No. 2 Oregon Ducks (10-1 SU, 4-6 ATS) at Oregon State Beavers (5-6 SU, 5-5 ATS)
College Football Week 14
Date and Time: November 29, 2014, 8:00 PM EST.
Where: Reser Stadium
by Wilson, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: OU -20/OSU +20
Over/Under Total: OFF
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This weekend the annual Civil War between OU and OSU takes place in Corvallis, Oregon. No. 2 OU is the overwhelming favorite but we all know that can be negated due to the emotional backdrop and in-state bragging rights on the line in this contest. However, it is not going to be easy for the Beavers to contain arguably the best QB in all of college football. Ducks QB Marcus Mariota is one of the most dynamic players in NCAA football. Mariota has 32 TD passes and a Pac 12 record 42 total TDs already this season with over 3100 yards passing thus far he is 210 of 309 for a 68 percent completion rate. Mariota is just as threatening with his running game too. His ability to see the field and assess when to tuck the ball away and run is better than most QBs in the country. If Mariota plays like he has all season the Ducks will be in great shape to close out their regular season with their 11th win.
Oregon enters this weekends game averaging 45.8 points per game which is 3rd in the nation and they only allow 23 points per game. Offensively the Ducks are lethal. They have faster, more skilled players and athletically their position players are dominatewhat else is new, right? The Ducks strike fast and frequently on offense between Mariotas play and RB Royce Freemans (1050 yards rushing, 16 TDs) Oregon is constantly running and gunning on every series. Oregon States defense will be hard pressed to completely stop the Ducks but if they can find a way to throw a kink in the chain they might be able to make this game interesting. Oregon hasnt boat-raced every team this season and they are only human after allWashington State had the Ducks on the ropes earlier this season before losing a close one in Pullman. Oregon State can play with anyone as long as they play error free football, they cant afford to turn the ball over at all against the Ducks because the Ducks make teams pay with points off TOs.
The Beavers QB Sean Mannion is a seasoned player and if he gets hot he can make plays and thread the needle with his passing. The problem has been consistency for the Beavers offense and turnovers. OSU has dropped 6 of their last 7 games, and ironically the only win during this stretch was against now No. 13 Arizona State. Perhaps a letdown game for the Wildcats but regardless the Beavers did beat a ranked team and they hope to do it again this weekend. It will be a tall order but if any team can pull an upset it is the Beavers. The Beavers have the best home record in the FBS as an unranked team versus top ten opponents dating back to 2000, including the W against then No.7 Arizona State two weeks ago. The Beavers are 3-3 at home while the Ducks are 4-0 on the road. This is the 118th meeting between these schools and Oregon will try to secure their chance for a national title run and win their 7th consecutive Civil War. No player on Oregons roster has lost to Oregon State but the Ducks know how important this game is and how the Beavers would love to play spoiler and knock them out, so they will not take this game lightly. Even as 20 point favorites the Ducks will bring their A game.
OSU QB will be the key guy for the Beavers. Mannion is a senior and has never beat Oregon. He leads the Pac 12 all time in passing and completes 24 passes per game. This season he got a boost from the improved running game of the Beavers but season ending injuries to Chris Brown and Terron Ward have stalled the rushing game which is crucial to establish especially against Oregon. Without a solid running threat OUs D will sit back and read Mannion all day. Mannion, for as good of a passer as he is only has 14 TD passes this season compared to 37 last year. The Ducks lead the series 61-46-10 and are 28-18-5 in Corvallis.
On a scale of 1-10 (10 being high) the Beavers chances of upsetting the Ducks this weekend is about a 6 only because they still remember what it felt like upsetting ASU two weeks ago. Despite their dismal performance last week versus the UW Huskies Im willing to admit I believe the Beavers make a game out of it at home. They are playing for a last shot at becoming bowl eligible and a chance to knock the Ducks out of the big race.
I think Oregon State plays a heartfelt, gritty game and manages to cover the points but Oregon wins number 11 and waits to see where they go from there. Luck to ya.
Wilson’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Beavers plus the points.