Oregon does not have stud RB LaMIchael James in the lineup but does that really matter? Nope. Neither does it matter that Oregon is starting a brand new quarterback Darron Thomas. The Oregon offense is a machine and Chip Kelly has had to replace quarterbacks all the time with injuries the past few years and the team rarely misses a bit, so the offense will be fine.
Thomas was to be the man for Oregon until he got taken out in the Boise State game back in 2008 and neve regained the job when Jeramiah Masoli took over. To get reacquainted with Thomas Addicted To Quack posted a few of his highlights in 2008.
We all know Oregon can score, so what can the New Mexico defense do to attempt to slow them down? Pray and hope for a miracle. The Lobos actually do have some hope with two Illinois defensive line transfers plus four star recruit from Florida who plays defensive tackle. The interior of the Lobo defense should be solid and may slow Oregon down for a little bit as their new quarterback gets his legs beneath him.
Oregon's defense will have the luxury of also taking on a new quarterback in BR Holbrook who was to get some time last year but missed a month due to mono. The receiving corp is weak for New Mexico since their top wide outs have moved on and adding in new wide outs and receivers will allow the Oregon defense with some opportunities to make some plays.
The Oregon defense is underrated due to the offense but an area that New Mexico might be able to take advantage of his on the defensive line. The first team is solid with Brandon Bair and Kenny Rowe, two returning starters coming off honorable mention all-conference seasons. However, the depth is questionable on the Ducks line, and even though the backups are probably very close to the New Mexico starters Oregon may still have a slight edge in that area as well. If New Mexico can control the ball and force the Ducks into using a rotation along the line then New Mexico might be able to get something going.
While the running game is a strength for the Lobos the linebacking corp for the Ducks is their strongest position with two seniors return in starting roles: Casey Matthews in the middle, Spencer Paysinger on the weak side plus the other starters and backups have played significant time.
Oregon should have no problem winning this game since they are a Pac-10 favorite and a BCS title dark horse team, and the only was Oregon loses is if well, there is no way Oregon loses the game. New Mexico would need to have an amazing day on defense and are able to create turnovers and put those into points.
Realistically Oregon wins by three touchdowns, minimum.