On January 12th, the first ever College Football Playoffs will come to an end. The Oregon Ducks, led by the 2014 Heisman winner Marcus Mariota, will face off against the Ohio State Buckeyes.
The Oregon Ducks are coming off of a 59-20 win over the third best team in the country, Florida State. They shocked the college football world by blowing out the Florida State Seminoles. The key to the Oregon Ducks’ success lies in their high paced offense, led by Heisman trophy winner, Marcus Mariota. Mariota has been absolutely sensational this season, throwing for 4,121 yards and 40 touchdowns. Also, he hardly turns the ball over, throwing only three interceptions. Another reason why Marcus Mariota is the key to the Ducks offense is the ability of his passing game to open up the run game. He has rushed for 669 yards and 14 touchdowns this season. His teammate Royce Freeman has also been a force on the ground, rushing for 1,299 yards and 16 touchdowns.
This season Oregon was ranked 11th in passing yards, 21st in rushing yards and 3rd in scoring. They average 46.3 points per game and only allows 22.5 points per game. With this team being so good, will the Ohio State Buckeyes be able to compete? I believe so. The Ohio State Buckeyes just came off of a huge upset win over the number one team in the nation: Alabama. This win showed a lot about Ohio State, lots of critics were saying that they should not have even made it into the College Football Playoffs. The Ohio State offense was led by J.T. Barrett, until he injured his ankle and went out for the season. Since his injury, third string quarterback, Cardale Jones, has played very well. He led the Ohio State Buckeyes to a victory over the 13th ranked Wisconsin Badgers, to win the Big Ten title. He also led them to a victory against the number one team in the nation, Alabama, in only his second start. The Ohio State offense has been impressive this year averaging 45.2 points per game, and only allowing 21.2 points per game.
This Ohio State team runs a balanced offense, with a steady passing game and running game. Ezekiel Elliott leads the team in rushing, with an amazing 1632 yards this season, and 14 touchdowns. In the game against Alabama, Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 230 yards and 2 touchdowns. This is impressive because Alabama has the 3rd best rush defense in the nation. If Ezekiel Elliott and the Ohio Buckeyes’ rushing attack is effective, Oregon will have a hard time slowing them down.
I’m picking the Oregon Ducks to win. Their offense has been so explosive and their defense is solid, ranking 29th in the country. I am not sure Cardale Jones has the magic to beat the second ranked team in the country, even though he lead the way to a victory over Alabama. The key for the Oregon Ducks is just to play how they have been playing all year, not turning the ball over, and scoring quickly.
Oregon 45, Ohio State 35