Week 11 Game Matchup: Arizona State Sun Devils VS. Oregon Ducks

By Dave Consolazio and Sam Saig, November 12, 2009 2:25 pm

Arizona State Sun Devils (4-5) vs. Oregon Ducks (7-2)
Saturday, November 14, 7:20 PM PST
Las Vegas Favorite: Oregon -18.0

Sam’s Take (43 – 16):

Despite the disappointing loss in Palo Alto, Oregon is still in control of the Pac-10 race. The Ducks are big favorites this week and will likely be favored in their final two games (albeit by smaller margins), so the path to Pasadena is still clear. But Oregon’s continuing push towards the Rose Bowl will be only part of the story this Saturday in Eugene.

After weeks of anticipation, this game marks the return of RB LeGarrette Blount. Will Chip Kelly insert him into the lineup at some point Saturday? I suppose its possible, but Kelly made it very clear that “LaMichael James is our running back”.

It’s safe to assume that Nick Aliotti will not lose nearly as much sleep preparing for the Sun Devils as he did trying to scheme for Toby Gerhart, Andrew Luck and the potent Cardinal attack. The Ducks D will be looking to prove that last week was an aberration, and I expect the unit to succeed.

Oregon has feasted on opposing QBs all season (16th nationally in sacks), and now a true freshman enters Autzen for his first career start. While ASU QB Brock Osweiler has a very bright future in the Pac-10, this game figures to be nothing more than learning experience for the 6-8 signal caller.

Obviously Arizona State has an excellent defensive front seven, but the secondary is in shambles. I expect QB Jeremiah Masoli to pile up yards through the air all night, as the Devils simply don’t have enough cornerbacks left on the roster to make much of a difference. ASU has always had trouble defending the Ducks misdirection spread attack, and I expect that trend to continue. Once the UO passing game gets going, Masoli and James should find plenty of running space against a defense that frequently overpursues.

I expect Oregon to cruise this week, and then it’s off to the Old Pueblo for what could be the Pac-10 game of the year.

Prediction: Oregon 37 – Arizona State 14

Arizona State Player to Keep an Eye On: CB Deveron Carr - Carr is one of the new ASU cornerbacks that must step up for the rest of the season. He played well against USC, and must now prove that he can be consistent.

Oregon Player to Keep an Eye On: DE Kenny Rowe - The always active Rowe leads the Ducks with seven sacks this season, and he should thrive against an underwhelming ASU o-line.

Dave’s Take (46 – 13):

Plenty of teams in the Pac-10 benefited from Stanford’s upset win over Oregon, but ASU was not one of them. Had Oregon topped Stanford, the Sun Devils may have caught the Ducks looking ahead to the showdown @Arizona; but with the rude awakening at the hand of the Cardinal, there is little doubt that the Ducks will be prepared for this Saturday’s game.

Even if they had been unprepared, unlike Stanford, Arizona State’s offense isn’t going to pile up a ton of yards and points and put you in a hole early. The Ducks have scored 42 or more points in five straight games with Jeremiah Masoli at the helm, and have proven that the Boise State game was a fluke; if you are going to beat this team, you are going to have to score a ton of points.

Oregon may or may not get to the 42 mark this week, but there isn’t much doubt that the Sun Devils will need to score into the 30s to even have a chance. Considering they haven’t done so since week two against UL Monroe, and they are starting a true freshman quarterback against a very angry team in one of the toughest places to play in the conference?

I don’t like ASU’s chances.

Prediction: Oregon 38 – Arizona State 17

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