30 p.m. EDT
Where: Eugene, Ore.
Stadium: Autzen Stadium (54,000)
Radio: Oregon IMG with Jerry Allen, Sirius 92, XM 199, Arizona Radio Network, 1290 AM Tucson
Internet Stream: GoDucks.tv
Oregon Offensive Depth Chart
Wide Receiver: Daryle Hawkins (Bralon Addison)
Left Tackle: Tyler Johnstone (Kyle Long)
Left Guard: Ryan Clanton (Mana Greig)
Center: Hroniss Grasu (Karrington Armstrong)
Right Guard: Nick Cody (Hamani Stevens)
Right Tackle: Jake Fisher (Everett Benyard III)
Tight End: Colt Lyerla/Koa Ka'ai (Pharaoh Brown/T.J. Daniel/Koa Ka'ai)
Wide Receiver: Josh Huff (Eric Dungy)
Wide Receiver: Keanon Lowe (B.J. Kelley)
Quarterback: Marcus Mariota (Bryan Bennett)
Running Back: Kenjon Barner (De'Anthony Thomas)
Arizona Offensive Depth Chart
Wide Receiver Dan Buckner (David Richards)
Slot: Richard Morrison (Johnny Jackson)
Left Tackle: Mickey Baucus (Shane Zink)
Left Guard: Chris Putton (Addison Bachman)
Center: Kyle Quinn (Addison Bachman)
Right Guard: Trace Biskin (Faitele Faafoi)
Right Tackle: Fabbians Ebbele (Lene Maiava)
Tight End: Drew Robinson (Michael Cooper)
Quarterback: Matt Scott (B.J. Denker)
Running back: Ka'Deem Carey (Daniel Jenkins)
Fullback: Taimi Tutogi (Drew Robinson)
Slot: Austin Hill (Trevor Ermisch)
Wide Receiver: Terrence Miller (Tyler Slavin)
Oregon Defensive Depth Chart
Defensive End: Taylor Hart (Arik Armstead)
Defensive Tackle: Isaac Remington (DeForest Buckner)
Defensive Tackle: Wade Keliikipi (Ricky Heimuli)
Defensive End: Dion Jordan (Tony Washington)
Middle Linebacker: Kiko Alonso (Rahim Cassell)
Weakside Linebacker: Michael Clay (Derrick Malone)
Strong Linebacker: Boseko Lokombo (Tyson Coleman)
Cornerback: Terrance Mitchell (Dior Mathis)
Free Safety: Avery Patterson (Erick Dargan)
Strong Safety: Brian Jackson (Erick Dargan)
Cornerback: Ifo Edpre-Olomu (Troy Hill)
Arizona Defensive Depth Chart
Defensive End: Dominique Austin (Chris Merrill)
Nose Tackle: Sione Tuihalamaka (Tevin Hood)
Defensive Tackle: Reggie Gilbert (Dan Pettinato)
Strong Linebacker: Marquis Flowers (Keoni Bush-Loo)
Middle Linebacker: Jacke Fischer (Dakota Conwell)
Weakside Linebacker: Sir Thomas Jackson (Hank Hobson)
Spur: Tra'Mayne Bondurant (Wayne Capers Jr.)
Bandit: Jared Tevis (William Parks)
Left Corner: Shaquille Richardson (Brendan Murphy)
Right Corner: Jonathan McKnight (Derrick Rainey)
Free Safety: Jourdon Grandon (Jamar Allah)
What Happened to the Ducks Last Week?
The Oregon Ducks finished up their non-conference schedule by throttling the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles by a score of 63-15.
While the Ducks did drop down 7-0 after De'Anthony Thomas deflected a punt, the Ducks used 49 straight points to surge back into the lead and prove that there would be no upset on Saturday afternoon.
Marcus Mariota completed 21 of 28 passes for 308 yards, four touchdowns and one interception while De'Anthony Thomas continued to flex his versatility, as he racked up 222 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns.
Though they did come out with a big victory, sloppy play at times coupled with more than a few penalties really cast a shadow on what was yet another blowout win for the Ducks.
What Happened to the Arizona Wildcats Last Week?
The Arizona Wildcats completed their non-conference schedule with quite the win against South Carolina State, blanking the Bulldogs 56-0.
Though not much can be said about the Bulldogs football program, Matt Scott and the Wildcats looked impressive in their final primer before Pac-12 play.
Scott completed 30 of 36 passes for 288 yards and three touchdowns while also rushing for 61 yards and a touchdown on nine carries.
The Wildcats also held the Bulldogs to just 154 total yards on the day, a defensive effort they will have to replicate if they want to have a shot at beating the Ducks.
What Does This Game Mean for Both Teams?
For the Ducks, this game means the chance to finally prove to the nation that they are the team they are hyped to be as they finally play a decent opponent in No. 22 Arizona.
Though there are better teams out there than the Wildcats, Arizona will pose Oregon's greatest test and will give the Ducks the opportunity to showcase their strengths and weaknesses against comparable competition for the first time this year.
For the Wildcats, this game is the chance to prove their worth and show that they can be a legitimate contender in the Pac-12 South.
While not too many people believe the Wildcats can pull away with a victory in Autzen, if they do, they would suddenly become one of the more dangerous teams in the Pac-12 and further enhance the strength of this conference in 2012.
Key Player for the Oregon Ducks: De'Anthony Thomas
If you get him the ball, De'Anthony Thomas will score.
Arguably the most versatile player in the nation, Thomas looks to be even better in 2012 than he was in 2011.
Should Arizona be able to crack the Oregon defense, De'Anthony will once again have to put the game on his shoulders with big plays as he helps march the Ducks down the field.
Key Player for the Wildcats: Matt Scott
Matt Scott has had somewhat of a breakout season in his first year as a starter for the Arizona Wildcats.
After waiting behind the talented Nick Foles, Scott has already proven that he is the perfect quarterback for the spread option system that Rich Rodriguez employs.
If the Wildcats are to have any chance in this game, they will need Scott to play virtually flawless. He will have to zero-in on his receivers and pick apart the Oregon secondary, a unit which is perhaps the weakest link in a talented Oregon defense.
An impressive performance by Matt Scott should forward Arizona's chances of playing spoiler to the Ducks' 2012 college football season.
Oregon Will Win If...
The Ducks will win this game if they shore up some of the play of their offensive line while also clearing up their penalties.
While the Ducks will put up points nonetheless, allowing constant pressure on Marcus Mariota coupled with costly penalties will give Arizona the chance it needs to steal this game away from the Ducks.
If those two issues are taken care of, however, the Ducks should be able to coast to victory behind the quick feet of De'Anthony Thomas and Kenjon Barner.
This game will also give Marcus Mariota his first shot at picking apart an Arizona defense, something he must prove he can do if the Ducks wish to win this contest.
Arizona Will Win If...
The Arizona Wildcats will win this game if the Ducks do not shore up their sloppy play and penalties as well as receive production from their new standout quarterback, Matt Scott.
Compounding penalties, in addition to turnovers, should be more than enough to give Scott and his offensive weapons the chance to move down the field and put up points at a rate faster than the Ducks'.
Though they need a few things to fall their way in this game, the Wildcats definitely have a shot at pulling quite the big upset this weekend.
Oregon 45 Arizona 24
Though Arizona may test the Ducks for awhile during this game, Oregon will ultimately flex their muscle and come out with the win.
Matt Scott and the Wildcats are a great team, and there is no doubting that. The Ducks, however, are that much better and will be using this game to help solidify their place among college football's elites.