Two teams face off tonight with one trying to lock up the top spot in the Big Ten and the other trying to knock them off and keep the chances alive for that top spot too. Ohio State is coming off one of the most exciting games of the year with a victory over Oregon; while, Washington is coming off a heart breaking two point loss to Notre Dame. This is a big big game and both teams know the importance of a win, and Ohio State may have a little revenge in mind for that blowout loss in last years season opener.
Quarterback Doug Ohle and the Huskie offense will have to navigate the waters this week against one of the best defenses in the league, but something tells me they are up for the challenge. Halfback Ron Dayne is one of the best runners in the league also and he knows what he did to this defense last time they played. Could there be a repeat of last week performance against ND where he racked up 112 yards rushing and a pair of touchdowns? We will know by the end of the night. Ohle also has his high fliers in receivers Lord Helix, Jace Rosser, and Kayode Imani ready to help out and try to cause fits for The Sharks tonight. Washington can beat you more than one way and that will mean there will be no loading the box on these guys. The want a win tonight and will come out firing.
The Huskies defense was build on dominance and imposing their will on other teams. It all starts with the tackle monster known as Digger Graves and he has the ability to cover from all spots on the field. Follow that up with defensive lineman Richard Badley and Raekwon Dong it is going to be tough sledding for Ohio State if they think they are going to run up and down the field. XGA better not hold they ball too long or these guys also will feast on sacks. The Purple Haze knows what it needs to do tonight to help them win and I have a feeling they will be ready.
The Buckeyes keep surprising the rest of the league with some of there close wins but they are firm believers in what they are doing and are ready for anyone in there way. Everyone knows they are going to pound the rock with halfback Frost Carlson, who leads the league in rushing with 902 yards and has racked up 31 broken tackles in the process. Feed the Beast and he will keep pulling the wagon. Not to be the only one having fun on the offensive side of the ball quarterback Xavier Garcia-Allen is quite the runner himself with 407 yards rushing and eight touchdowns. The surprise here though is that XGA has been showing off his arm a little as of late and it has lead to some big shots down the field. The troupe of Speedy Love, Lawrence Lexington, Willow Hayes, and Jacob Flores have all been in the right place at the right time when called on to make a big catch and teams can no longer just key the run.
On the defensive side we all know the story and it is called “The Sharks”. They seam to all come up big when the team needs a turnover or a defensive touchdown at a key moment in the game. Last week it was safety Kevin Brackett with the pick six versus Oregon as they where driving down the field. Who will be the one to step up this week when called upon. Ohio State will call on defensive tackle Keaton Castle and linebackers Scottie James and Martavis Marriott to bottle up Ron Dayne Jr. while corners Juan Cantu and Tom Pence work to patrol the secondary. This is the test for them this week, can they pass it and come out with another victory.
What to Watch For
Doug Ohle is Mr. Cool and Calm, he has a 73% completion rate and only 2 interceptions on the year. Lets see what he does versus the best defensive back tandem in the country. It will be Ohle versus the Sharks and that’s a match up we are all waiting to see.
Alright, we’ve set it up how this matchup will test the poise of Ohle, who has found memories against the Buckeyes, considering he defeated them for his first national title. Now, Ohio State is all that stands between Ohle and the shot at the Big Ten crown and the first round bye for the playoffs. The problem, though, is that Ohio State’s defense has been a tough nut to crack all season. They’re tenacious, capable of flipping field position or scoring in an instant. Ohle will have to make smart reads or lean heavily on the shoulders of Ron Dayne Jr. in order to grasp victory. Ohio State has narrowly avoided defeat a couple of times this season, most notably a week ago with their double overtime win. I’m not sure they can do it two weeks ago. Their undefeated season falls tonight in a close game.