coleryan Posts:16151 Followers:21
On 08/31/2014 11:32 AM in NCAA Football

Michigan State at Oregon GameDay Central

The new college football playoff system will look back on games like this. The Michigan State Spartans and the Oregon Ducks face off in a big game and the winner will be one of the favorites to make the playoffs.

It is the sharing of information from the entire forum community that makes this the best sports betting forum on the internet!
This thread will be updated daily with information on the game to include important news, injuries, and all essential information to picking a winner leading up to kickoff. Feel free to add anything about this game from news, opinion or picks, all comments and questions are welcomed!

Let’s go!

Cole

  • Last 7 Days Record: 5-6-0
coleryan Posts:16151 Followers:21
09/01/2014 11:44 AM

Like MSU, Oregon opened its season by destroying an FCS opponent, rolling to a 62-13 win over South Dakota on Saturday at Autzen Stadium. Marcus Mariota, a prominent candidate for the Heisman, threw for 267 yards and three touchdowns, and ran for another in one half. Oregon has lost key players up front and at receiver but is loaded in the backfield. The defense yielded some running room inside and has some questions at linebacker. Starting CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu left the game in the first half with a left ankle injury but said he should be fine.


Three things to watch

• The best against the best. Michigan State has earned a reputation for having one of the nation’s toughest and most innovative defenses. Oregon’s offense has been the toast of college football — and the subject of countless copycats — for years. This is football nerd heaven.

• Three games and counting. MSU’s offense was unstoppable in the opener against overmatched Jacksonville State after ending last season with epic showings in the Big Ten title game and Rose Bowl. Can it keep rolling in a hostile environment against a defense with questions but lots of talent?

• Already hobbling. The most serious injuries in the opener were to MSU lineman Travis Jackson and wide receiver Macgarrett Kings Jr., but the health of senior running back Jeremy Langford is something to watch this week. Ankle injuries can linger, and the Spartans need a full-speed Langford to achieve balance.

  • Last 7 Days Record: 5-6-0
coleryan Posts:16151 Followers:21
09/02/2014 03:41 PM

On Saturday in Eugene, Oregon a team will claim an inside track to the first ever College Football Playoff. Pac-12 powerhouse Oregon will host Big-10 co-favorite Michigan State in a battle of Top 10 programs.

Let's just call it flash versus smash.

Oregon, currently ranked third in the country according to the Associated Press, comes in fresh off a 62-13 blowout over South Dakota. Michigan State, the defending Rose Bowl champion, is ranked eighth in the country and took down Jacksonville State 45-7 this past weekend.

The Ducks come in featuring one of the best offenses in college football. The offense ranked second in the nation in total yards in 2013 and third in points per game. Meanwhile, the Spartans defense was ranked third in the country last season in points per game and second in total yards.

It’s a clash of clashes and should be treated as such. ESPN’s College Gameday will be broadcasting from the University of Oregon campus on Saturday morning. This will be the sixth consecutive year that the program has taken its talents to Eugene, though it will be the first featuring Oregon and a non-Pac-12 opponent.

This very well may be a game that determines a spot in the College Football Playoff. Both Michigan State and Oregon are among the five most popular expert picks to reach the College Football Playoff.

While both teams could recover from a loss on Saturday and reach the playoff, it’s going to be a more difficult road. Conversely, whoever wins this game has an early inside track to reaching the playoff.

Oregon’s offense looked as good as ever against South Dakota, but they’ve struggled against defenses that are as physical as Michigan State’s, namely Stanford’s. The Ducks are going to need to prove to the Spartans that they can run the ball efficiently and that they won’t be settling for third-and-longs.

Meanwhile, the Spartans are going to need to score some points against Oregon’s defense, which didn’t look great in the opener. Michigan State’s defense will likely slow down Oregon’s offense a bit, but by no means are they going to stop them completely.

