Are the Buckeyes Overlooking Some Teams? [Guest Post]

OSU Football(This is a guest post by Josh Schott, one of many applicants for the recently open positions on the MotSaG staff.)

Many people around the country look at Ohio State’s 2013 football schedule and don’t think much of it. In fact many would describe it as pretty weak, which is a fair assessment. The Buckeyes are the favorite in every single game and many view the team up north as the only viable opponent that could possibly defeat Ohio State. But as many people always say: The games aren’t played on paper.

I believe there are a few opponents on the Ohio State schedule that could trip the Bucks up and ruin a shot at a second consecutive perfect season. One thing that each of these two trap games have in common is they are both road games. Let’s take a look at the first overlooked opponent…

Game 3 – @California (September 14)

The Silver Bullets should dispatch their “cupcake” opponents (Buffalo and San Diego State) with ease in their first two games. The Buckeyes then travel to Berkley where they take on the Golden Bears. Cal faces Northwestern in the first week of the season at home, which is a challenge for a team with a brand new coaching staff. But let’s say they pull off a mild upset of the Wildcats and then take care of Portland State in week two.

Cal should be pretty confident coming into this game, especially if they’re 2-0. This is a pretty big game for them, especially when they came up just short last season. The Buckeyes nearly lost to the Golden Bears last year because of sloppy tackling and poor execution.

Sonny Dykes takes over the program in his first season and is the main reason why this could be a trap game. I’ve watched Dykes at Louisiana Tech the last few seasons and his type of offense can score a ton of points when firing on all cylinders. His Bulldogs were fifth in the country in total offense, trailing only Oregon, Oklahoma State, Baylor and Texas A&M. The Buckeyes struggled at times against spread offenses at times last season, most notably the close win over Indiana. While Cal doesn’t have star wide receiver Kennan Allen this year, they could do some damage against a fairly young defense early in the season.

Game 6 – @Northwestern (October 5)

Many view this game as the second-toughest opponent on Ohio State’s schedule. This is a testament to how far Northwestern’s program has come under the leadership of Pat Fitzgerald (who could easily be a coach at a more notable program). The Wildcats are coming off a 10-3 season, one of their best years in recent memory. It was all capped off with a 34-20 victory over SEC foe Mississippi State in the Gator Bowl, so they certainly have some momentum coming into the 2013 season.

Two offensive threats scare me and should scare any team that faces Northwestern: running back Venric Mark and quarterback Kain Colter. Mark is an absolute beast. He can do a little bit of everything, running, catching, and punt returns. Mark rushed for 1,366 yards and 12 touchdowns, along with 2 punt returns for touchdowns. When he’s on the field a defense simply needs to pay attention.

Colter is the definition of a dual-threat QB. Although he’s certainly not on the same level as Braxton Miller, Colter is a great player in his own right. Colter threw for 872 yards and 8 touchdowns and rushed for 894 yards with 12 rushing touchdowns last season, so he can certainly burn your defense with his arm or legs. He split time with the now departed Trevor Siemian at the QB position all of last season. Colter will take complete control of the position this season and I expect the coaches to let him ‘go wild.’ The one-two punch of Mark and Colter is a potent combination that could spell trouble for the Bucks defense. While Ohio State has demolished Northwestern in their last four meetings, this is a different Northwestern team. I think I speak for everyone in Buckeye nation in that we don’t want to relive what happened in 2004. (Andre Ware of all people had to call that game too.)

While the expectation is an undefeated season, Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes need to take one game at a time. Upsets can happen at any moment in college football. If the Buckeyes want to make it to Pasadena, they can’t overlook these trap games.

Comments

  1. Based on last years Cal game they better be prepared for a real battle or they could get upset.

    Northwestern has the offense that has given OSU fits the past few years. And its a night game away. Usually this game is 80% Buckeye fans in Evanston but this year it will prob only be 70% lol.

  2. Fans and commentators may be overlooking those games, but I doubt the coaching staff is. As long as the players don’t buy into their own hype, I’m not too worried.

  3. Well mentally they have to be better prepared then they were last year for a lot of those games…. I think they will be for sure.

Trackbacks

  1. […] the toughest opponent on the non-conference schedule, being a West coast trip against a BCS team. As I wrote previously, I consider this to be one of two trap games on the schedule for the Buckeyes. This is the eighth […]

  2. […] interview. Sonny Dykes is the new head coach of the Golden Bears and I’ve talked about before how underrated he is and the kind of potent offenses he has crafted in the past. Northwestern is coming off a successful 10 win season and their first bowl victory in decades. […]

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