Ohio State-UNLV match-ups


Ohio State   #7 safety Damon Webb reacts after recovering a later pass intended for Oklahoma #2 wide receiver Jeff Badet during the first half at Ohio Stadium at The Ohio State University September 9, 2017 Photos by Don Speck

Ohio State #7 safety Damon Webb reacts after recovering a later pass intended for Oklahoma #2 wide receiver Jeff Badet during the first half at Ohio Stadium at The Ohio State University September 9, 2017 Photos by Don Speck


QUARTERBACKS

Settle in for three more months of analyzing J.T. Barrett’s every move. Even hitting 25 of 33 passes for 270 yards and two touchdowns and rushing for another TD in a 38-7 win over Army last week hasn’t significantly diminished the discussion about what his back-ups could do for Ohio State’s offense if given a chance.

UNLV redshirt freshman Armani Rogers, a 3-star recruit in 2016, has completed 60 percent of his passes for 413 yards and two touchdowns.

Advantage: Ohio State

RUNNING BACKS

J.K. Dobbins has brought the big play to Ohio State’s running game. His 172 yards rushing against Army included runs of 52 yards and 36 yards. Last year’s starting tailback Mike Weber is still working his way back from a preseason hamstring problem and has had only seven carries.

For UNLV, Lexington Thomas (341 yards, 5 touchdowns) has been the go-to guy in the running game. He averages 9.0 yards per carry, but runs of 62 yards and 60 yards have inflated that number somewhat.

Advantage: Ohio State

RECEIVERS

OSU’s receivers had a big day against Army, led by K.J. Hill with a career-best eight catches. They talked about an emphasis on being more aggressive, but a speed advantage over Army also was a factor.

Devonte Boyd has been the top target for Rogers with 6 catches for 208 yards. His 94-yard catch for a touchdown in a 44-16 win over Idaho set a UNLV record.

Advantage: Ohio State

OFFENSIVE LINE

OSU’s offensive line opened holes for the running game to produce 270 yards against Army. Against a UNLV defense which allowed FCS school Howard to go for 309 yards on the ground in a stunning upset, it could have an even bigger day this Saturday.

Four of UNLV’s first-team offensive linemen are returning starters, led by right tackle Nathan Jacobson, who was honorable mention All-Mountain West last season.

Advantage: Ohio State

DEFENSIVE LINE

There have been extenuating circumstances like Army passing only 10 times, but sixth in the Big Ten in sacks and tenth in rush defense is not where Ohio State was expected to be two games into the season.

Defensive tackle Jason Fao has the only quarterback sack for UNLV this season. Another defensive tackle, Mike Hughes, is a returning starter. UNLV has given up 416 yards a game in total offense.

Advantage: Ohio State

LINEBACKERS

Ohio State’s linebackers have struggled at times, so redshirt freshman Tuf Borland might have earned some more playing time when he led the Buckeyes in tackles against Army. Borland got his chance when starter Chris Worley suffered a sprained foot. Worley might be out this week, too.

Bailey Laolagi leads UNLV with 26 tackles and Gabe McCoy has 17 tackles and an interception.

Advantage: Ohio State

DEFENSIVE BACKS

Safety Erick Smith, who hadn’t been heard from much in the first two games, had six tackles and two pass break-ups against Army and also could have made a statement for more playing time.

Cornerback Tim Hough is the leader in this position group for UNLV.

Advantage: Ohio State

SPECIAL TEAMS

Kicker Sean Nuernberger (6 for 6 on field goals) and punter Drue Chrisman (44.2) have been models of reliability through three games.

Evan Pantels handles kicking (7 of 10 on field goals) and punting (41.7) for the Rebels.

Advantage: Ohio State

https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2017/09/web1_Ohio-State-logo-5.jpg
Ohio State #7 safety Damon Webb reacts after recovering a later pass intended for Oklahoma #2 wide receiver Jeff Badet during the first half at Ohio Stadium at The Ohio State University September 9, 2017 Photos by Don Speck
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2017/09/web1_sub-1.jpgOhio State #7 safety Damon Webb reacts after recovering a later pass intended for Oklahoma #2 wide receiver Jeff Badet during the first half at Ohio Stadium at The Ohio State University September 9, 2017 Photos by Don Speck

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