NCAA Football Ohio State Buckeyes

Five Things For Ohio State Fans To Focus On This Saturday

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Five Things For Ohio State Fans To Focus On This Saturday

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

This past week, the Ohio State Buckeyes fell to No. 3 in the polls behind Alabama and Oregon. This weekend they welcome the Aztecs of San Diego State into Columbus for what should be a lopsided matchup.

In their season opener against the Buffalo Bulls, the Buckeyes came out fast, but slowed as the game wore on. At one point, the Bulls were mounting a comeback and were making the game a little too close for comfort for OSU fans. It was sloppy play on both sides of the ball from the Buckeyes, including a pick-six thrown by Braxton Miller, that kept the Bulls in the game.

The Buckeyes were able to pull out the 40-20 victory behind a sensational performance from running back Jordan Hall. Hall rushed for 159 yards and two touchdowns. Quarterback Braxton Miller threw for 178 yards and a pair of touchdowns while rushing for 77 more yards.

Ohio State was missing some key players on both sides of the ball in week one. On offense, running backs Carlos Hyde and Rod Smith both couldn’t play due to suspensions, though Hall more than filled their shoes. Also, starting center Corey Linsley was limited to under 20 snaps as he recovers from offseason foot surgery. On defense, cornerback Bradley Roby was serving a one-game suspension and starting safety C.J. Barnett was out with a sprained ankle.

With Roby, Smith and Barnett expected to return this week, the Buckeyes certainly get a lot of talent back, especially on defense. The secondary was tested and proved to be the weakest part of the defense against Buffalo. Along the offensive line, hopefully Linsley can return to form soon as the offensive line struggled against the Bulls' pass rush.

In the following slides you’ll find five things to watch, think about and keep an eye on as you watch the Buckeyes play the Aztecs.

Brian Skinnell is a writer for Follow him on Twitter, Like him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.

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Corey Brown

Rob Leifheit-USA TODAY Sports

Corey Brown didn’t exactly have a huge impact on the game against Buffalo. One of the Buckeyes’ top offensive weapons, Brown only managed two receptions for 25 yards. Devin Smith played well and Chris Fields also contributed, but Brown is expected to do far more damage than just two receptions.

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Offensive Line

Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

The offensive line was very suspect against the Bulls. Braxton Miller was sacked four times and was pressured on a number of other occasions. The Bulls had a better pass rush than most want to give them credit for, but they won’t be the best that the Buckeyes will see this year. Ohio State’s offensive line will have to improve over last week's performance.

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Running Backs

Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Jordan Hall asserted himself as the number one running back last weekend against Buffalo. This week, the number two man returns in Rod Smith. Expect Hall to get a majority of the carries, however, it will be interesting to see how Rod Smith’s role is affected by Hall’s performance in week one.

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Defensive Backs

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The defensive backs group against the Bulls was sketchy. It was shaky, inconsistent and will be unacceptable against better opponents. With Roby and Barnett returning, keep an eye on that secondary to see if they get better or stay the same with those guys in the lineup.

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Overall Team Performance

Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

I know that seems like a blanket sweep, but hear me out on this one. Last week, they won ugly over Buffalo. Voters don’t like ugly wins. Can the Buckeyes put together a total domination this weekend? Will they falter down the stretch and give up a late game field goal or touchdown? Can the Buckeyes play rough and tough for 60 minutes? Those are all questions to have in mind while you’re watching the game. San Diego State is a team that Ohio State should be able to dominate all game long. Will they dominate or will the Aztecs give the Buckeyes a run for their money?