Prove Your Worth
After starting off their season by drubbing the Arkansas State Red Wolves by a score of 57-34, the Oregon Ducks will be welcoming a Fresno State Bulldogs team that saw itself to a 37-10 victory over Weber State.
Matchup: Fresno State at Oregon
Venue: Autzen Stadium (Eugene, OR)
Game Time, TV: 3:30 PM (PST), Pac-12 Networks
Date: Saturday, September 8, 2012
Team Records: Fresno State (1-0) Oregon (1-0)
Standings: Oregon (T-1st in PAC-12), Fresno State (T-1st in MWC)
The Ducks, now ranked fourth in the nation after jumping Oklahoma, used a huge offensive effort in the first half of their last game to jump out to an impressive 50-3 lead with just under half of a quarter to play in the first half.
Oregon looks to be one of the top teams in the nation and will be using a matchup against Fresno State to further solidify their position towards the top of the college football rankings.
The Oregon Ducks and Fresno State will be meeting for the 9th time in both of the schools’ histories with the Ducks leading the contest, 6-2.
Oregon and Fresno recently met at Autzen Stadium in 2007 when the Ducks triumphed over the Bulldogs, 52-21.
The Ducks will also be facing off against their second straight first-year head coach in the form of Tim DeRuyter. DeRuyter, once the defensive coordinator at Texas A&M, came to the Bulldogs program after he filled in for one game as the interim head coach with the Aggies.
DeRuyter brings a good defensive mind to the field and has a few talented players to work with.
The Ducks will also be tested as they will face Derek Carr, brother of NFL player David Carr. Carr will bring a decent passing game to Autzen Stadium that is sure to test the Duck secondary that looked very impressive while the starters were still in.
What to watch: Fresno State
The most exciting player on the field for the Bulldogs will likely be Robbie Rouse. Rouse, now in his final season with the Bulldogs, is one of the shortest players on the field but also one of the hardest workers.
Using his small stature, Rouse is able to hide behind his line while also being deceptively strong when he pushes the ball up the middle.
He is on track to becoming Fresno State’s all-time leading rusher during the course of the 2012 season and the Oregon Ducks will need a sound defensive effort to keep track of this exciting player.
Another key element of the Fresno offensive attack will be the aforementioned Derek Carr. Carr has NFL bloodlines and will be crucial in opening up the Bulldogs offense as he will dictate their tempo and pace at the always rowdy Autzen Stadium.
If he is able to keep his composure and keep up with the Ducks, Carr could make this game very interesting.
What to watch: Oregon Ducks
One of the most exciting players to watch for the Oregon Ducks will be Marcus Mariota. In just his first start and appearance for the Ducks as a freshman last week against Arkansas State, Mariota threw for 200 yards and three touchdowns in just a quarter and a half.
Needless to say, he was electric.
Mariota needs to show that he can at least come close to replicating this effort against Fresno State if he wants fans to truly believe in all of the hype surrounding him.
The Oregon defensive line will also be crucial to watch during this game as none of the starters really shined against a rather timid Arkansas State defensive line.
Look for these guys to really step it up this week after some lackluster statistics against the Red Wolves.
Matchup to watch: Robbie Rouse vs. Oregon defensive line
Though there will be a few key matchups in the Saturday afternoon contest between Oregon and Fresno State, none may be more important than Robbie Rouse and the Oregon defensive line going after it.
The Oregon defensive line should be challenged with Rouse’s size and ability to get to the edge of the field fast and will definitely have their work cut out for them.
Players like Dion Jordan and Wade Keliikipi must penetrate into the Fresno backfield and get an eye on Rouse before he is able to hide behind Fresno’s big offensive line.
For Rouse, he will need to do his best to mask himself behind his offensive line before bursting out to the outside.
Deception will be his best ally during this game and using it could make this game a lot more interesting than it is predicted to be.
Fresno State has their hands full with an Oregon team that looks to be better than ever.
That being said, the Ducks should cruise to another victory at Autzen Stadium.