Oregon faces Missouri State for one last out of conference game before the Ducks take on the Arizona Wildcats on the road for their first Pac-12 game.
Each week Duck Territory has their cracker-jack staff breakdown the week's game and gives you their predictions.
Record to date
1. Max Williams 2-0
T2. Brandon Oliver 1-1
T2. Justin Hopkins 1-1
T2. Matt Prehm 1-1
This Week's Game: Oregon vs Missouri State
Hard to predict a game of this magnitude on such a big stage. Oh wait a second, wrong game. It's Missouri State, it's not a tough game to pick. The only real prediction is how many the Ducks roll up on them and how early the starters hit the showers. More than 60 points? 70 points? Do I dare say 80?
The reality is Oregon starts to hit their stride offensively about the third game of the season. Which stands to question what Oregon was doing playing LSU in the first week of the season if they wanted to get back to the championship game. I applaud the staff for the "never back down" mentality but voters have proven time and time again it's about winning, not a tough schedule. As I stated prior to the opening game with LSU, if Oregon would have scheduled another "tune up" game they would be looking at 3-0 and probably ranked inside the top 5 or better as they hit their stride.
Now with a current record of 1-1 and seemingly 2-1 tomorrow afternoon, the Ducks are outside the top ten and counting on LSU to win out as well as Stanford among others.
Expect Oregon backups to see a sufficient amount of time, especially with the injury to Michael Clay last week late in a blowout. Ducks win, 77-7.
This game is about making sure the Ducks are clicking on all cylinders heading into PAC-12 play. The offensive line needs to come together and dominate the FCS Bears and let LaMichael James get loose for some big runs and gain some confidence with league play on the horizon. The wide receivers and Darron Thomas need to continue to build chemistry and have things all lined up before facing Arizona.
After losing star linebacker, Michael Clay last week in a blowout of Nevada, the biggest key may be keeping the team healthy. especially if the game gets out of hand early, there is no reason for a starter to get injured in the 2nd half of a game like this. Luckily, it is doubtful that the ones will play beyond the 1st drive of the 2nd half, and maybe not even that deep into the game.
Look for a dominating performance from the defense as the Ducks will run out the young guns and backups early and often, but will remain focused on holding the FCS Bears down. While the offense was rarely on the field last week versus Nevada, the defense still gave up a lot of yards and too many points. Look for an improved effort this week from the Ducks defense. The offense should produce similar results to last week, with a little more focus on the run game.
As I outlined in my key matchups article, I think this game could get very ugly. For most of the first half we should see Darron Thomas, LaMichael James, and DeAnthony Thomas ripping through the Mississippi State defense, similar to how the team played against New Mexico and Portland State last season. Although they won’t be in the game for too long, I think that we will see LaMichael James get his first 100 yard rushing game of the season and he will also continue to wreak havoc in the passing game and on special teams.
Defensively the Ducks should have a lot of success stopping the Bears, although I think the Bears’ offense is slightly better than the Lobos and Vikings offenses last season, so I don’t think this game will be a shutout. I’m going to go out on a little bit of a limb and guess that Terrance Mitchell will get his first career interception this week. Also, something to watch for will be how much Cliff Harris will play this week as he continues to come back from his suspension.
The final score will come down to how early the ones are pulled and also how open the playbook is as the twos and threes try to get game experience. I think we will see Bryan Bennett get to throw the ball around a bit as the coaches try to give him experience. I also think that we will see Tra Carson get his first collegiate touchdown and the depth at running back this season will lead to an ugly score.
My final prediction for the score will be 76-6 in favor of the Ducks.
What records could fall in this match-up of No. 12 Oregon vs FCS Missouri State?
Good question but I'd be willing to bet Oregon will break some statistical records come Saturday late afternoon as the Ducks simply will be the better team in every area of the game.
This is the Ducks last chance to get anything ironed out before games once again matter as Oregon looks to defend their two-straight league titles against Pac-12 foes.
Micahel Clay appears out but that isn't going to limit Oregon's defense from putting up big plays time and time again on defense.
This game should be about setting goals that are realistic. Do not commit any penalties. Get serious push out of the defensive line. Can Oregon's offensive line pave the way for two 100-yard rushers? Can Darron Thomas not turn the ball over. Can Oregon's defense give up no explosion plays of 10-yards or more?
Oregon will score quickly and often during the first half and go into half up 56-0 and the second string will take a few snaps during the third period before giving way to Oregon's third string and walk-on players for the rest of the game.
LaMichael James will finally top 100 yards rushing in a game while Oregon will also see De'Anthony Thomas rush for 100 yards as well. Darron Thomas will throw for multiple touchdowns while also adding his own rushing score and the defense or special teams will score as well.
Oregon walks away with a shutout and tops the modern day scoring record with a 77-0 victory.
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