No. 12 Oregon (1-0) vs. No. 3 Ohio State (1-0)
Time: 9 a.m. PT
Where: Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio
Coaches: Mario Cristobal, fourth year (26-10 at Oregon, 53-57 overall); Ryan Day, third year (21-2)
Latest line: Ohio State by 14.5
TV Channel: Fox
On air: Radio on 1080 “The Fan” in Portland, KUGN-AM 590 in Eugene
How to watch live online: You can watch this game live for FREE with fuboTV (free trial). You can also get this game on Sling TV (promotional offers) if you are out of fuboTV trials, or simply prefer that platform and their pricing plans. You can also watch this match live on Fox Sports Live with your cable or satellite provider login information.
What’s at stake: Oregon is looking for a signature nonconference regular season win under Mario Cristobal and what would be a massive boost to its College Football Playoff chances. A win would instantly vault the Ducks into no less than the top 10 but more realistically, probably the top 5, and into the national conversation for the rest of the season. Ohio State hasn’t lost a regular season game since Oct. 2018 and hasn’t lost a home game since Week 2 of 2017 against Baker Mayfield and Oklahoma. The Buckeyes are looking for a win of national relevance before Big Ten play.
Oregon offense vs. Ohio State defense
Both sides have a degree of angst after their Week 1 performances, but far more so for the Ducks. There are any number of rationalizations for Oregon’s output last week, the bottom line is none of that will matter if it is to win on Saturday. CJ Verdell is still the engine of the Ducks’ offense and that could be beneficial against an Ohio State defense that gave up some big runs against Minnesota. The OSU secondary is on the mend and even with Sevyn Banks expected back on the field, could be short-handed and relying on young corners to shutdown Oregon’s receivers. But the Oregon offensive line, which allowed three sacks against Fresno State, must do a better job protecting Anthony Brown Jr. against an Ohio State front that will be its toughest matchup all season.
Oregon defense vs. Ohio State offense
Ohio State is arguably the most explosive offense in the country and has an array of weapons that can break a long touchdown on any given touch. Oregon did well at taking away Fresno State’s Ronnie Rivers last week, but Ohio State’s running back corps, while less accomplished to date, is wildly more talented and a far deeper group. Chris Olave, Garrett Wilson and Jeremy Ruckert each pose enormous threats to the Oregon secondary. The Ducks kept the top on the coverage while allowing nearly 300 passing yards last week. Limiting OSU to no more than one play of 40-plus yards will be critical.
Did you know?
Oregon is 8-40-1 all-time against top-five opponents. Since 2010, Oregon is 87-21 as a ranked team and is 27-19 against ranked opponents.
Matchup to watch: Oregon’s secondary against Ohio State’s receivers
The Buckeyes can hit you over the top. They can make plays in the open field. They can knock you over. They can out-run you. Oregon has not faced a team with this much premier talent at the skill positions. The Ducks cannot allow multiple long scores, as Minnesota did, and expect to come into the Horseshoe and pull an upset.
They said it:
“We don’t have to put on a Superman suit for this game. We have to play our game and do what we’re supposed to do and take care of business.” – nickel safety Bennett Williams
Oregon is 12-9 when allowing 24-plus points under Mario Cristobal. Ohio State has failed to score 24 points just three times over the past four seasons and is 1-2 in those games.
The last time these teams met:
Ohio State defeated Oregon in the 2015 CFP National Championship game. The Ducks scored first and closed a 21-7 gap to 21-20, but the Buckeyes scored 21 unanswered to win the national title 42-20. Marcus Mariota threw for 333 yards with two touchdowns and an interception, Byron Marshall had eight catches for 169 yards and a score, but Ezekiel Elliot ran for 246 yards and four touchdowns and Cardale Jones threw and ran for scores for OSU.
Prediction: Ohio State 35, Oregon 21
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