Definition of a tune-up game: Florida A&M at Ohio State Football. The undefeated Buckeyes (begrudgingly) play host to the 1-2 Rattlers on Saturday at noon in Ohio Stadium. On one hand, this game will be a good dress rehearsal before kicking off B1G Ten play next week. On the other hand, playing a FCS team and being favored by a hefty 57 points isn’t good for team morale.
The already-dangerous Ohio State offense will have a new look on Saturday, welcoming back RB Carlos Hyde from his three-game suspension and QB Braxton Miller from his minor left knee injury he sustained on the opening drive against San Diego State two weeks ago.
With backup QB Kenny Guiton running the show for two games, the Buckeyes averaged 44.7 points per game, good enough for 17th in the nation. In Hyde’s absence, the majority of the carries went to senior RB Jordan Hall, who didn’t disappoint. Thus far, Hall has rushed for 402 yards and six touchdowns on 64 carries. Even with Hyde returning, Coach Meyer has said that Hall has “earned his carries” and is a legitimate option in the backfield.
Through three games, the Buckeyes have outscored opponents 68-14 in the first quarter, giving up those 14 points against Jared Goff and the Cal Golden Bear’s aptly named “Bear Raid” offense. It’s safe to say that the offense isn’t the question looming over this Ohio State team.
The defense hasn’t been necessarily “bad,” but it hasn’t been that good either. The Buckeyes, on average, have given up 20.3 points per game, placing them at a less-than-stellar 44th in the country.
Yes, the defense has had to replace seven starters. On the flip side, 20.3 points per game by cupcake teams like Buffalo, San Diego State and Cal is unacceptable for a national championship contender.
DL Noah Spence and LB Ryan Shazier have done a great job holding down the line thus far, and it’s safe to expect them to do the same this weekend. This Saturday Coach Meyer and his defensive staff will be looking to the secondary to make big improvements before taking on the more talented B1G offenses.
Not much can be said about the offense or defense the Rattlers will be putting on the field. Whatever happens on Saturday, it’ll be worth it for the Rattlers, who are allegedly receiving $900,000 to make the trip to The Horseshoe. The game kicks off at noon, as Coach Meyer looks to remain undefeated and unblemished as the Commander-in-Chief of the Scarlet and Gray Brigade.