Bank Blog: OSU Week-Four Preview

After coming off two shaky performances offensively, Ohio State will battle Western Michigan this week at home. Is this the week the offense explodes?

- While the Ohio State offense has been downright offensive the past two weeks, I do not expect that to continue much longer into this season. There is simply too much talent on this squad, and at some point everything is going to come together and a price is going to be paid by an opposing defense. The coaching is sound. The talent is NFL-like. In the words of Aaron Rodgers: "R-E-L-A-X". 

- Why has this side of the ball struggled? To put things in a nutshell, the QB play has been awful, regardless of everything else that has gone wrong. I know Tim Beck and Ed Warinner are under a lot of scrutiny right now, and they should be. Urban Meyer is the architect of the offense, and he created the QB mess, so he's not blameless here either. To be effective, they need to be able to throw the football and that is not happening right now at all.

- You could probably list a lot of reasons why Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett have played poorly, and all of them would be valid to an extent. But this is big-Boy Ball, and excuses don't cut it. One of them needs to step up and start to play the type of football each played last season. They can blame playcalling, being yanked in and out of the lineup, poor O-line play, or whatever. Who cares? Time to shut up and play football for these two. They need one to get going, hopefully both of them will because it's a long season.

- The offensive line should get healthy this week and feast on a terrible Western Michigan front-seven. You know, the group that gave up 413 yards rushing to Georgia State a few weeks ago? This should be the week this group flat dominates the line of scrimmage, and that fact alone should see Ohio State running the football between the guards the way they need to. By the same token, there should be zero pressure on the QB's, which should allow both to throw the football effectively. 

- The wideouts need someone other than Mike Thomas to step up and become the reliable #2 guy, and so far that person has not emerged. It all starts on the practice field, and the opportunity to build an NFL career is waiting for the guy that jumps up and grabs this spot. Jalin Marshall. Corey Smith. Johnnie Dixon. Dontre Wilson. Curtis Samuel. Braxton Miller. Someone needs to get open consistently, catch the football automatically, and make plays. Miller did against Virginia Tech, and has not been heard from since. 

- Everyone wants Ezekiel Eliott to run the football, but he has had to carry the football over 50 times the past two weeks against the Hawaiians and the MACers. Not good. This should be the week where Eliott surpasses his highest rushing total of the year, and does it with less than 15 carries. Is Mike Weber ready for carries? Will Brionte Dunn and Warren Ball each get 5-10 carries? This should be the week. 

- Six paragraphs in and no mention of the defense? That's what happens when your group is nearly perfect, as Chris Ash and his troops have been. Western Michigan will not have 50 yards rushing this week, which will make them throw it 45 times. That will lead to sacks, hurries, pressures, fumbles and picks. When Eli Apple is running down the sideline with a Pick-Six, remember me fondly. 

- Urban Meyer was embarrassed last week by the MAC, and we've all seen in the past what happens the next time someone shows up that does that. Whether it's Michigan State last year, or Virginia Tech this season, when The Urb wants revenge you can usually count on that happening. His team is dropping in the polls, and not at all playing well. That's not good for Western Michigan, and they will pay the price. 

-THE PICK: Did not make an official prediction the past two weeks, thinking the Vegas line was right on. Had OSU beating the Hokies 45-20 in the opener, which fell 42-24. This week is the week I believe Urban lays the pimp hand down and punishes the Broncos to the tune of a 56-13 azzzzz-whipping. I think the Bucks cover the 31-point spread by halftime and cruise on home. Also see them getting close to OVER 57 by themselves. 

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