Michigan State at Oregon – 09-05-2014

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(6) Michigan State Spartans at (4) Oregon
Ducks
(-12, 55.5)

The calendar just flipped to September but postseason
implications will be the focus when No. 4 Oregon hosts No. 6
Michigan State in a non-conference game Saturday afternoon.
Both sides have their sights set on qualifying for the
inaugural four-team College Football Playoff and the winner of
this game could have solid bragging rights come late November.
Oregon was among the national leaders in offensive production
last season while the Spartans sported one of the top defenses,
and both appear to have carried those same strengths into this
season.  

Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota picked up where he left off
last season, throwing for 267 yards and three touchdowns and
rushing for another score in a win over South Dakota. The
three-year starter and early Heisman Trophy candidate will have
his work cut out against a defense that likes to press
receivers with its cornerbacks and blitz its linebackers early
and often. Connor Cook also continues to improve at quarterback
for the Spartans and was in fine form in the season-opening
blowout win against Jacksonville State, completing 12-of-13
passes for 285 yards and three touchdowns.  

TV: 6:30 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE:
Oregon -12.

LINE HISTORY: The opening line saw Oregon -12
then briefly jumping up to -13 before settling at -12 again.
The opening total was originally 58 before quickly falling to
55.5.

INJURY REPORT: Michigan State: QB Connor Cook
(Ques-Knee), RB Jeremy Langford (Prob-Leg), WR Macgarrett
Kings Jr. (Ques-Leg),  OT Travis Jackson (Ques-Back)
  Oregon: CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu
(Prob-Ankle)

WHAT CAPPERS SAY: “The Ducks did not
disappoint in Week 1, steamrolling an inferior opponent. Marcus
Mariota had four TDs (all in the first half). Connor Cook
completed 12-of-13 passes for 285 yards and three TDs in Week
1. The Spartans still look like the team to beat in the Big
10.” Covers Expert Jesse Schule

WHAT BOOKS SAY: “Sharps are liking the
dog in this one, as the Ducks have gone from +13 to +11.5 here.
71 percent of cash and 69 percent of all bets are on the
Spartans plus the points.” – Mike Perry of Sportsbook.ag 

CHEERLEADER WAR:

ABOUT MICHIGAN STATE (1-0): Spartans running back
Jeremy Langford twice hobbled off the field after tweaking his
ankle Friday but downplayed the injury earlier this week and
appears set to play against the Ducks. Michigan State is also
expected to have starting left guard Travis Jackson (back
spasms) and punt return specialist Macgarrett Kings (left
ankle) in the lineup after they departed early during the
Jacksonville State game. Jackson’s return is especially key
because the Spartans already lost a starter up front when right
guard Connor Kruse went down with a leg injury in the middle of
last month.

ABOUT OREGON (1-0): Byron Marshall will have a
tough time topping his performance against South Dakota, as he
led the Ducks in both rushing and receiving coming out of the
slot position. About the only thing he dropped was the football
just before he crossed the goal line at the end of what would
have been a 54-yard touchdown run. Marshall’s threat, whether
on a pass pattern or a handoff, should open things up even more
for freshman running back Royce Freeman.

TWEET BEAT:

TRENDS:

*Ducks are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games overall.
*Spartans are 7-1-1 ATS in their last 9 games after allowing
less than 20 points in their previous game.
*Over is 5-1 in Ducks last 6 home games vs. a team with a
winning road record.
*Under is 5-1-1 in Spartans last 7 games in September.

COVERS CONSENSUS: 60.36 percent of
Covers users are taking Michigan State +6 with 64.8
percent taking over 55.5.

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