2019 Game Preview: Ohio State vs Miami(OH)
The Buckeyes traveled to Bloomington last week to play their first Big Ten conference game, and left with a 51-10 victory. They started off a little slow in the first quarter, but then were able to turn it around in the second quarter and never looked back. Their offense continues to improve, and their defense has continued to shed off the bad reputation from last season.
Ohio State now returns home for their fourth game of the season, and to play their final non-conference game before finishing off the season in Big Ten play. Not to knock the RedHawks, but this game should not be much of a competition for the Buckeyes, and should really be a game in which Ohio State can work on facets of their game to help prepare them for the meat of their schedule.
The 3:30 kickoff will be sandwiched between other marquee games for the day, and all Ohio State needs to do is win this one impressively, and with style points to keep them from dropping or causing doubt for the voters as one of the best teams in the country.
Head Coach: Chuck Martin
2019 Record: 1-2
Location: Oxford, OH
Ohio State Preview: Ohio State continues to impress so far this season, and if you believe what Ryan Day and the coaches have been saying, this team can still get a lot better. Ohio State wont get a lot of a favors in the polls this week, as there are other big matchups around the country that will shape the playoff race. All they need to do is win this game, and impressively to keep in the conversation. The only thing they can control is how they do on the field, and will need to approach it one week at a time. They will get their opportunities against bigger teams soon enough.
Justin Fields has still yet to turn the ball over for the season, and has accumulated for 13 touchdowns for the season. He had a decent game last week against Indiana, but still has 657 yards passing for the season, with 9 touchdowns. He did not need to make a lot of plays with his feet last week wither, but still has 114 yards rushing and 4 touchdowns on the ground. If the running game is still rolling, it will make his job easier.
JK Dobbins leads the way with the run game, and as 425 yards on the ground. He was 7 yards shy last week of getting to 200 yards, and this week he might get a chance with some long runs. Master Teague ran for over 100 yards last week as well and is now at 215 yards for the season and 1 touchdown. Demario McCall and Marcus Crowley should get some chances this week to add to their season totals.
After the first week of opening up the passing game with the tight ends, the receiving has been going mostly now to the wide outs. The leading receivers should not come as a surprise as they all have been consistent this season for the Buckeyes. Ben Victor leads the team in yardage with 200 on 11 receptions, and has touchdowns. Chris Olave has 10 receptions for 198 yards and 2 touchdowns. KJ Hill leads the team in receptions with 13 and 101 yards with 2 touchdowns. He is now 35 receptions away from breaking the single season record for Ohio State.
Chase Young added 2 sacks to his season total, and is now at 5 sacks for the season. The defense has an opportunity this week to get some more takeaways. They are currently ranked 12th overall in total defense, and 4th in the country in stoping the run. Miami does not pose a threat to challenge the defense, but they still need to have a solid game to show they can continue to dominate inferior opponents.
Miami(OH) Preview: Chuck Martin leads the Miami RedHawks for his 6th season. He was not coaching in the FBS level the last time these two teams played, but he has had success at the Division II level, and trying to make the RedHawks competitive in the MAC. Three games into the season, they sit at a 1-2 record. They started the season against Iowa, and lost 38-14. Last week, they played a common opponent in Cincinnati, and lost 35-13. Their one win so far this season is against FCS opponent Tennessee Tech in a score of 48-17.
Brett Gabbert, younger brother of Blaine Gabbert, is the starting quarterback. He has passed for 481 yards for the season, for 2 touchdowns and 1 interception. He does not have the same dual threat challenge that some of the quarterbacks have challenged so far this season, with -23 rushing yards, and has been sacked 6 times.
On the running back side, they are spreading the wealth with the carries. Their leading rusher is Tyre Shelton with 24 carries, and 108 yards with a touchdown. Second leading rusher is Davion Johnson with 71 yards and 2 touchdowns. The last rusher is Maurice Thomas who has 57 yards on 15 carries. Ohio State will need to prepare for each back.
Gabbert has spread the ball around with his passing. The leading receiver is Jalen Walker, who has 113 yards on 4 catches. Dominique Robinson has 5 receptions for 106 yards. The last leading receiver is Davion Johnson who leads the team with 8 receptions, and has 82 yards.
The defense is giving up 389 yards a game, and allowing an average of 30 points a game. They will have their hands full with trying to slow down the Ohio State offense.
Buckeye Spotlight: JK Dobbins. For the second time this season. Dobbins is the player that will be the biggest impact. He looks to make it three straight games with 100 yards rushing. Currently, he has the 4th most rushing yards in the country, and in order for Ohio State to be successful, the Buckeyes will need to be a serious threat, especially when it becomes Big Ten play.
RedHawk Spotlight: Sterling Weatherford. The RedHawk offense is not flashy, but they have some talent on the defensive side of the ball. Sterling Weatherford leads the team in tackles, and should be line up against Victor or Olave. He could make it tough in the passing game for the Buckeyes on his side of the field.
Water Cooler Stat of the Game: 5-0. Ohio State and Miami have only played each other 5 times, and the last meeting was in 2012, where Ohio State won 56-10.
Prediction: This will be a game in which fans will get a chance to see the depth of the Buckeyes. Justin Fields and JK Dobbins should see the field up until around halfway through the 3rd quarter, and then the back-ups should be getting some game experience. The defense will need to put pressure on Brett Gabbert, and keep this game under control. Fields might not put up any numbers that will add to his Heisman hype, but as long as he can play turnover free football, he wont hurt it. Dobbins should continue his streak of 100 yard rushing games, and Master Teague will challenge for the century mark as well.