Week 4 - UAB at Ohio State

Posted Sep 21, 2012

Week 4 CFN Fearless Prediction – UAB at Ohio State

UAB (0-2) at Ohio State (3-0) Sept. 22, 12:00, Big Ten Network

Here's The Deal: In a classic mismatch, both on the field and in the history books, UAB travels to Columbus for the first-ever meeting between the two programs. For Ohio State, this week represents a final chance to work out the kinks before Big Ten play begins in earnest with a trip to East Lansing to play Michigan State. The Buckeyes are coming off their worst game of the young season, an escape of mediocre Cal in a game that was knotted in the fourth quarter. This maiden trip to the Horseshoe will afford the Blazers a unique opportunity to play in one of college football's cathedrals, and possibly make a national wave with a program-defining upset. UAB's first attempt of 2012 to shock a nationally-ranked opponent ended with last week's 49-6 loss at South Carolina.

Why UAB Might Win: When the UAB coaching staff watches the film of the Ohio State-Cal game, it'll notice a few fissures in the Buckeyes defense. The Bears amassed more than 500 yards in Columbus, breaking tackles and exposing flaws along the way. Now the Blazers sure aren't the Bears, but they do house a handful of quality skill position players. QB Jonathan Perry, in particular, is the kind of dual-threat who can stretch the Ohio State defense both vertically and horizontally. In Jackie Williams and Patrick Hearn, he'll have a pair of speedy athletes who can get behind the Buckeyes defensive backs.

Why Ohio State Might Win: UCF and Cal couldn't corral Buckeyes QB Braxton Miller. Why should UAB be any different? The Blazers got trucked for more than 500 yards last weekend, and have been as soft against the pass as the run. Miller will hurt them in both ways. He's been a one-man artillery through three games, leading the Big Ten in rushing, and ranking No. 2 in total offense. When he loosens up his arm, TE Jake Stoneburner and receivers Devin Smith and Philly Brown will be his likely recipients. John Simon, Johnathan Hankins and the rest of the Ohio State D-line should have few problems pushing around a UAB front wall still breaking in four new starters.

What To Watch Out For: This is an important final non-conference game for all of the Buckeyes, but especially RB Jordan Hall who returned last week from a foot injury. While a little rusty versus Cal, he did rush for 87 yards on 17 carries to provide a nice lift to the running game. Hall was scheduled to be the starter, and the most dangerous back on the roster, but tore a tendon stepping on glass in June. Another 20 or so carries will serve him well before next week's trip to face Michigan State.

What Will Happen: While this week is a bit of a ‘tweener game for Ohio State, last Saturday's close call with Cal should provide ample motivation to play at a high level for all 60 minutes. The Buckeyes are better than the Blazers at every unit of the two-deep, but especially at quarterback, where Miller is playing as if he'll challenge Michigan's Denard Robinson for All-Big Ten honors. Ohio State will open up an early lead and never look back, getting the backups off the sidelines after three quarters.

CFN Prediction: Ohio State 48 … UAB 10
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Ohio State -37 O/U: 59
Must Watch Rating (5 – Ray Lewis: A Football Life, 1 – Frankenweenie): 2