I’ll be the first to admit, I was scared heading into Ohio State’s season-opener at Virginia Tech. The Hokies’ defense stymied OSU last year, and it gave every sign of being able to do so again.
Four important players for Ohio State were also suspended, crushing the depth chart at WR and leaving a hole on the defensive line. Furthermore, if the Buckeyes made mistakes, it had the potential to put them in a hole.
At halftime, the fear was proved to be legitimate. Tech had taken advantage of said mistakes and led 17-14. Enter Braxton Miller’s heroics, and the threat was ended with a 42-24 thumping of the Hokies.
The four suspended players have now returned, which makes this team scary-good. Urban Meyer was already having trouble getting all his players the proper amount of touches on offense, and now he has to find room for Jalin Marshall, Dontre Wilson and Corey Brown? Good luck.
With that, we have to ask the question….can anybody over the next nine games find a way to slow down this juggernaut? Let’s take a look;
Hawai’i – September 12, Ohio Stadium
They’re showing improvement from 2014 after squeaking past Colorado last week, 28-20. But they have a weak offense, having scored fewer than 20 points per game over their last 8 games, and the opposition in those games are the teams you and I would call cupcakes (San Diego State, San Jose State, Fresno State – a whole bunch of teams that aren’t actually states).
The point spread is listed at 38 points in favor of the Buckeyes, and that might be accomplished by halftime.
No chance, Rainbow Warriors. Ohio State wins in a walk. But at least we’ll get to see Stephen Collier take snaps for the scarlet and gray!
Northern Illinois – September 19, Ohio Stadium
The Huskies have a good offense, but you have to consider the opposition. Last week, they beat UNLV, but they allowed the Rebels to score 30 points. If a low-level team is posting 30 on you, what chance do you have to slow down the scariest offense in the NCAA.
NIU is good enough to bring home another MAC title, but again…it’s just the MAC.
Expect the Buckeyes to put 50 on the board.
Western Michigan – September 26, Ohio Stadium
If you look at the score of their opener vs. Michigan State (37-24, Spartans), you might be tricked into thinking the Broncos put up a fight.
MSU was up 34-10 before they called off the dogs, and the touchdown WMU scored at that point was on a kickoff return. The Broncos should expect more of the same, only worse, when they visit Ohio Stadium.
Indiana – October 3, Memorial Stadium
The Hoosiers gave Ohio State a bit of a scare last year, leading the Buckeyes 20-14 late in the third quarter. RB Tevin Campbell ran all over the field (228 yards and three TDs) before Jalin Marshall put the ball in the end zone four times in a span of about 15 minutes to put the game away for OSU.
Campbell is gone. Marshall is back.
I expect an embarrassing score to be posted, considering the Hoosiers just surrendered 47 points to Southern Illinois. I also expect to see Memorial Stadium filled with OSU fans that come over to Bloomington because they can’t get tickets in Columbus.
Maryland – October 10, Ohio Stadium
I believe Maryland is an improved team since Ohio State beat them last year, 52-24. But you know who else is improved? Ohio State.
The Terrapins flexed their muscles on the ground against lowly Richmond, racking up 336 yards rushing. Their pass attack, led by Perry Hills, was weak last Saturday.
The Buckeyes’ defense does not like to give up rushing yards, and with a guy named Bosa in the backfield all day, I worry that Hills’ numbers might be worse. Maryland will be better in the Big Ten eventually, just not yet and certainly not on the second Saturday in October.
I see another 3-4 TD win for OSU.
Penn State – October 17, Ohio Stadium
Last week, Temple beat PSU 27-10. That’s not a typo. It’s the actual score.
Christian Hackenberg was sacked ten times. he accounted for fewer total yards than J.T. Barrett, who only played 10 minutes and threw one pass.
Move along, Nittany Lions. You’re not going to want to watch this one. It might get uglier than the last time you were in Columbus. And that was pretty ugly.
Rutgers – October 24, High Point Solutions Stadium
Three weeks ago, I though Rutgers might make a run in the Big Ten. Not to win it all, but to crack into the upper echelon of teams. They still have a chance at that, but with the turmoil their team is going through, I doubt it. I think they had more players arrested last week than the Miami Hurricanes did in all of 1986.
They are still a decent team, and it’ll be fun to watch them build on their win over That Team Up North. But there’s a world of difference between the LOLverines and Ohio State.
Buckeyes by 25 points in this one.
Minnesota – November 7, Ohio Stadium
Last year, Minnesota gave Ohio State a scare, and nearly won their division, whatever the heck that division was called last season. (Seriously, was that the Leaders or Legends? Does anybody even care?)
Of course, they battled because of the running ability of RB David Carr, but Carr is in the NFL now. The Gophers are in short supply of weapons, and this is a game that will require many.
Look for the Buckeyes to be in “style points mode” by now, because the rest of the NCAA will be howling about our schedule. Beating Minnesota by more than TCU did (6 points) will be important.
Illinois – November 14, Memorial Stadium
What, are you kidding me?
No. Just no.
Bucks by 35.
And that brings us to week 11, at home against Michigan State. Will we be prepared for Sparty? Time will tell, but unless we hurt ourselves on or off the field, I can assure you of one thing;
The Ohio State Buckeyes will be 10-0 heading into that game.