Arizona vs Toledo Preview and Free Pick [9/3/2010]

Arizona Wildcats (0-0) at Toledo Rockets (0-0)
When: Friday, September 3rd, 2010
Where: Glass Bowl, Toledo, Ohio
Time: 8:00 ET
TV: ESPN
Opening Line: Arizona -12.5

Arizona Last 3 Games Toledo Last 3 Games
L 33-0 vs Nebraska – 2009 L 38-24 @ Bowling Green – 2009
W 21-17 @ USC – 2009 W 47-21 vs Eastern Michigan – 2009
W 20-17 @ Arizona State – 2009 L 56-28 @ Central Michigan – 2009

Recent Meetings
9/6/08 – Toledo 16, Arizona 41
9/7/85 – Toledo 10, Arizona 23

For the 2nd time in 3 years, the Arizona Wildcats and Toledo Rockets will open up the season against each other. Back in 2008, the Wildcats completely dominated the Rockets in Tucson 41-16. Junior QB Nick Foles is back for the high powered Arizona offense. He threw 19 TD’s to only 9 INT’s last year. The Wildcats also bring back their 4 leading rushers from last year. Their problem will be on defense where only 4 starters return from a year ago. They also lost their top 4 tacklers. After losing to Nebraska 33-0 in the Holiday Bowl, the Wildcats can’t wait to get back on the field and prove they are a contender for a Rose Bowl berth this year.

Toledo’s offense isn’t as strong as Arizona’s, but I believe they will be by season’s end. Sophomore QB Austin Dantin gets the start in the opener. In limited duty last year, he passed for 962 yards and 4 touchdowns. He’ll be aided by the return of 3 of the Rockets top 4 receivers from last year including Eric Page, who caught 82 passes for 1,159 yards and 7 touchdowns. Linebacker Archie Donald is back for a relatively weak Rockets defense. He led the team last year with 116 tackles.

I expect this one to be a shootout. Arizona has lost their last 8 road openers, while Toledo is 14-4 in Glass Bowl openers. The Rockets have also played well versus BCS teams at home. Since 2001 they are 5-1 straight up against them. I think Arizona will win, but the Rockets keep it within two touchdowns.

Pick: Toledo +15.5

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