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Preview: OSU - BG
Preview: OSU - BG
After several tough games in their first five on the schedule, Furls says it's OK to breath easy today despite Bowling Green's history of playing Ohio State tough. In his game review, Furls breaks down the Buckeyes opponent, looks at the matchups, and tells you what he would do with this game if he was a betting man.
Generally I try to start these articles with some type of intrigue, create some kind of drama, or provide some type of historical perspective to the game. Well here it is:
The Intrigue: Will Bowling Green making a crunching sound or a squishing sound under the size 13 steel-toed boot that is the Ohio State Buckeyes?
The Drama: Who will emerge from trash time today as next year’s starting quarterback?
Historical Perspective: While some folks will try to make this game seem interesting by showing you a score from a couple of years ago, 2 of the last 3 times Ohio State has played BGSU the score has been pretty close, I will remind you that no Ohio team has beat Ohio State since Otterbein in 1921.
Introducing the BGSU Falcons, May They Rest in Peace:
Bowling Green is a perennial MAC contender, they are generally well coached, but this year is a bit of a rebuilding year. They have already lost to this year’s MAC front-runner, Kent State, by a very wide margin (38-3) and currently sit at 3-2 overall, 2-1 in MAC play.
The gimmick-riddled offense primarily features single back from the shotgun. From this formation the Falcons will run a multitude of plays from the double reverse to the draw. BGSU also features a quarterback, Anthony Turner, that is every bit as much of a running threat as a threat to throw the ball down the field, so hopefully this will keep the defense engaged.
Bowling Green does have some options running the ball, but should they fall behind early (they really should) this option will go away. I would be very interested to see how the Buckeye’s run defense would man up against a team that is truly committed to the run. I guess I will have to wait until October 28th for that.
On the defensive side of the ball the Falcons are young and undersized. They feature two first year safeties and if Coach Tressel were more like Coach Spurrier, I would forecast a long day for them, but I suspect that once the Buckeyes put up a couple of scores Coach Tressel will hit the brakes and ground the air game, unless it is Zwick, Shoenhoft, or Boeckman throwing the ball.
The Match Ups:
Ohio State Offense vs. BGSU Defense: This is not a match up. Texas could not match up with them, Iowa could not match up with them, so how in the heck could anyone think that BGSU would? I am sure Mark May has the answer. Look for a big early start and then steady doses of Pittman and the Wells brothers.
Ohio State Defense vs. BGSU Offense: There is some potential here for BGSU to be able to move the ball and score a little. I do not think that BGSU will be able to move the ball with any consistency, but Gregg Brandon is a gambler and will try to run the big plays to give his boys something positive on which to hang their hats. It could work some, a young, hyper-active defense could be susceptible to reverses, draws, and hitch and go routes (if Turner has the time).
Don’t Be Surprised If….
1 Troy Smith’s Heisman campaign takes a bit of a hit here. I think that ESPN talking heads are going to start getting tired of talking about “efficiency.” At some point they are going to start demanding numbers and frankly, Coach Tressel is not very concerned about winning with style.
2 The Buckeyes come out playing like a team on fire. Even though this is not really a competitive game, Ohio State players seem focused and rumors from players on the team are that this week’s practice was a throwback to mini camp (think boot camp). That is obviously the coaching staff trying to keep their heads in the game.
3 The Buckeyes get three more picks today. This Bowling Green team has never seen speed like they are about to see, and this leads quarterbacks to believe a receiver is open, when in fact the secondary is just waiting to jump the throw. I would not be surprised to see another pick from an athletic group of linebackers either.
If I Were a Betting Man…
As you can see by my lack of “Don’t Be Surpised If…” bullets, there really is not much to predict or forecast in this game. I am betting that this game will descend into a match up between Ohio State’s third string offense and BGSU’s first-string defense. I feel fairly confident that the Buckeye first-string defense will see a lot of playtime against the BGSU offense in an attempt to shore up discrepancies revealed in a painful film session following the Iowa game.
I will NEVER take a Jim Tressel team –35. If you make me bet this one, it would take a lot of liquor, I would take the points. Jim Tressel is just not comfortable putting huge numbers up on teams, especially in state teams. I suppose if I had to take a bet on this game, I would take the under because of the amount of time that I think the first team defense will be on the field, but I don’t really like that either. Bottom line, find another game to put your money on.
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