CFP Championship Strengths: Ohio State

2015 National Championship - Ohio State's biggest strengths

- Keys To The Game: Ohio State
- Keys To The Game: Oregon
- Ohio State Players To Watch
- Oregon Players To Watch
- Ohio State’s Biggest Strengths
- Oregon’s Biggest Strengths

Ohio State’s Biggest Strengths

1. Offensive balance

The Buckeyes are almost impossible to defend because they do just about everything right. They’re so proficient on the line and so consistently strong running the ball that they can take chances and shots downfield whenever they want to, knowing that the ground game will always be there for 5.8 yards per pop. OSU has rushed for 200 yards or more in each of the last 12 games since the loss to Virginia Tech, which the passing game has hummed right along with both J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones, coming up with 200 yards or more in every game except the overtime fight with Penn State and the Barrett-losing win over Michigan. Oregon has to prepare for everything, but it has to expect to be pounded on throughout.

2. Pass efficiency defense

Thanks to its ultra-effective Heisman winner under center, Oregon has the nation’s most efficient passing game. It doesn’t make big mistakes, mainly because Marcus Mariota is throwing to a slew of wide open targets. Ohio State has faced a few NFL quarterbacks in Cincinnati’s Gunner Kiel, Michigan State’s Connor Cook and Penn State’s Christian Hackenberg, and while it gave up short-to-midrange passes on a regular basis, there secondary always seemed to make up for the mistakes. The Buckeyes came up with a whopping 24 interceptions on the year including three against Wisconsin and three more Against Alabama, with the Cincinnati game the only time this year they didn’t come up with a pick – Kiel had a whopper of a performance in the 50-28 Bearcat loss. To win, OSU has to do the impossible and force Mariota to screw up. This defense can do it.

3. Keeping the chains moving

Oregon also is phenomenal at third down conversion percentage and first downs, but OSU is right there ranking third in the nation at keeping the chains moving and fifth in first downs. Time of possession means absolutely nothing to Oregon, but Ohio State can’t even think about winning without holding on to the ball as much as humanly possible. Outstanding at coming up with third down conversions, the Buckeye offense converted 52% of its chances including a 10-of-18 performance against Alabama. The OSU offense might be explosive, and it can strike from anywhere on the field, but it has the ability keep Mariota on the sidelines for long stretches, and to stop the negative momentum with a long, grinding drive.

- Keys To The Game: Ohio State
- Keys To The Game: Oregon
- Ohio State Players To Watch
- Oregon Players To Watch
- Ohio State’s Biggest Strengths
- Oregon’s Biggest Strengths


Scout CFB Top Stories