College football: Western Kentucky at Ohio State matchups


Kyle McCord has completed 64 percent of his passes for 497 yards and two touchdowns and has one turnover. Devin Brown has comleted 8 of 16 passes for 99 yards and no touchdowns for No. 6 Ohio State (2-0).

Western Kentucky quarterback Austin Reed has passed for 589 yards and six touchdowns. Last season he led the nation in passing with 4,744 yards and threw for 40 touchdowns but was only second-team All-Conference USA. He was briefly in the transfer portal but stayed at WKU.

Advantage: Western Kentucky


TreVeyon Henderson leads OSU’s running game with 103 yards on 17 carries. He has scored two touchdowns and appears to have regained his explosiveness and ability to make sharp cuts after having foot surgery last December.

Davion Ervin-Poindexter is the leading rusher for Western Kentucky with 78 yards. But the top three Hilltoppers rushers average more than 5.0 yards per carry. Western Kentucky (2-0) averages 499 yards a game total offense but its defense gives up 454 yards a game.

Advantage: Ohio State


After beling almost an afterthought in against Indiana in OSU’s season opener Marvin Harrison Jr. and Emeka Egbuka returned to their customary place at the top of the receiving stats in a 35-7 win over Youngstown State. Harrison caught 7 passes for 160 yards and scored on touchdown plays of 71 yards and 39 yards. Egbuka had 5 catches for 94 yards and scored on a 28-yard connection with McCord.

Malachi Corley, who caught 101 passes for 1,295 yards last season, was injured during Western Kentucky’s opener and has not played since then. Easton Messer (11 catches for 134 yards) and Dalvin Smith (9 catches for 107 yards) have become Reed’s new favorite targets.

Advantage: Ohio State


When OSU coach Ryan Day was asked if the Buckeyes’ offensive line was a work in progress in his press conference after the Youngstown State game he said it was. He also said the line was very talented and expressed confidence it can get better.

Left guard Quantavious Leslie and center Vincent Murphy were honorable mention All-Conference USA last year but the Hilltoppers’ offensive line took a hit when two of last year’s starters transferred.

Advantage: Ohio State


Interior defensive linemen have two of Ohio State’s three sacks and defensive ends do not have any sacks.

Western Kentucky edge rusher JaQues Evans has 11 tackles and a sack this season after having 106 tackles, 9 sacks and 14 tackles for losses last season.

Advantage: Ohio State


Steele Chambers (11 tackles) and Tommy Eichenberg (10 tackles) lead OSU in that category.

For Western Kentucky, Desmyn Baker and Aaron Key are among the team leaders with nine tackles.

Advantage: Ohio State


Ohio State’s defensive backfield will get its biggest test of the season so far from Western Kentucky. Three-year starter Denzel Burke and Mississippi transfer Davison Igbinosun have stood out at cornerback. Safety Sonny Styles has lived up to the high expectations he arrived with when he reclassified and enrolled early at Ohio State last year.

Safety Kendrick Simpkins is Western Kentucky’s leader in sacks with 2.5. Another safety, Tallique Allen, leads the team in tackles with 12.

Advantage: Ohio State


Ohio State kicker Jayden Fielding is 3 for 3 on field goals and punter Jesse Mirco averages 45.3 yards per punt.

Western Kentucky kicker Lucas Carneiro is 3 for 3 on field goals and punter Tom Ellard averages 42.0 yards per kick.

Advantage: Ohio State

TV/radio coverage

Western Kentucky at Ohio State

4 p.m (FOX, 1150 AM, 99.7 FM, 104.3 FM)

Reach Jim Naveau at 567-242-0414.

Jim Naveau has covered local and high school sports for The Lima News since 1978 and Ohio State football since 1992. His OSU coverage appears in more than 30 newspapers. Naveau, a Miami University graduate, also worked at the Greenville Advocate and the Piqua Daily Call. He has seen every boys state basketball tournament since 1977. Reach him at [email protected] or 567-242-0414.