Ohio State's 2014 Trap Game: Navy?

By D.J. Byrnes on July 10, 2014 at 12:05 pm

Of all Ohio State's 2014 contests, I've been clear on which one I think has potential to be a "trap game:" the November 15th trip to Minnesota.

The Buckeyes will either be coming off an emotional win or loss the week prior in East Lansing, and after Minnesota, they'll finish the last two games at home against Indiana and Michigan.

That is to say, it sits in perfect trap game territory, before even throwing in "Minnesota in November" and the swagger of Jerry Kill, whom the Urban Meyer Buckeyes have never faced.

Brian Penderson, of Bleacher Report released an 130 page slideshow (no hyperbole) of a trap game for every FBS team in 2014. It would seem we disagree.

Via the deslided version of Penderson's report (honestly who has time to click through that many slides), here's his pick for Ohio State's trap game:

Ohio State has been making forays away from home for nonconference games the last few seasons and has future trips to Oklahoma, Oregon, Virginia Tech and Texas on the books. All of those should be tough, but before any of those happen the Buckeyes have to open this year against a dangerous Navy team.

Quarterback Keenan Reynolds is as good a runner as OSU's Braxton Miller, and last year he ran for 31 touchdowns. Throw in the presence of Navy's option game, and the Buckeyes don't exactly get to coast into the 2014 season like in years past.

This could very well provide us with the first major upset of the season.

I disagree with the sense this is a trap game. I'd go so far as to call this a season opener.

It's tough to overlook a season-opening opponent, unless you play Virginia Tech in Week 2 and the season-opening opponent is Florida A&M. Say what you will about the Midshipmen, they ain't no Florida A&M.

And Urban Meyer knows that, and his players probably do too. In essence, it's the opposite of a trap game, because Navy undoubtedly has the respect of Urban Meyer and his team.

Urban Meyer, in his head coaching career, is a sterling 12-0 in opening games. He also knows something about opening as an underdog: Urban's 2001 Bowling Green team, in Urban's head coaching debut, beat Missouri, 20-13. In Urbz's debut at Utah in 2003, the Utes dumped rival Utah State, 40-20. Urban's teams have also handled the business against overmatched foes as well.

Urban Meyer will have his team ready to play on August 30th.

If Navy beats Ohio State, it won't be because the Buckeyes overlooked the military academy. It will largely be because Navy was better, and (likely) because Ohio State's young back seven failed to corral Navy's dynamic option offense.

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