Today is the day before New Year’s Eve. That means one thing for most Ohioans. THE ROSE BOWL IS ONLY 2 DAYS AWAY!!!
For the first time in Coach Tressel’s coaching career, he’s heading to the Grandaddy of them all, the Rose Bowl. Across the field we will be facing off against the University of Oregon and their obnoxious duck. The Buckeyes will come into the game as the underdog in many analysts eyes with the exception of a very few who actually think that our defense will shut down the speedy Jeremiah Masoli and the bruising LeGarrete Blount.
Obviously I predict an Ohio State win and I predict it to be a pretty good one at that. But since most fans will say they predict their team to win, I am going to back it up with some facts and reasons for which the Buckeyes will prevail.
1. Cameron Heyward. A one man wrecking ball on offensive lines this year, Heyward can disrupt the passing AND running games and gets pressure on the quarterback like very few other linemen. It should be noted that in the PSU-OSU game, most analysts picked PSU to win and because of their offensive line being able to shut down everyone that they had to face. It should also be noted that on the fist play of the game for PSU, Heyward busted through the line and sacked Daryll Clark. That set the tone for the whole day and Ohio State dominated PSU (widely regarded to be either the best or the second best team in the B10). OSU only allowed 1 touchdown by PSU and that one was questionable at best.
2. Defensive line. Defense doesn’t come much better than B10 defense and Ohio State’s at the top of the league. Our defensive line is, despite having no particular standout player, one of the best in the business and has caused nightmares for quarterbacks from Illinois, Penn State, USC, and nearly every other team we have faced. This line outweighs Oregon yet still maintains a admirable speed. Oregon will not have faced a defense like Ohio State’s.
3. Terrelle Pryor. While the sophomore quarterback hasn’t been brilliant this year, he has shown improved and growing maturity as he has taken care of the ball and limited mistakes against very good defenses. It was revealed that for the past couple games he has been playing with an injured PCL in the knee and also a sprained ankle. His injuries will have healed more by the time the Rose Bowl rolls around day after tomorrow and he will be able to run better against a smaller and overmatched Oregon defensive line. He has been working on the passing game over the break and will most likely be allowed to make more and monger pass attempts to take pressure off of the running game. That brings us to…
4. The running game. Ohio State may not have a standout player like Beanie Wells in the running game this year, but in the past couple games the Buckeyes have established themselves as a power running team. Boom Herron and Brandon Saine have been splitting time and forcing defenses to stop the Buckeye rushing game. It hasn’t happened lately as the Bucks have run up 150+ yards in each of their last three games. The OSU running game will be helped by the O-line being able to stave off Oregon’s outmanned and underweight D-line.
All in all, this should be a good game for Buckeye fans. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Oregon strike first, but when OSU gets the steam going, they are a hard team to beat. Coach Tressel’s style of play limits other offenses from having the ball much and limits mistakes. That is exactly what OSU needs to do to win.
Prediction: Ohio State rolls in this game: 28-17.