It’s not necessarily surprising that Ohio State leads Oregon at halftime in the first College Football Playoff Championship Game, but rather the way the Buckeyes have put a clamp on Marcus Mariota and the Ducks’ so-called unstoppable offense.
Down 21-10 at halftime, the 2014 Heisman Trophy Award winner is 17-of-22 for 189 yards and a touchdown, but is averaging just 3.0 yards per carry on eight attempts—a number that vastly favors Ohio State’s chances to winning the game, according to my three keys to victory.
Another important statistic—possibly far more meaningful at this point in the game—is that Ohio State is 18-0 when winning by 11 points or more at halftime under Urban Meyer. And if Devin Smith finds the end zone in the second half, where the Buckeyes are 22-0 when he does, we could be looking at Meyer’s third national championship and OSU’s first since 2002.
This is also not favorable:
— ESPN CollegeFootball (@ESPNCFB) January 13, 2015
Eleven points can be erased in the blink of an eye by this Oregon offense, but it needs to make some major adjustments to get its playmakers in open space within the next 30 minutes if the Ducks plan on making Meyer 18-1 in that category and eliminating the notion that they can’t come back from two scores or more.