COLUMBUS, Ohio — With Ohio State kicking off at noon Saturday, it’s fair to wonder if the Buckeyes might come out a bit sluggish.
It’s the first noon game of the season for Ohio State, and that wake-up call always comes earlier than players would like. The team will walk into the stadium around 10 a.m. and begin warming up shortly thereafter. As an added bonus, it’s expected to reach upwards of 90 degrees on Saturday in Columbus.
Recent history has shown that Ohio State fans have nothing to fear when it comes to early games. Here’s a list of Ohio State home games with noon kickoffs in the Urban Meyer era.
Ohio State home noon kickoffs under Urban Meyer
|2016||Bowling Green||W, 77-10|
|2014||Kent State||W, 66-0|
|2013||Florida A&M||W, 76-0|
|2012||Purdue||W, 29-22 OT|
|2012||Miami (Ohio)||W, 56-10|
The 2012 season was Meyer’s first at Ohio State and is an outlier in the Meyer era in terms of offensive output and average margin of victory. In recent seasons — particularly in nonconference games — the Buckeyes have had no problems dispatching foes at high noon.
The same should be true as the Buckeyes face what appears to be an overmatched UNLV squad. Meyer is a man of routine, and he’s mastered the importance of getting ready for early kicks. He said on his radio show Thursday that the team alters certain things throughout the week, including trying to make sure players are up earlier than normal. Hydration is emphasized throughout the program no matter the week, but it is especially important when playing in the high temperatures that noon kicks often bring.
Meyer often leaves no stone unturned when it comes to maximizing performance, which helps ensure circumstance doesn’t dictate outcome. On top of that, though, he and the Buckeyes will get an added bonus this week. Their visitors are from Las Vegas, where local time (and body clocks) will read 9 a.m. when the game kicks off Saturday.