Ohio State will beat Oregon in national championship game, 49-45: Bill Livingston – cleveland.com (blog)
DALLAS — Ohio State will win the national championship game over Oregon on Monday, 49-45.
And it could be much worse because of the suspension of dynamic wide receiver Darren Carrington and the attrition of injuries on the Oregon team. I’m buying into some of the mystique of the Oregon speed game. But 35 might be more like the Ducks’ point total.
The game will cripple work-place efficiency on the morning after from Lake Erie to the Ohio River. It will last long into the night. It will burn out calculator batteries in keeping up with the score.
I make it high scoring and played at the football equivalent of Han Solo hitting the hyperspace button on the Millennium Falcon, to use a geeky “Star Wars” allusion. I like the sci-fi film as a mechanism to compare football under Urban Meyer to the brute force, more plodding game of the past at Ohio State.
Meyer is a leading exponent of spread formation football. Oregon’s Mark Helfrich has continued the on-the-double tempo of former Ducks coach Chip Kelly, now in the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles. Oregon is the gridiron lube shop where lightning goes to get greased.
The big problem will be the Buckeyes’ need to keep Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota from going all “Plays of the Day” on them. I don’t even know if a ball-control offense such as new College Football Hall of Fame member Jim Tressel used to down the Ducks in the 2010 Rose Bowl will work.
Ball possession is timed with a stopwatch, not a scoreboard clock, in this game. A confident offensive line will clear the path for Ezekiel Elliott, who runs as if possessed by the ghost of Eddie George, whom he resembles in his ripped-abs half-shirt.
I don’t believe in magic or football Cinderellas. I believed all along the winner of the Ohio State-Alabama game would win it all.
The Buckeyes are loose and confident.
If they win, the Saga of Cardale Jones, the quarterbacking star from the third string, might never be equaled in college football history.