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Kenny Guiton started in place of Braxton Miller and set a school record with six touchdown passes, all in the first half, to lift Ohio State to a 76-0 win against Florida A&M.
Guiton leads No. 4/3 Ohio State to 76-0 Win Over FAMU September 21, 2013 Source:OSU Official Site - After a 76-0 victory over outmanned and overmatched Florida A&M, Urban Meyer couldn't say for certain that his Ohio State team got a lot out of its meek non-conference schedule.
"Obviously, at midnight next week, we'll know," the coach of No. 4 Ohio State said, referring to the Big Ten opener on Saturday against No. 24 Wisconsin. "Are we prepared? I like to think we are."
There's no doubt that Kenny Guiton is.
For the third game in a row, the perennial backup starred in place of the injured Braxton Miller. Guiton set a school record with six touchdown passes - all in the first half - in a blow-out of historic proportions.
It was an epic mismatch between a team with national-title aspirations and a Football Championship Subdivision member getting a $900,000 guarantee.
FAMU, which picked up the sport in 1899, had never lost by so many points. It was the most lopsided Ohio State win since an 85-7 victory over Drake in 1935.
"We don't want a pity party," said Rattlers coach Earl Holmes, who made a point of saying the Buckeyes didn't run up the score on his team. "I don't have a problem with that. I don't expect the coach to kneel. You play the game. You play for 60 minutes."
At least it was decided relatively quickly. The Buckeyes (4-0) needed a total of four offensive plays and 46 seconds to go up 21-0 in the opening 6 minutes and never looked back. Guiton, who completed 24 of 34 passes for 215 yards, tossed four TD passes in the first quarter.
"I had all day," Guiton said. "The coaches wanted to come out throwing the ball around and I thank them for the trust they had in me to be able to do that."
FAMU (1-3) was behind 48-0 when it picked up its initial first down in the second quarter.
The Rattlers' biggest previous margin of defeat was 73-6 to Tuskegee in 1926. They lost to Oklahoma 69-13 a year ago and South Florida 70-17 in 2011.
The stats were as lopsided as the score. Ohio State had a 34-2 edge in first downs and a 603-80 differential in yards.
"I wouldn't say we're unsatisfied," tight end Jeff Heuerman said. "There's always room for improvement. We're not perfect."
Miller, the Big Ten's offensive player of the year last season and a Heisman Trophy hopeful this year, missed his second game in a row with a sprained medial-collateral ligament in his left knee.
Meyer had said Miller was probable to play against the Rattlers, but he never put on his uniform.
It didn't take long for this game to get out of control, with or without him.
After a short punt ended the Rattlers' first possession, Ohio State took over at the FAMU 30. On third down from the 3, Guiton's pass into the end zone was picked off by Patrick Aiken. Aiken, however, elected to try to run the ball out. He got to the 3 before being hit by running back Jordan Hall and fumbling the ball away.
"I got caught up in the moment," Aiken said. "I made a mental error. I should have just kneed the ball in the end zone."
On the next play, Hall scored the first of his two touchdowns.
After a 65-yard punt return by Corey Brown put the ball at the 11, one play later Guiton flipped an 11-yard TD pass to Heuerman. That made it 13-0 - the Buckeyes inexplicably went for two but failed - with the touchdowns coming on two plays totaling 10 seconds.
Doran Grant blocked the next FAMU punt and the Buckeyes were right back in business at the 25. It took two more passes to make it 20-0, with Guiton hitting Evan Spencer for the final eight yards and the score.
Carlos Hyde, who had been suspended for the first three games after an alleged altercation with a female in a bar this summer, took a shovel pass the final yard late in the quarter. After the ensuing kickoff, Bradley Roby intercepted a pass by Damien Fleming and returned it to the 5. It was 34-0 after Guiton hit Devin Smith for the score.
Guiton eclipsed the mark that had been held by John Borton in 1952 and Bobby Hoying (who did it in 1994 and again in 1995) with his second TD pass to Spencer in the final seconds of the half.
