Miss Temple City Brings Best Self Into Third Ascot Try

Joe Robbins/Getty Images

When: Saturday, Sept. 12; 8 p.m. ET

Last meeting: Marcus Mariota rallied Oregon from a six-point halftime deficit to post a 46-27 home win over Michigan State last September.

 

What to watch for

Oregon debuted its new quarterback, Vernon Adams Jr., and the Eastern Washington transfer looked very much like departed Heisman winner Mariota in amassing 340 yards of total offense (including 94 rushing yards) with two passing TDs. And despite taking a helmet-to-helmet hit in the fourth quarter, knocking him out of the game, Adams is expected to play in this major showdown of playoff hopefuls.

While the Ducks offense was as explosive as ever, with 61 points and an FBS-best 731 yards, their defense yielded 42 points and 549 yards, including 438 through the air. That's likely to have Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook salivating after he threw for 343 yards and two TDs but was also intercepted twice in last season's loss at Oregon.

"That loss stunk last year and stuck with us," Cook said, per Brian Hamilton of >Sports Illustrated.

Cook had 256 passing yards and two TDs in MSU's win at Western Michigan, but he completed only 15 of 31 passes with several poor throws to open receivers. The Spartans can't afford to squander any opportunities to move the ball against Oregon, especially since their own defense was torched for 365 passing yards by the Broncos.

With both teams coming off suspect defensive efforts, particularly against the pass, it's likely to come down to which side stops the run better. Oregon ran for 485 yards against Eastern Washington, including 180 yards and three TDs from sophomore Royce Freeman, while MSU got 188 yards and three scores from a trio of new contributors.

The winner gets a trump card to help offset a loss later in the season, and each team is set to face top competition on the road in conference play.

 

Prediction: Michigan State 35, Oregon 31

FINAL: Michigan State 31, Oregon 28

Source : http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2560747-college-football-picks-week-2-predictions-for-every-game

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