OREGON DUCKS (10-1)
at OREGON STATE BEAVERS (8-2)
Kickoff: Saturday, 3:00 p.m. EDT
Line: Oregon -9, Total: 65
No. 5 Oregon tries to get back on the winning track when it visits in-state rival No. 15 Oregon State on Saturday.
Oregon won its fourth straight meeting in the Civil War last year, outrushing Oregon State 365 to 16 in a 49-21 blowout. Although the Ducks are coming off a home loss in overtime to Stanford, they are scoring 53.7 PPG with 557 total YPG on the road this season, where they are 3-1 ATS. The Beavers are 5-0 SU (4-1 ATS) in Corvallis this year, holding visitors to a mere 12.0 PPG and 273 total YPG. Sean Mannion got the start under center last week and delivered with 325 passing yards and 4 TD in a 62-14 rout of Cal.
Can Oregon bounce back from last week's loss and take down its rival by double-digits? For the answer, connect to The Platinum Sheet for all the StatFox Experts picks for every key college football game throughout the 2012 season.
Oregon freshman QB Marcus Mariota leads the Pac-12 (and ranks 6th in FBS) in passing efficiency with 2,371 passing yards, 29 TD and 6 INT. Despite last week's loss, he still played pretty well with 296 total yards of offense, 1 TD and 1 INT. The biggest disappointment last week was Kenjon Barner, who entered the game with 136 rushing YPG (4th in nation), but Stanford's excellent run-stop unit held him to 66 yards on 21 carries. But Barner has had two strong games in a row in this rivalry, racking up 231 total yards and 4 TD. Do-it-all sophomore De'Anthony Thomas also had a big game against the Beavers last year with 157 total yards (86 receiving, 71 rushing) and a touchdown. A big reason this offense has averaged 51.1 PPG (2nd in nation) and 548 total YPG (4th in FBS) is thanks to a defense that consistently provides good field position. Oregon's defense has forced 32 turnovers this season, which is tied for 2nd-most in the nation behind only Kent State (33 TO). The Ducks have held five of the past six opponents to 21 points or less, but the past two opponents (Cal and Stanford) have combined for 436 rushing yards on 86 carries (5.1 YPC).
Mannion is 5-1 as a starter this season, throwing for 1,904 yards (317 YPG), 12 TD and 9 INT. He played pretty well in last year's 49-21 loss in Eugene, as he threw for 299 yards, 3 TD and 2 INT. Senior WR Markus Wheaton continues to produce big numbers no matter who is throwing him the football. Wheaton has seven games of at least 90 receiving yards and seven games of scoring at least one touchdown, totaling 10 TD this season. With Oregon struggling to stop the run recently, OSU figures to give top RB Storm Woods a heavy dose of action. Woods has nine straight games with more than 10 carries and has totaled 916 yards in nine games this season. Like their Civil War opponent, the Beavers have also been outstanding in the turnover battle with a +12 TO margin (26 takeaways, 14 giveaways). That has been a big reason why they allow just 18.6 PPG (21st in nation) and 345 total YPG (26th in FBS).