Matchup: Arizona at #3 Oregon (-23.5, 79 at JustBet)
Date/Time: Thursday, October 2nd @ 10:30 pm (EST)
Location: Eugene, OR (airing on ESPN)
Preview: The #2 ranked Oregon Ducks take on the Arizona Wildcats in a key PAC-12 contest on Thursday night from Autzen Stadium in Eugene, OR.
The Ducks come into this matchup undefeated and ranked #3 in the country. They’ve been tested, rallying back from 6 points down in week 2 to defeat Michigan State 46-27. It was something we hadn’t seen from Oregon in past years, they showed a lot of mental toughness and played with physicality. In prior seasons, Oregon would wilt under pressure against physical football teams. This Oregon team got hit in the mouth and responded. The Ducks kicked it into another gear to outscore the Spartans by 25 points in the second half. They’ve had some other difficult challenges, slipping past what seems to be an improving Washington State team 38-31 in their last outing. To no one’s surprise, the Ducks are 4th in the nation in scoring (48.4 ppg) and are led by none other than quarterback Marcus Mariota. The junior is again in the running for the Heisman trophy this season and 1st in the nation in passing efficiency.
The Arizona Wildcats are also entering Thursday night’s matchup undefeated. They are quite lucky to be where there at, as they’ve had quite a number of close calls this season. The Wildcats have only won one game this season by double digits, a 58-13 win over UNLV. They escaped defeat in week 4 with a Hail Mary pass against California to get a 49-45 victory. Their quarterback is freshman Anu Solomon, who has completed 63% of his passes for 1454 yards and 13 touchdowns. The Wildcat offense as a whole is averaging 42 points per game, and are 8th in the nation in passing averaging 365 yards through the air per game.
Throw stats and records out of the window in this one. It’s quite a large number but I’m laying the points with Oregon on Thursday night. The Ducks will be on national TV, and need to show quite an impressive performance. Well, they will need no added motivation, as they will be playing a team that knocked them out of BCS contention last season. The Ducks have had this game circled on their schedule, and it might seem as though they were looking ahead quite a bit seeing how they played against Washington State. Autzen Stadium is an extremely tough place to play, especially on a Thursday night on national TV and the spotlight might be a bit too bright for the Arizona freshman quarterback. This will be a huge step up in competition for an Arizona squad that has had their hands full with lesser competition. The crowd will be amped, and I don’t see the Wildcats contending much in this one.
2014 Week 6 NCAA Football Picks: Oregon -23.5, Under 79
Arizona at Oregon Score Prediction: Oregon 56 – Arizona 21