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CFN Prediction - Missouri St at Oregon
Posted Sep 15, 2011

Week 3 CFN Fearless Prediction & Game Story - Missouri St at Oregon

2011 Predictions & Game Story 

Week 3 - Missouri St at Oregon

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Missouri State (0-2) at Oregon (1-1) Sept. 17, 3:30

Here’s The Deal … Oregon wanted to make sure that an opening night loss to LSU in Arlington, Tex. didn’t banish the program too far off the national radar. Poor Nevada. The Ducks took out all of its frustration on the Wolf Pack, pounding it mercilessly, 69-20. Piece by piece, Chip Kelly’s kids are determined to regroup from Week 1, with an eye on a third conference title in-a-row. With the start of the Pac-12 schedule just a week away, Oregon is looking for more than just a victory this Saturday afternoon.

Missouri State will be traveling from Springfield to Eugene to pick up a hefty paycheck and an even bigger beating. The Bears, who have never faced Oregon, are in an 0-2 hole courtesy of losses to Arkansas and Eastern Kentucky. The school is trying to avoid the Missouri Valley Football Conference cellar, which is where it was projected in the preseason.

Why Missouri State Might Win: Despite losing to EKU, 28-24, a week ago, it wasn’t a completely lost weekend for the Bears. The offense impressed, balancing more than 400 yards, scoring three touchdowns and converting half of its third down attempts. QB Trevor Wooden was the catalyst, throwing for 262 yards, rushing for 71 more and accounting for three touchdowns. The sophomore, who didn’t even play in the opener versus the Razorbacks, hooked up six times with big-play WR Jermaine Saffold for 126 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Why Oregon Might Win: Well, obviously there’s nothing wrong with the Ducks offense that can’t be solved by simply avoiding SEC teams. It was at peak performance in Week 2, producing six Darron Thomas touchdown passes and 272 evenly distributed yards on the ground. Even with LaMichael James playing the role of the feature back, it’s not premature to start getting really excited about true freshman athlete De’Anthony Thomas. The electrifying rookie playmaker had a 62-yard run, a 69-yard reception and his second and third career touchdowns. Oregon houses far too many weapons for most Pac-12 defenses, let alone one from the Missouri Valley Conference.

What To Watch Out For: In an otherwise meaningless afternoon of one-sided football, Oregon will make news with the 2011 debut of suspended CB Cliff Harris. While the program won’t need him to win on this day, it will require his services over the next three months. The game-changing athlete was more than just an all-star ball-hawk a year ago. He also returned four punts for touchdowns, completely altering the way opponents handled their special teams. Getting him in game shape is one of the sub plots for Kelly and the rest of the Ducks coaching staff.

What Will Happen: Get the body bags ready. There’ll be plenty of casualties at Autzen Stadium this weekend. Oregon will ring up video game-like numbers from a cross-section of different players. While no one player will post monster numbers, at least seven Ducks will reach the end zone, and bursts of 25 yards or more will be commonplace. Of greater importance, Oregon will want to use Missouri State to fine-tune the offensive line and defense, including getting Harris back into the swings of things. A trip to Tucson is up next, and the Ducks are deadly about remaining the Pac-12 powerbrokers.

CFN Prediction: Oregon 72 … Missouri State 10
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