Opponent: Ohio University Bobcats
Coach: Frank Solich
Location: Ohio Stadium (Columbus, OH)
Players Recruited By Ohio State: N/A. There are no players on the Ohio University roster that were actively recruited by Ohio State.
Ohio University's rushing offense vs. Ohio State defense: Ohio University traditionally likes to run the ball, considering Coach Frank Solich's Nebraska background. Surprisingly, Ohio University only ran for 39 yards last week against Wyoming. Ohio State's interior defensive linemen are probably the biggest concern area for the defensive unit. Last week, Ohio State completely stuffed Youngstown State, but they will be facing a better, but not much better, offensive unit this game.
Edge: Ohio State
Ohio University's passing offense vs. Ohio State defense: Even with Coach Solich's background, Ohio University is not afraid to put the ball in the air. QB Theo Scott has more game experience than last week's Youngstown State quarterbacks and has two speedy wide receivers in Taylor Price and LaVon Brazill. With Ohio State's secondary still adjusting to the suspensions of CB Donald Washington and S Jamario O'Neal, plus the return of S Kurt Coleman, this should be a better test for the Ohio State secondary. It will be important for Ohio State's pass rush to put pressure on Scott.
Slight Edge: Ohio State
Ohio State's rushing offense vs. Ohio University defense: In case you were vacationing on Pluto, an Ohio State RB by the name of Chris Wells sustained an injury that will keep him sidelined for this game against Ohio University.
Fortunately for Ohio State, they have three other tailbacks (Maurice Wells, Brandon Saine, Daniel "Boom" Herron) who will divide the work among them and should be able to each get at least 15 carries if Coach Jim Tressel is to be believed from his pre-game media discussions.
Ohio University gave up 160 yards rushing to Wyoming last week, so here's an opportunity for Ohio State to control the game. QB Terrelle Pryor will also probably use the option even more than last week, just to give the USC Trojans something else to prepare for on Sept. 13.
Big Edge: Ohio State
Ohio State's passing offense vs. Ohio University defense: QB Todd Boeckman had a decent game last week against Youngstown State, with about a half's worth of playing time. I am looking for more of the same type of activity, perhaps more, as Boeckman will need to play at his best against USC.
WR Brian Robiskie sustained a minor shoulder injury but should be ready to go against Ohio University, and WRs Brian Hartline, DeVier Posey, and Lamaar Thomas all played last week as well. WR Dane Sanzenbacher took a big hit that looked like he was woozy afterwards in the Youngstown State game, but he should be good to go against Ohio University.
The strongest part of Ohio University's defense is its secondary, which finished second in the MAC for pass defense ratings. This will be an interesting area to watch how these two squads compete.
Slight Edge: Ohio State
Special Teams: Ohio University has a nationally ranked return unit, whereas Ohio State is definitely looking to improve in this area from last season. Ohio University returned a kickoff for a touchdown last week against Wyoming. Ohio State did have a strong game with field goals last week against Youngstown State.
Slight Edge: Ohio University
Intangibles: Former Nebraska head coach Frank Solich has done a good job of making Ohio University competitive within the MAC. Solich and his staff do a solid job of identifying Ohio talent and will have their team ready to play against Ohio State.
Considering how tough Ohio University played last week to Wyoming, I do not believe Ohio University will be intimidated coming into Ohio Stadium.
From an Ohio University perspective, how many of the players on the team truly believe Ohio State made a mistake in not recruiting them? Here is a big psychological edge that Ohio University has in a game such as this.
On the Ohio State side, this is a game that the Ohio State coaching staff truly hates, as they have to worry about their team overlooking Ohio University and forward to the big game against USC.
The longer this game stays in doubt, the more Ohio University believes they can pull off an upset. Remember, Ohio University played Ohio State tough back in 1999 for the first half until Ohio State eventually pulled away.
Big Edge: Ohio University
Prediction: I have said this before, and I will say it again ~ while I understand the rationale for Ohio State playing an in-state MAC team, this should be the ONLY game of this type that appears on Ohio State's schedule.
Playing Ohio University the week after Youngstown State only reinforces the "Ohio State plays nobody" mantra that is going throughout the college football world nowadays.
I look for this game to move quickly, due to the heavy Ohio State emphasis on the running game. I will also predict that Coach Tressel will not run up the score, as that is not his style. I will say Ohio State 35, Ohio 7.