Bold Bobcats think big vs. No. 2 Buckeyes
Eric Benjamin grew up admiring Buckeye football in the Columbus suburb of Grove City, so it wasn't surprising as a visiting player in 2008 that he had chills hearing the roar from the Ohio Stadium fans.
''It's an awesome feeling when you go in there, just to hear the crowd like you did when you were a little kid, but now you're on the field,'' the Ohio University linebacker said. ''Hopefully we can quiet the crowd down a little bit like we did a couple of years ago.''
That's when the Bobcats took a surprising 14-12 lead into the fourth quarter before the Buckeyes rallied for a 26-14 victory.
Ohio (1-1) gets another shot at No. 2 Ohio State (2-0) Saturday in Ohio Stadium.
Two years ago, Ohio State may have been thinking past its Mid-American Conference foe with a game against Southern California the next week.
This year, the Buckeyes are coming off a 36-24 win against then-No.12 Miami, while Ohio lost to Toledo 20-13 last week.
''Normally it would be a chance to overlook a team. But with the leaders and seniors we have, we'll get our young guys ready to play,'' Ohio State defensive tackle Dexter Larimore said. ''This was a team two years ago that we struggled with.''
If Ohio is to have a chance it must find a way to contain Heisman Trophy candidate Terrelle Pryor, who had 346 all-purpose yards last week vs. Miami. He completed 12 of 27 passes for 233 yards and rushed for a career-high 113 yards on 20 carries.
With 139 of 207 players (61 percent) on the combined rosters from Ohio there will be a bunch of matchups involving friends vs. friends and former high school teammates.
None is more intriguing than the Posey brothers from Cincinnati LaSalle High School. Julian is Ohio's fifth-year senior cornerback, who will line up against junior wide receiver DeVier.
Neither started in 2008, so they had little opportunity to go head-to-head, but that is not expected to be the case Saturday.
DeVier Posey caught a 62-yard pass from Pryor against Miami and Julian Posey had a 38-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown against Wofford in Ohio's season opener.
The pair talk almost daily and the conversation this week naturally became a little competitive.
Staying neutral is their mother, Julie Posey, who is expected to attend the game wearing a jersey that is half green for Ohio and the other half scarlet for the Buckeyes.
''Good for her,'' Ohio coach Frank Solich said. ''Very few moms get a chance to have two sons play Division I football, let alone play against each other.''
Ohio State's win against the Bobcats two years ago was the 800th in school history. An Ohio win Saturday would be its 500th (499-517-48). But those odds are long.
Ohio State has not lost to an in-state opponent in 41 games, dating back to 1921. In that run, the Buckeyes are 6-0 vs. the Bobcats, and Ohio is 0-14 against ranked opponents.