- Iowa State and Oregon face off in the Fiesta Bowl on Saturday, January 2nd
- The Ducks are being listed as the underdog despite winning the Pac-12 Championship
- Read below for the odds, spread and betting preview
Iowa State (8-3) and Oregon (4-2) are set to do battle in the Fiesta Bowl at State Farm Stadium on Saturday, January 2nd (4:00 PM). The Cyclones are being listed as 4-point favorites after losing a close game to Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship.
Oregon managed to defeat USC to win a second consecutive Pac-12 title, but it took unique circumstances for them to get there in the first place.
Are the Ducks capable of pulling off another upset?
Iowa State vs Oregon Fiesta Bowl Odds
|No. 25 Oregon Ducks||+4 (-112)||+145||O 57.5 (-110)|
|No. 10 Iowa State Cyclones||-4 (-109)||-180||U 57.5 (-110)|
Odds taken Dec. 31st from DraftKings
Ducks Are Unique Conference Champs
Oregon won a second consecutive Pac-12 title this year, but their road to the trophy was quite unusual. The Ducks had a mediocre 3-2 record during the regular season and originally missed out on making the championship game. Oregon was named the replacement for Pac-12 North winner Washington due to the Huskies having COVID-19 issues.
Oregon put up a strong showing against the Trojans, but their 2020 season has been highlighted by inconsistency. The Ducks’ three victories this season didn’t come in convincing fashion, and they entered the Pac-12 title game having suffered consecutive upset losses to Oregon State and California.
Oregon has a strong running game, but they’re going to be challenged by one of the best rush defenses in the country. It also doesn’t help that top RB CJ Verdell has been dealing with an injury. He didn’t play in the title game and is questionable for the Fiesta Bowl.
Cyclones Enjoying Historic Season
Iowa State enters the Fiesta Bowl on the heels of its best regular season in school history. The Cyclones went 8-3 this year to earn a berth in its biggest bowl game ever. The Cyclones took down Oklahoma and Texas this year before losing a close 21-27 game at the hands of the Sooners in the Big 12 Championship.
— Cyclone Football (@CycloneFB) December 19, 2020
Iowa State is led on offense by two key weapons in dual-threat QB Brock Purdy and RB Breece Hall. Purdy has thrown for 2,594 yards and 18 touchdowns with nine interceptions, while Hall has exploded for 1,436 yards and 19 touchdowns on the ground. They could both be in for a big night against an Oregon rush defense that ranks 58th in the country.
Iowa State’s defense has also been a focal point of their success. The Cyclones are allowing just 21.8 points per game and only 104.6 rushing yards per contest. Junior linebacker Mike Rose was recently named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year after a remarkable campaign that saw him rack up 81 tackles and four interceptions.
What’s the Best Bet?
Oregon may be the Pac-12 champs once again, but this was not a good year for college football’s slumping conference. There was no real contender in the Pac-12 this year, as evidenced by no team ranking within the top-15 of the final CFP rankings.
Oregon is a young team that has showed flashes of brilliance this year, but they’ve mostly just been inconsistent. Their defense is allowing almost 34 points per game and and is a far-cry from the stout unit that propelled the Ducks to the Pac-12 title in 2019.
Down go the Ducks! pic.twitter.com/aBBFtphnDl
— Cal Football (@CalFootball) December 6, 2020
Tyler Shough is a good enough QB to help Oregon score in this game, but I don’t see the Ducks stopping Breece Hall. The sophomore standout has decimated weak defenses this year, and been held to under 90 yards on just one occasion. The last time Oregon faced a good rushing attack was against UCLA, when they were gashed for a whopping 267 yards on the ground.
Matt Campbell has done an exceptional job with the Cyclones this season and should have his squad ready for the big stage. They’ve been the better defensive team this year and have the run game to run rampant over the Ducks. Take the Cyclones to end their historic season with a convincing victory over Oregon.
Pick: Iowa State -4 (-109)
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