Ohio State week is finally here, and it comes with all the hype of College GameDay in tow. The Buckeyes have opened as 13.5 favorites over the Frogs, and if you listen to Ohio State fans, they fully expect to cover.
It’s not an unwarranted belief, by any stretch of the imagination, as Ohio State touts arguably one of the best defensive lines in the country, as well as incredible talent at quarterback and running back. And, if you’ve seen their first two games of the year, they certainly look like a force to be reckoned with.
The reality is, though, that they’ve played two teams that aren’t even close to their level in Oregon State and Rutgers.
TCU isn’t Oregon State or Rutgers. While on paper the Frogs look outmatched from a talent perspective, we all know that Gary Patterson will get his guys ready to play.
The Buckeyes aren’t without their weaknesses, and TCU isn’t without it’s strengths. This will be a dogfight. Get ready.
Ohio State’s Offense
Sophomore Dwayne Haskins leads the Bucks from behind center, and he’s an exciting talent. Completing 79.2% of his passes through two games, Haskins has thrown for 546 yards and nine touchdowns, to one interception. He’s not much of a dual threat, though, as he’s only run four times this season.
That’s not to say OSU can’t run the ball, though. Between Mike Weber and J.K. Dobbins, the Buckeyes have a strong presence in the run game. Both bigger backs, at 5-10/215, Weber and Dobbins have combined for a little over 350 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns.
From the receiver spot, Ohio State has legitimate depth laden with upperclass talent. Parris Campbell and Terry McLaurin have five combined receiving touchdowns on the season, and K.J. Hill, Austin Mack, and Johnnie Dixon have also made significant impacts in the receiving game.
It should be mentioned, too, that Ohio State has dual-threat redshirt freshman Tate Martell they can turn to as well. Martell has seen significant playing time this season over the course of OSU’s two season-opening blowouts, and he’s performed well. How much he plays on Saturday is yet to be seen.
Ohio State’s Defense
You’re going to hear a lot about Nick Bosa this week. The 6-4, 263 pound defensive end is an elite talent, and he’s going to give TCU’s tackles everything they can handle. Through two games Bosa has five tackles for loss and three sacks, and has absolutely destroyed the guys trying to block him.
The Buckeyes defensive line will arguably be the best DL TCU faces all season, so this will be an incredible test for TCU’s big men up front. Where TCU may excel, though, is in the passing game - where the Frogs’ speed could give Ohio State some problems.
Kendall Sheffield and Damon Arnette are good cover corners, no doubt, but they rarely see speed in the Big 10 like TCU will throw at them on Saturday night. Safety Jordan Fuller made his season debut against Rutgers, and seemed to significantly improve Ohio State’s pass defense in the process. He’s another big name to keep an eye on Saturday.
Ohio State’s Elephant in the Room
Urban Meyer is back and coaching during the week. He won’t be on the sideline Saturday night, but as Gary Patterson said after the SMU game, the fact that Meyer is back coaching and game-planning means the Frogs’ don’t really have an advantage when it comes to him being off the sideline.
With GameDay coming in this week, there’s an “opportunity” for some signage that’s less than savory, surrounding the issues of domestic violence and Zach Smith. Let’s be better than that, please.