Bank Blog: OSU vs Hawaii Preview

Ohio State will look to stay unbeaten when they take on Hawaii in the home opener this Saturday. Although a victory is almost a certainty, there are other points to look forward to in the matchup.

- I don't give predictions for spring games, practices or scrimmages, so nothing in terms of that type of stuff for this article. Suffice to say that the score will be what Urban Meyer wants it to be, and I think Las Vegas is right on the money with their 40-point spread. I think we are looking at something in the neighborhood of 56-14, but that's just a guess not a prediction.

- There are other points to consider other than the score, and number-one would be for Ohio State to get out of the game injury-free. I don't think Urban will have things screwed down all that tightly, and he should approach this as a scrimmage against his walkons for the most part. If you're the slightest bit dinged up, you sit and watch.

THE QUARTERBACK ROTATION: How does Urban handle Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett in this type of game? Will it be like Illinois last year, where Barrett got the Buckeyes out to a big lead and then handed it to Jones to clean up? With the roles switched this time? It's very possible. You have to think Barrett will play a lot, and it would not be a surprise to see Stephen Collier see action in the game. What about Joey Burrow? That remains to be seen.

THE RUNNINGBACK ROTATION: With Zeke Elliott on the Matt Harvey innings limit, who gets the second call at runningback? Did Brionte Dunn's fumble let Warren Ball slip by him? Or does Urban overlook it, like he did last week with Elliott and Parris Campbell having the dropsies? Both Ball and Dunn should get close to 10 carries apiece regardless of who goes in first or not.

THE WIDE RECEIVER ROTATION: Do Jalin Marshall, Corey Smith and Dontre Wilson get welcomed back with open arms, or do they have to earn their way back into the mix slowly? What about Terry McLaurin? Is he behind Campbell, James Clark and Johnnie Dixon? What about Torrance Gibson? Is he healthy enough to make an appearance and catch a touchdown pass this week? Will there be a K.J. Hill sighting? Nothing for Mike Thomas to prove, so get him 3 catches and a touchdown, then put a baseball cap on him.

THE OFFENSIVE LINE ROTATION: Hello Demetrius Knox, Jamarco Jones, Brady Taylor, Evan Lisle and Isaiah Prince. This will be as interesting as the final score, and it will be good to see this group get extended minutes. The first team group should be gone early in the second half, and that lets the youngsters close it out.

THE DEFENSIVE LINE ROTATION: They played a lot of guys last week, but one player I'm interested in seeing out there is Darius Slade. He is positively buried behind Tyquan Lewis, Jalyn Holmes and Sam Hubbard, but Slade is a player I'm hearing good things about. I believe six defensive tackles got time last week, so it's hard to see Robert Landers or DaVon Hamilton being ready to play right now.

THE LINEBACKER ROTATION: Although he's not listed in the two-deep, Justin Hilliard is another player that is getting positive reviews. This would be a good spot to see him get some live action, and possibly Nick Conner and Jerome Baker fit in as well.

THE DEFENSIVE BACK ROTATION: Erick Smith played a little against Virginia Tech, but he could get a full half of action this week. Not sure if Marshon Lattimore is 100% healthy, but Damon Webb did play Monday evening. Will Eric Glover-Williams and Denzel Ward get meaningful minutes?

THE PLACE KICKER ROTATION: I think there's an issue with these guys, and there will probably come a game later in the year where a field goal could be crucial. Hard to see Meyer having any confidence in either Jack Willoughby or Sean Neurnberger, so he might alternate both guys to see if one can step up.


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