Michigan State Spartans (1-0) at Oregon Ducks (1-0)
|Date & Time||Saturday September 6, 2014, 6:30 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Oregon Ducks -11 -- Over/Under: 56
The Oregon Ducks and the Michigan State Spartans face off on Saturday in Autzen Stadium in a monster Pac-12 vs. Big Ten matchup.
The Oregon Ducks packed it in late last year after losing to Stanford and knocking them out of National Championship contention but they Ducks are ready to make another run at it this season. Oregon opened with a blowout of FCS South Dakota in a game that had no business being played at all. QB Marcus Mariota bypassed the NFL Draft to return to Oregon and he opened the season throwing for 267 yards and three touchdowns and rushing for 43 yards and another score. As usual Oregon has options at running back and Byron Marshall leads the way after rushing for 90 yards on eight carries in the opener and catching eight passes for 138 yards and two touchdowns and Darren Carrington added four catches as the Ducks could have named their score. Defensively Oregon allowed 370 yards but more importantly Ifo-Ekpre-Olomu, their best defender, left the game and did not return. Tyson Graham led the way for the Ducks with eight tackles and John Wessel and Keyen Lage each had seven tackles against South Dakota. This is a big game for Oregon as the big losses to Stanford were against teams seen as more physical and this week’s opponent fits that same mold.
The Michigan State Spartans felt they were playing he best football in the country at the end of the year last season ad this year they look to prove they are the best in the nation. Michigan State didn’t prove much in their opener beating FCS Jacksonville State in a one sided game. MSU suffered a scary moment against JSU when starting QB Connor Cook was hit and appeared to be injured and left after after his 12 of 13 passing performance but all indications are that he is OK. Jeremy Langford saw limited action carrying the ball 13 times for 57 yards and Tiny Lippett had four catches with two going for touchdowns. The Spartans defense looked solid allowing seven points and just 244 yards of total offense and they were led by Darien Harris with five tackles, Ed Davis with 1.5 sacks, and Kurtis Drummond who grabbed an interception. Michigan State will need to take the crowd out of it early if they hope to have a chance in this one.
Oregon is 5-1 against the spread in their last six non-Pac-12 games, 12-5 against the spread against a team with a winning record, and 1-5 against the spread in their last six games overall. Michigan State is 7-1 against the spread in their last eight games, 16-5-1 against the spread in their last 22 road games, and 1-4 against the spread against the Pac-12.
The World seems to be discounting Oregon here and when the public is so heavy on one team like they are the Spartans, it just confirms what I have thought on this one all along, that Oregon runs circles around the Spartans in the second half.
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