Arkansas State Red Wolves (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) vs. No. 5 Oregon Ducks (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
College Football Week 1
Date/Time:Saturday September 1, 2012. 10:30PM EST
Where: Autzen Stadium, Eugene, Oregon
by Wilson, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Arkansas St + 35.5/UO -35.5
Over/Under Total: OFF
Eugene, Oregon is not only home to Olympic training but also infamous Autzen Stadium where Ducks fans go crazy on game day! For the first time ever the Ducks and Red Wolves will meet for the 2012 season opener. They have never played each other so the newness is definitely an added component. The Quack Attack is currently ranked No. 5 in the nation and they also sat on top of the Pac 12 last year. Ark. St. is no slouch even with the huge point spread they should be a decent team and give the Ducks a few fits but the task will definitely be enormous.
Arkansas comes into this opening game after a very successful season last year as they finished the 2011 season 8-0 in the Sun Belt Conference. The Red Wolves ended up with an overall 10-3 record where their only losses were to Illinois, Virginia Tech and finally Northern Illinois in the GoDaddy.com Bowl. The big question will be with returning quarterback, senior Ryan Aplin. Aplin threw for 3,588 yards and 19 touchdowns last season and will be starting his third season behind center. Can Aplin get going right away in Autzen Stadium? His numbers are solid but this is Oregon baby!
Just how good is Aplin? Well, he is already on the Manning and Davey OBrien Watch List and favored to win offensive player of the year in the Sun Belt. Last year he completed 64 percent of his passes in route to earning player of the year in the conference. But wait, theres more, Aplin can run too! He rushed for 588 yards and 10 touchdowns last season as well. We all know one guy cant get it done so as good as Aplin is he will certainly need his teammates to step up and play well, play real well if they want to pull off an upset in Eugene.
The No. 5 University of Oregon Ducks only lost two games last year. This season they return to the Pac 12 as favorites to repeat their top ranking within the conference. Bryan Bennett looks to be the projected starting quarterback for the Ducks on opening day. Head coach, Chip Kelly has always been great at picking a QB who can lead the team to the top of the conference as well as big-time BCS bowl games. It looks like Kenjon Barner will finally get his shot at the limelight as the projected starting running back for the quacks. He has put in his time and arguably has better hands and moves than previous backs such as James, especially a great threat out of the backfield and on the flats. DeAnthony Thomas is another spark plug in the Ducks offensive arsenal. Thomas slices and dices like a modern day Deon Sanders and Chip Kelly will definitely look to get the ball into his hands in the Tazer role.
Defensively, the Ducks should dominate the Red Wolves in nearly every position; its just how Oregon rollsalways super fast and they have a guy named Dion Jordan who plays a fantastic defensive end. Jordan is already on most watch lists and he is joined by veterans and super freshmen which should cause panic for Red Wolves defensive coaches.
The bottom line is whenever a team goes into Autzen Stadium especially on opening weekend it is extremely tough to get a win. Autzen is said to be the loudest stadium in the country. The Oregon Ducks are just always goodperiod. Arkansas State may very well bring a game to Eugene but they better bring everyA game theyve ever played all rolled up into one if they want to make the front page.
I like Arkansas State and what their program has done over the past few years but man, its too bad they have to open against the Ducks! Oregon should roll and cement their No. 5 ranking.
Wilson’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Arkansas State +35.5. Oregon stomps the daylights out of them but Arky gets the money. Historically, college football underdog teams of +32 or higher have covered to the tune of 67%. Luck to ya!
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