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Game Data: UAB at Ohio State

Alabama-Birmingham at Ohio State

* Date, Time: Sat., Sept. 22, noon (Eastern)

* Location: Ohio Stadium

* TV: Big Ten Network (announcers: Eric Collins, Derek Rackley, Lisa Byington)

* 2012 Records: Ohio State, 3-0 overall; UAB, 0-2 overall.

* 2012 Rankings: Ohio State, 16th in Associated Press poll; UAB, unranked.

* Coaches: Ohio State, Urban Meyer (first year at OSU, 3-0; 11th year overall, 107-23; vs. UAB, first meeting); UAB, Garrick McGee (first year at UAB, 0-2; vs. OSU, first meeting).

* Series History: This is the first-ever meeting between the schools.

* UAB Schedule: Sept. 1, Troy, L 39-29; Sept. 15, at South Carolina, L 49-6; Sept. 22, at Ohio State; Sept. 29, Tulsa; Oct. 6, Southeast Louisiana; Oct. 13, at Houston; Oct. 20, East Carolina; Oct. 27, at Tulane; Nov. 3, at Southern Miss; Nov. 10, Marshall; Nov. 17, Memphis; Nov. 24, at Central Florida.

* UAB Key Players (2012 Stats): QB Jonathan Perry (35 of 67 passing, 536 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT), RB Darrin Reaves (18 carries, 58 yards), RB Greg Franklin (14 carries, 50 yards), WR Jackie Williams (11 catches, 202 yards), WR Patrick Hearn (11 catches, 174 yards), MLB Marvin Burdette (17 tackles, 1 sack), LB Greg Irvin (16 tackles), DB Calvin Jones (10 tackles), LB Chris Rabb (2 sacks), DB Jake Ganus (7 tackles, 1 INT).

* UAB Fast Facts: Location: Birmingham, Ala.; Enrollment, 17,999; Conference: Conference USA; Nickname, Blazers; Colors, Forest Green and Old Gold; Stadium, Legion Field (surface, SureTurf; capacity, 71,594).

* Ohio State Schedule: Sept. 1, Miami (Ohio), W 56-10; Sept. 8, Central Florida, W 31-16; Sept. 15, California, W 35-28; Sept. 22, UAB; Sept. 29, at Michigan State; Oct. 6, Nebraska; Oct. 13, at Indiana; Oct. 20, Purdue; Oct. 27, at Penn State; Nov. 3, Illinois; Nov. 17, at Wisconsin; Nov. 24, Michigan.

* Ohio State Key Players (2012 Stats): QB Braxton Miller (48 of 78 passing, 611 yards, 7 TDs, 2 INTs; 56 carries, 377 yards, 5 TDs), RB Carlos Hyde (24 carries, 109 yards, 2 TDs), RB Jordan Hall (17 carries, 87 yards), RB Brionte Dunn (12 carries, 60 yards, 1 TD), TE Jake Stoneburner (7 catches, 92 yards, 3 TDs), WR Philly Brown (16 catches, 166 yards, 1 TD), WR Devin Smith (13 catches, 233 yards, 3 TDs), DB Christian Bryant (17 tackles, 1 INT), LB Etienne Sabino (17 tackles, 1 sack, 1 INT), LB Ryan Shazier (27 tackles, 1 sack), DE John Simon (9 tackles, 1 sack), CB Bradley Roby (19 tackles, 1 sack), CB Travis Howard (5 tackles, 3 INTs).

