Ryan Day: C.J Stroud to rest this week (Shoulder) – Meet Kyle McCord

Ohio State fans will get their first look at former 5-star recruit Kyle McCord this weekend against Akron.

C.J. Stroud has started the first three games for the Buckeyes but will rest his shoulder and will only be used in an “emergency” capacity this Saturday vs the Zips via The Ryan Day Show podcast.

Ohio State will have both Kyle McCord and Jack Miller available at QB.

McCord, true freshman, enrolled in Columbus back in January and this Saturday will be his first live action for the Buckeyes.

He is from Philadelphia 

McCord, along with Buckeye teammate Marvin Harrison Jr. led St. Joseph Prep to three straight PIAA state titles in Pennsylvania. 

McCord won the starting quarterback job as just a sophomore and passed for 2,883 yards and 38 touchdowns.

As a junior, McCord faced an injury that was disclosed, and he missed four weeks — but he still threw for 2,399 yards and 31 touchdowns.

McCord was an absolute stud his senior year of high school leading St. Joseph Prep to another state championship and in that game, McCord completed 21-for-28 passes for 337 yards and 4 TDs. (Before that game he threw for 6 touchdowns in the 6A semifinal)

According to (Ohio State Buckeyes) McCord ended his high school career with 6,887 and 88 passing touchdowns — setting league and city records.

— He also went on to receive an All-American Bowl and Elite 11 Finals invite. 

He was a 5-star recruit

According to 247Sports Composite rankings, McCord was a 5-star ranked the #28 prospect in the country and the #6 ranked QB.

McCord chose the Buckeyes over Penn State, Michigan, Michigan State, Texas A&M and many more.

True freshman Denzel Burke, the real deal

It’s not often you see a true freshman come into Ohio State and get a start at the defensive back position — injuries, and other off-the-field things can allow this to happen — but for Denzel Burke it was deserved this summer.

Burke was a four star recruit in Ohio State’s 2021 class and is looking like a ‘steal’ for this Buckeyes secondary.

Ohio State’s defensive coordinator Kerry Coombs met with the media this week and was asked if he ever imagined starting a true freshman at cornerback, and before the question was even finished Coombs said “no, no.”

Coombs went on to says he likes his corners to have a bit more experience before starting in a Big Ten game, but due to the absence of Cam Brown and Sevyn Banks, the Buckeyes needed someone to step up.

Burke took the field in Minneapolis Thursday night and did just that — he led the Buckeyes in pass breakups (3). — According to PFF/Eleven Warriors he also tied senior safety Josh Proctor for the most snaps among the Ohio State defensive backs Thursday night.

The typical true freshman would be nervous out there, but nothing fazed Burke and he was the only cornerback on the Buckeyes defense to earn a champion grade from the coaches on Monday.

Not only have the coaches been impressed with what he’s been able to bring to the team, the players have taken note of Burke’s abilities all summer long.

Wide receiver Chris Olave met with the media and said he’s a “huge fan” of Burke and said the true freshman is “one of the top guys we have at the cornerback position.”

“He’s a pro to me. In camp he’s running with the first team, he’s batting me and Garrett, talking mess, playing with his swag,” Olave said.

“He’s going to be great, so I can’t wait to see that.”

The Buckeyes have had some great defensive backs enter the NFL the past few seasons with names like Denzel Ward, Marshon Lattimore, Jeff Okudah, Bradley Roby, Damon Arnette, Eli Apple, Kendall Sheffield, and Shaun Wade

It seems like the freshman from Scottsdale, AZ is heading towards that path.

Marvin Harrison Jr., TreVeyon Henderson, stars in the making

Coming to a program like Ohio State as a highly ranked recruit is enough pressure for young collegiate athletes, but living up to the hype and making a name for yourself early on is another thing.

Former 4-star WR Marvin Harrison from St. Joseph’s Prep High School and 5-star RB TreVeyon Henderson from Hopewell High School are doing just that — living up to expectations.

Marvin Harrison Jr.

From the minute Harrison Jr. stepped onto campus Ryan Day was impressed with his ‘more’ defined physique, and he didn’t disappoint on the field either. — Harrison Jr, the son of NFL Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison, was the first freshman from the offensive side of the ball to lose his black stripe. You saw why from the Ohio State Football media team post ”Throw it up. Marv will catch it” (@OhioStateFB) as Harrison Jr. caught three INCREDIBLE passes, one being a tough catch in the back of the endzone for a touchdown thrown by quarterback C.J. Stroud.

