Tennessee Volunteers (2-0 SU, 1-1 ATS) vs. No. 2 Oregon Ducks (2-0 SU, 2-0 ATS)
College Football Week 3
Date and Time: Saturday September 14th, 2013. 3:30PM Eastern
Where: Autzen Stadium Eugene, O.R.
by Jay, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Vols +24.5/U of O -24.5
Over/Under Total: 72.5
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The Tennessee Volunteers will take the long trip across
the country this week to meet the no. 2 Oregon Ducks inside
Autzen Stadium. While this may be a rather odd out of conference pairing,
Oregon previously made a trip to Knoxville as recently as 2010 and pulled
out a decisive 48-13 victory. This Saturday both schools will square off
again in Eugene, Oregon in a rather interesting SEC vs. Pac 12 match-up.
Last week Tennessee blistered Western Kentucky 52-20 in a game that was over by the end of the first quarter. The Volunteers defense forced 5 turnovers in the first quarter to piece together a 24-3 score at the end of the first 15 minutes. The final 3 quarters seemed like an exhibition game as the Volunteers cruised to a 2-0 start. However it’s hard to tell what kind of team Butch Jones has in his first season in Knoxville due to the fact they played two cupcake opponents to start the year. What we do know is that the Tennessee offense has the weapons to score with the quick striking Oregon offense. Despite playing in the shadows of former starter Tyler Bray, current QB Justin Worley has an extremely accurate and dangerous throwing arm. Running backs Rajion Neal and Marlin Lane make an excellent 1-2 punch in the backfield to give the Vols offense plenty of balance to keep defenses guessing.
For the Volunteers to contend, they will have to stay balanced with the run and pass to keep Oregon’s defense on their heels. As everybody knows, Oregon can score with incomprehensible quickness. Therefore Tennessee will have to find ways to answer those scoring strikes to stay in the ball game. The Volunteers defense will also get their biggest test of the season against Oregon’s up tempo offense. So far the Volunteers have been solid on defense but again that is most likely product of their opponents. Remember Tennessee’s defense relinquished 38.5 points and 471 total yards per game in 2012. A lot of starters returned from last year’s group which would suggest improvement this year but we will not really know until they line up against Oregon’s dynamic offense this Saturday.
BET THE TENNESSEE VOLS AT +44 BY
INSERTING THEM INTO A 20 POINT SUPER TEASER AT 5DIMES SPORTSBOOK
Opening betting lines have the Ducks favored by 24.5 points over the Vols. Last week Oregon was a similar 21.5 point favorite before destroying Virginia by 49 points. So far this season, it would be hard to find a team in college football that has been more impressive than Oregon. With all the talk of how Oregon would look without former coach Chip Kelly, the Ducks have silenced any doubt that they are a legitimate National Championship contender.
QB Marcus Mariota has been phenomenal behind center throwing for 433 yards with 3 touchdowns and rushing for 235 yards with 3 touchdowns. Last week Mariota broke open a 71 yard touchdown run on the Ducks first possession to set the tone against Virginia and he is a guy that is extremely dangerous. Of course Oregon’s offense is loaded with playmakers outside of Mariota from running back De’Anthony Thomas and WR Josh Huff. The key for the Ducks this week will be getting those playmakers the ball on the edges. The Volunteers are sturdy along the defensive front up the middle but they cannot match Oregon’s speed on the outside. Therefore as long as Oregon sticks to their routine on offense, their tempo and speed should wear down the Vols defense.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I am going to go with the under 72.5 in this spot. This will be both teams biggest challenge to date and I would not be surprised to see the Tennessee defense win some battles early before fading in the 2nd half. I think the total has been inflated a bit in this game and will take my chances with the under. Take the under 72.5. Good luck!
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