Game Preview: Ohio State vs Youngstown State

The Buckeyes host the Youngstown State Penguins in their home opener, and first of six home games for the season. Both teams are coming in to the game with a 1-0 record, but this game should not be a close one based on the talent comparisons, but Youngstown State will have a soft spot for most Buckeye fans because of their ties to Jim Tressel.ย 

This game will also be the alumni game, where the alumni band will be performing with the current TBDBTL roster and form 4 Script Ohios.ย 

The Buckeyes dropped two spots in the AP Poll and will be using this game as a chance to right the offense after a conservative appoach against Indiana. We all know though that this game, and the game next week against Western Kentucky are two chances for the Buckeyes to get experience where they need and prepare for an epic match up against Notre Dame, which will likely be a top 10 match up at the time of the game.

Know the Opponent:

Head Coach: Doug Phillips (4th season)
2023 Record: 1-0
Location: Youngstown, OH
Conference: MVSC

Ohio State Preview

The Buckeyes are coming home for there second game in the 2023 season, and are looking to shake off a lot of the doubters after a very conservative offensive performance against Indiana. The Silver Bullets were impressive, but were not challenged in the air, but that will change soon. The goal for this game will be a shutout, and an offense that we have been used to seeing since Ryan Day has taken over as the offensive coordinator in 2017 with a lot of points, and a passing attack that stretches the field.ย  That is not to say Kyle McCord and Devin Brown are not capable, but we were not able to see either quarterback attack the field with the best receiver room in the country.

Kyle McCord got the majority of snaps against Indiana, and will be the starter for the second straight game, his third game overall. He has passed for 239 yards and has 1 interception. He should have a touchdown pass as well after the Big Ten told Ryan Day on Thursday that the illegal touching call that waived a Marvin Harrison Jr touchdown actually should have counted. Devin Brown only got 3 passing attempts at the very end of the Indiana game, and has -2 yards.
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Chip Trayanum has been a jack knife for the running back room, not only leading in yardage, but also playing in multiple positions including fullback. He has 8 carries for 57 yards. TreVeyon Henderson showed some flashes in week 1, and has 47 yards on 12 carries. Miyan Williams was the red zone and goal line running back, as he has the 2 lone touchdowns on 7 carries and 25 yards.
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Cade Stover leads all receivers with 98 yards on 5 catches. Julian Fleming is second with 58 yards on 6 catches. Marvin Harrison Jr and Emeka Egbuka were bracketed for much of the game against Indiana and combined have 5 catches for 31 yards. Everyone will be looking to increase their output this week against a much easier secondary.ย 

Youngstown State Preview

Youngstown State enters this game 1-0 after a big win against Valparaiso, and will likely walk out with a 1-1 record and $800,000 richer. The head coach Doug Phillips began his college coaching career as a defensive quality control coach at Ohio State in 2006. Youngstown Stateโ€™s roster includes two Ohio State transfers: starting safety Marcus Hooker and reserve wide receiver Blaize Exline. Exline spent one year with the Buckeyes as a walk-on in 2022.

Mitch Davidson is the starting quarterback for the Penguins. He has passed for 130 yards and has 1 touchdown. He also has 22 yards rushing on 4 carries.
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Tyshon King is the lead running back and has 111 yards on 11 carries and 2 touchdowns. Daโ€™Shaun Whatley is next on the team with 5 carries for 59 yards and 1 touchdown. Cephus Harris III is third on the tem with 58 yards on 7 carries.
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Bryce Oliver is the top reciever. He has 65 yards on 5 receptions. CJ Charleston is the second leading receiver with 4 catches and 47 yards with a touchdown. Latrell Fordham has 2 catches for 24 yards.ย 

Buckeye Spotlight

Kyle McCord and Devin Brown. Once more we got a response from Ryan Day this week in his press conference that made use believe the competition was not over despite Brown only getting 6 snaps against Indiana, and only 3 of them were in meaningful time. If Brown really is in the thick of the competition, then he should get more than 2 series against the Penguins, and a chance to work with the first team as long as he can.ย 

Penquin Spotlight

Tyshon King. Running Back Tyshon King transferred from Northern Michigan, and was explosive on limited carries in his first game as a Penguin. I am sure he will be eager to play his first game ever against a D1 opponent.

Water Cooler Stat of the Game

171.2. These two Ohio collegiate campuses are 171.2 miles away from each other.ย 

Prediction

This is the honorary Tressel game, and as nuch as Ohio State should respect the opponent, this is a game where you can treat as a practice to work on fixing things they need to get fixed. If there really is a quarterback competition still, this shoukd be an evenly split game with Kyle McCord and Devin Brown, and let them both get to work with the 1โ€™s through the 3rd quarter to let each of them get experience. Notre Dame is looming in 2 weeks, and no offense to the Penquins or the Hilltoppers, but that is the game Ohio State is getting ready for to keep any chance of playoff aspirations alive. If the defense can play lights out again, and help give the offense more possessions to work on its chemistry, that is where the real win comes in this game.

Ohio State 63 – Youngstown State 3

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