Depth Charts

Ohio State Offense

LT 74 Jack Mewhort 6-6, 312, Jr.
76 Darryl Baldwin 6-5, 300, So.
LG 78 Andrew Norwell 6-6, 310, Jr.
73 Antonio Underwood 6-2, 306, So.
C 71 Corey Linsley 6-3, 295, Jr.
50 Jacoby Boren 6-2, 287, Fr.
RG 79 Marcus Hall 6-5, 315, Jr.
57 Chase Farris 6-4, 290, R-Fr.
RT 77 Reid Fragel 6-8, 310, Sr.
68 Taylor Decker 6-7, 313, Fr.
TE 81 Nick Vannett 6-6, 255, R-Fr.
OR 86 Jeff Heuerman 6-5, 250, So.
WR (H) 11 Jake Stoneburner 6-5, 245, Sr.
80 Chris Fields 6-0, 197, Jr.
QB 5 Braxton Miller 6-2, 220, So.
13 Kenny Guiton 6-3, 210, Jr.
RB 7 Jordan Hall, 5-9, 194, Sr.
25 Bri’onte Dunn 6-1, 210, Fr.
FB 44 Zach Boren 6-1, 245, Sr.
49 Adam Homan 6-3, 245, Sr.
WR (X) 15 Devin Smith 6-1, 200, So.
83 Michael Thomas 6-2, 198, Fr.
WR (Z) 10 Corey Brown 6-0, 187, Jr.
16 Evan Spencer 6-2, 205, So.
K 24 Drew Basil 6-1, 210, Jr.
39 Kyle Clinton 6-1, 215 So.

Ohio State Defense

LEO 54 John Simon 6-2, 263, Sr.
88 Steve Miller 6-3, 255, So.
OR 8 Noah Spence 6-3, 240, Fr.
DT 52 Johnathan Hankins 6-3, 322, Jr.
92 Adolphus Washington 6-3, 289, Fr.
OR 90 Tommy Schutt 6-2, 295, Fr.
NT 53 Garrett Goebel 6-4, 290, Sr.
51 Joel Hale 6-4, 295, So.
72 Chris Carter 6-4, 340, R-Fr.
DE 50 J.T. Moore 6-3, 260, So.
43 Nathan Williams, 6-3, 249, Sr.
63 Michael Bennett 6-3, 285, So.
OLB 10 Ryan Shazier 6-2, 230, So.
36 Conner Crowell 6-1, 235, R-Fr.
25 David Perkins 6-2, 220, Fr.
MLB 14 Curtis Grant 6-3, 235, So.
32 Storm Klein, 6-2, 242, Sr.
OLB 6 Etienne Sabino 6-3, 237, Sr.
37 Joshua Perry 6-4, 238, Fr.
CB 1 Bradley Roby 5-11, 190, So.
12 Doran Grant 5-11, 188, So.
SAF 2 Christian Bryant 5-10, 192, Jr.
19 Orhian Johnson 6-3, 210, Sr.
SAF 4 C.J. Barnett 6-1, 202, Jr.
3 Corey Brown 6-1, 198, Jr.
CB 7 Travis Howard 6-1, 200, Sr.
9 Adam Griffi n 5-8, 180, So.
P 17 Ben Buchanan 5-11, 192, Sr.
24 Drew Basil 6-1, 210, Jr.
LS 41 Bryce Haynes 6-4, 220, R-Fr.
56 George Makridis 6-2, 230, Jr.

UAB Offense

“X” WR 12 Nick Adams, 6-2, 205, Sr.
83 Stephen Herring, 6-1, 190, Jr.
OT 74 Chris Hubbard, 6-4, 285, Sr.
75 Hisham Haqq, 6-4, 305, Fr.
OG 76 Brian O’Leary, 6-2, 290, So.
54 Billy Autrey, 6-2, 290, Jr.
C 57 John Hix, 6-2, 270, So.
65 Dominic Sylvester, 6-4, 315, So.
OG 79 Cody Payne, 6-6, 275, Sr.
71 Cameron Blankenship, 6-4, 305, Fr.
OT 60 Kaycee Ike, 6-5, 293, Jr.
78 Aaron Green, 6-3, 300, So.
Y 86 Kennard Backman, 6-3, 258, So.
45 Sam Accursio, 6-1, 245, Sr.
QB 14 Jonathan Perry, 6-2, 210, Jr.
11 Austin Brown, 6-1, 208, R-Fr.
RB 24 Greg Franklin, 5-11, 197, Jr.
5 Darrin Reaves, 5-10, 210, So. OR
4 Dontavius Jackson, 5-10, 214, Sr.
FB 45 Sam Accursio, 6-1, 245, Sr.
35 Grant Davis, 6-4, 255, Fr.
“W” WR 15 Jackie Williams, 5-11, 190, Jr.
9 Jay Davis, 6-1, 194, So.
“Z” WR 16 Patrick Hearn, 6-1, 203, Sr.
1 Jamarcus Nelson, 5-11, 160, So.
PK 2 Ty Long, 6-2, 188, So.
39 Colin Anderson, 5-10, 185, R-Fr.