Coach day had high praise for the freshman WR:

“Excellent attention to detail with his routes,” said Day. “Somebody who cares a lot. He’s in here after hours. He’s here early in the morning. He takes a lot of pride in his work, and he’s making plays.”

Reports say Harrison Jr. lined up with the second-string offense, along with junior Jameson Williams and fellow freshman Emeka Egbuka.

TreVeyon Henderson

Being ranked the #22 player in the country, and #1 ranked running back — you’re going to have a lot of eyes on you, and Henderson didn’t disappoint anyone with his performance in camp thus far.

Henderson did not get to play his senior year of high school football at Hopewell due to the COVID-19 pandemic but seems to have left off right where he started — Henderson rushed for 2,424 yards and 45 touchdowns his junior season.

Henderson is the first freshman running back to lose his black stripe in spring practice since Urban Meyer introduced the routine in 2012. (He was the third player to lose it this spring — (Sawyer, Harrison Jr)

Coach Day met with the media this past week and stated that Henderson is doing all the right things early:

“He’s had a good attitude. He’s got a good work ethic. He’s done everything right so far,” Day said. “Now he’s still gotta play more and learn every day. He needs a million reps. But the talent is there. The work ethic is there. I think he’s going to have a really bright future here. He’s done everything we’ve asked him to do so far.”

Day went on saying: “He’s flashed at times already,” Day said. “So excited to see what that looks like during the spring game.”

It’s too early to say Harrison Jr and Henderson are going to be immediate factors for the Buckeyes offense this season, as they have a LOADED WR and RB room, but there’s no denying the future for these two freshmen are BRIGHT, and they will see the field sooner rather than later.

Spring Ball Updates

Stroud Leads QB battle

  • The notable discussion this offseason for the Buckeyes was the three-way quarterback battle between C.J. Stroud, Jack Miller, and Kyle McCord. Ohio State opened practice to the media for the second time and reporters noted Stroud was the first quarterback in the passing order followed by Miller and then by true freshman McCord.
  • Reports note Stroud is building momentum due to his “big arm, underrated athleticism, and strong personality.”

Jeremy Rucket

  • Buckeye nation loved the news when Jeremy Ruckert announced he was returning for his final season with the Buckeyes and he looks to dominate
  • Ruckert will be a big-time weapon for Ohio State’s offense this year. Kevin Wilson thinks he can be “the most complete TE in the nation.”

Master Teague

  • Teague is back and ran an UNREAL 4.35 40 yard dash this offseason. That’s very impressive for a guy that’s 5-11 226.
  • The other RB’s to note are Miyan Williams and true freshman 5-star TreVeyon Henderson

WR core

  • We all know this unite of Zone 6 is ELITE with studs Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson returning but some freshman have been making some noise
  • Reports note Emeka Egbuka (5-star #1 ranked WR) is FAST
  • @OhioStateFB posted a video of Marvin Harrison Jr. catching three TOUGH passes against the Buckeyes secondary
  • This unit also has Jameson Williams, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, and Julian Fleming returning

Center Position

  • With Harry Miller sidelined this spring, Day says “Matthew Jones, Luke Wypler and Jakob James have been taking the reps at center.”
  • Luke Wypler is looking like the guy at center during spring ball per reports
  • Wypler has been getting first-team reps and making big improvements heading into his second year with the Buckeyes


  • A big topic heading into this season is how the Buckeyes’ secondary will play after a ‘disappointing’ year this past season:
  • Kerry Coombs says Lathan Ransom is practicing at the cover safety/slot position right and from videos posted by the Ohio State social media team (@OhioStateFB) he’s looking to have a breakout sophomore season for this secondary
  • Coombs also noted Josh Proctor started the spring as the first-team deep safety and has been playing “really well.”
  • The coaches have been IMPRESSED with the true freshman defensive back from Arizona, Denzel Burke. Ryan Day says that he has already “flashed” and is making plays in practice. Defensive backs coach Matt Barnes says he’s been “blown away” by Burke thus far. The 6-0, 189 Burke has a bright future for the Buckeyes
  • Another name that keeps coming is Ryan Watts. Reports note Watts had a very productive winter off-season in the weight room. Watts is showing his potential and could be a HUGE contributor to the secondary this upcoming season

Tyleik Williams

  • The 6-3, 330 freshman DT from Manassas, VA. has been getting some high praise from his teammate this spring
  • Zach Harrison says Williams looks “really good” and “really promising” so far

More to come:

Buckeyes C.J. Stroud, poised to be great:

The 6-3, 205-pound quarterback is primed for a breakout career for the Ohio State offense.

