By Dan Williams @Dan_Wi11iams on August 14, 2014
The 2014 season marks head coach Urban Meyer's third season with the Ohio State Buckeyes. In it, Meyer has another season of high expectations, including a playoff berth in college football's inaugural season of the playoff system. In order to accomplish that, the Buckeyes must play a relatively flawless season and face some tough opponents. Here are five must-watch games for the Ohio State Buckeyes in 2014.
The Buckeyes' fourth test of the season comes against the in-state Cincinnati Bearcats at home. The key for Cincinnati all season will be the play of quarterback Gunner Kiel, who transferred from Notre Dame. With solid skill players around Kiel, the Bearcats' offense should be able to score points and be cause for alarm with the Ohio State defense. However, Cincinnati's own defense might be overmatched by the Buckeyes' high-powered offense.
Ohio State's seventh game of the season against Penn State is also the first in a stretch of three consecutive 8pm starts. Heading into Happy Valley is never an easy task for opposing Big Ten teams, and the fans will be excited to host Ohio State at night for the first time under new head coach James Franklin. The Penn State game will be a must-watch, as it's the Buckeyes first test in the conference schedule. Last year, OSU smoked PSU 63-14.
After their opening game against Navy, Ohio State hosts fellow college football powerhouse Virginia Tech. Ohio will be tested by Navy's option offense, but Chris Ash and the defense's first true test against a top team comes during a night game. Ohio Stadium has newly equipped permanent lights for the first time in the 'Shoe's history and fans will be able to view Ohio State's first of many marquee games under the lights.
It's one of the most storied rivalries in all of sports, and 2014 will mark the final time Ohio State's Braxton Miller will face the Wolverines. Although the game doesn't have a set time, it has the makings of a college football game; especially after Brady Hoke's decision to go for two when the Wolverines were down one with under a minute left in the game. The game could also have Big Ten conference championship implications.
The rivalry between Ohio State and Michigan State has gained momentum in recent seasons, and it hit its peak last season when the two teams squared off in the Big Ten Conference title game. MSU beat Ohio State and ended the Buckeyes' chance at a national title. In 2014, the Buckeyes will be seeking revenge against their Big Ten East foe in a game that could ultimately decide who represents that division of the conference in the conference title.
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