College Football Picks and Predictions: #2 Oregon Ducks at Colorado Buffaloes
#2 Oregon Ducks at Colorado Buffaloes
Folsom Field – Boulder, Colorado
Saturday, October 5, 2013, 6:00 pm Eastern, TV: Pac 12 Network
Opening Line: Oregon -35
Current Line: Oregon -39
Opening Total: 68
Current Total: 69
Opening Money Line: Oregon -9000 / Colorado +2000
Current Money Line: Oregon -10000 / Colorado +2500
It isn’t very often that a team is favored by nearly 40 points on the road in a power six conference game. However, The #2 Oregon Ducks who are 4-0 are a 39 point favorite at 2-1 Colorado Saturday. The Ducks lead the series 9-8 and have beaten the Buffaloes 3 straight times including 70-14 in Eugene last year. The two teams are tied 4-4 in games played in Boulder.
Oregon is coached by Mark Helfrich. The Ducks have home wins over Nicholls State 66-3, Tennessee 59-14, and last week against California 55-16, along with a road win at Virginia 59-10. Oregon is 4-0 ATS and the total is 3-1 this season. Oregon covered the 38.5 spread by the hook against Cal and the game stayed under the 81 point total.
Oregon scored the first 41 points of the game before Cal got on the board with a field goal on the last play of the first half. Cal would be down 55-3 in the third, and the Golden Bears would add 2 late touchdowns but missed a very important extra point on the last one that allowed Oregon to cover the 38.5 point spread. Oregon only had 381 total yards including 264 rushing yards. California had 325 total yards including 149 rushing yards. The Golden Bears had 5 turnovers and 11 penalties for 97 yards. Oregon had 2 turnovers and 9 penalties for 83 yards. The Ducks had 2 punt returns for touchdowns.
Oregon is outscoring teams 60-11 this season. Oregon is #4 nationally in points allowed and second in points scored. The Ducks average 599.2 yards per game including 332.5 rushing yards. Oregon is #2 in total offense and leads the nation in rushing. Oregon is allowing 320.5 yards per game on defense, including 186 passing yards. The Ducks are +10 in turnovers for the season with 12 takeaways. Oregon is 22/56 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 27/85. The Ducks have forced 10 sacks and allowed 3. Oregon is 20/25 scoring in the red zone with 17 touchdowns, and opponents are 6/9 with 4 touchdowns. The Ducks are averaging 77 penalty yards per game, and opponents are averaging 58.
Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota has completed 56.1% of his passes for 1,003 yards with 9 touchdowns, and no interceptions, along with 21 carries for 295 yards and 5 touchdowns. He is a Heisman contender. Running back De’Anthony Thomas has 42 carries, 338 yards and 6 touchdowns, along with 3 catches for 58 yards. He is out with an ankle injury and also missed the Cal game. Byron Marshall has 48 carries, 326 yards, and 4 touchdowns, along with 6 catches for 56 yards. Thomas Tyner has 25 carries for 174 yards and 4 touchdowns. Receiver Josh Huff has 16 catches for 342 yards and 2 touchdowns. Bralon Addison has 14 catches for 187 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with 2 punt returns for touchdowns. John Mundt and Daryle Hawkins each have 2 touchdown catches. Tight end Pharoah Brown is questionable for undisclosed reasons.
Colorado is coached by Mike MacIntyre. The Buffaloes lost their first game of the season last week at Oregon State 44-17. It was the first game in 3 weeks for Colorado after their game against Fresno State was postponed due to devastating flooding in the Boulder area, and they had a bye week scheduled the week after. Colorado opened the season with wins against Colorado State 41-27 in Denver and at home against Central Arkansas 38-24. The Buffaloes are 2-1 ATS and the total is also 2-1. Colorado was a 12 point underdog at Oregon State last week and the game went over the 55.5 point spread.
After Oregon State and Colorado exchanged field goals in the first quarter, the Beavers scored 35 unanswered points to take a 38-3 lead. Oregon State would go on to win 44-17. The Beavers went for two points on their last touchdown despite being up 44-11 at the time. Oregon State had 540 total yards including 420 passing yards. The Buffaloes could only manage 300 total yards including 154 rushing yards with 14 first downs. The Buffaloes had 4 turnovers and the Beavers had 2.
Colorado is outscoring teams 32-31.7 this season. The Buffaloes are averaging 411.3 total yards per game including the nation’s 25th best passing attack at 295.7 yards per game but the rushing attack is #104 out of 125 teams at 115.7 yards per game. On defense, Colorado is allowing 391.7 total yards per game including the 10th best rush defense in the country at 91.3 yards per game. The Buffaloes are even in turnovers with 8 takeaways. Colorado is averaging 65 penalty yards per game and opponents are averaging 47. The Buffaloes are 14/46 on third and fourth down conversions, and opponents are 17/58. Colorado is 5/5 scoring in the red zone with one touchdown, and opponents are 12/16 with 9 touchdowns. The Buffaloes have 3 defensive touchdowns this season. colorado has forced 5 sacks and allowed 6 this season.
Quarterback Connor Wood has completed 60.3% of his passes for 887 yards with 8 touchdowns and 4 interceptions, along with 19 rushing yards. Tony Jones, Michael Adkins II and Christian Powell will split the carries, but none has more than 107 yards. Colorado does not have a rushing touchdown this season. Receiver Paul Richardson has 26 catches, 485 yards and 5 touchdowns. Nelson Spruce has 13 catches, 170 yards and a touchdown. Kicker Justin Castor is out for the season with a hip injury.
Oregon is 7-0 ATS against teams with winning home records, 4-0 after scoring 40 points or more, after a win and a cover, against teams with winning records, after passing for 170 yards or less, and after a straight up win of 20 points or more, 11-1 after rushing for 200 yards or more and overall, 10-1 in road games and on grass, 7-1 in Pac 12 games, 24-7-1 in October, and 35-17-1 after allowing 20 points or less.
Colorado is 4-1 ATS on grass, 6-13 after scoring less than 20 points, 5-12 after failing to cover, 2-5 after allowing 40 points or more, 7-18 after a straight up loss of 20 points or more and overall, 5-13 after a straight up loss, 7-19 in Pac 12 games, and against teams with winning records, 3-9 at home, 6-20 after allowing 280 passing yards or more, and 6-21-1 in October.
Oregon didn’t quite look as explosive on offense last week without Thomas. Granted we are talking about semantics as most teams would be thrilled to score 55 points. Still Oregon had less than 400 yards and two of their touchdowns came on punt returns. Colorado is 2-1 but they haven’t beaten anyone. I can’t lay 39 points on the road even though is fully capable of laying a beat down on Colorado. I Think the Buffs hang around and get the back door cover late.