The last two weeks have been Ohio State dipping its toe in the pool of the 2018 season. Thank you, Oregon State and Rutgers, for getting the Buckeyes out on the field, at least.
And now, the No. 4 Buckeyes are running up to the edge of the pool and launching into the deep end with Saturday night’s battle with No. 15 TCU in Dallas. At least for this week, OSU’s habit of blowouts and easy second halves will be put on hiatus.
BEEN A LONG TIME: This will be the seventh time the Horned Frogs and Buckeyes have faced off with OSU owning a 4-1-1 edge in the series, but it’s the first time since 1973 they’ve played. OSU has won the last three in the series by an average of 38-3.
The Horned Frogs haven’t played a Big Ten team since beating Minnesota 23-17 in the 2015 season opener.
FIRST TEST OF THE YEAR: Both TCU and Ohio State have dominated their first two opponents of the season. TCU has beaten Southern and SMU by an average of 39 points while scoring 97 points. The Buckeyes have outscored their first two opponents — Rutgers and Oregon State — by 91 points while scoring 129 points.
GAME DAY COMING TO TEXAS: ESPN announced its College Game Day show will be in Fort Worth for the game, marking the seventh time the Horned Frogs have been in the featured game. They’ve gone 6-0 in their previous contests.
Meanwhile, it’s the Buckeyes 41st appearance on the show, second most behind Alabama among college programs. OSU is 27-13 in its previous appearances.
WELCOME TO THE SHOW: Both schools feature first-year quarterbacks in Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins and TCU’s Shawn Robinson, a 6-foot-2, 228 pound sophomore.
While Haskins is more comfortable in the pocket and picking apart a defense with this throws, Robinson is a true dual-threat quarterback, rushing for a team-high 112 yards and three touchdowns while throwing for another 328 yards and four TDs. He’s completed only 61.5 percent of his passes.
But the offensive similarities don’t end there — like the Buckeyes’ tandem of J.K. Dobbins and Michael Weber, the Horned Frogs feature their own two-headed running attack in Darius Anderson and Sewo Onilula. Anderson, a make-you-miss back, and Onilula, a run-through-you back, have combined for 207 yards this season.
BATTLE IN THE TRENCHES: The game could be turned in the battle between the TCU offensive line and Ohio State’s defensive front. While its been no secret the Buckeyes have one of the best defensive lines in the country, TCU’s offensive line came into the season with three new starters and a huge question mark. That said, the Horned Frogs front hasn’t allowed a sack this season, and the running game is churning out 5.7 yards per rush.
Guidelines: Please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack other readers personally, and keep your language decent. Comments that violate these standards, or our privacy statement or visitor's agreement, are subject to being removed and commenters are subject to being banned. To post comments, you must be a registered user on toledoblade.com. To find out more, please visit the FAQ.