Each week Tores Online college football wrter Jake Faigus will preview a big games that we don't get to in Aaron Torres' weekly picks.
Today, that game is BYU-Oregon, a Top 25 matchup where both teams have a lot to prove: Can Oregon bounce back from that dreadful loss Georgia? And can BYU, a week after defeating Baylor, keep winning enough games, to start to make a compelling argument for the College Football playoff?
Let's get to the preview, with all odds provided by Betfred Sportsbook:
No. 12 BYU at No. 25 Oregon - Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC
Odds: Oregon (-3.5)
BYU comes into this game ranked No. 12 and is coming off a very emotional and tough win against Baylor last week that took two overtimes. Oregon got back on track a little bit after getting blown out in Week 1 to Georgia, when they scored 70 points last week against Eastern Washington. This will be a very interesting game for both teams, and could help BYU, especially, stay in the College Football Playoff discussion.
Oregon comes into this game as a 3.5-point favorite and is -175 on the moneyline in the BetFred SportsBook. To be honest I think this essentially a pick’em, but because Oregon is the home team, they are the slight favorite. The over/under also is at 58, which makes sense because both offenses had good games last week. Bo Nix and the Oregon offense need to find some consistency though and show they can play well against an opponent that isn’t in the FCS, while BYU could have some trouble if both, Puka Nacua and Gunner Romney still aren’t healthy.
My pick here is Oregon -3.5-points. Maybe it’s wrong of me to believe in Bo Nix considering how inconsistent he’s been in his college career, but I still believe in Oregon to an extent this year, and I believe in Oregon at home because Autzen Stadium is one of the craziest environments in all of college football. The uncertainty of BYU’s wide receivers is worrisome because the Cougars needed two overtimes last week without them to get a win at home and now that they must go on the road to a very hostile environment and potentially might be without them. I really like BYU this year, and Jaren Hall is one of the better quarterbacks in the country this year, but I just think there’s a lot going against BYU here in this spot, so go with the Ducks in this spot.
The biggest key to this game is Bo Nix against the BYU defense. Bo Nix came out and looked awful in his first game at Oregon against Georgia, a team he knows very well, but then rebounded last week against Eastern Washington from the FCS, so this week we should get the Bo Nix that is most likely going to be somewhere in the middle and will be where he’s at the rest of the year. The BYU passing defense hasn’t been tested a ton yet with Gerry Bohanon and Blake Shapen both throwing under 200 yards, so it’s fair to wonder how much the Oregon offense will try and throw it with Bo Nix. Nix threw five touchdowns last week so expect him to try and keep some momentum going against the Cougars. This matchup will most likely decide the game just because Bo Nix can be such a lightning rod. My thoughts on the matchup are that Bo Nix will get the better of the BYU defense more often than not because I have less confidence in the quarterbacks BYU has faced so far as compared to Bo Nix, which says a lot, but I’m sticking by this prediction.
The Pick: Oregon (-3.5)
Follow Jake Faigus on Twitter - @Jake_Faigus