College Football Week Two Picks: #2 Oregon Ducks at Virginia Cavaliers

#2 Oregon Ducks at Virginia Cavaliers
Scott Stadium – Charlottesville, Virginia
Saturday. September 7, 2013, 3:30 pm Eastern, TV: ABC or ESPN2
Opening Line: Oregon -22 1/2
Current Line: Oregon -22
Opening Total: 59
Current Total: 61
Opening Money Line: Oregon -2400 / Virginia +1375
Current Money Line: Oregon -1800 / Virginia +1150

Oregon is heavily favored at Virginia Saturday in the first ever meeting between the schools.

Oregon is heavily favored at Virginia Saturday in the first ever meeting between the schools.

The Oregon Ducks moved up to #2 in the AP Poll after the first week of action. The Ducks travel to Virginia to take on the Cavaliers, in the first ever meeting between the schools.

Oregon destroyed lowly Nicholls State last Saturday 66-3. The Colonels have not fared well in the state of Oregon as they were crushed 77-3 at Oregon State last season. Oregon did cover the 59 point spread and nearly went over the 66.5 point total by themselves.

The Ducks racked up 772 total yards including 500 rushing yards against the vastly inferior Colonels. Oregon had 32 first downs. The Ducks were 7/13 on third and fourth downs, and had 5 penalties for 42 yards. Nicholls State did have 343 total yards and 22 first downs. The Colonels were 8/22 on third and fourth down conversions. No one thought Nicholls State had a shot of even keeping it close, but 9 penalties for 50 yards and 2 turnovers didn’t help. Nicholls State quarterback Beaux Hebert (son of former New Orleans Saints QB Bobby) left he game in the fist half with a concussion, and was replaced by Kalen Henderson.

Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota completed 12 of 21 passes for 234 yards and a touchdown, and also rushed for 113 yards on 5 carries with touchdown runs of 12 and 46 yards. Running back De’Anthony Thomas had 18 carries, 128 yards and 2 touchdowns. Byron Marshall had 8 carries, 124 yards and a touchdown. Wide receiver Josh Huff had 5 catches for 118 yards. Bralon Addison and Chance Allen both caught touchdown passes. It was the first win for new coach Mark Helfrich who moved from offensive coordinator to head coach when Chip Kelly left to take over the Philadelphia Eagles.

Virginia, coached by Mike London, opened last week with a home victory over a quality BYU team. The game was delayed for just over two hours after the first quarter because of lightning in the area. When the game resumed it was played in a torrential downpour. BYU would take a 7-0 lead on a 4 yard touchdown pass from Taysom Hill to J.D. Falslev with just over 5 minutes  to go in the first half. Virginia would kick a 53 yard field goal as time expired to make the halftime score 7-3.

Virginia would then take a 10-7 lead on an 11 yard pass from David Watford to Darius Jennings, set up by a punt block deep in BYU territory. The Cavaliers would add a safety to make it 12-7. BYU scored with 6:26 left in the fourth on a one yard run from Hill, but missed the two point conversion. The Cougars would add a 36 yard field goal less than 90 seconds later to make it 16-12. Virginia drove down the field and scored a touchdown on a 13 yard run from Kevin Parks. BYU drove from their own 8 to their own 41 but the drive stalled, and the Cavaliers held on for the 19-16 win. BYU closed as a one point favorite and the total was 49.

Virginia had only 223 total yards and 14 first downs. The rain made the field sloppy and both teams played accordingly. The Cavaliers had 2 turnovers, and the Cougars had 1. BYU had 362 total yards and 21 first downs. There were 13 combined penalties in the game.

Watford completed 18 of 32 passes for 114 yards with a touchdown and a pick, and also had 10 rushing yards on 10 carries. Parks had 20 carries, 65 yards and the game winning touchdown. Jennings had 7 catches, 62 yards and a touchdown.

Virginia defensive back Tim Harris is questionable Saturday with a leg injury. Cornerback Wilfred Wahee is out for the season with a knee injury. Oregon offensive lineman Mana Greig and tight end Pharoah Brown are both questionable for undisclosed reasons.

Oregon is 6-0 ATS in road games against teams with winning home records, 7-0 after rushing for more than 200 yards, 8-0 on grass, 5-0 in road games, 8-1 overall, 6-1 after scoring 40 points or more, after a straight up win, and against teams with winning records. 5-1 after a cover and after a straight up win of 20 points or more, 4-1 after accumulating more than 450 total yards. 5-2 after allowing 20 points or less, and 1-4 in September.

Virginia is 3-8 ATS after allowing 20 points or less, 3-10-1 on grass, 3-11-1 overall, 1-7-1 at home, 1-8 against teams with winning records, 0-5 after a straight up win, and 0-7-1 in September.

Virginia gave up 144 yards to BYU running back Jamaal Williams in a heavy rain storm when the field was a muddy mess. I can’t imagine what Thomas, Mariota, and Marshall will do the Cavalier front seven. Plus, I don’t see Virginia scoring enough to keep up with the high octane Ducks. This could get ugly in a hurry regardless of Oregon having to travel across the country.

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