Thursday, September 24, 2015

#Buckeyes Preview 9.24.15: Western Michigan #WMU @ Ohio State

By @jddisantis

Through three games this season the Ohio State Buckeyes have been less than impressive.  The number one ranked team in the nation is coming off of a 20-13 win against Northern Illinois, a team they were a 35 point favorite against.  Cardale Jones got the start and after going four of nine and throwing two interceptions he was benched for J.T. Barrett who was only slightly better as both quarterbacks failed to play well and were careless with the football...  So what does the doctor cue up when your team is struggling? A directional Michigan!  Ohio State will play host to the Western Michigan Broncos this Saturday as they try and finally get out of first gear offensively.

The most talented team in the nation has yet to play like it in the 2015 season.  After last weeks poor performances by Jones and Barrett a quarterback controversy has arose and Urban Meyer was contemplating making a change.  "We're going to have a really clear starter this week, at the right time," Meyer said earlier in the week.  "I kind of already know."

On Wednesday Meyer announced that Cardale Jones will continue to be the starter citing that "the other guy has to pass him, and that hasn't happened."  Meyer has also made his disappointment in the rest of the offense known when speaking about Jones saying "He is the guy, unless he doesn't perform well.  But it's not him, its the offense that's in a funk."  Just by reading Meyers quotes it is obvious he hasn't been pleased with the play, or play calling of his offense this season.

Western Michigan is 1-2 and coming off of their first win of the season.  The Broncos have already played a top 5 team when they lost to  No. 2 Michigan State in their first game of the season.  Western Michigan was able to keep it close for most of the game against the Spartans and never allowed Michigan State to get comfortable in a 37-24 loss.  Western Michigan's quarterback Zach Terrell is 10th in the nation with 947 passing yards and threw for 365 against the Spartans.  Junior wide-out Daniel Braverman has 40 receptions on the year and has gone for 13 or more catches and 100 yards in each of his first three games.  Sophomore running back Jarvion Franklin leads the Broncos with 242 yards and one touchdown in 2015.

The defense has been the one bright spot for Ohio State thus far.  The Silver Bullets are giving up just 12.3 points and 225 yards per game. After pitching a shut-out against Hawaii they held a Northern Illinois team averaging over 47 points a game to 14.  Ohio State linebacker Darron Lee bailed out the offense with a 41-yard interception return for a touchdown last week against the Huskies.

"We've got the mindset that if we have to win the game 3-0, that's just how we're going to win the game," linebacker Raekwon McMillan said.  "We can't depend on anybody else."  The Buckeyes defense will have to continue bringing dominant, opportunistic performances to avoid an upset while the offense tries to figure things out.

What: Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Western Michigan Broncos
When:  Saturday, 9/26/15 @ 3:30pm
Where: Ohio Stadium, Columbus Ohio
Line: OSU -31.5, O/U 61

Follow me @jddisantis

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