In their first two games, the No. 2 Oregon Ducks have more than doubled their opponent’s total yardage, and put up an impressive 125 points. But their high-octane offense will be put to the test against a pesky Tennessee squad on Saturday afternoon at Autzen Stadium.
Both teams have started 2-0, with the Volunteers coming off a 52-20 blowout over Western Kentucky. Senior running back Rajion Neal rushed for 74 yards and three touchdowns, and Marlin Lane gained another 97 yards and a score in the victory.
Junior quarterback Justin Worley went 11-for-19 for 142 yards, with a score and a pick, and the Tennessee defense forced five Hilltopper turnovers, including back-to-back interceptions returned for touchdowns by Justin Coleman and Cameron Sutton in the first quarter.
The Ducks blasted Virginia 59-10 in their first road jaunt last week, led by three touchdowns from running back De’Anthony Thomas, and two touchdown passes from quarterback Marcus Mariota. With 124 yards on 11 carries, it was the first time in Thomas’s college career that he posted back-to-back 100 yard rushing games.
Mariota also rushed for 122 yards, largely from a 71-yard scamper for a touchdown on Oregon’s opening drive.
Like Tennessee, Oregon was able to force four turnovers, with junior corner Dior Mathis making his third career interception.
The Volunteers will have to make do without defensive linemen Maurice Couch, who was declared ineligible for the game by head coach Butch Jones for allegedly receiving improper benefits. The senior totaled four tackles and a sack in two games this year.
The game begins at 3:30 p.m. and will be broadcast by ABC.
Betting Odds: Oregon favored by 28 points.
Over/Under: 72.5 points
Prediction: Oregon 52, Tennessee 10