Just a few weeks ago, Ohio State’s opening game against Navy seemed like a formality. But once starting quarterback Braxton Miller went down with a season-ending shoulder injury, this game was immediately pinned as a potential upset.
Redshirt freshman J.T. Barrett will make his first career start at Ohio State after Miller will be out for the season.
Miller, who was being mentioned as a Heisman Trophy favorite, isn’t the only player the Buckeyes will have to replace. They’re going into Saturday’s game with a rebuilt offensive line and a new running back in Ezekial Elliott, who is replacing Carlos Hyde, a second-round pick of the San Francisco 49ers.
Meanwhile, the Midshipmen’s triple-option offensive attack is a unique challenge for any opposing defense. Last season, the Navy offense averaged 411 yards per game, 325 of which came on the ground. Quarterback Keenan Reynolds was the team’s leading rusher last season, and he’ll look to build on that this season.
Here’s a link to live coverage
Here’s what you need to know about the game:
WHO: Ohio State at Navy
WHEN: Saturday, 12 p.m. Eastern
WHERE: M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, MD
LINE: Ohio State by 16.5
How to Watch on TV & Online
TV: CBS Sports Network
LIVE STREAM: You can stream the game at CBS College Sports Live if you have a subscription. Subscriptions cost $9.95 for one month or $99.95 for the season. Subscribers can also watch on the College Sports Live app, which you can download for free.
Ohio State Players to Watch
Wide receiver Jeff Heuerman (pictured): One of the team’s top receivers last season, Heuerman can help Barrett adjust into the new offensive scheme.
Quarterback J.T. Barrett: Making his debut as a Buckeye. Despite all of the questions around Ohio State’s unknown quarterback, Meyer is confident his new signal-caller has what it takes to have a successful season.
“J.T. has had about 300 competitive throws — not snaps, throws — this fall,” Meyer told reporters after a recent practice. “Where when [former backup] Kenny Guiton went into the game a couple years ago, I think he had six. He’s had a bunch, and he’s a meticulous guy, and Cardale [Jones] has come a long way, as well. Quarterback is an important cog, but that’s exactly what is — a cog. It’s not the team.”
Navy Players to Watch
Running back DeBrandon Sanders: (pictured): After rushing for 340 yards last season, Sanders will likely get more carries this season.
Quarterback Keenan Reynolds: Led the Midshipmen offense last season in both rushing and passing. Will be the key to this offenses’ success again this season.
Navy 28, Ohio State 24
This game has all of the makings of an upset. With Navy’s triple-option, ball-control oriented offense taking the reigns, Barrett won’t have many opportunities to get touches on the ball or get comfortable. If Navy is able to gain an early lead, there will be even more pressure on the Buckeyes’ new signal-caller.