COLUMBUS, Ohio – All that stands in the way of a 4-0 start for No. 6 Ohio State is in-state challenger Miami (Ohio) on Saturday in its final nonconference game. The Buckeyes have dominated their first three opponents, outscoring them 138-31, and more of the same is expected against the overmatched RedHawks.
TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network. LINE: Ohio State -39
Miami coach Chuck Martin realizes the RedHawks are facing an almost impossible challenge against Ohio State's talented roster, telling reporters earlier in the week that "it's kind of like going to recess and they have the first 85 picks." His team has already lost on the road to another Big Ten opponent, No. 18 Iowa (38-14), and last week was whipped 35-13 at Cincinnati - a team that Ohio State dominated two weeks ago in a 42-0 rout. The Buckeyes followed their win over Cincinnati with an impressive 52-10 victory last Saturday at Indiana in their Big Ten opener. They looked equally sharp on both sides of the ball against the Hoosiers, racking up 520 yards of offense while the defense gave up only 257.
ABOUT MIAMI (1-2)
Brett Gabbert, the younger brother of NFL backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert, has started the first three games as a freshman and thrown for 481 yards and two touchdowns. Miami's only win came in week two at home over FCS Tennessee Tech. Against Cincinnati last week, one of the RedHawks' leading tacklers was defensive back Manny Rugamba, an Iowa transfer who had five tackles two years ago in a 55-24 upset of Ohio State in Iowa City.
ABOUT OHIO STATE (3-0)
Justin Fields has lived up to the hype in his first three games as the starting quarterback, leading the country in points responsible for with 78, and yet the talented sophomore transfer from Georgia acknowledged after missing some throws against Indiana that he wants to get better. Fields knows he doesn't have to carry the load with JK Dobbins (No. 4 nationally with 425 yards rushing in three games) in the backfield and multiple receivers as targets in the passing game. Meanwhile, Ohio State's defense has matched the performance level of the offense, ranking 10th nationally in points allowed at 10.5 per game.
1. Ohio State has the nation's second longest winning streak at nine games.
2. Fields has rushed and passed for at least one touchdown in Ohio State's first three games this season.
3. Miami's leading rusher, backup RB Tyre Shelton, has only 108 yards this season.
PREDICTION: Ohio State 59, Miami 7