(1-0, 1-0 ATS)
(1-0, 1-0 ATS)
In a rare Pac-10/SEC NCAA football betting affair, the Oregon Ducks will take their show on the road to visit Rocky Top, where the Tennessee Volunteers will be waiting to strike an upset.
There wasn’t a team in the country last week that put together more impressive numbers than the Quack Attack did against the lowly Lobos of New Mexico. It isn’t often that a team loses its starting quarterback at the start of camp, gets its running back suspended for the first game of the year, changes its projected starting quarterback just two weeks before the start of the season, then comes out and outgains a team by 613 yards and wins 72-0. That just shows how impressive HC Chip Kelly’s squad really is. QB Darron Thomas came out of the blocks firing, completing 13-of-23 passes for 220 yards and a pair of TDs. However, the ground game was really where it was at for the Ducks last week. RB Kenjon Barner, who might have just taken the starting job away from the suspended LaMichael James, rushed for 147 yards and four scores. RB Remene Alston was also involved a ton, as he rushed for 110 yards on 21 carries. Just for good measure, the defense forced five turnovers.
This isn’t the same type of challenge this week going into Rocky Top, though. The Ducks are going to face a fierce Tennessee defense that feels as though it really has something to prove this week against one of the best offenses in the nation. Last week in a 50-0 romp over the Tennessee-Martin Skyhawks, QB Matt Simms got his feet wet in fine fashion, going 14-of-24 for 181 yards with a TD. RB Tauren Poole rushed for 110 yards and two TDs in his debut as the start running back. RB Rajion Neal also ran for 79 yards, while RB David Oku went for 77 yards and a TD. The key is going to be the defense, which held the Skyhawks to just 142 total yards and three first downs. This is a unit that is going to be given its biggest test, and HC Derek Dooley has to be readying his team for this primetime fight. We all know that Dooley wasn’t exactly embraced by the Rocky Top faithful when he came to Knoxville, but a win on Saturday can change that perception and potentially put the Vols on track to compete in the SEC East.
This game has the potential to be a lot closer than most think. After all, how often does a team come into Neyland at night and even hang with the Vols, let alone drop them by two tuddies? We aren’t saying that the U of O is losing this game, but c’mon Tennessee… You can stick without two scores of these guys.
Selection: Tennessee Volunteers +12.5