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Jason says: Virginia has a defense, but it won't be enough

Seemingly, a team coming off a 4-8 season and scoring a mere 19 points in its opening game wouldn't have a chance to beat mighty Oregon, would it?

Well, probably not, but the Ducks' game at Virginia (12:30 p.m. PT Saturday, Scott Stadium, Charlottesville, Va.) figures to be pretty interesting. The Cavaliers have a decent defense — it gave up only 16 points in a 19-16 opening win against BYU — and a home crowd behind them to try to knock off the Ducks.

"I think (Oregon) can be contained," says Henry Coley, the Cavs' middle linebacker, comparing the Ducks to NBA prolific scorer Kevin Durant in adding, "You know Kevin Durant's going to go out and get 30 points every night, regardless, but are you going to let him get 45? That's the question."

The Ducks are favored against coach Mike London's team by more than three touchdowns.

"That's what college football is all about," he says. "Having the opportunities to play on those days that a lot of people say that you can't win. A lot of people said we wouldn't be able to beat BYU. ... We've got to bring energy and passion because we know [Oregon is] an excellent football team. But instead of asking why, we ask why not?"

Oregon coach Mark Helfrich says Virginia's defense stands out.

"Really good," he says. "They dominated on the defensive side of the ball against BYU, and that doesn't happen very much. They had maybe 55 yards come on a Hail Mary, other than that it was about 250 total yards (for BYU).

"Their front is big, physical and athletic. They'll really good up the middle" with Coley and safety Anthony Harris. "They're very good, athletic with speed. It's a completely different test (than versus Nicholls State last week)."

Oregon has never played in an Atlantic Coast Conference stadium, and Virginia will be only its second game ever against an ACC team (Wake Forest, Seattle Bowl, 2002).

It should be a test for the Ducks, but all signs point to Oregon being able to get through an upset bid. The Cavs might play good defense, but they gained only 223 yards from the line of scrimmage against BYU — QB David Watford went 18 for 32 for 114 yards, with a TD and interception, and running back Kevin Parks had 20 carries for 65 yards and a TD. That kind of production won't be nearly enough to beat the Ducks, unless the visiting team absolutely implodes with turnovers and mistakes — or a key injury or two occur.

The Ducks put up 772 yards and 66 points last week against Nicholls State, a very weak team. Don't expect such epic numbers against Virginia, but the Ducks should win handily. A tougher game will come Sept. 14 at Autzen Stadium against Tennessee.

THE PICK: Oregon 41, Virginia 13