Handicapping Huskers vs. Ducks
Photo Credit: Aaron Babcock

Handicapping Huskers vs. Ducks

September 08, 2017

All week long we've brought you some of the Oregon perspective courtesy of Justin Hopkins of ScoopDuck.com. There's one more piece to the puzzle – a prediction.

Here's Justin's breakdown of the game:

Despite the onslaught of nearly 10,000 Nebraska fans, (which is pretty impressive) this is still a home game for Oregon. The routine, the comforts of home, no jet lag and most of all, you're still in Autzen Stadium. As rowdy and fired up as Nebraska fans will be, it's still not like playing in Lincoln.

I've said before and I will repeat, I think this is a good matchup for Oregon style-wise. Nebraska is bigger and stronger than Southern Utah, but clearly had trouble stopping the run against Arkansas State, which is one of the strengths of this Oregon team. Unless Bob Diaco has an ace up his sleeve, that's going to be a problem for the Huskers.

This will be a competitive game. It will be a good test for both squads. But I just see Oregon being able to build up a bit of an early (first half) lead that pushes Nebraska out of its comfort zone. The Huskers will feel some pressure to start throwing the ball more, getting out of its run-first rhythm, allowing Oregon to pull away. The one way Nebraska will be able to stay in this game is either Oregon turns the ball over, or has another 10-plus penalties. (Had 12 against SUU.)

Oregon wins 37-24.

And here's a quick version of how I see things playing out:

After a strange game of cat-and-mouse in week one, we'll really see if Bob Diaco's new-look Blackshirts are ready to do the one thing Diaco's defenses have traditionally done best – limit the big play.

Make that two things, actually, because I think the Huskers will have to do both to come out of Eugene with a win. The Ducks are going to hit for some explosive gains, but if Nebraska can keep that number at four or five the game might come down to my other big key – scoring opportunities. Every Oregon field goal should be considered a win for Nebraska. This an area where the Huskers actually performed well last week, and historically it's one of Diaco's strengths.

On offense the yards will be harder to come by than they were a year ago, but I think the Huskers will be able to move the ball well enough with steadier quarterback play overall making up for the big running plays Tommy Armstrong Jr. had in 2016. The game is going to be decided by what each team does inside the opponent's 40. I think the Huskers' offense can be pretty good there, and I think the defense will do just enough.

Nebraska wins 34-30.

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