“It’s all in the eyes: those magnificent piercing optics are what make all owls look like they are deep in concentrated scrutiny and steeped in long-lost knowledge.” ~ Matt Sewell
Described as an avid orinthologist (a person who studies or is an expert on birds), I appreciate Matt Sewell’s perspective on the owl, but as a football analyst, Mr. Sewell has not given me a lot to work with in preparing for the 2019 season opener.
Truth be told, Florida Atlantic has not provided much information either, as no starting quarterback has been announced, with speculation that Chris Robison will get the nod. Florida Atlantic head coach Lane Kiffin is not thrilled with opening up on the road against the Buckeyes, stating, “There’s a lot of different ways to go about these things.”
After a season of abundant change, with a new head coach, a new quarterback, and an overhauled defensive coaching staff, the Buckeyes are also enigmatic.
Until fans see the actual product on the field against Florida Atlantic at 12pm on August 30th, nobody truly knows what Ohio State is going to look like this coming season.
Below are three things that I will be keeping an eye on when the festivities begin on FOX.
- Florida Atlantic TE Harrison Bryant vs. The Ohio State Bullet (probably Brendon White): Without an official depth chart, I had to go with ‘probably’, but I feel good about it being Brendon White. No matter who winds up at the Bullet position (hybrid linebacker/safety), Harrison Bryant represents a great match up challenge. Listed at 6’5″, 240 pounds, Bryant averaged nearly 15 yards a catch on 45 receptions and 4 touchdowns in 2018.
Jeff Hafley is impressed with Florida Atlantic tight end Harrison Bryant. Good fundamentals, eyes will be important for defense.
— Andy Anders (@AndyAnders55) August 27, 2019
2. Florida Atlantic’s running game vs. Ohio State’s linebackers: In last year’s season opener against Oregon State, the Ohio State defense gave up touchdown runs of 80 and 78 yards. Florida Atlantic’s best running back, coming out of the spring, is James Charles. How well Charles, and the other Florida Atlantic running backs perform versus the much-maligned Ohio State linebacker corps, will be something worthwhile to keep an eye on during the game.
3. Florida Atlantic OLB Rashad Smith: Lane Kiffin is in his third year at Florida Atlantic, and already on his third defensive coordinator. With so much turnover, it should give you some idea as to what type of defensive performances the Owls have been giving. Regardless, Rashad Smith is the type of player that the Owls may move around to attempt to generate some disruption, as Smith led the team in tackles and interceptions in 2018.