For Ohio State:
This game provides an opportunity for the Buckeyes to get back on track defensively.
Through three games, Ohio State ranks 66th in the country in total defense and 101st in passing defense. Opposing quarterbacks have found massive holes in the Buckeyes’ secondary, and to date, Ohio State has given up an average of 283 passing yards per game.
Even when Ohio State dialed up the pressure and sacked Cal quarterback Zach Maynard six times last Saturday, he still found a way to complete 70 percent of his passes for 280 yards.
UAB gets practically nothing from their running game, so Ohio State should expect the Blazers to throw the ball quite a bit. It will be important for the Buckeyes to show improvement defending the pass before conference play begins.
For the Blazers, this game provides an opportunity to build on the positives displayed last week against No. 8 South Carolina.
UAB has one of the worst rushing offenses in the country, averaging just a hair over 80 yards per game. They will likely need to throw the ball early and often to keep it competitive, and with how poorly Ohio State’s secondary has played this year, UAB could build some confidence with a good performance.