Friday, November 13, 2009

Arizona State (4-5) at #14 Oregon (7-2)

One week after making a statement with a 47-20 victory over then-No. 4 USC, Oregon suffered a stunning 51-42 loss at Stanford last Saturday that reduced its conference lead to one-half game over Arizona. The defeat also cost the Ducks any shot at a berth in the Bowl Championship Series title game, but wins in their final three contests against Arizona State, Arizona and Oregon State will send them to the Rose Bowl.

It was Oregon’s first conference loss, and it dropped the team from a season high ranking at No. 7. But the Ducks (7-2, 5-1) are still in good position to contend for the Pac-10 title, which has been claimed by the Trojans for the past seven seasons. First they’ll have to get by Arizona State, which has the best rush defense in the Pac-10. The Sun Devils are ranked sixth nationwide, allowing just 87.44 yards per game.

Two weeks ago, Oregon ran for 391 yards and had 631 yards of total offense in a 47-20 victory over then-No.4 USC. The Ducks had 570 yards total offense and 236 yards rushing last week in a 51-42 loss at Stanford. Last season, Oregon was able to run for 304 yards in a 54-20 victory in Tempe. Masoli and Blount each ran for two touchdowns in the game.

The Sun Devils have lost three straight games and need to win two of their final three games for bowl eligibility. After Oregon, they visit UCLA before the finale at home against Arizona. Oregon has dominated Arizona State lately, winning the past four meetings by a combined 168-73 score. The Sun Devils haven't won at Oregon since Oct. 2, 2004.

My prediction: Oregon Ducks 45, Arizona St Sun Devils 13

Go Ducks!

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