Nine Reasons Why the Buckeyes Will Win

This is more like it.

Time for a gut check. We talked about all the reasons why the Buckeyes will lose to USC. Not a fun thing to do, but let’s not ignore reality. USC is a great team. They’re favored by ten points. It’s going to be a dog fight. But Ohio State is a great team, too. Here are a few reasons why the Buckeyes will win this Saturday.

Reasons why OSU will beat USC

PSU Boeckman shows up – There’s no shortage of criticism right now being leveled at 6th year senior Todd Boeckman. Most of it is fairly deserved criticism, some of it maybe not. Either way, Boeckman’s recent performances, going back to last year, have been less then stellar. Against lesser competition, Boeckman has shone. But his best moments were last year in hostile Beaver Stadium where he went 19 for 26 with 253 yards and 3 TDs. Up to that point, there were still a lot of questions about the offense and Boeckman. He was lights out. Now he has let those doubts bubble back up. After lackluster passing the past two games, we’re worried about USC. We need PSU Boeckman to make an appearance. If the game comes down to Boeckman’s arm and it’s PSU Boeckman, we have a very good chance.

Beanie is 100% – This is a no-brainer. If Beanie is wielding the Stiff Arm of Justice to great effect, running over so many Trojans, we all breathe a sigh of over-burdened relief. If he is able to cut and plant on his gimpy toe, the future will be bright. Blue blockers may even be necessary. We’ll know in the first few snaps (I don’t think we go to Beanie on our first offensive play) if Beanie really is up for the “45 carries”. If he is and he’s chewing up yardage, keeping USC capable offense of the field, things will be looking UP. WAY UP.

Jenkins and Chekwa/Washington shut down USC’s WRs – Turner and Hazelton are fast and are improving over last year’s performance. With Sanchez’s accurate arm, these guys are dangerous. We know Jenkins can shut down anyone in the country, but he also is prone to taking chances and occasionally biting on fakes. Whoever starts at the other side is going to be tested early. Both Washington and Chekwa are capable, but they need to be ready. USC is going to try to run the ball early and I think the Buckeyes will need 8-9 guys focused on stopping the run, leaving the CBs on islands. If Jenkins and Chekwa lock down the USC WRs, the rest of the D is more than capable of stopping the running game, putting USC between a rock and a hard place. (That hard place being Cameron Heywards biceps)

The OL actually blocks someone – This is definitely my biggest question mark. Do we have elite linemen or not? Besides Alex Boone, is anyone going to step up and push some people around? The D-line for USC is not small. Head’s and shoulders above the OU cats. If the OL is opening holes (for Beanie or Boom or anyone) then OSU can win. An elite RB like Beanie is able to hide certain defeciencies of an offensive line but the younger backs cannot. That front push is tantamount. We need fire-cracker fights, not pillow fights. Oh, and protect Boeckman. That’d help too.

The Brynamic Duo get separation – Robo and Hartline, WRU? Seeing a wide open Brian (take your pick) frequently will go a long way in making PSU Boeckman’s day a lot easier.

Special Teams or defense scores – Long field goals with time expiring, punt returns, interception returns. Take your pick. If one of more happens, then we will win this game. Almost certainly. Ray Small, show that you not only are a better man, but that you are also learning how to play football. Your time is now.

Imaginitive playcalling (both sides) – I mentioned this previously, but it bares repeating. Imgainative playcalling is so important. Mostly on the offensive side, but the defense could use an attitude adjustment. Heacock has said he’s going to unleash the defense. Let’s see it. Blitz blitz blitz and stop playing so much soft friggen zone. PLS.

USC inexperience at OL – This has been one weakness if the ES(EC)PN wonks have been quick to point out — USC has a relatively inexperienced offensive line. They’ve only played one game together, against a cream-puff defensive line. Our D-linemen should be licking their chops. If the USC O-linemen show their inexperience, we win. And so does Mark Sanchez’s orthopedic surgeon.

The Terrell Pryor X-factor – You knew it was coming. Finally, the Terrell Pryor factor. I’m still a huge proponent of giving him a significant role in the game. Situations where he can only help (early 2nd quarter snaps, first-and-goal). I’m also a firm believer that Tressel has something up his sweatervest. Something

So I’m stopping there. But don’t let me stop you. Fill up the comments with many more reasons why the Buckeyes will be USC.