It is an interesting period in Ohio State Football. With a new coach and no hopes of a postseason appearance this is a year of change for the Buckeyes.
But a talented young team comes back ready to prove itself, and set the stage for a bright future. With less than a month until the start of the season, practice has begun and excitement is growing.
For the next 3 weeks leading into the season I will be previewing 4 games at a time for the upcoming season.
Ohio State @ Penn State Oct. 27th-
Ok so Penn State had what some would call a rough offseason. So coming into this year, and the next 4, there will be very low expectations for the Nitanny Lions.
Personally I think they will overachieve this season. A decent amount of defenders stayed and new head coach Bill O’Brien will bring the offense out of the Stone Age.
Penn State always plays well against their rival Buckeyes, especially at Happy Valley.
The home field advantage is huge in this matchup, but the Buckeye’s talent outweighs Penn States.
It is going to be one of the better games of the season with the Nitanny Lions giving everything they have to upset Ohio State. In the end though I think the talent of Ohio State will be too much. It will be tied going into the 4th quarter, but the Buckeye’s defense will step up and smother the upset bid.
Ohio State 27 Penn State 24
Ohio State v. Illinois Nov. 3rd-
Ohio State is lucky this game is at home. You can ask any Buckeye fan and they will tell you that Champagne Illinois is one of the most underrated home field advantages.
That being said it is hard to envision the Illini putting up much of a fight.
A large number of question marks on both sides of the ball, particularly on offense, make Illinois hard to predict. If they play like they did at the beginning of last season they can be a top 25 team. If not then it could be a long season at the bottom of the conference.
Ohio State has none of these questions and qill be in full stride by the time they hit November. Urban Meyer should keep his team from looking forward to its two toughest games of the season.
This game will be dominated by the Buckeyes defense and they should have a very comfortable lead by the 2nd half. With a huge lead Ohio State will take their foot off the pedal and allow Illinois some points, but not enough.
Ohio State 38 Illinois 17
Ohio State @ Wisconsin Nov. 17th-
A rematch of one of last season’s best matchups this could be a nail biter again this year.
Every single season this game comes down to one or two plays and this year should be no exception. Both squads are going to be immensely talented heading into this year, and this deep into the season it all comes down to talent.
Despite the loss of Russell Wilson, Wisconsin’s offense won’t take a step back. Montee Ball will be back from the horrible offseason assault and should be running on all cylinders. With Ball completely back and the always stout defense the Badgers will be fine.
It is going to be a rude awakening for the Buckeyes who have run over most of the teams in the Big Ten. The offensive power that Urban Meyer brings to the table won’t be on display in this game.
Instead it is going to be hard-nosed, Big Ten style, football. A tough run defense oriented game favors the Badgers immensely.
Braxton Miller’s talent will keep it close and give Ohio State a chance in the end but cannot pull the upset over Wisconsin.
Wisconsin 21 Ohio State 20
Ohio State v. Michigan Nov. 24th-
This is it. Ohio State’s national championship game; is the biggest of the season for the Buckeyes.
With no postseason hopes everything the Buckeyes have played for comes to a fulcrum in this game. For the Wolverines it is very different, but no less important.
Michigan could come into this game as a national title contender. If that happens then the intensity of this already hate filled rivalry explodes.
Michigan looks to be a fantastic squad this year. The offense will be one of the best in the country, and the defense will improve on an already stellar season. As long as Denard “shoelace” Robinson is in Ann Arbor they will be able to compete with anyone in America.
Michigan edged out the Buckeyes last year. I expect the opposite to happen in the regular season finale. Both teams have everything riding on this game, but I feel like the Buckeyes at home will be able to out duel Denard Robinson.
The win will give Urban Meyer a 10-2 season in his first year, and makes the Buckeyes a favorite heading into 2013.
Ohio State 41 Michigan 38