August 31, 2006

Offense ready to go

When the Associated Press writers and college coaches both voted to make the Buckeyes the number one team in the nation they must not have listened to the national radio hosts and pundits who all objected to the fact that the Ohio State defense only returned two starters.

About the only thing they were willing to give Ohio State is that they had the potential of having one of the nation's best offenses, but will that be enough to get through an entire season and punch their ticket to Arizona and the national championship game?

The Cleveland Glenville duo of quarterback Troy Smith and wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. have grabbed the lion's share of the headlines, but if you look through the offensive starting line-up you will see what has the potential of the strongest offensive unit to grace Columbus since the 1997 edition of the Buckeyes.

Last season Troy Smith found his groove mid-season after his well-chronicled suspension that forced him to sit for the Alamo Bowl and the season opener against Miami (Ohio). Smith ended the season 4th in the nation in passing efficiency, rating higher than reported Heisman Trophy front-runner Brady Quinn (7th) and week one opponent Phil Horvath (6th) of Northern Illinois. So with the Huskies bringing a highly efficient passer to town along with one of the nation's top rushers in Garrett Wolfe, the Buckeyes know this game is not a tune-up game for the big road game in Texas.

"I believe that every game is an incremental step," Smith said. "Games after will come, but we must deal with Northern Illinois first. We have athletic talent that will be able to match up with anyone."

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