SI cover: College Football national championship game preview

0:55 | College Football
Oregon and the College Football Championship featured on SI cover
Tuesday January 6th, 2015

Kelvin Kuo/USA Today Sports

Oregon and Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Marcus Mariota showed they might be the team to beat with a 59-20 thrashing of defending national champion Florida State in the first semifinal of the College Football Playoff. 

Monday’s championship game against Ohio State will be like the two teams looking in the mirror. 

This season, Oregon averaged 47.2 points per game. Ohio State scored 45 per game. Oregon’s defense gave up 22.3 points a game; Ohio State surrendered 26.1. 

The difference in the game may be the defenses. Oregon gives up nearly 422 yards a game, while the Buckeyes give up 112 fewer yards. 

The running games will also be prominent, with Mariota and running back Byron Marshall, who is on the national cover of this week’s Sports Illustrated. Oregon ran for 301 yards against Florida State. 

Ohio State has its own running game threat behind Cardale Jones and Ezekiel Elliott, who ran for 230 yards and two scores in the Buckeyes’ 42-35 upset of top-seeded Alabama.

For more on the College Football Playoffs, check out this week's Sports Illustrated. (subscribe here)

Also in this issue: features on New England Patriots All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski, Denver Broncos Executive Vice President of Football Operations and NFL Hall of Famer John Elway, former college basketball coach George Raveling and Ohio State's All-American defensive lineman Joey Bosa.

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