Everybody loves college football.
If somebody tells you they don’t love it, they’re wrong.
We look forward to particular games and watching certain players.
Each week we get to see something new.
That is especially true if you think about the sheer number of individual matchups there are to watch this season.
And that’s just the Ohio State games.
And that’s just the regular season Ohio State games. There could be three other games after that!
Since we are in the home stretch of our federally mandated 9-month hibernation period, it’s okay to start talking about the matchups we’re going to see, because it’s not so far off as to be considered classless teasing.
So let’s take a look at the 100 Ohio State matchups to watch this season, beginning from the bottom, which is still going to be a hell of a lot of fun to watch.
60. Michigan State CB Josiah Scott vs. WR Chris Olave
Josiah Scott was very good as a freshman in 2017, but missed the first eight games of last season with an injury. Chris Olave was a significant contributor late in the season for the Buckeyes. His contributions began in a game against Michigan State. This will be an exciting matchup between two naturally talented athletes.
59. Maryland SAF Antoine Brooks vs. WR KJ Hill
Antoine Brooks was Maryland’s nickel linebacker last season, but is supposed to be a safety this season. Wherever he ultimately ends up, you can bet he is going to have some opportunities to match up with OSU H-back KJ Hill. Some people are expecting a possible shootout here, which will make this matchup even more worth watching.
58. Michigan LB Josh Uche vs. QB Justin Fields
Josh Uche may be Michigan’s best pass rusher this season. Even if he’s only second or third, however, Buckeye quarterback Justin Fields is going to need to know when and where he is on the field. As a sub-package guy, Uche can sometimes sneak up on an offense. Fields can’t let that happen this season.
57. Penn State TE Pat Freiermuth vs. BUL Brendon White
Tight end Pat Freiermuth had a tremendous freshman season for Penn State last year, catching 26 passes for 368 yards and leading the team with eight touchdown catches. The purpose of Ohio State’s new hybrid linebacker is to be able to better cover pass-catching weapons like Freiermuth. We will see if junior Brendon White is up to the occasion for the Buckeyes.
56. Michigan WR Mike Sainristl vs. SAF Shaun Wade
Mike Sainristl is a freshman slot receiver who stood out this spring for Michigan. Shaun Wade’s expected role as strong safety for the Buckeyes will have him matching up repeatedly with Sainristl. By the time the two teams meat, Sainristl will no longer be a freshman. We’ll see if Michigan is still running a no-huddle attack when this game rolls around as well.
55. Penn State SAF Lamont Wade vs. WR Jaelen Gill
This past winter, Lamont Wade entered the transfer portal, but eventually returned to Happy Valley and is battling for the starting strong safety spot. A former 5-star cornerback, Wade’s man-to-man coverage skill could be put to the test against redshirt freshman H-back Jaelen Gill.
54. Michigan State SAF David Dowell vs. TE Jeremy Ruckert
David Dowell was a First-Team All-Big Ten safety in 2017 and a third-team selection last year. Ohio State tight end Jeremy Ruckert will generally be found flexed out or lined up as a faux fullback. As he then goes out for a pass, he could quickly become a concern for Dowell. Ruckert is a talented pass catcher who is going to be a difficult matchup for most defenders he’ll come across this season.
53. Indiana LT Coy Cronk vs. DE Chase Young
Coy Cronk is a four-year starter for Indiana and their best line of defense against pass rushers. As Ohio State’s best quarterback harasser, junior defensive end Chase Young will certainly line up against Cronk more than a couple of times when these two teams meet in week three.
52. Nebraska NT Darrion Daniels vs. C Josh Myers
Darrion Daniels is a graduate transfer from Oklahoma State who came to Nebraska to play with his younger brother Damion. The elder Daniels is an experienced brute, which will make this matchup against Ohio State redshirt sophomore center Josh Myers a fun one to watch. Myers has earned nothing but positive reports in camp, but this will be the biggest test and biggest game of his career.
