Four (Not So) Preposterous Predictions: Arizona

Here are four things that probably won't (but maybe will) happen Saturday in Tucson. Vote for the least preposterous prediction and feel free to leave your own in the comments section. 

1. Griff Whalen will lead Stanford in receiving yards. 

Why it's preposterous: Griff Whalen has three catches for 46 yards this season and had 17 catches all of last year. Chris Owusu has nine more catches than anyone on the team and is the only wide receiver Andrew Luck has targeted regularly through two games. There are at least three tight ends more likely to lead the Cardinal in this category. 

Why it could happen: With two extra days to prepare after getting burned for 12 catches and 128 yards by Oklahoma State's Justin Blackmon last week, the Wildcats focus all of their attention on shutting down Owusu. Luck spreads four short touchdown passes among his TE Triumvirate, but Whalen quietly puts together a career game.

2. Stepfan Taylor will rush for 150 yards.

Why it's preposterous: Taylor's single-game career high is 142 yards, which he set last season against Washington State, and he's averaged only 68 rushing yards per game this season. Taylor's more of a grinder than a burner, so he typically needs a lot of touches to crack the century mark. With head coach David Shaw planning to substitute liberally and Anthony Wilkerson and Jeremy Stewart in the fold, Taylor may not even get 20 carries.  

Why it could happen: Northern Arizona's Zach Bauman rushed for 99 yards and Oklahoma State's Joseph Randle rushed for 121 yards against Arizona, which ranks 67th in the nation in rushing defense. If Stanford jumps on Arizona early like OSU did, Taylor could get a lot of work. The somewhat maligned offensive line would like nothing more than to make a statement against a conference foe on national television.

3. The Cardinal will win by at least 28 points.

Why it's preposterous: Arizona isn't Oregon State, or even San Jose State or Duke. The Wildcats should play in a bowl this year and Arizona Stadium is a difficult place to win. Winning by that sort of margin on the road will take an outstanding offensive and defensive performance by the Cardinal.

Why it could happen: Hey, it's happened before. Stanford blasted No. 19 Arizona, 50-22, during the 1999 season, which ended with a loss to Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl. That game was also the third of the season and took place in Tucson.  

4. The Stanford starting defense will not allow an offensive touchdown. 

Why it's preposterous: Arizona boasts the fifth-best passing offense in the country through two games. Foles threw five touchdowns in the season opener and Stanford's secondary looked shaky against Duke.

Why it could happen: Michael Thomas says it's the defense's goal. That's enough for me.

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