The Ohio State University: 8-0 against freshmen quarterbacks since 2003.
This is a call for you stop mashing your keyboard into your forehead repeatedly, take a deep breathe, and realize that maybe, just maybe, this team has an opportunity far greater than a snow ball's chance in hell of actually defeating the USC Trojans this Saturday.
Look, I'm not saying I know what's going to happen or that a rational person wouldn't be inclined to think that the Buckeyes more than have their work cut out for them, what I'm saying is win-lose, the sun is still rising on Sunday, and what's the worst thing that can happen? Haters be damned, it's not like this team's reputation can do anything but go up at this point, and the vast majority of those individuals will never be sated by anything this team accomplishes or doesn't, so what's the point in dwelling on perpetual cynicism anyways?
What I am saying is this: let's enjoy the ride. Ohio State is hosting a top 5 ranked perennial national power in the best stadium in the country on Saturday. Would you really rather be going toe-to-toe with a 7-5 FCS club? GameDay's in the house and a quarter of the literate country will stop what they do Saturday night to take in what has all the feel of an old school Saturday Night title fight. And you just so happen to back the corner that produced this guy. So without further mencing words, let's eye ball the depth chart that's going to take down Pete Carroll's college football juggernaut.
Pending an absolute catastrophy, LiC will be your pilot for the remainder of the 3.5 hour flight, with scheduled touchdowns in the end zone approximately twice every 15 minutes, or as necessary. Boom Herron is again the starter at tailback, though Brandon Saine's impressive showing last week could help motivate Tressel to explore more two back formations to get both possible weapons on the field at the same time. The first shakeup we see comes at the fullback position where one legacy fullback's been usurped by another: Zach Boren, whom The Vest heralded as one of last week's scout team champions, takes over for the swinging gate that was Adam Homan in week 1. Homan's blocking was far and away the most disastrous of anyone charged with protecting TP or aiding and abetting the advancement of the football, and while it's obviously putting a lot on a freshman to have to pick up the likes of the SC linebackers, Boren appears to be the safer bet of the two.
DeVier Posey's ankle appears to not have any lingering issues as #8 is listed in his familiar place as the #1 wide receiver. Dane Sanzenbacher looks to continue to provide stability for LiC, while Duron Carter and Taurian Washington should see plenty of action as well. Here's to hoping Ray Small is feeling better as well. The two Jake's will also be back in business as they look to shatter last season's entire number of tight end receptions by just Week 2. The offensive line reports no real changes and it's expected we should see the same 5 primarily, hopefully with positive results.
On the other side of the ball, we see no marked changes reported on the defense as a whole. Perhaps as some manner of smoke screen or perhaps in an aim at continuity, all 11 starters are purported to be the same going into the USC contest. Before you take to Buckeye Grove (uh, the actual one) with pitchforks and torches, consider some of the chatter currently floating some boards: ostensibly Anderson Russell is out of the mix, with Kurt Coleman sliding to free safety and Jermale Hines manning the strong safety spot. This information comes all but completely unqualified but at the very least is intellectually curiosity provoking enough to merrit mention. Whether some guy saying some thing he heard from "some reliable source" means anything or not, we'll have to obivously wait until Saturday. I expect to see Russell get the start but perhaps Hines have a more noticable, increased role in the secondary. For those clammering about *insert linebacker not living up to your unrequited expectations*, I'd say let's let it play its way out. 7 different linebackers saw minutes last weekend, so I think Brian Rolle aside, we could see a number of diffrent mixes of personnel out there.
Finally, the only other major shakeup besides fullback comes at punt return, where Dane Sanzenbacher is officially listed as the top guy after Ray Small's illness related absence. Sanzenbacher looked incredibly promising in the early goings, but if anything, this post hoc change shows that additional unreported shakeups and switches could be in the mix and that we won't necessarily be privvy to them until they transpire.