51. Michigan RB Zach Charbonnet vs. LB Malik Harrison
Freshman running back Zach Charbonnet is the most talented tailback on the Michigan roster. His role should increase as the season wears on, and by the time The Game comes around, he could be the starter. Even if he isn’t, he’ll still get plenty of work, and whenever he does, he will have senior OSU linebacker Malik Harrison to deal with. Charbonnet is a big back (6-1 220), so Harrison will need to be ready as well.
50. Indiana WR Nick Westbrook vs. CB Damon Arnette
This is a matchup between two of the Big Ten’s most experienced players. Both are fifth-year seniors who have started multiple years. At 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds, Nick Westbrook is always a tough outside matchup for cornerbacks. He managed five catches for 109 yards and a touchdown last year against the Buckeyes. Damon Arnette knows he has more to prove this year.
49. Michigan DT Carlo Kemp vs. RG Wyatt Davis
Carlo Kemp was Michigan’s starting three technique defensive tackle last season as a sophomore. He managed 17 tackles and 2.5 tackles for loss, but the Wolverines need much more from him. Redshirt sophomore guard Wyatt Davis finished last season in the starting lineup for the Buckeyes, and he’ll be a seasoned vet come late November. Ohio State will need to run the ball in Ann Arbor this year. The winner of this matchup will help tip the scales.
48. Indiana LB Marcelino Ball vs. QB Justin Fields
Marcelino Ball is a hybrid linebacker/safety who also happens to be Indiana’s defensive leader. He is fast and active, and he may need to be his fastest and most active against Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields. These two teams meet in the third week of the season, so Fields may still be a bit raw when they play.
47. Cincinnati QB Desmond Ridder vs. BUL Brendon White
Sophomore quarterback Desmond Ridder is a difficult matchup for anybody. At 6-foot-5 and 215 pounds, he’s hard to miss, but he’s mobile enough that he’s also hard to hit. Brendon White will have exactly one game under his belt at Bullet before the Buckeyes take on the Bearcats. This is both a good thing for the Buckeyes and a bad thing. He won’t have the experience they’d like, but UC also won’t know all of the different angles he could be attacking from.
46. Michigan LB Khaleke Hudson vs. TE Luke Farrell
Khaleke Hudson is one of the most athletic linebackers in the Big Ten. He plays Michigan’s hybrid Viper spot, and when matched up against Ohio State tight end Luke Farrell, both players will have their hands full.
45. Penn State OT Rasheed Walker vs. DE Tyreke Smith
As a recruit, Rasheed Walker was torn between Penn State and Ohio State. The Nittany Lions eventually won out, and this year as a redshirt freshman he is expected to be Penn State’s starting left tackle. Sophomore defensive end Tyreke Smith will be in the rotation for the Buckeyes and big things are expected this season.
44. Maryland RB Anthony McFarland vs. LB Baron Browning
Ohio State fans don’t need to be reminded of what Maryland running back Anthony McFarland is capable of. They saw it first hand last season. Junior middle linebacker Baron Browning has earned some positive reviews so far in fall camp. He could be a more productive Mike against Maryland’s spread offense, which would mean multiple encounters with the elusive McFarland.
43. Michigan DE Mike Danna vs. LT Thayer Munford
Mike Danna is a graduate transfer from Central Michigan with 27.5 career sacks to his credit. Jim Harbaugh has high hopes for him and Danna seems to be living up to those hopes at the moment. Junior Thayer Munford is one of the Big Ten’s best tackles, and he will need to work very hard to keep his quarterback clean when these two teams meet up in late November.
42. Nebraska DT Khalil Davis vs. LG Jonah Jackson
Khalil Davis has played a lot for Nebraska, but really came on last year as junior with 41 tackles, 3.0 sacks, and 8.0 tackles for loss. Until he transferred to Ohio State this summer as a graduate, Jonah Jackson spent his entire career at Rutgers. This will be the biggest game he’s ever played in.
41. Michigan WR Tarik Black vs. CB Jeff Okudah
Despite missing most of his career with injuries, Tarik Black is impressing onlookers once again in fall camp for the Wolverines. Ohio State junior cornerback Jeff Okudah, meanwhile, is in his second season in a starter’s role. Okudah’s goal is to be listed among the great cornerbacks in OSU history. Shutting down the Wolverines is one good way to be remembered.