The difference in this game is going to be Oregon’s home-field advantage. Autzen Stadium is one of the loudest, if not the loudest, in the country. Oregon’s offense will score enough points and Oregon’s defense will slow down the Spartans just enough to squeak out an enormous early-season victory.

  • Last 7 Days Record: 5-6-0
coleryan Posts:16151 Followers:21
09/03/2014 09:07 AM

Two years ago in Eugene, the Cardinal stunned the top-ranked Ducks, 17-14, in overtime. Last season in Palo Alto, the Cardinal hammered the No. 2 Ducks, 26-20, dominating the clock for 42½ minutes.

“If you control the line of scrimmage on either side of the ball, you can beat these guys,” Shaw said after that game. “We’re a big, physical football team that plays well together.”

Michigan State defensive ends Shilique Calhoun and Marcus Rush will have to be disciplined against Mariota, a senior and Heisman Trophy favorite. Last season — the first under coach Mark Helfrich — Oregon averaged a school-record 565 yards. Against Stanford, Oregon collected 311 (although Mariota was dealing with a knee injury).

“You look at Oregon, and they are different from other spread teams,” Dantonio said. “I think they’ve had so much success, a lot of people are taking some of the things and imitating them. And then when you look at our defense, I think, again, it’s cutting edge. There’s not a lot of people who have played our defense in the past.”

Oregon’s fast-paced offense, with multiple formations, backs and receivers, dares a defense to take chances, then pops a big play. Michigan State’s defense, with its rampant blitzing and tight coverage, loves to take chances, and dares you to burn it.

Dantonio says this game isn’t an “end-of-the-world-type situation,” and that’s necessary perspective. It’s not the end of anything, even in defeat. And with the Spartans these days, there’s always the chance it’s the start of something even bigger.

  • Last 7 Days Record: 5-6-0
coleryan Posts:16151 Followers:21
09/04/2014 10:48 AM

Despite dealing with some ridiculous point spreads in recent seasons, the Oregon Ducks have been a moneymaker, going 15-7 against the spread over their last 22 games.

But that trend will get tested this week when the Ducks host the defending Rose Bowl champion Michigan State Spartans on Saturday night in Eugene. Might this be a preview of a College Football Playoff game to come?

Might this be yet another ATS win for the Spartans when they get points from the oddsmaker?



Spartans-Ducks Point Spread: The Ducks opened as 11-point favorites, but the number was approaching 14 points as of Thursday. The total was 58 earlier in the week. (Line updates and matchup report)

-- Why the Michigan State Spartans can cover the spread

The Spartans are 5-3 straight-up and 7-0-1 ATS the last eight times they've been lined as dogs. Underestimating Michigan State has been very bad for a college football fan's wallet.

They opened 2014 with a 45-7 victory over FCS program Jacksonville State, covering as 34-point chalk. Michigan State led 38-0 at halftime, outgained the Gamecocks 565-244, forced three turnovers and held the ball for 38 minutes.

Sparty returns 12 starters this season, including seven on offense, most notably quarterback Connor Cook and 1,400-yard rusher Jeremy Langford. MSU is on a pretty good road run, going 11-2 SU and 11-1-1 ATS away from East Lansing since 2011.



-- Why the Oregon Ducks can cover the spread

The Ducks opened this season with a 62-13 victory over FCS program South Dakota, just missing a cover as 52-point favorites. Oregon led 35-6 shortly before halftime and scored the last 27 points of the game.

The Ducks have 13 starters back from last season, including eight on offense, led by quarterback and Heisman Trophy candidate Marcus Mariota, 1,000-yard rusher Byron Marshall and four along the offensive line.

Also, over the last two seasons, Oregon has been favored by two touchdowns or less six times, and they've gone 5-1 both SU and ATS in those games.

Oregon looks like it's up to its usual tricks, which will make for a tough matchup for the Spartans, who are not used to dealing with an offensive operation like the Ducks.

And Michigan State, while still formidable, has to replace three starters along the offensive line as well as both defensive tackles from last season.


