Recap: Ohio State vs. Florida Atlantic
Alright, alright. Optimistic Adam struck again.
Justin Fields was electric, as we knew he should be. I was very close on his pass total (25 vs. a projected 26) and completions (18 vs. 21). He managed to outshine my TD total, throwing one more TD pass than I anticipated. I thought that the other QBs would see more action, but Ryan Day left Fields in for the majority of the game, limiting the backup work to just a handful of snaps for Chris Chugonov.
Dobbins led the way in rushing, carrying the ball three less times than I predicted and for far fewer yards. The RB breakdown after Dobbins featured McCall early, but without many touches. Teague III and Crowley each got the ball in the fourth quarter and had success rushing.
Olave was the prime target in the receiving game, not K.J. Hill. Victor, as projected, snagged a pair of passes, including one for a TD. The biggest surprise, though I did pick a TE to have a touchdown catch, was that it was Jeremy Ruckert and that he did it twice.
The specialists did special things. Haubeil was perfect on the day, registering a field goal and six PATs. Chrisman, though he posted a very respectable 43.75 yard average on his punts, also seemed to be a bit off with his deadly pooch accuracy.
Overall, the Bucks looked good, but showed plenty of room for improvement. They were about one hundred yards shy of both my rushing and passing predictions, so perhaps I went a TAD overboard there.
September 7 – Ohio State vs. Cincinnati
If Justin Fields throws for four TDs and rushes for another one in this game, I’ll… well, I probably won’t do anything crazy… but I’d be very surprised. Luke Fickell’s Bearcats have an aggressive, disciplined defense, as you’d expect. They’ll try to confuse and harass the young, new Buckeye QB with different looks and plenty of pressure. However, I think it’s Fields’ ability to move in the pocket and his experienced and talented receivers that come up big in this matchup.
Once Fields is able to force UC to back off from their initial push to shake him, the Buckeyes will be able to rely on their big fellas up front and veteran running back. Fields finishes the day with over 200 yards passing, including two scores, and some very valuable rushing yardage.
Running Back Projections
Although he totaled “only” 91 yards rushing last weekend in a decent effort, I think that Dobbins carries the team forward in this game. He may not have too many huge gains, but he’ll move the chains repeatedly and wear down the Bearcat D. With momentum on his side and the defensive players tiring, OSU can pound the football and push the ball into Cincinnati territory.
McCall and Teague will both see the field, with McCall even making a big first down in the passing game, but Dobbins gets the bulk of the backfield work. J.K. will also punch one in from about five yards out, using a hard cut and diving through traffic.
Pass Catcher Projections
K.J. Hill gets back on top of the receiving stat list, hauling in five catches and a TD. Olave doesn’t miss him by much, as he again makes the most of his time on the field and strengthens his relationship with Fields.
Mack makes a couple of catches in traffic and Victor again has a big gain, though not for a score this time. Surprising everyone, Ruckert finds himself a home on the stat sheet once more, bringing down two catches, including another TD. Garrett Wilson also has a big first down play early in the second half to move the sticks and keep an important drive going.
Blake Haubeil connects on each of three PATs and also makes three of four field goal attempts, missing one from just outside of 45 yards.
Drue Chrisman does his best to keep the field position battle in OSU’s favor. He hits six punts for over a 42-yard average, including 2 inside of the UC 20.
Ryan Day outlasts “that team down south” (eye roll) in a hard-fought, defensive battle with plenty of special teams influence. The Bearcats keep in close, but fail to threaten OSU in the fourth quarter.
Final Score Prediction
Ohio State 30 – Cincinnati 17