The Arizona Wildcats (4-3, 2-2) will look to snap their two-game losing streak Saturday in Palo Alto against the Stanford Cardinal (3-4, 2-3)—a team they have been owned by the last several years.
Arizona has lost five straight to Stanford, dating back to 2013. Due to some Stanford injuries, the Wildcats opened as slight favorites for the 2019 rematch, but are now viewed as slight underdogs barring another last-minute swing.
Kickoff at Stanford Stadium set for 12:30 p.m. PT on the Pac-12 Network.
Here is what we think will happen. Be sure to leave your predictions in the comment section below.
Brian J. Pedersen — Arizona wins 24-21
2019 record: 5-2
If Arizona has any hope of making a bowl game it has to win in Palo Alto. Banking on a victory in Tempe to end the regular season isn’t something anyone should be considering, so this is as do-or-die a contest as the Wildcats will have all year.
It’s all going to come down to one factor: how efficient the Wildcats are on offense. They don’t need to score every time, they just have to make the most of their possessions and not give Stanford great field position via turnovers or horr-awful punting, as has been the case the previous two games.
This will be far from a pretty game, but somehow Arizona comes out on top. If not, well, no need to put in for time off in late December to travel to a bowl game.
Christian Mortensen — Arizona wins 28-17
2019 record: 5-2
Earlier this week, Stanford head coach David Shaw described this weekend’s game as, “our uneven play versus their uneven play” and that just about sums it up for me.
We all know about the inconsistency that Arizona has exhibited in recent times, and the Cardinal have been even worse over the course of the season — at least according to statistics.
They’re 3-4 (2-3 in conference), and even though they upset No. 15 Washington in Palo Alto just three weeks ago, they quickly followed it up with an embarrassing blowout loss at home to lowly UCLA last weekend.
Injuries to both their number one and number two quarterbacks didn’t help their case against the Bruins and might have posed a problem on Saturday as well, but Shaw said Wednesday that his first choice QB K.J. Costello (thumb) is “between questionable and probable” to play against the Wildcats.
Which I’m interpreting as, he’s playing.
Either way though, I’m picking Arizona purely based on my opinion of Stanford, who is far worse than I thought at the beginning of the season.
The Wildcats themselves have done little to inspire me recently.
Gabe Encinas — Stanford wins 37-17
2019 record: 3-3
I have been pretty out of touch with Arizona football the last few weeks, but the general consensus tells me that last week was pretty rough. Stanford is pretty banged up right now, especially at quarterback, which has put the Cardinal in a hole this season.
I’m a huge fan of David Shaw and I think after getting pounded by USC last week, facing a good coach with a lot of talent and power will hurt Arizona badly.
I still believe Arizona is in that stretch of games where they won’t be able to get much traction. I think Stanford takes this one pretty easily in a game that will get them back on track for the season.
Ronnie Stoffle — Arizona wins 27-19
2019 record: 4-3
There is no telling which Khalil Tate we will see this weekend but Kevin Sumlin made it clear we will see him. If Costello misses this game, I actually trust Arizona to convincingly take care of this one.
However, if Costello does play, that could open up things enough for the Cardinal passing game to create some issues. I still trust Arizona to take care of business just in a much closer game as Stanford lacks the level of talent on offense we’ve recently seen from Washington and USC.
I think either way it’s safe to assume that David Shaw will execute a healthy portion of blitzing on Tate. It’s unclear if Arizona’s offensive line will be without starting guards Robert Congel or Cody Creason. If one or both miss this game, the hope will be that last week’s shuffling along the line will look much better after a week of practice.
Matthew Rein — Arizona wins 34-21
2019 record: 1-0
I know Tate has been downright awful the past two weeks. I know Arizona is playing away from home. I know Stanford has dominated Arizona’s usually smaller offensive and defensive lines. So why does Arizona win?
I think Tate bounces back and has a great game. This is a Stanford defense less talented than both USC and Washington. After two weeks of disaster I am betting Mazzone and Tate will figure it out enough to at least have some semblance of an offense. If the offense is still anemic, I’m not sure how much longer you can keep Grant Gunnell on the sidelines.
If third-string Stanford QB Jack West is forced into action again, the Arizona defense will feast on the redshirt freshman’s inexperience. I believe the defense will continue their good run of play and the offense will get its act together.
Adam Green — Arizona wins 28-20
2019 record: 6-1
When the schedule first came out there were few who thought this was a winnable game, let alone a game Arizona should win. But, here we are.
Had Arizona played well the last two weeks — or even just competently — it would be an even easier prediction to make. Stanford is a shell of what it used to be and there isn’t much of a home field advantage for them. Of course, Arizona has not looked good, at least offensively, and that is undoubtedly a concern heading into this one.
That said, Stanford offers a solid chance for Khalil Tate and the offense to, if not do a 180, at least start moving in the right direction. Paired with a defense that has played better than the stats would indicate and you have a recipe for a road win that pushes Arizona to within one victory of bowl eligibility.
Ryan Kelapire — Stanford wins 31-24
2019 record: 5-2
My pick is simple: if Costello or Davis Mills start at quarterback, the Cardinal will have enough offense to win. If Jack West has to start again, well I’ll take Tate and company assuming they don’t shoot themselves in the foot with turnovers.
Arizona has been getting manhandled in the trenches lately, and Stanford has the right personnel to make sure that continues.