Oregon vs. Arizona State prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins Saturday afternoon’s matchup between the Ducks and Sun Devils.
When: Saturday, Oct. 29 – 5:00 p.m. ET
Where: Autzen Stadium, Eugene, Oregon
TV Broadcast: Pac-12 Network
Mark Helfrich’s Ducks (2-5) got off on the right foot with two wins to open the season, but since then it’s been nothing but losses. Oregon has fallen in five straight games to the likes of Nebraska, Colorado, Washington State, Washington, and most recently, Cal. The road matchup with the Golden Bears saw the Ducks fight back to force double overtime before losing, 52-49.
After getting out to a 4-0 start, Arizona State (5-3) has seen some tough times in its season lately. The Sun Devils have lost three of their last four games to USC, Colorado and Washington State. This past weekend’s loss to Wazzu, 37-32, was going Arizona State’s way until there were 57 seconds left in the first half. That’s when Todd Graham’s team surrendered the lead for good when it allowed the Cougars to cap off a 77-yard drive with a touchdown going into halftime.
The all-time series between these two Pac-12 programs favors the Ducks, who lead it, 18-16. Oregon has won the last nine games against Arizona State, including last year’s 61-55 final in Tempe. The Sun Devils haven’t won since 2004 in Eugene.
What To Know About Oregon
Kudos to Coach Helfrich for turning to Justin Herbert when he did. He chose to start the true freshman quarterback against Washington, one of the best defenses in the country, and Herbert responded with an admirable 179 passing yards and two touchdowns on 21-of-34 passing. He stepped it up even more this past weekend against Cal, lighting up the Golden Bears by completing 22-of-40 passes for 258 yards, six touchdowns and one interception. If he continues playing like that, Oregon can at least pinpoint one area of the season that will finish on a high note.
As far as the running game was concerned, Tony Brooks-James posted 109 rushing yards and a touchdown on 15 carries versus Cal. Royce Freeman also got 15 carries, but he topped out at 10 rushing yards. Herbert added 56 yards on the ground.
What to Know About Arizona State
Four different players threw passes for the Sun Devils against Wazzu, with Dillon Sterling-Cole and Manny Wilkins being the main contributors. The former completed 7-of-16 passes for 86 yards, and the latter connected on 5-of-6 passes for 39 yards. Neither threw a touchdown. Wilkins also left the last game with an injury, and he’s uncertain to play against Oregon. N’Keal Harry led the team with six receptions for 76 yards.
Kalen Ballage did most of the damage on the ground, though. He was given 12 carries for 82 yards and a score. Demario Richard also chimed in with a touchdown run. He finished with 37 yards on 12 attempts.
Offense: Oregon – It’s early, really early, but Herbert looks like he could be a star one day. He was throwing dimes against Cal.
Defense: Arizona State – The Ducks were just torched by the Golden Bears for 52 points. The Sun Devils are the lesser of two defensive evils.
Special Teams: Arizona State – Zane Gonzalez is a monster in the kicking game.
Coaching: Arizona State – Helfrich gets brownie points for turning to Herbert, but Graham has done a better job coaching this season.
Matchup To Watch
Justin Herbert vs. Arizona State defense
Don’t take Herbert lightly, folks. He’s young, but age is just a number with this kid. Herbert has been dropping it in the bucket the last two games. If the Sun Devils let him complete some easy passes early, he could get into a rhythm and start stretching the field vertically. That will open up the whole offense for the Ducks. All of the sudden, we’ll see Brooks-James darting up the middle and coming down with catches. We’ll see Herbert take off and do it himself. If Arizona State lets the young Oregon quarterback get into a groove, he’ll take over the game.
Spread: Oregon -7.5
Oregon vs. Arizona State Prediction
Herbert is going to go off once again. He’ll throw for at least 200 yards, and he’ll connect with three different receivers for a handful of passing touchdowns: two in the first half and three in the second half. Freeman will sprinkle in a touchdown run, too. Arizona State will keep it close, but the Sun Devils won’t be able to keep pace with the Ducks on offense. Oregon takes this one at home.
Oregon vs. Arizona State Score Prediction: Oregon 45, Arizona State 37