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Oregon opens a TD and a half favorite for Michigan State showdown

Marcus Mariota

The last time Mark Dantonio and his Michigan State Spartans went west, they came home with a 24-20 Rose Bowl title over Stanford, a team that just happened to have its way with Oregon last November.

Nine months later, No. 8 Michigan State is an 11-point underdog to those third-ranked Ducks, according to Sure, The transitive property does not apply to football. And, yes, styles make fights. But, still, 11 is a lot of points for a team to give to a team that doesn’t often allow very many points at all.

Michigan State opened its season Friday with a 45-7 drubbing of Jacksonville State, while Oregon began its season with a 62-13 defeat of South Dakota. Just enough work for Marcus Mariota, Shilique Calhoun and their charges to rev the engines a time or two in preparation for Saturday.

A year ago, Oregon ranked third nationally in scoring offense, ninth in rushing and second in total offense, while Michigan State placed second in total defense, second in rushing and third in scoring. In other words, this is the most intriguing inter-sectional non-conference game in some time.

It should be a barn burner, unless Vegas is to be believed.

ESPN’s CollegeGameDay will be in Eugene to hype the action, which can be seen nationally on FOX at 6:30 p.m. ET.

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5 Responses to “Oregon opens a TD and a half favorite for Michigan State showdown”
  1. 8to80texansblog says: Aug 31, 2014 5:46 PM

    I’m not sure if MSU can win this game on the road at Autzen…. but I can almost guarantee they don’t lose by 12…. If Stanford has shown us anything.. if you can outphysical Oregon on the LOS… you can shut that offense down. MSU might be the most physical defense Oregon sees all year.

    I’m taking MSU by 5.

  2. bonnovi says: Aug 31, 2014 7:38 PM

    I’m not sure if MSU will win but I think 11 points is a little generous to Oregon.

  3. manik56 says: Sep 1, 2014 2:43 AM

    No one paid attention to WVU or Ok St.

  4. longborer69 says: Sep 1, 2014 3:01 AM

    Stanford showed us two years ago that if DAT forgets to block downfield and Oregon can’t kick a FG and you get a break on a call in the endzone you can beat Oregon. They showed us last year that if Mariota is injured and can’t run and DAT fumbles on the 3 yard line and a wide-open Huff drops a ball at the 5 yard line that you can beat Oregon.

    Oregon’s offensive line returns almost intact, but bigger. As good as MSU’s D is, don’t count on them shutting Oregon down. Certainly slow them down some, but Oregon is healthy, and Royce Freeman (frosh RB) is an absolute stud. Oregon will score.

    The bigger question is whether Oregon’s defense can do anything against MSU. Not exactly impressive against USD.

    If Oregon gets up a couple scores and MSU has to put the ball in the air, things could get out of control. Not sure I’m expecting that to happen, though.

  5. oldforester says: Sep 1, 2014 3:30 AM

    If you can re-watch the Big10 Network’s 2013 championship game the one thing that stands out is MSt’s inability to contain Braxton Miller who ran for 142 yards in the championship game compared to Langford’s 128 for MSt.

    Mariotta is faster and more elusive than Miller. I believe that will be the difference in this game, with all respect to a well coached and excellent MSt team.

    Of course, that favors Oregon only if penalties (of which Ohio State had several critical pass interference calls) and turnovers turn the tide for MSt.

    Oregon 34 Michigan State 28

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