The 15th ranked Oregon Ducks rumble into Reser Stadium in Corvallis, Oregon, to face fellow Pac-12 opponent the Oregon State Beavers in a Friday night Pac-12 showdown at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. Currently, the Ducks are heavily favored in this contest by 13.5 points, which is down from 14.5 points at the opening. On the other hand, the total has certainly increased since opening at 61.5 points as it now stands at 64 points.
Oregon failed to cover for the first time in 2020 in their last matchup at home versus the Bruins of UCLA as they picked up a three-point victory, yet failed to cover as 18.5 point favorites. Important to note that the Ducks have covered in two of their three games during their 2020 campaign. On the other hand, Oregon State was able to pick up a home win versus California last weekend in addition to covering the spread for the second straight time (all as underdogs) with this time as 1.5 point dogs.
Oregon seeks its fourth straight victory versus the Beavers in addition to seeking their 3rd straight win against the spread as well. In last year's matchup, the Ducks were able to pick up a 24-10 win , yet failed to cover as 20.5 point favorites. Oregon has also done well for themselves versus Oregon State in Corvallis in recent matchups as they have won four of their last five (outright) while covering the spread in all but one. Important to note that Oregon picked up a 55-15 win on the road in 2018 as they covered as 18 point favorites in the contest.
Ducks dominating opposing defenses earlyLook no further than to the offense for Oregon for the team’s success in 2020 as they have posted 35 points in more in each of their three games this season. Furthermore, Oregon not only possesses the 27th ranked rushing attack in the nation in accumulating just under 210 yards per game, but the passing attack, under quarterback Tyler Shough, is putting up 291 yards per game, good for a 25th ranking in the nation. Shough has completed 66% of his passes this season for 873 yards in three games along with posting eight touchdowns and two interceptions. Nonetheless, the signal-caller is coming off a 334 yard performance, his second 300 + yard performance in 2020 , while also posting three touchdowns versus UCLA. Important to note that the quarterback is also averaging over six yards per carry out the backfield while also posting a rushing TD.
Receiver Kyle Phillips is coming off a huge performance with eight receptions for 91 yards while leading wideout Devon Williams had a breakout game versus UCLA with six receptions, 123 yards, and a touchdown catch. Nonetheless, it should be mentioned that Oregon State ranks as one of the more solid teams in the league in defending the pass as they are allowing just under 230 yards passing for the season, ranking them 54th in the nation. Furthermore, the Beavers, despite allowing 300 yards or more to the Ducks in three of their last five meetings, were able to limit Oregon to just 191 yards passing in last season's matchup.
Nonetheless, Oregon's CJ Verdell, despite racking up only 18 yards on 12 attempts versus UCLA, has been the strength of this Oregon offense as he has put up 100 yards and more on the ground in two of three games for the Ducks. Furthermore, Verdell has scored in each game for Oregon entering this contest while also averaging just under five yards per carry. Look for Verdell to have some success in this contest versus a Beaver's defense that ranks 102nd in the nation in allowing just under 270 yards on the ground per game.
Defensively, Oregon has been a bit dismal in allowing 26 points per game, including 188 yards on the ground. In fact, the Ducks gave up a whopping 267 rushing yards to the Bruins in their last matchup . However, while the Ducks’ rushing defense has kept the ground game for Oregon State in check in two of their last three matchups (as they allowed 100 yards or less twice), the Beavers were able to break through in last year's contest in putting up a total of 137 yards on the ground in the 14-point loss.
Oregon's pass defense is ranked 75th in the country in allowing 244 yards per game with the unit allowing just 195 yards versus UCLA in their last outing. Worth noting that Oregon State passed for well over 500 yards in the last two meetings versus the Ducks, however, including posting 282 yards in 2018 in a blowout loss in Corvallis. Linebacker Noah Sewell, who has two sacks on the season along with a forced fumble, is questionable with a leg injury while safety Steve Stevens IV is also questionable with an undisclosed injury.
Jefferson primed for another solid performanceThe Oregon State Beavers seek to move to .500 within the conference as well as overall with a win in this contest over their conference rival Oregon Friday afternoon. The Beavers enter this matchup averaging 27 points per game while only turning the ball over just once this season. Furthermore, their rushing attack has been their saving grace as Oregon State enters this contest averaging 165 yards on the ground per outing, led by junior Jermar Jefferson, who has 500 yards on the season along with five touchdowns. In fact, Jefferson has averaged 120 yards or more in each game for the Beavers this season, including coming off an 18 rush, 196 yard performance versus the California Bears in their most recent matchup while posting a rushing score.
Jefferson ran 20 times for 81 yards along with a rush TD versus Oregon in last year's loss, while catching three passes for 24 yards. Nonetheless, one can certainly expect for the Beavers to provide a heavy dose of their rushing attack versus an Oregon defense that has proven to be a bit shaky in stopping the run this season. Also, Oregon should seek some opportunities downfield as a result from a passing attack that has struggled to get going in 2020 in putting up just 109 yards passingAnd three games.
Quarterback Tristan Gebbia is completing just 62% of his passes on the year; Yet, has recorded just two touchdown passes alongside three interceptions for Oregon State. In fact, Gebbia has just one touchdown pass alongside three interceptions in the last two games for the Beavers. Receiver Trevon Bradford has proven thus far to be a potential target downfield with a touchdown catch in 2020 while Teagan Quitoriano also caught a TD pass versus Cal. With Oregon struggling to stop the run this season, expect for the Beavers to consistently use their rushing attack in order to open up opportunities downfield in this contest.
The defense for Oregon State enters this contest on a downward slide as they have not only allowed 27 points or more in each of the three games, but have been very dismal in stopping the run as well in allowing just under 270 yards per contest. Furthermore, the Beavers’ defense has recorded just three takeaways, ranking them 87th in the country. Worth mentioning that the Beavers gave up 191 yards to the Ducks in their 2019 matchup in addition to allowing 300 yards or more in two of their last three contests, overall.
To make matters worse, defensive lineman Sebastian Brisky, linebackers Kyrie Fischer along with Junior Walling, in addition to defensive back David Morris are each questionable for this contest as they are currently under the covid-19 protocol. Nonetheless, the strength of Oregon State’s defense lies in their defensive secondary as the unit ranks 54th in the country in allowing just 228 yards passing per contest, with defensive backs Katan Oladapo along with Jaden Grant leading the way.
Stats & Trends
- No Trends to report
- Beavers are 5 - 0 ATS in their last five games after accumulating less than 170 yards passing in their previous game
- Beavers are 5-0 ATS in their last five games as an underdog beavers are 5-1 in ATS in the last 6 conference games
While I have no reason to believe that the Ducks will not put some points up in this contest versus an Oregon defense that has struggled to stop the run, the fact is that Oregon happens to be just as shaky in defending the ground game for opponents, as pointed out in the article. Furthermore, the Beavers have relished the underdog role in their recent meetings versus Oregon as they have covered in three of their last five matchups, overall., including hanging tough in last year's matchup as almost 21-point dogs. In all, due to Oregon State's ability to rush the football on a shaky Oregon defense, I will pick the home team to cover the plus points for this contest at home versus their conference rival.