In case you hadn’t heard there’s a pretty big game this week in Norman. The no. 14 ranked Sooners host the no. 3 ranked Buckeyes of THE Ohio State. This spring, Urban Meyer’s ball club lost an astonishing 12 players to the NFL draft, which means the Buckeye will have a lot of unfamiliar faces on the field this Saturday. This will be the first test of how good they actually are. Here are some of the guys they’ll call upon to make plays.
1. Reakwon McMillan
Speaking of the NFL draft, McMillan will probably be the next Buckeye to hear his name called by Roger Goodell. He’s your prototypical inside linebacker, and he excels inside the tackle box. Any defensive audible that needs called will be his responsibility. The Sooners will be looking to establish the running game. Joe Mixon’s ability to catch passes out of the backfield will help test McMillan in space.
2. Malik Hooker
He’s only a sophomore and didn’t play much last season, but Malik Hooker is the next big thing. The 6’2” safety already leads the FBS with 3 interceptions. He’ll probably be assigned the daunting task of guarding the 6’5” Mark Andrews, a playmaker the Sooners will need in order to get the win.
3. Noah Brown
Make no mistake; Curtis Samuel will lead the way for the Buckeye’s receiving corp. However, one would think Jordan Thomas will be able to keep him from going off. The real question for the Sooners is who will takeover as the no. 2 cornerback. Whether it’s Dakota Austin, Parrish Todd or even Michiah Quick; Urban Meyer will look to use Brown’s size to make big plays on the outside.
4. Mike Weber
There are multiple players Ohio State will utilize to run the football, but Weber will be the primary option. He’s averaging 114 yards a game. Last season, Ohio State averaged 312 yards a game on the road compared to 191 at Home. Meyer knows that a consistent run game is the best way to combat a hostile crowd.
5. J.T. Barrett
At the end of the day this game will come down to the Quarterbacks. Ohio State’s spread offense needs good quarterback play on the ground and through the air. Barrett is a dual threat player, and if he plays at his best the Sooners will be in big trouble.