Five Keys to a Buckeye Win Over Oregon
3. Protect the football.
The Buckeyes didn't protect the football as well as they should have against Alabama, but they made up for that with three interceptions and an otherwise efficient offense. Monday, however, they will need to be much better because they likely won't be able to even the turnover tables if they give the ball away against the Ducks.
You see, Oregon has only turned the ball over 10 times this season, which is the lowest total in the nation. They have also forced 30 turnovers, which gives them a turnover margin of +20, which is the highest total in the nation. What makes them even more effective is that with their offense being so good, when they get a turnover, they usually turn it into a touchdown.
No team can afford to give up possessions without points, especially when those lost possessions turn into points for Oregon. Ezekiel Elliott has been remarkably reliable with the football, save for the fumble last week, and with that mistake still firmly in his mind, you can expect him to be even more focused on holding onto the ball this week.
Oregon hasn't lost a game while winning the turnover battle since 2012 against Stanford, so turnovers will be key in this game. Over the last two seasons when Oregon loses the turnover battle, they are 1-2. All three of those games took place last season. They broke even with Arizona in their loss earlier in the season. In their win over Arizona in the Pac 12 Championship Game they were +2 over the Wildcats.