Odds presented by: DraftKings Sportsbook
|Oregon Ducks||+14 (-110)
|O 62.5 (-110)
|Ohio State Buckeyes||-14 (-110)
|U 62.5 (-110)
Games in Week 2 of the college football season at noon don’t get much bigger than this. The Big Ten and Pac-12 have both been on the outside looking in at the College Football Playoff before, so each team knows how pivotal a non-conference win like this can be on the resume. Overall, a Ducks team missing its best player taking on the Buckeyes in their home opener just isn’t enough. OSU pulls away in the second half — we like Ohio State to cover the spread.
Even if you’re the mighty Ohio State or the best program west of Texas (Oregon); a slip-up in a long season can happen any time. OSU is used to steamrolling opponents — even if it is one the caliber of a Minnesota — but that didn’t happen on Saturday.
The Buckeyes needed a big second half to turn a deficit into a double-digit lead and before not looking back and securing the 45-31 win.
Oregon, which also had to face a solid opening week one opponent in Fresno State, survived as well but didn’t like the way it had hoped.
The Ducks found themselves in a tie game with just three minutes left before scoring the game-winning touchdown. There were a few reasons for this; one we will get to in a minute and the other can be explained as experience.
The Bulldogs had already had their own “Week 1” so this wasn’t the first time working out the kinks.
It’s probable that both teams were just looking forward (although they’d never publicly admit it) to their Week 2 head-to-head showdown so they didn’t want to show too much of their playbook ahead of time.
However, there’s also the chance that these teams have real holes and each has cause for concern.
In my opinion, this was going to be the most exciting matchup of the day — how Ohio State’s high-flying offense matched up against the projected 2022 top-five pick in Kayvon Thibodeaux and Oregon’s defense.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like that will happen, after Thibodeaux injured his ankle in the second quarter of the opener, returned briefly, and then went back to the sideline. He finished the day in sweats and a walking boot — however, the good news for the Ducks is preliminary exams show it to just be a sprain, though they’re waiting on further testing to be sure.
Either way, he’s not likely to be hats one fewer star for CJ Stroud to worry about. Stroud took a while in the opener but did eventually settle in to have a very nice game: 13-of-22, 294 yards, four touchdowns, and one interception.
Of course, he’s not going to be Justin Fields on day one — and it’s not always going to be possible to have an average of 22+ yards per catch — but Stroud showed he can lead his team to shootout wins.
It helps that he has two future NFL receivers in Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson who combined for nine catches, 197 yards, and three touchdowns. He also has a stable of running backs, who yesterday was led by Mayan Williams, who tallied nine rushes to rack up 125 yards and a touchdown.
That said, Oregon’s rush defense should be able to hang against Ohio State’s rushing offense based on how they looked in the openers.
The Ducks held the Bulldogs to 75 total yards on 30 rushes (2.5 yards per carry) while if you take away Ohio State’s home run rush, they had 25 carries for 130 yards — a decent day, but certainly not dominant OSU numbers.
The thing is, without Thibodeaux, it’s hard to see Oregon being able to get pressure on the quarterback. That battle in the trenches is certainly worth keeping an eye on.
Oregon has long had an up-tempo offense but this isn’t only the Oregon of old that’s only fast and flashy.
I mean yes, this team is fast and flashy, but it can also run the ball up the middle and right down your throat with power. That’s what the Ducks will be trying to do with its CJ Verdell and Travis Dye, but the real question will be what kind of game does quarterback Anthony Brown have?
The Boston College transfer is a true dual-threat quarterback and it’s up to Ohio State to contain him in the pocket. He ran 16 times for 56 yards including the game-winning 30-yard score, so the more he’s limited, the better for the Buckeyes.
|Oregon Ducks vs Ohio State Buckeyes Information|
|Teams||No. 11 Oregon Ducks vs No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes|
|Location||Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio|
|Time||Saturday, Sept. 11, 12:00 p.m. EST|
|How to watch||FOX|
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Tony writes about baseball for WSN.com after recently graduating with his Masters from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Prior to that, Tony was a local sports reporter for MLive Media Group, based out of Jackson, Michigan where he covered everything from high school to professional sports. He graduated from Michigan State in 2015 with a degree in journalism. During his time there he covered the Michigan State football and men’s basketball teams from 2013-15 and hosted a sports radio show on WDBM 89FM.More info on Tony Garcia
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