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ASU Football: First look at Oregon

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The Ducks are tough to beat at home.

NCAA Football: Oregon at Utah Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona State football team has been the ultimate tale of two cities. In six games at Sun Devil Stadium, they won five of those matchups and dominated their opponents in almost every facet.

That hasn’t rung true on the road.

ASU did win their last road game against USC, but will need to win their final two road games to capture the Pac-12 South title.

The Oregon Ducks block that path, with their 5-1 record at Autzen Stadium makes the task look daunting.

Let’s look at what the Ducks bring to the table:

Wounded Ducks

Oregon has lost three of their previous four games, and a slew of injuries across the roster is partially to blame.

The Ducks leading rusher, redshirt freshman CJ Verdell is dealing with a neck injury and is unsure if he’ll be able to play Saturday. Oregon’s starting left tackle, freshman Steven Jones is in concussion protocol and isn’t sure whether he will play against the Sun Devils.

Defensively, Oregon has lost their first and second string linebackers senior Kaulana Apelu and sophomore Sampson Niu testing their depth on defense.

ASU’s offense has been in sync lately, and don’t expect them to deviate from their plan to run the football against Oregon.

A stud quarterback

Junior quarterback Justin Herbert is considered one of the better NFL quarterback prospects of the 2018 class.

Not that it matters much to ASU this week, but nonetheless Herbert is good and could cause some serious problems for a Sun Devil team that won’t have star freshman linebacker Merlin Robertson for the first half.

While Herbert’s accuracy has decreased to a career-low 60 percent in 2018, he’s thrown 25 touchdowns this season and will look to throw the ball down the field.

The Oregon quarterback is also a threat to run, with 62 carries on the season and two touchdowns.

Containing Mitchell

Part of what makes Herbert so successful are the guys he gets to throw to.

Oregon is third in the conference in receiving yards, and is spearheaded by junior Dillon Mitchell.

Mitchell leads the Pac-12 in receiving yards 1,002 yards in the air and has also caught eight touchdowns. He’s a tall receiver at 6’2”, who will be a challenge for Chase Lucas and the rest of the Sun Devil defense to contain.