Oregon vs. Portland State: What you need to know
By the numbers, stats and gambling spread
No. 23 ranked Oregon is looking to extend its streak of consecutive non-conference home wins to 22 when it hosts Portland State at 11 a.m. at Autzen Stadium.
In contrast, Portland State has lost 14 in a row dating to 2016. They have lost eight straight home games and eight straight road games.
Numbers to watch: Oregon hasn’t scored 50 points in back-to-back games since 2014 (Pac-12 Championship and Rose Bowl). This could change against the Vikings on Saturday, if the Ducks amass 50 points.
On a roll: Oregon has four defensive touchdowns in its last three games (dating back to last season) with at least one in each contest.
Betting line: N/A
Keys to an Oregon win
Portland State (0-1) opened its season with a 72-19 loss to Nevada, but PSU jumped to a 9-0 lead.
The Ducks started their season opener with missed tackles, communication mishaps, misread plays and dropped passes. Oregon needs to jump to an early lead to remove the unease left by last Saturday’s cringe-worthy start.
Oregon’s offense should have zero problems shining against the Viking’s defense that allowed 420 yards through the air last Saturday.
Most importantly, for the Ducks to “win” they must stay healthy. Oregon already suffered one season-ending injury to a starter, tight end Cam McCormick in the season opener.
Players to keep an eye on
Portland State fields a youthful squad that includes 57 true freshmen, redshirt freshmen and sophomores on the 93-player roster.
Preseason All-American and All-Big Sky Conference selection Charlie Taumoepeau: The tight end scored two long touchdowns against Nevada and finished with 130 receiving yards on three receptions. Taumoepeau showed his physicality last Saturday, breaking two or more tackles on each long touchdown.
Quarterback Davis Alexander earned the starting nod out of preseason camp. Oregon will be his fifth career start. Against Nevada he completed 13-32 passes for 224 yards, two touchdowns with an interception.
Viking Head Coach Bruce Barnum is 2-5 against the FBS. He has never faced Oregon and is 1-2 against Pac-12 schools.
Will linebacker La’Mar Winston Jr. and cornerback Deommodore Lenoir play? Both Ducks suffered concussions during strong collisions on Saturday. Lenoir wore a red non-contact jersey and Winston was absent from drills at Tuesday’s practice. Cristobal said Lenoir is probable and Winston is questionable “at best” for Portland State.
In UO offensive coordinator Marcus Arroyo’s first game calling plays in Autzen Stadium, the Ducks scored seven offensive touchdowns and totaled 212 rushing yards with an average of five yards per rush. Arroyo communicates the plays to Cristobal on the sidelines who has the final call.
“One of the reasons we’re both together still is the ability to communicate,” Arroyo said. “We’ve done this a long time and there are a lot of professionals in the building.”
Look for Oregon’s communication and mental mistakes to improve more on Saturday.
How and where to watch
Time: 11 a.m., Saturday
Where: Autzen Stadium, Eugene
TV: Pac-12 Networks
Radio: Rip City Radio 620 AM