C.J. Stroud will be in a quarterback battle all summer into fall camp with fellow quarterback Jack Miller III and incoming 5-star freshman Kyle McCord, all competing for the job — but Stroud is certainly the favorite. 

According to 247sports, Stroud was a four-star in high school ranked #42 in the country and #2 pro-style quarterback.

Stroud is from Rancho Cucamonga, CA. where he threw for 6,569 yards and 70 touchdowns in his career at Rancho Cucamonga high school. — His senior was extraordinary as he threw for 3,878 yards and 47 touchdowns leading his team to the state semifinals. 

During his senior campaign, he competed at the Elite 11, the nation’s premier quarterback competition, and won MVP. — Scouts have compared Stroud to NFL quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

As a true freshman, Stroud’s significant moment came against Michigan State when he sprinted off for a 48-yard touchdown run — He never attempted a pass but was the first to replace Justin Fields off the bench versus Michigan State and Rutgers.

Stroud has all the tools to become the next great Buckeye quarterback.

He has a solid frame and his high school film shows he has one of the strongest arms with a smooth tight release and has unreal athleticism to make plays outside of the pocket. Along with that, Stroud throws the deep ball with great touch and accuracy.

Stroud may be the favorite heading into next season, but the three-way quarterback battle will be surreal, and this Ohio State offense will be highly-powered and explosive come the 2021 season.

Chris Olave returning for senior season with Buckeyes:

With all eyes expecting Ohio State’s star wide receiver Chris Olave to enter his name into the 2021 draft, he announced he’ll return for his senior season.

“I’d like to thank God for this life, without him none of this is possible,” Olave wrote on Twitter and thanked coach Ryan Day, wide receivers coach Brian Hartline, strength coach Mickey Marotti along with Buckeye nation.

“There are so many great memories, but we’re not done yet, I’ll be returning for my senior year at Ohio State,” says Olave.

In his three-year career as a Buckeye, Olave has caught 110 catches, 1,766 yards, and 22 touchdowns.

He was projected as likely a first-round NFL pick and shocked Buckeye nation with his return.

The announcement is huge for the offense heading into next fall.

Key offensive pieces entered the 2021 draft, as expected — Justin Fields, Wyatt Davis, and Trey Sermon.

Olave’s value is magnificent and was on full display this past season as he was unable to participate in the Big Ten Championship game due to COVID protocols — the Buckeyes struggled in the passing game as Justin Fields completed only 12 of 27 passes for 114 yards.

Olave’s return, along with tight end Jeremy Ruckert and left tackle Thayer Munford is enormous, especially within the quarterback room.

The Buckeyes will see a new face at starting quarterback come next fall with sophomores CJ Stroud, Jack Miller, and 5-star true freshman Kyle McCord all competing for the job — the return of Ruckert, Munford, and Olave will help break in a new quarterback.

Olave’s revenge game against Clemson was surreal as he caught six passes for 132 yards and two touchdowns.

Against the Crimson Tide in the national title game, Olave caught eight passes for 69 yards.

His career as a Buckeye has been special — But he’s not done yet and has one goal in mind.

C02 is back.

5-star Buckeye commit Quinn Ewers, Caroll Dragons ready for state title game:

Ohio State five-star commit Quinn Ewers, the country’s No. 1 overall prospect in the class of 2022 is ready for the big stage.

Ewers, and his Carroll Dragons will take on Cade Klubnik and Austin Westlake for the Texas 6A Division 1 title game.

Despite missing six games due to a sports hernia, the 6-foot-3, 195-pound Ewers has been a force for the Dragon’s offense all season long.

Ewers has played in seven games, throwing for 2,091 yards, 25 touchdowns, with a 125 QBR.

Last season the Dragons suffered a fourth-round playoff loss to Duncanville — Ewers, as a sophomore threw for 393 yards and 3 touchdowns despite the losing efforts —

The Dragons got their revenge this season defeating Duncanville 34-27 advancing to the state title. Ewers threw only 11 times for 168 yards with 2-total touchdowns — one rushing, one throwing. —

According to Maxpreps.com, the Dragons are currently ranked No. 3 in the state and No. 21 nationally while Austin Westlake is ranked No. 1 in the state and No. 10 nationally.

