Ohio State is still looking to get its confidence back after losing to Oklahoma. Last Saturday the Buckeyes were able to gain some of that confidence back by defeating Army, 38-7, at home.
Now the Buckeyes have a chance to play their easiest opponent all season, the UNLV Rebels. The Rebels, currently 1-1 on the year, are projected to be 40-point underdogs when they visit Columbus on Saturday.
Unless divine intervention occurs, the Buckeyes are a lock to win this weekend.
Although the Buckeyes will not be able to skyrocket up the rankings by beating a middle-of-the-pack Mountain West team, a lot can still be accomplished for the Buckeyes in this contest.
Surely, head coach Urban Meyer would want to focus on these three key things this weekend before the Buckeyes get into the heart of their conference schedule.
Find A Deep Threat:
During the preseason it was Johnnie Dixon, after Indiana it was Parris Campbell and now it it is apparently Austin Mack. Ohio State desperately needs to find their go-to deep threat in this game before they start facing tough Big Ten defenses. When Ohio State won the National Championship a few years back, Devin Smith was the clear alpha of the receiving core. The Buckeyes desperately need to establish the long ball so defenses can stop stacking the box against the run.
Get Marcus Baugh Involved:
The freakishly athletic Marcus Baugh proved he could make eye popping plays in 2016. The senior tight end was expected to have an expanded role in the offense this year after posting a successful junior campaign where he caught 24 passes for 269 yards and two touchdowns. Currently, Baugh only has five catches for 65 yards three games into the year. J.T. Barrett needs to get Baugh involved more as could be the security blanket that the offense has been lacking through the air. Getting Baugh his first touchdown of the year this Saturday would be a great start to getting the tight end position involved on offense this year.
Fix the Secondary:
The secondary gained some confidence this past week in playing an Army team that only completed two passes for 19 yards against the Buckeyes. Safety Erick Smith made a few touchdown saving plays in the win. However, to be fair, Army rarely throws the ball in that triple option offense, so this was expected. This week the Buckeye secondary will have a chance to make a statement against senior wide receiver Devonte Boyd, who has 2,838 receiving yards in his career for the Rebels.
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