Here are my three biggest keys for an Ohio State victory this afternoon (in a game that our entire staff thinks will be a blowout).
Establish the Run
Ryan Day essentially abandoned the run in the second half last week. That led to a big day from C.J. Stroud and his group of talented receivers, but I think the offense was far too unbalanced. I want to see a much heavier dose of TreVeyon Henderson and Miyan Williams this afternoon. Let's see if this Tulsa defense is all its cracked up to be.
Limit Explosive Plays
The last two weeks (and too often last season), the Buckeyes have been snake-bitten by allowing big plays. The biggest one last week was a C.J. Verdell touchdown run that went 77 yards right through the middle of the defense.
Tulsa is going to run the ball - arguably their two best offensive players will be in the backfield. Ohio State has to stay sound on its assignments and not allow the Golden Hurricane to make this a competitive game by ripping off momentum-swinging huge chunk plays.
Dominate the Line of Scrimmage
This shouldn't be overly difficult this afternoon, considering the talent gap between Tulsa and the Buckeyes in the trenches. But the last two weeks, Ohio State's defensive line have gotten very little penetration and the O-line had a tough time generating any push. I'm looking forward to seeing both units get after it today and get back to a really physical style of play.
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