College football pick Oregon at Arizona State 9-25-10

September 24, 2010

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Oregon Ducks Vs Arizona State Sun Devils

Saturday September 25 2010 10:30 EST

Arizona State missed an extra point that cost them a shot at overtime against heavily favored Wisconsin. They have played well to this point, but nobody in the country has played as well as the Oregon Ducks. The Ducks have the number one offense and defense in the country. Arizona State will have their hands full on both sides of the ball.

Keys to the Game

  • Don’t let it get out hand. Oregon has a high octane offense that can put up points in a hurry. For Arizona State, keeping it close is going to be key. Oregon has proven to be relentless on offense and defense. The Sun Devils need to slow down the pace of the game. The goal needs to be holding the Ducks to a season low, which shouldn’t be too difficult since their low this season is 48 points.
  • Jeremiah Masoli could be missed for the first time all year. Lamichael James is a dynamic running back with incredible quickness. When Masoli was under center, the two could create mismatches with their athleticism. Thus far, Darron Thomas has not had trouble filling in for Masoli, but the Oregon run game has had no trouble with the opposition either. At some point in the season, Lamichael James is not going to put up 100 yards in a game. If ASU can neutralize James, Darron Thomas will have to prove his worth. As a developing quarterback, this could lead to poor decisions and bad throws.
  • The ASU linebackers need to be relentless. Vontaze Burfict was the number one linebacker recruit in the country in 2009. As he enters his sophomore season, he has matured from his freshman year. Controlling his anger and aggression towards his opponents has proven to have positive results in his game. Dennis Erickson coached at the “U” and has experience dealing with players who have questionable character. If Vontaze and his former Centennial high school teammates can coral James, the Ducks will be forced to use a different approach for the first time this season. Tackling by committee is going to be essential, as James is one of the most elusive backs in the country.
  • Steven Threet needs to get in a rhythm. Threet looks fantastic when he is on and awful when he is off. At times he takes command of the offense with his quick throws and good decisions. When the offense is balanced, Arizona State’s spread and Threet are at their best. It will be important for Threet to build his confidence early, as Oregon’s defense will take advantage of Threet if they see him struggling. ASU lost Kyle Williams and Chris McGaha, so it will be up to new receivers to begin their legacy.
  • As well as ASU has played, Oregon has been unbelievable. ASU proved their worth against Wisconsin, largely due to their great special teams returns, but Oregon is a top five team in the country. Some would say the 12 point spread is too high given the circumstances, I say it isn’t big enough. Oregon wins big on the road.

Free College Football Pick: Oregon -12


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