NCAA Football Free Pick: Oregon Ducks vs. Oregon State Beavers
(11-0, 6-4-1 ATS)
Oregon State Beavers
(5-6, 6-4-1 ATS)
The annual Civil War takes place this year in Corvallis at Reser Stadium, as the Oregon State Beavers put their bowl dreams on the line against the National Championship aspirations of the Oregon Ducks.
The Ducks at least know that they have a nice consolation prize waiting for them if they lose this one, as they would be going back to Pasadena for the Rose Bowl for the second straight season. However, HC Chip Kelly and company don’t want to think about consolation prizes right now, as they have their sights set on the BCS Championship Game. They might have fallen from the No. 1 team in the country last week, but as long as they are in the Top 2 by Sunday night, no one is going to care in Eugene. A 12-0 Oregon team would be making a date in Glendale in January for the BCS Championship Game against most likely either the Auburn Tigers or TCU Horned Frogs. Good luck trying to stop this offense on a regular basis. The Ducks have only been held under 42 points one time this year, and they are averaging 546.7 yards and 50.5 points per game. Yikes! 306.6 yards of that comes on the ground this year, and most of that is thanks to RB LaMichael James. James has 1,568 rushing yards and a total of 20 TDs on the season, but we can’t forget about all of those other men on the ground that do their job as well. Five other rushers have at least 125 yards to speak of, while QB Darron Thomas has rushed for 496 yards. He also has a total of 31 TDs between the ground game and the passing attack.
Oregon State has a great history of competing in games like this, and it will need to do a lot more than just compete in order to go bowling. Thanks to a schedule that has already included games against the TCU Horned Frogs, Boise State Broncos, and Stanford Cardinal, who have combined to lose just two games this year (one of which came against these Ducks), the Beavers need to find one more win just to finish at .500 and to qualify for a bowl game. There’s no doubt that they would be taken if they win, but finishing at 5-7 would be devastating for a program that many thought was on the right track, especially with the Rodgers brothers getting more experienced. Unfortunately for the elder brother, WR James Rodgers, his season was cut short due to an ACL injury back in the beginning of October. The younger brother, RB Jacquizz Rodgers has some nice numbers this year, but they aren’t what anyone in Corvallis was expecting. Over the first two years of his career, this junior accounted for 1,660 and 1,962 yards respectively with a total of 35 TDs. He has 16 scores this year, which puts him on par in that department, but 1,100 yards on the ground and 264 through the air just hasn’t cut it.
The Ducks need to be careful in this one, but they’ll ultimately pull away without any problems. The closer that they get, the better that they seem to be, and Kelly won’t let the Quack Attack slow down until the job is done on Saturday afternoon. Oregon State will be the team left in the cold, as it will get its doors blown off at home to end a very disappointing season.
College Football Expert Pick: Oregon Ducks -16.5
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