September 15, 2011

Tale of the Tape: Miami

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Head Coach:

Al Golden

2010 Record:

7-6 - ACC


Miami (Fla.)

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. EDT Television: ESPN Location: Sun Life Stadium (75,192)

When Miami has the ball...

  • Rushing Defense: 40.50 Ypg. (4th)

  • Passing Defense: 173.50 Ypg. (32nd)

  • Scoring Defense: 11.0 Ppg. (16th)
  • Rushing Offense: 172.00 Ypg. (46th)

  • Passing Offense: 195.00 Ypg. (83rd)

  • Scoring Offense: 24.00 Ppg. (83rd)

  • Ohio State Defensive Backs

    Miami Skill Positions (QB/WR/TE)
    The Buckeyes will get another front line player back in the mix this week with the addition of Travis Howard back to the lineup but don't expect Dominic Clarke to accept a demotion. The Ohio State secondary has been playing well as a whole but the unit will be tested this week with a WR corps that is bigger and faster than what the Bucs will see most of the season. Jacory Harris throws interceptions. Just deal with that. But he also can make throws that few quarterbacks can make. Travis Benjamin is not Miami's biggest receiver but he is about as dangerous as they come. Allen Hurns and LaRon Byrd are 6-foot-3 and 6-foot-4 a piece while Tommy Streeter is 6-foot-5. Miami's tight ends are not the size of its Big Ten counterparts and are not major pass catching threats.

    Ohio State Linebackers

    Miami Running Backs
    Ohio State's run defense looks just as stout as it has been in previous seasons. Andrew Sweat didn't have a flawless game last week against Toledo but he is still one of the biggest assets on the field for the Buckeyes. Etienne Sabino gets to go back home (played HS ball at Dr. Krop HS) and is showing no ill-effects of his broken hand. The Buckeyes may spend a good part of the game with only two backers on the field however if the Canes look to keep the Bucks in the nickel. Miami has a great one-two punch with Lamar Miller and Mike James at running back. Both are about the same size however and it doesn't force teams to prepare for two vastly different running styles. Miami ran for 120 yards last year against the Buckeyes and it will be a key to try and attack Ohio State on two fronts (run and pass). If Miller gets into space then the Buckeyes are going to be in trouble because of his speed so it will be paramount for Ohio State to bottle the 5-foot-11, 212-pounder up.

    Ohio State Defensive Line

    Miami Offensive Line
    Ohio State's defensive line has quietly put together a solid season against two MAC teams. The defense as a whole has racked up 19 TFLs and nine sacks to date. The Buckeyes must have Nathan Williams in the line-up to have success though. With Williams out of the line-up last weekend and with John Simon on the sideline for part of the game, we saw the youth of the line and lack of penetration. Big Hank continues to make a believer out of people as the sophomore DT had several QB hurries and blew up a couple of plays that he didn't get credit for. Ohio State will see a major upgrade across the line from them when it comes to Miami's offensive line in comparison to the first two week opponents. The Canes return three starters on the line but Joel Figueroa will be a lynchpin at the left tackle position. Miami's left side of the line (Figueroa and Harland Gunn) are both seniors and should be where the Canes look to focus its running game when it decides to go off tackle. The Canes get very young in the two deep however and if humid weather forces cramping, the Canes will be in the same boat as the Bucks with young kids trying to take care of it up front.

    When Ohio State has the ball...

  • Rushing Offense: 168.00 Ypg. (48th)

  • Passing Offense: 241.00 Ypg. (51st)

  • Scoring Offense: 34.50 Ppg. (51st)
  • Rushing Defense: 151.00 Ypg. (77th)

  • Passing Defense: 348.00 Ypg. (116th)

  • Scoring Defense: 32.00 Ppg. (92nd)

  • Ohio State Skill Positions (QB/WR/TE)

