It wouldn’t be a major upset. Oregon is a top-10 team (and interestingly enough, Saturday’s matchup will be the first at Spartan Stadium to feature two teams ranked in the top 1o of the AP Top 25 since 1966) and the current betting line is barely more than a field goal – but the Michigan State Spartans should certainly be on upset alert this weekend.
After all, Oregon is one of the few teams to beat the Spartans in recent years.
"“We’ve lost three games out of the last 30, and we know the teams we’ve lost to,” head coach Mark Dantonio said in his weekly press conference, according to the team’s official website, in reference to Oregon, Ohio State and Notre Dame. “Our M.O. was to try to reach higher, and to do that, right now, it runs through Oregon. I also think that if you look at last year’s football team, if we win that football game, you’re talking beyond, and you just keep trying to move your program forward.”"
Last season, the Spartans led 27-18 late in the third quarter, but couldn’t keep up with Oregon’s speed and lost 46-27 in Eugene. Michigan State surrendered 491 yards of total offense that night, which was 175 yards more than their average. The Ducks will not have the benefit of Marcus Mariota, but new quarterback Vernon Adams looked great in last week’s 61-42 victory over Eastern Washington.
Adams was 19-for-25 passing for 246 yards and two touchdowns without an interception against his old EWU teammates, and added 94 rushing yards. Running back Royce Freeman gained 180 yards on the ground and scored three TDs. As a team, Oregon tallied 485 rushing yards and six scored while averaging 8.5 yards per attempt. On the other hand, the Oregon defense allowed 549 yards of offense to EWU.
Of course, Oregon’s offensive production came against FCS competition, not the awesome Spartan defense. Last week against Western Michigan, Michigan State allowed just 18 rushing yards on 23 carries in a 37-24 victory.
Still, Oregon is a national title contender with a history of success against the Spartans, and are very capable of scoring the upset in East Lansing.
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