Without Meyer, No. 5 Buckeyes look for opening day win
Oregon State (1-11 last season) at No. 5 Ohio State (12-2), noon ET (ABC).
Line: Ohio State by 38.
Series record: Ohio State leads 2-0.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Ohio State is eager to get back to football after an unusual series of events that resulted in a three-game suspension for coach Urban Meyer for mishandling domestic-abuse allegations against a now-fired assistant. Acting coach Ryan Day wants to hand the team back to Meyer in three weeks with a spotless record. New Oregon State coach Jonathan Smith, the former Beavers quarterback and offensive coordinator at Washington, has nowhere to go but up with the beleaguered Beavers.
Ohio State offense vs. Oregon State’s defense. New Buckeyes QB Dwayne Haskins Jr. is a pass-first guy who’s surrounded by a deep and experienced group of receivers. The fine running back tandem of J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber are going to get a lot of carries. Oregon State’s defense returns eight starters and lost just one of last year’s nine top tacklers.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Oregon State: QB Jake Luton. The Beavers had high hopes last season for the 6-foot-7 junior college transfer, but his time as starter lasted just four games after he sustained a thoracic spine fracture in a 52-23 loss at Washington State. Luton is back and again won the starting job.
Ohio State: DE Nick Bosa. The dominating pass-rusher wants to put the finishing touches on his college career before moving on the NFL as a likely first-round draft pick next year.
FACTS & FIGURES
Haskins starts a game for the first time in his career, after coming on for an injured J.T. Barrett and leading the Buckeyes past Michigan last year. … Smith, the new Oregon State coach, was a four-year starter for the Beavers who led them to a Fiesta Bowl victory following the 2000 season. … Oregon State opens the against a top-10 team for the first time. … Ohio State has won 37 of its last 39 season openers.