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College Football Pick: Oregon Ducks at Auburn Tigers

Written by:
Payton
Published on:
Aug/31/2019

Number 11 Oregon is set to square off with number 16 Auburn in one of the premier college football games of the early season in JerryWorld on Saturday night. Auburn come into this game as a -3.5 point favorite for this neutral site game that is clearly much closer to the Tigers than it is the Ducks.

Lots of Stories

The storylines in this one are really fascinating and I think that is why this is the game of the week this week. Obviously the Pac-12 is looking to have a bounce-back season from what was a truly dreadful season last year. Along with that, we have Justin Herbert returning for one last shot at the Heisman Trophy and a college football playoff berth.

The biggest battle of this entire game likely comes down to just how much the Auburn defense can rattle Herbert. Oregon has lost their best receiver in Dillon Mitchell and they have also sustained a few injuries that really leave us guessing as to just how good their production can be. Can Oregon get separation early before the Auburn defensive line gets to Herbert?

 

Auburn Rules on Defense

Auburn has one of the best defensive lines on paper this year and it is headlined by Derrick Brown, who most consider to be the best defensive tackle in college football. In recent years, we have seen the DT spot change and really become a position that is relied upon more often as an elite pass rusher. Brown will be looking to get his hands on another top ten prospects in Herbert early and often.

Ducks Score and Score Quick

The Oregon offensive line is nothing to write home about, but I do think that they are capable of holding up enough to give Herbert a chance to make plays. Last year, we saw Justin take a sizable step back in terms of his completion percentage and I think this will be a key story coming out of the game.

Does Justin Herbert look like an elite NFL prospect by standing tall and delivering elite plays with his arm and his legs to carry the Ducks to the win, or do his mistakes cost him the game?

On the other hand, Auburn is returning most of their offensive linemen and enough skill players that we should know what we are getting with Auburn. However, I don’t think that this is an elite offense by any means. They have a few speedsters on the outside, but no one he emerged as a reliable, go-to guy yet.

The biggest issue is that you lose an NFL draftee at the QB position and replace him with a 5-star freshman. Bo Nix has the tools, but I would be really surprised if he is ready to make big-time plays in game one and I think that Auburn will attempt to not ask him for too much.


 

Pick

This is a really fascinating matchup with two perennial powerhouse programs in college football in recent history and I love that we are going to watch good on good in this one. The Auburn defensive line needs to work really hard to get Herbert off his spot and stop him from making plays to beat them.

Auburn really struggled in the running game last year and now they lose a senior QB for a freshman. I expect Auburn’s offense to look really raw and I think Oregon has enough raw talent and experience on the defensive side of the ball to hold them in check. Can Herbert limit turnovers and keep Auburn away from great field positioning?

The key to the game here is that Justin Herbert is an elite QB that has marked this game on his calendar for a long time. Bo Nix is still working on picking up the Auburn playbook. I think Herbert knows this is his big chance to make an early Heisman and draft statement and he plays well enough to win this game outright and cover the +3.5 spread. Take the Ducks and the points at our top pay per head bookie location!

 

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