Countdown To THE GAME 2015

Friday, September 11, 2015

Will The Warriors Want To Come Out And Play At Ohio State?

Congratulations to Ohio State on the impressive 42-24 opening victory on the road at Virginia Tech. Ohio State not only was able to avenge its lone loss in 2014 by defeating the Hokies, but the game marked the dynamic return of Braxton Miller for the first time since The 2014 Orange Bowl.



The 1979 movie “The Warriors” is a personal favorite. It is well worth the rental if you have never seen it; scrounge some change from your car or couch, and I am guessing you will be able to have enough for the rental. Anyway, below is one of the classic clips that I felt I had to include in my preview, as Hawaii’s team name are the Rainbow Warriors. Wouldn’t it be tremendous if the Ohio State P.A. announcer included this on Saturday, with Urban Meyer’s face superimposed on the screen of the Rogues’ leader? (I would tell you more, but I truly don’t want to spoil the movie for those of you who have not seen it.)



Earlier this week, Shannon Sommers and I previewed the home opener for Ohio State, as the Buckeyes will welcome in the University of Hawaii for a 3:30pm EST kickoff that will be televised on The Big Ten Network. This game will mark the first time that Ohio State and Hawaii have met on the gridiron. Ohio State comes into this game on only four days of rest, while Hawaii is coming off ten days of rest; Hawaii played Colorado on 09/03/2015. As I stated on this week’s Men of the Scarlet and Gray podcast, traveling to/from Hawaii is a physically exhausting experience, as the trip to/from Ohio will take about nine hours of total flight time.

Here are three quick items to keep an eye out for with Hawaii at Ohio State…

1. Cardale Jones Is The Starting Quarterback, But… ~ Look for J.T. Barrett to get substantially more playing time than what happened against Virginia Tech. It would not be surprising to see Barrett enter the Hawaii game while the contest is still in doubt, as Ohio State Head Coach Urban Meyer may want to keep Barrett fresh. Ohio State fans certainly remember how the 2014 team was forced to play three quarterbacks during the course of the season; why would the coaching staff not have the same pressing concerns? Here is something to contemplate – if this game gets out of hand, and Ohio State builds a truly substantial lead, will redshirt freshman Stephen Collier earn his first playing time as a Buckeye?

2. How Soon Will The Suspended Players Return To The Lineup? ~ Ohio State welcomes back defensive end Joey Bosa and wide receivers Dontre Wilson, Corey Smith, and Jalin Marshall. All are talented players, and can only help the team in a variety of ways going forward. Will Coach Meyer play them in the second or third series, as a manner of continued discipline? On The Urban Meyer Call-In Show on 09/10/2015, Meyer stated that Parris Campbell is a starter, as well as that Curtis Samuel and Braxton Miller will play at H-Back, the same position that Wilson and Marshall have also played.

3. Youth Can, And Should Be Served ~ Jones, Knox, Taylor, Lisle, and Prince. Sounds like a prestigious law firm, and maybe it will be someday in the future. (Jamarco) Jones, (Demetrius) Knox, (Brady) Taylor, (Evan) Lisle, and (Isaiah) Prince represent the listed second team offensive line, from left to right. With Taylor Decker, Jacoby Boren, and Chase Farris all seniors, plus Pat Elflein a redshirt junior who could leave after this season for the 2016 NFL Draft, Ohio State may be in the exact same predicament that the program had in 2014, with four players to replace along the offensive line. Why not play the inexperienced backups, to gain that necessary experience? Ezekiel Elliott will probably rush for over 100 yards by the half; what is there to gain by tiring Elliott out against Hawaii, when players such as Bri’onte Dunn or Warren Ball can take some carries, keeping Elliott fresh for the important stretch run that will begin in November?

Prediction: Hawaii enters this game with a victory over Colorado, but traveling across the mainland into Ohio Stadium is a very tall order. Hawaii has a talented quarterback in Max Wittek, and will throw a 3-4 defensive scheme against Ohio State that the Buckeyes do not routinely encounter. The talent, depth, and experience across the board will just be too much for Hawaii to keep pace.

Earlier this spring, I ranked the opponents on Ohio State’s 2015 schedule, and I ranked Hawaii last. Even the Hawaii correspondent we e-mailed, @dontwarriorboutit, predicted this to be a rout for Ohio State, with a 61-17 prediction. I have it 63-10, as Ohio State will try to keep it from getting out of hand, but it may be difficult with so many talented players, eager to impress the coaching staff, in the hope that impressive plays may garner them more playing time.

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