Fresno State Bulldogs (1-0) vs. Oregon Ducks (0-0)
September 4, 2021 2:00 pm EDT
The Line: Oregon Ducks -20.5 / Fresno State Bulldogs +20.5; Over/Under: 61.5
(Click here for latest betting odds)
The Oregon Ducks meet the Fresno State Bulldogs in week 1 college football action from Autzen Stadium on Saturday.
The Fresno State Bulldogs will look to pick up a huge road upset after starting their year with a 45-0 win over UConn in week 0. Jake Haener threw for 331 yards and 3 touchdowns on 20 of 26 passing while Logan Fife filled in and threw for 51 yards, a touchdown and an interception on 7 of 13 passing. Ronnie Rivers led Fresno State in rushing with 58 rushing yards while Jordan Mims had 38 rushing yards with a touchdown. Jalen Cropper had 3 catches for a team-high 87 yards while Rivers caught a pair of balls for 66 yards with a score and Erik Brooks had a team-high 5 catches for 61 yards. Josh Kelly recorded 54 receiving yards while Raymond Pauwels Jr. and Ty Jones each had a touchdown reception. On defense, Elijah Gates, Tyson Maeva and Justin Houston each had 4 total tackles while Arron Mosby, Levelle Bailey and Ryan Boehm each had a sack with Mosby recording a 31-yard scoop and score recovering a fumble.
The Oregon Ducks will be out to build on a difficult 2020 that saw the Ducks finish at 4-3 overall including 4-2 in Pac-12 play, winning the conference title but losing their Fiesta Bowl appearance against the Iowa State Cyclones by a final score of 34-17. The Ducks will have to bounce back from Tyler Slough transferring to Texas Tech, but there are pieces in place for any QB to succeed whether it be former Boston College transfer Anthony Brown, Jay Butterfield or top-tier recruit Ty Thompson. Travis Dye and CJ Verdell both return to make up one of the best two-headed monster rushing attacks in all of college football, while leading yardage receiver Devon Williams returns after putting up over 19 YPC while Jaylon Redd is on the other side after leading the Ducks with 25 catches. DJ Johnson and Mycah Pittman also make up two other solid pieces in the receiving game for Oregon this season. Defensively, Popo Aumavae, Brandon Dorius and freshman Jayson Jones make up the defensive front for Oregon while Kayvon Thibodeaux headlines Oregon’s linebacking group before heading to the NFL after logging 12 sacks in his first two combined seasons. Noah Sewell and Isaac Slade-Matautia are both back at linebacker after putting up 45 tackles apiece to lead Oregon last year while Mase Funa is another stellar option on the outside. The secondary features strong talent like Mykael Wright and Verone McKinley, arguably making this one of the better Oregon defensive units that will take the field in some time. As a team, Oregon averaged 31.3 PPG while allowing 28.3 PPG last season.
Fresno State is 8-3-1 ATS in their last 12 games in September and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games against the Pac-12 while the under is 12-6 in their last 18 games as an underdog. Oregon is 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games on Saturday and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games while the over is 9-1 in their last week 1 matchups.
I get how Oregon would be favored at home here, and if you’re Fresno State, going from UConn to having to stop the combo of Dye and Verdell is an unenviable task. However, Fresno State has the luxury of a game to shake off the rust and while Oregon is a stacked team defensively, losing Slough hurts and it’ll take time to adjust to life with a new QB, a QB that no offense, is a step down from Slough. I think the Bulldogs could keep this one to say a 17-point game, so give me Fresno State and the points.