The theme: After a year in which the Buckeyes broke from their traditional run-pounding ways, Ohio State has mostly returned to the ground game. Part of it is losing a top-10 NFL Draft pick at wide receiver and Heisman Trophy winner at quarterback. The other part is having a stable of running backs that any team in the nation would envy.
Key players: RB Chris Wells, RB Maurice Wells, RB Brandon Saine, QB Todd Boeckman, WR Brian Robiskie, TE Brian Hartline
Weaknesses: Ohio State isn't very deep at wide receiver. Also, Boeckman will be making only his second career start.
How the Zips can stop them: The Buckeyes didn't put up huge numbers in last week's 38-6 win against Youngstown State. Nor did they try to. Three quarterbacks saw time. The Zips' best chance to stop the Buckeyes is to frustrate them early in stopping the running game, then relying on their secondary's talent to force turnovers from the inexperienced Boeckman, who played well last week. If Akron can get a lead, Ohio State won't run as much. The young passing attack of the Buckeyes could show nerves at the prospects of another titanic upset over a Big 10 team. That might lead to turnovers.
Those are a lot of maybes, but that's the Zips' best chance to keep Ohio State from securing a blowout win.
Scout.com says Ohio State hasn't faced a 3-3-5 defense since 2002 against South Carolina. That doesn't concern Robiskie. After a so-so game against Youngstown State, OSU coaches expect Chris Wells to rebound at the Zips' expense. Jim Tressel expects Akron to contend at Ohio State, according to the Columbus Dispatch. The Dispatch wrote about the Zips' Chris Kemme, who worked hard to put on weight after being recruited. The Buchtelite writes about Tressel's past at Akron, as an assistant coach and graduate student.
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