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Rose Bowl

Ohio State vs Oregon

4* Key Release

1/1/10

Sportsbook.com Betting Line Oregon -4 O/U 50

Besides the BCS Title game this is the most intriguing game of the whole bowl season. On one sideline you have a team that started the season as bad as you can possibly imagine. Not only did Oregon lose their opening game to Boise State, but they had their starting RB LeGarrette Blount get into a fight after the game with a Boise State player then he had to be restrained from fighting with people in the crowd.

Most teams would have folded after a start like that, but Head Coach Chip Kelly did an amazing job getting his team to put that behind them and to concentrate on the rest of the season, and Oregon did just that and now they have a Pac 10 Title under their belt, and now they find themselves playing New Year’s Day in the Rose Bowl against Ohio State.

The Ducks only lost one game after that opening loss to Stanford to finish the year 10-2 now they are in their first New Year’s day bowl since making it to the Fiesta Bowl in 2002. This Oregon football team is looking to finish what they started after the LeGarrette Blount incident, and the only thing standing in their way is the Ohio State Buckeyes.

While Oregon might have had a long drought from New Year’s Day bowls the Ohio State Buckeyes have not. The Buckeyes finished their year off 10-2 and added another Big 10 Title to their name and this Rose Bowl will be their 5th straight BCS Bowl Game appearance. The last 3 BCS Bowl games have not gone the way they would have liked, so the Buckeyes are looking to turn their post season luck around with a big win over the Ducks.


PRIMETIME MATCHUP


With LeGarrette Blount just recently being reinstated it was very important for another RB to emerge and take charge if this Oregon team was going to succeed and that other RB has been LaMichael James. James has rushed for over 1400 yards this season to go with his 14 TDs. Since taking over as the starting RB James has been held to under 100 yards just one time against Washington State, and he only got 13 carries that day with the outcome of that game never being in doubt.

If Ohio State is going to get the win it all starts with stopping the Oregon Duck running game that is ranked 1st in the Pac 10 and 6th nationally averaging 236 yards per game. The Buckeye’s defense has done very well against the run all season. They are ranked 1st in the Big 10 in rushing yards allowed only giving up 83 yards a game. Something has got to give and which ever team is able to win the battle in the trenches will come away with the victory in this ball game.


THE FINAL VERDICT


Ohio State has had success all year against the run, but they have yet to face an offense that is this dynamic with their rushing attack like Oregon is. It all starts with RB LaMichael James, but that is not where it ends. QB Jeremiah Masoli is a headache for any defensive coordinator who tries to stop him. Masoli has thrown for over 2,000 yards through the air and 15 TDs this season, but he also has added over 600 yards rushing and another 12 TDs with his legs.

Oregon has played a schedule almost a touchdown stronger than Ohio State. That is noted. But even if we factor that into the equation, we can't ignore this Ohio State defense. They put up some pretty hefty numbers this year. A yards per point defensive number of 23 on the road and 22 overall puts them among the top in the country. Their offense wasn't too shabby either with a ypp number 12.5. Very balanced and solid on both sides of the ball.

Oregon on the other hand, great offense, mediocre to poor defense. Teams have had no trouble finding the end zone against the Ducks. Oregon has given up 146 points in their last 5 games alone!

Every year, the team names change, but the numbers stay the same. If we take a look at all the games over the last 25 years with numbers similar to this game, it's the numbers that Ohio State is sporting, that come out on top more times than not. With that in mind, we'll gladly take +4 or more with the Buckeyes in a game we think they win straight up. 4* Ohio State +4


 

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