Game Data: Miami (Ohio) at Ohio State

We take a look at the pertinent information, TV coverage map, depth charts and a prediction of what could happen for Ohio State's season opener against Miami (Ohio) Saturday at Ohio Stadium (12:10 p.m., ABC).

Game Data

* Date, Time: Sat., Sept. 3; 12:10 p.m. (Eastern)

* Location: Ohio Stadium

* TV: ABC; Announcers: Mike Tirico, Tim Brant, Sam Ryan.

ABC Coverage Map (Scroll Down)

* 2004 Records: Ohio State, 8-4 overall, 4-4 Big Ten; Miami (Ohio), 8-5 overall, 7-1 MAC East.

* Rankings: Ohio State, sixth in Associated Press poll, ninth in USA Today coaches poll; Miami (Ohio), unranked.

* Coaches: Ohio State, Jim Tressel (fifth year at OSU, 40-11; 20th year overall, 175-68-2; vs. Miami, first meeting); Miami (Ohio), Shane Montgomery (first year at Miami; vs. Ohio State, first meeting).

* Series History: Ohio State leads 3-0 (Ohio State won 80-0 in 1904, 3-0 in 1911 and 27-16 in 2000; all games played in Columbus.).

* Schedule: Sept. 3, at Ohio State; Sept. 10, Central Michigan; Sept. 17, at Kent State; Sept. 28, Cincinnati; Oct. 5, at Northern Illinois; Oct. 15, Akron; Oct. 22, at Eastern Michigan; Oct. 29, at Temple; Nov. 5, Buffalo; Nov. 15, Bowling Green; Nov. 21, at Ohio.

* Miami (Ohio) Key Players: QB Josh Betts (3,495 yards passing, 23 TDs, 14 INTs in 2004), RB Brandon Murray (48 carries, 248 yards, 4 TDs in 2004), WR Ryne Robinson (64 catches, 932 yards, 4 TDs in 2004), WR Martin Nance (90 catches, 1,498 yards, 11 TDs in 2003), DE Marcus Johnson (7-1/2 sacks in 2004), OLB Terna Nande (86 tackles, nine TFLs in 2004), OLB John Busing (93 tackles, 6-1/2 TFLs in 2004).

* Miami (Ohio) Fast Facts: Location: Oxford, Ohio; Enrollment, 16,300; Nickname, RedHawks; Colors, Red and White; Stadium, Yager Stadium (surface, FieldTurf; capacity, 24,286).

Depth Charts

Ohio State Offense

SE 4 Santonio Holmes, 5-11, 190, Jr.

8 Roy Hall, 6-3, 240, Jr.

LT 50 Doug Datish, 6-5, 295, Jr.

or 71 Steve Rehring, 6-8, 329, So.

LG 77 Rob Sims, 6-4, 310, Sr.

59 John Conroy, 6-3, 295, Sr.

C 55 Nick Mangold, 6-4, 290, Sr.

50 Doug Datish, 6-5, 295, Jr.

RG 72 T.J. Downing, 6-5, 305, Jr.

67 Kyle Mitchum, 6-6, 295, Fr.

RT 74 Kirk Barton, 6-7, 325, So.

73 Steve Winner, 6-6, 300, Sr.

TE 80 Ryan Hamby, 6-5, 255, Sr.

87 Brandon Smith, 6-3, 240, Fr.

FL 7 Ted Ginn Jr., 6-0, 175, So.

5 Albert Dukes, 6-1, 190, Fr.

QB 12 Justin Zwick, 6-4, 225, Jr.

17 Todd Boeckman, 6-5, 235, Fr.

TB 25 Antonio Pittman, 5-11, 195, So.

43 Brandon Schnittker, 6-2, 250, Sr.

FB 89 Stan White Jr., 6-3, 242, Jr.

49 Dionte Johnson, 6-0, 250, So.

SL 11 Anthony Gonzalez, 6-0, 195, So.

18 Devon Lyons, 6-4, 214, So.

K 23 Josh Huston, 6-1, 195, Sr.