Ewers and the Dragons will take on Westlake at AT&T Stadium with a 7 p.m. CST (8 p.m. EST) start time.

The game will be streamed on Fox Sports Southwest:


Buckeyes future is… BRIGHT

When the Big Ten’s fall season fell apart, the thought of Ohio State playing in the national championship seemed like an imagination. 

Coach Ryan Day, Justin Fields, and the Buckeyes fought hard for this season and made it a reality. Fields started a #WeWantToPlay petition which received 250,000 signatures and it took off from there.

That’s all this Buckeye team wanted, a chance. On Sept. 16, when the Big Ten announced a season will take place in October, they got just that.

The Buckeyes ran with the opportunity and didn’t disappoint. This team faced more obstacles than imagined throughout the year. They faced COVID difficulties from week 6 of the season until the end but didn’t stop the fight.

This team was doubted from the start and proved all the doubters wrong winning the Big Ten championship, beating Clemson in the Sugar Bowl championship, and finished the historic season with a heartbroken national championship loss to one of Alabama’s most talented teams we’ve seen in years. 

Looking ahead

Leaving (accepted senior bowl invite or most likely to enter draft.): Justin Fields, Wyatt Davis, Shaun Wade, Chris Olave, Trey Sermon, Jonathan Cooper, Tuf Borland, Baron Browning, Marcus Williamson, Drue Chrisman, Justin Hillard.

POSSIBILITY of returning: Tommy Togiai, Haskell Garrett, Pete Werner, Sevyn Banks, Nick Petit-Frere, Jeremy Ruckert, Tyreke Smith.

2021-2022 Season

The Offense

The Quarterback Battle:..Will be as competitive as it gets. CJ Stroud and Jack Miller will be looked at as the front runners for the job heading into the season, but incoming 5-star freshman Kyle McCord may add a three-way race to be the Buckeyes next quarterback.

  • CJ Stroud: Class of 2020 (4 star, #2 QB, #42 overall)
  • Jack Miller: Class of 2020 (4 star, #13 QB, #334 overall)
  • Kyle McCord: Class of 2021 (5 star, #3 QB, #25 overall)

Offensive Line…Remain dominant. Nick Petit-Frere, Matthew Jones, Harry Miller, Dawand Jones, and Paris Johnson Jr. will be a force up front.

Running Backs…Competition will be interesting. The Buckeyes will have Master Teague, Miyan Willams coming back, but incoming #1 ranked, 5-star running back TreVeyon Henderson will add some fuel to that competition.

Wide Receivers…Are loaded. Garrett Wilson will be returning for his junior season and looks to have a Heisman type of year. He has the talent and ability to put up record-breaking numbers for this Buckeyes offense next season. The WR core will also bring back Jameson Williams and stud freshmen Jaxon Smith-Njiba and Julian Fleming. The Buckeyes also bring in the #1 and #8, and #15 WR in Emeka Egbuka, Jayden Ballard and Marvin Harrison Jr.

The Defense

D-Line…Are dominant and ready. The D-line will consist of Tyreke Smith (if returns), Taron Vincent, Jerron Cage, Zach Harrison, Tyler Friday. Along with these five, Incoming freshman Jack Sawyer (ranked #4 in the country) will make an immediate impact for the defense.

Linebackers…Will consist of some new faces. However, will be poised for a big year: Dallas Gant, Craig Young, Cody Simon, and Javontae Jean-Baptiste

Secondary…Is improved and prepared. Sevyn Banks and Josh Proctor will be returning and looking for a strong offseason translating it into next fall. Cornerback Cameron Brown will be back after suffering a Torn Achilles against Penn State early in the season. Along with these three true freshman Lathan Ransom showed his star potential to be a stud for this secondary.

The Buckeyes will also have the #3 and #4 ranked cornerbacks in the country coming in (Jakailin Johnson, Jordan Hancock).

