National Title Game: 1st Quarter Analysis and Grades


The National Title Game is on. The Ohio State Buckeyes take on the Oregon Ducks in the first ever College Football Playoffs. The 4th ranked Buckeyes and the 2nd ranked Ducks fought hard to get here and we will cover every snap of the game as we hope to root on the Buckeyes to victory.

We will have quarterly analysis and grades here for you for the National Title Game.


  • As the Ducks are driving the Bucks strip Marcus Mariota.
    • Second Duck fumble on the opening drive.
    • Ball bounces right back to running back Thomas Tyner
    • Second fumble, by Mariota, is given back to Oregon. Ruled his knee was down.
  • Mariota’s ability to slide in the pocket pays off as he hits receiver Keanon Lowe
    • Buckeyes defense had a ton to deal with throughout that drive.
    • Two fumbles that didn’t go Bucks way were huge.
    • Ducks 7 Bucks 0
  • First drive, Cardale Jones runs over Oregon linebacker to get a first and 3rd and 4.
    • Jones looked like he would be stopped but he powered through.
  • Speed of Ducks defense shuts down outside throw to Jalin Marshall forcing 3rd down.
    • Ducks drop coverage with a safety spy, shutting down passing lanes and Jones 3rd down scramble.
    • Bucks punt. Downed at the 10 yard line.
  • First play of Oregon’s drive gets 30 yard on a short pass.
    • Linebacker was blocked by ref helping to spring receiver Lowe free.
  • Bucks get a stop as Ducks receiver drops 3rd down pass three plays later.
    • A ton of space in for Mariota to find his receivers so far with very little pressure.
  • Two good throws down the field from Jones gets Buckeyes out from near the endzone.
    • Marshall with a great catch in tight coverage, caught the ball off the defenders back.
  • On 4th and 3 inside the 40 yard line the Bucks have to go for it.
    • Jet sweep pass to Marshall gets the ball right to the marker. Marshall fought for last 2 yards.
    • Buckeyes barely get the first down.
  • Ezekial Elliott finals gets a little space and pops it for a 33 yard touchdown.
    • Elliott broke a couple tackles on the run.
    • Bucks 7 Ducks 7
  • Dwayne Stanford drops a wide open 3rd down pass that would have been for at least 50 yards.
    • Bucks get another stop, 2nd straight stop against vaunted Ducks.
    • Marshall breaks 3 tackles on the punt for a 17 yard gain.
    • Bucks start in Oregon territory.
  • Another strong run by Elliott gets the ball to the 1 yard line.
    • Jones finds Nick Vannett on the next play in the front corner of the endzone. Touchdown.
    • Bucks 14 Ducks 7

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Buckeyes: B+The Buckeyes struggled in the Ducks first drive but two third down drops help the Bucks defense greatly. The offense found ways to make things happen between Jones runs and throws and Elliott running the ball. Elliott looks strong and fast just like against Alabama. Defense has to get better as the two drops are the only reason the Ducks don’t have more points.

Ducks: The Ducks defense looks fast and the offense is clicking, but those drops and some key penalties really hurt their progress. The speed made it difficult for the Buckeyes on both sides and even some powerful runs by Tyner helped balance the offense.

What are your thoughts on this quarter of the National Title Game?

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