The Buckeyes return home from a successful Left Coast trip to play an FCS opponent out of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC), the Rattlers of Florida A&M University (FAMU). The Buckeyes (3-0) are coming off an exciting, yet convincing, win over Cali-Berkeley (52-34), while the Rattlers (1-2) lost to Samford (27-20).
This is OSU’s last game before Conference play begins, so it will be a good opportunity to take care of a few loose ends. False starts and tackling techniques come to mind. Even though, to Jason’s chagrin, this is a noon start, the weather forecast is for low 70’s, cloudy and 30% chance of rain. This is no time to “go Cal” and not show up until well into the game. We’re fortunate to have a really good football team; be there to support them.
Ohio State on Offense
This will be a good game to get a couple quarterbacks some playing time before conference play; Braxton Miller and Cardale Jones. I think that Ken Guiton has proved his capability and reliability. Braxton probably needs some fine tuning after missing the last two games, and Cardale needs some ‘live fire’ experience, just in case.
Oh, and the Buckeyes get starting (last year, anyway) running back Carlos Hyde back, although how much playing time he gets is up in the air. I anticipate Dontre Wilson to get more involved with the offense, and possibly even some Ezekiel Elliot. However, the bulk of the non-Jordan Hall carries will be Hyde’s
FAMU’s defense is giving up 321 yards per game, good for 70th in the country if they were FBS. I think that pending too much experimentation on Urban’s part, OSU will find this defense a bit less challenging than last week. The bright spot for FAMU is that against Samford, they did come up with 2 pick-6’s.
Ohio State on Defense
Ohio State is currently averaging giving up 20 points per game. FAMU currently averages 18 points per game. Unless OSU falls asleep in garbage time, this should be a low scoring affair for the Rattlers.
Their running game isn’t great shakes, either. Including Fleming, the Rattlers have had 5 ball carriers tote the rock 96 times for 323 yards (3.4 YPC) and 3 TD’s. Their leading receiver is 5’10” junior Lenworth Lennon who has contributed 14 receptions, 229 yards and 1 TD. Since Lenworth accounts for half of the Rattlers receptions and yardage, he’s obviously their aerial go-to guy.
That’s it. FAMU is simply not a very good offensive team.
So, how’s it going to shake out? Right now the line is OSU -50, down from -57 earlier in the week. I doubt that the prospect of Ohio State having Braxton Miller and Carlos Hyde accounts for this drop. I’d guess that at the initial -57, some entertainment funds were weighted to FAMU, so Certain Professionals made the downward adjustment.
Frankly, Florida A&M is not a very good team, certainly not close to caliber of teams that Ohio State has played thus far. In terms of Urban ironing out any wrinkles and getting less experienced players into a game, this is a good tilt. To showcase OSU’s skills, not so much.
I expect the Buckeyes to blitz out to an early, substantial lead, as they’ve done this season, but this time maintaining the offensive momentum. To be honest, I expect the margin of victory to be substantial, although maybe not “cover the spread” substantial. This is last chance to figure out player rotations before Wisconsin come to town the following week.
The game is scheduled for a 12:00 PM EST kickoff. Television coverage is through BTN. Please join us at tBBC for live in-game chat approximately 30 minutes before kickoff. We look forward to seeing you.