Make Shawn Robinson throw
Shawn Robinson of TCU is an elusive quarterback, something the Buckeyes have not faced this year, and dual-threat quarterbacks are the type that have given them more trouble in recent years than pocket passers. But Robinson isn’t particularly accurate and the Buckeyes will want to harass him into hurried throws. TCU’s offensive line is pretty inexperienced, which should play into the hands of the Buckeyes’ ferocious pass rush.
Control TCU’s defensive line
This will be the first stern test for Ohio State’s mostly new-look offensive line. The Buckeyes have protected Dwayne Haskins Jr. well and have consistently gotten push and opened holes in the running game. TCU’s defensive line is much better than the flimsy ones of Oregon State or Rutgers. Defensive end Ben Banogu is the Big 12’s preseason defensive player of the year. If he stays on the left side, the matchup against Buckeyes right tackle Isaiah Prince will be one to watch. Michael Jordan has made a smooth transition to center, but he must be able to handle Corey Bethley, a freshman All-American last year.
Keep spreading it around … and quickly
Ohio State’s offense has the depth and the talent to make a defense breathless. TCU has quality players but is not as deep as the Buckeyes. Eleven players have scored touchdowns already for Ohio State, a testament to the way Haskins has spread the wealth. Keep TCU off-balance by continuing to do that and use the fast tempo that’s been successful in getting into rhythm and keeping defenses tired and guessing.
Don’t lose special teams
Ohio State’s punt returns have been an adventure, and that’s not a compliment. TCU is dangerous in the kicking game. KaVontae Turpin had a 78-yard punt return for a touchdown against SMU last week and also is a threat on kickoffs. Adam Nunez, like Ohio State’s Drue Chrisman, is a superb punter. Four of Nunez’s five punts against SMU were downed at or inside the 10.
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