This is the 70th in a series of 100 daily posts, a Countdown to College Football. (Sort of.)
It’s officially summer now, which is good because it has felt like mid-August in Central Ohio for the better part of a month already.
That’s also good because it means there are college football games that will be played before the seasons change again.
Summer isn’t the best part of the college football calendar, but it could be a lot worse.
Today, we’ll look at an amazing Buckeye whose biggest moments were all overshadowed, a Pac-12 trap game, a pair of OSU players on the verge of breakouts, and a battle in the B1G trenches.
If you missed yesterday’s edition, you can find it right here.
Now please join us as we continue our countdown of the 100 greatest Buckeyes of The Ozone era (1996-present).
We will also preview one of the 100 most exciting games on this fall’s college football schedule, and one of the 100 things we’re most looking forward to this fall.
Plus, we’ll preview one of this season’s 100 biggest personnel matchups.
Greatest Buckeyes Of The Ozone Era
#31 Santonio Holmes
Santonio Holmes had a career full of highlights at Ohio State, but many of his greatest performances tend to be forgotten.
Early in the 2004 season, Holmes had a game with 10 receptions for 224 yards and two touchdowns. It’s the second-most receiving yards ever in a game by a Buckeye.
However, it came in a game against Marshall that was nearly a humiliating upset. The Buckeyes needed a 54-yard field goal from Mike Nugent in the final minute to win that game, 24-21.
Be honest: that kick is the only thing you remember from that game, isn’t it?
Holmes’ only punt return for a touchdown came two weeks later in another game you’ve probably tried not to think much about. It was during the 2004 Northwestern game, the only time the Buckeyes lost to the Wildcats since 1971.
His best receiving day in 2005 came against Michigan State, where he racked up 150 yards and two touchdowns through the air. That all came on five receptions. His 30 yards per reception is the second-most for a Buckeye with 5+ catches in any game ever.
All you remember from that game is a blocked field goal getting returned for a touchdown, and John L. Smith melting down during his halftime interview.
He had a huge 26-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter of the Michigan game, but your first thought from that game is probably the Anthony Gonzalez catch that set up the winning score.
Holmes is sixth all-time in receiving yards as a Buckeye, with 2,295. His 11 touchdown catches in 2005 is good for a fifth-place tie for the most in Buckeye history. His 25 career touchdown receptions is the fourth-most ever in OSU history.
Santonio Holmes was one of the greatest offensive weapons in Ohio State history. That’s worth remembering.
Best Games This Fall
#31 Washington at Utah
The Huskies are a legitimate playoff contender this year, but this game is one that could derail their hopes.
UW opens the season with a neutral site date against Auburn in Atlanta. Then, after a snoozer against North Dakota (not NDSU, the far-less-amazing one) they have to travel to Salt Lake City to face the Utes.
It’s a weird place to play. For one thing, Rice-Eccles Stadium sits more than 4,600 feet above sea level. It’s most of the altitude issues of Boulder without the notoriety.
Utah’s defense is always tough and their offense can present challenges for opponents used to keying on high-flying passing attacks.
Every year, it seems like the Utes pull off at least one upset at home. Last year, they clobbered UCLA, 48-17, and nearly pulled off a shocker over Stanford.
In 2016, they knocked off USC. In 2015, they beat Michigan.
This year, Washington comes in with an experienced quarterback and a powerful offense. They should win here to keep their national title hopes alive.
But it wouldn’t be surprising if the Utes ruined someone else’s year.
What We Can’t Wait To See
#31 Ohio State’s X Receivers
Either Austin Mack or Binjimen Victor is going to have an amazing year this fall.
Both of them play “X” which is the Ohio State version of the “move the chains” possession receiver.
Victor and Mack were both highly-touted recruits, but started their careers slowly.
Mack had only two catches as a freshman in 2016, but made a couple huge plays for the Buckeyes in crucial moments last fall.
Victor had four receptions in 2016, but turned into a serious scoring threat as a sophomore, with 7 touchdowns.
Receivers typically take a big step forward during their third season, and both guys figure to benefit from catching passes from Dwayne Haskins. (He’s Mack’s roommate, as you may have heard.)
One of those guys is going to make the leap this fall. It’s going to be fascinating to see which one it is.
Matchup To Watch
#31 Terrance Davis, MARY OG vs. Dre’Mont Jones
Truth be told, Dre’Mont Jones vs. pretty much anyone is going to be an awesome matchup to watch this fall.
Jones missed time with a leg injury in 2017, but still recorded five tackles for loss. He had one in three of the biggest games of the year, against Oklahoma, Penn State, and Michigan.
He was considered a potential first-round NFL Draft pick, but returned for his senior season.
So far, he seems to be making the most of it. This spring, Urban Meyer singled Jones out as the most impressive player on the team.
He has been dominant both on the field and off, establishing himself as a powerful presence in the trenches, and a leader in the locker room.
Terrance Davis is one of the biggest recruiting wins Maryland has pulled off this decade. He came to the Terps as a top-100 national prospect, and the No. 3 guard in the 2016 class. He picked Maryland over Michigan and then made an immediate impact, starting nine games as true freshman.
He started all 12 games for the Terps as a sophomore.
Jones won’t face many interior linemen this year with a pedigree that can stack up to his, but he will when he lines up across from Davis.