Preview: Boise State at Arizona

When: 4:00 PM ET, Wednesday, December 31, 2014
Where: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona


1. Rich Rodriguez has gone from an ostracized failure at Michigan to a beloved figure at Arizona as he guides the No. 11 Wildcats against No. 21 Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Ariz., on Dec. 31. Rodriguez was fired as Wolverines coach after the 2010 season and Michigan is again looking for a coach while Rodriguez was named Pac-12 Coach of the Year after winning 10 games in his third season. The Broncos are coached by Bryan Harsin, who had an 11-2 record in his first season as coach after replacing Chris Petersen.

2. Boise State landed the Fiesta Bowl bid as the highest-ranked team from the five minor FBS conferences. The College Football Playoff guaranteed a spot to the best team from the non-major leagues and the Broncos captured the berth with eight consecutive victories, the final one coming against Fresno State in the Mountain West title game. Boise State is no stranger to the Fiesta Bowl, notching the famous 43-42 overtime upset of Oklahoma following the 2006 regular season and also defeated TCU 17-10 after the 2009 season.

3. Arizona middle linebacker Scooby Wright owns more hardware than anyone else in this contest after winning the Bednarik and Nagurski awards as the nation’s top defensive player and the Lombardi Award (top defensive lineman or linebacker) as well as being named a first-team All-American. The sophomore amassed 153 tackles and has 14 sacks among his eye-popping 28 tackles for losses. “He has a chip on his shoulder, he loves the game and is a good teammate,” Rodriguez said of Wright in a statement. “One of the reasons his numbers are so high is because of his effort.”

TV: 4 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: Arizona –3.5

ABOUT BOISE STATE (11-2, 7-1 Mountain West): The Broncos have a big-time running back in Jay Ajayi, who has rushed for 1,689 yards and 25 touchdowns – topping 100 yards nine times – and also has four receiving TDs. Quarterback Grant Hedrick has an impressive 70.9 completion percentage to go with 3,387 yards and 22 touchdowns but also is mistake-prone with 13 interceptions. Strong safety Darian Thompson (seven) and cornerback Donte Deayon (five) have combined for 12 of Boise State’s 20 interceptions with middle linebacker Tanner Vallejo (team-best 86 tackles) and outside linebacker Kamalei Correa (team-leading 10 sacks) also enjoying strong campaigns.

ABOUT ARIZONA (10-3, 7-2 Pac-12): Quarterback Anu Solomon proved to be ready for duty as a freshman and he has excelled with 3,458 yards and 27 touchdowns against only seven interceptions. Nick Wilson was the main ground force with 1,289 yards and 15 touchdowns and Cayleb Jones is the top receiving target and caught 65 passes for 902 yards and nine touchdowns. Wright gets help on defense from safety Jared Tevis (119 tackles, four sacks), free safety Jourdon Grandon (team-high three interceptions) and safety William Parks (13 tackles for losses).

PREDICTION: Arizona 33, Boise State 31

Stats and Records

Team Comparison

  W/L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
Boise State 11-2 W8 39.8 26.5 7-0 4-2 2-1 1-0 7-1
Arizona 10-3 L1 34.8 27.5 6-1 4-2 7-3 0-0 7-2

Last Meeting

Boise State Arizona
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
No Previous Meeting.

Player Stats

Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP% YDS TD INT
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
TDs Player TD
Passing Player COMP% YDS TD INT
BSU G. Hedrick 70.9 3387 22 13
ARIZ A. Solomon 58.0 3458 27 7
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
BSU J. Ajayi 327 1705 5.2 25
ARIZ N. Wilson 217 1289 5.9 15
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
BSU T. Sperbeck 39 678 17.4 3
ARIZ C. Jones 65 902 13.9 9
TDs Player TD
BSU J. Ajayi 29
ARIZ N. Wilson 16

Quickchart Matchup

Boise State Off vs  Arizona Def
497.3 yards
448.7 yards
4.9 yards/rush
4 yards/rush
8.7 yards/attempt
7.3 yards/attempt
Arizona Off vs  Boise State Def
461.5 yards
366.5 yards
4.6 yards/rush
4 yards/rush
7 yards/attempt
6.7 yards/attempt

Live Game Odds

Lines History | All Odds
Currently no lines available.

Matchup Stats - Full Matchup

Boise State Overall Arizona
11-2-0 W/L 10-3-0
7-6-0 ATS 5-8-0
9-4-0 O/U 4-9-0
39.8 Pts For 34.8
26.5 Pts Against 27.5
Boise State A/H Arizona
4-2 W/L 6-1
3-3-0 ATS 2-5-0
4-2-0 O/U 3-4-0
39.8 Pts For 39.3
32.2 Pts Against 27.9
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