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The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 30, 2023

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Buckeyes on ropes heading into Sat.

Wanna know why I hate Ohio State fans so badly? Because they act like the past 17 games have not involved any amount of luck.

I’ll be the first to admit that you have to be good to be lucky, and last year’s Ohio State team was just that: good and lucky. Craig Krenzel was and still is not the most talented quarterback in Columbus, let alone the state or nation. But he found a way to win, and no matter how much I hate Ohio State, I admired how every time the game was on the line, they won.

But they were lucky against Illinois, Purdue and Miami a year ago on their way to a National Championship.

This year, I thought they weren’t going to need any luck after a first-week thrashing of a talented Washington team. But then, as they so often do, the Bucks struggled with teams that on paper at least, they are better than, holding on against San Diego State and then really holding on against N.C. State in three overtimes.

They were lucky against N.C. State. Without including my hatred for Ohio State fans, here are five good reasons why they will not be lucky and Bowling Green will beat the No. 5 Buckeyes this weekend:

1. Ohio State’s running game is literally terrible. I’m god-awfully sick of hearing about Maurice Clarett, but it sure does seem as though the Bucks’ offensive line doesn’t look as good without the embattled sophomore. Maurice Hall averages three yards a carry, and Krenzel is second on the team. Yikes. I will admit BG’s secondary is once again playing below their talent, but if they’re able to run their nickel package the entire game because Devon Parks, Matt Leininger, Mitch Hewitt and co. can stop the run, Krenzel might have some difficulty finding his receivers.

2. Bowling Green will not make the mistakes the Wolfpack did. Let’s look at OSU’s scores Saturday in regulation: One was set up by a freaking kickoff that hit the Wolfpack’s return man in the head. Will Allen recovered at the four. Later, A.J. Hawk returned the easiest interception he’ll ever make to N.C. State’s nine yard line.

Josh Harris will not put his defense in a compromising position, and although I’m sure some Bowling Green guys aren’t rocket scientists, I can pretty much guarantee no kickoffs will be hitting any of them in the head.

3. Gregg Brandon does not call plays like Chuck Amato. N.C. State had that game won in the third overtime. They rode their horse, T.A. McLendon, for the entire game, throwing him screens and running him on toss sweeps; McLendon was the reason N.C. State was able to tie the game and force overtime. But in the third OT, Amato in-ex-freaking-plicably ran two quarterback sneaks inside the 10, and finally ran McLendon on a sweep from the three, a play which stalled at the half-inch line. If that play would have been run on a third down, then Rivers could have sneezed and been in the end zone. Stupidity.

4. And even if Brandon did call plays like Amato, Harris is not Philip Rivers. Much to my surprise, Rivers can play. He can throw and proved himself to be mobile enough to nearly pull off the upset. Josh Harris is leaps and bounds above Rivers in every way, and will prove it.

Harris would have won that game for the Wolfpack inside the 10. He creates such problems for opposing defenses with his size that it’s virtually impossible to double on recievers, because he’ll run. If they decide to blitz, Harris will find one of his five guys in the spread for a big gainer. OSU has not seen a quarterback like Harris in the past two seasons.

5. OSU’s defense is not the same as last year, and the Falcons will prove it. Anyone watching the N.C. State game has realized by now that the OSU defensive backs can’t guard anyone without interfering.

Harris and our deep receiving corps seem to be the strength of this year’s offense, and I get the feeling that everyone in BG’s offensive system was salivating while watching OSU’s secondary problems.

Essentially, I think the game will come down to the ability of Harris to take advantage of the inefficiency of the OSU offense. Krenzel will inevitably miss receivers in big situations. If Harris and the BG offense can take advantage of the series in which the Buckeyes go three and out, it could be a long day for the Scarlet and Gray.

You heard it here: Bowling Green 33, Ohio State 27.

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