BCS Rose Bowl Preview: Ohio State vs. Oregon

TSX is going to preview the BCS, and it’s going to start with the matchup that is already set: Big Ten Champion Ohio State vs. Pac-10 Champion Oregon in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA.

Offense: The advantage goes to Oregon. Jeremiah Masoli has emerged as one of the better quarterbacks in the country. He has a strong arm, and some very quick legs, and Chip Kelly’s offense is known for confusing defenses and scoring a lot of points. The Ducks have a good running back combination of LeGarrette Blount and LaMichael James, also known as “Thunder & Lightning”. James took the load for the Ducks after Blount was suspended for his punch in the opening game against Boise State and ran for 1476 yards for the season with 14 touchdowns. Masoli’s 27 TDs on the season (15 pass, 12 rush) is a testament of the option style offense that Kelly likes to use and with this balanced option attack, you never know what Oregon will implement. Even the best defenses have trouble with their style of play. (Just ask USC)

Ohio State’s offense is more methodical and Terrelle Pryor’s been very successful this season. His style is similar to Masoli’s, but he’s more of a game manager type of quarterback. He also leads the Buckeyes in rushing, but he also has the tendency to overthrow his receivers at times, and it sometimes results in turnovers and blown possessions. However, in this game, with Oregon’s not so great defense, he can really be able to manage the game a lot better and make plays. The Buckeyes have a good redzone threat in Dane Sanzenbacher, and look out for the explosiveness of WR Devier Posey. Pryor’s athleticism will be key to Ohio State if they want to be successful in this game, and he will have to try to match Oregon and Masoli point-for-point.

Defense: Advantage goes to Ohio State. The Buckeyes never allowed more than 30 points all 12 of their games this season, the most they allowed this season was 27 on opening weekend against Navy. In fact, they are 5th in FBS in points allowed per game (12.2) and 4th in total yards allowed per game (262.5). They have three shutouts and allowed less than 10 points in five of their games this season. The old saying goes: “the best way to stop a good offense is a great defense”. Ohio State has a great defense, but Oregon has a great offense. If they can close gaps and stay in position when Oregon runs that dangerous options and do not bite on any Jeremiah Masoli fakes, they should be able to give Pryor and their offense a good chance for victory.

Oregon’s defense is shaky. They have allowed 30+ points four times this season, and three in the last four games. That will make things a lot easier for Pryor, as he and Jim Tressel like to keep opposing defenses on the field to wear them down and keep the time of possession in their favor. If Oregon can get off the field quickly and Masoli and the offense back on the field, they can make it very difficult, since the Ducks know how to score in an instant. They allow 23.6 PPG, which is middle of the pack in FBS, buti in the last four games, they have allowed 36.5 PPG, going 3-1 in that stretch.

So with that said, the match up is even, but Masoli is going to be difficult and Ohio State is going to get frustrated with the different looks that the Oregon option brings. With that said, Oregon should get its first Rose Bowl win since 1917.

TSX will preview the rest of the BCS next week after the teams are set.

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    • fbfans09
    • December 8th, 2009

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  1. December 8th, 2009

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