the Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl
Saturday, December 20th, 8:00pm
Las Vegas, Nevada
BYU blew through the season to a blistering 10-2 mark, while Arizona is going to a bowl for the first time in a long time. Both only have one decent win on their resumes, the Cougars over Air Force and the Wildcats over California. No bad losses for BYU though - they won the games they should've, while Arizona dropped two they shouldn't've. If you put stock in similar opponents, this game is for you. Both beat UCLA and Washington, though Arizona defeated them more convincingly (BYU needed Locker's penalty to beat the Huskies...). Arizona lost to New Mexico by 8, while BYU beat them by 18. So that's kind of a wash overall there.
|Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl Matchup|
|Points (rank)||220.45 (#21)||33.99 (#58)|
|Opp. Points (rank)||-1,113.90 (#111)||-765.51 (#100)|
|Points (% of Opp. Avg)||35.3 (129%)||37.1 (136%)|
|dPoints (% of Opp. Avg)||21.2 (93%)||21.3 (92%)|
|Rush Yds (% of Opp. Avg)||135.9 (89%)||164.0 (105%)|
|dRush Yds (% of Opp. Avg)||144.4 (102%)||132.3 (83%)|
|Pass Yds (% of Opp. Avg)||308.9 (157%)||237.3 (117%)|
|dPass Yds (% of Opp. Avg)||206.5 (113%)||169.8 (90%)|
|Tot Yds (% of Opp. Avg)||444.8 (124%)||401.3 (111%)|
|dTot Yds (% of Opp. Avg)||350.9 (106%)||302.1 (85%)|
|ST Yds (% of Opp. Avg)||116.1 (110%)||140.0 (115%)|
|dST Yds (% of Opp. Avg)||104.8 (94%)||129.8 (99%)|
|Penalties / Pen. Yds||7.6 / 69.7||3.8 / 33.6|
|TO's / TO Margin||2.1 / +2||1.3 / +6|
Both these teams played really weak schedules, ranked in the triple digits. Pretty big discrepancy on points scored & allowed too, more than a 2 TD difference for both. Keep an eye on the passing games - Arizona should be able to get down the field, since they're solid and BYU's passing D has had some issues. Arizona's passing D is solid as is BYU's passing attack, so that should be fun to watch. Arizona gets the edge in the discipline department, and a slight edge in the turnover battle. The MtnWest has owned the Pac10 this year - will the trend continue?
The Line: Arizona -3
The Call: BYU by 7
The Result: Arizona 31-21
Yup - lots of passing from both sides, over 320 yards each. But instead of the penalties being a weakness for Arizona, they hurt BYU a lot more - 10 for 76 yards including three big ones just before the half. The Pac10 needed this one to get off to a good start, while the MtnWest needs to start making up ground.