After a road conference win to kickoff the 2023 season, Ohio State will get to play in front of its home fans for the first time this season with a noon kickoff against Youngstown State. Questions continue around the quarterback position. How much will Devin Brown play this week? Will the Buckeyes do some experimenting against an overmatched opponent?
It’s time for our staff predictions as the Buckeyes look to move to 2-0 on the season.
This is a game for OSU to work out some of the week 1 kinks offensive and get Marvin Harrison Jr. and Emeka Egbuka going. Look for OSU to continue to diversify the run game and lean in more to the quick game and RPOs.
OSU 53 Youngstown State 6
Saturday’s game is a bought-and-paid-for scrimmage, so let’s treat it as such. Ideally we’ll get to see Kyle McCord in the first quarter, Devin Brown in the second quarter, a combination of them both in the third quarter, then a little bit of Brown in the fourth quarter along with some Lincoln Kienholz.They don’t need to call the same plays for McCord and Brown, but they do need to have the same amount of aggression in the play calling.
Cade Stover says the short-yardage issues is just a matter of firing off the ball vertically, so let’s see how vertical both the running and passing games are this weekend. If Marvin Harrison, Jr. doesn’t score this week, the Buckeyes didn’t try hard enough. It’s also important to get Emeka Egbuka involved again.
Defensively, Youngstown State ran for 300 yards last week against Valpo. Ohio State should hold them to a third of that at most. The Penguins were run heavy last week, so I’m not expecting the OSU secondary to be tested much in this one. I’m looking for the Buckeyes to post their first shutout in exactly three years (and two days).
Ohio State 52 Youngstown State 0
Ohio State’s defense certainly looked the part last week against Indiana but the offense struggled at times and was unable to finish drives, settling for three field goals. As I’ve said on our board all week, this is the game to “tinker” around.
Want to see more of Devin Brown? Give him the entire second quarter. Want to try some different combinations up front? Go for it. Want to see how C.J. Hicks does? By all means.
Because after this game, a lineup needs to be set and an identity needs to be established. I think the Buckeyes will do the above, get some new looks out there, play Brown more, etc. as this is just not a losable game. Ohio State rolls and we’ll all be asking ourselves on Saturday evening whether or not this was a product of the opponent or if the Buckeyes made real strides offensively.
Ohio State 56 Youngstown State 7
This is the game you want if you’re Ohio State right now. This should be an opportunity to get the offensive line and quarterback(s) some confidence and allow you to also empty the benches a bit to play a number of guys you want to see in action.
That said, this OSU team is clearly nowhere close to a finished product. Couple that with the new clock rules and I think there’s probably a couple less touchdowns on the board versus what we’d see in past years. Still, I think this will be a dominant victory.
Ohio State 45 Youngstown State 7
Okay, so the Indiana did not go the way that I had predicted, but that is okay because nobody was on the money with that one.
Now enters Youngstown State and no matter how well the Buckeyes do in this one it will “Only be Youngstown State”.
I know this is about predicting a score but as a watcher of the Ohio State football team, I am not concerned about the score, I am concerned about how the team operates.
The passing game was quite disjointed, but then again the offensive line play was disjointed and that in turn created some disjointed play from the running backs. It is all connected, just like the leg bone is connected to the knee bone and the knee bone is connected to the thigh bone (is that even anatomically correct?)
What was correct was the defense and I believe that the defense will come out and paint another masterpiece, and while it may not be perfect, people will rave about the defense and no matter what the offense does, it was “Only Youngstown State”.
Ohio State 49, Youngstown State 6
Ryan Day repeatedly called the Buckeyes’ week one win at Indiana “a
mixed bag.” This week’s game shouldn’t be nearly as mixed.
Youngstown State is a solid FCS team. They beat South Dakota in 2022,
played respectable games in losses against North Dakota and North
Dakota State, and held Kentucky scoreless in the first quarter of what
ended up as a 31-0 defeat in Lexington. This isn’t the 2013 Florida
A&M team that might have been the worst team to ever play in Ohio
Stadium, but it’s a team that the Buckeyes should be able to handle
Look for a significantly improved performance out of the offensive
line and the quarterback position this week.
Ohio State 48 Youngstown State 3