No. 25 Oregon (4-2) vs. No. 10 Iowa State (8-3)
When: 1 p.m. PT Jan. 2
Where: State Farm Stadium, Glendale, Ariz.
Betting line: Iowa State by 4.5
TV Channel: ESPN
On air: Radio on 1080 “The Fan” in Portland, KUGN-AM 590 in Eugene
Iowa St and Oregon face off in the Fiesta Bowl on Saturday. This should be a fun, physical battle. Jeff and I will dive in to some details and both make predictions.
Before we get to the game prediction, let’s look at a couple of fun to talk about trivia about the game. Tyler Shough and Brock Purdy both hail from the State of Arizona. The two quarterbacks faced each other four times in the Arizona High School State Playoffs. Purdy came out on top each time and Shough will look to get his first win in the Fiesta Bowl. Earlier in the week during bowl prep Coach Cristobal said “This ISU team is the best team we’ve played since being here at Oregon”. Lastly Iowa St had four players named to the AP All American team. RB Breece Hall was named to the first team while Linebacker Mike Rose made the second team. TIght End Charlie Kolar and D End Jaquan Bailey were both named to the 3rd team. Oregon DE Kayvon Thibodeaux was the lone Duck named to the 3rd team.
Now for the game. First we should mention that both Oregon and Iowa St want to be physical on both sides of the line of scrimmage, run the football with power and make plays to athletes in space. Our beloved Ducks are gonna have to do a few things if they hope to get the win in Glendale. The most important thing is they have got to limit Hall who averages 130 yards per game, 19 TDs to less then 80 yards of total Offense with only 1 TD and if the Ducks can’t stop the run it will be a long night. Secondly the Oregon QB whoever is making the plays will need to play mistake free and protect the ball. We all know Shough will start the game with a few goal line/short yardage packages for Anthony Brown. Can Shough push the ball down field to the likes of Devon Williams and Johnny Johnson who also hails from Arizona. My last key will be win the turnover battle with the Cyclones. More then just win that battle the Ducks will need to keep Purdy in check and make them pay with quick change scores.
My heart says Ducks, my head says the Cyclones but I am a ride or die with my Ducks and they to enough to win 35-31. Go Ducks. Win another NY6 game and solidify themselves as the cream of the crop out west.
Iowa St and Oregon are really similar teams. Both like to play physical and rely on running the ball. ISU's Breece Hall leads the country in rushing with 1436 yards. Hall should be the major focus of Oregon's Defense. Secondly, they have to contain QB Brock Purdy's athleticism and limit TE Charlie Kolar's and WR Xavier Hutchinson's touches.
Defensively, ISU is ranked 30th nationwide and one of the Big12's best. Tyler Shough and possibly Anthony Brown will have to be on their A game. CJ Verdell, if healthy, and Travis Dye will have to have very good games as well. It looks like both teams should be relatively healthy and don't have any major opt outs since the end of the regular season.
A couple of interesting notes entering the game are, Oregon is 4-2 against the Big12 in bowl games and Mario Cristobal will have played in or coached in every NY6 bowl game. This will be ISU's first NY6 bowl game ever.
According to MC, ISU will be the best team Oregon faces, but I think the Ducks pull it out. Oregon wins 24-20.