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Oregon Double Digit Favorite Over Purdue

Despite Losing Blount for the Year

9/12/09

A single punch has led to devastating effects for the Oregon Ducks. A single poor decision and they no longer have RB LeGarette Blount. After punching a player from Boise St, he has been suspended for the rest of the year. Oregon lost that game 19-8 and slipped out of the Top 25 rankings from #16. They will look to get back on track against the Purdue Boilermakers who started their season with 52-31 win over Toledo. Last yearís game between these two teams resulted in a thrilling 2-0T finish with Oregon coming out on top 32-26. Sportsbook.com has Oregon favored by 12 with a total of 58.5.

The Purdue Boilermakers have a new coach in Danny Hope. They lost all of their skilled starters and only return 4 starters to the offense. All of them are offensive lineman. Joey Elliott has taken over at QB. He has played 10 career games, but has made no starts until the Toledo game. You would think he played very well against Toledo, throwing for 220 yards and 3 TDs. However, he also threw 3 INTs. Sophomore RB Ralph Bolden went buck wild in his first game of the year, putting up 234 yards on 21 carries for 2 TDs. If he plays anything like that against Oregon then the Boilermakers will make short work of their opponent.

Purdue is bringing back 7 players on defense. The defensive line and secondary both look strong with DT Mike Neal, and CBs Brandon King and David Pender. The Oregon running game will be an unknown without Blount, so if the Boilermakers can stop or even slow down the Ducks running game it would go a long way towards getting one in the W column. Purdue ranked 24th against the pass last year and they must play like it in this game. If Oregon is able to pull off big passes to make up for the loss of Blount then Purdue will be in big trouble. If the defense does its job, then the offense will need for good play from RB Bolden and QB Elliot.

Oregon took a big blow by losing Blount, but one player doesnít make a team. QB Jeremiah Masoli is an effective threat as both a runner and a passer. He picked up 13 passing TDs and 10 rushing TDs last year. His knowledge and ability to utilize the spread option offense will only get better as time goes on. The biggest question is the blocking up front. Will the offensive line be able to protect him and new RB Andre Crenshaw? Iím willing to say that they can do that against the Purdue Boilermakers, but against conference opponents they will have trouble. However, I will save that argument for another day.

The Ducks defense did well against Boise St in their first game, holding them to 19 points and 361 total yards. They did particularly well against the run keeping the Broncos to 164 yards on the ground, and they also held them to 2 of 4 on fourth down. Needless to say, the offense they will be playing this week is much weaker than Boise Stís. If they are able to shut down RB Bolden and make problems for QB Eliott then this game could be a laugher. The secondary hasnít been the best in recent years, but if they can come up with a few INTs it would go a long way towards a Ducks victory.

One has to wonder what the impact of the Blount fiasco will be on this Oregon Team mentally. That type of a situation can go either way. It could cause a team to band together and overcome, or it could destroy a teams morale. Either way, you'd have to think the talent gap between these two teams is close after last years game. We're suckers for big underdogs that can put points on the board as the back door is always open in that scenario. Mark us down for Purdue +12.

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