Fresh off an impressive 42-24 road victory against Virginia Tech, the Ohio State Buckeyes return to the Horseshoe to take on the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors. Hawaii also began the 2015 season on a positive note, defeating Colorado 28-20 in Aloha Stadium. This game marks the first time Hawaii and Ohio State have ever played.
Ohio State welcomes back four players who served an opening game suspension in defensive end Joey Bosa and wide receivers/H-Backs Dontre Wilson, Jalin Marshall, and Corey Smith. The return of these four players, combined with the debut of QB-turned-H-Back Braxton Miller, has Ohio State fans excited for what may lie ahead for the remainder of the 2015 season, with a squad operating at full strength.
Hawaii is in the fourth year under Norm Chow. Chow has built a reputation throughout college football as an outstanding offensive coordinator, with previous stops at Brigham Young and USC. Hawaii quarterback Max Wittek started his collegiate career with the Trojans, and will be targeting top receivers Marcus Kemp and Quinton Pedroza, as the Warriors will try and move the ball against the Buckeyes' defense.
Hawaii at Ohio State
Kickoff: 3:30 p.m. ET
TV Channel: Big Ten Network
Spread: Ohio State -38
Three Things To Watch:
1. The Return Of Joey Bosa
Bosa is arguably the top defensive prospect in college football. After being suspended for the season opener at Virginia Tech, what kind of an impact will Bosa be able to make in his season debut? Will Hawaii double-team Bosa in an effort to allow Wittek time to throw?
2. The Ohio State Quarterback Position
Cardale Jones was named the starter at Virginia Tech, but J.T. Barrett also saw playing time late in the contest against the Hokies. How soon will head coach Urban Meyer give Barrett playing time versus the Warriors?
3. Hawaii's Defensive Strategy
Virginia Tech tried to disrupt Ohio State as much as possible, yet surrendered nearly 600 yards of offense in the loss. Will Hawaii try to copy what worked well for the Hokies, or will the Warriors go in a completely different direction?
Ohio State is the defending national champion, and is coming off a short week with the game at Virginia Tech. Even with the short week, Hawaii is traveling across the mainland to face arguably the top team in college football. The oddsmakers have Hawaii as a decided underdog, and it is challenging to see how Hawaii will be able to keep pace with the Buckeyes on either side of the ball.
Prediction: Ohio State 63, Hawaii 10
— Written by Chip Minnich, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and a diehard Ohio State fan. Minnich also writes and podcasts for menofthescarletandgray.com, a site dedicated to Ohio sports with a special emphasis on the Buckeyes. Follow him on Twitter @ChipMinnich.