On Saturday, the Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon, will be the scene of an exciting Power 5 conference battle between the home team Oregon Ducks and the visiting Nebraska Cornhuskers. The Ducks are a big favorite in this game, which is shocking to many outsiders. It could be just the motivation that Nebraska needs to pull off the upset.
Kickoff is currently scheduled for 4:30 P.M. ET, but there is a real possibility that the game time, date and location could all be changed. With 14 large wild fires throughout the state of Oregon, the air quality has been dangerously unhealthy and NCAA officials are closely monitoring this situation to see if they have to make any changes in the interest of player safety and the overall safety of the fans.
This game is more than just a big matchup for Oregon. Last year, they started 2-0 on the season, but fell to Nebraska 35-32 and then went on to finish the season 4-8. It resulted in the firing of their coach and hiring Willie Taggart. Will Oregon use this game to signal a turnaround in their program, or will it lead to another season long collapse?
Last week, Oregon (1-0) put up 77 points on Southern Utah. Their offense looked dominant as they scored every way possible. However, their defense gave up 21 points to an inferior team, which is definitely a concern heading into this week’s matchup.
Nebraska’s (1-0) defense looked worse than Oregon’s as they gave up 36 points to an inspired Arkansas State. In fact, Nebraska was in danger of losing the game last week, which is the reason why they’re a double digit underdog this week.
The spread opened with Oregon roughly a touchdown favorite. It has since doubled and now Oregon is favored by 14 points. The Over/Under opened at 69.5 total points and has gone down to 69 total points.
Yes, Nebraska looked flat against Arkansas State last week, but in all fairness, the Cornhuskers were playing a better quality opponent than Oregon. Arkansas State did finish 8-5 last year with a Bowl Game victory over UCF. And, they have played against Nebraska twice before. With all of that being said, Nebraska has no chance against Oregon this week if they play with the same intensity and sloppiness as they did against Arkansas State.
Some good things did come out of the game last week, Nebraska did rush for 225 total yards with Tre Bryant tallying 192 yards on 31 carries and 1 touchdown. This allowed the Cornhuskers to control the game clock for over 32 minutes. They will have to do that, and then some, to keep Oregon’s explosive offense on the sidelines.
Nebraska quarterback Tanner Lee had a solid game throwing for 238 yards, on 19-of-32 passes, with 2 touchdowns. He will also need to duplicate this success for Nebraska to have a chance at winning the game.
Oregon’s defense looks susceptible to big plays and scoring as Southern Utah put up 21 points on them. However, Nebraska allowed Arkansas State’s quarterback to have a monster game throwing for 415 yards, on 46-of-68 passes, and 3 touchdowns. If the Red Wolves can do this against a rebuilding defense, you can only imagine what Oregon will do.
Oregon is 3-11-1 ATS in their last 15 overall games and 4-10 ATS in their last 14 games at home. The Ducks are also 5-12 ATS as a favorite in their last 17 games and 2-5 ATS in their last 7 non-conference games.
I expect this game to be a high scoring affair. Look for Oregon to put up 40+ points on the Cornhuskers. However, I believe that Nebraska will pull within 2 touchdowns before the end of the game, making the score appear closer than it really was all game long. However, all we care about is that Nebraska will cover the spread.