The Eleven Warriors Web Report comes to you weekly from the Spectrum Sports studios in downtown Columbus, featuring our own Beau Bishop and Dan Hope along with former Buckeye linebacker Joshua Perry.
With Brett Hiltbrand pinch-hitting for Beau this week, our panel looked ahead to Saturday's big game in Dallas, where the Buckeyes are expected to face their first real test of the season in an ABC primetime game against TCU.
"I think the offense is playing at a really high level, so I'd like to see them continue that," Perry said. "Defensively, I'd like to see them toughen up there in the middle of the defense with the linebackers – I think they took a step, but we need to see that next step – but honestly, I think there's going to be a critical point here for our special teams to make a play. A punt return for a touchdown, a blocked punt, a kickoff return, something where you're creating a change-of-momentum play, a play where you put your offense in a great position or you put your defense in a position to make a big play, too."
The Buckeyes have rolled through their first two opponents, blowing out Oregon State 77-31 and Rutgers 52-3, but playing in a road night game against the No. 15-ranked team in the country should pose a much tougher challenge. It could also be an opportunity, though, for players like Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins and defensive end Nick Bosa – both off to spectacular starts this season – to make a statement to the nation that they are among the best in college football.
"This is the game you need to go out in and look impressive in to be taken seriously," Hope said. "And this is a big stage for Ryan Day here, too. This is him going in a road night game, his last game as acting head coach, and he can really make a statement here, too.
"If Ohio State keeps doing what they've done these first two weeks and finishes his acting head coach tenure strong against TCU, that can be a real big statement, and give this team a ton of momentum, when Urban Meyer's back on the sideline next week."
Watch the video above to hear more of what Perry, Hope and Hiltbrand had to say about this upcoming Saturday's game. And for a full look back at last week's game against Rutgers, ahead to this week's game against TCU and a look around the Big Ten, tune into Spectrum Sports Mid-Ohio to watch this week's Eleven Warriors Report, premiering at 7 p.m. Tuesday.