League : NCAAF

IOWA STATE vs Oregon Prediction & Preview


Image licensed from USA Today Sports

In a matchup of a pair of Top 25 teams, the 25th-ranked Oregon Ducks take on the 10th-ranked Iowa State Cyclones in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Arizona on January 2. The Ducks are coming off a Pac-12 Championship in which they defeated the 13th-ranked USC Trojan by a score of 31-24 last Friday. The Cyclones, meanwhile, lost the Big 12 Championship Game to the Oklahoma Sooners, 27-21, on Saturday, which dropped them from sixth to 10th in the polls.

Oregon is 3-3 against the spread this season, while the over-under is 3-2-1. They covered the spread in the Pac-12 Championship Game, as they were a three-point underdog to USC. Iowa State is 6-5 against the spread this season, and the over-under is 4-6-1. The Cyclones failed to cover the spread in the Big 12 Championship Game, as they were a 5.5-point underdog in their six-point loss.

Ducks win Pac-12 Championship

The Oregon Ducks, who began the season as the 12th-ranked team in the country, broke a two-game losing streak, as they pulled off the upset over the USC Trojans last Friday. The Ducks weren’t even supposed to be in the Championship Game, but they replaced the Washington Huskies after they had to pull out of the game due to a COVID-19 outbreak amongst their team. Oregon lost two games this season by a combined seven points to Oregon State and Cal.


Against the Trojans, the Ducks had a 14-point lead three different times, and each time USC would cut into the lead, but Oregon held on in the end to get the victory. Oregon was outplayed in most statistical categories in the game, but they forced three turnovers in the game, while they committed just one. They were outgained 358-243, including 320-108 in the passing game. Staring quarterback Tyler Shough was not effective for the majority of the game, as he completed just eight of his 15 passes for 91 yards and two touchdowns. Anthony Brown, who hadn’t played all season, was brought into the game to replace Shough a few times, and Brown threw two touchdown passes among the four attempts that he had.

“We were itching to get back to our kind of football, and we did it tonight,” coach Mario Cristobal said on espn.com. “(We) really just came out with an attitude, came out with a purpose and a mission.”

For the season, Shough has completed 62.7% of his passes for 1,480 yards, 13 touchdowns, and five interceptions. Travis Dye leads the team with 391 yards rushing and is averaging 7.0 yards per carry. Jaylon Redd leads the receiving corps with 22 catches, while Devon Williams has a team-leading 264 yards receiving. Oregon is outscoring their opponents by an average of 33.7-27.3 this season. They are averaging 429.7 yards per game, while they are allowing 409.5 yards per game.


Cyclones lose Big 12 title game

The Iowa State Cyclones lost the Big 12 Championship to then-10th ranked Oklahoma on December 19, which broke a five-game winning streak. All three of their losses this season have been to teams that are currently ranked in the Top 25. Iowa State opened the season with a loss to the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns, who are currently 19th in the country, by a score of 31-14. They have also lost to Oklahoma State by three points this season. Iowa State also has two wins against ranked opponents this season, as they have beaten Oklahoma and Texas.


In the Big 12 Championship Game, Iowa State outgained Oklahoma 435-392, but the Sooners scored the first 17 points of the game to put the Cyclones in a big hole that they could not climb out of. Iowa State’s quarterback Brock Purdy completed 67.5% of his passes for 322 yards, one touchdown, and three interceptions. Xavier Hutchinson caught 10 passes for 114 yards in the game, while Breece Hall led the running attack with 79 yards and two touchdowns.

“I hope we just got respect on our name, on this university, to everybody outside of this program that we’re here to stay and we’re always going to play our butts off,” Cyclones receiver Xavier Hutchinson said on espn.com.

Purdy has completed 66.4% of his passes for 2,594 yards, 18 touchdowns, and nine interceptions. Hall has had an excellent year running the ball, gaining 1,4336 yards and scoring 19 touchdowns. Tight end Charlie Kolar has a team-leading six touchdown receptions, while Hutchinson has 60 catches for 726 yards and four touchdowns. Iowa State is averaging 32.8 points per game this season, while they are giving up just 21.8 points per game, which is 29th-best in college football. The Cyclones are averaging 441.1 yards per game, while their opponents are averaging 344.3 yards per game. Iowa State has the 10th-best rushing defense in the country, as they are giving up just 105.9 yards per game on the ground.

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