November 16, 2012
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STANFORD CARDINAL (8-2) at OREGON DUCKS (10-0)
Sportsbook.ag Line & Total: Oregon -20.5 & 65
Opening Line & Total: Ducks -21.5 & 64.5
No. 2 Oregon tries to improve to 11-0 on the season when it hosts No 13 Stanford on Saturday night.
Oregon is 9-1 SU (8-2 ATS) in the past 10 meetings with Stanford, scoring 105 points over the past two victories. Last year, the Ducks went on the road and beat the 9-0 Cardinal by a whopping 53-30 score, forcing five turnovers. Oregon's offense currently leads the nation with 54.8 PPG and ranks third with 563 total YPG. The Ducks are just 6-4 ATS this year, but have won five straight ATS. Stanford has four straight SU victories since its controversial loss at Notre Dame, holding these four Pac-12 opponents to a combined 43 points and 52 rushing yards. Three touchdowns may seem to be a lot to give to an opponent with an 8-2 record, but not for an Oregon team that's 8-1 ATS since the start of last season when facing an opponent that's winning better than 75% of its games. Also in the Ducks' favor is the fact that road underdogs are 8-30 ATS over the past 10 seasons when coming off three straight wins in conference play and facing an opponent that's coming off a double-digit road win.
Stanford will once again start redshirt freshman Kevin Hogan at quarterback, after he went 22-of-29 for 254 yards, 3 TD and 2 INT in last week's 27-23 win over Oregon State. He'll have to be careful when he drops back to pass though, as the Ducks have intercepted 19 passes this season, returning four of those for touchdowns. The Cardinal will likely attempt to rush the football much more than they will try to throw it on Saturday. RB Stepfan Taylor has rumbled for 1,061 yards and 9 TD in his 10 games this season, and he's also had success against the Ducks with 212 rushing yards on 40 carries (5.3 YPC) in the past two meetings against them. Oregon's run defense allowed a season-high 236 rushing yards (5.9 YPC) to California last Saturday. Stanford entered last week ranked seventh in the nation in turnover margin (+1.2 TO per game), but was a minus-3 in last week's win over the Beavers. The Cardinal have committed eight turnovers (four fumbles, four interceptions) in the past two losses to Oregon.
The Ducks are 32-2 SU in conference play since Chip Kelly took over as head coach, and they have won five straight home games against the Cardinal. Oregon freshman QB Marcus Mariota has never played in this series, but he had a career game last week, throwing for 377 yards and six touchdowns, giving him 15 total TD and 0 INT over the past four games. He did hurt his wrist during that effort, but the injury is nothing that will keep him off the field on Saturday. Mariota will be facing the best defense he has ever seen though, as the Cardinal lead the country in both sacks (4.2 per game) and Tackles For Loss (9.1 per game). Star RB Kenjon Barner hurt his thumb last week, but he will be able to play. Barner, who ranks fourth in the nation with 136 rushing yards per game, was stymied at Cal last week, gaining just 65 yards on 20 carries. And considering Stanford has the top-ranked rushing defense in the country (59 rushing YPG), it's no guarantee that Barner will get his typical heavy workload.
KANSAS STATE WILDCATS (10-0) at BAYLOR BEARS (4-5)
Sportsbook.ag Line & Total: Kansas State -12.5 & 74.5
Opening Line & Total: Wildcats -11& 74
The No. 1 team in the nation takes to the road when Kansas State clashes with Baylor on Saturday night.
Kansas State has won seven of nine all-time versus Baylor, and is 6-2 ATS in all lined meetings. However, KSU has lost its past two trips to Waco. The Wildcats pulled off a come-from-behind 36-35 victory over the Bears last year behind 259 total yards and 3 total TD from Collin Klein. But the Heisman front-runner had a season-low 195 total yards in last week's 23-10 win at TCU. Baylor also has an outstanding quarterback in Nick Florence who leads the nation with 395 total yards per game. But Florence also struggled last week, completing just 12-of-33 passes and gaining a season-low 255 total yards. Kansas State (8-1-1 ATS) has won eight of its 10 games this season by 13+ points, with the most recent three wins coming versus teams much better than Baylor -- Texas Tech, Oklahoma State and TCU, which beat the Bears by 28 in Waco. KSU is 8-0 ATS on the road in the past two seasons while Baylor is 3-13 ATS as a home underdog of 7.5 to 14 points since 1992.
KSU is 3-0-1 ATS on the road this season, outscoring visitors 32.2 to 16.0. Despite the poor yardage total, Klein still rushed for two touchdowns in last week's win at TCU, giving him 19 rushing TD for the season, the most among FBS quarterbacks. And although he threw an interception, that pick was just the first one he tossed since the third game of the season, way back on Sept. 15. The Wildcats would like to find another rushing option other than Klein. Junior RB John Hubert started the season with four 100-yard rushing efforts in his first five games, but hasn't reached 80 yards since, gaining just 256 yards on 72 carries (3.6 YPC) over the past five contests. In terms of the passing game, senior WR Chris Harper has done a great job getting open in the past four games with 87 receiving YPG. Considering Baylor allows 321 passing YPG (third-most in FBS), Harper will be a key to this game. KSU is tied with Kent State for the national lead in turnover margin (+20), with a mere three giveaways in the past seven games.
Baylor has lost five of the past six games SU, but is 4-2 ATS over this stretch. Before last week, Florence had thrown for at least 289 yards and 2 TD in every game this season, but was held to 172 yards and no passing touchdowns in the 42-34 loss at Oklahoma. But that shouldn't stop him from throwing the football, especially with Kansas State ranked 80th in the nation in passing defense (251 passing YPG). Florence also has a superstar receiver at his disposal in Terrance Williams, whose 159 receiving yards per game leads the nation. However, Williams had just one catch for nine yards in last year's meeting with KSU. Despite Florence's struggles through the air last week, he did do nice job rushing the football, picking up 83 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries. Sophomore RB Lache Seastrunk was even better with 91 yards and 3 TD on the same amount of rushing attempts. His success in the past two weeks (32 carries, 194 yards, 6.1 YPC) has helped the Bears protect the football better, as they have not turned the ball over in two straight games, a huge improvement from the 12 giveaways over their previous three games. Defensively, Baylor has allowed the most yards in the entire nation at 520 YPG.
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