85 Ryan Pretorius, 5-10, 190, Fr.

Ohio State Defense

DE 97 David Patterson, 6-3, 285, Jr.

99 Jay Richardson, 6-6, 276, Jr.

DT 94 Marcus Green, 6-3, 290, Sr.

93 Nader Abdallah, 6-5, 300, Fr.

DT 90 Quinn Pitcock, 6-3, 295, Jr.

98 Joel Penton, 6-5, 290, Jr.

DE 57 Mike Kudla, 6-3, 265, Sr.

78 Alex Barrow, 6-4, 255, Fr.

SLB 42 Bobby Carpenter, 6-3, 255, Sr.

17 Marcus Freeman, 6-2, 230, So.

MLB 51 Anthony Schlegel, 6-1, 251, Sr.

46 Chad Hoobler, 6-3, 240, So.

WLB 47 A.J. Hawk, 6-1, 240, Sr.

52 John Kerr, 6-1, 246, Jr.

CB 26 Ashton Youboty, 6-1, 188, Jr.

19 Brandon Underwood, 6-2, 170, Fr.

FS 21 Nate Salley, 6-3, 220, Sr.

32 Brandon Mitchell, 6-3, 205, Jr.

SS 9 Donte Whitner, 5-11, 205, Jr.

3 Jamario O'Neal, 6-1, 180, Fr.

CB 6 Tyler Everett, 5-11, 202, Sr.

2 Malcolm Jenkins, 6-1, 180, Fr.

NB 3 Jamario O'Neal, 6-1, 180, Fr.

34 Rob Harley, 6-2, 202, Sr.

P 15 A.J. Trapasso, 6-1, 220, Fr.

LS 68 Drew Norman, 6-0, 230, Jr.

Miami (Ohio) Offense

LT 75 Mark Kracium, 6-5, 295, Sr.

67 Allen Beneker, 6-5, 280, Jr.

LG 72 Steve Meister, 6-2, 290, So.

50 Matt McKeown, 6-4, 277, Fr.

C 62 Todd Londot, 6-7, 315, Sr.

53 Steve Kosky, 6-4, 278, Jr.

RG 79 Nate Bunce, 6-7, 322, Sr.

73 Pete Walters, 6-6, 320, So.

RT 76 Charlie Norden, 6-6, 313, So.

68 Dave DiFranco, 6-6, 323, Fr.

WR 15 Martin Nance, 6-5, 211, Sr.

81 Patrick O'Bryan, 6-1, 196, So.

QB 8 Josh Betts, 6-3, 223, Sr.

3 Mike Kokal, 6-3, 202, So.

WR 4 Josh Williams, 6-2, 220, Jr.

82 R.J. Corbin, 6-1, 203, Jr.

WR 2 Ryne Robinson, 5-10, 171, Jr.

27 Marcus Tate, 5-8, 150, Jr.

TE 89 Dan Tyler, 6-5, 248, Sr.

84 Tyler Vogel, 6-6, 253, Sr.

TB 24 Brandon Murphy, 5-8, 188, So.

43 Jimmy Calhoun, 6-0, 224, Fr.

K 35 Todd Soderquist, 6-2, 210, Sr.

Miami (Ohio) Defense

DE 93 Marcus Johnson, 6-3, 257, Sr.

94 Ben Huddle, 6-4, 265, Fr.

DT 65 John Glavin, 6-0, 278, Sr.

69 Otto Linwood, 6-1, 306, So.

DT 99 Mike Barz, 6-4, 262, Sr.

96 James Case, 6-2, 278, Fr.

DE 58 Craig Mester, 6-5, 243, So.

51 Joe Coniglio, 6-2, 233, Fr.

OLB 12 John Busing, 6-4, 227, Sr.

37 Dontae Wright, 6-3, 222, Jr.

MLB 38 Derek Rehage, 6-2, 234, Sr.

46 David Hutzelman, 6-1, 224, Sr.

OLB 32 Terna Nande, 6-1, 231, Sr.

30 Bryan Tyson, 6-1, 208, Sr.

CB 21 Ryan Redd, 5-10, 176, Sr.