With the Buckeyes up 55-0 at the half, Meyer took his foot off the gas and filled the field with subs. Fifth-team tailback Ezekiel Elliott ran for 162 yards on 14 carries and two touchdowns and third-string quarterback Cardale Jones ran for one.
"You come to Ohio State to compete for the Big Ten championship," Meyer said. "That actually started in a meeting just a minute ago."
The Rattlers' largest previous margin of defeat was 73-6 against Tuskegee in 1926.
"It's always worth it," Holmes said of scheduling a juggernaut. "You've got some guys who have aspirations of playing on Sunday. So you find out exactly where you fit."
The Rattlers found out, all right.
Ohio St. vs California (Sep 14, 2013) Source: OSU Official Site Scoring Summary, Team Statistics, Individual Statistics, Drive Chart, Defensive Statistics, Game Participation, Box Score, Play-by-Play, Play breakdown
Kenny Guiton talks to Austin Ward about a 76-0 win over Florida A&M and his school-record six touchdown passes.
It was over when... The game began. Backup QB Kenny Guiton dominated from the beginning, and the Buckeyes never looked back.
Gameball goes to... Guiton. Filling in for an injured Miller, Guiton's six touchdown run in the first half was more than enough to finish off Florida A&M.
Stat of the game... 6 TDs was enough for Guiton to break Ohio State's single-game passing TD record, and he only needed one half to do it.
Turning point When this game was scheduled in 2011. Seriously, Florida A&M is a contender for the worst opponent to take on OSU in Ohio Stadium in recent memory. Maybe the back-to-back visits by Rice (70-7) and Pittsburgh (72-0) in 1996 would come close. FAMU might end up being the last FCS school OSU plays.
Repercussions Anything short of an outrageous win likely would have been viewed as underachieving by the voters in the polls, who likely only glanced at the score. But most will be paying attention this week when the Buckeyes play host to Wisconsin in the prime-time Big Ten opener. It will be OSU’s first true moment of truth in 2013.
Ohio State's 76-point win ties for the fifth-greatest in school history, matching a 76-0 win at Western Reserve in 1934. It was the largest margin of victory since defeating Drake, 85-7, in 1935.
The 34 points scored in the first quarter marked the most by an Urban Meyer-coached team (31 points, 9/26/09 at Kentucky).
Kenny Guiton's six touchdown passes, all in the first half, marked an Ohio State record. He became one of four Buckeyes to throw for at least five touchdown passes and the first since Bobby Hoying tossed five at Pittsburgh in 1995. He was 24-for-34 in the game (both career highs), with 215 yards. The last time Ohio State passed for six touchdowns as a team was in Sept. 25, 2010.
With six touchdown passes, Guiton became the first Ohio State quarterback to throw at least two touchdowns in his first two starts.
Numbers for dummies 213/70: Snaps for Kenny Guiton/Braxton Miller this season.
$12,500: Money earned by FAMU per point allowed. Ohio State paid the Rattlers $950,000 for their visit.
53: Most first-half points scored by OSU’s men’s basketball team last season, two fewer than the Buckeyes tallied against FAMU by halftime.
Jeff Heuerman tallied a career-high four catches (for 43 yards), including his first career touchdown. Evan Spencer notched a career-best four receptions (50 yards) in the win, with a career-best two touchdowns.
Ezekiel Elliott's 16-yard touchdown run in the third quarter marked the first of his career. Elliott ran for a career-high 162 yards on 14 carries and ended the game with two touchdowns. Elliott ran for 121 yards in the third quarter alone.
Cardale Jones rushed for his first career touchdown in the fourth quarter.
As heard in stadium: “The (FAMU) coaches gave their team the wrong information. This isn’t golf. High score wins.”
One-liner: Even the Little Sisters of the Poor would cover against the Rattlers.
Just wondering: Would FAMU win by 76 against the best high-school team in Ohio?
Tweethearts @OhioGabe: Kenny G’s going to have more records than Kenny G had albums
The Buckeyes have won 11 straight home games, dating to a 2011 loss to Penn State.
This is OSU’s third all-time game against teams from the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA). The Buckeyes routed Youngstown State in 2007 (38-6) and 2008 (43-0).