UAB Defense

DE 46 Diaheem Watkins, 6-4, 258, So.
52 Shaquille Roberson, 6-4, 220, Fr.
DT 48 Connor Boyett, 6-5, 267, Jr.
55 Jontavius Morris, 6-2, 295, Fr.
DT 95 Deric Scott, 6-3, 285, Jr.
96 Jewel Christian, 6-2, 295, Jr.
DE 90 Chris Walton, 6-3, 260, So.
18 Trey Grissett, 6-5, 260, So.
JACK 7 Greg Irvin, 5-11, 218, Sr.
31 Tevin Crews, 6-2, 212, R-Fr.
MIKE 43 Marvin Burdette, 5-11, 230, Sr.
51 Jesse Parrish, 6-0, 220, Jr.
WLB 47 Patrick Bastien, 6-3, 227, Jr.
42 Shaq Jones, 6-3, 200, Fr.
CB 28 Cornelius Richards, 6-1, 179, Sr.
13 Darius Powell, 5-10, 181, R-Fr.
SAF 11 Calvin Jones, 5-10, 187, Jr.
6 Lamar Johnson, 6-2, 205, Sr.
SAF 4 Jake Ganus, 6-2, 190, Fr.
14 Cortez Webb, 6-2, 189, Jr.
CB 3 Lamarcus Farmer, 5-11, 170, R-Fr.
19 Devon Brown, 5-11, 182. Fr.
P 36 Hunter Mullins, 6-3, 195. So.

Also Notable

* OSU has won 63 straight regular season nonconference home games against unranked teams. That string dates to a 1982 loss to Florida State.

* UAB played Division III football in 1991-92, I-AA football in 1993-95 and moved to the I-A level in 1996. UAB joined Conference USA in 1999.

Since moving to the I-A ranks in 1996, UAB is 10-45 all-time against teams currently in BCS-aligned conferences. The Blazers have lost their last 17 such games, though, dating to 2004.

* UAB is playing a ranked team on the road for the second week in a row. The Blazers lost at No. 8 South Carolina 49-6 last week to fall to 3-14 all-time against ranked opponents.

UAB’s wins over ranked teams came in 1999 against East Carolina, 2005 at UTEP and 2011 against eventual Conference USA champion Southern Miss (34-31).

* Ohio State is 13-1-1 all-time against teams currently in C-USA. The Buckeyes have posted a 7-1-1 record against SMU, two wins each over Marshall and Rice and one win over Houston and Central Florida. (The Buckeyes defeated UCF 31-16 on Sept. 8.)

OSU has never played Southern Miss, East Carolina, UAB, Memphis, Tulsa, UTEP and Tulane. OSU is scheduled to face Tulsa for the first time in 2016.

* Ohio State is only the second Big Ten Conference opponent that UAB has faced on the football field. The Blazers opened the 2007 season with a 55-18 loss at Michigan State.

* UAB coach Garrick McGee (Oklahoma, ’96) is in his first season as the head coach at UAB. McGee was hired last December after four seasons on the staff at Arkansas, the last two as the offensive coordinator. McGee was a finalist for the 2011 Broyles Award that is presented to the nation’s top assistant coach.

