A 20 point victory against the MAC cellar-dwellers from Buffalo in week one apparently wasn’t what the voters were looking for. After Oregon thrashed Nichols State, 66-3, they leaped Ohio State to number two in the rankings. But the Buckeyes don’t have that on their minds as they prepare for their week two matchup against the San Diego State University Aztecs.
The Aztecs were dealt arguably their darkest moment in program history in week one. Facing off against Eastern Illinois (a FCS team, whose best recruit over the past three years has been their kicker), San Diego State was beaten down 40-19. SDSU quarterback Adam Dingwell was intercepted four times and the Aztec defense was shredded for 533 total yards. Excluding WR Collin Lockette’s run as an outlier (his lone carry was 48 yards), San Diego St. was only able to amass 74 rushing yards on 34 carries, a paltry 2.17 ypc. While those numbers should be improved in week two, thanks to the return of stud RB Adam Muema (1,458 rushing yards in 2012), even he was bottled up for just 17 yards on ten carries before getting injured in week one; he is expected to play week two.
Offensive struggles aside, the Aztecs shouldn’t expect to put up any fight against OSU with the defensive effort they put forth in week one. Eastern Illinois QB Jimmy Garroppolo (who??) tore the SDSU defense apart en route to a 361 yard, three touchdown, 67% passing completion, performance. Eastern Illinois RB Taylor Duncan even had 92 yards and two touchdowns. Jimmy Garroppolo and Taylor Duncan… not Braxton Miller and Jordan Hall.
The Urban Meyer-led-Buckeyes clearly held back in week one. They attempted only 23 passing attempts and ran the ball with three true freshman. Braxton Miller & co. still provided some fireworks, such as the first quarter touchdown bomb from Miller to Devin Smith and the third quarter zigzagging, 47 yard run from the Braxton Express. Jordan Hall also had a career game, rushing for 159 yards and two touchdowns. Despite the fact that Carlos Hyde continues to serve a three-game suspension, second-string rusher Rod Smith (pictured above) returns this week to even further improve the Buckeye’s potent run game.
The Buckeye’s defense also had a strong week one, holding Buffalo QB Joe Licata to just 185 yards on 32 attempts, while bottling star running back Brendan Oliver to just 73 yards on 26 attempts. Oliver is arguably a better running back then Muema, so the Buckeye’s run defense should be well prepared. The secondary will also receive a boost from the return of All-American Bradley Roby, returning from a one-game suspension.
After watching the Eastern Illinois beat down from week one, the only concern I have for this game is how far off the prediction I made before the season will be. If Meyer feels the need to unleash the full Braxton experience, this game could be ugly and over soon. Expect many fireworks and lopsided score, as the Buckeyes improve to 2-0 and will look to regain that number two spot in the polls.