ESPN NCAA analyst Mark May believes Thursday’s game between Arizona State and Oregon will be a “beatdown,” predicting the Ducks would win by a score of 55-21.
Fellow ESPN analyst Brock Huard disagrees, at least with the idea that this will not be a close game.
“I don’t see this as an Oregon blowout,” Huard told Arizona Sports 620’s Burns and Gambo Wednesday. “I think it’s going to be a pretty compelling and close game.”
Huard notes that Oregon QB Marcus Mariota will be making his first “true” road start, as his only other game away from the comfort of Autzen Stadium was a neutral site game against Washington State in Seattle.
As such, no one quite knows how the quarterback will respond to playing in a hostile environment when things don’t really go Oregon’s way.
“We’ll see how this kid handles adverse moments because (ASU defensive coordinator) Paul Randolph and (head coach) Todd Graham, they will get after him,” Huard said. “And they’re going to blitz him I think a whole bunch more than other teams have.”
That’s not to say Huard is predicting an Arizona State victory. He knows Oregon is coming to town with as much talent as they’ve ever had, and will be incredibly tough to beat.