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Las Vegas Bowl Preview: BYU vs. Arizona

Now before I get into the game itself I am participating in the Gunaxin's 2008 Blog Bowl Challenge which pits other bloggers against each other for a prize, but the great thing about this contest is that it brings together the best content for all of the bowls from multiple bloggers. So, to check out different perspectives on this bowl game and others then click the picture below and it will take you there.

#16 (10-2) (7-5)

Sam Boyd Stadium 5PM PT TV:

BYU is making their fourth straight Vegas Bowl appearance while Arizona is going bowling for the first time since 1998. The oddest thing on this game is that Arizona is a 3 point favorite despite BYU being ranked and having played a much tougher schedule then Arizona.

BYU must over come their devastating loss to Utah and again going to the Las Vegas Bowl. The upside is that BYU is looking for their third straight 11-2 season and have firmly brought back their winning tradition of the days of legendary coach LaVell Edwards.

BYU has the offense to move up and down on Arizona with Austin Collie who has 15 touchdowns and over 1400 yards receiving, and QB Max Hall who passed for 3600 yads. The offense has running back Harvey Unga and TE Dennis Pita who had a 1,000 yards at his position.

BYU will have problems defensively because their defensive backs are slow and not physical enough to cover receivers. Plus the defensive backs all year have been giving at least an eight yard cushion so that they will not be beat deep, so teams counter with crossing routes and short passes to chip away yards.

Arizona has a few good weapons of their own they have an All American tight end Rob Gronkowski who is a touchdown machine with 10 on the year. Then quarterback Willie Tuitama who is capable of making plays and elusive in the back field if their is pressure.

The Cats also have a 1,000 yard rusher in Nic Grigsby who also has 12 touchdowns. The Wildcat offense is very balanced and puts up nearly 37 points per game. The BYU defense is capable of making stops, but they must put pressure on the quarterback from Jan Jorgensen and David Nixon.

However the real pressure comes from the defensive backs being able to put coverage pressure and forcing Tuitama to hold on to the ball so the defense can get pressure.

Another main problem for BYU is the lack of adjustments that BYU coaches never seem to do. The word at the school is that if they execute the plays they will be fine and be able to run their plays. However once the other schools figures it out they will make adjustments while BYU does not.

Expect this game to be high scoring with each team scoring in the 30's.

The Essentials

Offense - 444.07 ypg, 308.9 ypg passing, 135.17 ypg rushing
Defense - 350.3 ypg, 222 ypg passing, 207.25 ypg rushing
Wins versus Bowl Teams - Colorado State, Air Force

Offense - 401.3 ypg, 237.25 ypg passing, 164 ypg rushing
Defense - 302.1 ypg, 169.75 ypg passing, 132.33 ypg rushing
Wins versus Bowl Teams - California

Prediction: BYU 38 Arizona 34

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