Thoughts From CollegeFootballNews On MSU v Oregon in Redbox Bowl

Thoughts From CollegeFootballNews On MSU v Oregon in Redbox Bowl

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Thoughts From CollegeFootballNews On MSU v Oregon in Redbox Bowl

Michigan State (7-5) will square off against the Oregon Ducks (8-4) in the Redbox Bowl on December 31st at 3p et at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, CA.  It’s never too early to check in on the thoughts of the game from The Experts out there.

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Now that the bowl matchups are all set, The Experts out there are busy letting their expertise be known.

While the Redbox Bowl “brand” won’t win any awards for nostalgic reverence or honor, the actual matchup between Michigan State and Oregon is an interesting one, at the very least.

In his first year as the head coach in Eugene, Mario Cristobal appears to have stabilized the Oregon program after a wobbly period that came after the Ducks had spent the better part of a decade among the nation’s elite programs.

Cristobal took over after Willie Taggart bolted for Florida State after one year in Eugene that ended with the Ducks having gone a disappointing 7-6.

That 7-6 finish came after Mark Helfrich was dismissed after a 4-8 finish in 2016.

And now, it looks like Cristobal has righted the ship having gone 8-4 this season.

The 2018 Oregon offense is led by Mel Kiper’s #1 quarterback prospect for the 2019 NFL Draft in 6’6″, 233 pound superstar Justin Herbert.

Herbert finished the 2018 regular season having completed 221 of 371 passes – good for a 59.6 completion percentage – and piled up 2985 yards of offense through the air.

He threw 28 touchdowns over 12 games – and he had only 8 interceptions.

His quarterback rating is 147.7.

And Herbert will have to prepare for Michigan State’s defense, one of the nation’s most ferocious, toughest, and best units.

In order to get a victory that would be a huge boost for the Spartan football program, Michigan State will have to bring its A-game offensively, of course.

Will Michigan State’s Brian Lewerke be healthy enough to start against Oregon?

If so, will he be healthy enough to be the Brian Lewerke that finished last season with a glowing performance in the Spartans’ 42-17 win over Washington State in the Holiday Bowl?

After losing his first four bowl games as the Spartan head coach, Mark Dantonio has been 5-1 in the Spartans’ last six bowl games with the lone loss coming against Alabama (38-0) at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic in the College Football Playoff Semifinal following the 2015 season.

Dantonio has shown he can prepare his team for any opponent with impressive victories over Georgia, TCU, Stanford, Baylor, and Washington State.

What are some of the early thoughts from The Experts out there about this Redbox Bowl matchup between the Spartans and the Ducks?

Let’s start with what they’re saying at CollegeFootballNews.com –

Redbox Bowl

Monday, December 31
3:00, FOX, Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, CA 
Michigan State vs. Oregon

Knee-Jerk Instant Analysis: Michigan State is excellent in bowl games lately under Mark Dantonio, and Oregon has lost its last three. Okay, one of them was the national championship, but this Duck team will have to be ready for a defense that won’t allow a thing. It won’t be a thing of beauty, but it’ll be Dantonio with a month to prepare.

First Thought Prediction: Michigan State 20, Oregon 17
First Thought Line Guess: Michigan State -1
Actual Initial Line: Oregon State -1.5

And here’s a link to CollegeFootballNews.com’s overall very early, quick look at the entire bowl lineup with snapshots, lines, and “knee jerk reaction” predictions –

College Football Playoff & Bowl Game First Predictions, Lines

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