The Miami and Ohio State programs were both rocked earlier this year with major cheating scandals. The Buckeyes lost ultra-successful coach Jim Tressel and talented quarterback Terrelle Pryor in the process and still have key players suspended. The Hurricanes are still being investigated after the report surfaced of former booster Nevin Shapiro’s funding of many impermissible activities regarding players and recruits. From tattoos to meals to parties to memorabilia sales to lots of other activities that don’t need to be repeated, OSU and Miami have had offseasons to forget. As we look towards the actual college football game in Miami, Ohio State will be without their top runner (Dan Herron), receiver (DeVier Posey) and blocker (Mike Adams), all still serving suspensions. The Buckeyes will return running back Jordan Hall and defensive backs Corey Brown and Travis Howard, who were serving separate suspensions. Miami gets quarterback Jacory Harris, linebacker Sean Spence and defensive tackle Marcus Forston, among others, back from their suspensions served during the Maryland game.
Who wins in South Beach this weekend: Miami or Ohio State?
Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven)
I like Miami to win Saturday night’s matchup with Ohio State. The Hurricanes lost 36-24 in Columbus last year, but the scene shifts to South Beach this year. Also, Ohio State won’t have quarterback Terrelle Pryor, running back Daniel Herron or receiver DeVier Posey. The Buckeyes have been solid on defense so far, but Toledo moved the ball well last Saturday. The Hurricanes need a clean game from quarterback Jacory Harris, who is making his first start of 2011. Harris was suspended for Week 1, but his return could spark the offense, provided he eliminates the turnovers that plagued him last year. Running back Lamar Miller is a rising star in college football and should see 25-30 carries in this one. New Miami coach Al Golden is the right man to navigate the program for what could be difficult times ahead. Golden had a solid debut, even with a loss to Maryland. If Ohio State can win, it would be a huge boost to Luke Fickell’s profile and chance to keep the full-time job. I expect this to be a close game, but Miami is out for revenge. Toledo is one of the best teams in the MAC, but the Buckeyes did not have a great game on offense. Considering the new faces still working their way into the game on both sides of the ball, I think that gives the Hurricanes a slight edge on Saturday.
Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)
I’ll think Ohio State will beat Miami in this battle of embattled teams who have had more suspensions than an Olympic track meet and the Tour de France combined. Even though Toledo gave the Buckeyes a scare last week, the Rockets only rushed for 46 yards on 30 carries. I believe Miami’s strength is running the ball with Lamar Miller, and that the OSU defense will have an answer for him. The Hurricanes get turnover-prone quarterback Jacory Harris back in this one, but he threw four interceptions in last year’s loss to the Buckeyes. Miami went down 36-24 in that game (even though it is now ‘vacated’ by OSU), but two of the Hurricanes’ scores were on special teams. I think Luke Fickell’s crew will look to prevent the big play this season and make the inconsistent Hurricanes drive the ball down the field. Additionally, the ‘U’ has lost eleven home games in the last five years. I just don’t see Miami having the same home advantage as in years past, so take the gritty Buckeyes in a tight game.
Ohio State and Miami were once known for a delayed pass-interference penalty in the BCS national title game. Oh, those were the days of innocence. Maurice Clarett was stripping the ball from Sean Taylor after an INT in the end zone; Jim Tressel was out-coaching Larry Coker; or was it vice-versa? Either way, these are different, darker days for two of America’s proudest football programs. Last year, The OSU drubbed The U, 36-24, in Columbus. This year, it’s payback — not against TP2 or the Sweater Vest, but against the Scarlet-and-Gray in general. First-year coach Al Golden won’t be wearing a Pat Riley suit, but he will be wearing a shirt-and-tie when the Hurricanes overwhelm the Buckeyes. Expect Lamar Miller to run wild and the Canes defense to play until the echo of the whistle. This will be a Big Ten, Buckeye bowl-game-style blowout and a South Beach celebration. Hopefully, no one will Tweet about it after the game.