Trends:
•Michigan State is 8-0-1 ATS the last nine times as an underdog.
•Michigan State is 11-2 SU and 11-1-1 ATS record away from home since 2011.
•Oregon is 15-7 ATS in its last 22 games.

  • Last 7 Days Record: 5-6-0
coleryan Posts:16151 Followers:21
09/05/2014 12:07 PM

Michigan State's Mark Dantonio is doing his best to deflect the importance of Saturday's showdown with No. 3 Oregon as it relates to the first College Football Playoff that is still an entire season down the road.

Sure, if his seventh-ranked Spartans were to fall in Eugene in the school's first regular-season top-10 matchup in more than 47 years, there's ample time to make up ground and get back into the national title picture.

At the same time, a victory doesn't ensure anything if they were to falter in any of their future contests.

"This is an opportunity early in the season to see where we're at as a program," said Dantonio, who guided Michigan State to its first outright Big Ten title and Rose Bowl victory since the 1987 season. "Win or lose, we still have a lot of football games ahead of us, and we have to understand that that's every bit as important as this one single game."

It's a pretty big one, though.

Oregon features Heisman Trophy candidate Marcus Mariota, who bypassed the NFL to return for his redshirt junior season. He was 14 of 20 for 267 yards and three touchdowns while adding another score on the ground in last Saturday's 62-13 rout of FCS-level South Dakota before sitting in the second half.

Mariota passed former Ducks quarterback Joey Harrington for the most total TDs in school history, but he knows he'll have a tough test in trying to solve a Michigan State defense that still ranks as one of the nation's best despite losing top contributors from last season.

''We are very excited. It poses a good challenge for us. It poses a good challenge for the entire team,'' Mariota said. ''They're coming in as one of the best defenses in the country and any offense would love to face that challenge. It helps you see where you stack up.''

The Ducks have national title hopes as well, and they looked every bit like a contender in racking up 673 yards against the Coyotes. Seventy-five of those, along with two touchdowns, came from highly touted freshman running back Royce Freeman.

Bryon Marshall added 90 yards rushing, but he also was used as a wide receiver in some sets and caught eight passes for 138 yards and two touchdowns.

Michigan State lost six starters from last year's defense, but it still has standout defensive end Shilique Calhoun and linebacker Taiwan Jones to help counter the Oregon attack. Calhoun was named a preseason All-American while Jones is on the watch list for the Butkus Award.

"They're going to play hard-nosed football," Ducks lineman Jake Fisher, an Outland Trophy nominee and Michigan native, told the team's official website. "They're going to try to contain, try to force things inside for their linebackers. They're going to play their game and they're very disciplined, so they're going to do exactly that."

Though the Spartans' defense receives plenty of attention, quarterback Connor Cook proved in Friday's 45-7 season-opening win over Jacksonville State that Michigan State has some weapons on offense, too.

Cook finished 12 of 13 for 285 yards and three touchdowns before sitting in the second half, fighting through an early hard hit to his left leg that left him briefly hobbled.

Two of those scoring passes went to Tony Lippett, who finished with 167 yards on four catches. Running back Nick Hill scored twice, and he believes Michigan State has the talent to win this tough road contest despite entering as nearly a two-touchdown underdog.

The Spartans beat No. 2 Ohio State in the Big Ten championship game and No. 5 Stanford in the Rose Bowl as a top-10 team, but they haven't been involved in a top-10 regular season showdown since No. 1 Notre Dame and No. 2 Michigan State played to a 10-10 tie Nov. 19, 1966.

"We're ranked in the top 10 and we're going against a team that's ranked in the top 10,'' Hill said. ''Our confidence is very high. I think that starting fast and big and scoring a lot of points offensively (in the opener) is very comforting to the players and the coaches."

These schools haven't met since Michigan State beat visiting Oregon 27-20 on Sept. 2, 1999, in East Lansing. The Ducks won 48-14 in Eugene the previous year.

  • Last 7 Days Record: 5-6-0