KVAL Predictions: Ducks Home Opener and Beavers-Badgers Showdown

KVAL Predictions: Ducks Home Opener and Beavers-Badgers Showdown

It's week two of the college football season, and the KVAL Sports team gives their predictions for the Nevada vs. Oregon and Oregon State vs. Wisconsin games. 

Nevada vs. Oregon

Tom: The Ducks obviously have some kinks to work out on offense, as evidenced by their loss to LSU. At the same time, however, Oregon did put up over 300 yards of offense, as Darron Thomas threw for 240 yards. But the turnovers were huge, keeping the Ducks’ defense on a short field against the physical Tigers. Nevada is nowhere near as physical as LSU, or most Pac-12 teams for that matter. Yes, the Wolf Pack beat Cal last season, but that was with NFL-bound QB Colin Kaepernick at the helm. In a packed Autzen, with a bitter taste in their mouths, the Ducks should roll. Nevada: 17, Oregon: 56

Nick: Proving again that predicting games is a crapshoot, I need to get back on the wagon to retain my 2010 sports office title after an 0-2 start in week one. Like the Ducks, I will get back into the win column as Oregon looks like what people think they should look like in a trouncing at home. Just wait until Missouri State rolls in. Nevada: 24, Oregon: 44

Dirk: I’m making my pick based on the 2004 season/home opener for Oregon vs. Indiana. It was the Ducks’ first game of the season and the Hoosiers’ second. Indiana was clearly more up to game speed than was Oregon. The Ducks turned the ball over seven times. The Hoosiers came away with a 30-24 victory. Saturday’s game is Nevada’s first game of 2011.  Obviously, Oregon has already played a game. I think the Ducks will more up to game speed than the Wolf Pack. However, Nevada will give Oregon a game. The Wolf Pack beat Cal and Boise State last year. Oregon should win, but it may be closer than Duck fans want. Nevada: 27, Oregon: 34  

Phil: The Ducks will be playing in front of the home crowd for the first time since playing in the BCS Championship game last year. So you can bet they will come out and play with a lot of passion. That doesn't necessarily mean play well. I think the Ducks will start out a little slow but will pull away in the second half. This is Nevada's first game of the year, which is good and bad. The Good: The Wolf Pack had the entire off season to prepare for the Ducks, and Oregon generally struggles when a team has a long time to get ready (Boise St., Ohio St., Auburn, LSU). The Bad: The Wolf Pack are not up to game speed. Many coaches believe the most improvement comes between weeks 1 and 2. Nevada is not a fluff game. It went 13-1 last season, but the loss of QB Colin Kaepernick and RB Vai Taua, both 1,000 yard rushers in 2010, will be too much to overcome. Nevada: 17, Oregon: 38 

OSU vs. Wisconsin

Tom: What can you say about Oregon State’s opener? Basically, all the things that we thought could go wrong for the Beavers due to the slew of injuries did come to pass against Sacramento State, and now things have gotten even worse. Freshman running back Malcolm Agnew will not play against 8th ranked Wisconsin due to a hamstring injury. It gets really ugly for OSU in this one, as Badgers QB Russell Wilson racked up three total touchdowns in a rout of UNLV. After watching Jeff Fleming of Sacramento State work comfortably against the Beaver defense last week, it’s hard not to envision Wilson doing even better. Think OSU at Penn State from 2008. OSU: 14, Wisconsin: 48

Nick: We knew it would be a rough start to the season for the Beavers but that early bye week will pay off next week. No Malcolm Agnew makes this thing worse than it should be. Ryan Katz or Sean Mannion? It won’t matter in the end. Don’t wake up late, or you will miss the fireworks. Or maybe you do want to wake up late. OSU: 17, Wisconsin: 48

Dirk: Oh boy! The Beavers are really licking their wounds. They lost on opening day to Sacramento St. and now no Malcolm Agnew who hurt a hamstring. If Oregon State beats Wisconsin it’ll be as big as… well as big as Sacramento State beating the Beavers. But it won’t happen. The Badgers are for real. OSU: 13, Wisconsin: 52

Phil: What a difference a week makes! A loss against FCS Sacramento State, a quarterback controversy and a hurt running back have Beaver fans shaking their heads. Mannion or Katz? Katz or Mannion? It looks like both. Mike Riley says Ryan Katz will start, but there will also be packages for Sean Mannion to get in the game. Mannion has looked good in practice while taking the majority of the first team reps. But Katz should get his fair chance to prove what he can do. One half of poor play against the Hornets isn't enough to lose his starting job. It won't be easy for whoever is back there against eighth ranked Wisconsin, especially without freshman RB Malcolm Agnew, who won't make the trip to Madison. The Badgers have won 29 consecutive non-confrence regular season games and are 33-3 at Camp Randall (Capacity: 80,000) under head coach Bret Bielema. The Beavers will play much better this week and keep things close until the third quarter, when Russell Wilson, the Big Ten Player of the Week, will torch a weak secondary. OSU: 28, Wisconsin: 42 

The Standings

No one in the KVAL Sports department correctly predicted either game in Week 1. Can you blame us with the Sacramento State game? Nick Krupke had the closest score, so technically he's ahead. But not really. 

1. Nick Krupke: 0-2 (1), 2. Tom Ward: 0-2, 2. Dirk Weishaar: 0-2, 2. Phil Milani: 0-2

What do you think will go down this weekend? You can let us know in a variety of ways.

E-mail: sports@kval.com

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