Sources: ESPN, OSU Official Site, Columbus Dispatch, Bucknuts
Jordan Hall Uses Referee As Blocker To Score Touchdown: Ohio State running back Jordan Hall turned one of the officials into the Buckeyes' 12th man on the field en route to a 18-yard touchdown run. Hall ran into an official after busting up the middle. But he kept the ref in between him and a Florida A&M defensive back as he ran into the end zone. Source: Huffington Post & BTN
Freshman receiver James Clark was taken to the hospital following a leg injury in the second half of the game.
Offense (4 leaves) A game of catch between father and son includes more-intense competition than what the Rattlers threw at Ohio State. Still, the final numbers are fairly staggering: 34 first downs, 388 yards rushing, 11 TDs in 13 possessions. All gaudy and unimpeachable, but the no-contact honeymoon is gone starting next week.
Defense (3 leaves) Let’s pretend for a moment that Florida A&M’s offensive philosophy wasn’t for the ball-carrier to seek contact and go into a shell. That the Rattlers had five times as many punts as first downs (10 and two) is evidence that the Buckeyes’ defenders kept their hands on the wheel.
Special teams (3 leaves) Maybe the surest sign that the OSU offense was invincible was the decision to have Kyle Clinton handle the kicking chores in the second half. Drew Basil was plumb worn out. Big-play specialists included Philly Brown (punt return) and Doran Grant (punt block).
Coaching (2 leaves) The Urbanites didn’t schedule this debacle, true enough, but they sure didn’t let their fingers off the flamethrower’s trigger once the earth had been scorched. Competition is a two-way street, of course, but this one had a slight bullying feel to it, and it wasn’t handsome.
Opponent (0 leaves) It’s hard not to have a little pity for FAMU, which got the $900K it came for and left with about as many welt marks. Overmatched doesn’t begin to cover it, but the Rattlers sure didn’t bring much to the party in terms of emotion and imagination. Maybe they missed their band.
Officiating (3 leaves) Besides the scoring plays, which are too numerous to recall, the day’s loudest cheer went to Jim Krogstad, the umpire who threw a marvelous block on Jordan Hall’s second-quarter TD run. Beyond that, the officials ran ran ran that clock.
OFFENSE: A Kenny Guiton had six TD passes in the first half and Ohio State had 326 total yards. Guiton could have had two picks, instead of one, which was bad enough. Five different receivers caught those six TD passes.
DEFENSE: A Florida A&M’s offense was terrible before this game. They were worse Saturday. OSU allowed two first downs and just 80 total yards, and that with second and third-stringers playing in the second half.
SPECIAL TEAMS: A Two blocked punts and a 65-yard punt return by Corey Brown makes this an easy grade. The offense scored three touchdowns in four plays because of special teams. The missed two-point conversion against an FCS team was embarrassing, though.
COACHING: A-minus Urban Meyer got too cute after the first score and went for a two-point conversion with the swinging gate. It went nowhere. All the first-half passing had to do with finding out how well his offensive line could pass block and handle pressure before the Big Ten season starts.
What the Rattlers had to saySource: OSU Official Site
Earl Holmes, head coach Florida A&M
On loss to Ohio State
“First and foremost, the reason you come and play this type is to see where you are as a team. What we wanted to accomplish in this game was to not beat ourselves and just go out there and compete for 60 minutes.”
On his team’s play
“You cannot afford to give a team as good as Ohio State any extra opportunities and at times we did that. The first drive of the game we thought we had the momentum behind us after the interception, but we lost it and never got it back.”
On value of playing a high-caliber FBS program
“It is always worth it. We have some guys on our team, with aspirations of playing on Sundays and it is important for them to play in this type of atmosphere. It also makes us come together as a team because out of the 100,000 people in the stadium the only ones cheering for you are your teammates.”
On lessons learned from game vs. Ohio State
“Regardless of who you’re playing, it is about what you need to do as a team. Your offense and defense have to complement each other. You can’t have your defense out there for 16 plays and then go three and out on offense.”
Patrick Aiken, sophomore cornerback
On his first-quarter interception
“I was caught up in the moment and made a mental error. I began to stumble and when I tried to catch myself I was hit and the ball came loose. It was a good feeling to get the interception, but I didn’t finish the play how I should have.”
