(Originally Published Friday, January 16, 2015)
Thanks to a brand new hard drive being installed in my computer, I am finally able to post again! It’s been quite a while, but let’s fast forward to this week’s College Football Playoff between the Oregon Ducks and Ohio State Bucks. Yes, one of the rather amusing aspects of this game was the chants: “Let’s go bucks!” “Ducks!” “Bucks!”
Going into the game, Vegas had a 6 over for Oregon. Basically, the Ohio State University was supposed to lose by a few TDs. Yeah, ok. Pretty much just the state of Ohio had any confidence in the Buckeyes. For years the B1G has been crapped on by the media for being a mediocre conference. The only good thing, they say, about the B1G is their basketball teams. Ohio State ranks at the top of the football poop pile in the media’s eyes. Why? Because they’re cocky enough to be the only school to refer to itself as “THE Ohio State University”. Realistically, though, the SEC has been touted as the number one conference for so long that the B1G was left in the dust years ago and Ohio State as the frontrunner of the “crap teams”.
Times have a’changed. The Ohio State University won the inaugural College Championship Playoff game. A new era has begun in which a fair, 4 game playoff determines the top 2 teams in the nation. Ohio State came into the game with their 3rd string quarterback after losing their Heisman Candidate, Braxton Miller, pre-season and their second string QB, JT Barrett–also a Heisman Candidate–later in the season.
Cardale Jones is somewhat of a fairytale story. In November 2014, his daughter was born. The whole Buckeye family–staff and players–noticed a nearly overnight transformation. He became more focused and an even harder worker. A little more than 3 weeks later, he was thrust into the spotlight of the scarlet and gray ocean. Many people felt that OSU’s chances of getting into the playoff were a dream of yesterday. Play by play, throw by throw, Jones clawed to the top of the media spotlight–where had this kid come from? Suddenly, ESPN was commenting on the depth of the Buckeye team. “As we all know, Ohio State is well-known for their recruiting.”.Just a few days prior to the Cotton Bowl against Alabama, the media was still singing the same old “No Bucks” tune. Minutes after they secured a spot in College Football history, commentators quickly changed to a “Go Bucks!” attitude.
In the following week-and-a-half, the football world was on fire. An inexperienced quarterback was to face off against the most recent Heisman Trophy recipient. Marcus Mariota is known as a very poised, intelligent QB. Cardale Jones, on the other hand, is known as the new kid on the block–he hasn’t played more than 2 full games!
Ohio State was portrayed as a slow, methodical team, much like the days of old. The biggest problem would be the response to Oregon’s quickness and time between plays. The Pac12 is known as a fast-paced conference–something OSU rarely saw. Not often mentioned is that with quickness comes a different type of defense. A defense that is not a balls-to-the-wall constant grind like Ohio State’s. As the game progressed, it became apparent that Oregon had never experienced a defense that kept working their line. Linemen left the game to catch their breath–a sight not often seen on the Pac12 field.
Ohio State had 4 turnovers throughout the game…but not one resulted in a TD for Oregon. Ohio State’s Red Zone defense was an incredible force to be reckoned with. Oregon was most successful when a long pass was executed, rather than a short screen pass. Just minutes after a 70 yard TD pass to Byron, OSU turned over the ball, but Oregon was only able to kick a field goal. This put Oregon just 1 point behind the Buckeyes at 21-20. From this point on, the Ducks fell apart.
In the end, Ohio State’s Running Back, Ezekiel Elliot ran for 246 yards and annihilated the Duck’s defense. His three TDs, as well as Cardale Jones 1 run TD and 1 pass TD propelled the Buckeyes to the win!
While the Ducks may have fallen apart in the 2nd half, Marcus Mariota had an incredible game. The junior threw for a whopping 333 yards and 2 TDs. It was apparent, however, that he was rattled when Bosa came in for a big sack on Oregon’s QB. The game came to a close with an interception thrown by Oregon.
Overall, the two best teams in the country came out and played out of their shorts. While the Ducks faltered, the Bucks pulled through and proved their power-house status once again. Bring on 2015 Football, boys. I can’t wait to see what surprises you have up your sleeve!