There has been a good deal of talk in the media about Colt McCoy's motivation after losing the Heisman, the Big 10's need to get back on track, and even the possibility of a split national title. But for me, the most important question when it comes to breaking down this matchup is how will Ohio State's offense attack Texas' defense? Fiesta Bowl (8 PM ET, FOX) It seems in many ways the quintessential catch 22. While the Buckeyes did produce a good deal of offensive output in the final few weeks of the season, they nevertheless struggled mightily moving the ball for much of the year, thanks largely in part to a streaky passing game which seemed to disappear with the emergence of quarterback Terrelle Pryor.
Ranked 105th in the nation coming into this game, the Buckeye passing attack has stalled thanks to a combination of factors, not the least of which is Pryor's inexperience with the offense as well as an under-performing offensive line which has surrendered more than two sacks per game on average this year. This would not be an issue if Ohio State was playing some second tier Big East team, but because Ohio State will be going up against a Texas defense which led the nation in sacks despite playing in the best offensive conference in the country, it will present a problem for head coach Jim Tressel.
Will Muschamp and his defense know the Buckeyes want to run the ball with Beanie Wells, and with the nation's 108th ranked pass defense the hotshot defensive coordinator and his young secondary will be more than happy to gameplan around that possibility. Does that mean Tressel and his staff come out trying to throw downfield? Or do they play it safe not wanting to risk the big play capability of the Longhorn pass rush? It's tough to tell, but if Brian Robiskie and Brian Hartline were ever going to have one final hurrah to lift their freshmen quarterback to mythic status, this would be the time. Of course, there is always this dude as well.