The speculation, debate and conversations about Ohio State never end, and Lettermen Row is always ready to dive into the discussions. All week long, senior writer Austin Ward will field topics about the Buckeyes submitted by readers and break down anything that’s on the minds of the Best Damn Fans in the Land. Have a question that needs to be tackled, like the one today about the Ohio State and the score prediction against Florida Atlantic? Send it in right here — and check back daily for the answers.
There are so many questions about Ohio State, and the truth is they simply all can’t be answered at once.
Yes, it’s a big deal when there’s a new coach, a new quarterback and a new defense. And they will all be under the microscope on Saturday at noon in the Horseshoe when the Buckeyes kick off the Ryan Day Era against Florida Atlantic.
But here’s a little secret: Ohio State is absolutely loaded, and this season promises to be pretty fun for the program.
Day has to prove himself and show that he’s worthy of all the hype as the successor to Urban Meyer. But from recruiting to the way he’s built relationships with players to his cutting-edge offensive mind, he has all the tools to pick right up where a coaching legend left off.
Justin Fields has to go show he’s worthy of the buzz as the highest-rated recruit in school history. But his dual-threat athleticism, strong arm and an incredible supporting cast also means he can step into the shoes of a decorated predecessor and perhaps become a Heisman Trophy finalist just like Dwayne Haskins.
As for the Silver Bullets? Given all the experience and talent returning, odds are the Buckeyes would have bounced back from the worst statistical season in school history even without changing four coaches on that side of the ball. But a clean slate with personnel, fresh ideas for the scheme and what appears to be far better communication seems to be already clicking for one of the deepest rosters in the country. That turnaround could be rocket-fueled for Ohio State, and there’s really no reason at all to doubt that it will be back among the nation’s best units in a hurry.
So, there may be a lot to learn about the Buckeyes over the next few weeks, and the opener is going to be a welcome glimpse at a number of things — from how the Bullet position is used to the way the offense looks with Fields in control all the way down to who is returning kicks. And those lessons are going to be important in establishing just how high the ceiling will be for the two-time defending Big Ten champions.
Maybe Ohio State won’t look like a finished product on Saturday, maybe they’ll send a message to the rest of the country about what’s coming. Given those two choices after just getting a handful of chances to see the Buckeyes work in training camp, though, there’s no doubt which side is the safer play from here against Florida Atlantic.
The Pick: Ohio State 56, Florida Atlantic 17.
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