University of Washington Huskies (0-0) +13.5, 62.5 O/U at University of Oregon Ducks (0-0) -13.5, 62.5 O/U, Autzen Stadium (54,000), Eugene, Oregon- Saturday August 30 @ 7pm PST.
By Wilson of Predictem.com
The PAC 10 gets underway this week with a rivalry match-up between the Ducks of Oregon and the Huskies out of the University of Washington. This game will likely get National attention only because of the two teams previous reputations as power houses. Oregon is really the only team deserving of any attention as the Huskies will struggle again this year.
Oregon, typically displays an offensive menagerie that has consistently dismantled teams especially in big games, but this time they may have to count on their defense early in the season as they still have issues at the quarterback position.
Ducks first string QB Nate Costa will miss up to 10 weeks as he went down last week with a knee injury which consists of a torn ACL.
QB Justin Roper, who threw four touchdowns in last years Sun Bowl will assume the starting position for Saturday’s game. However, Roper will be constantly challenged by sophomore QB Jeremiah Masoli who is also fighting for the number one spot behind center.
Autzen Stadium is one of the toughest places to play in the PAC 10, if not the entire country. Oregon fans are dedicated to seeking havoc on all who attempt to pose as a bump in the road!
The commentators will surely make a fuss about how the Huskies coaching staff must win nearly every big game this year in order to keep their jobs. Ty Willingham and company won just four contests last year and two of those were against non-conference weaker programs.
The Huskies will open the season with two true freshmen in the lineup. Tailback Chris Polk, who coaches have compared to having a similar running style as Reggie Bush, and defensive tackle Senio Kelemete will get their first ever collegiate start on Saturday. Unfortunately for Washington the only returning defensive front man is Daniel Te’o-Nesheim who will have to lead a young front four into Autzen Stadium and attempt to shut down the Ducks running game as well as pressure the pass.
Last years total was 89 points! This years over/under is currently set at 62.5 which may be more accurate given the Ducks are piecing together the QB situation along with losing sensational back Jonathan Stewart. Thus one would think points would be hard to come by, but again the Huskies young front line may give way to plenty of scoring opportunities for Oregon.
Jake Locker will be the key to the Huskies offense all year as he has made a name for himself by showing off his natural instinctive skills at the QB position as a freshman. Now that Locker is heading into his second season he will only get stronger and more efficient.
If ESPN is looking for potential highlight reels for college QB’s then they need to look no further than Locker probably every week as he is exciting to watch.
Oregon won this matchup last year 55-34 at Washington, so you can expect the Huskies to be seeking revenge on the loss. The current spread is Oregon by 13.5, but I see the Huskies coming out strong and looking to strike early and often. If Locker can control the tempo and get an early score he may put the Huskies on his back and run with it.
Oregon’s defense will be tested early both by Locker and new running back Chris Polk. The Ducks definitely have the defensive advantage with more 7 returning starters, but can they stop the Locker attack- as he can run and gun.
Last year Oregon went 9-4 ATS while The Huskies were 5-7 ATS. This should be an interesting game on both sides of the ball. Most sportsbooks online and in Vegas have the spread at 13.5 to 13 in favor of the Ducks. Whether you’re sitting at the Vegas Hilton or clicking onto BODOG you may want to look into getting some action on the Ducks minus the points in this PAC 10 opener. Look for the Quack Attack to ride the home field advantage to a 2+ touchdown win! Luck to ya.