"On paper, Ohio State should be able to overpower Navy. Its offensive lineman average more than 300 pounds. Navy nose guard Bernard Sarra is listed at 303 pounds. The two defensive ends are 251 and 246 pounds. No other starter weighs more than 231."
-Bill Rabinowitz, Columbus Dispatch
Nobody needs to tell Ohio State fans that it wouldn't be wise to sleep on Navy, especially after the Midshipmen came into Columbus in 2009 and nearly pulled an upset in the season opener. One area though that should work in the Buckeyes favor and help them to avoid the upset this year is their offensive line. While many times that Navy goes up against power conference opponents they find themselves at a size disadvantage in the trenches, they try and make up for it with lots of movement and odd fronts on the front line in their 3-4 defensive formation.
Ohio State has some questions at a couple spots on their offensive line, with a starter yet to be named at both the left tackle and center positions. Joel Hale and Billy Price are battling for the starting spot at left tackle, while Alabama transfer Chad Lindsay and Jacoby Boren are fighting for the center spot, with Price and Boren believed to have the inside track at the starting roles. With J.T. Barrett being thrust into the starting quarterback role due to Braxton Miller's shoulder surgery, and Ezekiel Elliott hoping to fill the void left by Carlos Hyde, the Buckeyes need this size advantage on the offensive line to help Barrett and Elliott get comfortable early in the season and hopefully build momentum going forward.
"I have a great love for the Naval Academy, great respect."
-Ohio State offensive line coach Ed Warinner
One of Ohio State's assistant coaches has been a fan of the Navy football team for years, dating back to when quarterback Roger Staubach was captaining the Midshipmen. While Ed Warinner grew up outside of Canton, he always had a respect Navy, idolizing the 1963 Heisman Trophy winner as he was growing up. Saturday marks the 30th time that a team that Warinner has coached for has taken on Navy, and during that time Warinner boasts a 13-5 record. During his 13 years as an assistant with Army, Warinner amassed a 9-4 record, followed by a 3-0 record with Air Force, and 1-1 record at Notre Dame.
On Saturday Warinner hopes to make it win number 14 and the offensive line coach is doing his best to make sure the defense is ready for the triple-option attack of Navy. Since Warinner has seen the Navy attack many times in the past, and also coached similar offenses while at Army and Air Force, Warinner is spread his triple-option expertise to the other side of the football. Warinner almost had a yearly date with Navy after interviewing in December for three-hours with Army for their head coaching position. While Warinner didn't end up getting the Army head coaching job, Urban Meyer and Ohio State are more than happy to have him back to help the team prepare for Saturday's game in Baltimore.
In their 2014 bowl projections to kick off the season, Ohio State is slated to matchup with Marshall on New Year's Eve in the Peach Bowl
Coming into the season with Braxton Miller not yet on the shelf for the year, had anyone predicted Ohio State to face off with Marshall in Atlanta on New Year's Eve many would have pegged that as a disappointment. Expectations for the season were high, and the Buckeyes were a popular pick to make the inaugural College Football Playoff. Ohio State still should have a great season, with hopefully at least 10 wins, but many are coming to the realization that the Buckeyes might come up just short of the playoff with their senior quarterback.
Of the Sports Illustrated writers that gave their bowl projections Ohio State and Marshall in the Peach Bowl seems to be a popular pick, with the only ones that differed when featuring Ohio State in some of the bigger bowl games was Martin Rickman, who had Baylor against Ohio State in the Cotton Bowl (the thought of Bryce Petty against that secondary makes me cringe), and Gabriel Baumgaertner, who has Ohio State and Notre Dame in the Orange Bowl. While Ohio State is on the outside looking in at the playoff, Michigan State is getting a lot of love from the writers, but many see them falling to Florida State in the Sugar Bowl.
"The bulk of the work will be complete by Monday with minor activities likely to occur throughout next week."
-Ohio State spokesman via The Lantern
After originally having a tentative date of August 14th (with the option to extend the date) for renovations to be completed at Ohio Stadium, the project has taken a little longer than expected, with the new date for completion slated to be by September 5th at the latest. With the Buckeyes opening on the road this season, crews have a little more leeway than normal on the project completion, but with the home opener against Virginia Tech scheduled for September 6th, the margin for error is very slim at this point.
The $13.7 million dollar project added 2,600 seats to the south stands, as well as the addition of permanent lights around the stadium to accommodate the increased number of night games that the Buckeyes and Urban Meyer were hoping to have at The Horseshoe. The Buckeyes have three home games that start at 6 PM or later this year. The lights have already gotten some use as they were in full working order at Friday Night Lights in late July. Also upgraded as part of a separate project was the installation of a new turf field in the stadium.
STICK TO SPORTS
- The Columbus Clippers have made the Governors' Cup playoffs, which start Wednesday and Thursday at Huntington Park. Why not go root on the Clippers and stuff your face with some great food specials during playoff home games.
- In some odd TV news, Zach Galifianakis and Louis C.K. have a sitcom about a clown slated for FX.
- Central Ohio woman wants driving age raised from 16 to 18 years old after a fatal accident in Licking County two months ago
- The Wall Street Journal created the college football "grid of shame" and surprisingly Purdue isn't in the bottom left corner
- This Utah woman should be jailed forever for what she did to her ex-boyfriend's house with a pound of bacon, SPOILER ALERT: She was very intoxicated