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Ohio State will be the favorite to win another game at AT&T Stadium this fall.

Ohio State football: Way-too-early prediction ― Buckeyes will storm through Texas again in September

Austin Ward

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Ohio State has made the Lone Star State something of a home away from the Horseshoe. And the Buckeyes actually might be even more comfortable at Jerry World than at TCU in what normally would amount to a quasi-home game for the program from Fort Worth. At this point, there’s no reason to expect that Urban Meyer’s next trip to Texas ― Sept. 15 against TCU ― will be any different from the visit for the 2015 National Championship Game or the dominant defensive outing in the Cotton Bowl to wrap up the 2017 campaign.

That isn’t meant to simply write off the Horned Frogs, because it’s never a good idea to overlook Gary Patterson and his knack for building aggressive defenses. But with TCU losing 13 starters, the Horned Frogs don’t appear to have nearly as much talent returning as Ohio State has in the pipeline this year. In particular, the Horned Frogs could have their hands full moving the football with a new quarterback and an inexperienced offensive line trying to slow down the Silver Bullets.

Granted, there is a little uncertainty at the moment with the defensive coaching staff for the Buckeyes. But the hiring of Alex Grinch, the depth in the secondary and a scary collection of pass rushers up front all have established the foundation for a group that should be even better than the one that suffocated USC to claim the Cotton Bowl trophy.

TCU, of course, isn’t going to be the only team with a new quarterback. As it tries to find a replacement for Kenny Hill, Ohio State still will be in the early stages of what is expected to begin the Dwayne Haskins Era this fall. But the edge there is likely to go to the Buckeyes as well, based largely on the encouraging work Haskins delivered off the bench as a freshman ― most notably in leading the comeback victory on the road against Michigan.

This isn’t a fool-proof formula, but for me these big-time matchups often can be boiled down to the quarterbacks, coaches and venues. Having already been in a pressure situation, Haskins should give the Buckeyes that category. Patterson is undoubtedly one of the elite coaches in college football, but Urban Meyer and his three championship rings get the nod. And even in TCU’s backyard, there’s a good chance Ohio State actually will wind up with more fans in a building where it’s already used to having success.

The way-too-early guess for this huge September matchup: Ohio State will return home from Texas with another impressive victory.

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