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.
100. Florida Atlantic LT Brandon Walton vs. DE Zach Harrison
Buckeye fans are excited to see freshman defensive end Zach Harrison this season and they shouldn’t have to wait long before it happens. It won’t be a breeze for him in the season opener, however, as Brandon Walton (Third-Team All-CUSA in 2018) is a senior with 26 starts to his credit.
99. Miami WR Jack Sorenson vs. CB Cameron Brown
Jack Sorenson was a third-team all-conference pick last season after leading Miami with 53 receptions and 742 yards. Cameron Brown, meanwhile, only played in a handful of games last season as a true freshman. This game should get out of hand long enough to give Brown a good look against a talented receiver.
98. Northwestern LT Rashwan Slater vs. DE Tyreke Smith
Tyreke Smith is headed for a larger role this season. He will be in the rotation, which means he will find himself matched up time and time again against junior left tackle Rashwan Slater. Slater has been starting since he was a true freshman. He was a third-team all-conference pick last year. More is expected this season. He should prove to be a difficult matchup for Smith on a mid-October Friday night.
97. Cincinnati DE Michael Pitts vs. LT Thayer Munford
Michael Pitts is Cincinnati’s most productive returning pass rusher. He started every game last season, fnishing with 34 tackles, 4.0 sacks, and 7.5 tackles for loss. Thayer Munford hasn’t played in a game since December, so he’ll have exactly one game to shake the rust off before he is pressed into action against a talented defensive end.
96. Maryland LB Keandre Jones vs. RB Master Teague
Keandre Jones transferred out from Ohio State in the offseason and was just granted immediate eligibility in the last few days. He is expected to win a job in Maryland’s defense. He will no doubt have some opportunities to tangle with redshirt freshman running back Master Teague, who should find himself carrying the ball 8-12 times against the Terps.
95. Wisconsin QB Graham Mertz vs. SAF Jordan Fuller
Okay, this one may not happen this year, but it should. Wisconsin needs to hand the reins over to the biggest quarterback recruit in Badger history. Give him the ball and let him go. By the time he gets to Columbus in late October, he’ll no longer be a freshman. But he will have Jordan Fuller — the quarterback of the Ohio State defense — waiting.
94. Cincinnati TE Josiah DeGuara vs. DB Brendon White
Josiah DeGuara was a second-team all-conference selection last year after finishing second on the Bearcats with 38 receptions. His 468 yards receiving were third, and his five touchdowns were second. He is a very effective receiver for UC. Brendon White won’t have many snaps at Bullet by the time this game rolls around and he squares off against DeGuara. This is probably going to be a bigger game than many people realize, and this matchup will be important throughout.
93. Cincinnati QB Desmond Ridder vs. LB Tuf Borland
Desmond Ridder didn’t start out as Cincinnati’s No. 1 quarterback last season, but it didn’t take him long to rise to the top. He started 12 games as a redshirt freshman last season and put up 2,445 yards passing, 20 touchdowns and 5 interceptions, and also rushed for 583 yards and five scores. He is a dangerous quarterback and Ohio State middle linebacker Tuf Borland is going to have to make sure the scrambling is kept to a minimum.
92. Maryland DB Antoine Brooks vs. HB Jaelen Gill
Antoine Brooks was a Second-Team All-Big Ten selection last season, and as a senior he is a veteran with nearly two dozen starts. Jaelen Gill’s playing experience, however, can be counted on one hand. When these two do get matched up, Brooks will have to bring all of his agility, and Gill will have to bring all of his toughness.
91. Maryland WR DJ Turner vs. DB Shaun Wade
DJ Turner is a stout (5-9 200) and strong slot receiver, fortunately for the Buckeyes, Shaun Wade is a tall, long, physical defender. Be it at strong safety or nickel, Wade will be near Turner, but he’ll need to bring more than just arm or shoulder tackles in this game.
90. Maryland WR Jeshaun Jones vs. CB Jeff Okudah
Jeshaun Jones had some very impressive moments last season as a freshman. He was used all over the field, rushing for 173 yards and catching 22 passes for 288 yards and five touchdowns. When he is matched up against Jeff Okudah, Okudah will be busy. Jones is a talented athlete, but so is Okudah, who said last week he was now checking in at 6-foot-1 and 200 pounds, and clocking in a 4.41 40-yard dash.
89. Penn State CB John Reid vs. WR Garrett Wilson
Senior cornerback vs. freshman receiver. John Reid has nearly 30 starts to his credit, but by the time this game finally rolls around, Garrett Wilson won’t exactly be a freshman.
88. Cincinnati WR Blue Smith vs. CB Damon Arnette
We have not yet heard word on Blue Smith’s eligibility, but if he is allowed to play this season, it will be interesting to watch the former Buckeye take on his old team. As the most talkative of the Ohio State cornerbacks, Damon Arnette will no doubt welcome the reunion.
87. Cincinnati SAF Darrick Forrest vs. TE Jeremy Ruckert
Darrick Forrest is a productive defender for the Bearcats and could find himself matched up a few times with sophomore tight end Jeremy Ruckert. This could happen in the slot, down the field, or over the middle, and when it does happen, expect it to be physical.
86. Michigan SAF Daxton Hill vs. WR Garrett Wilson
Speaking of matchups between true freshmen, this one as a much better chance of happening this season. Daxton Hill is a 5-star safety who could also play cornerback if needed. Garrett Wilson finds himself in a deep group of receivers, but that won’t keep him on the bench. And as we’ve seen in the recent past, an Ohio State freshman receiver making big plays against the Wolverines isn’t all that rare.
85. Wisconsin OT Logan Brown vs. DE Zach Harrison
We may not actually get to see this matchup in 2019, but file it away for the future as both Logan Brown and Zach Harrison are 5-star signees in the 2019 recruiting class.
84. Wisconsin WR Danny Davis vs. CB Damon Arnette
Ohio State cornerbacks have had some memorable games against Wisconsin, and not in a good way. Danny Davis has been productive, but could be on the verge of breaking through as one of the Big Ten’s best receivers. Damon Arnette will be fighting to keep that from showing against the Buckeyes.
83. Cincinnati SAF James Wiggins vs. QB Justin Fields
This will be our first opportunity to watch Justin Fields in a game that he’ll need to play well in if the Buckeyes are going to win. Safety James Wiggins was a second-team all-conference pick last year. He’ll need to balance his workload and keep an eye on Fields’ scrambling, which could then also lead to a pass sailing over his head and into the arms of a Buckeye streaking into the end zone.
82. Michigan State CB Josh Butler vs. WR Binjimen Victor
Ohio State will be wearing their black uniforms for this game, but thankfully Michigan State won’t be wearing these.
And some Buckeye fans are mad about black unis.
Ohio would need the National Guard to intervene if something like this happened. pic.twitter.com/w95G0WvlLJ
— Tony Gerdeman (@TonyGerdeman) August 5, 2019
81. Penn State WR KJ Hamler vs. DB Shaun Wade
KJ Hamler got Shaun Wade for a 93-yard touchdown last season and don’t think Wade has forgotten. The two of them should be battling each other for much of their November 23 matchup in Columbus.