We are just over a week away from Christmas, and while that’s all well and good, and people are rightfully excited by that blah, blah, blah, the day that all of us here in Buckeye Nation are looking forward to is now two weeks away. On Dec. 31, the No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes will take on the No. 1 Georgia in the Peach Bowl, the second of two College Football Playoff semifinal matchups on the last day of the year.
So, now that we have turned the page to looking at the semifinals, earlier this week, we wanted to check in on Ohio State fans to see where their collective head was in terms of how they were feeling — and what they were thinking — about the CFP.
Question 1: What worries you most about Ohio State facing Georgia in the Peach Bowl?
To me, this is the right answer. Given Ohio State’s struggles defensively, especially against teams capable of running the ball, the Buckeye offense is going to need to step up and be able to match UGA touchdown for touchdown, and the only way to do that is if C.J. Stroud is able to get off clean passes to his stable of receivers.
We have seen that Stroud has been fairly adept this season at escaping pressure and moving the pocket, but he has struggled when he has had rushers in his face, often defaultign to throwing off of his back foot. Of course, this is also partially the same as the third most popular pick for this question. No matter what Todd McShay thinks about his character, Jalen Carter is an absolute beast, and the OSU offensive line will need to figure out a way to keep him at bay on NYE.
Question 2: How much has the CFP berth helped you get over the Michigan loss?
I am firmly on as saying that unless you are being an unmitigated asshole, I am never going to tell somebody how to be a fan. But, for me personally, I think this is the closest to where I am as well; I’m not “over it,” by any means, but it has certainly given me something else to focus on and think about. On Nov. 27, I did not anticipate being excited about an Ohio State college football game this soon, but the possibility of having a more healthy Buckeye squad with a chance to win a national title will certainly do wonders for the old morale.
Question 3: Who needs to step up most for Ohio State to pull off the semifinal upset?
This is absolutely the correct answer, as far as I’m concerned. I think that both Dallan Hayden and Chip Trayanum have done admirable jobs in relief when Miyan Williams and TreVeyon Henderson have been hurt this season, but Miyan is a legit difference-maker and finally having him back to something approaching full strength should have a major impact on the Buckeye offense.
With the threat of Williams out of the backfield, Georgia’s defense won’t be able to drop seven into coverage on every down to gum up the passing lanes. We know that Chop is capable of breaking tackles, so the Bulldogs will have to keep a couple of linebackers in the box in order to make sure that the OSU RB doesn’t just rack up seven-yard run after seven-yard run after seven-yard run.