On FCS schools playing difficult nonconference games
“I never feel like the person in front of me is better than me. Even when we are down, we know we have to keep playing hard.”
Damien Fleming, sophomore quarterback
On Ohio State’s defense
“Ohio State’s defense had a lot of movement. On top of that they are really fast and just made a lot of plays.”
* 1. Will Braxton Miller play and how much (and how well)? Urban Meyer indicated Wednesday that Miller was working his way back from the sprained knee he suffered two weeks ago against San Diego State. Meyer would like to get Miller at least a few series of work to knock off the rust before next week’s Big Ten opener with Wisconsin.
* 2. Can Kenny Guiton continue his hot play? Guiton has been one of the great feel good stories in college football the last two weeks as he has led the Buckeyes to the wins over San Diego State and at Cal. Miller’s reps figure to be limited – especially if this game gets out of control early. Guiton could have a real chance to light up the Rattlers.
* 3. How will OSU use Carlos Hyde? Hyde sat out the first three games of the season due to a suspension. He rushed for a team-high 970 yards last season and will be back to (hopefully) pay big dividends during Big Ten play. He is the power component in this offense. It would be a shock if he doesn’t get 10 carries or more in this game to also get back into the flow.
* 4. What becomes of Jordan Hall? Hall has also been a great story through three games as the lead running back. With Hyde’s return, Hall can shift his focus to the H-back/receiver position. Will that happen on Saturday or is that coming in the weeks ahead?
* 5. How many points and yards can Ohio State amass? The Buckeyes clicked on almost every cylinder last week at Cal with 52 points and 608 yards. Those could be considered acceptable minimums for this game, certainly, against a 1-2 team from the FCS ranks. Freshman Dontre Wilson, in particular, could get the opportunity to shine in this one.
* 6. Can the OSU defense put the clamps on Florida A&M? The Buckeyes held San Diego State to three-and-out in six of the Aztecs’ 13 possessions in that game. Can OSU match or better that kind of dominance here?
* 7. Can OSU ends Noah Spence and Joey Bosa put the heat on A&M QB Damien Fleming? Spence is off to a fast start with 2-1/2 sacks and 4-1/2 TFLs in his first three games as a starter. Bosa filled in for the ailing Adolphus Washington (groin) and had a big game at Cal.
* 8. Can the linebackers put some polish on their game? Going into a rugged game against Wisconsin next week, linebackers Ryan Shazier, Curtis Grant and Josh Perry need to be on top of their game. Grant and Perry have played sparingly in some games due to nickel and dime sets. Maybe OSU plays more 4-3 in this game to prep for Wisconsin.
* 9. Can the OSU secondary get some takeaways? Fleming has already thrown five interceptions in three games. Safeties Christian Bryant and C.J. Barnett and corners Bradley Roby and Doran Grant have to be licking their chops.
* 10. Will this be a competitive game? All indications are, no, this will not be a competitive game. Florida A&M has lost games to fellow FCS teams Tennessee State and Samford. Ohio State is ranked fourth in the AP poll for FBS teams this week. The Rattlers have some athletes who could surprise here and there. But this may be the worst visiting team in the history of Ohio Stadium. In recent years, Florida A&M seems to be right down there with New Mexico State in 2009, Eastern Michigan in 2010 and Akron in 2011.
Ohio State viper Noah Spence vs. FAMU quarterback Damien Fleming: Spence leads Ohio State with 21/2 sacks. Through three games, Fleming has thrown five interceptions and has been sacked six times. He has completed only 48 percent of his passes. If Spence (and the rest of the Buckeyes) can really get after Fleming and force him into bad reads and poor throws, sacks and interceptions could pile up. Look for OSU to apply some serious pressure on Fleming.
Ohio State cornerback Bradley Roby vs. FAMU receiver Lenworth Lennon: The 5-10, 175-pound Lennon is the Rattlers’ top receiver, with 229 yards. No one else on the team has more than 77. He’s FAMU’s go-to guy in the passing game. If Roby is locked up on Lennon one-on-one, he could be taken out of the game altogether. That would also free up other corners and safeties to concentrate on other FAMU skilled players.
