I’m from Florida, and I love Ohio State football. Call me a traitor, a bandwagoner, a ‘nut’, but I love Ohio State football! For that reason, even though I am no sports analyst, I am going to share my opinion for the next 13 weeks concerning Ohio State football.
1990. Since that year college football has lost a small-jewel of its grandeur. The USC-Ohio State rivalry is a fantastic inter-league rivalry. I applaud USC and OSU for renewing this rivalry with the addition of the 12th game onto the schedules this year.
2008. The time is fast approaching. 8:00 pm EST my house will center around one thing, the proleptic BCS Title Match. Ok, maybe not, but I’d hope for it to be. OSU has lost the last 5 matches against USC. I hope this time Beanie Wells flies right into that Death star and blows that defense to smithereens. Cheap analogy … but I can guarantee you this … this nearly two decade wait for a re-match will prove much more worth your time than George Lucas’s recent litany of bad films. This rivalry may be filled with cheap lines (i.e. OSU wide receiver Ray Small’s comments that OSU is classy); but the drama will be real and unfortunately, the OSU force may not be with us. Somebody give George Lucas free tickets…
In truth, Ohio State’s performance against Ohio was meager and lackluster. I’d rather watch Lucas’s recent release “Clone Wars.” Offensively, we are in big trouble. The line is weak and not allowing Boeckman to stand strong and pick the defense apart. Boeckman threw 16 for 26 for 110 years (a 4.2 average). I have a lot of faith in Boeckman, but he can only do so much on his own. Here’s my fear: Boeckman’s passes against Ohio were spot-on target, just always a second or two late. He’s being forced to make quick decisions. Second, senior USC linebacker Rey Maualuga (115 solo tackles, 81 assists, three interceptions, four forced fumbles) may cause more threat to this line than Darth Vader himself. Defensively, I was pleased and look forward to this year’s defense being put to an early test with USC’s offense. As far as passing goes, OSU has the advantage.
Robiskie, Hartline and Small are a feirce trio. But, we must not under-estimate USC’s staff. Damian Williams is very dangerous and USC is known for the deep ball. USC may gain an advantage by throwing over James Laurinitis’ head.
So what do I think? I think it rest on the shoulders of Beanie Wells. If he can produce the normal explosive runs we are used to atleast once a drive (he ran for 1609 yards last season) then this may bring some much needed balance into the offense. Beanie may have to throw a few blocks of his own – but as we know very well, even Jabba the Hut couldn’t keep Han Salo frozen forever. Beanie will break free, and when he does, the linebackers will back up, Boeckman will stabilize and we’ll see the chains move.
My prediction – 3rd quarter game. I think the defense’s will hold back the offenses well. But in the third quarter, each team will adjust and we’ll see some points going up. I think OSU may trail by 7 going into the half, which is the most fearsome thing. OSU is not a come-from-behind team, I hope they’ll prove me wrong.
By the way, USC QB Sanchez threw for 26 of 35 for 338 yards on Saturday. Mr. Laurinitis better earn his heisman….Until then, I’ll be working on my ‘force’ skills, hoping I can help Beanie get that ball down the field. Until next week…