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College Football Championship: Oregon vs. Ohio State

The Ohio State Buckeyes, fresh off their upset win over the top ranked Alabama Crimson Tide, will be facing the second ranked Oregon Ducks, fresh off their defeat of the previously undefeated defending national champions Florida State, on Monday night, in the final of the inaugural 2014 NCAA college football playoffs, at AT&T Stadium, in Arlington, Texas.

#2 Oregon Ducks (13-1) vs. #4 Ohio State Buckeyes (13-1), National Championship Game, Monday, January 12, 8:30 PM. ET. ESPN.

Ohio State proved to their doubters that they belonged in the playoffs with their upset of the Crimson Tide in the semifinals, despite having to give their third string quarterback his second career start, due to injuries at the position. In that game, the Buckeye defense allowed Alabam to gain over 400 yards on offense, but forced quarterback Blake Sims to throw three interceptions, with the last one coming in the final seconds of the game, sealing the victory for Ohio State. Now they have to turn around and face one of the best offenses in college football, coming off a game in which they scored 59 points.

The Buckeyes did a decent job against the run when they played Alabama, but they still gave up 170 yards on the ground, and will need to play better against the run when they face Oregon, a team that rushed for over 300 yards and 5 touchdowns against the Seminoles. If they can stop the run, they can get some pressure against Heisman winning quarterback Marcus Mariota, and try to force him into turning the ball over, like they did against Blake Sims, but that is easier said than done, because Mariota only threw 3 interceptions this season, and 3 fumbles lost all year.

Oregon surprised everyone by how dominant they were against the defending national champions, but for those who watched the game, it was a closely contested contest, before the Seminoles forgot how to hold on to the ball in the second half. While most of those fumbles were due to the spirited defensive performance of the Oregon defense, the Florida State offense also did their part, especially on the play when the ball slipped out of Jameis Winston's hands on a fourth down play in Oregon territory. This isn't meant to diminish how well Oregon played on defense, because they did, it's just to show that the game was close until those mistakes were made, which means Ohio State has a chance of keeping the finals close and even win the game, if they can avoid self destructing, like Florida State did.

Offensively, Oregon is a juggernaut, and will pose a lot of problems for the Ohio State defense, who will have a tough time slowing them down. They accounted for over 300 yards on the ground against Florida State, and will be hoping for the same type of success against the Buckeyes, who had trouble stopping the run against Alabama. Heisman winner Marcus Mariota, will be the difference maker in this game, because of his ability to make plays with both his hands and feet, and his uncanny ability to protect the ball. He should be able to find some throwing room against Ohio State, but might have problems running the ball, because they did a good job containing Blake Sims in the Sugar Bowl.

Game Line: The Ducks are favored to win this game by 6 points, the Over/Under is 75 points.

Personal Pick: Ohio State will prove that they deserved to be in the playoffs all along, and will win the national championship game.