Week two of the 2021 college football season features a renowned clash of the reigning conference champions. The Ohio State No.3 hosts Oregon No.12 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio in what is set to be one of the biggest games of the day. For the first time since the 2015 college football playoff championship game, the Buckeyes and Ducks will meet on the grill. They are two proud programs with great stories. Getting them started for the day is a huge win for college football fans. However, history has shown that this series has been a one-sided affair.
Ohio State enters this early-season game after winning the previous nine meetings between the two schools, although the first five were between 1958 and 1968. It will only be the fifth time the schools have met since. the 1983 season.
Ohio State overcame a slow start in its opener against Minnesota last week, moving away in the second half to win 45-31. It was a similar story for the Ducks, who struggled through a 31-24 win over Fresno State. Without a 30-yard touchdown from quarterback Anthony Brown in the final three minutes, Oregon was flirting with overtime with the Bulldogs.
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Ohio State vs Oregon: Need to Know
Can CJ Stroud take a step forward? One of the reasons Ohio State got off to a slow start against the Gophers was that new quarterback CJ Stroud needed time to settle in. It wasn’t a shock to see a player looking nervous on his first start to his career in a harsh road environment and Stroud watched his early throws. He was knocking down open receivers and it cost the Buckeyes early.
In the second half, Ohio State did a better job giving Stroud easier throws at an impressive array of weapons and then letting them do the job. Receiver Chris Olave picked up a bunch of yards after the catch on two touchdown receptions and first-year running back TreVeyon Henderson went for 71 yards at home on screen. I would expect the Buckeyes to take a similar approach with Stroud to make him easier in the game, then work in a few deep shots after he settles down.
Oregon can count on precipitation: Minnesota had a clear strategy against Ohio State: to keep the Buckeyes’ offense off the field. That’s why Minnesota ran the ball 50 times and it was effective even though they only averaged 4.1 yards per carry. The game plan gave the Gophers a chance to win and I think Oregon will take a similar approach down the road. With Brown in QB, the Ducks aren’t built to get into a shootout, so expect to see more running backs CJ Verdell and Travis Dye.
Kayvon Thibodeaux Status: One of the worst moments of the opening weekend was seeing Oregon’s star defensive end injuring his ankle. You never want to see someone get hurt, but losing a player who could be the No.1 pick in next spring’s draft takes on added significance, especially ahead of a huge game. Oregon coach Mario Cristobal said this week Thibodeaux was “hand to mouth” with a sprained ankle. If Thibodeaux isn’t able to go on Saturday, it will be a big blow to Oregon’s chances of slowing the Ohio State offensive.
How to watch Ohio State vs Oregon live
Dated: Saturday September 11 | Time: 12 p.m. ET
Site: Ohio Stadium – Columbus, Ohio
TV: Fox | Direct: fuboTV (Try for free)
Ohio State vs Oregon prediction, pick
The hook is scary, but I’m expecting a big performance from the Buckeyes. They struggled for a while last week, but it was the first game of the season and it was on the road. Back at home with a game under their belt, the offense won’t take so long to find a rhythm. And Oregon just isn’t explosive enough offensively to keep up the pace for the 60 minutes. Prediction: Ohio State (-14.5)
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