College Football - September 10, 2022 - #3 Ohio State (1-0) vs. Arkansas State (1-0)
The college football season is in full swing, heading into its 2nd week with most of the top teams in action in out-of-conference matchups. Coming off an important opening season victory against Notre Dame, the Ohio State Buckeyes face off against the Arkansas State Red Wolves of the Sun Belt Conference. Like Ohio State, Arkansas State is coming off an opening season win, soundly defeating the Grambling State Tigers 58-3.
Players to Watch - Ohio State
C.J. Stroud (QB)
A redshirt sophomore stud who is widely expected to take home the Heisman Trophy this season, C.J. Stroud will be the key to Ohio State not suffering a letdown after a huge win against Notre Dame to open the season. After throwing for 4,435 yards and 44 touchdowns last season, Stroud picked up where he left off, completing 24 of 34 passes for 233 yards, 2 touchdowns, and no turnovers against Notre Dame. Look for Stroud to come out firing early in the game to deliver a quick knockout punch.
Jaxon Smith-Njigba (WR)
The best wide receiver in the country among arguably the most talented receiver core in the country, Jaxon Smith-Njigba tied an Ohio State record last season with 5 consecutive 100-yard receiving games. Ohio State will look to target Smith-Njigba early and often to get him back on track after a disappointing opening performance against Notre Dame.
Zach Harrison (DE)
Although he has not accumulated the stats as some of the other 5-star defensive end recruits that have dominated Ohio State's defensive line for the last several years, Zach Harrison has nonetheless had a very productive career. It is doubtful that Arkansas State will be able to prevent Harrison from getting at least 1 sack during the game.
Players to Watch - Arkansas State
James Blackman (QB)
Originally starting his career with Florida State, James Blackman transferred to Arkansas State last year and threw for 1,334 yards and 8 touchdowns in 6 games. If Arkansas is going to make any significant improvements from its disastrous 2-10 record last season, it will most likely have to come from Blackman having a great senior season. Blackman must be calm, composed, accurate, and not afraid to take shots down the field to compete with Ohio State.
Kivon Bennett (LB/DE)
One of the few bright spots on one of the nation's worst defenses last season, Kivon Bennett ended the year with 58 tackles, 7.5 sacks, and 15.5 tackles for a loss. He must be able to generate large amounts of pressure on C.J. Stroud and the Ohio State offensive line to slow down the nearly unstoppable Ohio State offense.
Coaching Matchup - Ryan Day (Ohio State) vs. Butch Jones (Arkansas State)
Since taking over for the legendary Urban Meyer at the start of the 2019 season, Ryan Day has amassed an impressive 32-4 record, including an incredible 22-1 record in the Big Ten. He has been able to build a nearly flawless offensive system at Ohio State, built on the great collection of talent that he has been repeatedly able to recruit.
Butch Jones has had a moderate amount of success over a 15-year coaching career, most notably coaching the Tennessee Volunteers for 5 seasons, where he was able to have back-to-back 9-win seasons in 2015 and 2016. His first season at Arkansas State did not go very well, as the Red Wolves were in the midst of a rebuilding year, going just 2-10.
The game will be played at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, the home stadium for the Ohio State Buckeyes.
How to Get Tickets
Tickets can be purchased through several different outlets including stub hub.com, vivid seats.com, and Ticketmaster.com.
How to Watch
The game will be broadcast live on cable tv via the Big Ten Network as well as on streaming devices via several different outlets including Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Roku, Android TV, and more.
Ohio State is currently favored by 43.5 points according to FanDuel Sportsbook. They will most likely cruise to an easy victory, although Arkansas State probably will be able to keep the game a little closer than expected.
Final Score: Ohio State 45 - Arkansas State 14
C.J. Stroud | Ohio State-Arkansas State pregame press conference