- 2017-18 Record: 12-2 (8-1 Big Ten)
- Head Coach: Ryan Day (Urban Meyer suspended)
- Total Offense 2017 Ranking: 7th in the Country (506.0 YPG)
- Total Defense 2017 Ranking: 9th in the Country (300.9 YPG)
The Tale of the Tape
When anyone lists their top ten college football programs of all time, the Ohio State Buckeyes are almost always in or around the top of the list. Since joining the Big Ten in 1912, THE Ohio State has won 8 National Championships, the most recent of which was in 2014, and 36 Big Ten conference titles. They also hold an official record of 898 wins, 324 losses, and 53 ties. Needless to say, the Buckeyes are a really good team, and have been for a very long time.
Most teams would be very happy with a 12-2 season. However, many Ohio State fans were left feeling disappointed with how their season had gone. After a solid win at Indiana to open the season, the Buckeyes were taken down by Baker Mayfield and the Oklahoma Sooners at the Horseshoe. Ohio State would rebound in the following weeks with wins over Nebraska and Penn State, and raising their record to 7-1. However, all hopes of making the college football playoff were crushed with an embarrassing 55-24 road loss to Iowa.
While Ohio State found redemption in a convincing 24-7 Rose Bowl win over USC, the embarrassment continued when Urban Meyer was suspended for 3 games as a result of a massive scandal involving former offensive coordinator Zach Smith. While this means that Ohio State will be without their Head Coach, it also means that the Buckeyes could be looking to vent their frustrations on the field.
With tensions and expectations running high on and off the field, I would imagine the game might get chippy early and often.
Player to watch:
Nick Bosa(Defensive End, Jr.)
If you think his older brother Joey is good, wait until you see Nick Bosa.
The 6’4, 265 lb defensive end is already thinking pro, with many experts projecting him to go early in the first round. With expectations running sky-high, expect to see Nick Bosa’s name called a lot on Saturday.
Biggest Question Mark:
Who will lead the Buckeyes offense at QB?
JT Barrett is gone. Now, Ohio State has to figure out who is going to lead an offense that was ranked 7th in the Country in total offense. In 2017, JT Barrett led the Buckeyes with almost 4,000 yards of offense and over 45 TD’s, while also going 38-6 as a starter over his 5 year career. So, who will be lining up under center on Saturday? It’s been reported that Junior Dwayne Haskins will get the starting nod, although Freshman Tate Martell is pushing him for the position. Both QB’s have impressed during Spring and Fall Camp. Haskins started in place of JT Barrett in a 31-20 win over Michigan last season. He finished the year 40-57 for 565 yards, 4 TD’s and 1 interception. While Martell didn’t play last year, he has a big arm and has drawn comparisons to Johnny Manziel. While Haskins will be getting the starting nod, don’t be surprised if both QB’s see significant playing time.
History with Oregon State:
The Buckeyes and the Beavers have only met twice, and both times were in Buckeye Stadium. The two schools first met in 1974, with Dee Andros leading the Beavers and Woody Hayes leading the Buckeyes. The Beavers were no match for the #2 ranked Buckeyes, as the Buckeyes stomped the Beavers 51-10. Dee Andros would resign the following year after finishing a 1-10 season. In 1984, the two teams would play again with two new coaches. Joe Avezzano led the Beavers while Earl Bruce led the Buckeyes. Despite the Buckeyes being ranked #6, the Beavers played the Buckeyes tough, losing in a 22-14 nail-biter that saw Oregon State hold a 14-3 halftime lead.
Oregon State will fly back to Corvallis to face Southern Utah in a tune-up game before flying out to Reno to play Nevada in their final non-conference game. Ohio State will stay in Columbus for a Big Ten match-up with Rutgers before flying out to Arlington, Texas for a neutral site showdown with #16 TCU in AT&T Stadium.