2015 National Championship Preview

We’ve made it.  We’ve made here, to the National Championship.  We completed the playoff round, and now have two teams, who deserve to be here.  That, has now been proven.

Oregon provided a decent surprise in the first playoff game, whooping Florida State 59-20.  Oregon simply outscored Florida State, while more than capitalizing on their mistakes.  Jameis Winston did not play well, setting an unfortunate tone for the rest of the game.  I believed Oregon was the best team in the playoff, and they’re one game away from proving me right.

Ohio State, on the other hand, gave us an incredible game against Alabama.  Winning 42-35, this was a game that made you speechless.  You had no idea what to think.  No words could come out of your mouth.  You thought the game was going one way, then it changed.  The Buckeyes did fabulous attacking Alabama.  Ohio State also capitalized off of a shaky Crimson Tide QB.

Let’s get to the grand prize now.  Again, these teams deserve to be here.  They have proven that.

National Championship: No.4 Ohio State vs. No.2 Oregon, January 12th, 8:30 PM EST

Going into this game, both teams are probably saying the same thing.  “We have to score, or we will fall behind.”

It’s true.  Oregon’s offense has repeatedly shown us just how good they are.  It doesn’t matter who they are playing.  Marcus Mariota is the best player in the country.  He is unstoppable.  He makes everyone around him better.  There isn’t any right way to defend him.  No matter what, you can’t let him escape the pocket, because he will destroy with his legs.  Marietta’s skills are NFL worthy, and that’s what the Buckeyes are going to be dealing with.

Oregon’s offense though, doesn’t just consist of Mariota.  The team is actually quite balanced.  The running game that is featured is a power-like run game.  They love to go up the middle.  The Ducks have speed with their backs too, allowing them bust out into the open field.  The Buckeyes defense has a lot to deal with.  They have to keep the edges close.  Mariota will kill you if let him outside.  Ohio State has to close the gaps with their linebackers also.  Allowing Oregon to go up the gaps will leave a heavy cost.

Ohio State will have a tougher time clogging those gaps.  Though their defense is a lot better than Oregon’s, the run defense hasn’t been great this year.  Oregon, if they can’t throw on the Buckeyes, should look to go to the run game.  Ohio State’s pass defense is much better than it’s run.  The Buckeyes have held teams under 195 yards passing a game.  Keeping Mariota in the pocket will pressure him to force things.  Though he has only thrown four interceptions all year, he’s better on move.  Mariota is still incredible no matter where he is on field.  It’s a matter of where he moves to, and if the Buckeyes will let him get there.

By now, you know what you’re getting with Ohio State on offense.  It’s doesn’t matter who their QB is.  Nothing matters with them.  Who they play is going to preform.  Cardale Jones blew me away against Alabama, making some ridiculous deep throws.  He is big arm, big stature quarterback.  He’s huge and a pain to tackle.

The Buckeyes aren’t going to be afraid to throw deep again.  They weren’t scared against Alabama, one of the nation’s best defenses.  And in this game, they should be letting it fly.  Oregon’s had issues all year defending the air game.  Really, they aren’t good at all in pass defense.  When playing Arizona for the first time this year, they gave up all sorts of deep passes from Anu Solomon.  Ohio State really needs to do what they do.  They don’t have to change much.  Throw the ball as much as you can, because Oregon will give something up.

Since J.T. Barrett’s injury, Ohio State has trusted the pass and Cardale Jones.  However, Ohio State can run the ball excellently.  Heck, they’re 10th in the nation.  They ran surprisingly well against Alabama.  The Buckeyes have the offense to hang with Oregon.  The big question is if the defense can step up.

This game, I believe, will resemble Ohio State-Alabama.  I expect a lot of points, and tons of action.  This should be pretty back&forth.  These teams can score fast.  Like, really fast.  There will be a stretch in this game featuring back-to-back-to-back quick scores.  It’s going to happen.

Oregon has to play good defense.  They got lucky with Florida State.  The Seminoles turned the ball over.  They pretty much helped them out.  Ohio State has to keep Marcus Mariota contained.  He has to stay in the pocket.  That is their main key to this game.  If he goes off, and the Buckeyes let him escape, they’re done.

Oregon has to outscore Ohio State.  That is their key.  This could come down to the last possession, setting up an incredible game.

However, Oregon has Marcus Mariota.  He makes things happen.  There isn’t any reason to think that he will do anything different.  He’s just too good.  Mariota might be the one thing that gives Oregon the edge.

Ohio State is going to keep this thing close.  They have a decent shot at taking this title.  Some think they will.  Oregon though, is just too mighty.

Prediction: Oregon-42 Ohio State-37