Oregon-Arizona St Preview Capsule

Associated Press Published: October 17, 2012
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No. 2 Oregon (6-0, 3-0 Pac-12) at Arizona State (5-1, 3-0), 9 p.m. (ESPN)

Line: Oregon by 9 1/2.

Series record: Tied 16-all.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

Oregon went unchallenged through its first six games, the closest a 17-point win over Fresno State. The Ducks face their first real road test after playing five home games and one in Seattle against Washington State. Arizona State is off to a somewhat unexpected start under coach Todd Graham, leading the Pac-12 South, and gets a true gauge of how good it can be against one of the nation's best teams.

KEY MATCHUP

Oregon's ground game vs. Arizona State's run defense. The Ducks have two of the country's most dynamic running backs in Kenjon Barner and De'Anthony Thomas, and are fourth nationally with just over 302 yards rushing per game. The Sun Devils have gotten off to a good start behind their defense, ranking first in the Pac-12 and fifth nationally in total defense, allowing 272.7 yards per game. Something has to give.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Oregon: QB Marcus Mariota. The first freshman to start a season at quarterback for the Ducks since 1991, Mariota has been solid, completing 68 percent of his passes for 1,301 yards and 15 TDs with five interceptions. He will face an environment unlike anything he's seen at Sun Devil Stadium, which is expected to be sold out and blacked out with everyone in the stands wearing black T-shirts.

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