On New Years Day, the Rose Bowl will take place at five PM Eastern time. The Rose Bowl features a team who has not experienced defeat in over a year versus a team who lost only once this College Football season. It features a sophomore and a junior, both of whom will presumably opt out of college. Today, I talk about the Florida State Seminoles and Oregon Ducks, two teams sure to provide an epic clash in California.
First, there are Jimbo Fisher’s Seminoles, who have not experienced defeat in over a year. Now would certainly be a bad time for their first loss. This Seminole team is driven by Jameis Winston, as you probably already know. Winston has faced adversity and dodged crimes while being excellent on the field. Winston is a pocket passer who can run. It seemed as if Winston and the Seminoles were trailing all of their games in the first half, before roaring back to stun their opponents in the second half. This is a very important quality in a quarterback, being able to finish strong. And while Winston is the one we all want to talk about, we have to give Florida State’s defense some credit. They keep the game close and allow Winston to come back. In fact, in all of their games but one, Florida State’s opposition has gained fewer yards after halftime. It is Winston’s show, but the one maintaining the show is the defense. The Noles will face their toughest test against the pass-happy Oregon Ducks this weekend. Stick around until the end. Florida State knows as well as anyone that it’s not how you start, but how you finish.
On the flip side of the coin we have the Oregon Ducks, driven by Heisman winning quarterback Marcus Mariota, the first Hawaii-born kid to win the prestigious college award. In order to back up claims that he should be the first overall draft choice, Mariota will need to play strong on Thursday. Mariota leads a high-octane offense that generates an average of over 500 years a game. He can chuck it deep to receivers like Byron Marshall or the freshman Charles Nelson. If need be, Mariota, who was drafted as a wide receiver, can rush outside of the pocket for potentially long gains down the field. The Ducks have only lost one game this year, to the Arizona Wildcats. Many players said that made them stronger and tougher, two things the defense will have to become to cope with Jameis Winston and the Noles offense.
What happens when offense faces offense? A shootout; probably what we will see on Thursday. The two teams will duke it out on the offense, and both defenses will be put to the ultimate test. Whoever comes out on top, this is sure to be a fun game to ring in the new year.