The band, unfortunately, will not make the trip to Ohio Stadium. That's too bad, as they would probably have been the most entertaining part of this week's game (TBDBITL notwithstanding). FAMU is currently 1-2, having only faced fellow FCS squads, and has lost two straight. They'll be simply looking to execute a game plan, and in all likelihood will not worry much about the score unless the game is close near the end. There are lots of talented FCS teams out there - North Dakota State and Eastern Washington immediately come to mind. FAMU is not one of those teams.
FAMU will look to improve on some paltry offensive stats - they've rushed for 80 and a pathetic 22 yards - on 24 carries! -in the past two games, respectively. Their showing against Tennessee State was particularly (ahem) offensive, only amassing 156 total yards on offense and going 2-12 on 3rd down, in a 27-7 loss that was not even that close. Quarterback Damien Fleming and running backs James Owens and Al-Terek McBurse will have to carry the offense. If the running game performs as badly as it has in recent games, the Rattlers are in for a long day. Expect lots of draws, screens, and short quick throws against the Buckeyes, as teams with lesser talent are known to do.
We said at the beginning of the year that the secondary was the strength of the Rattlers' defense, and thus far that has indeed been the case. Each team that FAMU has played has had more rushing yards than passing yards, and while that tends to trend toward teams gaining big leads and running out the clock, it is worth noting that Florida A&M has only given up one passing touchdown, have six interceptions (all secondary players) and have two interception returns for touchdowns. Contrast that with, for example, Ohio State. The defensive front seven just doesn't have the horses to keep up, but teams have found passing the ball to be tough sledding. Expect a heavy dose of run from the Buckeyes this week.
The Ohio State Buckeyes might have Braxton Miller back, but the team overall will look to see some progress and check on the health of his knee as they take on FCS squad Florida A&M. The main objectives of this week's game will be A) keep the momentum going, B) Make sure the rest of the team stays healthy, and C) get a win.
Ohio State is coming off a sizeable win over California in which Kenny Guiton proved that smooth jazz does indeed have a place in football. Expect Guiton to play a good chunk of the game as well, especially if Miller is unable to go or only used situationally. The Buckeyes shouldn't need Miller against the Rattlers, but it remains to be seen if Cardale Jones or J.T. Barrett will get some run. In a game where the point spread is Buckeyes -50, expect to see a lot of young Bucks by the 4th or even 3rd quarter. There should be plenty of stat-padding in this one - provided the Buckeyes stay focused and avoid a huge letdown, like some of their BCS counterparts. However, Ohio State is no ordinary team. They should have no trouble. The Rattlers should be, well, rattled (sorry) by the crowd noise and superior opponent.
The main focus for the Buckeye defense should be its secondary play, which was not great last week. Even all-everything corner Bradley Roby had a couple of rough spots. Look for Kerry Coombs and the rest of the coaching staff to try to shore that weakness up and play a little bit more press coverage against overmatched wide receivers.
Judging by the amount tickets are going for on StubHub, Ohio State fans expect this game to be a laugher, and there isn't much data out there that would predict otherwise.