In the heart of Buckeye Nation, the No.6 Ohio State football team is gearing up to face the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, and while the spotlight might be on the looming clash with No. 9 Notre Dame, Coach Ryan Day and his squad are leaving no stone unturned in preparation.
Now, to the untrained eye, the face-off with the Hilltoppers might not scream "Game of the Century", but let's not underestimate Western Kentucky. They come into this matchup with a perfect 2-0 record and a preseason buzz as the team to beat in the C-USA. Not arriving in Columbus alone, their head coach flanked by a roster of Hilltopper playmakers, all with one mission in mind - to shatter Ohio State's home-field advantage and mar their perfect record.
Ohio State has just 10 points conceded and 387 total yards given up in two games, a testament to their prowess. Sure, the opponents haven't been the most formidable, but now, facing Western Kentucky's Air Raid, we'll truly see if the Buckeyes have taken that pivotal step forward in their second season under Jim Knowles' guidance. While the early part of the schedule might have favored the Buckeyes, the Hilltoppers' Air Raid offense will provide a more revealing barometer of the strides the Buckeyes have made in their second season under defensive coordinator Jim Knowles' system.
Kyle McCord Named Starter
Speaking of progress, Ohio State's head coach, Ryan Day, has settled on Kyle McCord as his starting quarterback. McCord's mission now is to get the Buckeyes' offense running more smoothly. One player who has seen McCord's growth up close is wide receiver Emeka Egbuka. The potential first-round pick roomed with McCord when they both arrived in Columbus in 2021. Egbuka has had a front-row seat to witness not only McCord's development but also his leadership qualities. He knows firsthand just how good McCord can be.
As the game approaches, Western Kentucky's head coach, Tyson Helton, has been remarkably complimentary of Ohio State.
So, as the Scarlet and Gray take the field this Saturday, remember, this matchup is not just another game. The Hilltoppers may have their eyes set on an upset, but the Buckeyes?