COLUMBUS, Ohio – There is almost no one – except for maybe a deluded fan somewhere – who believes Florida A&M has a remote chance against fourth-ranked Ohio State today.
With a Big Ten opener a week later against Wisconsin, the Buckeyes will use the Rattlers as a full-dress scrimmage to iron out the final wrinkles before embarking on the games that really count.
We don’t make the schedule, we don’t choose the teams we play each and every week, safety Christian Bryant said. They come into Ohio Stadium, they’ll see what the Ohio State Buckeyes are about.
Here are five things to note about today’s game:
’Los is more
The big news around Ohio State isn’t who the opponent is but rather who’ll be back on the field: tailback Carlos Hyde and quarterback Braxton Miller.
Hyde, who ran for 970 yards while leading the team in scoring in 2012, was suspended for the first three games after an alleged altercation with a woman at a Columbus bar this summer. He’ll step into the rotation behind starter Jordan Hall, ninth in the nation at 134 yards a game.
FAMU gets $900,000 for the trip to Columbus, which will cover more than half of the school’s $1.6 million budget for football and will put a dent in the Tallahassee university’s $10.5 million operating budget for the school’s 18 varsity sports.
Coach Earl Holmes also sees the game as a rare opportunity for his Football Championship Subdivision team to step into the glaring spotlight.
I think it’s for the kids, Holmes told the Columbus Dispatch. You have aspirations of playing (in the NFL), so here you can find exactly where you fit. And it’s the atmosphere. You have one of the best stadiums to play in in college football. Everything is positive. I appreciate those kids getting those opportunities.
Kenny or Braxton?
All-conference performer Miller sprained a knee ligament early in the second game, so Kenny Guiton stepped in and has been a star at QB.
Miller is likely to play against FAMU, although it’s fluid who’ll play and how much.
Last weekend, a former Florida A&M player, Jonathan A. Ferrell, was gunned down by a Charlotte-Mecklenburg (N.C.) police officer.
Ferrell, who played for the Rattlers in 2009 and 2010, had a car crash and then pounded on the door of a nearby resident, who called 911. Police said that when they arrived Ferrell ran at them. They attempted to stop him with a Taser, with another officer shooting him several times. He was unarmed.
Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer says FAMU blitzes on every play, and that is an incentive for the Buckeyes to play even harder.
We’ve got to show up and play hard, Meyer said. Because when you face teams that blitz all the time, the last thing that anybody in that stadium or I want to see is people in our backfield. And if you don’t prepare for it, you look silly.