Nicholls State Colonels (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) vs. No. 3 Oregon Ducks (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
College Football Week 1
Date and Time: August 31, 2013 4:00 p.m. EST.
Where: Autzen Stadium, Eugene, OR.
by Wilson, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: NSU +60.5/UO -60.5
Over/Under Total: TBD
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The Oregon Ducks will open up the 2013 NCAA Football season at home against Nicholls State. The Ducks are once again expected to finish at the top of the Pac 12 and make rumblings for a BCS run. These two teams have never met but it is likely a sure W for the Quakers. Oregon will be under the nation’s watch this season with the exit of Chip Kelly to the NFL which leaves new head coach, Mark Helfrich holding the reins. Helfrich should be just fine as he is the former offensive coordinator for the Ducks and he looks to keep up the intensity and fast paced, high powered attack the Ducks are known for. Nicholls State will be easily overmatched but we all know that’s the deal in the season openers, usually.
Oregon returns a handful of offensive guys who have proven to be dynamic threats and an offense that put together an FBS-leading 89 TDs! Oregon’s offense ran more than 80 plays per game last season. Returning QB, Marcus Mariota set the school record for TDs (38) while RB De’Anthony Thomas has tallied 33 TDs in two seasons. Wide receiver Josh Huff has the ability to burn defenders for the long ball which complements the running threat of Thomas. For a team that averaged 1 point for every 33 seconds they possessed the pigskin it will be interesting to watch how quickly and often they score against Nicholls State.
Defensively, the Ducks are strongest in their secondary which is led by a certain future All-American CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu. Another solid defensive threat is DL Arik Armstead, at 6’8 280lbs he is a monster and projected to kill QBs. I see a double team coming for most O-lines. When a team has one of the best offenses in the country it only makes their defense better-they get go at with them every day!
Nicholls State might catch some early breaks simply because Oregon will be fine tuning their sets and personnel but after the first couple series the Colonels better look out! The Ducks will be establishing themselves early in the season as the nation’s top scoring program in their quest to the BCS Championship. Although the Colonels have a veteran squad they are still completely outsized and athletically a level below Oregon.
Impact players for Oregon will be the obvious difference in this game-well, nearly every starter on Oregon’s roster is dominant over the counterpart but the big names for Ducks will be QB Marcus Mariota who is projected to throw for nearly 3000 yards, over 30 TDs, and rush for another 700 yds. RB De’ Anthony Thomas is projected to rush for 800 yds, cross the goal line at least 14 times and pick up 500 yds receiving and another 7 TDs through the air. Finally, WR Josh Huff should gain close to 900 yds receiving and 10 TDs. All this is not to mention the defensive play and special teams’ efforts of the Ducks. Only Stanford rivals the defensive show of Oregon.
A key player for Oregon who is probably going to make waves this season is TE Colt Lyeria. Lyeria is big, strong, and fast. He can also be a key blocker in specific sets. Oregon looks real good this season. Coupled with the Duck’s offensive power the defense which intercepted with 11 different defenders last season should be a contender for the BCS Title.
We all know that the Ducks are gonna crush it. But 60.5 points? They have no reason to blow up a much lesser team nor does Vegas give away free money!
Wilson’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Colonels pull rank and cover! Quack Attack 56, NSU 6
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