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Posted by Sep - 2 - 2011 0 Comment

Hi Buckeye fans! We are just one day away from kickoff! Tomorrow The Ohio State University Buckeyes start the season with a normal MAC warm-up game. The Akron Zips come to Columbus, Ohio coming off of a disappointing season (1-11) for second-year coach Rob Ianello. Akron will be challenged simply to score points in this game. Last time the Akron Zips played the Buckeyes, Ohio State held the Zips to just 3 1st downs. Yes the Buckeyes defense isn’t the same as they were 4 years ago, but there is still talent on this year’s squad.  The only noteworthy Zip isn’t even a player. Most Cleveland Browns fans will remember Frisman Jackson. He is currently the wide receivers coach at University of Akron.

Normally I would run a positional breakdown and choose who has the Advantage. Instead I’m going to note a couple players to watch out for from Akron. Clayton Moore (SO) beat out incumbent starter Patrick Nicely(JR) for the starting position. I believe that decision could of been because of Nicely’s horrid play over last season. On offense the only two players that could help Moore score against the Buckeyes would be the fullback Nick Rossi(FR) and tailback Broderick Alexander(SO). Nick Rossi picked up an injury during fall camp and may not play vs Ohio State. Broderick Alexander is a bruising back that could push for some yardage behind a fairly veteran offensive line. Although having a cool name doesn’t usually mean much going up against the Buckeyes defense.

With more suspensions the Running back position has been hit a little harder for the Buckeyes. Ohio State has a plethora of talent at running back and will do just  fine. Dan “Boom” Herron(SR,RS) is out for his 5 game suspension and Jordan Hall(JR) was recently suspended for this matchup. Jamaal Berry (SO,RS) was penciled in as the starting tailback when Herron was suspended. He unfortunately picked up a hamstring injury in fall camp and is being held out this week. Enter Carlos Hyde(SO) and Rod Smith(FR,RS). Both of these guys are quite inexperienced but the talent is there. Carlos Hyde will most likely be named the starter based on the fact he got some playing time last year. Rod Smith is exciting most Buckeye fans. Smith has already being anointed by experts(and me) as “the next great Ohio State running back”.

Luke Fickell may have stated Joe Bauserman(SR,RS) is taking the first snap. Reading between the lines that just tells me they are going to give the senior  a chance to play for a little bit before the Braxton Miller(FR) era begins. Braxton Miller (also known as the Anti-Pryor) is already a sharp dual-threat quarterback that some can compare to a taller version of Troy Smith. Another plus is we won’t have any tattoo scandal with him. He already has it.

Wide Receiver is the one position Ohio State is lacking experience. Corey “Philly” Brown(SO) is the #1 target with Jake Stoneburner(JR) at tight end being the most experienced pass catching option. Verlon Reed(FR,RS) is an intriguing receiver based on the fact he is a converted quarterback. Reed’s experience throwing the ball should make him a better route runner and also read his coverage better than most.

The Offensive line is slightly inexperienced but full of top recruiting prospects. Clearly Mike Brewster will be a leader on and off the field. Brewster will be on the list for All- American this year and may even take home the Rimington award. The Rimington hasn’t been won by a Buckeye since former Cleveland Brown LeCharles Bentley won it in 2001.

The Defense is the strength of the team. The Defensive Line especially with returning starters Nathan “Vanilla Gorilla” Williams(SR,RS) and John Simon(JR). Big Daddy Johnathan Hankins(SO) will chew up blockers with his 335 lb. frame. Garrett Goebel(JR,RS) a highly recruited defensive lineman will finally get a chance to show what he can do.

Linebackers Etienne Sabino(JR,RS), Andrew Sweat(SR), and Storm Klein(JR). Sabino will hopefully stay healthy this season and get his chance to replace Brian Rolle at the mike position(Middle Linebacker). All of these starters are just part of a long lineage of talented linebacker to come through columbus. Tyler Moeller(SR,6th YR) should also be mentioned because he is not a true linebacker or a true safety. He plays the “star” position of the nickel defense for his tackling and hitting abilities. When he’s on the field don’t be surprised if he is the player getting to the quarterback or making a big play happen.

Secondary is the weak link of vaunted Buckeye D this year. Veteran safeties Orhian Johnson(JR,RS) and CJ Barnett(JR,RS) will be the backbone of the secondary. The only defensive back with some playing time at corner is now a backup safety in Christian Bryant(SO). Bryant will most likely see time at corner when the defense goes to the Nickel. Travis Howard would of been the most experienced corner on the field but he caught the suspension bug too.  Dominic Clarke (SO,RS) will play in his absence and get some “quality” game experience. Bradley Roby(FR,RS) the other starting corner impressed a lot of people in spring and fall. Roby will now get a chance to impress at game speed.

Drew Basil(SO) will need to improve on last year’s performance. He is in a position that could make him a great like a Mike Nugent. Ben Buchanan(JR,RS) will be a solid punter once again for the Buckeyes and be able to pin the opposition back.

Prediction for Zips vs Buckeyes : 45-7 Fickell doesn’t let up on offense if he wants the job he has long term!

It’s September, are you ready for BUCKEYE FOOTBALL!?! Let’s Whip the ZIPS!


Categories: Ohio State Buckeyes

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