As your Saturday evening is coming to a conclusion and all the great college football matchups appear to be over, there is one late game that will make staying up all night worth it.
Every time you get the No. 3 Oregon Ducks and the No. 22 Arizona Wildcats in a battle at Eugene, sparks are bound to fly.
Saturday will be no different.
Both teams enter this game at 3-0 on the season and are looking to prove their validity by beating another ranked team.
Oregon and Arizona both need this win, and the result will be an all-out brawl.
Where: Autzen Stadium, Eugene, OR
When: Saturday, Sept. 22 at 10:30 p.m. ET
Live Stream: Watch ESPN
Radio: Free Football Radio
Betting Line (via Covers)
Over/Under: 77, Spread: Oregon (-24)
The expectations for this matchup are that it will be an offensive showcase from each team, but both defenses are being overlooked completely. When that happens, those units usually feel disrespected and come out playing tough.
Take the under and Arizona with the 24 points.
Injury Report (via USA Today)
Jared Ebert, DT, Questionable
Josh Huff, WR, Questionable
Keloni Kamalani, LB, Questionable
Carson York, OL, Out for season
John Boyett, S, Out for season
Cayman Bundage, OL, Questionable
Dakota Conwell, LB, Questionable
Greg Nwoko, LB, Questionable
Rob Hankins, LB, Out for season
Justin Washington, DL, Out indefinitely
Jack Baucus, OL, Out for season
Adam Hall, S Knee, Out for season
With both of these teams in the AP top-25 poll, this is an early-season matchup with major BCS implications.
Oregon is looking to prove they deserve the No. 3 ranking, and beating a lower ranked team is what they’re supposed to do. With an even tougher schedule on the horizon, the Ducks need all the momentum they can get.
As for the No. 22 Wildcats, a win over Oregon would cement their team as legitimate contenders in the national title hunt. Not only would they catapult themselves up the polls, Arizona would be considered one of the more dangerous sleeper teams of 2012.
Oregon Player to Watch: Kenjon Barner, RB
As great as Oregon Ducks senior running back Kenjon Barner has looked over the first three weeks of the season, the inconsistency in the star’s rushing attack has caused drives to stall and hurt the team.
With three games against terrible teams so far in 2012, Barner has gone over 100 yards only once and looked very beatable for the most part. There is no denying the impressive 201 yard performance against Fresno State, but look at the competition and calm the expectations.
If the Ducks want to send a message to the rest of college football that they are a serious contender for a BCS National Title this year, they need Barner to keep the offense on the field and Arizona’s defense on its heels.
Arizona Player to Watch: Matt Scott, QB
While many skeptics of the Wildcats success have pointed to the competition faced—despite the fact that Oregon had a much easier road to Week 4—Arizona star quarterback Matt Scott has proven his skill against ranked teams already this season.
When then-ranked No. 18 Oklahoma State Cowboys arrived in Arizona in Week 2, Scott decided it was his chance to shine. The Senior QB threw for over 300 yards and two touchdowns while running for another 55 yards and a score.
If Scott can protect the ball and takeover the game like he did in Week 2, the Oregon Ducks will have a hard time holding off the Wildcats Sunday.
Prediction: Oregon 38, Arizona 24
There is no denying that the Oregon Ducks are the more talented team, but the battle we get Saturday night won’t be what fans and experts are expecting from this matchup.
With each defense coming into this matchup feeling disrespected and overlooked, the first half will be an absolute fist-fight. After time, both defensive units will start to tire out and leave wide-open holes, but it will be too late to jack the score up.
Oregon is the more consistent offensive team, and that will pay off as the Ducks take the game over and put it away in the waning stages of the fourth quarter.
Check back for more on the NCAA Football as it comes, and don’t miss Bleacher Report’s College Football page to get your fill of college football.
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