The official word is that Oregon will be without star defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux for the Week 2 matchup at Ohio State. Thibodeaux made the trip to Columbus but is still recovering from a sprained ankle sustained in the first half vs. Fresno State last weekend.

ESPN’s College GameDay crew weighed in on the impact this will have on the marquee matchup.

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Desmond Howard is now way less bullish on Oregon’s odds in Columbus.

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“If he can’t play, I’m not as confident in Oregon’s chances,” Howard said. “Coming into this game, I’m thinking Thibodeaux, he’s a game-wrecker. He’s the single most dominating defensive force in all of college football. You have to game plan for this one person for every snap,” Howard said. “If he’s not on the defense, then that’s a game-changer. Before the season started I thought, ‘Hey, Oregon, in Columbus against Ohio State, I like their chances.’ But now, if he’s not able to go, it kind of changes the defense.”

David Pollack summarily dismisses Oregon’s chances now without the highly touted defender.

“They didn’t have a great chance anyways,” Pollack said. “But if they don’t have him, they don’t have any chance.”

The numbers from last weekend proves how vital Thibodeaux is to Oregon’s pass rush.

The 6-foot-5, 258-pound Thibodeaux is considered by many national outlets to be the non-quarterback with the best chance to be selected first overall in the 2022 NFL Draft. Last season, Thibodeaux earned the Morris Trophy and First-team All-Pac-12. In 2019, Thibodeaux was Pac-12 Defensive Freshman of the Year.

Ohio State-Oregon is slated for a noon EST kickoff and will be televised on FOX.