Buckeyes Set To Welcome FCS Team

For the first time since 2008, the Ohio State football team will welcome a Football Championship Subdivision squad to Columbus when Florida A&M invades Ohio Stadium this weekend. While the Rattlers are not exactly a high-profile foe, OSU coaches and players do not want to take a step back one week before opening Big Ten play.

The Ohio State football team is in the midst of a four-week span that features three primetime games. Last week, the Buckeyes traveled to California and returned with a 52-34 victory, and on Sept. 28 and Oct. 5, respectively, they will host Wisconsin and play at Northwestern under the lights.

But come Saturday, No. 4 Ohio State will play at noon on the Big Ten Network against Florida A&M – a Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA) squad from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.

With the annual battle with the Badgers and the start of Big Ten play looming, Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer admitted that it will take some effort to keep the Buckeyes on task leading up to the game against FAMU.

"We are going to have to really coach them hard this week," Meyer said.

Neither Meyer nor any of the OSU coaches or players who spoke to the media on Monday wanted to disparage the Rattlers. Instead, most responded like junior linebacker Ryan Shazier, who said every game was important – no matter who the opponent is.

"It's football," Shazier said. "There's 105,000 people out there. Anybody can win on any given day, so we're going to go out there trying to win just like we did with Cal, with San Diego State and with Buffalo. We're going to go out there and try to do what we can do to try and get this victory."

Shazier also noted that the Buckeyes battle themselves throughout the year in practices. Each game provides new foes to pit their skills against.

"We've got new faces, so we're going to try to go out there and beat up on those new faces like we beat up on every new face that we see," he said. "We'll go out there like we're playing Wisconsin and try to win."

Senior safety Christian Bryant was asked if he would prefer to play another Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A) squad instead of a FCS team and – like his head coach – gave a blunt answer.

"I would," he said. "I like to showcase our talent. I would like to play bigger games. But it's really out of our control. … We've still got to go out there and face whatever team is put in front of us."

Bryant added that he would rather play a top-10 team.

"We don't choose the teams we play each and every week," he said. "They're coming to Ohio Stadium, so they will see what the Ohio State Buckeyes are about."

The Buckeyes opened as a 57-point favorite and should have little trouble putting up points. Ohio State is averaging 44.7 points per game through the first three weeks of the season, while Florida A&M has allowed 27 points apiece to Tennessee State and Samford in consecutive weeks.

Still, Ohio State will enter Saturday looking to play its best game of the season to date.

"You come out and you sharpen your tools," fifth-year senior quarterback Kenny Guiton said. "We want to be perfect. You're never going to be perfect, but that's what you play for."

Buckeye Sports Top Stories