Drew Thurman (7:30 pm)
Stadium: Movie Gallery Veterans Stadium (30,000)
2007 Record: 8-4 (New Orleans Bowl Champs; defeated Rice 41-17)
2008 Record: 2-0 (LSU Game Postponed)
Coach: Larry Blackeney (18th year at Troy; 92-29-1 in IAA, 46-39 in 1A)
Letterman: Returning 53; Lost 17
Returning Starters: Offense - 7, Defense - 7, Specialist - 0
Base Defense: 4-3
Base Offense: Spread (4 wideouts)
Returning Stars: RT Dion Small; MLB Boris Lee
After getting beat by one set of Trojans, the Buckeyes face no small test against the Troy Trojans. On offense the biggest man to watch is quarterback Jamie Hampton. Hampton is a dual threat quarterback who has thrown for 5 touchdowns and rushed for 2 touchdowns in his two games. Hampton will look to throw first, but if the Buckeyes bring pressure he can make the big play with his feet.
The Buckeyes can also look to see a whole host of running backs coming out of the Troy backfield. DuJuan Harris gets the majority of the carries, but also expect to hear the names of Maurice Greer and Fernandus Edwards as well. All three have scored touchdowns for the Trojans. At wideout there are two main targets for Hampton; Jerrel Jernigan and Kennard Burton. Both receivers already have double digit receptions this season.
On the other side of the ball, expect to see a very athletic Trojan defense on Saturday. The Trojans will first get a lot of play out of their linebackers, especially out of Boris Lee. Lee is as good of a linebacker as there is the country, and was actually a Lombardi candidate as sophmore last season.
Cheerleaders (Best Picture I Found):
Osi Umenyiora - New York Giants DE
DeMarcus Ware - Dallas Cowboy LB
Lawerence Tynes - New York Giants K
After a very hard week for Buckeye fans, this game needs to provide some answers. On defense the Buckeyes are sure to come out pretty angry after last week. The key will be controlling this frustration, and not making stupid plays and penalties. I think you will see more blitzing, but Hampton could cause us problems when we do. If the defensive ends over pursue like they did in the Ohio game, Hampton will pick up first downs with his feet. Overall, I think we see the defense give up more yards than we would like, but they make up for it with a couple of forced turnovers.
On offense the Buckeyes will be trying out a lot of new things. I think the USC game was just a preview of what Pryor can do, and against Troy we see his coming out party. I see Pryor having a multiple touchdown game, but having one turnover in the process. Look for the running game to struggle early and get stronger as the game goes along. I expect Boris Lee and the Trojan defense to come out fired up and stuff our running backs. The upset role will only last so long though. The offensive line will get refocused at half time, and the running backs will pick up a couple of touchdowns in the second half (Herron and Saine). Hopefully a wideout emerges!
All in all, the Buckeyes will slowly get their feet under them in this game. Beanie being absent will still hurt dearly, but I see the team getting more confidence in this game. It will be a major battle in the first half though, but the Buckeyes will slowly pull away in the second half.
Ohio State 31 Troy 10