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OSU will win despite critics

Dear Buckeyes fans….. and haters (Hello, Matt Stuntebeck):

No need to tune in and watch one of the most publicized college football games of the season this Saturday. The result has already been recorded. USC gallops into the Horseshoe and kicks the guts out of Ohio State.

Why we are playing this game, I don’t know. OSU has no chance. They barely beat Navy last weekend. The talent just isn’t there. The Buckeyes, as usual, are overrated.

After last year’s 35-3 mercy rule defeat at USC, who can blame anybody for thinking the Bucks have no chance?

So, while everyone in my home community of Lawco Lake gathers at our party pad to watch the Buckeyes and Trojans take center stage, I’ll probably be home doing laundry and reading Mein Kampf by Mark May and Pat Forde.

Or, maybe I’ll watch Rudy. I love underdogs.

Have you heard anybody…anybody at all…say with confidence that they believe the Buckeyes will beat the Trojans? Of course you haven’t, because nobody really thinks OSU can win.

But you are going to hear it from me.

The Buckeyes will win.

I repeat: The Buckeyes will win.

What makes me think so?

For one thing, everybody is comparing the margins of victory in week one. USC beat perennial powerhouse San Jose State 56-3. Ohio State limped past the Midshipmen 31-27.

USC converted flawlessly. Ohio State struggled.

But we are overlooking something here. Every time OSU faces a wishbone/option offense, somebody should make a citizen’s arrest for impersonating a defense. Take all 11 of ‘em to the pokey.

It’s like seeing your grandma on roller skates….uneasy and awkward.

The Navy game was as I expected. Two different times, quarterback Ricky Dobbs sorted the mail in the backfield and then ran untouched into the end zone…..which leads me to these points:

Ohio State can’t defend the option.

Michael Jordan couldn’t hit a curveball.

Garth Brooks should have strangled his inner-Chris Gaines.

Some things are just fact.

But USC isn’t an option offense. This is strength versus strength with no gimmicks.

USC has a young and unproven quarterback who will be rattled in the Shoe, both by the players and the fans. And even though the Trojans have five running backs whom certain ESPN analysts claim could start for Ohio State, only one of them can play at a time.

Ohio State has Terrell Pryor leading a reloaded, though noticeably Beanie-less offense. But these Buckeyes aren’t crippled. A program that continually plays for national titles never is.

Expect OSU coach Jim Tressel to throw out a totally different offensive scheme than the cookie-cutter we saw against Navy (even though seeing four or five tight-end receptions was awesome!)

I remember back in January, 2003, when OSU was supposed to get killed. The Miami Hurricanes were just too big and strong and talented for the Buckeyes.

But I still believed the Bucks would win.

Mr. Stuntebeck, didn’t you watch that game with me?

O H……

Billy Bruce is a contributing columnist.