The Stanford Cardinal and Oregon Ducks are going to meet up in one of the best NCAA football betting affairs of the weekend. Here at Bang the Book, we have the keys to the game so you can make your college football picks on the game!
Key #1: Andrew Luck Has to Play Like a Heisman Trophy Contender: It’s easy to say that superstars have to play like superstars, but no man in this game is going to be more key than Luck. Without RB Toby Gerhart to fall back upon, Luck can’t hide in the corner and just let Gerhart run for 223 yards and three TDs like he did a year ago in this game. Don’t get us wrong, as Luck had a good day against the Ducks in a 51-42 victory last year, but going 12-of-20 for 251 yards and two TDs is going to result in a defeat for the Trees. So far this year, Luck has thrown for 912 yards and 11 scores against two picks. Those numbers have to improve even more in a game like this, on the road, in a hostile environment for Stanford to hold up and have a chance of pulling the upset.
Key #2: Stanford Must Control Time of Possession: The Ducks aren’t afraid to run up and down the field and score in less than two minutes seemingly every single drive. That’s exactly what happened last season when they scored 42 points, six offensive touchdowns, in spite of the fact that they only possessed the ball for 22:17. The same sort of thing has to happen this year. If Oregon goes on short scoring drives, there has to be a way for Stanford to eat up some clock at keep the Quack Attack on the sidelines. The Ducks are likely going to score their points, particularly at home where they have outscored two opponents by a combined score of 141-0. However, this game can’t become a steeple chase, or the Cardinal are dead. There just won’t be any keeping up with the men in some combination of green, white, and yellow in Eugene.
Key #3: Darron Thomas Has to Keep the Football: Simply put, if Thomas doesn’t turn the ball over, the Ducks shouldn’t be losing. He does have three picks this year in four games, but even one stop shouldn’t really hurt the Quack Attack. Stanford has forced nine turnovers this year, with at least two coming in all three games against FBS opponents. This is a defense that can be had; after all, Wake Forest scored 24 against it, while Sacramento State dropped 17 on it. It’s going to be a tough task to try to accomplish, but not only does Oregon have to make this game feel like Arena Football, but it has to play with that mentality as well. Turnovers are stops. Measure the game in stops, not scores.