Week 2 Picks: Michigan St @ Oregon

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Michigan State Spartans at Oregon Ducks
Date and Time: Saturday 9/4/14 at 6:30pm on FOX
Game Line: Oregon -12 (from WagerWeb)
Over/Under: 56
Saturday’s Michigan State at Oregon NCAA Football Analysis: This top ten matchup in Eugune features some of the most compelling storylines we will have this season.  Michigan State’s blue collar, punch you in the mouth, defense first scheme against the flashy, fast, high flying Oregon offense in a game with playoff implications.  Oregon features Heisman Trophy candidate Marcus Mariota, who decided to stay in school for his junior season.  He racked up 267 yards and four total touchdowns before sitting out the second half of their 62-13 rout of South Dakota.  The Ducks fast skill position players Royce Freeman and Byron Marshall will line up all over the field trying to find weaknesses in the strong Michigan State defense.  While they lost six starters from last defense, they still have Shilique Calhoune, an All American defensive end and Taiwan Jones, who is on the Butkus Award watch list.  They will both need to have big games against Oregon who ran the zone read on 40% of their running plays last season.  Michigan State Connor Cook looked like he made big strides during the offseason in his season opener against Jacksonville State.  He was 12 of 13 for 285 yards and three touchdowns before sitting the second half.  Michigan State is going to need to finish their drives with touchdowns, not interceptions or field goals if they are going to keep this game close.  They will also need to run the ball effectively to set up third and short situations where they can keep their offense on the field and more importantly, keep Oregon’s offense off of it.  While the Spartans might not have the firepower to win this game, they can certainly keep it close by using their size and wearing Oregon down as the game goes on.
Michigan State at Oregon Free Pick: Michigan State +12 and
Michigan State at Oregon Game Prediction: 30-24 Oregon
What to expect in this week 2 NCAA Football match up: Oregon will take control of the game early with big plays and early emotion. They’ll score often enough to lead through out.  As the game goes on Michigan State will wear the Oregon defense down and their running game will gradually be more effective.  Michigan State will score a late touchdown to cover the spread but it won’t be enough to win in Eugune.

Lou Palumbo is the founder and part owner of the Cappersinfo.com Sports Handicapping Community. He's been writing and posting free picks and sports handicapping strategies on the Cappersinfo forums and website for 15 years now. He enjoys handicapping just as much as he did from the very first day he built the original Cappersinfo website.