The Oregon football team should not fear Ohio State heading into Saturday’s big game.
While it will not be easy to pull off the upset, Mario Cristobal‘s Oregon football program should not fear the Ohio State Buckeyes after what we saw out of them last Thursday night up in Minneapolis.
Ohio State may have won by multiple scores vs. the Minnesota Golden Gophers, but P.J. Fleck’s squad not only gave the Buckeyes a good scare, they forced a push on the point spread. Given that the Buckeyes are the presumptive favorite to come out of the Big Ten this year to make the College Football Playoff once again, there are reasons to be concerned after Week 1’s showing.
Here are three reasons Oregon does not need to be afraid of Ohio State heading into Saturday.
Oregon football: 3 reasons the Ducks can pull off the upset of Ohio State
3. The Ohio State secondary is largely depleted entering Week 2’s game
This was a massive issue for the Buckeyes last week. Not only were starting cornerbacks Sevyn Banks and Cameron Brown held out for some unbeknownst reason, by safety Josh Proctor had to exit the game vs. Minnesota with a shoulder injury. As long as the Buckeyes are depleted in the defensive backfield, Oregon has a better chance than we expected to be able to move the sticks.
2. C.J. Stroud is raw and only making his second career start for Ohio State
Oregon is fortunate to get Ohio State early this year. That is because the Buckeyes are still breaking in a new starting quarterback in redshirt freshman C.J. Stroud. While Stroud played well at times last Thursday (four touchdowns), he did show a great deal of inexperience as well (one interception, 59 competition percentage). Oregon can take advantage of Stroud finding himself.
1. It looks as though the Ohio State defense will give up some points and yards
While the Buckeyes offense put up yards and scored points, their defense left a lot to be desired. Ohio State gave up 408 yards vs. Minnesota. Though only 205 of them came through the air, 203 came by way of the ground game. Since Oregon is very much an offensive-minded attack under Cristobal, this gives the Ducks their best pathway towards success. Run the ball with conviction.
Ohio State may clobber the Ducks in their marquee showdown, but Oregon should not fear them.