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Buckeye Battle Cry: Week 2 Preview

Last week was tough to watch for fans of Ohio State football. Many thought the Buckeyes would simply and emphatically dismantle the Hoosiers (myself included). After watching the game and breaking it down, it became clear that Ryan Day played it conservatively with first-year starter Kyle McCord while the inexperienced quarterback tried to do too much. The defense did their job, but their efforts weren't overly impressive.


Once again, Ohio State is preparing for an opponent, Youngstown State, where they should clearly dominate, and fans and critics alike wait impatiently to see which Buckeyes will show up.


General Information:


Date: Saturday 9/9/23

Time: Noon, Eastern

Venue: Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio (Capacity: 102,708)

Series: Ohio State leads 2-0

Last Meeting: Ohio State over Youngstown State 43-0 (2008)


What to Watch For:


Ohio State Quarterbacks

Too much more of this, and it will start to sound like a broken record, but here we go. Probably the biggest question on the Ohio State roster right now are their quarterbacks. Kyle McCord had an incredibly average game against Indiana last week, and the pressure is already mounting for him to perform. Youngstown State should provide some padding for his stats and a confidence boost in his abilities. Nevertheless, expect backup Devin Brown to receive tons of playing time this week as opposed to his two series last week. Brown has done a great job thus far this season with playing the "what's best for the team" role, but he should be chomping at the bit to show off his talents.


Ryan Day's Playbook:

The fans are restless and are craving the same tenacious Ryan Day we all saw during the Peach Bowl last season. It is understandable to have seen some conservative play calls, what with some new talent and involving Brian Hartline in offensive playcalling. Youngstown State may pose a different threat than Penn State or Notre Dame will offer, but it might be the right time to open it up and take some risks this week. Day is well known for playing cards close to his chest, but he is past due to put on a master class and ease some doubts.


Defense:

Holding the Hoosiers to only three points was impressive; I don't care what anyone else thinks. A Big 10 program being held to a field goal is good for me, but good isn't enough; everyone wants a dominant, angry, and violent defense. Facing off against the Penguins' running attack this week will provide the defensive linemen and linebackers with every opportunity to add stock to their draft statuses and film.


Prediction:


The Buckeyes haven't lost to an in-state opponent since 1921 and never to Youngstown State. Playing opponents from Ohio was originally Gene Smith's decision, and it makes sense if you're going to pay an FCS team a large sum of money, keep it in-house, develop the lower-tier programs, and make Ohio better for it. This game also allows young men from Ohio to play at the Horseshoe, a dream shared by many. Ohio State isn't expected to struggle one bit against Youngstown State, and the only hint of caution would be exercised by those who remember Appalachian State upsetting Michigan back in 2007. And honestly, if the Buckeyes do struggle, it will paint an obvious picture that Ryan Day should start rebuilding for next season in Columbus. Don't expect much of a fight from the underdog Youngstown State Penguins. Ohio State should put this to bed early and give some solid reps to their backups. Final score: 47-0.


(Photo by Jamie Mullen/Getty Images)

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