Fiesta Bowl Breakdown: Jay Ajayi


Boise State running back Jay Ajayi has official declared for the NFL Draft. That’s both good and bad for Arizona.

We’re just over a week away from the 2014 Vizio Fiesta Bowl, with a matchup between #10 Arizona and #20 Boise State. Not much news about the game has come from Tucson, but there has been some big news out of Boise State to break down with Ajayi’s announcement.

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Ajayi has been incredibly productive in his three years at Boise State. Ajayi was a Doak Walker Award finalist this year, an honor given to the best running back in the country. He has also been named First Team All-Mountain West Conference for the past two seasons.

He started his Boise State career as a role player, ending with over 500 yards on just 82 carries, finding the endzone four times. He picked it up in his sophomore campaign as the starter with 1,425 yards and 18 touchdowns. For his final season at Boise state, easily his best year, Ajayi finished with more 2,200 total yards and 29 total touchdowns. Ajayi rushed for over 100 yards in nine of 13 games, including two games with over 200 yards.

So here’s the good and bad news for the Arizona Wildcats.

The good is there will be more NFL scouts watching the game. Ajayi is projected as the 10th best running back in the NFL Draft as of now. As far as other NFL talent on the field, scouts might be looking at Arizona’s Austin Hill, Jonathan McKnight, Jared Tevis and possibly Dan Pettinato.

The bad news is Ajayi is going to want to have the game of his life to impress scouts and leave an impression. Arizona has been pretty stingy on defense against the run all season long. Credit the much improved defensive line and linebacker core, anchored by Scooby Wright.

The key to the game will be getting on top of the Bronco’s early. If the offense can generate points and build a lead, it’ll take Boise State’s running game away, forcing them to be one-dimensional.