Ohio State running backs Jordan Hall and Carlos Hyde against FAMU’s front seven: The Rattlers have given up 199 and 268 yards rushing the past two games — against Samford and Tennessee State. With the return of a motivated Carlos Hyde and the presence of Jordan Hall (402 yards rushing through three games), the Buckeyes could pile up some serious yards rushing. If FAMU had trouble handling vs. Samford and Tennessee State. .. well, you know.
Ohio State vs itself: This is the biggie. The Rattlers are not a formidable opponent This should be a mismatch on the field and on the scoreboard. Ohio State needs to not slog through this performance and make sure it pushes itself to compete against itself in order to get better. Source: News Herald
Ohio State vs. itself This wasn’t the game athletics director Gene Smith had in mind when he put together the 2013 Ohio State schedule. Originally, the Buckeyes were supposed to open the season with Vanderbilt, but the SEC school canceled the game. OSU was supposed to play Buffalo this week, but moved it to the opening week and slid Florida A&M here when it scheduled San Diego State on Sept. 7, which is where this game was supposed to be.
Now, Ohio State has to find a way to get excited and win for style points as the third-ranked team in the country after playing on national TV in prime time last week at Cal, and playing in prime time the next two weeks against Wisconsin and at Northwestern, respectively.
The Buckeyes need a fast start, but they also need to retain it for the better part of three quarters. Nothing short of a 40-plus point win will satisfy poll voters. That shouldn’t be a problem if OSU’s young team walks what it talks all week long and plays the Rattlers as if they were a FBS opponents and not a Florida equivalent of Youngstown State.
RB Dontre Wilson vs. A&M special teams and LBs It is clear Urban Meyer wants to see Wilson break a long run and show off his speed before the Big Ten season starts. The true freshman from Texas was close a couple of times last week, but Cal defenders got the angle on him. Florida A&M will not be as physically strong as Cal, and Wilson should be able to break tackles if he has to. Wilson as a weapon gives the Big Ten opponents coming up something for which they have to prepare. Ohio State has not scored a special teams or defensive touchdown this season, and OSU has not returned a kickoff for a TD since the 2010 Michigan game.
OSU WR Devin Smith vs. A&M CB Patrick Aiken
Smith is coming off the best game of his career. He leads the WRs with 13 catches for 256 yards and three TDs. Aiken has been the Rattlers’ most consistent player through what has been a disappointing start to the season. He has two interceptions and he returned one for a TD last week. In fact, CB Devonte Johnson also returned a pick for a score for 12 of Florida A&M’s 20 points. Smith can outclass these CBs and OSU can have its way. Part of that may mean Smith’s keeping Aiken away from the action on the other side of the field. Source: Canton Repository
OSU's Goals for Saturday's Game
September 20, 2013 Source: The Ozone - Saturday's game against Florida A&M is not one of those games where the Ohio State coaching staff is going to go into the game just hoping to come away with a victory. They are going to have additional things that they want to accomplish...
3. Play three quarterbacks. Urban Meyer now knows all too well that playing just two quarterbacks for two years in a row is pushing things. Things worked out last year, and so far this year Kenny Guiton has again been up to the task. But with Braxton Miller only set for limited snaps this weekend, there's no earthly reason for Guiton to finish this game out in garbage time. They'll be able to accomplish a pair of positives by resting and protecting Guiton, while also getting the third quarterback—likely Cardale Jones—the first action of his career, and against Florida A&M, the moment shouldn't be too big for him...
5 things to watch for: Ohio State v. Florida A&M
September 20, 2013 Source: The Lantern - 1. The return of Carlos Hyde...2. Can Bradley Roby bounce back?...3. How much playing time will Braxton Miller get?...4. Will OSU take this game seriously?...5. How many points with OSU score?...
1. Don’t give the Rattlers any hope
It would take a monumental series of events for Florida A&M to threaten an upset. The first would be for the Rattlers to get off to a good start and get some confidence that maybe the impossible could happen. The Buckeyes have dominated the first quarter, outscoring opponents 68-14 this year. Keep it up.
