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Football notebook: Ohio State is like unfair recess opponent for Miami

The Miami RedHawks have 1.3 million reasons for playing Ohio State this week.

That number is the dollar amount the Buckeyes are gifting Miami for coming to Ohio Stadium and receiving a predicted walloping Saturday.

After winning its opening three contests by a combined 107 points, No. 6 Ohio State is favored against the RedHawks by 40.

Not even MU head coach Chuck Martin thinks the matchup is fair.

"It's kind of like going to recess, and they have the first 85 picks," Martin said.

In Week Two, the Buckeyes blew out Cincinnati, 42-0. That's the same Bearcat team that beat Miami 35-13 last Saturday.

"They're what you expect," Martin said. "They're a really good Ohio State team. They've been really good for a number of years … They don't have any weaknesses. They've got good players backed up by good players."

Regardless, it'll be another learning experience - something Miami has emphasized this season.

"It's an awesome opportunity for us to continue to figure out where we're out in 2019," Martin said.

Offensively, the Buckeyes are led by sophomore quarterback and early-season Heisman hopeful Justin Fields and junior running back J.K. Dobbins.

The duo has posted video-game statistics so far this season even though they haven't played many late-game snaps due their team's large leads. Fields has thrown for nine touchdowns and rushed for two more, while Dobbins has rumbled for 425 yards and four scores.

"I know they're big, fast and they've got athletic players," junior defensive back Mike Brown said. "They're pretty basic on offense, so it's going to come down to us just being men and doing what we've got to do, tackling and covering. But we know what they're going to do."

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Schematically, Martin compared Ohio State's defensive unit, dubbed the "Silver Bullets," to his own team's.

"Obviously, a little different clientele," Martin said. "Structure is one thing. What the body types look like is another thing."

The unit has recorded 31 tackles for loss, 14 sacks, three interceptions and one recovered fumble. The Ohio State defensive front will look to stuff the RedHawks' ground game and force freshman quarterback Brett Gabbert to make plays.

"We're going to have our hands full," redshirt sophomore running back Davion Johnson said.

The game is scheduled for 3:30 and will air on the Big Ten Network.

Miami's injury woes

The RedHawks lost three offensive linemen to injury against Cincinnati Saturday. Martin said he didn't know if any of the three would play at Ohio State.

If they don't suit up, Miami will struggle to run the ball even more than it already would have against the talented Buckeye defensive line, often considered the team's best position group.

As for other banged-up RedHawks, several starters might be back in action this week.

Junior running back Jaylen Bester missed the contest against UC, but Martin hopes he returns to the lineup this week. Ditto for redshirt junior linebacker Ryan McWood.

Redshirt junior wide receiver Jack Sorenson played last weekend but was on what Martin called "a pitch count." He should be closer to 100 percent by Saturday.

Matchup history

Ohio State has won all five games its played against Miami. The last matchup was a 56-10 Buckeye win in 2012.

The Buckeyes haven't lost to a school from Ohio since falling to Oberlin College in 1921.

@ChrisAVinel

vinelca@miamioh.edu

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