We haven’t seen much of the Oregon Ducks this season, but they will be heavily watched at the Fiesta Bowl. Taking on one of the top programs in the nation, the Ducks look to ruin Iowa State’s bid at a historic season for their program. The Cyclones’ 2020 group are among the best Iowa State teams in history but need to perform on Saturday.
NCAA Football Free Picks: Oregon vs. Iowa State
The Fiesta Bowl is known for its stunning experience, but unfortunately, the 2021 edition won't be the same as seasons prior
Still, the Bowl implications are the same as Iowa State and Oregon look to end the college football season on a high note.
This is a huge contest for the Cyclones. This marks the first-ever Fiesta Bowl for the program, as well as it being their first-ever New Year’s Six Bowl appearance.
In program history, the Cyclones are 4-11 lifetime. Their last Bowl victory came in 2017 when they defeated Memphis for the Liberty Bowl.
The Ducks are no strangers to high-profile Bowl games. Last season, the Ducks won the Rose Bowl and have also competed in the Fiesta Bowl recently, as well as the College Football Playoff.
Oregon certainly has found a lot of success in recent seasons, although this season has been a bit of a stinker for usual Oregon expectations. Still, the Ducks are a modest 4-2 on the year, defeating teams like Stanford and Washington State.
As for Iowa State, their 8 wins matches the second-most victories by a Cyclones team. Only the 2000 and 1906 Cyclones (9 wins) have had more victories in a single season.
Focusing on the Fiesta Bowl, I think viewers at home are going to witness a fun, high-scoring affair. Both teams average over 30 points per game.
Iowa State has a solid defensive group, allowing 21.82 points per game in the regular season. However, the Cyclones defense has seen tough opponents like Oklahoma and Oklahoma State score above the average.
The Cyclones’ opposition has scored as many as 34 points and as few as 0 points. Games against Kansas State (0 points), West Virginia (6 points), and Texas Tech (15 points) heavily impacted Iowa`s points against per game.
In the Big 12 Championship game, the Cyclones allowed 27 points to the Sooners, which was the 5th highest point total allowed by Iowa State this season.
Looking at Oregon, I like their offense. The Ducks had no trouble scoring against USC in the Pac-12 Championship game and put-up impressive numbers against Washington State and UCLA.
Oregon’s defense is relatively weak, which leads me to believe that Iowa State will score often and at will. I can`t declare Iowa State`s offense as elite, but they are ranked 38th in the NCAA in points per game (32.8).
I think Iowa State has been solid all season, despite a few losses on their record. Iowa State is on the up in college football and a Fiesta Bowl victory would be the icing on the cake for a solid season.
Oregon will bounce back in 2021, but I think the Cyclones are strong on both sides of the ball and can punish the Ducks.
- Oregon are 2-4 ATS in their last 6 played on a Saturday.
- Oregon’s offense is above league average in passing and rushing.
- Iowa State are 6-3 ATS in last 9.
- Iowa State are 5-1 SU in last 6 games.
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