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Hawaii vs. Ohio State game preview

Everything you need to know about the game before the game.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Gameday Info:

Hawaii Rainbow Warriors (1-0) @ Ohio State Buckeyes (1-0) 9:42 AM HST, Ohio Stadium

TV: Big Ten Network

Radio: KKEA ESPN 1420 (Honolulu), KNUI 550AM (Maui), KHLO 850AM (Hilo), KKON 790AM (Kona), KTOH 99.9FM (Kauai), KNWJ 104.7FM  (American Samoa), XM Radio 203 and Sirius Radio 93.

Webcast: ESPN 1420 AM

Spread: +41 Hawaii

Gameday Tidbits:

  • Saturday will be the first ever matchup between the two schools.
  • This will be the second time in program history Hawaii will face a defending national champion and the fourth time UH has taken on a top ranked team.
  • Ohio State currently holds the nation’s longest active streak for wins at 14.
  • This game will serve as Ohio State’s  home opener.  OSU is 112-9-4 in home openers.
  • The Buckeyes have won 66 of their last 67 games against unranked out of conference opponents.

Injury Report:

Hawaii: PROBABLE: Julian Gener (LB). OUT: Diocemy Saint Juste.

Ohio State: OUT: Noah Brown (WR), Mike Weber (RB).

Team Leaders:

Passing: Max Wittek (Hawaii): 19-38, 202 yards, 3 TD, 2 INT; Cardale Jones (Ohio State): 9-18, 186 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: Paul Harris (Hawaii): 17 carries, 73 yards, 0 TD; Ezekiel Elliot (Ohio State): 11 carries, 124 yards, 1 TD

Receiving: Marcus Kemp (Hawaii): 6 receptions, 116 yards, 1 TD; Braxton Miller (Ohio State): 2 receptions, 78 yards, 1 TD

Tackles: Luke Shawley (Hawaii): 14 (8 solo) tackles; Joshua Perry (Ohio State): 8 (4 solo) tackles

Sacks: Luke Shawley (Hawaii): 1.5 sacks; Tyquan Lewis (Ohio State): 1.5 sacks

Interceptions: Julian Gener (Hawaii): 1 interceptions; Tyvis Powell (Ohio State): 1 interceptions

Names to Know:

Hawaii: (QB) Max Wittek, (WR) Marcus Kemp, (LT) Ben Clarke, (DE) Luke Shawley, (LB) Jerrol Garcia-Williams

Ohio State: (QB) Cardale Jones, (RB) Ezekiel Elliot, (HB) Braxton Miller, (DE) Joey Besa, (S) Tyvis Powell

Key Matchups:

Hawaii Offensive Line vs. Ohio State Front Seven: No matter what the play is, the quarterback and skill players will not be able to do anything without proper blocking. The offensive line play will be critical in today's game. In the past Hawaii's line has faltered that ultimately stalled the offense before it gets started. Unfortunately for Hawaii, the Buckeyes get back Joey Bosa for this game. He led the Big-Ten in tackles for loss (21) and sacks (13.5) in 2014.

Not only will the front seven be bolstered by his presence but also become deeper as his replacement in week one Sam Hubbard did quite well, prospectively earning him more playing time. What makes things even worse is that the true strength of the Ohio State team might be at linebacker, according to Ian Cuevas of Grant-Land Holy Land. Against Virginia Tech, the starting linebackers accounted for 40% of total solo tackles the team had. This unit is dynamic and experienced, which will put the UH offensive line through hell.

Hawaii Defense vs. Ohio State Big 3: Hawaii's defense will have their hands full with Cardale Jones, Ezekiel Elliot and Braxton Miller. Up till last week, it was unknown how Miller would perform after his position change. I am pretty sure he answered the everyone's questions with that damn spin move of his. Miller was superb scoring a 50+ yard rushing and receiving touchdown. It appears Braxton Miller can pretty much do it all which makes him a huge threat when paired with the creative mind of Urban Meyer.

Elliot ran for 124 yards on just 11 attempts. Most of his yardage came off of an 80 yard run he had in the first quarter. I wouldn't take him lightly as his 80 yard rush was something to behold. With Virginia Tech's defense being highly regarded, you can imagine the damage Elliot can do to the Rainbow Warriors if they are unable to keep him in check.

Finally, Cardale Jones the starting quarterback for the Buckeyes. He is the man most recently known for his flirtatious tweet about Ronda Rousey. Tabloid fodder aside, this guy has the ability to break down this defense. Hawaii had trouble containing Sefo Liufao at times and he is not nearly the physical specimen that Jones is. Hawaii will need to stay disciplined because a small opening for Jones could result in a large gain through the air or on the ground.

Bottom Line:

The Bows will come out hard and for a second you might think that they have a chance if they can only keep this up. Unfortunately the Buckeyes outclass the Rainbow Warriors in talent and depth. Their advantage at each position over Hawaii begins to become too much towards the end of the 1st half. Ohio State will come our firing in the second half and you can probably guess what might happen next. Since Hawaii is not a strong opponent Ubran Meyer will look to make a statement to leave no doubt of their ranking. I unfortunately see the game finishing with a final result of 61-17.

If the team can leave this game healthy while building on what they did against Colorado you can chalk this game up as a win no matter the score. Creating good habits and getting better for conference play is the priority here.

Make sure to follow us on Twitter for intermittent commentary if I can find a place that is playing the game.

Check out the whole Q&A Jeremy did with Land-Grant Holy Land. Also see our depth chart breakdown for today's game.

Stats and info courtesy of the University of Hawaii and Ohio State University Media Guides.