Two of the best from the Big Ten and Pac 12 conferences meet inside Ohio Stadium on Saturday as third-ranked Ohio State hosts No. 12 Oregon. Kickoff on FOX is slated for noon.
#3 Ohio State vs. #12 Oregon • Saturday, Sept. 11 • When: 12 p.m. • Where: Ohio Stadium • TV: FOX • Radio: 97.1 The Fan
- After leading Ohio State to a 45-31 season-opening win over Minnesota on the road last Thursday night, quarterback C.J. Stroud on Monday was selected as the Big Ten Freshman of the Week.
- In his first career start, Stroud finished 13 of 22 passing for 294 yards and four touchdowns, all of which came in the second half.
- His scoring tosses went for 38, 56, 70 and 61 yards. Stroud’s second-half stat line was an impressive one: he was five of eight passing for 236 yards with four TDs and no interceptions.
- One of Stroud’s favorite targets on Thursday was senior wide receiver Chris Olave, who was named the Reese’s Senior Bowl Offensive Player of the Week.
- Olave caught four passes versus the Gophers for 127 yards and two touchdowns. It was the seventh multi-TD game of Olave’s career and moved him into a tie for fifth place in career touchdown receptions with Brian Robiskie (24).
NOTES TO KNOW
NEW FACES IN NEW PLACES
- Ohio State starting defense last week featured seven first-time starters: LB Teradja Mitchell, DT Taron Vincent, LB Tommy Eichenberg, SAF Lathan Ransom, SAF Ronnie Hickman, CB Ryan Watts and CB Denzel Burke.
- On offense, the Buckeyes featured five new starters: QB C.J. Stroud, RB Miyan Williams, WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba, C Luke Wypler and OG Paris Johnson, Jr.
HOW ABOUT THAT O-LINE?
- According to Sport Source Analytics, Ohio State’s offensive line – which included two new starters and a third starter playing a new position – scored big on four key metrics.
- Ohio State did not allow a sack of quarterback C.J. Stroud all night and he was hurried just twice.
- The Buckeyes had just one negative yardage play on offense and only two “stuffed” runs (those which result in one yard or less with two yards or more to go for a first down).
BIG PLAY BUCKEYES
- All six of Ohio State’s touchdowns last Thursday covered 30 yards or more, including one by the defense (a 32-yard fumble return by Haskell Garrett).
- Miyan Williams started the big play barrage with a 71-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. It was the longest run by an Ohio State player in 15 games, or since Master Teague’s 73-yard TD run at Northwestern in 2019.
- The first touchdown pass of C.J. Stroud’s career covered 38 yards to Chris Olave in the third quarter and was followed by a 56-yarder to Garrett Wilson later in the quarter.
- In the fourth quarter, Stroud hit freshman TreVeyon Henderson on a screen pass that he took 70 yards for a touchdown, the longest Ohio State passing play in 24 games, or since Parris Campbell went 78 yards vs. Michigan in 2018.
- To cap the victory, Stroud found Olave for a 61-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter.
- Ohio State averaged 10.3 yards per play in the win and had four plays that covered 50 yards or more – the most of any team last weekend.
BY THE NUMBERS
The 2021 football season will be the 100th season of games in Ohio Stadium for the Buckeyes. Ohio State christened its new home with a 5-0 victory over Ohio Wesleyan on Oct. 7, 1922 in front of 25,000 fans.
Ohio State played 14 freshmen against Minnesota, including nine true freshmen: QB Stroud, OL Jackson, WRs Harrison and Egbuka, RB Henderson, DL Tuimoloau and Sawyer, CB Burke and P Mirco.
The Buckeyes ran 48 offensive plays last Thursday at Minnesota but averaged a school-record 10.3 yards per play. Miyan Williams averaged 13.9 yards off nine rushes; Chris Olave 29.2 off four receptions.
Ohio State’s record in games that Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson each score a touchdown (2019 vs. Miami, Maryland & Michigan; 2020 vs. Rutgers & Michigan State; 2021 vs. Minnesota).
GET TO KNOW THE DUCKS
- Saturday will represent the 10th meeting between Ohio State and Oregon on the gridiron. Ohio State leads the series, 9-0.
- The Buckeyes and Ducks met for the first time in the 1958 Rose Bowl, a 10-7 Ohio State win that secured Woody Hayes his second national championship.
- The teams met in Columbus in back to back years – 1961 and 1962 – with Ohio State winning 30-0 and 22-7, respectively.
- The series was then renewed twice in the 1980s – both times at Ohio Stadium – with a 31-6 win in 1983 and a 24-14 triumph in 1987.
- It would be 23 years before the programs met again, on Jan. 1, 2010 in the Rose Bowl. Ohio State won that game, 26-17, and then again on Jan. 12, 2015 in the first-ever College Football Playoff National Championship Game in Dallas.
- On the strength of a 246-yard rushing effort by Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State won its eighth national championship with a 42-20 victory.
- This will be Oregon’s sixth visit to Columbus. Covid eliminated the 2020 game, which would have been Ohio State’s first visit to Eugene.
SCOUTING THE DUCKS
- Defending Pac-12 champion Oregon began its season last Saturday with a 31-24 win at home over Fresno State.
- Quarterback Anthony Brown, a transfer from Boston College, scored on a 30-yard run with 2:57 remaining to break a 24-all tie. He finished the game 15-for-24 through the air with 172 yards and one touchdown.
- Brown added 56 yards and the ground on 16 carries.
- Running back C.J. Verdell had 18 carries for 74 yards and a TD while Travis Dye complemented him with 13 attempts for 64 yards and a score.
- The Ducks’ defense is headlined by DE Kayvon Thibodeaux, a second team All-American in 2020 and the Pac-12 Championship Game Most Valuable Player.
COURTESY OSU ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS