The Matchup: Central Florida at Ohio State

Published 1:31 am Friday, September 7, 2012

The Associated Press


Central Florida (1-0) at No. 14 Ohio State (1-0), noon (ESPN2)

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Line: Ohio State by 18.

Series: First meeting.


Validity, for UCF. The Knights have never beaten a ranked team from a Football Bowl Subdivision conference. Also, perhaps to a lesser degree, validity for the Buckeyes. They coasted to a 56-10 win last week over Miami (Ohio) in coach Urban Meyer’s Ohio State debut. Playing the Knights, picked as the favorite in the East Division of Conference USA, is a considerably bigger test. With neither team currently eligible for a bowl game due to NCAA sanctions (UCF does have an appeal pending), it’s a win-now situation for both.


Ohio State QB Braxton Miller vs. defensive front of Victor Gray, Jose Jose, E.J. Dunston and Troy Davis. Miller got off to a horrible start in the opener, but once things started clicking he rushed for an Ohio State quarterback-record 161 yards and passed for two scores and 207 yards. Jose goes 327 pounds and Dunston 302. They must fill gaps and prevent big yardage inside the tackles when Miller scrambles or if he hands off to RB Carlos Hyde. If they don’t, it could be a long day for the Knights.


UCF: QB Blake Bortles was 24 of 34 for 248 yards and three TDs in a 56-14 win over Akron last week. Frosh WR J.J. Worton caught 11 passes for 114 yards and a TD, and WR Quincy McDuffie added nine catches for 93 yards and a score. RB Latavius Murray gained 233 yards on 21 attempts and scored three times, but coach George O’Leary said he’s week to week after a shoulder injury. Former Miami Hurricane Storm Johnson will take his place.

Ohio State: After facing a team that used quick passes to minimize the rush, the defensive front line of John Simon, Johnathan Hankins, Garrett Goebel and J.T. Moore (along with subs Nathan Williams and Michael Bennett) are itching to get after Bortles. Devin Smith, who had a highlight-reel TD grab, could blossom at WR along with Corey Brown.


The last time Ohio State lost a regular-season, non-conference game at home against an unranked team was to another Florida school, a 34-17 setback to Florida State in 1982, a string of 58 games. … If you think of Ohio State as a massive bully picking on small fry, consider that there are 56,867 students on the main campus in Columbus, while 58,698 attend UCF. … Meyer has 105 collegiate victories, O’Leary 103. … UCF is in its eighth and final season in Conference USA. Next year it’ll join the Big East. A former affiliate of the Mid-American Conference, which has six Ohio members, the Knights are 13-14 vs. schools from the Buckeye state (6-7 on the road). … The Buckeyes had no turnovers (but forced three) and had just three penalties for 20 yards in their opener.