Buckeye-Hawaii matchups


By Jim Naveau - [email protected]



Michael Thomas, who had 54 catches last season, had two receptions for 46 yards in OSU’s opener against Virginia Tech. DON SPECK/The Lima News


QUARTERBACKS

Cardale Jones (9 of 18 for 186 yards, 2 TDs and 99 yards rushing) got the nod as the starting quarterback in the season opener but coach Urban Meyer seemed to leave the door open for the possibility of J.T. Barrett playing more in the future. Braxton Miller ran the ball six times while playing quarterback, including a spectacular spinning 53-yard touchdown run.

USC transfer Max Wittek was 19 of 38 for 202 yards and three touchdowns in Hawaii’s 28-20 win over Colorado last week. It was Hawaii’s ninth win the last four seasons.

Advantage: Ohio State

RUNNING BACKS

Ezekiel Elliott got 122 yards against Virginia Tech, 80 of it on his first carry. He had only 11 carries and might not play long enough to get many more this week against overmatched Hawaii.

Hawaii’s Paul Harris, a graduate of Columbus Marion-Franklin High School, rushed for 68 yards on 17 carries against Colorado and last year’s top rusher, Steven Lakalaka, gained 30 yards on 11 carries.

Advantage: Ohio State

RECEIVERS

Getting Jalin Marshall, Dontre Wilson and Corey Smith back from their one-game suspensions should make OSU’s receiving corps more dynamic than it was against Virginia Tech when the Buckeyes put the ball in the air only 19 times. Miller and Michael Thomas each had two catches.

Marcus Kemp, who caught 56 passes a year ago for the Rainbow Warriors, had six catches for 116 yards, including a 79-yard touchdown play, last week.

Advantage: Ohio State

OFFENSIVE LINE

Ohio State’s offense produced 572 yards and Virginia Tech did not get a quarterback sack after dropping OSU quarterbacks seven times last season in Columbus. The Slobs, as the lineman call themselves, should feast on an inexperienced Hawaii defensive line.

For Hawaii, left tackle Ben Clarke (37 starts) and right guard Deion Allen (11 starts) are the most experienced offensive linemen.

Advantage: Ohio State

DEFENSIVE LINE

The return of Joey Bosa and the double teams he draws after a one-game suspension will be welcome news to the rest of Ohio State’s front four. Tyquan Lewis had 1.5 sacks in the opener and the Buckeyes had a total of four sacks.

Depth at this position is one of Hawaii’s big concerns, though Kennedy Tulimasealii (9.5 tackles for losses, 2.5 sacks last season) is back. Luke Shawley had 14 tackles last week.

Advantage: Ohio State

LINEBACKERS

OSU sophomore Raekwon McMillan didn’t start a game last season but he got starter’s minutes. In his first start on Monday night he tied Joshua Perry and two other players for the team lead in tackles with eight.

Jerrol Garcia-Williams is back after missing 2014 because of ACL surgery. Julian Gener’s interception was the highlight for this position group last week for Hawaii.

Advantage: Ohio State

DEFENSIVE BACKS

OSU’s defensive backfield set up two second-half scores against Virginia Tech when Eli Apple recovered a fumble and Tyvis Powell had an interception.

Trayvon Henderson is the veteran in the defensive backfield for Hawaii.

Advantage: Ohio State

SPECIAL TEAMS

Duke graduate transfer Jack Willoughby had never kicked a field goal in a college game until he missed his only attempt against Virginia Tech. It will be interesting to see if he keeps that job or last year’s kicker Sean Nuernberger gets it back.

Hawaii’s Rigoberto Sanchez kicked field goals of 34 yards and 27 yards and averaged 46.3 yards per punt. The Warriors also blocked a Colorado punt.

Advantage: Ohio State

http://galioninquirer.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/web1_Ohio-State-logo2.jpg

Michael Thomas, who had 54 catches last season, had two receptions for 46 yards in OSU’s opener against Virginia Tech. DON SPECK/The Lima News
http://galioninquirer.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/web1_WMichaelThomas2.jpgMichael Thomas, who had 54 catches last season, had two receptions for 46 yards in OSU’s opener against Virginia Tech. DON SPECK/The Lima News

By Jim Naveau

[email protected]

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