Countdown Until THE GAME 2018

Friday, June 24, 2016

It May Be Wild When The Wildcats Play At Ohio Stadium

“ Hell, there are no rules here – we’re trying to accomplish something…” ~ Thomas Edison
Leave it to Thomas Edison, an Ohioan and considered “The Father Of Invention”, to appropriately summarize the goals for the 2016 Ohio State football team. No rules – just accomplish something.
“Something” is a pretty vague and open concept. Considering how much talent Ohio State lost to graduation and the NFL Draft, considering how I have written throughout spring practice about how 44 players on Ohio State’s roster are either redshirt freshmen or true freshmen…Damn right, Mr. Edison. There are no rules. Ohio State fans are just looking to see what this team can accomplish against a much tougher schedule in 2016 than 2015, with tremendously talented, yet inexperienced, players.
Northwestern Wildcats (Game 8)
2016 OSU Opponent Ranking: 6 out of 12
Players Recruited By Ohio State: DE Ifeadi Odenigbo was for certain.  DL Ben Oxley claimed to have an Ohio State offer, but I did not see that on any of the recruiting sites I visited.  Oxley does hail from my hometown of Avon Lake, which is a plus in my book.
Game Date: October 29, 2016
Kickoff Time: 5:30pm EST, telecast TBD on ABC, ESPN, or ESPN2
Location: Ohio Stadium
Rationale For The Ranking: Northwestern makes its first trip into Ohio Stadium since 2007, when Jim Tressel was the head coach for the Buckeyes, Todd Boeckman was the starting quarterback for the Buckeyes, and virtually everyone on both teams were still in grade school.  Ohio State played at Northwestern in 2013, when Carlos Hyde came back from a three game suspension to score three touchdowns and rush for 168 yards in a 40-30 victory.
Here’s a better reason why I think Ohio State needs to be on their toes for this one - Ohio State will be coming off two road games at night (at Wisconsin, at Penn State), while Northwestern will have played a home game versus Indiana the week before.  This is the kind of game that Ohio State cannot afford to be complacent about, as Northwestern won ten games in 2015.  Pat Fitzgerald will have the Wildcats thinking upset.
Prediction: Ohio State will be excited to be playing in front of the home crowd for the first time in weeks.  While not a traditional "night game", the sun will have set by the time this game concludes.  Considering this is Halloween weekend, the fans will be in good form for this one.  As long as Ohio State comes into this game in the right frame of mind, after two potentially challenging road games, look for the Buckeyes to finish up October on a winning note.
Previous Rankings:
8 – at Maryland
9 – Indiana 
10- Rutgers
11- Bowling Green
12- Tulsa

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