2. Ohio State has to be more effective through the air
Kyle McCord looked bad against IU. He checked the ball down a bunch of times and threw a terrible pick on fourth down. That doesn’t mean he didn’t have some good moments too. He had a nice throw over the middle to Cade Stover for a big gain and a bullet to Chip Traynum for a first down as well.
The up-and-down effort from McCord was disappointing for a guy who has been in the program for three years now. But I expect him to be able to establish more of a rhythm in this game. He should be able to throw the ball more down the field and get more comfortable running the offense.
This is a perfect game for a quarterback that struggles in Week 1. Youngstown State doesn’t have the defensive talent to punish McCord for any mistakes he might make. He should be able to put up some big numbers to help boost his confidence heading into the next couple of games.
I fully expect McCord to throw for over 300 yards in this game and look like the five-star recruit he was coming out of high school. If he doesn’t, Devin Brown will be playing in this game too, and will get his shot to wow the coaches. Either way, the Buckeyes have to show they can throw the ball in this game.
The final key to a victory for Ohio State has to do with the defense.