In collaboration with M!KEDROPSPORTS

Redbox Bowl

Michigan State Spartans (7-5) vs Oregon Ducks (8-4)

Date: Monday, December 31st

Location: Levi’s Stadium in San Francisco, CA

Bowl history

Originated: 2002 (2018 is first year of Redbox)

Previous names: San Francisco Bowl (2002-2003), Emerald Bowl (2004-2009), Kraft Fight Hunger (2010-2013), Foster Farms (2014-2017)

History of Conferences: PAC-12 and Big Ten each went 2-2 in the Foster Farms Bowl, alternating wins and losses from 2013-2017.

Last year’s result: Purdue beat Arizona 38-35

Oregon bowl history

Oregon is 13-17 all-time in bowl games. Since the start of the Chip Kelly era in 2009, the Ducks are 4-5. The Redbox Bowl with Michigan State will be their first bowl game versus a Big Ten team since the 2015 National Championship, when they lost to Ohio State. Beginning with that game, the Ducks have lost their last three bowls, including last year to Boise State in the Las Vegas Bowl. Mario Cristobol went 1-1 in bowl games at FIU and is looking for his first postseason win with the Ducks.

Michigan State bowl history   

Like Oregon, Michigan State is under .500 all-time in bowl games at 12-15. They are 5-5 since Mark Dantonio took over in 2007. The Spartans lost their first four bowl games, won the next four and have alternated a loss and win in their last two. They beat Washington State last year in the Holiday Bowl and lost in 2015 in the CFB Playoffs in the Cotton Bowl to Alabama. Michigan State has won their last two bowls against PAC-12 teams.

Series history

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These two teams have scheduled a home-and-home series with each other on three separate occasions, playing six total games with each school winning three, each win coming at home. They played in 1979-80,1998-99, and most recently in 2014-15, with Michigan State winning the last game 31-28 in 2015.

Game Notes

Players to watch

Oregon: Justin Herbert, QB

Michigan State: Brian Lewerke, QB

Oregon

The Ducks went 8-4 in Mario Cristobal’s first year as head coach, following one year of Willie Taggart. It was a mixed bag as poor coaching decisions led to an early loss to Stanford but they beat Washington. They lost to Washington State in the Cougars first ever College Gameday experience in Pullman and the Ducks also lost to a bad Arizona team late in the season. They finished strong, winning 3 of their final 4 games.

The Ducks “only” averaged 37 ppg and Cristobal has tried to focus more on ball control and running the ball, as opposed to the quick tempo Oregon is used to.

Michigan State

It was a mixed bag for Michigan State too, who finished 7-5. They beat an 11 win Utah State team in the opener before losing to Arizona State. In conference, they lost to Ohio State and Michigan, but beat Penn State on the road. They beat Purdue, the week after the Boilermakers beat Ohio State by 29 and ended the year with two thuds – losing to Nebraska 9-6 and beating Rutgers 14-10.

While the Spartans defense allowed just 18 ppg, the offense only scored 19 ppg. In their final two losses, they scored just 6 points

Final Analysis 

Despite the eight and seven wins, respectively for Oregon and Michigan State, this is a season defined by missed opportunities. The Redbox Bowl provides the chance for one of these teams to begin building momentum for 2019.

For more college football talk, you can follow me at M!KEDROPSPORTS, on twitter @msschneid or instagram @mikedropsports

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