The seventh-ranked Michigan State University Spartans have had all sorts of pressure leading into their 6:30 EST / 3:30 PST showdown with the third-ranked Oregon Ducks football in Autzen Stadium. Big Ten vs Pac 12 is one storyline, but far more interesting is Michigan State’s top-ranked defense going against Oregon’s top-ranked offense.
In our book that’s the biggest thing to watch for as you watch Michigan State vs Oregon Ducks football online free or via the live TV broadcast on FOX.
Today’s Spartans / Ducks game marks the fifth time the Michigan State and Oregon Ducks football programs have faced off. So far the teams have split the series 2-2, with the home team winning each game.
That history certainly seems to favor the Oregon Ducks in today’s Michigan State game, with things scheduled to kick off from Eugene, Oregon, at 3:30pm local time in 90-degree weather. But history isn’t the primary reason the Ducks are favored by 12 points against the reigning Rose Bowl champions.
The No. 7 Michigan State University Spartans have one of FBS football’s best defenses. They ended the 2013-14 season tied for first in the country in yards allowed per game, and they have returned most of their pieces from last year’s defense. In fact, had the Spartans not been victimized by some questionable pass interference calls they may have played Florida State for the national championship.
The Michigan State University Spartans also have offensive strengths. Last week in the Spartans’ season opener, quarterback Connor Cook completed 12 of 13 passes for 285 yards and three touchdowns in the 30 minutes of action, in spite of playing most of those minutes with an injured knee.
But the third-ranked Oregon Ducks football team has one of the best offenses in the country. And it begins and ends with Heisman contender Marcus Mariota.
Last week against South Dakota, Mariota and the Ducks offense marched their way to a 62-13 season opening win. Five of the Ducks’ touchdown drives in that game lasted 1:45 or less. Mariota finished the game 14-of-20 for 267 yards and four total touchdowns.
It sure looked like he was on track to repeat or even beat his 2013 performance. Mariota finished last season 245-for-386 for 3,665 yards, 31 TDs and an adjusted QBR of 88.
When Mariota wasn’t striking through the air last week, the Oregon Ducks football team pounded the ground. Freshman running back Royce Freeman (6-0, 229 pounds) scored on two of his first three carries. He’ll be joined in today’s Ducks / Spartans game by the super-fast Thomas Tyner (5-10, 214 pounds) and perhaps Byron Marshall (5-10, 207 pounds) in the slot position.
It’s a true offense-versus-defense showdown today, and one worth watching live. You can watch Michigan State vs Oregon Ducks football online free today on the FOX Sports Go website. It’s a bit confusing with ESPN College GameDay broadcasting live from Eugene all day, but ESPN isn’t carrying today’s game, nor are CBS or ABC. Instead, today’s Michigan State vs Oregon Ducks game is a FOX broadcast and a FOX-owned live stream.