Ohio State preview box

Todd Porter

TV  The Big Ten Network debuts its gameday coverage. Area fans can watch on DirecTV or AT&T U-verse. Other than that, plan to head out. Roger Twibell will call play-by-play with Mike Tomczak providing analysis.

RADIO  Ohio State Radio Network (WHBC-AM 1480, WKNR-AM 850, WAKR-AM 1590) with Paul Keels, Jim Lachey and Marty Bannister. The game also can be heard on Sirius Satellite radio (126).

ODDS  Most sports books aren’t carrying a line. One had OSU as a 31-point favorite.

THE SERIES  This is the first time Ohio State has played Division I-AA YSU. The Buckeyes have not lost to an Ohio team since Oberlin in 1921.

THEY’RE FROM YSU  Former Notre Dame coach Bob Davie, former major league pitcher Dave Dravecky, former Eagles QB Ron Jaworski, Rams placekicker Jeff Wilkins and Ed O’Neill, who played Al Bundy on “Married With Children” are alumni. Ellen Tressel, wife of Buckeye Head Coach Jim Tressel, also is a graduate.

THE COACHES  Jim Tressel will begin his seventh season at Ohio State and at 62-14, he has the best winning percentage (.816) of any Buckeyes coach through seven years. Tressel won four national titles at Youngstown State. Jon Heacock is coming off his best season as the Penguins coach at 11-3 as YSU made the playoffs for the first time since 1999. Heacock replaced Tressel in 2001, and the Beloit native and West Branch High School graduate has won 19 games the last two years.

HOW IT WILL GO  This is QB Todd Boeckman’s fourth year at Ohio State. The redshirt junior is 23 and about to make his first start. The Buckeyes will have more of a pro offense look with a tight end on the field most of the time. Look for RB Beanie Wells to get his carries early before giving way to Maurice Wells, then true freshman Brandon Saine. Ideally, OSU would like to get out to a big first-half lead and get younger players some work in the second half. Don’t be surprised if YSU makes a game of this early. The Penguins played Penn State to a scoreless first quarter a year ago. However, there is something enigmatic about playing in Ohio Stadium for the mostly Ohio YSU team. Tressel raved about YSU DT Mychael Savage, a 6-3, 300-pound hole plugger.

PORTER’S PICK  The Buckeyes will score one special teams TD. Tressel takes it easy on his former team with a 34-14 win.

TODD PORTER