• Oregon vs Ohio State: The Battle of the Big “O”

    Embed from Getty Images

    Week two is in the books and it was another anticipated matchup. The #12 Oregon Ducks went into Columbus and took down #3 Ohio State Buckeyes.

    Week two of the college football season didn't disappoint. There were plenty of ranked teams whose games came down to the wire but pulled out the comeback win. No game was bigger than #12 Oregon against #3 Ohio State in the Horseshoe of Columbus, OH.

    Going into this game, the Buckeyes were a 14.5 point favorite and looked to take down the Ducks. Oregon running back CJ Verdell had a different agenda. Let us take a look at a few of the draft-eligible prospects and see how they played, good or bad.


    Oregon Ducks

    CJ Verdell, RB

    Embed from Getty Images

    Oregon won this game on the heels of redshirt senior, CJ Verdell. Ohio State didn't have an answer for him and clearly saw what happened after they lost four linebackers to the 2021 NFL Draft. Verdell finished with 20 carries for 168 rushing yards, 3 receptions (four targets) for 27 yards, and 3 touchdowns.

    Outside of last year, Verdell has back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons and hopes to continues that trend in 2021. He showed excellent vision and a quick burst to get through the holes and blow right by the Ohio State linebackers. Verdell did a great job of getting outside the defensive ends and scampering right into the end zone.

    Verone McKinley III, S

    If it wasn't for Verdell and fourth-year junior Verone McKinley III, this game would have turned out differently. McKinley made several keys plays throughout the entirety of this game. He timed passes perfectly to meet the wide receiver as the ball was getting there and disrupting the catch point, causing the incompletions.

    McKinley showed excellent vision and downhill quickness to shoot the gap and get the tackle for loss. He even showed that he can make plays on special teams. McKinley was able to strip the ball for the return man, but unfortunately unable to cause a turnover. To top it all off, McKinley sealed the victory for Oregon while showing off great sideline awareness and get the interception.

    Anthony Brown, QB

    The Boston College transfer played like a seasoned veteran. Brown finished with 236 passing yards and two touchdowns while adding 65 rushing yards on eight carries for Oregon. Even though he finished with a 48.6% completion percentage, Brown played a damn near-perfect game. He exploited the weaknesses that were apparent in Ohio State's secondary.

    Brown did a great job of avoiding pressure and making big plays when it mattered. He was able to keep himself upright and not get sacked. Brown may not be a draftable quarterback but he certainly could play his way onto an NFL roster somehow.


    Ohio State Buckeyes

    Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson, Wide R

    Embed from Getty Images

    The debate before the season — and for the rest of this season — was which of these two Ohio State wide receivers is WR1 for the 2022 NFL Draft. Both Olave and Wilson played very well and showed exactly why they are interchangeable.

    Olave finished with 12 receptions on 17 targets for 126 receiving yards. He showed exceptional speed and smooth transitions when breaking on his routes, making it easy to lose the defensive back and make the catch. Throughout the game, Olave showed his incredible catch radius and excellent sideline awareness. He dragged his toe several times and made tough catches.

    When it comes to Wilson, he is just a hair under six feet, but don't underestimate his skills. He shows exceptional ability to get those coveted yards after the catch and moving the chains. Wilson will challenge anybody at the catch point and come down with the catch.

    Wilson may have gotten the better of Olave this game, finishing with 8 receptions on 14 targets and 1 touchdown, but don't cut either of these wide receivers down. Both Olave and Wilson have the potential to be first-round picks in 2022.

    Zach Harrison and Tyreke Smith, DEs

    Two of Ohio State's draft-eligible defensive ends, couldn't have played differently than each other. Both guys only played about 75% of the defensive snaps. Former five-star recruit Zach Harrison has shown in the past few years his incredible explosiveness off the line and getting to the quarterback. On Saturday, Harrison looked lost at times. He didn't seem to have his motor running on high.

    Harrison looked stiff and had no bend when trying to get around the offensive tackle. He has decent power, pushing the tackle into the quarterback and messing his timing. Harrison, at this point, is a better pass rusher than a run stopper.

    Flipping to the other side, Tyreke Smith had a very solid game. Smith is a long and lanky defensive end that could even pack on a few pounds and round out his game for the next level. He collectively had one of the better defensive showings for Ohio State.

    Smith finished with only three tackles but had a batted pass, three quarterback hits, and two hurries. He showed his high motor, playing sideline to sideline and not giving up on the play even if it was on the other side of the field. Smith displayed his quick first step to throw the offensive line off balance.

    Thayer Munford and Nicholas Petit-Frere, OL

    Embed from Getty Images

    The Buckeyes' offensive line got lucky and didn't have to play against arguably the top prospect in the 2022 NFL Draft, Kayvon Thibodeaux. Between two of Ohio State's top offensive linemen, Thayer Munford and Nicholas Petit-Frere allowed the only sack of the game.

    With this, both guys showed great footwork against the left side of the line. Munford showed great play recognition and picking off Oregon linebacker Noah Sewell, preventing a sack on C.J. Stroud.

    Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed the article. You can find me on Twitter @ejh1528IDP. Feel free to shoot me any NFL Draft, college football, or IDP (NFL or Devy) questions you may have. You can find my IDP rankings at Dynasty Nerds or my other NFL Draft content with NFL Draft Bible/Sports Illustrated here. Check our Devy rankings here

    Eric Herauf

    You can find me on Twitter @ejh1528IDP. Feel free to shoot me any NFL Draft, college football, or IDP (NFL or Devy) questions you may have. You can also check out my NFL IDP rankings at Dynasty Nerds and the rest of my NFL Draft content at NFL Draft Bible, powered by SI.
    Back to top