2. Stay healthy
This is reminiscent of an NFL preseason game in that injuries are a bigger concern than the outcome. Braxton Miller could make his return after missing last week with a sprained knee. If he plays, it’s important that he play wisely and not subject himself to unnecessary risk. Easier said than done, of course. A clean injury sheet is more important than having the margin be 60 points instead of 40.
3. Get Hyde into the flow
Carlos Hyde returns from a three-game suspension and will be eager to make an impact. He should find plenty of running room behind Ohio State’s offensive line and against a Rattlers defense that will be outmanned.
4. Be fundamentally sound
In a game with an inferior opponent, it can be easy to let technique slide. It’s important for the Buckeyes not to slack off in their defensive fundamentals. They missed some tackles against Cal last week, though it was nowhere near the disaster the 2012 game against the Bears was defensively. Sure tackling will be essential against Wisconsin next week, so they should make sure they’re in the habit.
5. Finish strong
Ohio State has scored only seven points in the fourth quarters of their three games. True, they’ve been comfortably ahead in all of them, but it’d be nice to see the Buckeyes have more of a killer instinct. This week, it’ll likely have to be applied by Ohio State reserves.
Urban Meyer Wednesday: "I think he will be ready" September 18, 2013 Source: Bucknuts ...
Wednesday Practice Update: Florida A&M Week September 18, 2013 Source: Eleven Warriors - Columbus has been on Braxton Watch for more than a week now. It appears all the mystery and intrigue is coming to an end. Head coach Urban Meyer said on Wednesday that Miller should play in a limited role against Florida A&M, even though he’s still not operating at full speed.
The quarterback practiced Wednesday, and according to offensive lineman Jack Mewhort, Miller took more mental reps than physical reps. That’s in line with last week, when Kenny Guiton practiced with the first-string offense for nearly the entire week.
Regardless, Mewhort believes there is little reason to worry.
“We have two good quarterbacks,” he said.
Notes: What Meyer is worried about is next week and beyond – the Big Ten schedule. Ohio State is undefeated and ranked in the top 5, but the Buckeyes haven’t been as dominant on either side of the ball as some expected, coaches included.
• Adolphus Washington will not play Saturday and is probable for Wisconsin, Meyer said.
• Meyer said the linebacker position remains the most concerning part of the team. He said there were misses in recruiting in recent years and said it’s caused a lack of depth at a key position.
• In front of the linebackers, though, Meyer remains impressed in the defensive line. He lauded the coaching of Mike Vrabel and said the injuries to Washington and Tommy Schutt could have been devastating. Instead, the next guy up performed well and the unit hasn’t missed a beat.
• Meyer said Schutt may not have been listed as a starter, but he was going to play half the snaps on defense. Schutt broke his first the first week of the season and is due back in October.
• Running back Carlos Hyde, who served a two-game suspension and had to earn his way back on the team, has done more than the coaches have asked of him, Meyer said.
• Though Hyde remains low on the depth chart, he will play Saturday. Meyer raved about Jordan Hall’s production. Hard to take carries away from him.
• Hall said you have to be unselfish if you want to win. That’s why he’s welcoming Hyde back with open arms. He knows he can improve the Buckeyes’ offense.
• This week presents an opportunity for Ohio State to work on some of its weaknesses, Hall said. Fundamentals are the main thing he’ll try to improve.
• The opponent hasn’t brought the team down. Hall said the Buckeyes have had two good days of practice. No sign of complacency.
• Hall said Meyer is very eager and anxious in practice. Wants to get back on the playing field.
• Pittsburgh Brown said Vonn Bell, Eli Apple and Cam Burrows continue to do well in practice. Thinks all three have a bright future.
• C.J. Barnett said the defense has only been OK through three games. He thinks they’ve had too many missed tackles and lapses in coverage.
• Instead of thinking of particular games as possibilities to make a statement, Barnett said it’s about the entire season and the whole body of work.
• On the dime and penny (seven defensive backs) defenses, Barnett said he’s in favor. He’s all for having as many DBs on the field as possible. The depth they’ve shaped in the secondary allows them to get creative in coverages, Barnett said.
