Oregon Football Week 7 Preview | Odds
The Oregon Ducks carry plenty of momentum into their big Week-7 battle with Arizona State. They’ve won four straight games, scoring at least 43 points in each win, and they’ve re-established their dominant running game.
That said, whether or not they can keep up that vintage Ducks play is in question this week. Star tailback LaMichael James is highly unlikely to suit up after suffering an ugly elbow injury during last week’s win over California. Can the other Ducks step up in his absence?
(18) Arizona State Sun Devils (5-1) vs (9) Oregon Ducks (4-1)
Saturday, October 15, 10:15 p.m. ET
Autzen Stadium, Eugene, Oregon
Favorite: Oregon -16
James’ injury aside, the Ducks did many things swell in their win over Cal last week.
Their defense bent but didn’t break against Cal, allowing just one touchdown and keeping the Golden Bears scoreless for the entire second half.
It was a highly encouraging sign for an Oregon defense that just hasn’t had the same teeth that it did last year.
Another good sign: plenty of Ducks other than James showed major playmaking ability last Thursday night.
Kenjon Barner gashed Cal for 88 rushing yards and a score on just 10 carries, suggesting he may play a major role if James can’t go this week.
Darron Thomas didn’t pass a ton but was his usual efficient self, throwing for three touchdowns and an interception.
The Duck to really watch this week is De’Anthony Thomas. He caught six passes for 114 yards and two scores and ran the ball twice for 18 yards and a score against Cal. It certainly seems like he’ll be featured prominently this week.
In Arizona State, Oregon will meet a very well-rounded opponent. The Sun Devils pass the ball well thanks to Brock Osweiler, their running game isn’t terrible and they’ve been a reasonable defensive team so far, especially against the run.
It’s also worth noting that Arizona State’s schedule has been pretty tough. Missouri isn’t a total slouch; Illinois is ranked; USC is obviously dangerous.
The Sun Devils are battle-hardened.
However, while ASU did face an elite passing attack against USC, it hasn’t faced a ground game quite like Oregon’s.
Even without James, the Ducks have shown that they can still be explosive. Saturday’s game should tell us a lot about the Pac-12 picture.