Ohio State at Navy (in Baltimore, Maryland)
All eyes will be on J.T. Barrett, the Buckeyes’ redshirt freshman quarterback who has to become Braxton Miller for at least this season, if not permanently. That’s not where the eyes should be. Any first-time starting quarterback at Ohio State should be able to move the ball against a service academy, given the size and talent mismatches at every point where the OSU offense will meet the Navy defense.
Where your eyes should be is on OSU’s defense – which last season wasn’t the smothering Buckeye unit of old – and how it handles Navy’s triple-option attack. Again, the Buckeyes have tremendous advantages in size and talent across the board, and are infinitely deeper too, but the triple option is so far off from the sort of attacks OSU is used to seeing that it’s fair to wonder just how well the Buckeyes can prepare for it.
Given that this is still an Urban Meyer team, I’m guessing the answer is “pretty well.”
Pick: Ohio State 55, Navy 24