How Oregon can win its home finale
By the numbers, stats and gambling spread
In UO’s home finale, Oregon (6-4, 3-4 Pac-12) could spoil Arizona State’s three-game winning streak and Pac-12 South title dreams. A victory would match the Ducks’ win total (6) from 2017.
Fun fact: Hello record books, meet Dillon Mitchell. Mitchell is the first player in program history with six or more receptions in seven consecutive games. He is the only Pac-12 player and one of seven FBS players with 1,000 yards receiving on the season.
The Herbert factor: Herbert owns a streak of 25 consecutive games with a touchdown pass, good for the longest in the country. In his two career games against the Sun Devils, Herbert is 50-of-77 for 770 yards, seven touchdowns and no interceptions.
Betting line: Oregon is favored by 4.5 points.
Arizona State (6-4, 4-3) is coming off a three straight wins over USC, Utah, and UCLA. The Sun Devils are hot and will win the Pac-12 south division if the are victorious in their final two games. ASU has only won one road conference game this season, at USC.
Wide receiver Tabari Hines is transferring from the Oregon program. A graduate transfer from Wake Forest, Hines will use this year to redshirt after playing three games for the Ducks. He finished with three catches for 32 yards and a touchdown, all of which came against Portland State.
Injury updates: The Ducks are depleted at running back, offensive line and linebacker.
- Oregon has only two healthy inside linebackers in Troy Dye and Keith Simms (although Dye has been limited at practice this week). Kaulana Apelu and Isaac Slade-Matautia are both out for the season, Sampson Niu is in concussion protocol and Adrian Jackson suffered a shoulder injury at Utah. True freshman MJ Cunningham will likely play.
- Adding to the injuries at offensive line; true freshman offensive lineman Steven Jones is currently in concussion protocol.
- At running back, the status of CJ Verdell (neck sprain) and Cyrus Habibi-Likio (quad contusion) is unclear for Saturday.
Sun Devils to keep an eye on
ASU’s offense has major weapons.
Eno Benjamin: The sophomore running back is coming off of a 195 rushing yard performance vs. UCLA. Benjamin already has racked up 1295 yards, setting the single-season rushing yards record in the Pac-12. Also a receiving threat out of the backfield, Benjamin is eighth nationally and second in the Pac-12 in all-purpose yards per game (150.7). He does not have a fumble on his 230 carries this season.
Manny Wilkins: The quarterback racked up 259 total yards and three touchdowns vs. UCLA. He ranks second in the conference in accuracy (65.2 percent) and efficiency (149.0). The dual-threat has rushed for 371 yards and six touchdowns on the ground.
N'Keal Harry: The wide receiver is coming off back-to-back 100 yard games. This season he has 62 catches for 928 yards and nine touchdowns. Pro Football Focus grades Harry at 85.3; the fifth-highest graded wide receiver in the nation and the third-highest graded offensive player in the Pac-12 (all positions).
Keys to an Oregon win
Get going on the ground: In losses to Washington State, Arizona and Utah, the Ducks have averaged just 86.3 yards per game. Oregon offensive coordinator Marcus Arroyo plans to pound the rock this Saturday against an average ASU rushing defense that ranks 56th in the nation.
Pressure Wilkins: Oregon needs to attack a much improved Sun Devil offensive line. ASU has allowed just 11 sacks (1.1 per game), which is tied for 12th nationally. Last year, ASU allowed 41 sacks (124th).
The slow starts must stop: Starting cold has become a bad habit that is a major trend for the Ducks. UO has been outscored 63-8 in the first half of its last three road games. Oregon has been a different team at home. An early touchdown drive would immensely help Oregon find some offensive rhythm.
How and where to watch
Time: Saturday, Nov. 17, 7:30 p.m. PT
Where: Autzen Stadium, Eugene, Ore.
TV: Pac-12 Networks
Radio: KUGN-AM (590), KUJZ-FM (95.3), KZEL-FM (96.1)