Each week, The Plain Dealer will track some of the notable performances in Division I college football by players from Northeast Ohio. The biggest challenge is going to be a November 21 date with USC at Autzen.
Even after the mometum swing provided by Addison’s big play, Michigan State was the better team in the third. He missed the end of that game after being staggered by a late hit.
In addition to intercepting Adams twice, Michigan State also stopped Oregon twice on fourth-and-short and stuffed Oregon on fourth-and-goal from the one-yard line. The Ducks were 14-point favorites for that game, but 2015 is a vastly different story, as Michigan State opened as a pick “em before being steamed all the way up to the price of -3.5. So whether we win 10-9 or 40-39 really makes no difference”. There is no denying the game that in this particular game the Wolverines are favored by 14.5 points, per Odds Shark. “Right now, that’s what we are offensively”. The Horned Frogs had more touchdowns in the first quarter against the Lumberjacks than they did in the entire first game and piled up 627 yards of offense.
Behind a swarming defense and a pair of fantastic freshmen running backs, the fifth-ranked Spartans outlasted No. 7 Oregon 31-28 – but it wasn’t easy. Several factors ranging from location to roster changes are playing a role in the dramatic line adjustment from last September to this year, but here are two key elements to keep in mind: First, Oregon transfer quarterback Vernon Adams was knocked out of last Saturday’s contest against Eastern Washington with what appeared to be a concussion, but was later reported by the team to not be a concussion.
Past year it was Marcus Mariota and the Ducks who were en route to a Heisman Trophy and College Football Playoff berth, respectively. “All I can say for him is that he’s gutting it out just like a lot of guys are gutting other things out”. That’s what we live for and that’s what we practice for year-round. He was all over the map on Saturday, throwing for 309 yards and a touchdown – with an injured finger – but he also struggled at times with handling pressure. Ducks coach Mark Helfrich felt his quarterback played well under the circumstances. And then maybe at the end of the season, this pays dividends and moves you forward, you know when people think and talk about strength of schedule and things of that nature. “Obviously, you try to minimize the clunkers but the turnovers were huge”. Tied at 14 early in the second quarter, Colorado scored 34 unanswered points to turn the game into a rout as it bounced back from a season-opening loss to Hawaii. Troymaine Pope’s 5-yard touchdown run with 5:38 left gave the Gamecocks a 20-13 lead.
Adams almost rallied the Ducks.
But, the Ducks played tough, especially defensively after last week’s six-touchdown debacle against Eastern Washington.
The maligned Oregon defense forced a three-and-out by Michigan State, just after Adams had led the Ducks to a score, a 15-yard TD throw to Byron Marshall that brought them within 31-28.
The Spartans proved to be extremely coachable against the Ducks.
“Our whole team’s going to respond well”, Frost said.
The match up could very well be one with two Top 10 teams and the first of two between the Ducks and the Trojans. Yes, the team had their chance to come away with the victory but one play does not make or break a game. Middle Tennessee outgained Alabama 120 to 66 in total offense in the first quarter and the Tide defense allowed the Raiders to march up and down the field.