TEMPE, Ariz. – With a Pac-12 North title already sewed up and still in prime position to make a run at one of the four College Football Playoff spots, the Oregon Ducks play their final road game of the season Saturday afternoon at Arizona State. The Ducks, who remained at No. 6 in this week's CFP rankings, have won nine consecutive Pac-12 contests.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, ABC LINE: Oregon -14.5
The Sun Devils have lost four straight since a 38-34 home win over Washington State on Oct. 12 including a 35-34 loss at Oregon State last Saturday. But ASU won at Michigan State, 10-7, earlier this season and employs the kind of blitzing defense that can be disruptive to opposing offenses, rolling up 58 tackles for loss. "They force you to make plays," Oregon coach Mario Cristobal said. "They're not going to hand over easy plays. They put a lot of pressure on the quarterback, they create a lot of negative plays." The Ducks come in off a 34-6 home win over Arizona, jumping out to a 28-6 lead midway through the third quarter and finishing with a 471-240 edge in total yards.
ABOUT OREGON (9-1, 7-0 Pac-12)
Strong-armed senior quarterback Justin Herbert is in the conversation for being the top pick of next spring’s NFL Draft, having completed 220-of-316 passes for 2,662 yards, 28 touchdowns and just three interceptions. Sophomore CJ Verdell is on pace for his second consecutive 1,000-yard rushing campaign with 814 yards on 129 carries (6.3 average) and five TDs while junior Jaylon Redd leads a deep group of receivers with 42 catches for 296 yards and seven TDs. Oregon’s defense is allowing just 14.8 points and 306.1 yards per game and is led by senior inside linebacker Troy Dye, who has a team-high 50 tackles, and defensive backs Jevon Holland and Verone McKinley III, who both have four interceptions.
ABOUT ARIZONA STATE (5-5, 2-5)
Freshman quarterback Jayden Daniels ranks second in the Pac-12 with an average of 275.9 yards of total offense per game and needs just 38 passing yards to surpass Rudy Capenter’s freshman school record of 2,273 yards. Junior running back Eno Benjamin, who rushed for 1,642 yards en route to first team All-Pac-12 honors a year ago, has rushed for 801 yards and eight TDs on 188 carries this season and is also second on the team in receiving with 34 receptions for 279 yards and two more scores. The defense, which has allowed just one fourth-quarter touchdown in its last seven games, is led by by linebackers Darien Butler (71 tackles, five tackles for loss) and Merlin Robertson (134 tackles, 5.5 sacks in 22 career games).
1. Oregon leads the series with Arizona State, 20-17, and has won 11 of the past 12 meetings.
2. Arizona State is trying to avoid its first five-game losing streak since 2016.
3. Herbert needs 268 passing yards to join 2014 Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota as the only players in Oregon history with 10,000 career passing yards.
PREDICTION: Oregon 28, Arizona State 16