The 2021 Recruiting Class: according to 247sports

  • Jack Sawyer, DE (#4 player, #3 pos)
  • Emeka Egbuka, WR (#9 player, #1 pos)
  • Donovan Jackson, OG (#17 player, #1 pos)
  • TreVeyon Henderson, RB (#24 player, #1 pos)
  • Kyle McCord, QB (#25 player, #3 pos)
  • Jakailin Johnson, CB (#47 player, #3 pos)
  • Mike Hall, DT (#49 player, #4 pos)
  • Jayden Ballard, WR (#66 player, #8 pos)
  • Jordan Hancock, CB (#67 player, #4 pos)
  • Evan Pryor, ARB (#81 player, #2 pos)
  • Reid Carrico, LB (#84 player, 5 pos)
  • Marvin Harrison Jr, WR (#91 player, #15 pos)
  • Ben Christman, OG (#124 player, #6 pos)
  • Tyleik Williams, DT (#161 player, #12 pos)
  • Andre Turrentine, S (#167 player, #9 pos)
  • Denzel Burke, ATH (#191 player, #8 pos)
  • Jantzen Dunn, S (#202 player, #12 pos)
  • Zen Michalski, OT (#318 player, #23 pos)

Early 2022 Recruiting Class look: according to 247sports

  • Quinn Ewers, QB (#1 player, #1 pos)
  • Jahiem Singletary, CB (#10 player, #5 pos)
  • Caleb Burton, WR (#14 player, #1 pos)
  • Gabe Powers, LB (#33 player, #2 pos)
  • C.J. Hicks, LB (#38 player, #3 pos)
  • Dasan McCullough, ATH (#54 player, #6 pos)
  • Jyaire Brown, CB (#123 player, #13 pos)
  • Tegra Tshabola, OT (#138 player, #15 pos)
  • Benji Gosnell, TE (#265 player, #12 pos)

Future is bright.

Ohio State vs. Alabama national championship key player matchups: by Mike Scharf

We are officially one day away from the 2021 National Championship between Ohio State and Alabama. Both the Buckeyes and Crimson Tide are coming off dominant performances in the CFP semifinals and are prepared for the biggest game of the year.

Both teams are led by star players in key positions, and the outcome will come down to these players and the matchups that present themselves on both sides of the ball.

The four key matchups for Monday night are seen below:

Trey Sermon vs Dylan Moses

Trey Sermon has been rolling and making a name for himself this postseason dominating on the ground in the Big Ten championship and CFP semifinals rushing for a combined 524 yards and 3 touchdowns. The ground game has been near perfect for Sermon and this Buckeye offense but come Monday the biggest threat to the Tide may be Sermon in the pass game. Sermon had 61 receiving yards on 4 catches against Clemson and will look to be more of a factor in this aspect against this Alabama defense.

This is when the matchup with Alabama’s star linebacker Dylan Moses comes into play. Moses has been dominant stopping the run as he has 38 tackles this season but has struggled in pass coverage as of late. 

Look for the Sermon-Moses matchup in open field — with Sermon taking full advantage of it. —

Devonta Smith vs OSU’s Secondary

Coming into the biggest game of the year, everyone knows how dominant Heisman winner Devonta Smith has been all year. Smith can beat you in more ways than one — catching, handoffs, punt returners — He’s the real deal. 

The Buckeyes are known to have highly talented defensive backs. Their best this season is Shaun Wade. Wade flourished in the slot last year, while coming back this season to play on the outside to prove he’s capable of playing both positions. Although Wade has not been as solid on the outside this season, he’s still a Thorpe Award semifinalist and has all the tools to be a factor in this matchup.

The matchup will be an interesting one — I expect to see the Buckeye secondary to show more zone and focus more help containing Smith whereas leaving him on an island could lead to success for the Tides offensive game plan.

Chris Olave vs Patrick Surtain

SEC Defensive Player of the Year Patrick Surtain has been locked down all season, and not many quarterbacks throw his way.

The 6-foot-2 junior recorded 32 tackles, 10 pass breakups and one interception this season.

With that being said, Chris Olave is the real deal. Buckeye Nation saw how valuable Olave is as he missed the Big Ten championship against Northwestern, and the Buckeyes found struggles opening up the pass game in a 22-10 victory.

Olave was available in the CFP semifinal against Clemson and didn’t disappoint as he had 6 receptions for 132 yards and 2 touchdowns.

In a short season for the Buckeyes, Surtain will be Olave’s toughest matchup thus far and the two will be in a battle all game. 

If Justin Fields finds trouble throwing Surtain’s way, look for Garrett Wilson to have a monster game on the other side for the Buckeyes.

Najee Harris vs OSU’s Defensive Line

Along with Devonta Smith, Najee Harris has been a working force for the Crimson Tide offense. Harris has 1,387 yards and 24 touchdowns while averaging 6.1 yards per carry.

With more COVID issues swirling around the Buckeyes program, we are not sure who is suiting up for game time.

But — Zach Harrison, Jonathan Cooper and Haskell Garrett are players we expect to see. Look for these three to control the line of scrimmage against the Tides front and contain Harris from making explosive plays. 

