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Arizona Toledo Betting – Foles Returns To Lead A Potent Wildcat Offense

Posted by Blake Frazier on 9/3/2010 10:21:35 AM
arizona toledo betting

Could this be the year for the Arizona Wildcats?

USC is falling on hard times. So is Oregon after the Jeremiah Masoli nightmare which enfolded the campus. Stanford loses Heisman Trophy runner-up Toby Gerhart. Oregon State has a brand-new quarterback who will have to be tested by fire. It’s anyone’s Pac-10 to win, so perhaps coach Mike Stoops’ troops could bring the University of Arizona its first-ever Rose Bowl.

Friday, the Wildcats won’t play a Pac-10 game, but they’ll still want to generate forward momentum for their season when they take on the Toledo Rockets.

NCAA football betting: Arizona Wildcats @ Toledo Rockets

Online Betting Odds: Arizona -16

Why To Bet On Arizona

The primary focus for Arizona in most of its 2010 games will be its defense. The Cats’ offense is expected to hum behind the right arm of gifted signal caller Nick Foles, who will spread the ball around to a flotilla of fleet-footed flankers. Arizona came within an eyelash of upending Oregon and claiming the 2009 Pac-10 championship, and Foles was the reason why the Cats came so close to swiping a bouquet of Roses.

It’s the defense that will tell the tale for this team in the coming months, and especially in this Friday-night fight against Toledo. Opposing offensive lines will find out that Arizona defensive ends Ricky Elmore and Brooks Reed will be hard to deal with this season. Many pundits regard these bookend pass rushers as the best pair of defensive ends in the Pac-10. West Coast football experts will tell you that in surveying the offensive lines in the conference, there aren't a whole lot of teams that can respond to Elmore and Reed with an equally formidable pair of offensive tackles. As long as Arizona scores with regularity, the Cats’ pass rush from the edges should limit Toledo’s ability to keep pace with Mr. Foles.

Why To Bet On Toledo

The problem for Arizona is that it has only four returning starters on defense. The most urgent need is for run-stuffing help up the middle: Both defensive tackles and all three linebackers have to be replaced.

It’s also worth noting that last year, another team from a power conference paid a visit to Toledo on an early-September Friday and got smoked. The Colorado Buffaloes strolled into town, but the Rockets zoomed past them by a 54-38 score. Arizona’s offense, led by Foles, should regularly light up the scoreboard, but if a defense led by a brand-new pair of co-coordinators, Greg Brown and Tim Kish, can’t find the right solutions at linebacker and in the middle of the defensive line, this contest could get quite troublesome for the Wildcats.

Toledo quarterback Austin Dantin will fill the position vacated by four-year starter Aaron Opelt. Dantin played in seven games as a true freshman last year, starting three of them. Dantin, who has been listed No. 1 on the depth chart since last spring, completed 66 percent of his passes and led the Rockets to victories against Northern Illinois and Eastern Michigan in 2009. He’s already shown a knack for being able to make plays, so if Arizona can’t get a strong upward push from its interior linemen and its linebackers, Dantin will be able to step into a protective cup and fire the ball to his receivers. The speed rushing of Elmore and Brooks from the edges can be negated; Toledo’s offensive line can simply cheat toward the inside of the line and allow the Elmore-Brooks combo to rush upfield, way beyond the part of the pocket where Dantin will be standing.

How The Game Will Play Out

The Arizona secondary shapes up as a highly-regarded unit that shouldn’t be all that easy to throw against. With cornerbacks Trevin Wade and Robert Golden leading the way, there’s a chance that the Cats can be at least somewhat resilient in the face of a turbo-charged offense. Toledo isn’t good enough on the ground, and the Rockets aren’t physical enough to take advantage of Arizona’s biggest defensive weaknesses. Arizona is equipped to win shootouts. The Wildcats will start slow, but in the middle of the second quarter, they should begin to dominate. They’ll pull away and cover the spread in Ohio.

Arizona Toledo Betting Pick: Arizona -16

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