5 Frank Wiwo, 6-3, 179, Jr.

SS 1 Joey Card, 6-0, 198, Jr.

6 Robbie Wilson, 6-0, 209, Fr.

FS 36 Steve Burke, 6-0, 191, Sr.

17 Sean Kavanagh, 6-1, 205, Fr.

CB 28 Darrell Hunter, 6-1, 206, Sr.

16 Bryan Roland, 5-10, 191, Fr.

P 4 Jacob Richardson, 6-1, 187, Fr.

Breaking It Down

* When Ohio State Has The Ball: The talk through the off-season centered on two main topics: Ohio State will be running more of a spread-styled offense (with three and four wide receivers). And the offensive line should be a lot better, so if and when the Buckeyes feel the need to grind some meat between the tackles they should be able to do so.

Ohio State will put the 2005 edition of its offense in motion against Miami (Ohio), a team that returns nine starters – seven of them seniors – on the defensive side of the football. You get the sense that OSU will have to work for everything it gets against Miami. There may also be the temptation to "out-athlete" Miami by getting the ball (quickly) on the perimeter to the likes of Santonio Holmes, Ted Ginn Jr., Anthony Gonzalez and mayve even the debuting Albert Dukes.

Of course, OSU is not operating at full strength. Troy Smith, the quarterback that engineered OSU's 4-1 regular season finish last year, is ineligible. That means that it will be Justin Zwick under center. Keep in mind, Zwick missed nearly a week of preseason camp with an ankle sprain. Where Smith confounded defenses with his arm and his feet, Zwick may only be a threat throwing the football in this game if he is still hobbling.

That means the Buckeyes could be back to square one – establishing the run. You know they want to see how Antonio Pittman fares in his first game as the starter at tailback. This is a quality Miami defense, led by Marcus Johnson at end and Terna Nande at outside linebacker. They have speed and experience. They will not be easily fooled or beaten. OSU will need some big plays. I see the Buckeyes making a handful of those, though.

* When Miami (Ohio) Has The Ball: This should be a really neat match-up. Josh Betts threw for nearly 3,500 yards last year. Receivers Martin Nance and Ryne Robinson are each prime time players. Provided Betts has the time to throw, I imagine he will complete more than just a few passes and could approach 200 yards in the air.

This will be Jim Heacock's debut as OSU's defensive coordinator. Heacock is a veteran coach and he has seen just about everything. Moreover, he potentially has a great defense talent-wise to work with All-American caliber players like A.J. Hawk and Bobby Carpenter at linebacker and Ashton Youboty at corner. The battles Youboty figures to have with Nance will be worth the price of admission.

Once again, we look at the line play. If OSU's defensive line can mount a surge, stop the run and pressure Betts into some hurried throws and/or mistakes, the Buckeyes can win this one with ease. I imagine, though, that Miami will make just enough plays to keep this one interesting.

* How It Will Go: The RedHawks played at Iowa in 2003 (21-3 loss) and at Michigan last year (42-10 loss). They have at least played in front of large crowds and in meaningful games – like the last two MAC championship games – so they should not be in awe when they come down the ramp at Ohio Stadium.

I see a team that if it puts all the pieces together and takes care of the football can certainly extend Ohio State into the second half, maybe even the fourth quarter. Miami is that good and has that kind of experience.

But this is possibly a great Ohio State team. The Buckeyes are deep and talented on both sides of the ball. Other than the Smith suspension and maybe the injury to Mike D'Andrea, they aren't missing anybody they are truly counting on. I do not see an Ohio State romp. However, I do see the Buckeyes making two or three big plays that Miami can not counter – perhaps on offense or in the kicking game – and OSU will gently ease away late. I've got it: Ohio State 31-14

* For The Record: Last year, I was 7-5 straight-up on Ohio State and 5-7 against-the-spread.

* Other Picks: On this week's Bucknuts Radio Hour, Mr. Bucknuts picked OSU 31-13. Kirk Larrabee had it OSU 37-17, while Jerry Rudzinski said OSU 33-17.

-- Steve Helwagen


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