He has also served on the coaching staffs at Northwestern (2004-07), UNLV (2003), Toledo (2002), Jacksonville Jaguars (2000-01), Northern Iowa (1999) and Langston (1996-98).

* UAB offensive line coach John Peterson is returning to his roots this weekend in Columbus. Peterson is a former Buckeye offensive lineman (1987-90), was a graduate assistant on the OSU staff (1993-94) and later Ohio State’s tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator (2004-11).

Breaking It Down

* When Ohio State Has The Ball: Braxton Miller is being listed by several national pundits as a Heisman Trophy candidate based on his play in the first three weeks. He has been an offensive machine so far, ranking 12th nationally in total offense (329.3 ypg) and 10th in rushing (125.7 ypg). Urban Meyer is just hoping his sophomore signalcaller can continue to grow and develop and is not worrying just yet about what to do for a Heisman campaign.

So the onus on Miller this Saturday will be to be efficient. He needs to sustain drives. He needs to avoid mistakes. He needs to put the last bit of polish on his game before the Big Ten starts next week.

UAB has been nothing to write about defensively so far, allowing 39 points to Troy and 49 to South Carolina. The Blazers are 120th in scoring defense (44 ppg) and 104th in total defense (477 ypg).

I look for Miller and his group of playmakers to get out early and often on Saturday. UAB only had four starters back on defense. LB Marvin Burdette may be the top name and beyond that …

* When UAB Has The Ball: The key for the Ohio State defense this week will be to cut down on the big plays allowed. The Buckeyes allowed six plays of 25 yards or more last week against California. If UAB succeeds in getting multiple plays like that this week, that should signal quite a warning for all involved.

That isn’t to say it can’t happen. QB Jonathan Perry has thrown for an average of 287 yards in the first two games and has a penchant to go deep. So OSU’s secondary needs to be on guard. If the Buckeyes can duplicate the pressure they had last week (six sacks vs. Cal), that would be good. UAB is 115th nationally in sacks allowed (four a game). My guess is UAB will lean heavily to the pass and won’t even try to run it against the Buckeyes.

The key is for OSU to be solid and keep its stars safe. That would mean a lot of young guys should get a chance to play here.

* How It Will Go: OK, I don’t mean to be glib. But I have a friend who refers to games like this as a “five dollar game.” That means if you walk down to Woody Hayes Drive about 11 a.m. Saturday morning and pull out an Abe Lincoln you ought to be able to score a ticket.

People who have read my work for years know this is the kind of game where I implore longtime season ticket holders to pass those seats for this game on to a friend or coworker or family member who has never been to an OSU game. This is the perfect chance to give the gift of Ohio State football.

That isn’t to say you shouldn’t watch it or care what happens. You can watch this game and many others. Heck, you can rake leaves, visit that aunt you've been wanting to see for months or clean out the garage.

Now, as we outlined above, there is plenty on both sides of the ball for the Buckeyes to get fixed before they start in on the Big Ten slate.

However, there was a debate on Twitter Wednesday whether UAB will be the worst OSU visiting opponent in recent memory. Here are some of my prime candidates: Houston, 1994 (52-0 OSU win); Rice, 1996 (70-7); Pittsburgh, 1996 (72-0); San Jose State, 2002 (50-7); New Mexico State, 2009 (45-0); and Akron, 2011 (42-0). (I have held out Youngstown State since they are I-AA, but they’d fit here, too.) My personal pick is New Mexico State. They were as feeble as feeble gets. They didn’t even try and they deliberately injured OSU kicker Aaron Pettrey. Terrellle Pryor got dinged up to boot.

At any rate, you hope that Ohio State gets something positive out of this. No injuries and learn some more much needed lessons before heading to Michigan State to open Big Ten play next week.

I’ve got it Ohio State 48-7

* For The Record: I am 3-0 straight-up and 1-2 against-the-spread with Ohio State. (The Buckeyes are a 36-1/2 point favorite over the Bears.)

Also Check Out

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