COLUMBUS — Ohio State shut out Wisconsin and running back Melvin Gordon, No. 2 in the Heisman Trophy voting.

Ohio State limited Alabama receiver Amari Cooper, No. 3 in the Heisman race, and beat the Crimson Tide.

Now Ohio State gets Heisman winner Marcus Mariota and the Oregon Ducks.

Bill Landis wrote about the Buckeyes facing the Heisman trifecta. And when Andrew Greif of and I talked about why Ohio State can win the College Football Playoff National Championship, we both went to the Ohio State defense.

Andrew brought up the Ohio State secondary, something that would have been impossible to think of a year ago. But Mariota can be off-target early in games, and Andrew thinks it’s possible that the Buckeyes could help him stay a little wild for longer than that. Ohio State’s defensive pass efficiency ranks fourth in the nation.

Overall, I think the Buckeyes just have a better chance defensively to get a few stops to swing the game. Certainly, Oregon can break some big plays, as can the Buckeyes. But with Joey Bosa and Michael Bennett on the defensive line and Darron Lee at linebacker, the Buckeyes have a couple playmakers to get a big sack or force a misfire that could end a possession. 

And in this game, a play or two like that might be enough. Overall, Ohio State ranks 17th in yards allowed and Oregon is 86th. In a tight game between similar teams, that’s a difference.

Watch how Andrew and I broke down the reasons the Buckeyes could win in the video above and check out the other parts of our Ohio State vs. Oregon breakdown. 

We’ll get into why Oregon can win on Friday.

Ohio State vs Oregon breakdown

• X-Factors: Nick Vannett and Byron Marshall

• Secret Stats: Ohio State’ interceptions, Oregon’s rushing yards

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