Photo by Allan Johnstone
Oregon Football

Early Preview: San Jose State

July 6, 2018
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The Ducks’ game versus the San Jose State Spartans is the last of three straight nonconference home games at the start of the season. It is also the last of the all-but-guaranteed wins before the Ducks play Stanford.

So with that in mind, let's get into the game.

Gameday: Sept. 15

Kickoff: 2 p.m.

Prediction: 52-24 Oregon


Offense 

Comparing these two offenses really is not fair to San Jose State. The Spartans haven’t beaten a Power 5 team since 2006, when they upset Stanford 35-34. San Jose had a really rough season last year, going 2-11, at one point losing 10 in a row.

Some good news for the Spartans is that they have nine players returning on offense, as well as depth at QB, RB and WR. I ended up giving the Spartans 24 points because this is the third game the Ducks will have played against a lesser opponent, and I can see the Ducks getting a little sloppy; I also gave San Jose some points when the second unit comes in for Oregon.

But again, these Mountain West players won’t hold a candle to the caliber of players that Oregon has on offense. This is the last game before Oregon’s schedule gets real, so hopefully Justin Herbert, Tony Brooks-James, Tabari Hines and the rest of the Oregon offense get out the last of their early season jitters in this game before Stanford.

Defense 

The Spartans defense is bad, really bad. Last season they allowed on average 499 yards and 42 points a game.

The only good thing that the Spartans’ defense has going for them is youth and depth, but that won’t do much to stop Herbert and Company. On the other side, I don’t think that San Jose’s offense will be able to do much against the Oregon starters on defense.

As I mentioned in my last preview, this game is especially crucial for the defensive line -- and really the whole defense -- to get some more full speed practice before they face off against Stanford, whose offense will be no joking matter.

X-factor

The X-factor for this game is Oregon’s second unit on both sides of the ball. Like the two games before this, I expect this one to be over by halftime, letting the second unit get some important on-field experience.

At halftime, I expect the Ducks to be up by 20 or 30 points. Whether the Ducks hit my projected score and keep or expand on their lead will be in the hands of the second and third units. I have faith that the subs will be able to keep the pressure on the Spartans and even put a few more points on the board.

Tags: Football, Oregon
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