25.Sep.2012 Oregon State @ Arizona
A lot of fans watched Arizona get blasted by the Ducks, and now that OSU is 2-0, they're thinking this should be an easy win. However, each week is different in this and any league. Talent wise, Arizona is comparable to UCLA. They run a similar offense and have a solid defense (they hung with Oregon much of the first half; the offensive woes hurt the defense). To me, that Duck game was closer than the score.
Point being, Beavs and their fans shouldn't take Arizona for granted.
The QB is mobile, which, while I am slowly becoming a believer in this team being good (not great), I am still not convinced the Beavs can stop. Hundley ran for 32 yards and a TD. Scott is not as good a passer, but he's a better, faster runner. If I'm Banker, I stack the box and force Scott to pass, then put a spy on him. Haven't been impressed with Banker's schemes, even though the media is gushing about him (I keep saying this, but I see more Bray influence in the LB corp mentality than Banker influence in the schemes).
Conditioning is always an issue in Arizona. So our lack of depth could be a factor.
And…Vegas likes AZ despite what happened last week. The line is AZ -3 (which I think is fair—last week's was a bad line).
As good as things are right now, the Beavs will not go undefeated, and they'll probably lose games we feel they should win. This is because each week is a reset. One team is high, while the other is hungry. Matchups and mismatches are different. Etc.
To me, the key to this game is the Beavs wanting greatness…not being complacent with the 2-0 start. When a team exceeds expectations, there is a tendency to think there's room for error, leeway, that a loss isn't the end of the world. Great teams overcome the temptation to slack. In that regard, I think this is a test. I'm not going to pick any games because I frankly don't know how good the Beavs are at this point, but I do think the line is fair and accurate and a good starting point. I'd probably take the Beavs +3 and buy one point to be safe, as there is every reason to believe this will be another close game. If the Beavs want to make a national statement, come out hungry and blow AZ out. You'd see a huge move in the polls, as some have the Beavs #1 right now since they have the most difficult SOS.
One last thing: I have seen leadership emerge. Wynn, Cooks, Mannion, and coach Bray all stand out as natural born leaders. These guys are all business and have the personalities to make everyone around them more intense. It's refreshing.