Tue, July 16

This week's football predictions: Look for Mingus to bounce back strong

Look for Mingus to bounce back strong this week against Cactus Shadows. (VVN/Vyto Starinskas)

Look for Mingus to bounce back strong this week against Cactus Shadows. (VVN/Vyto Starinskas)

After losing 63-36 at home to Higley High School, the Mingus Union High School Marauders take to the road this week to face Cactus Shadows.

In last week's season opener, Jason Groth ran for 119 yards, quarterback Trey Meyer passed for 168 yards three scores. Though the Marauders need the pair to be successful again this week, they'll need grater contributions from both the offensive and defensive side to challenge the Falcons, who Seton Catholic 33-9 last week despite six turnovers.

If Cactus Shadows can't control the ball this week, the Marauders could even their season slate at 1-1.

Final score: Mingus 31 Cactus Shadows 19

Camp Verde High School didn't start its season off so well, losing 52-0 at Chino Valley in the annual Battle of the Boot. Friday, the Cowboys will host Scottsdale Christian Academy. Though the Eagles have scored 109 points and surrendered 12 points in two early-season wins, Camp Verde has an advantage on both the offensive and defensive lines.

Though Camp Verde will likely run its spread offense, as well as zone read and inside zone, wing T and misdirection plays, it's probably a bit much to expect the Cowboys to shut down such a potent offense.

Final score: Scottsdale Christian Academy 49 Camp Verde 6

Since 1956, the University of Arizona has not played a non-bowl game - nor a non-ASU game in the Phoenix metropolitan area when it won 27-12 against the University of Montana.

In a home game of sorts at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, the Wildcats begin the 2016 season at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 3 when they host Brigham Young University.

After four consecutive winning seasons under Head Coach Rich Rodriguez, the Cactus Kickoff is a renewal of a rivalry for the U of A and the Cougars of BYU.

In season openers, the University of Arizona is 82-25-5 - having won the last eight and 14 of the last 16.

This game will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1.

Final score: Wildcats 27 BYU 20

Arizona State University will host Northern Arizona University in a season opener for both the Sun Devils' and the Lumberjacks' Saturday, Sept. 3 at 8 p.m.

Expected to finish first in the Big Sky Conference, the Lumberjacks will be led by sophomore quarterback Case Cookus and junior wide receiver Emmanuel Butler, both recognized as preseason All-Americans.

With state-wide rooting interest at stake, odds of an upset aren't so good, as ASU is 21-14-4 all-time against NAU, and winners of their past nine since 1947.

This is the first game between the two schools since Todd Graham became head coach at ASU in 2012.

This game will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Network.

Final score: Sun Devils 48 Lumberjacks 21

With a lackluster pre-season record, the Arizona Cardinals have not started out so well. But that's the great thing about the pre-season. The games don't count - and the fans really shouldn't care either way. The whole purpose of these games is for teams to get their top players in game shape and to figure out which of the new guys should stick around.

The Cardinals wrapped up their pre-season Thursday against Denver, with their focus really on a week from Sunday against a New England Patriots team without its best player, quarterback Tom Brady. Nobody really knows what to expect of Patriots' replacement signal caller Jimmy Garoppolo. Or the guy who would replace him should he get hurt - or ruled ineligible.

This game would likely be a lot closer if Brady was not suspended for the first four games of the season for the infamous football deflating scandal that hasn't won Commissioner Roger Goodell any friends.

Not too many people expect that the Cardinals' weak offensive showing in the exhibition games will continue at home in the Sept. 11 season opener. And not too many people would think that the Cardinals' defense will struggle against an offense assigned the task of stopping its opponent's second string QB.

And neither do we ...

Final score: Cardinals 31 Patriots 10

After two games in San Francisco earlier this week, the Arizona Diamondbacks travel to Colorado this weekend to play three games against the Rockies.

As with last weekend against Cincinnati when the good guys won two of three at home against the Reds, rookies Braden Shipley, Zack Godley and Archie Bradley will try to give the Diamondbacks a fighting shot at overtaking San Diego for fourth place in the National League West. Which won't be an easy task this weekend.

But the offense has done fairly well lately, having scored eight runs or more in six games the past two weeks. And with A. J. Pollock back in centerfield and in the upper part of the batting order, don't expect any pitchers' duels this weekend in Colorado.

As sub-mediocre as the Rockies have been this year, Colorado is eight games ahead of the Diamondbacks.

Diamondbacks win two of three against Colorado.