College Football Pick: Stanford vs Oregon State
Stanford escaped from Los Angeles with a triple overtime win over USC last weekend. The Cardinal are right in the thick of the title chase. Stanford knows they can’t afford to have a letdown at any point, and Oregon State has a history of knocking off top ranked teams on their home field. Can the Beavers take advantage of a big home field advantage in Corvallis or will Stanford roll to another win?
Andrew Luck just continues to amaze. It’s no wonder why everyone in the NFL wants to draft Luck. He simply has the “it factor” that a stellar quarterback must have. Luck makes great decisions with the football, and he can read a defense as well as anyone I’ve seen. Luck has completed 72% of his passes this year. He has thrown 23 touchdowns and just four interceptions. The Cardinal have about as balanced of an offense as you will ever find. Stanford ranks 20th in the nation in passing offense and 19th in the nation in rushing offense. Stepfan Taylor doesn’t get enough attention, but he is a very good running back for this team. Stanford has five receivers with at least 200 receiving yards this season.
Stanford’s defense wasn’t very impressive last week at USC. They’ll need to be better than that the rest of the season if this team is going to have a shot at a national title. The Cardinal rank sixth in the nation in rushing defense, but the secondary has been exposed in several games of late. Still, this unit is only allowing 17 points per game this year.
It’s been a long season for Mike Riley and the Oregon State Beavers. They started the season with a loss to Sacramento State, and things haven’t gone any better since then. Sean Mannion and the passing offense have been moving the ball much better of late, but turnovers have cost them dearly. Mannion has thrown 13 interceptions already this season. James Rodgers has had a disappointing season at the wide receiver spot. The Beavers have a pretty talented runner in Malcolm Agnew, but the offensive line hasn’t been doing a very good job blocking. The Beavers are averaging 23 points per game.
Oregon State’s defense has been put in a lot of bad situations because of the turnover problems the offense has had all year. The Beavers defense isn’t particularly strong, but they aren’t terrible either. Key injuries in the middle of the defensive line have weakened the Beavers run defense substantially. Can Oregon State slow down the powerful Stanford offense?
Stanford has given up quite a few yards through the air this year, and Oregon State should be able to score some here. At the same time, I don’t see the Beavers defense having an answer for Andrew Luck and the Stanford offense.
Free College Football Pick: Over 60.5
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