- Associated Press - Thursday, September 10, 2015

No. 7 Oregon (1-0) at No. 5 Michigan State (1-0), 8 p.m. (ABC)

Line: Michigan State by 3 1/2

Series Record: Oregon leads 3-2

WHAT’S AT STAKE

It’s too early to call this a playoff elimination game, but the winner should have an outstanding nonconference win on its resume going forward. This is the first time two teams in the AP top 10 have played at Spartan Stadium since No. 2 Michigan State and No. 1 Notre Dame played to a 10-10 tie in a famous 1966 game.

KEY MATCHUP

Oregon RB Royce Freeman against Michigan State’s defensive front. The Ducks still have a dynamic offense after losing Heisman Trophy-winning QB Marcus Mariota to the NFL. Freeman rushed for 1,365 yards last season, and he scored two fourth-quarter TDs when Oregon beat Michigan State 46-27 in 2014. The Spartans have fielded consistently excellent defenses in recent years and this will be another substantial test.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Oregon: QB Vernon Adams. Mariota’s replacement threw for 246 yards and ran for 94 in a season-opening win over Eastern Washington. He missed the end of that game after being staggered by a late hit.

Michigan State: QB Connor Cook. He threw for 343 yards and two touchdowns last season against Oregon, but he was also intercepted twice as the Spartans struggled to keep up with the Ducks. As the QB for a national title contender, Cook certainly has a chance to be in the Heisman mix this season - playing well in a high-profile game early would help.

FACTS & FIGURES

Since 2010, Oregon has won 61 games, the most in the FBS. Michigan State has won 54, the most in the Big Ten. … The Spartans are trying for their 17th consecutive victory in a home opener - a streak that began in 1999 with a win over Oregon. … The Ducks have thrown at least one touchdown pass in 69 consecutive games, tying a record set by Texas Tech from 2006-2011.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide