Ohhhhh boy, the late game tonight is going to be a showdown as the Oregon Ducks travel to Columbus to take on the undefeated Ohio State Buckeyes in what is most likely the B1G title game. Oregon enters with a 4-1 record (2-0 B1G) and escaped last week with a close win against the winless Michigan Wolverines. Ohio State comes in undefeated, 5-0 (2-0 B1G) after a hard-fought win against Notre Dame in week five. One of these two teams will clinch a playoff spot tonight with a win so look for this one to be another tight B1G conference fight.
The Ducks feature one of the most underrated offenses in the CFSL. Oregon rolls out a gaggle of five stars on offense in an attack that leads the league in total offense and is 2nd in points per game with just under 45 points per game. Led by junior quarterback Devonta Cribbs, who can beat you with his arm or his feet, the Ducks feature a punishing rushing attack with Jimmy Tickle and a smooth pass game, featuring Dijon Swann and freshman tight end Devonte Lawson. Ohio State features the best cornerback duo in the league, so look for the Ducks to lean on the read-option attack with Cribbs and Tickle and on Lawson in the passing game.
The Oregon defense has been the teams Achilles heel all season as they are near the bottom of the league in points allowed, and last in pass defense. It is clear that the Ducks are built for the offensive side of the ball but safety Shaka Black and corner Arik Austin do create some highlight plays for the Oregon defense. They haven’t been great against the run and have been even worse against the pass, but they will have to buckle down and get stops tonight if they want to overcome Ohio State and take the top spot in the B1G.
The dark horse turned legitimate contender Ohio State Buckeyes have a shot at securing a spot in the CFSL playoffs next week and it is going to take every man on board to contribute to that effort. The story is simple on offense for the Buckeyes, this is a run-first team. They are going to let dual-threat quarterback Xaiver Garcia-Allen and powerhouse running back Frost Carlson do a majority of the heavy lifting, sprinkled with some short passes to receivers Speedy Johnson and Willow Hayes. Ohio State knows it’s identity and they are going to attack you with it, even if you know it’s coming. I expect more of the same from them tonight against an Oregon defense that hasn’t been very good against the run.
The Sharks continued their lights outplay last week against Notre Dame as they held the Irish to 17 points and forced freshman QB Leo Asiata’s first (and second) turnover’s of the season, with one being a highlight pick 6 from Mr. Highlight Tom Pence. Pence has done everything for this Buckeye defense. He has picked off passes, forced fumbles, recovered his own forced fumbles and returned kicks for touchdowns. Pence is the face of the Sharks but he is not the only big name on this defense. His corner mate Juan Cantu is a reigning all-American and lockdown corner in his own right. Freshman middle linebacker Martavis Marriott comes plugs gaps and flies sideline to sideline and comes in 2nd in the CFSL with 56 tackles. We can’t forget safety Kevin Brackett who joins pence and Defensive Player of the Year front runners. Brackett plays more of a hybrid role for the Buckeye defense and he causes major issues in opponent’s backfields. Sharks swarm when they see blood and these Buckeye defenders live up to the name perfectly.
What to Watch For
An underrated offense in Oregon vs a downright scary defense in Ohio State. Pence will draw Swann and Cantu will draw Cody Betts. Look for the Ducks to use the run game to open up their passing attack and look for Devonte Lawson to get a ton of looks underneath. Ohio State is going to run the ball and force Oregon to stop them. Can Shaka Black and this Oregon defense stop the rushing attack of XGA and Carlson? Can Devonta Cribbs avoid turnovers against the Sharks?
This one is going to be a shootout, Ohio State is likely going to run all over this Oregon defense, and although the Ohio State defense is very talented, I think the Ducks offensive attack is very capable of putting up points tonight. A shootout usually favors the team with the better defense, which Ohio State has, but I have a feeling that Oregon rolls out a great defensive plan against the Buckeyes and makes big plays down the stretch. Ohio State has been surviving games lately, but I think tonight is the night they finally fall. Give me Oregon in the upset on their way to the CFSL playoffs.
Oregon 45 Ohio State 42