It’s week two of the college football season. Oregon looks to pick up where it left off last week with Fresno State coming to town, and the Beavers are finally getting their season underway against Wisconsin. Time for PREDICTIONS.
Fresno St. vs. Oregon
Tom: The Ducks showed they have at least SOME of the answers to questions about where they would find offense this season. Marcus Mariota was just short of perfect in the opener against Arkansas St. throwing just four incompletions, and making the right read on offense time after time. Expect more of the same against Fresno, which beat Weber St. in the opener, 37-10. Bulldog quarterback Derek Carr slung the ball all over the field, passing for 298 yards and two scores, but he’ll have a significantly tougher time against the Oregon defense. Wild card: De’Anthony Thomas, who scored three TD’s in the opener, will take something to the house on special teams. He’s looking to keep the train rolling after scoring three times on seven touches versus Arkansas St. Fresno St: 20 Oregon: 59
Nick: Week two for the 4th ranked Ducks offers another showcase for their star quarterback in the making to get comfy at the college level. Soon enough Marcus Mariota will be a household name, even one that people will pronounce correctly. The current line has Oregon by 33.5 points; they will do that and more. Expect another trifecta of touchdowns by De’Anthony Thomas, even one in the return game. The second/third/fourth string and scout teamers who see action late will look a bit better on defense as well. Bring on Tennessee Tech, Arizona…when is November 3rd happening again? Fresno St: 17 Oregon: 66
Dirk: I think the Bulldogs are in big trouble. I would pick Arkansas State to beat Fresno State. The Oregon defense isn’t happy about giving up 34 points to the Red Wolves last Saturday. I think the ones and twos will play much longer against FSU. It could be a shut out going into the fourth quarter. On offense, I see Marcus Mariota getting more work in than just one and a half quarters. The Ducks will put up even bigger numbers this Saturday. Fresno St: 13 Oregon: 62
Phil: Marcus Mariota looks like the real deal. He was calm, poised and under control in the Ducks blowout victory last week. He will have another field day with the Bulldogs defense. On the other side, the Ducks will have more of a test this week with Derek Carr coming to town, but he isn’t his brother David. The Oregon defense will be stingier after looking sloppy at times last week. Fresno St: 10 Oregon: 64
Wisconsin vs. Oregon St.
Tom: The Beavers are undoubtedly better, and that includes the running game, but this is a tough opener. A year ago in Madison, Sean Mannion got a trial by fire as he came in for the benched Ryan Katz. Mannion threw for 244 yards, was sacked three times, but threw no interceptions against the Badgers in 2011. If Mannion can avoid turnovers, and fashion some sort of a running game, OSU will have a shot at staying in the game. On the flip side, the Beavers figure to have a tough time trying to slow down Heisman finalist Montee Ball, who has scored a touchdown in 21 straight games. Look for the Badgers to get the ‘Ball’ rolling early and often at Reser. Wisconsin: 34 Oregon St: 17
Nick: The longest fall camp in the country is over! Nothing like cracking things open with a top 15 team in the country that took care of you 35-0 one year ago. Unlike last season’s shutout in Madison, the Beavers offense finally gets on the board and that starts with the run. Just 23 total yards on the ground for OSU last year at Camp Randall, but the combo of Storm Woods, Terron Ward and company crack the century mark in the season opener. The Beavers defense actually came out pretty fired up a season ago, but was hurt by poor field position thanks to some gifts on special teams. Clean up the mistakes and maybe the Beavers can sneak up on the Badgers, but not until I see it. Wisconsin: 32 Oregon St: 20
Dirk: Mike Riley is usually very good when having extra time to prepare for an opponent. However, this situation is different. The Badgers have played a game and the Beavers have not. To me that is huge. Wisconsin will be more up to game speed than OSU. Remember back to 2004 when Oregon did not play on week one and then hosted Indiana in week two. The Hoosiers did play on week one and were more prepared than the Ducks. Oregon turned the ball over seven times and gave up a kick-off return for a touchdown in losing to Indiana. The lack of game experience will hurt the Beavers. The Badgers will correct their errors from week one and beat the Beavs. Wisconsin: 27 Oregon St: 23
Phil: I am really tempted to pick the Beavers in this one. Mike Riley has shown he can pull off an upset with extra time to prepare. Plus Sean Mannion has looked really sharp at practice over the past few days. But then I remember what happened last season against Wisconsin. The Badgers front line dominated the game as OSU only managed 23 rushing yards in a 35-0 loss. While I think the Beavers ground game will be better this year, I don’t think it will show this week. It will be a close one. Wisconsin: 27 Oregon St: 21
After week one, Dirk has taken the early lead in the standings. He had the closest score to the final from the Oregon game. If last season’s results mean anything, his lead won’t last.
1. Dirk: 1-0 (2), 2. Tom: 1-0 (1), 2. Nick: 1-0 (1), 2. Phil: 1-0 (1)
What do you think will go down this weekend? You can let us know in a variety of ways.
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