Pac-12 Shootout Odds, Trends: Oregon Ducks at Washington State Cougars

Luke Falk has been impressive thus far in his junior season after a monster sophomore year which saw him throw for over 4,500 yards.
Luke Falk has been impressive thus far in his junior season after a monster sophomore year which saw him throw for over 4,500 yards.

Oregon-Washington State
Time: 9:30 PM ET
Spread: ORE -2
Total: 75

Betting odds c/o 5dimes

Oregon has had it rough the last two weeks since starting the season with a pair of wins against UC-Davis and Virginia. In weeks 3 and 4, it lost to Nebraska and Colorado, though the Ducks were right there in both games. Last week the loss came down to a 31-yard pass from Bryce Bobo to Steven Montez with 8:43 to go in the fourth quarter.

Oregon was unable to answer back as the remainder of the fourth quarter was scoreless. Oregon will try to get back on track and improve past .500 as it visits Washington State as 2-point favorites in PAC-12 play.

The betting total is set high at 75, a reflection of these teams offensive prowess, but also highlighting the lack of defense displayed by the Ducks so far.

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Oregon is allowing 32.5 points per game this season, which ranks it just No. 96 in the nation. The offense has been good as usual, as Oregon ranks No. 45 in passing yardage (260.3 per game) and No. 8 in rushing (275.8).

The Ducks also are No. 25 in the nation in points per game (41.8), but that was the mark Colorado reached last week when the Ducks fell a field goal shy of winning.

Of course, kicker Aidan Schneider cannot absorb the blame as he made his only attempt, a 41-yarder, in addition to hitting all five of his PATs. Punter Ian Wheeler struggled somewhat with six punts landing an average of 38.5 yards, but he did have a long of 48 yards and only one was returned for 12 yards. Charles Nelson shined on kick returns with 97 yards on five returns (19.4 per return) and a long of 23-yards.

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Oregon QB Dakota Prukop had 293 passing yards and a pair of TDs, but he did throw an interception and was sacked three times. The Colorado defense also had five tackles for loss.

Tony Brooks-James rushed for 120 yards on 16 carries with a long of 50-yards and Kani Benoit (status uncertain for this week due to unknown injury) had another 49 yards on 13 carries, but Prukop was ineffective with his QB rushes, taking six for a total of negative-10 yards.

Dwayne Stanford and Charles Nelson both had big days with 95 and 85 receiving yards respectively, but it was Darren Carrington II who had both TDs. The junior has 19 catches on the year for 280 yards and three TDs, and at a long 6’2” he is a good end zone target. Stanford is 6’5” as well, but he has just one TD to his name with 10 catches for 142 yards. The Ducks have the offensive tools to put up points, but it really all comes down to whether Oregon can slow teams defensively.

Washington State is 1-2 after winning its last matchup 56-6 over Idaho. Weeks 1 and 2 brought disappointing losses to Eastern Washington and Boise State, losing both games by just three points apiece.

Looking at what the Cougars did right last week may be the most illustrative. Luke Falk threw for 226 yards on 21 of 36 passing with three TDs, while not throwing any interceptions and incurring only one sack.

The Cougars also had 228 rushing yards, led by James Williams’ 126 on 14 carries. Williams also scored one of the three rushing TDs, with Gerard Wicks (40 yards on seven carries) and Alijah Lee (14 yards on two attempts) providing the others.

The Cougars have five receivers with 20 yards or more on the season, but Kyle Sweet leads the team in yardage with 77 on four catches.

Sweet has one TD and a 50-yard catch, while Gabe Marks and Robert Lewis have scored the other two Cougars’ receiving TDs.

Washington State ranks No. 31 in points per game with 40, while holding opponents to 27.3 (No. 70). Of course, all these figures are somewhat skewed due to the Week 3 blowout, but there is no denying this team can air it out. The Cougars are ranked No. 3 in the nation with 393.0 passing yards per game and Falk has been prolific and accurate. He has thrown 158 passes while completing 74.1 percent for 1,124 yards. His 11 TDs and two interceptions influence his outstanding passer rating of 154.3, and both Marks and Taveres Martin Jr. have already caught for 200-plus yards.

Marks has four receiving TDs, including a 50-yard TD pass and The Cougars top-three receivers have all made 50-yard plays or greater. This is a team that can score and move the football, but its defense will have all it can take with Oregon. Neither of these teams are going to do a very good job of stopping one another, so that should theoretically make for some exciting football tonight for those able to tune into the Pac-12 Network.

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