Ohio State-Toledo matchups

QUARTERBACKS

C.J. Stroud, Justin Fields and Dwayne Haskins are the only Ohio State quarterbacks to complete 70 percent of their passes in a season. Stroud, who has connected on 69 percent of his passes this season, has a chance to become the only one to do it twice.

Toledo’s sophomore quarterback Dequan Finn leads the Rockets in rushing (138 yards, 3 touchdowns) and passing (388 yards, 3 touchdowns) after a 37-0 win over Long Island University and a 55-10 win over UMass. Finn has 21 career touchdown passes and only three interceptions.

Advantage: Ohio State

RUNNING BACKS

Ohio State’s TreVeyon Henderson (25 carries, 178 yards) is averaging 7.1 yards per carry and Miyan Williams (22 carries, 130 yards) is averaging 5.9.

Jacquez Stuart (14 carries, 98 yards, 2 touchdowns) leads Toledo’s running backs in rushing yardage.

Advantage: Ohio State

RECEIVERS

Will Jaxon Smith-Njigba play this week or will he rest a leg injury until Wisconsin comes to Ohio State next week? Earlier this week coach Ryan Day sounded optimistic that Smith-Njigba would play. With other receivers like Marvin Harrison Jr. and Emeka Egbuka, OSU can afford to be cautious.

Jerjuan Newton (8 catches, 160 yards, 1 touchdown) and DeMeer Blankumsee (13 catches, 88 yards) have been Finn’s top targets. Devin Maddox caught 41 passes last season but has had only one catch so far this season.

Advantage: Ohio State

OFFENSIVE LINE

Ohio State (2-0) is averaging 5.6 yards per running play and has allowed only two sacks, which seems to indicate the offensive line is performing at a pretty high level.

Injuries have sidelined a returning starter on Toledo’s line and another player who had a good chance to be a starter. Left tackle Mitchell Berg, who has started 22 games in his career, is out indefinitely. Tyler Long, who might have been the starting center, is out for the season.

Advantage: Ohio State

DEFENSIVE LINE

Defensive tackle Mike Hall, who redshirted as a freshman last season, has been the standout on a talented Ohio State defensive line with sacks in the first two games of the season and five tackles for losses.

Toledo defensive end Desjuan Johnson was second-team All-Mid American Conference last season and has 4.5 tackles for losses in two games this season.

Advantage: Ohio State

LINEBACKERS

Steele Chambers and Cody Simon tied for the team lead in tackles with six in a 45-12 win over Arkansas State last week. Chambers also got a sack.

Dallas Gant, who transferred to Toledo from Ohio State, leads the Rockets with 20 tackles.

Advantage: Ohio State

DEFENSIVE BACKS

Denzel Burke and Cameron Brown remain the starting cornerbacks for OSU but J.K. Johnson subbed in for both of them against Arkansas State and got significant playing time.

Toledo’s defensive backs will see an entirely different level of quarterback and receiver play from Ohio State than they saw in their first two games when Long Island passed for 68 yards and UMass had 48 yards passing.

Advantage: Ohio State

SPECIAL TEAMS

Five-star freshman safety Sonny Styles got the first playing time of his college career when he was on the kickoff coverage team three times in last week’s game.

Toledo kicker Thomas Cluckey is 5 for 5 on field goals. Punter Jonathon Batzke averages 42.0 yards per kick. Toledo has blocked a punt.

Advantage: Ohio State

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.