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Today is Thursday, Oct. 6, and this is your Ohio State Wake-Up Call.
A test for the secondary
Indiana’s top-notch offense stands between Ohio State and its fifth win in 2016. Led by redshirt junior quarterback Richard Lagow, the Hoosiers are atop the Big Ten in pass offense through four games this season, averaging 320.8 yards per game.
2 TD Passes ?
1 TD Receiving ✋?
— Indiana Football (@HoosierFootball) October 3, 2016
Lagow has been solid at quarterback for Indiana this season, completing 62.2 percent of his passes with nine touchdowns. Judging by his receiving corps, he clearly has a favorite target in sophomore receiver Nick Westbrook. Westbrook has a team-high four touchdowns and averages 92.5 receiving yards per game.
This will be an early test in conference play for a very successful Ohio State defense in 2016. The defense has only given up an average of 140.2 passing yards per game and has accumulated nine interceptions. Cornerback Gareon Conley knows that this will be a tough test for this secondary.
“They run routes well and their quarterback is a big guy and he delivers the ball well,” Conley said. “It’s just an overall good offense and they play hard. I know it’s going to be a big challenge for our secondary and our whole defense.”
Even with the Buckeyes’ historic start, giving up an average of 9.2 points per game, Conley said there is still work to be done, especially against an offense like this.
“We are not where we want to be at, but we are making progress and I am happy with where we are at,” Conley said. “I want to go further and we are always hungry for more.”
Though the offense they are facing may be tougher, the secondary’s game plan doesn’t seem to have changed much from the other games this season.
“Just come out and be fundamentally sound, do what we do and just play hard every play,” Conley said. “Just play for each other and everything will handle itself.”
Time is set for ‘The Game’
Michigan vs. Ohio State. This game is predicted to be the biggest in not only the Big Ten but possibly in all of college football this season. So, when is the de facto Big Ten East championship going to kick off?
The Big Ten just announced the @OhioStateFB game vs. Michigan, Nov. 26 at Ohio Stadium, will kick off at noon. ABC or ESPN will televise.
— Jerry Emig (@BuckeyeNotes) October 5, 2016
Wait, these are possibly two top-five teams. Why is it at noon instead of in primetime? Mostly because it has been tradition for both of these teams to play during the day.
Don’t worry, Buckeye fans. This will be the game that everyone will be talking about no matter what game is prime time.
You need to squint to see problems
As the No. 2-ranked team in the nation, Ohio State has been as close to flawless in all areas of the game so far in 2016. However, according to SB Nation writer Bill Connelly, if you look closely enough, there are some flaws.
In his article, the four flaws he talks about revolves around the offensive side of the ball. The first thing Connelly mentions is their passing-downs success rate, even though they have fallen into these situations, “less frequently than any team in the country”. Also, when they were looking into the running game, the rushing attack has not had any breakaway runs for 50 yards or more this season.
The main problem that actually has weight is how young this team is. Connelly points toward their three road games against Wisconsin, Maryland and Penn State and wonders how the young guys will perform. However, after a convincing win in Norman against Oklahoma, the Buckeyes seem to be proving that wrong.
Yes, every team has its own issues. However, with the nitpicking Connelly does, it looks like the Buckeyes are in good shape.
Let their play do the talking
With all the success Ohio State has enjoyed this season, you would think that there would be plenty of trash-talking going on. But that’s not the Ohio State way, according to Buckeyes offensive tackle Isaiah Prince.
“We aren’t going to be talking about that action,” Prince said. “We are going to be talking on the field.”
Being an offensive lineman, Prince is mixing it up with the opposition every play. But he’s always quick to give credit to the opposition.
“We don’t trash-talk,” Prince said. “We always give props to the other team. Every team has really good players and we just give props. We don’t do trash-talking.”
The Buckeyes think they are good enough to let their play speak for themselves. A No. 2 ranking in the AP Poll speaks pretty loudly as well.
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