Week Eight College Football Predictions: Washington State Cougars at #2 Oregon Ducks

Washington State Cougars at #2 Oregon Ducks
Autzen Stadium – Eugene, Oregon

Saturday, October 19, 2013, 10:05 pm Eastern, TV: Fox Sports 1
Opening Line: Oregon -37 1/2
Current Line: Oregon -39 1/2
Opening Total: 71
Current Total: 72
Opening Money Line: Oregon -44550 / Washington State +21450
Current Money Line: Oregon -54000 / Washington State +26000

Oregon is a 40 point favorite at home against Washington State
Oregon is a 40 point favorite at home against Washington State

The 6-0 Oregon Ducks are 3-0 in the Pac 12 as they host the 4-3 Washington State Cougars who are 2-2 in conference. Oregon is ranked #2 in the country and has their sights set on a national title. The Cougars are just trying to become bowl eligible for the first time since 2003. The Ducks lead the series 45-38-7 including 12-8 at Autzen Stadium. Oregon has won 6 straight in the series including 51-26 in Seattle last year.

Washington State is coached by Mike Leach. The Cougars have a road loss at Auburn 31-24, along with home losses to Stanford 55-17 in Seattle and last week against Oregon State 52-24. Washington State has road wins at USC 10-7 and California 44-22, along with home wins over Southern Utah 48-10 and Idaho 42-0. The Cougars are 5-2 ATS and the total is 3-3-1 this season. Washington State was a 2.5 point underdog at home against Oregon State and the game went way over the 62.5 total.

The Washington State-Oregon State game was back and forth the whole game until the fourth. The Cougars took a 24-17 lead late in the third, but the Beavers tied it up before the end of the quarter. However in the fourth, Washington State turned the ball over 5 times and Oregon State converted those into 28 fourth quarter points to win 52-24. Oregon State had 598 total yards including 496 passing yards. WSU had 383 total yards including 270 passing yards. The Cougars would end up with 6 turnovers for the game and the Beavers had 2.

Washington State is outscoring teams 30-25 this season. The Cougars are averaging 413.3 total yards per game including the nation’s 8th best passing attack at 346.9 yards per game. The rushing game is #125 out of 125 teams at 66.4 yards per game. On defense Washington State is allowing 400.3 yards per game, including 256.7 passing yards and 143.6 rushing yards per game. Despite forcing 16 turnovers this season, the Cougars are -4 in turnovers because they have 20 giveaways. Washington State is averaging 48 penalty yards per game and opponents are averaging 51. The Cougars are 50/118 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 43/117. The Cougars have forced 12 sacks and allowed 11 this season. Washington State is 20/27 scoring in the red zone with 16 touchdowns and opponents are 14/21 with 9 touchdowns. Washington State has 2 pick sixes this season and has allowed 3 defensive/special teams touchdowns.

Washington State quarterback Connor Halliday has completed 63.2% of his passes for 2,241 yards with 14 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He is probable with a hip injury. If Halliday can’t go it will be Austin Apodaca who gets the start at quarterback. He has thrown for 187 yards with 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions along with 7 carries for 20 yards, all in garbage time of blowouts. Running back Marcus Mason has 43 carries for 193 yards and a touchdown along with 19 catches for 192 yards and a touchdown. Teondray Caldwell has 30 carries, 163 yards and a touchdown, along with 14 catches for 57 yards. Jeremiah Laufasa has 30 carries, 145 yards and 6 rushing touchdowns, along with 5 catches. Receiver Gabe Marks has 46 catches, 512 yards and 4 touchdowns. Dom Wiilams has 16 catches 317 yards and 3 touchdowns. Kristoff Williams has 26 catches for 254 yards. Vince Mayle has 14 catches, 238 yards and 5 touchdowns.  Twelve Cougars have at least 10 catches this season.

Oregon is coached by Mark Helfrich. The Ducks have home wins over Nicholls State 66-3, Tennessee 59-14, and California 55-16, along with road wins at Virginia 59-10, Colorado 57-16 and last week at Washington 45-24. Oregon is  6-0 ATS and the total is 4-2 this season. The Ducks were 11.5 point favorites against Washington and the total was 75.5.

The Ducks and Huskies were tied at 7 at the end of the first quarter. However, Oregon took a 21-7 lead at halftime against Washington. The Huskies would pull within 21-14 and 31-24 but could never tie it up in the second half. Oregon added two fourth quarter touchdowns to make the final 45-24 but the game was really closer than that. Washington had 376 total yards including 194 rushing yards. Oregon had 631 total yards including 366 passing and 265 rushing. The Huskies had the only two turnovers of the game.

Oregon is outscoring teams 57-14 this season. Oregon is #2 nationally in scoring and #6 in points allowed. The Ducks average 630.7 yards per game including 324.2 rushing and 306.5 passing yards. Oregon is #2 in total offense and #3 in rushing. Even the passing attack is #22 in the country. Oregon is allowing 338.7 yards per game on defense, including 201 passing and 137.7 yards. Oregon is 34th or better in all three categories. The Ducks are +11 in turnovers for the season with 16 takeaways. Oregon is 42/94 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 39/124. The Ducks have forced 16 sacks and allowed 5. Oregon is 31/39 scoring in the red zone with 27 touchdowns, and opponents are 11/15 with 5 touchdowns. The Ducks are averaging 72 penalty yards per game, and opponents are averaging 51. Oregon has 2 punt returns for touchdowns.

Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota has completed 60.6% of his passes for 1,724 yards with 17 touchdowns, and no interceptions, along with 41 carries for 426 yards and 8 touchdowns. He is considered by many to be the Heisman frontrunner. Running back De’Anthony Thomas has 42 carries, 338 yards and 6 touchdowns, along with 3 catches for 58 yards. He is doubtful with an ankle injury and missed the last three games. Byron Marshall has 90 carries, 554 yards, and 6 touchdowns, along with 8 catches for 73 yards. Thomas Tyner has 47 carries for 261 yards and 5 touchdowns, along with 5 catches. Receiver Josh Huff has 27 catches for 552 yards and 5 touchdowns. He is probable with an ankle injury. Bralon Addison has 27 catches for 502 yards and 6 touchdowns, along with 2 punt returns for touchdowns. John Mundt, Keanon Lowe and Daryle Hawkins each have 2 touchdown catches.

Washington State is 5-0-1 ATS after failing to cover, 5-0 after a straight up loss of 20 points or more, 4-0 after a double digit home loss, 4-1 after a straight up loss, after allowing 40 points or more, and after allowing 450 total yards or more, 7-2 against teams with winning records, 6-2 overall, 13-5 in October, 5-2-1 in road games, and 5-2 on fieldturf. The underdog is 7-3 ATS in this series recently and the over is 8-2 in those games.

Oregon is 5-0 ATS on fieldturf, 11-1 after scoring 40 points, 10-1 after a cover, against teams with winning records, and after a straight up win of 20 points or more, 6-1 at home, 5-1 after gaining more than 450 total yards, 4-1 after passing for 280 yards or more, 18-7-3 in Pac 12 games, 18-7-1 after a straight up win, 20-8-2 overall, 34-16-1 in October, 33-16-3 after rushing for 200 yards or more, and 1-4 against teams with winning road records. The home team is 6-2 ATS in this series recently.

Washington State needs to take care of the ball if they any hope of pulling off the massive upset. They were leading Oregon State in the third but had all six of their turnovers after that and gave up 35 unanswered points. I don’t see Washington State being able to stop Oregon so this should be another Duck blowout but it should be high scoring.

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