Washington Huskies (5-1 SU, 3-2 ATS) at Oregon Ducks ( 5-1 SU, 3-2 ATS)
College Football Week 7
Date and Time:October 18, 2014 8:00 p.m. EST.
Where:Autzen Stadium, Eugene, OR.
by Wilson, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread:UW +21/UO -21
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If you like watching dynamic defensive players you might want to tune in to this weekends matchup between the Huskies and Ducks. Washingtons defense has surfaced as of late and to make this point more clearly, they have one player who has literally scored more defensive TDs than an entire D1 team at this point in the season. UW LB, Shaq Thompson, has five defensive touchdowns which is more than Southern Methodists entire team! In addition to Thompsons heroics his DT teammate Danny Shelton has recorded 7 sacks and puts a lot of pressure on QBs. The Oregon Ducks may have rebounded last week by defeating UCLA 42-30 but UW will not be a team they can look over.
The early line out of Vegas is Oregon -22. The way the Ducks can score and the speed they do it in is dangerous for everybody but UWs D will be ready. If the Huskies can contain Ducks QB Marcus Mariota from using his ground game they might be able to slow the Oregon offense down just enough to steal a game on the road. Although Oregon is tough at home they are not impossible to beat. Arizona beat the Ducks at home two weeks ago and the Wildcats were not ranked either, so Washington definitely has a shot to break this Pac 12 race wide open. There is a dark cloud for the Huskies however; theyve dropped 6 in a row to the Quack Daddies at Autzen Stadium. Even more daunting is the average point margin in those losses28.5! Can the Huskies close the gap (literally) versus Oregon and snap their Autzen losing streak? Will the Ducks lose two at home for the first time since 2002?
We all know what Oregon QB, Marcus Mariota can do, and he is arguably the best dual threat QB in the country. To his credit, Mariota has completed nearly 70 percent of his passes with 0 (zero) INTs. Mariota was 24 of 31 for 366 yards passing, 3 TDs, and also rushed for 88 including another TD on the ground. In fact Mariota hasnt thrown an INT at all this year. To be fair, UW QB Cyler Miles hasnt thrown a pick either but his overall numbers are no comparison to Mariotas Heismanisk statistics. The key to this game is no surprise guysstop Mariotastop the Ducks! Oregon has some injuries on their o-line that, coupled with the way the Huskies D has been playing (24 sacks this season already) may just make this game closer than expected.
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Oregons D allows 24.3 ppg to UWs 21.3 ppg but Oregons offense makes up the difference by scoring nearly 44 ppg to Washingtons 34.8 ppg. Im not totally convinced that Oregon is 22 points better than this particular Washington team. The Huskies have had some scary games earlier this season with Hawaii, where they scrapped out 17-16 W, and at home against a very good Eastern Washington Eagles squad 59-52. However, this Husky crew has settled down and found a defensive harmony if you will that has been working leading up to this Pac 12 rivalry game.
It will certainly take a team effort but the way Shaq Thompson and Danny Shelton have been leading the Huskys defense this year, we all might be impressed come Saturday in Eugene. No matter how you look at it, the Oregon Ducks will be hard to stop at home and Mariota is not alone as the Ducks have multiple playmakers in their lineup. Oregon Freshman RB Royce Freeman already has 7 TDs (5 at home) and averages 5.5 yards per carry. The Ducks will be a force on the ground which always opens up the air attack. Oregons team speed rivals most track teams and if not contained they can run up the score real quick. I really like the Huskies to keep this game within reach but not enough talent and speed to overtake a Ducks team that may have hit cruise control last week after taking it to UCLA. Take the Huskies! Luck to ya.
Wilsons Pick to Cover the Point Spread:Take the Huskies to cover the 21. Luck to ya