Wednesday, September 7
Gameday Breakdown: Receivers
Texas has the superstar playmaker at quarterback, while Ohio State owns two of the top receivers in the country in Ted Ginn Jr. and Santonio Holmes. Holmes and Ginn, along with owning devilishly cool names, can dominate a football game. Ginn is an elite playmaker and Ohio State works to get him as many touches as possible, even mixing in running plays for the speedy sophomore. Santonio Holmes caught seven touchdown passes last year, which, for those counting at home, is exactly seven more than any wide receiver on Texas caught last year (not counting tight end David Thomas).
The Texas cornerbacks will have their hands full staying glued to these two speedsters. Fortunately for Texas, they sport one of the game’s better secondaries and the Ohio State quarterback situation is far from a sure thing. That said, either of these talented receivers could very easily make a big play or two to win the game.
Meanwhile, Texas has a very young and unproven set of wide receivers. Tight end David Thomas is an excellent pass catcher, but the rest of the group has yet to make a difference in a meaningful game. Make no mistake about it—Texas’ limited options at wide receiver hurt Vince Young. His passing stats would look a lot better if he had someone reliable to throw to on the outside. He simply doesn’t. At least not yet. If one or more of Texas’ young wide receivers has a good game, it will be a huge boost for Texas, negating one of the few areas where Ohio State has the clear edge.
The real wild card here is Ramonce Taylor. Texas’ version of Reggie Bush (and to some extent, Ted Ginn, Jr.) can make the gamebreaking play at any moment himself. Lightning fast, with good instincts in the open field, you can be sure that Greg Davis will be scheming him into as many plays as possible. Davis’ reluctance to open the field in big games will probably mean several attempts to free up Taylor on short plays and screens. Ohio State’s linebackers are awfully tough, though. Davis will need to be more aggressive.
EDGE: OHIO STATE