Ohio State Buckeyes vs Oregon Ducks Betting Preview
Week 2 of College Football features a marquee matchup that takes place in Columbus between the Big Ten and Pac 12 preseason favorites to win their respective conferences. Oregon and Ohio State matchup for the first time since the two teams played for the national championship in 2015.
The Buckeyes won that game 42-20 and have won the previous eight games against the Ducks. This game was supposed to be the back end of a home and home between the teams, but the 2020 game was called off due to COVID-19.
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Ohio State Team Preview
The Buckeyes opened the season early last Thursday by traveling to Minnesota. In his first collegiate start, Ohio State won the game 45-31 behind CJ Stroud’s four touchdown passes. The Gophers led at halftime 14-10, but running back Mohmmad Ibrahim left with a season-ending leg injury, and the Ohio State offense found its stride.
All four of Stroud’s touchdowns came in the second half and were 30+ yards, helping the Buckeyes cover the -13.5 closing spread.
Offensively the Buckeyes were explosive but not consistent. Stroud struggled to find his rhythm consistently, and the running game was slightly above average outside of Miyan Williams’ 70-yard scamper in the first half.
Ryan Day’s offense has plenty of weapons that created enough explosive plays to blow past Minnesota as Chris Olave, Garrett Wilson, and freshman Treyveon Henderson all scored on plays of 50+ yards.
On defense, the Buckeyes struggled to stop the run for a better portion of the game as Ibrahim amassed 160 yards on the ground before his early exit. The secondary was without starter Sevyn Banks, and Minnesota attempted to pick on his replacement a few times in the red zone, finding some success.
The defensive line only produced two sacks all night against a stout Minnesota line, but one of those sacks led to a Haskell Garrett fumble recovery touchdown.
Oregon Ducks Team Preview
After Oregon’s 31-24 win over Fresno State, the biggest question coming out of Eugene is, can Kayvon Thibodeaux play? The All-American pass rusher left the game early with an ankle injury after forcing an early fumble that led Oregon to an early 14-0 lead.
The Bulldogs were able to climb back to take a 24-21 lead but ultimately came up short of the upset win.
Oregon tried to control the game on the ground, but the Ducks stayed under 4.0 yards per carry on their 50 attempts. The Ducks didn’t find the significant uptick they were looking for in the opener, and will have to manufacture more explosive plays as the season goes on if they hope to reach the College Football Playoff.
Defensively, Oregon was able to cause three fumbles and hold Fresno State to just 2.5 yards per carry despite giving up 300 yards through the air.
BetOnline, BetUS, and Bovada have the betting line favoring Ohio State at -14.5. If Thibodeaux is able to play, and play effectively, the Ducks will have a puncher’s chance in this game as Stroud looked uncomfortable the few times Minnesota was able to pressure him in the pocket.
If Stroud can play somewhat comfortably in the pocket, it could be a long day for the Oregon defensive backs trying to keep up with Olave and Wilson.
Given what the two teams showed in week one and the availability concerns of the nation’s top pass rusher, this game favors Ohio State considerably. The Buckeyes running game should provide enough balance to keep the Oregon linebackers honest, giving Stroud and his receivers openings to hit big plays.
If the Buckeyes’ back seven can contain Oregon quarterback Anthony Brown’s running ability and force him into a pocket passing role, it should cause the Ducks offense headaches. Ohio State, even with the hook, is the play her