Fiesta Bowl – Cardinal Stadium in Phoenix, Arizona
Wednesday, December 31, 2014 @ 4:00 PM EST (ESPN)
#20 Boise State Broncos (11-2, Mountain West) vs #10 Arizona Wildcats (10-3, Pac-12)
Fiesta Bowl Odds: Arizona -3, O/U: 68.0
Boise State Broncos (Head Coach Bryan Harsin): Year after year, the Broncos prove themselves to be one of the most consistent and efficient teams in the country. In 2014, they lost the season opener to a powerful #9 Mississippi and added a mid season loss against Air Force. Otherwise, they ran a muck on the blue carpet and beat up on the rest of its opposition.
The Broncos have relied upon a balance offensive attack for years now. The 2014 season followed suit. They weren't the most disciplined squad on the field (penalties and turnovers), but they still managed to rack up almost 500 YPG on offense. Leading the way for the Broncos was All-American Jr RB Jay Ajayi who has 2,300 all-purpose years and 30 TDs. Combined with Sr QB Grant Hedrick, the formed on of the most explosive backfields in the nation. Hedrick passed for 3,387 yards and 22 TDs and ran for another 563 yards and 8 TDs.
The Broncos are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games after allowing less than 20 points in their previous game. Boise State is 33-15 ATS vs. good passing teams averaging 250 or more passing yards/game. since 1992.
Arizona Wildcats (Head Coach Rich Rodriguez): The Wildcats put a good team on the field week after week. Unfortunately, they ended up just a cut below the best as evidenced by its losses to #24 USC, #14 UCLA and #2 Oregon. However, they did upset then #1 Oregon in game five of the season setting up the revenge game in the Pac 12 Championship Game, which they loss in a blowout.
Aside from some penalty issues, the Wildcats used an explosive air attack perfectly compliment by a decent rushing attack to keep opponents off balance. QB Anu Soloman used a strong arm to accumulate 3,458 and 27 TDs through the air. RB Nick Wilson ran wild in the backfield, gaining 1,289 yards and 15 TDs on the ground. All-American Soph LB Scooby Wright III brought back memories of the "Desert Storm" defense by racking up an astounding 153 tackles, 28 TFL and 14 sacks.
The Wildcats are 1-8 ATS in their last 9 games on grass. Arizona is 8-1 under vs. good passing teams averaging 8 or more passing yards/att. with Rich Rodriguez as the coach of Arizona.
Major Injuries: None to Report
Preview: This game features a lot of great athletes from both teams on both side of the ball. This game has the feel of a high-scoring affair regardless of the presence of and All-American Defensive player (Wright III). There's the rub. Assuming both offenses do its thing, the game might come down to which team makes the most big plays on defense. That scenario favors the Wildcats. Either way, football fans can get ready for their New Years Eve party by watching one of the more interesting games on the bowl schedule. Will Boise State bring back some of their magic like they did in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl? This has the making of one ofthe best games in the bow season. Arizona should get the straight-up win in this one.