Both Penn State and Miami need this win badly tonight after both losing in there season openers. After running into a buzz saw of an offense in Florida, the Nittany Lions have turn their defense around and try to show that they can stop Miami or it will be a repeat of last week. For the Hurricanes they just need to find a way to protect Jose Bueno, Ohio State recorded eight sacks last week against that offensive line and if he ends up on his back like that this week it will spell doom for the Canes.
Quarterback Walker Mills had a less then impressive start to his season against Florida last week and Miami’s secondary will not make it any easier on him this week. Despite that being said, if he can get things going with his two seniors in wide receiver Ronald Fields and tight end Robert Gomez things will be much easier and he should shine. In order for that to happen, Mills will need help from halfback Robert Davis. Add in the contributions of receivers Dee Kendrick and William Craft, and the Nittany Lions can get the job done offensively.
On the defensive side of things, there’s some adjustments that need to be made. Drew Ekstrum has been the anchor of the front of this defense from the defensive tackle position. That’s only half the battle though. The secondary has got to step up and make plays on a crucial level, that’s not easy to do, but it needs to be done. Corners Winston Schmidt, Justin Jones, and Harper Allen all have to carry their weight. More importantly, safety Aiden Berry needs to up the ante.
The Hurricanes didn’t have things go their way last week, and four turnovers don’t help. Quarterback Jose Bueno will have to get some things cleaned up this week with ball security. Despite that, they battled valiantly, in part due to receivers Nick Bagg, Maximillian Mack, and King Twixx. Their success tonight will be crucial, and reliant upon the success of halfback Speedy Love.
As for the Miami defense, they had a rocky start, but fought back to limit Ohio State to just 16. Having to play on a short field doesn’t help, but if they can create some short fields tonight, they’ll be fine. To do that, linebackers Justin Thyme and Jesse Horrigan need the help of defensive tackle Colby Randon. Oh, and if safety Buster Bates is dropped into the box, things could get messy.
QB Walker Mills vs. LB Justin Thyme
The secret of Penn State’s offense relies on the legs of Mills. Meaning if he can’t get going, the ship might sink tonight. That means Justin Thyme needs to get to the point of attack on time in order to slow Mills. Otherwise, Penn State’s offense could get into a whirlwind pace, which would be tough to stop.
Whatever the Hurricanes do, they can’t allow Penn State to get heated in the rushing game. If that happens, the Hurricanes could find themselves in a tailspin. After all, it’s difficult for an offense to do their job if they don’t have time to operate. That’s what Penn State loves to do to their opposition, and Miami cannot afford to do that. They also can’t afford the turnover trouble they had a weak ago. Something I don’t anticipate happening with Miami claiming victory.