It’s officially game week after a long wait, and Ohio State will try to stiff-arm all the distractions and welcome Oregon State to the ‘Shoe. We’ve got your preview and prediction just like we will before every contest in 2018.
Ohio State (0-0), Oregon State (0-0)
Broadcast, TV, Game Time
Date: Saturday, September 1
Game Time: Noon ET
Venue: Ohio Stadium, Capacity – 104,944
All-Time Series: Ohio State leads 2-0
Last Meeting: Ohio State defeated Oregon State 22-14 in 1984
Hey Buckeye fans! Are you ready? It’s finally game week after what has seemed like an agonizingly long off season. From missing the College Football Playoffs to the Joe Burrow transfer, to the Urban Meyer/Zach Smith saga, I think we’re all ready to put the past to bed and look to the future. And the future starts this Saturday at noon.
Of course, we all know the Buckeyes will be taking the field for the first time without Urban Meyer prowling the sidelines since 2011, but interim head coach Ryan Day seems more than capable.
This is Day’s first experience as captain of the ship, so it will be interesting to see how it all plays out. It’s like handing the keys to the Ferrari over to a 16 year old. There’s a chance it’ll run into the guardrails, but some people are ready for the moment when it comes. On the plus side, he’s had some good mentors over the years including Al Golden at Temple, Chip Kelly at the NFL level, and Meyer with Ohio State.
All in all, Day should have a fairly easy first test when the Beavers come to town.
Ohio State Short Attention Span Game Plan
No need to get fancy here. Ohio State has far superior talent at every spot on the field.
With two 1,000 yard backs returning in JK Dobbins and Mike Weber, look for the Bucks to pound the ball and impose their will. The explosive running duo should have ample opportunity for some big runs against a relatively weak defense.
However, with that said, this is an opportunity to open it up a little to see what Dwayne Haskins can do as a full-time starter. The run game will set Haskins up for some big plays down the field. With abundant weapons at wideout that include Binjimin Victor, Johnnie Dixon, KJ Hill, Parris Campbell, Austin Mack, and Terry McLaurin, Haskins will have his choice of quick hitters or the deep ball.
On the defensive side of the ball look for the silver bullets to be unleashed. Oregon State quarterback Jake Luton was giving the starting nod over red shirt sophomore Connor Blount. Luton is a 6-7 pro-style pocket passer that can sling it, but mobility is questionable. With a strong pass rush and a lock down secondary, don’t expect Luton to have time to do much of anything.
Two Key Players For Ohio State
Dwayne Haskins. All eyes will be on the man replacing JT Barrett, and expectations will be high — as they always are in Columbus. But coming in off the bench is a tad different than being the quarterback at The Ohio State University. I expect the run game to be the first option, but I believe the coaches will give Haskins ample opportunity to showcase his skills as well.
Baron Browning. A former five-star recruit from the state of Texas will get the start at middle linebacker as Tuf Borland is recovering from an Achilles injury. The middle-linebacker is the captain of the defense, relaying plays from the sideline and making necessary adjustments pre-snap. There is no doubt the skill is there for Browning, but whether he’ll be able to take charge and make plays to keep getting reps once Borland is cleared remains to be seen.
How It’ll All Go Down
Ohio State just has too much fire power for the Beavers to stand a chance. The Bucks will strike early and often with the starters out by the middle of the third quarter.
Offensively, look for the wealth to be spread. No need to wear out any one player with a full cupboard of talent. Dobbins and Weber will share the load running the ball and we’ll probably get a look at true freshmen Master Teague III and Brian Snead. It will be interesting to see if Tate Martell is used in any special packages or will just serve in backup duties.
On the defensive side, I expect the Buckeyes to be aggressive in pressuring Oregon State all day long. Look for a couple turnovers and maybe even a score from the defense.
All in all, the Bucks do exactly what they are supposed to do and show the college football world they are more focused than ever, despite the off-season distractions.
Ohio State 55, Oregon State 3
Ohio State -38
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