•“Oh, man. Seems like they’re always doing something.” –Clevelander and Browns fan Marcus Hall, on the team trading Trent Richardson.
Jordan Hall - Wednesday Q&A 09-18-13 Source: The Ozone
CJ Barnett - Wednesday Q&A 09-18-13 Source: The Ozone
Braxton Miller & Adolphus Washington both listed as starters on September 17 depth chart, although Meyer said Miller is a game day decision and "Adolphus Washington will not play Saturday and is probable for Wisconsin."
From ESPN: "Braxton Miller's status has been upgraded to probable after the Ohio State quarterback was forced to watch last week's win with a sprained knee. But considering the overmatched opponent and the way Kenny Guiton played in his place, OSU may not push Miller too much with Big Ten play set to open in a week. OSU will also start running back Carlos Hyde after a three-game suspension, and with all the pieces of the spread offense beginning to come together, the order for the Rattlers is only getting taller."
Why you should watch: There aren’t a whole lot, honestly. Florida A&M is a FCS program that can’t matchup with the Buckeyes. This game could be over after a quarter, as Ohio State opened as an over 50-point favorite. The biggest drama: Will Braxton Miller play? He didn’t last week at Cal as he recovers from a MCL sprain suffered in Week Two. If not, Kenny Guiton is more than adequate.
Player on the spot: RB Carlos Hyde is back after serving a three-game suspension. He hasn’t been missed—or really needed—the first three games. But now, he’s back, and needs to get up to speed with games vs. Wisconsin and Northwestern looming. Jordan Hall has done well in Hyde’s absence, buy Hyde is a physical between-the-tackles presence.
Key matchup: The Ohio State defense line vs. the FAMU offensive line. The Buckeye defense needs to show a sharper edge and make some big plays vs. an opponent that lacks the depth and talent to hang with the Big Ten’s best team. And the big plays—and dominance—need to take place up front from Noah Spence and Co.
Key number: 15, wins in a row for Ohio State, the longest current skein in the nation. The longest winning streak in Buckeye annals is 22 games from 1967-69.
Why You Should Give A Hoot: So much for Ohio State coming out flat. The defensive front seven needed to be rebuilt, steady playmakers needed to be found on offense, and there would be big, big problems if Braxton Miller got banged up. Whatever. The Buckeyes have looked every bit the part of a national title contender so far, and while Buffalo and San Diego State might be awful, ripping through Cal on the road was impressive considering the travel and the spotlight. The following two weeks truly matter with Wisconsin and Northwestern up, but first, OSU gets a light scrimmage just to work out the finer points. Florida A&M has a decent defense, battling hard last week in a 27-20 loss to a good Samford squad.
Why Florida A&M Might Win: The secondary has been fantastic so far. Overall, the Rattler defense has been solid, but the secondary has been the shining star with Jonathan Pillow and Devan Roberts forming a nice tandem that could give the Buckeye receivers a wee bit of a fight. The two are good, veteran hitters and ball hawkers who’ve been the main reason A&M has the No. 4 FCS pass defense. However …
Why Ohio State Might Win: Where’s the O? A&M can’t generate any semblance of a downfield passing game and struggle way too much to score. If Ohio State gets a few early scores, it’ll be more than over. The Rattlers don’t have the firepower to come back, and they don’t have the power up front to get the running game going after having so many problems the last few weeks. The O has no go.
Who To Watch Out For: Really, Ohio State? You’re going to use Braxton Miller? He was close to ready for the Cal game, but Kenny Guiton handled himself more than well. Miller is reportedly ready to roll this week, but he’ll be sorely needed for Wisconsin. He could get back on the field just to get his timing back, but expect lots and lots of Guiton, who connected on 21-of-32 passes for 276 yards and four scores last week to go along with 92 rushing yards.
What Will Happen: The A&M secondary will win its share of battles, but it’ll be down 21-0 by the time it does. Expect the Buckeye backups early in the third.
Prediction: Ohio State 50 … Florida A&M 3
Line: Ohio State -51