YOU GUYS. It's almost here. The season begins tomorrow at noon for Buckeye fans, and I personally couldn't be more fired up.
So sure, I might not be totally clairvoyant, but in an effort to pretend I am, I'm going to provide you with five things I'm predicting to happen in this week's game. Expect this every week before kickoff to get you even more prepared for game day than you already are. If they don't happen, well, you can totally feel free to make fun of me accordingly.
Surely you're as ready as we all are for what's about to go down. Without further adieu, behold, in all their glory, five things to keep an eye out for during Saturday's skirmish with the RedHawks.
1. The three true freshmen backup linebackers will fly around and make plays in the second half.
David Perkins and Camren Williams have both impressed in camp, with Urban Meyer and Luke Fickell both touting Perkins as maybe the top point-A to point-B linebacker on the team. Largely unheralded coming out of high school, Perkins has impressed with his speed off the edge and nose for the ball. The third true freshman, Josh Perry, has also received rave reviews in practice. Perry's name was mentioned often on ESPN's Training Days series. Once the Buckeyes take the lead against Miami in the second half, look for a minimum of one of these three young studs to make a big play.
2. Taylor Decker's play will impress the coaches and move him closer to starting.
Reid Fragel has been awarded the starting gig at right tackle... for now. According to offensive line coach Ed Warriner, this is a product of both his strong play in practice and also his seniority over Decker. However, Fragel is a converted tight end who will have played right tackle at the Division 1 level for precisely as many games as Decker once Saturday rolls around. I suspect we'll see Decker dominate against the Miami defensive line in the second half (again, once the first-stringers are out of the game) and it will bring him closer to taking over the starting job later on in this season.
3. Bradley Roby and Travis Howard will play aggressively and look to jump routes.
If you caught any of ESPN's feature on Urban Meyer's practices, you know that secondary coach Kerry Coombs is all jacked up on Mountain Dew. Coombs' aggressive style will show in his corners' play. Urban Meyer swooned about Travis Howard's improvement this spring and summer in his press conference on Monday, and we all know the team's number one corner, Bradley Roby, could be one of the best defensive backs in the country. Backups such as Doran Grant and Adam Griffin have been receiving rave reviews as well. Don't be shocked to see one of these guys jump a Zac Dysert quick out throw and take it to the house for six.
4. Nick Vannett will make a highlight reel worthy catch.
Much like Evan Spencer's one-handed grab last year, I think we'll see another splash play out of a surprising source in this weekend's game. Don't be totally shock to see a jaw dropping effort from tight end Nick Vannett, who has displayed soft hands and surprising athleticism in practice in his quick rise up the depth chart. Vannett should plenty of playing time, especially with Jake Stoneburner's move back to wide receiver.
5. A freshman will have a sack.
Where do we begin with this recruiting class on the defensive side of the ball? Noah Spence, Adolphus Washington, and Tommy Schutt are all beasts in the making. Najee Murray has impressed, along with fellow defensive backs Devan Bogard and Tyvis Powell. David Perkins, who we mentioned earlier, has garnered considerable praise from just about every member of the coaching staff. We're not exactly going out on a ledge here, but you easily could see a Miami quarterback get eaten up by one of the young Bucks. Noah Spence in particular is probably the most likely candidate to surprise an offensive lineman with his speed and power and grab a hold of poor Zac Dysert (or one of his backups should the white flag get raised early).
Share your predictions in the comments, make fun of these, or just express your wildest hopes and dreams (ahem, safe for work, y'all) in the comments below.