Hey College Football Playoff, your fun. See you next year.
(Is that all I need?)
I was wrong. I’m admitting it. I was wrong about the game and the score. Honestly, I didn’t see this coming.
Ohio State-42 Oregon-20
If you’re a Duck fan, or one of the Oregon bandwagon fans (you know who you are), your not happy with what transpired Monday night. I wouldn’t be. You had opportunities to win the game. You blew it. You did not preform well, and it killed you. It ended your season on the negative note.
What happened to Oregon is something that is tricky to explain. There was so many twists and turns in this game. Shifts of momentum, crazy plays, big hits. LOTS OF COMMERCIALS.
Oregon couldn’t have played worse on offense. The power running game I had praised didn’t show up. The Buckeyes stuffed the gaps, and closed the edges. They kept Heisman winner Marcus Mariota under control. WAY under control.
Mariota didn’t play well, putting up a 60.3 QBR. He threw for 333 yards and 2 TD’s, but had a pick and struggled with accuracy. Some throws he made were way off, and it had an impact on this game. With his struggles, Oregon tried to run, but was stuffed by Ohio State’s stout defensive line. Man, those guys can hit.
I underrated the Buckeyes’ defense. They really stepped up, especially in the front seven. Again, keeping Mariota under control was key, and they did that.
However, Oregon’s defense was horrendous and great at the same time. Ohio State turned the ball over four times, three fumbles and an interception. Oregon did a great job forcing the ball out, but allowed Ezekiel Elliott to run all over them. Oregon’s defense had to play well in this game; that didn’t happen.
The Buckeyes offense, led by Cardale Jones, their 3rd string quarterback, dominated Oregon. The Ducks could not stop them. Running back Ezekiel Elliott ran for 246 yards and 4 TD’s. That dude is a beast. He is unstoppable. Oh yeah, and get this: His longest run was only 33 yards. That shows you how consistent he was.
Through the air, Cardale Jones didn’t light it up, but did still play great. Throwing for 242 yards and a TD, his stats were fine, but man, that kid has an arm. He launched a couple balls. Not all of them were complete, but still, he can throw a football.
As mentioned, Ohio State turned the ball over four times. One fumble by Cardale Jones looked identical to Jameis Winston’s fumble in the Rose Bowl. The ball literally slipped out of his hands. No contact was made whatsoever.
How ironic is that?
Anyways, that was one of the Buckeyes four fumbles. Wait, how did they win this game?
Oh yea! Oregon did nothing with the ball. Not only were Oregon’s stats bad, but the way they played on the field was horrendous too. They couldn’t score. Their only lead was 7-0, and they had one set of back-to-back scores. Make that back-to-back-to-back, when they scored a field goal, touchdown, and field goal again. At that point, they only trailed by one. They never scored again.
See, Oregon’s offense was cold. Something was off. Nothing went well for them Monday night. It almost looked like the Broncos offense in last year’s Super Bowl. This wasn’t what we were used to seeing.
As for the future of these teams, both should be competitive next year. Ohio State has dilemma on their hands that teams wish they could have. Three quarterbacks capable of starting. One who was injured before the season, one who got injured right before their biggest game, at the time, and one who looks promising, and is still super raw, but just the National Championship.
Look, Cardale Jones isn’t going pro. There is no reason for that. He has played in three games. Yes, he looks promising, but, why not stay, and build the hype? ESPN’s Todd McShay has Jones as a projected 5th or 6th round pick. Yes, it’s significant he has him ranked, but, that can only climb, right?
I expect Jones to be in spring practice in a few months. He should stay, and probably will.
As for the other two, this is where it gets interesting. Braxton Miller, a pre-season Heisman candidate, didn’t even play after tearing a muscle in his shoulder. The kid had huge expectations for this year. That changed quickly.
After the injury, everyone, including me, discounted Ohio State. “Nope, not a chance!” That was the mindset.
But then, J.T. Barrett comes in, and plays out of his mind for most of the year. Barrett is super fun to watch. He’s small, yea, but makes great plays while still having a good arm. He, out of any of the three, is the one most likely to be with the Buckeyes next year, just in case Jones loses his mind.
As of this point, I expect the camp battle to between Jones and Barrett.
So, where does Miller end up?
Speculation about him has been widespread. Most, expect him to transfer to a competitive school. One that would contend with him at QB next year.
From what I’ve seen, Oregon (yup), LSU, and Texas seem like popular places. The Oregon rumor is ironic, but sounds like the most likely destination at this point. With Marcus Mariota leaving, (that has been confirmed) they do have an opening. They would surely welcome him, but he’s played three years already. It would be a one year stint.
The big wrench in this, however, is that no matter what all these guys do, they can all transfer, or at least, are all eligible to transfer. Say Barrett wants to leave. That would create a crazy camp battle between Cardale Jones and Braxton Miller. Two very similar QBs with similar skills going at it. Seems weird, right?
All in all, Ohio State is the National Champion. That’s what matters now.