|This is my only positive thought about Oregon at this point.|
- For having a mobile quarterback themselves, Oregon did a terrible job of hemming in Cardale Jones. Their outside linebackers and defensive ends kept flying 10 yards upfield, which allowed Jones to step up in the pocket and/or escape contain. Maybe it was their goal to speed rush and try to rattle Jones, but the Ducks never adjusted.
- Ezekiel Elliott is a man. He had 220 or more yards in the final three games of the year, including 36 carries for 246 yards and 4 touchdowns against Oregon. He's not the most elusive guy around, but he has a good combination of speed and power.
- On the plus side, Urban Meyer went 9-4 following his first national championship at Florida. Unfortunately, he then went 13-1 following his second. Ohio State does not appear poised for a drop-off, because many of their best players (Ezekiel Elliott, Jalin Marshall, Darron Lee, Joey Bosa, J.T. Barrett) are too young to declare for the NFL Draft. However, there could be some turnover with the quarterback position (Braxton Miller to another school, Cardale Jones thinking about the draft) and some early entrants. But the Buckeyes recruit well and will most likely reload.
- The Big Ten has had a bad rap for getting pushed around in recent years, but the Buckeyes demolished Oregon up front. Aside from the pressure put on Oregon QB Marcus Mariota and the inability to create seams up front, the defining moment was when Jones scrambled up the middle and ran right through the tackle - I mean the nose tackle - of the Ducks, Alex Balducci.
- The Ducks flat-out laid an egg. They racked up penalties, made immature choices, had a poor game plan, dropped passes, etc. This was my concern when I pointed out that Meyer was 8-2 in bowl games and 2-0 in national championships, while Helfrich was in just his second year. Meyer's team was mentally and physically prepared to win the game, while Oregon was not.