College Football Preview – Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Oregon Ducks

The Ohio State Buckeyes survived a first half scare in their win over the Minnesota Golden Gophers last week. Ohio State was down going into halftime, but Ryan Day’s team scored 35 second half points to pull out a 45-31 in the Twin Cities last Thursday night. They will look to get off to a better start this week against the Oregon Ducks, and early action is on the Buckeyes in this game.

Ohio State will host Oregon at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio on Saturday, September 11, 2021, at 12 p.m. ET. FOX will broadcast this game as part of its Big Noon Saturday programming.

College Football Betting Odds

Oregon +14.5

Ohio State -14.5

Total 64

We saw why the Buckeyes are the class of the Big Ten last week. After a listless offensive performance in the first half, C.J. Stroud and the ground game couldn’t be stopped in the second half. Stroud did nearly all his damage after halftime with five completions for a whopping 236 yards and four scores in the third and fourth quarter.

Oregon did not look sharp last week against Fresno State. The Ducks actually trailed the Bulldogs at home in the fourth quarter, before a long Anthony Brown touchdown run gave Oregon a 31-24 win. This was the only Pac 12 North team to win in Week 1.

When Ohio State Has the Ball

Stroud is likely going to throw a lot of outside and short passes against Oregon on Saturday. That was Ohio State’s gameplan against Minnesota last week, as the Buckeyes don’t like young quarterbacks testing the middle of the field until they are ready. This could hurt a lot of teams, but the Buckeyes have the best receiving tandem in the Big Ten in Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson.

Ohio State’s ground game is superb too. The Buckeyes averaged 7.7 YPC against the Golden Gophers last week, and there are three excellent runners in Miyan Williams, Master Teague III, and TreVeyon Henderson.

The status of Kayvon Thibodeaux is of enormous importance coming into this Saturday. Thibodeaux was the nation’s top recruit out of high school and is considered the best defensive prospect in the country. The Oregon defensive end suffered a sprained ankle last week and is listed as questionable to play against Ohio State.

When Oregon Has the Ball

Anthony Brown did not look sharp in Oregon’s season opener. The Boston College transfer was not very efficient moving the chains through the air, completing just 15 of 24 passes for 172 yards and a score. He was somewhat effective as a runner with 13 carries for 67 yards once you take out sacks, but that won’t get the job done against Ohio State.

The Ducks have a good one-two punch at running back in C.J. Verdell and Travis Dye. Neither player posted great stats last week, but they could have more success against an Ohio State defense that had a real hard time stopping the run against Minnesota.

Mohamed Ibrahim ran for 163 yards and two scores on this Buckeyes defense before suffering a season-ending injury. That gives Oregon hope they can establish the run against this defense.

Prediction

Oregon isn’t as bad as we saw last week against Fresno State. Mario Cristobal and the Ducks were likely saving some of their gameplan for this Saturday, so they should be able to stay within the number this weekend.

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