After another long offseason, Ohio State is finally set to kick off the 2013 season on Saturday when it hosts Buffalo in the Horseshoe.
The Buckeyes had the No. 10 rushing offense a year ago and it could be even better this year even though Carlos Hyde will miss the first three games of the season.
A talented group of freshmen led by Dontre Wilson and Jalin Marshall should inject some more big plays into the Buckeye offense as well as the growth of junior quarterback Braxton Miller.
So how will Saturday’s box score look after the season opener?
Here’s a prediction of what it could look like.
Braxton Miller: 18-of-24, 250 yds, 3 TDs
The Ohio State coaches and players have raved about Miller’s growth after his breakout sophomore season a year ago.
Miller has worked to improve his passing mechanics and make the OSU offense much more balanced than it was a year ago.
He should be able to do that on Saturday with a completion percentage of 75 and throw for three scores. The running will always be there, but the Bulls could provide a good test for how much of a better passer he has become.
Braxton Miller: 11 carries, 90 yds, 1 TD
Bri’onte Dunn: 8 carries, 41 yds
Dontre Wilson: 4 carries, 68 yds, 1 TD
Jordan Hall and Bri’onte Dunn will be the top two backs for Ohio State on Saturday with suspensions to both Carlos Hyde and Rod Smith.
Miller will get his carries as expected and should be able to rip off a long run or two at some point. But Urban Meyer will want to limit Miller’s carries if possible.
The wild card this year is true freshman Dontre Wilson who has impressed almost everyone at fall camp. He will get his touches and has the ability to make a big play every time he’s on the field.
Don’t be surprised if he makes one of those long plays on Saturday.
Continue Reading: Predicting Ohio State’s Stats vs. Buffalo