    Miami Defensive Backs
    It is week three of the Joe Bauserman era at Ohio State and nobody knows if Braxton Miller will get on the field, regardless of what the game plan is 'going into the game'. Corey Brown suffered a scary looking injury against Toledo and his status is unknown at this point. Verlon Reed is stepping up as a big time threat for the Buckeyes at the wideout position. But the scariest player for opponents has to be tight end Jake Stoneburner who has four touchdowns in two games. He is a match-up problem for any team and the Buckeyes will be looking for the former wideout. Miami is still not at full strength in the defensive backfield with the loss of Ray Ray Amrstrong to suspension but look for safety Vaughn Telemaque and cornerback Brandon McGee to give the Buckeyes plenty to contend with. Miami gave up 348 passing yards in week one to Maryland but Terps' QB Danny O'Brien is more experienced at his position and has more established weapons than Ohio State has. Based upon talent we have to give the nod to the Canes based upon what we know at this very moment, but the margin is razor thin.

    Ohio State Running Backs

    Miami Linebackers
    Carlos Hyde will get the start for his third game but the stable of RBs got deeper with Jordan Hall getting cleared by the NCAA and Miami-native Jaamal Berry is back in his second week of action and could figure in the running back plans. The Ohio State running backs (really Hyde and Rod Smith to date) have done a good but not great job at this point. Both are still young runners and haven't developed the patience of vision that older backs pick up with experience. This is yet another position where it is hard to handicap the Buckeyes based upon suspensions and returners. Sean Spence is back off of suspension and his return gives the Canes a major charge at the position. Ramon Buchanan and Jimmy Gaines are both solid players but Spence is the one player that the Buckeyes are going to have to account for at all times. The Canes defense will be better as a unit with Spence coming back into the fold, even if he can't make every play. At worst it forces the Buckeyes to game plan for a changer like him on the field and will force the Buckeyes to go vertical in the passing game rather than just trying to play a dink-and-dunk type of game.

    Ohio State
    Offensive Line

    Defensive Line
    Andrew Norwell and Marcus Hall have not had their names called much during the first two weeks of the season and that is a good thing in a position where getting noticed is usually a recipe for being called out. Ohio State gets Corey Linsley back from a two game suspension (team rules) and that helps the depth. Antonio Underwood is listed on the two deep but it is unknown if he is full go after an injury against Akron. Ohio State's first team offensive line is one of the top ones in the Big Ten but the Bucks can't afford to go into the two deep in this game at many position with so much youth and inexperience backing up the starters. The defensive line is another position where the Canes will get a lot better from week one to week three after the suspended players return to the lineup. Marcus Fortson is an absolute beast and the Buckeyes will have their hands full trying to block him. The Canes did not register any sacks during the first game against Maryland and the majority of the TFL's came from the linebackers. That will change this week if the Canes decide to pressure the Buckeyes (a move that I would personally make) and try and force an inexperienced starting quarterback into bad decisions.

    Special teams matchups...

  • Net Punting: 31.00 Avg. (109th)

  • Punt Returns: 16.43 Yds/Ret (14th)

  • Kickoff Returns: 26.60 Avg. (27th)

  • Field Goals: 0% 0-2
  • Net Punting: 37.50 Avg. (56th)

  • Punt Returns: 0.0 Yds/Ret (104th)

  • Kickoff Returns: 21.25 Avg. (68rd)

  • Field Goals: 100% 1-1

  • Ohio State Special Teams

    Miami Special Teams
    Ohio State's special teams have not been all that special this year. Drew Basil is 0-2 this year with field goals and has not connected on a single one during his college career. Ohio State's punt coverage team saw the Rockets block a punt and take it to the one. And teams are still returning kickoffs and punts with too much success for anyone's liking. Almost makes you forget that you had a PR touchdown last week by Chris Fields.

    Last year the Canes had a kickoff return (Lamar Miller) and punt return (Travis Benjamin) for touchdown. Both players are back and the Buckeyes may be no better at coverage in 2011 than they were in 2010. Punter Dalton Botts is hoping he doesn't get a lot of work during the game but he has to be aware that the Buckeyes will have close to their full arsenal of returners this week.


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