Countdown To THE GAME 2015

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Ohio State Looks To Run With, Then By, The Bulls In 2013 Opener

Trying to forecast a final score, or what will happen decisively in game one of the college football season, is an exercise of confidence that I do not possess.  There are so many factors involved, especially against an unfamiliar opponent as the University of Buffalo Bulls, that it would be easy for someone to read this blog post after the game and say, "What was he thinking?!?".

(For an interesting look at these two teams, click on this link that will take you to Winsipedia...
http://www.winsipedia.com/ohio-state/vs/buffalo )

The best player for Buffalo is LB Khalil Mack.  Below are statements regarding Mack's abilities...







Here are some things I will look for in the 2013 season opener versus Buffalo ~

  • Ohio State's rushing attack:  During the 2012 season, QB Braxton Miller ran far more frequently than I preferred, and I surmise Coach Urban Meyer preferred.  With a deep arsenal of running backs (Jordan Hall, Bri'onte Dunn, Warren Ball, Ezekiel Elliott), as well as hybrid players such as Dontre Wilson, I wonder how Ohio State will be able to involve as many of these players versus Buffalo.
  • Ohio State's front seven defensively:  Replacing the entire defensive line, as well as two linebackers, will be of concern to me, as the lack of experience can only strengthen throughout the season.  How effective Ohio State is able to shut down Buffalo's running game, as well as pressure the passer, will be areas watched in the season opener.
  •  How many freshmen or newcomers will play for Ohio State:  Coach Meyer has stated players such as Wilson, Elliott, defensive linemen Michael Hill and Joey Bosa, and new punter Cameron Johnston will all play versus Buffalo.  Will there be others?  If so, who, and how much will these players play?
  •  The maturation of Ohio State's passing game:  Miller has supposedly improved from 2012, according to reports from Ohio State's coaching staff.  Will Miller's mechanics be on display versus against Buffalo?  Will Miller demonstrate the ability to find secondary options, versus just taking off with his legs?  Conversely, will Miller demonstrate his maturity of not forcing passes into covered areas, while making positive yardage if all other options have been closed off?
  • How many backups will play:  My rationale in this thought is how critical it is for any team to develop battle-tested depth throughout the team.  As soon as Ohio State has developed a strong lead, I would hope to see backups along the offensive line, as Ohio State will lose four of its five starters for the 2014 season.  How about playing backup quarterback Kenny Guiton, in the event Miller is injured at some other point in the 2013 season?  How about playing Cardale Jones, the second backup quarterback, to get Jones some valuable playing experience?
Ohio State is heavily favored, and should win this game easily. While winning is always the primary objective, other goals should always be pursued to help develop Ohio State into a true national championship contender.

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