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Oregon vs. Stanford PAC 12 Football Pick with Analysis
The Stanford (8-0) v Oregon (7-1) game looks eerily similar to last year's edition. These are the 1-2 teams in the Pacific-10 and the winner will get top honors in the North division. Despite having to play a Pac-10 Championship Game in 2011, this is the de facto title game as the winner is almost certainly going to get the crown. In 2010 Stanford had the lead at half time, but Oregon came out guns ablaze in the second half to seize a 52-31 victory. Don't think Stanford has forgotten.
This time the game will be played at Stanford and it is the Cardinal who is a 3 point favorite. They run a very fast offense behind the strength of future #1 overall NFL Draft choice Andrew Luck. The senior has passed for 2,424 yards and 26 TDs while throwing just 5 INTs all year long. While the passing game is very strong, the running game is equally good. They picked up a total of 300 yards on the ground against Oregon State and rushed for 446 against Washington. This offense just keeps on coming.
Stanford's offense sound good? Oregon knows a thing or two about scoring as well. The return of Lamichael James is a huge factor in this game. The former Heisman candidate (we say former because the missed games have almost assuredly cost him) pounded the ball 31 times for a massive 257 yards against this team a year ago. If he gets anything close to that in 2011 then Stanford will be very unhappy. QB Darron Thomas has passed for 1,549 yards and 19 TDs with 5 INTs.
Yards per point numbers here what you might expect. Just about even, with Stanford having a slight edge defensively, by about a point. Stanford 10.5 offense and 19 defense while Oregon 11.1 offense and 18.2 defense. Oregon has played the tougher schedule by virtue of their opening day game against LSU. Otherwise, for both teams, you're looking at a weak PAC 12 schedule with all of the usual suspects. Stanford came close to losing against USC while Oregon's closet game after their LSU loss was a 43-28 win over Washington State.
For Andrew Luck, this is his Heisman Trophy game. The kid is fantastic, but this is the game where he really needs to make a difference. It's nice to beat up on teams like Duke and Colorado. But a true super star, one worthy of a Heisman, leads his team in the biggest game of the year. One of the biggest games in the history of the Stanford Football program. Throw in a little revenge for last year's 52-31 thumping at the hands of the Ducks along with the home field and this one figures to go Stanford's way.
Our score prediction model has Stanford winning a 36-29 decision. We'll go with it. Stanford -3.5
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