Arizona-Oregon Preview Capsule
ARIZONA (4-0, 1-0) at No. 2 OREGON (4-0, 1-0), 10:30 p.m. EDT Thursday (ESPN)
Line: Oregon by 23.
Series Record: Oregon leads 24-15.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
Arizona has been Oregon’s nemesis before. Last year, the Wildcats trounced the then-No. 5 Ducks 42-16 in Tucson, ending any hope Oregon had of reaching the national championship and effectively breaking a four-game streak of BCS bowl appearances. In 2007, the Ducks were ranked No. 2 and lost in Tucson. But this year’s meeting is at Autzen, where the Ducks have won 13 of the 17 home games against the Wildcats. Oregon has won five of the last six overall against Arizona.
Arizona’s defense against Oregon’s battered offensive line. With two first-time starters on the line, Oregon had trouble in a 38-31 victory over Washington State and Marcus Mariota was sacked seven times. Arizona linebacker Scooby Wright has four sacks this season and has a Pac-12-best 12.8 tackles per game.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Arizona: Freshman quarterback Anu Solomon has 13 touchdown passes and three interceptions. In the Wildcats’ 49-45 victory over Cal, Solomon set NCAA freshman records with 89 offensive plays, 73 attempts and 47 completions.
Oregon: Quarterback Marcus Mariota has thrown for 1,135 yards and 13 touchdowns. The Heisman hopeful needs two touchdowns to jump John Elway into seventh on the Pac-12′s career TD list. He needs 79 more passing yards to pass Kellen Clemens (2002-05) for third on Oregon’s career list.
FACTS & FIGURES
Oregon is expecting its 100th sellout at Autzen Stadium. ... Twelve of the Ducks’ 27 touchdowns have been scored by freshman, with running back Royce Freeman and receiver Devon Allen with five apiece. ... Oregon is the only team to hold the Arizona to under 100 yards rushing in a game (2012) since Rich Rodriguez became coach. ... The win against Cal was Rodriguez’s 20th with the Wildcats.