The Hurricanes face the toughest battle of the season when they visit Columbus on September 11. The Hurricanes offense was excellent last year. Are they powerful enough to move the ball against the brick wall the Ohio State Buckeyes bring to almost every game?
What names should Hurricanes fans pay attention to on that fateful day? They should watch four Buckeye defenders in particular. Cameron Heyward, Todd Denlinger, Ross Homan, and Chimdi Chekwa can still bring the pain. They proved last year that stopping the run is something they can do. Of course, the Hurricanes have some depth at running back this year.
The following statistic may make some of you a little nervous. Ohio State ranked seventh last year, giving up 90.8 rushing yards per game. To make matters worse for Miami, they ranked 69th in the nation with 138 rushing yards per game.
The passing game was rather nice, as they passed for 261.9 yards per game, which ranked 31st in the nation. Ohio State showed some ability to disrupt opponents' passing attacks, giving up 171.5 yards per game, which was 12th in football.
Many fans on both sides will point to the fact that Ohio State has lost a few defensive players. However, Ohio State is not a team that rebuilds; they reload. Even the freshmen will probably make big plays this year. There may be a drop-off in performance, but if there is, it will not be all that noticeable.
It is crucial that Miami silences the crowd right away. If they don't get at least a 10-0 lead on Ohio State, the game will be over quickly. If Ohio State jumps out to a 10-0 lead and the crowd gets into it, Miami is finished off quickly.
Starting hot and gaining momentum will be more critical in this game than other on the schedule. The crowd is 100,000-plus strong. There is an army of fans that Miami is competing against, not just the Ohio State Buckeyes. History proves that these fans can be a difference-maker.
If Miami is down 10-0 in the first or second quarter, there will be a high risk of multiple false start penalties. The reason for that is that the horseshoe gets so loud, it is borderline impossible to hear the play calls. Miami has a chance to win this game, but it will be a very difficult, borderline impossible game to win. They will need to be at their very best to have any shot at the upset.