The Ohio State University hosts Central Florida in a battle of 1-0 teams Saturday at the ’Shoe.
The Buckeyes, after a slow start, cruised past a decent Miami University 56-10.
The Knights will be making their second straight trip to Ohio after pounding Akron 56-14 in their opener. It will be the first meeting between the two schools.
Central Florida, from Orlando, is the preseason favorite to win the Eastern Division of the Conference USA, but next year will join the Big East with Boise State, Houston, Memphis, San Diego Stat and SMU.
WHO TO WATCH: OSU quarterback Braxton Miller amassed 368 total yards against Miami, including a school-record 161 on the ground. Miller struggled early with passes. He either misfired or his receivers helped out with leaping catches. Miller went 14-of-24, a number coach Urban Meyer wants improved. Meyer has 105 wins coaching, while UCF’s George O’Leary checks in with 103. UCF capitalized on four Akron turnovers and Blake Bortles passes for 168 yards and three touchdowns in the win over the Zips.
WHAT TO WATCH: With the newnewss out of the way (a new coaching staff, new system and first time 14 players saw on the field), will OSU come out stronger in which should be a tougher test? After the first quarter, OSU took over. Miller has some misfires and his receivers bailed him out with leaping catches. But there were two other problems areas Meyer addressed earlier this wekk. OSU couldn’t punch a touchdown in from the 1 with running back Carlos Hyde going behind a big offensive line. “That was probably the black mark on the game for us as an offense.” On defense, the Buckeyes allowed a couple of big pass plays, “I would not say we played great defense. However, we played three quarters of very good defense.” UCF is 13-14 in games against Ohio schools.
PREDICTION: OSU 38, UCF 14: The Buckeyes, who will still be officially recognized if they win the Big Ten Leaders Division, despite being banned from the conference championship game and a bowl game (alright...) are likely to come out better against UCF. That doesn’t necessarily mean perfection from the get go. Still, a better start will help get the home crowd into the game. The Knights are a better team than Miami, but still no match for OSU.