By: Teddy Ellison
The Buckeyes’ opener turned out to be a walk in the park, and now they are going to have to refocus if they want a repeat in week two. The Buckeyes climbed four spots in the AP Poll, jumping from 18th to 14th with a romping of the overmatched Miami (OH) Redhawks. Urban Meyer’s new offense struggled early, but looked strong for the majority of the game. Miami’s pass-friendly offense gave the Buckeyes problems throughout the day, but the Redhawks simply did not have enough weapons to make the game competitive.
This week, a hungry Central Florida team comes into Ohio Stadium with something to prove. September 8th will be the Knights’ National Championship Game, and they will come out fighting.
Coming off a 56-14 victory over the Akron Zips, the Knights hope to make it 2-0 versus Ohio opponents. Conference USA does not provide an up-and-coming program with many opportunities to prove themselves; but a non-conference opponent like Ohio State sure does. Central Florida also has a much more balanced offense than that of the Redhawks, so the eyes will be on Urban Meyer’s defense.
Any team that puts up 56 points in one week has obvious weapons; Ohio State will simply have to match the Knights in both intensity and speed. Watching the game last week, both sides of the ball looked slow, and the team speed will need to improve if they want to compete with a very athletic Central Florida team. The common remark involving the Big Ten has been the lack of team speed in comparison to southern schools—and while Central Florida is not an SEC juggernaut, they possess significant team speed.
I would give Central Florida a chance in this game if starting running back, Latavius Murray, wasn’t injured. But he is, and this will make running the ball nearly impossible against an Ohio State defense that allowed nothing (I mean literally nothing, -1 rushing yard the entire game) on the ground last Saturday. Without the ability to run the ball, the Knights will need a stellar performance out of the passing game and a lot of turnovers; neither of which I envision them getting.
Week two will be another positive notch under Urban Meyer’s belt as the defense comes up big and the offense continues rolling. Another Heisman-worthy performance from Braxton Miller will make this game a blowout early. Prediction: 21-3 at halftime and 38-10 final.