A Big Serving of Bounceback: Predictions For Arizona's Football Weekend

Well last weekend certainly wasn't too fun - that is, unless you're a Wildcats fan. Watching the Cardinals and the Sun Devils struggle through two extraordinarily depressing games surely left a bitter taste in the mouths of football fans throughout the Valley.

They wouldn't do that to us two weeks in a row, would they? Saturdays and Sundays were not created just to demoralize the state of Arizona - at least that's what I keep telling myself. Let's take a look at the match-ups.

Arizona State +21 vs. Washington State

Being an ASU student, I try not to let too much bias out when I write these columns. That being said, sometimes it's unavoidable.

For some reason, I tend to be rather optimistic when I look at Sun Devil football. There is no reason why I should be, they've done nothing but burn me my entire life. Yet I always feel like they may be turning a corner. It's possible that I'm just too dense to understand.

Maybe I'm just like all of the people that stay in bad relationships because they just don't know any other way. Then, finally, something dramatic happens that pushes things over the edge and that shared bond is nearly broken.

That's what last week was. ASU and I, sure, we've been having some problems. But that? The only word to describe a disaster like that: embarrassing. I am embarrassed of the program I watched last Saturday. I am embarrassed that I was so ignorant and refused to see the writing on wall. I am embarrassed that it has finally come to this. What can even be said after a trouncing of such magnitude?

Now that we got that out of the way, this is officially the game that ASU cannot lose. No one loses to Washington State. No one. Even last year, when the Sun Devils lost eight games, they still beat the Cougars.

This one doesn't need any stats, any explanations. If ASU loses this game, ‘embarrassing' won't even begin to cover it. If Dennis Erickson likes his job, he'll find a way to right this ship for at least one week.

(That being said, the largeness of this spread seems silly to me.)

Intern Prediction: Arizona State 36, Washington State 24

Arizona +8.5 @ UCLA

Well at least one Arizona team had their quarterback crisis averted.

Matt Scott played a hell of a game last week. In the junior's first start in over a year, Scott amassed almost 300 yards of total offense and two touchdowns, leading the Wildcats in a route over the upset-minded Washington Huskies.

After the performance, Arizona looked like they were quite comfortable with the mobile Scott holding the reins while incumbent Nick Foles got healthy. However, it seems the situation has taken an unexpected turn.

Foles, just two weeks removed from dislocating his kneecap, has been publicly urging coach Mike Stoops to let him come back and play. Either Foles is just a ballsy s.o.b. or the injury may not have been as bad as it originally seemed. Regardless, Stoops has been keeping his choice extremely close to the vest, forcing an already overmatched UCLA team to prepare for two entirely different quarterbacks.

Since crushing Texas - in what remains one of the most bizarre games of the season - UCLA has been getting trampled by Pac-10 competition. The Bruins have been outgained in their past two games by an outrageous 535 yards.

Regardless of which quarterback ends up playing for the Wildcats, the outcome will remain the same. Arizona wins in a route.

Intern Prediction: Arizona 47, UCLA 13

Cardinals -3 vs. Buccaneers

Last week the same dilemma that hurt me with the Sun Devils struck again with the Cardinals. Sometimes, as hard as I try not to be, I'm just too much of a homer. Actually, it's not even that I'm a homer; I think I just buy into the hometown hype a little bit too much.

I didn't pay close enough attention. All signs pointed to the Cardinals losing that game in Seattle. Overwhelming buildup swirling around the undrafted rookie, the most inhospitable playing environment of the young man's life, and a division rival riding a wave of momentum and delight. Of course the Redbirds lost that game. Really, it would have been miraculous had they won.

This week is a little different though. The Cardinals are a completely different team within the affable confines of University of Phoenix Stadium. After a week of hearing nothing but doubters, I'm sure Whisenhunt has these guys ready to play.

Raheem Morris' little stunt probably didn't help matters. Little tip: if you go 3-13 in your first year of coaching, then suddenly win four out the first six games the next year, it probably isn't the best idea to draw a leagues worth of attention to your guys by proclaiming that they are "the best team in the NFC". Just sayin'.

While I like Josh Freeman - and personally I think the kid's going to be a stud - it seems like these Bucs are getting just a little too cocky for a team that just had the third worst record in the NFL. It's about time they get taken down a peg. The Arizona faithful will spur on a massive defensive effort while the offense manages to scrap by just enough to win.

Intern Prediction: Cardinals 23, Buccaneers 17

 

Last week's record: 1-2

Total record: 9-6

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