Keenan Allen remains one of the better wide receivers in the country, but the team around him needs to play the game of their lives to upset a Buckeyes defense that is teeing off on the opposition.
Allen’s half-brother is starting quarterback Zach Maynard and it will be crucial for the two to connect on several occasions in this matchup.
C.J. Barnett, Christian Bryant and Bradley Roby are terrific defensive backs that will have their hands full, but they do not have to cover for long thanks to the pressure up by an SEC-like front four.
Johnathan Hankins, John Simon, Garrett Goebel and Nathan Williams are relentless and they truly are stalwarts that could feast on a Bears offensive line had issues in their opener against Nevada.
Once you mix in the duel-threat capabilities of Braxton Miller on offense, the Buckeyes all of a sudden look like they have returned to national prominscence. In reality, the Big Ten is once again struggling after we thought they might have inched closer.
However, Nebraska and Wisconsin (Michigan too) have already lost a game that the majority of us did not anticipate. Defense wins titles and great teams are built from the inside, which gives the Buckeyes a great look ahead to the future once they are eligible for the Big Ten and BCS title (next year).
It truly helps to host seven teams in Columbus in Urban Meyer’s first season and the young, developing talent should allow them to dream big from here on out.
While it clearly stinks they cannot compete for anything special in a season where they may end up finishing in the top 10 (perhaps top five and think USC, who finished sixth last year) once the season completes, Ohio State still has motivation to compete in every contest this season.
Going up against a struggling Pac-12 squad changes nothing and it will be imperative to work on the ground game so Miller does not have to take on hits before Big Ten play gets underway.
The much excited and anticipated return of star running back Jordan Hall could be just what the doctor ordered in this intriguing Big Ten versus Pac-12 matchup.
Time: Noon Eastern
Experts Pick: OSU by 17.5
Danny V’s Pick: Ohio State 38, California 14