If the Buckeyes defensive line can contain Harris and apply pressure on quarterback Mac Jones, look for this team to find success Monday night.

These are two of the best programs in the past century we’ve seen in College Football.

The stage is set. The matchups will be exciting. A champion will be crowned.

Ohio versus the world.

National Championship X-Factors: Offense by Mike Scharf

Over the past century, whether it’s been on the field or in recruiting, the Buckeyes and Crimson Tide have been two of the most dominant programs in the sport. 

Ohio State has won 931 games to go along with 8 national championships. Alabama has won 928 games while claiming 15 national championships.

On. Jan 11. The two programs meet for only the fifth time in history — Ohio State has a record of 1-3 against Alabama — the last meeting coming in the first ever College Football playoffs in 2015, where the No. 4 Buckeyes defeated the No. 1 Crimson Tide 42-35 in the semifinals. 

The Buckeyes were heavy underdogs against Clemson, but showed the world even though only six games were played, they indeed deserved a playoff spot after dominating the Tigers 49-28 in New Orleans.

The Buckeyes get another chance to prove the doubters wrong as they square off with the Crimson Tide.

In order to win, the Buckeyes need to execute the game plan and come in with that underdog mentality. Not many will choose the Buckeyes in this one as Alabama has been clicking on all cylinders this season, but as we saw in New Orleans, don’t count this talented Buckeye team out.

Here are a few x-factors offensively that could prevail the Buckeyes’ to victory:

Justin Fields

There’s not much needed to be said about QB1. Fields proved all the critics from previous weeks wrong as he BALLED out against the Tigers in the semifinals throwing for 385 yards and breaking the Sugar Bowl record with six touchdowns. Ball security and decision making will be key in this matchup for Fields — one turnover could be a substantial changing point in the game — After taking a huge hit to the ribs, one of the biggest things to keep an eye on is how the injury will affect Fields’ play. Everytime Fields followed through on his throws he was in pain and was limited in the run game. Fields will need to use his legs in this one. Keeping the Crimson Tides defense guessing will be key. When it’s said and done there’s no other quarterback Buckeye nation wants heading into this one. Fields is a baller, competitor and has all the swagger to win a big time game.

Trey Sermon and the Slobs

The Buckeyes are averaging 545 yards per game this year, and poured 639-yards on the Tigers. Sermon and the front seven have a lot to do with that, especially the past two games (Northwestern/Clemson). Sermon has the most rushing yards in a 2-game span in Ohio State history with 524 yards. The front seven led by Josh Myers and Wyatt Davis are looking for blood, they have been dominating the line of scrimmage and look to continue that trend. Some big keys to the game are managing the penalties and controlling the line of scrimmage on both passing and running plays. Holding penalties can kill momentum and be a changing factor in this game. Every drive matters. As for controlling the line, pass protecting Fields and opening up holes for Sermon will lead to big plays as we saw in the past two games.

Garrett Wilson

The duo of Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave have been one of, if not the best duo in college football. Wilson and Olave have been causing havoc for secondaries all season, but Alabama’s SEC Defensive Player of the Year, Patrick Surtain II has been locked down all season long for the Tide. Surtain II has 20 tackles, 1 INT, and 11 PD (tied-3rd). It’s more than likely Surtain II will be assigned to Chris Olave which will open plenty of opportunities for Garrett Wilson to make a statement championship game for Zone 6. Alabama’s team defense has been dominant of late, but containing both Wilson and Olave is a task many teams find trouble doing. The Crimson Tide has one of the best in Surtain II, which may limit Olave in some aspects, but Wilson will be ready on the opposite side of the field.

The Tight Ends

As we saw in the semifinals against the Tigers, the play of the tight ends can be an enormous x-factor in how the Buckeyes play and attack the defense. The use of tight ends seemed to be limited all season for the Buckeye offense, but in this year’s Sugar Bowl, Luke Farrell and Jeremy Ruckert made game changing plays for the offense. In a 14-7 game led by the Tigers, 3rd and goal, Farrell caught a 8-yard bullet touchdown from Fields. While, Ruckert had himself a game with 3 receptions, 55 yards, and 2 touchdowns. These two will be a key in Fields’ passing game against a stout Crimson Tide defense.

This offense seems to have found it’s rhyme and If all these x-factors on the offensive side of the ball come to play and execute the game plan ahead we could see a similar result to the 2015 Sugar Bowl game — Ohio versus the world.