OREGON AT MICHIGAN STATE
Kickoff: 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT
Las Vegas Line: Michigan State -3; O/U 64.5
Michigan State got the full Autzen Stadium experience last year on the Big Ten’s Lost Weekend. Sparty took the fight to Oregon through the first half, then got trapped in the quicksand that sinks most Duck opponents.
“Once that momentum started to roll, it was hard to stop it,” safety R.J. Williamson told Joe Rexrode of the Detroit Free Press. Welcome to every Pac-12 teams’ reality, R.J.
The 2014 matchup featured the breakout of running back Royce Freeman, then a freshman, splitting carries with Thomas Tyner. Freeman’s two touchdowns in the fourth quarter were his informal hello to the college football world, and a hearty Bye, Felicia! to Michigan State.
Oregon is a huge test for the post-Pat Narduzzi era. Though Michigan State is replacing its defensive guru, the Spartans are rich with NFL talent.
That’s presumably a difficult first road challenge for quarterback Vernon Adams — though, bear in mind, he scored seven touchdowns against a Washington Huskies defense last season that sent four Week starters to the NFL.
Scoring points shouldn’t be an issue for the Oregon offense. That means Michigan State is going to have to out-gun the Ducks, which isn’t impossible.
Bear in mind that the Spartans beat Baylor at their own game in January’s Cotton Bowl. Connor Cook has an opportunity to register big numbers against an inexperienced Oregon secondary that struggled mightily against Eastern Washington.
I anticipate a high-scoring game, but Oregon finds ways to make just enough plays to escape East Lansing with a win.