Hey Ducks Fans,
Here are a few choice excerpts:
I stayed late at a local Grandview pub to watch the game, and after three Bells winter white ales, my buddy turned to me and declared: "I like this matchup. It pits strength against strength." He's referring, of course, to Oregon's spectacular run-spread attack against Ohio State's rock solid 3-4 defense. I agreed, with slight reservation. The Buckeye's struggles against the spread offense are well documented. Oregon State, which boasted the best rushing defense in the Pac 10 coming into the Civil War, gave up 288 yards on the ground to the Ducks. (They gave up less to Stanford, and its almost-certain-to-be-a-Heisman-finalist tailback Toby Gerhard).
The fact that Ohio State's defense, a unit that's adept at swallowing Big Ten power rushers, will be forced to de-stack the box, and dispatch into space to track a multifaceted (misdirectional) option attack should be cause for concern in Columbus. Last night, Oregon employed motion Pistol, two-back, and spread sweep sets, along with the bread-and-butter zone read to perfection against the Beavers.
But before you panic, remember, success begins and ends at the line of scrimmage. To compensate for the strength and depth of Ohio State's defensive line, Oregon will have to count numbers in the box, and hope for favorable blocking angles. When they get them, they can move on anyone like a hot knife through butter (see versus USC). When they can't, their attack is as flat as Kansas (see versus Boise State). If Ohio State's DT's can jam the middle and blow Oregon off the line early, they'll be sitting ducks.
The full preview is here.