Scarlet and gray Saturdays are here again. This is a match that Ohio State cannot expect to win easily. However, the results don’t happen on paper and the two teams must get off the bus and play a real, raw American football game.
That said, the Buckeyes will have to handle business against their in-state MAC opponents when Toledo runs out of the epic Horseshoe Tunnel for Saturday night’s events.
We are confident that Ohio State is not in big trouble with the Rockets, and before I lay my head on the pillow tonight, OSU will take care of the business when all is said and done. Here are 5 reasons why.
There’s no better way to watch this game than in a David vs. Goliath type matchup. There are many kids in Toledo who wanted to be adopted by Ohio State University. MAC is a solid conference, but built on many players who weren’t your four or five star kids. And while there are clearly a lot of kids who get overlooked as diamonds in the rough, it’s not a hit most of the time. Advantage Oh.
Return of Jackson Smith-Nigba and Julian Fleming
There’s a bit of gamesmanship there, but Ohio State head coach Ryan Day said earlier this week he expects receivers Jackson-Smith-Nigba and Julian Fleming to return to the lineup against Toledo. The Buckeye offense hasn’t yet shown the explosive power of last season, but they’re looking for something to crank up bushel yardage and points against Toledo against being put on the board. Please. The Rockets will have a hard time keeping up.
What was a weakness last season now looks like a strength. While the numbers are skewed when looking at the current situation due to the level of competition other players have played or haven’t played, Ohio’s defense has the potential to create problems for opposing offenses. Toledo have moved the ball very well in their last two games, but things have not always gone smoothly against a Jim Knowles-led defense. Hmm.
It would be one thing if Ohio State had to make a trip to beat a less talented opponent. But hosting that team is an even bigger obstacle to the upset. And while the mid-afternoon crowd at Ohio Stadium can sometimes cool itself down against an unremarkable opponent, that’s not the case at a night game. Give the team wearing scarlet and gray a boost and look for crowds to engage in this.
Ohio State line plays on both sides
Ohio State is bigger and stronger on both sides of the line. The defensive line is he one of the deepest and most talented in the country, and the offensive line is a mass of veterans with the ability to push out the best defensive units. Toledo is downsized in trenches and understaffed, and the Buckeyes should be able to lean against those fronts and run out the Rockets.
The story was originally published on Buckeye Wire