The Oregon Ducks and Washington State meet in Pullman this week, for their annual meeting in the Pac-12 Conference. It isn’t often that Oregon comes into this game feeling flustered at their situation, but the Ducks are asking themselves a bunch of questions thus far. The team held a player’s only meeting earlier in the week to try and figure out what’s going on with them. Oregon played in the Alamo Bowl a year ago with Vernon Adams at quarterback, a game in which they blew in the second-half to TCU.
It’s bad enough that they lost, but playing in the Alamo Bowl is not what Oregon sets out to do before the season begins. The way it is going for them, the Alamo Bowl might be a good bowl game considering this 2-2 start. Oregon fell to Nebraska on the road two weeks ago, and then they looked unprepared against Colorado a week ago. Colorado took a 41-38 win over the frustrated Ducks in Eugene.
The well of talent that Chip Kelly attracted may be getting empty at Oregon. For the second year in a row, Oregon has gone to a quarterback who transferred to campus instead of a recruit. Marcus Mariota was all Chip Kelly, and since him, Oregon has been unable to attract the next up and comer. If so, they wouldn’t be messing around with FCS transfers, which they’ve done the last two years now. If this is Mark Helfrich’s strategy it isn’t going to work out incredibly well. He got to the National Championship as head coach of the Ducks, but that was all with Chip Kelly recruits, along with Mariota.
The Buffaloes made it look easy moving the ball on Oregon. They ultimately passed for 333 yards and 3 touchdowns, with 271 yards rushing on the ground. It’s going to be interesting to see how this team responds after they held the player’s only meeting. It was done at the right time, because Pullman isn’t a place you want to go to without all of the nuts and screws fastened tightly.
Washington State comes into Saturday with a record of 1-2. So, in a lot of ways, it’s been a disappointing season for both of these schools thus far. Washington State was hoping to build on a 9 win campaign from a year ago. With losses against Eastern Washington and Boise State, it’s been a rough start for Mike Leach and company. A win tonight would provide a welcome confidence boost.
Oregon Ducks vs. Washington State Cougars NCAAF Betting Odds:
vs. Washington State +2.5(-105)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Oregon vs. Washington State Pick:
Washington State needed a team to beat up on and they got it against Idaho last week. The Cougars took the Vandals down for a 58-6 victory. The previous two weeks for Washington State were not so kind in their losses to Eastern Washington and Boise State. They put up a strong effort against the Broncos on the road, but came up short, 31-28. I already went over the stupidity of Mike Leach and his time management skills last week, so we don’t have to go there again.
Long story short, Leach should hire somebody to just keep an eye on the clock and manage it correctly. WSU signal-caller Luke Falk, who was an outsider for Heisman consideration, tossed 3 touchdowns a week ago to add to his total of 11 touchdowns and 2 interceptions this season. The only glaring mistake he’s made this season is a pick-6 he threw to Boise State.
The running backs got a workout last week, as Washington State, has been utilizing their ground game more so than they have in the past. The Cougars ran for 226 yards which is a considerable amount for a team who likes to attempt more than 40 passes per game. The Ducks are 103rd in the country with regards to total team defense. They have allowed 450 yards per game and 32.5 points.
Oregon probably assumes that they may get gashed in this game defensively. Washington State is a fast paced air-raid team who like to throw the ball around. As we’ve witnessed though, Washington State has been looking good running the ball as well. The Ducks have been hopeless against the run, allowing 194 yards per game on the ground. Oregon is capable of running the ball extremely well, however, as their ranking of 4th in the FBS indicates. This is going to be a game that comes down to who has the football last. 80 points scored in total looks like a realistic result in all likelihood. The result is a play on the OVER.
PICK: OVER 75 POINTS (-115)