Why you should be excited for Oregon in the Redbox bowl
By the numbers, stats and gambling spread
Ready to Redbox (Bowl) and chill? Here is everything you need to know about Oregon vs. Michigan State.
Redbox Bowl, have you heard of it? If not, you aren’t alone. The bowl game has had five name changes, most recently being the Foster Farms Bowl, since being founded in 2002.
Betting Line: Oregon opened as 1.5 favorites on Vegas Insider.
Fun Fact: It’s the first time the Ducks are playing a bowl game in the Bay Area.
Tickets: Oregon fans can purchase tickets for as little as $46.
Record watch: Dillon Mitchell is close to breaking Oregon’s single-season record in receiving yards, catches and touchdowns.
- Needs only 27 yards
- Needs only nine catches
- Needs three touchdowns
Oregon and Michigan State will play for the seventh time, with the home team winning all previous meetings.
This season: The Spartans went 7-5 in the regular season, 5-4 in Big Ten and finished 4th in the Big Ten East. In week two, Michigan State lost to Arizona State, 16-13, but held ASU’s star running back Eno Benjamin to just 27 rushing yards on 13 carries and wide receiver N'Keal Harry to 89 receiving yards.
MSU Bowl game success: The Redbox Bowl marks the 11th bowl bid in 12 seasons under MSU coach Mark Dantonio, and the Spartans have won five of their last six bowls. Recent notable victories include: 2014 Rose Bowl against No. 5 Stanford; 2015 Cotton Bowl vs. No. 4 Baylor; and defeating No. 18 Washington State in the 2017 Holiday Bowl.
Oregon injury update: At the end of conference play, the list of wounded Ducks was long, but Cristobal’s injury update on Sunday was very positive. Quarterback Justin Herbert, defensive lineman Jalen Jelks and offensive tackle Penei Sewell are all healthy and expected to play vs. Michigan State. Here is a full update.
New Rule, NFL and coaching changes?
The new Oregon football program rule: If any Ducks choose to sit out the Redbox Bowl, coach Mario Cristobal says those players will not travel to the Bay Area. Currently, no players have informed the coaching staff that they will skip the game.
NFL looming: Oregon requested scouting reports from the NFL advisory committee for a number of draft eligible juniors including; Herbert, Mitchell and linebacker Troy Dye. Herbert has decided to return for his senior season, while Mitchell and Dye have not made their decisions known yet. Oregon coaches plan on helping draft-eligible prospects make an informed decision once those scouting reports are received.
Coaching changes: The college football coaching carousel is in full swing…But how does that affect Oregon’s staff? Cristobal said he had zero indications that any UO coaches will miss the bowl game or are taking other coaching opportunities. He added that he’d encourage his staff to interview for other opportunities if they desire.
Spartans to keep an eye on
Michigan State has the best rush defense in the country. The Spartans lead the country with just 81.3 rushing yards allowed per game with much thanks to linebacker Joe Bachie, who leads the team with 94 tackles. Four Spartans have 70 or more tackles including linebacker Andrew Dowell (90).
- Oregon’s offense will be tested vs. the Spartans. MSU allows an average of 18 points per game, ranking 13th nationally.
- The Spartans offense scores an average of 19.8 points, which ranks 121st nationally. It’s unclear who will start at quarterback for MSU between last year’s starting quarterback junior Brian Lewekre and freshman Rocky Lombardi. Neither have had productive seasons, as both complete less than 55 percent of their passes.
- The MSU rushing attack is the worst it’s been in 15 seasons. The Spartans average only 122 rushing yards per game, led by Sophomore Connor Heyward, who has 520 yards this season and one 100-yard game.
How and where to watch
When: Monday, Dec. 31, 12 PM (PT)
Where: Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara, Calif.
Stream: Fox Sports Go