It's been quite some time since the Oregon Ducks have been relevant on a national level.
Win?: In Darren Carrington's return to Autzen, the Ducks could rattle dual-threat sophomore QB Tyler Huntley, who leads the Utes' new passing-oriented offense.
Lose?: The Cardinal under David Shaw get their act together, solidifying the defense and, while relying on Love and the running game, Chryst settles down to help take heat off the ground game. Not too shabby for the Green and Gold.
Facing a long-yardage situation on the above play, OR has two wide receivers run deep to the right of the formation, clearing defenders, while an inside receiver heads to the right flat, offering an option to Herbert along with a backside receiver (who had a short split to the left of the formation) who is dragging across the field at first-down depth. The over/under total for the game is listed at 75.5 points. Arizona State's defense is ranked No. 121 in the country, relenting 505 yards per game. But under Mario Cristobal, the O-line has transitioned from a technique-based unit to a power-based mano-a-mano unit.
"Our mindset is every time we're on the field our goal is to score seven points", Wilkins said.
Whoever passes less wins. Stanford has won three of the past five matchups with strong running games (see: Stepfan Taylor, Tyler Gaffney, Christian McCaffrey), but it's the only phase of the game (with Bryce Love, 174.7 yards per game) that does damage.
The Ducks' Justin Herbert completed 19 of 35 for 281 yards and three scores. But there wasn't just one player that made a difference. Offensively, getting the run game going with Freeman will be key. It's one of the easier games on UO's schedule. OR is putting up big numbers on offense, averaging 56 points and 609 yards per game. Last night, they allowed OR to convert on only 9.1% (1 of 11) and shut down both of their attempts on fourth down. If the Devils have any designs on turning this into an Upset Special, they'll need to be more clutch on defense when their backs are against the down markers. At first, it didn't look great for Washington.
OR enters Saturday night's Week 4 matchup with a ideal 3-0 record. If ASU can make some adjustments and get its offense going like the Sun Devils did in the second half at Texas Tech, they could pull a big stunner.
"Manny is a leader now", coach Todd Graham said. Last week's loss at Texas Tech was a 52-45 track meet, but the Devils were down 21-3 after the first quarter.
Arizona State quarterback Manny Wilkins passed for 347 yards and a touchdown, and rushed for 35 yards and two touchdowns for the Sun Devils' first victory in the series since October 2, 2004 in Eugene.
One win doesn't ensure a brighter future for the Devils or Graham, but this team showed a resolve few thought it had.
The Ducks have given an all-around performance through the three games, they carry a dangerously balanced offense, a defense that can handle pressure. He is a college football, college baseball and college hockey addict. and writer.