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Five predictions that haven’t already been predicted to death for the 2009 Ohio State Buckeyes

By: David Regimbal

The start of the college football season is less than twenty four hours away. On the eve of my favorite day of the year, I wanted to take a different look at the Ohio State Buckeyes:

We’ve basically been reading the same articles and asking the same questions over and over again all summer long. Will Terrelle Pryor improve as a passer? Will the defense be able to replace All-Americans James Laurinaitis and Malcolm Jenkins? Will the running-back-by-committee work in Columbus? Who’s going to protect Pryor’s blindside at left tackle?

So, in an effort to bring a fresh look to the 2009 season, here are five predictions that haven’t already been predicted to death for the Ohio State Buckeyes.

An opposing defender will try and punch Justin Boren at some point this season:

Justin Boren's physical play doesn't make him many friends on the football field. We all read the quotes from our team’s defensive linemen this spring, tabbing Boren as “the nastiest dude I have ever seen”. He plays with an attitude.

It won’t matter if it’s the fourth quarter of a blowout; he is going to hurt you. It won’t matter if he’s already put the first string defensive tackle in the hospital’s intensive care unit -- if you’re second on the depth chart -- he is going to hurt you. It won’t matter if you’re still upset over the news that your cat has cancer, he will show no mercy and hurt you.

His approach to the game will inevitably upset a few people. Someone is going to lose their composure and take a swing at Justin. Picture Andy dick punching Brock Lesnar.

Duron Carter will be a starter by season’s end:

Duron comes to Columbus his freshman year under the very tall shadow of his father and all-time Buckeye great, Chris Carter.

There are many similarities between Duron and Chris. Just like his dad, Duron was a highly touted wide receiver recruit coming out of high school. They both have incredible hands and leaping ability. And by the end of the year, it will be scary how similar their freshman seasons will have turned out.

Chris Carter began his freshman season in 1982 on the bench, but his ability and raw talent forced him onto the field over more experienced players. He became the team’s second leading receiver and scorched USC in their matchup.

I expect Duron to mirror his father exactly during his freshman year.

Buckeye fans will hate Jim Bollman a little less as the season progresses:

I was watching the 2006 Ohio State-Michigan game the other week (I still have the original broadcast saved on my DVR) and marveled at the diversity of that offense. Troy Smith and the Buckeyes lined up in I-formations, shotgun formations, bunch formations, 3-wide, 4-wide and 5-wide formations all game long, confusing a good Michigan defense and yielding 42 total points.

It gave me some perspective on our offensive struggles the last two years. The first thing I keep in mind is that Jim Tressel is the one who gets the final say on play calling, so harsh judgment on Bollman is a little misguided in the first place. Secondly, this staff consistently forms the offense around the personnel available. You didn’t see Todd Boeckman running a ton of spread formations and you won’t see Terrelle Pryor running a ton out of the I-formation. Jim Tressel & Co. will call the plays that best suit the players on the field. And for our current personnel, the best plays available will be shotgun formations with multiple receivers to utilize our team speed. This will, in turn, ease the waves of hatred crashing down on Jim Bollman.

Ohio State will be inspired by Under Armour’s catch phrase and ‘protect this house’:

Only once in the last five years has Ohio State won every home game during the regular season (Troy Smith’s senior year in 2006). This is a trend that must stop. I don’t like it that Boise State has a better home record with 80,000 less fans in their stadium. If we have to make our field turf red to gain the extra advantage, I’ll make the first donation dollars and half a tuna melt).

In all seriousness, ‘The Shoe’ does not need scarlet turf. A hundred thousand screaming fans give the Buckeyes one of the best home field advantages in the country.

This will be the year the Buckeyes protect their home turf, meaning they will beat USC on September 12.

Ohio State will beat Michigan by 3 touchdowns this year, making Rich Rodriguez’s already warm seat hot enough to give him second degree burns:

Rich Rodriguez has had a tumultuous start in Ann Harbor, to say the least. Last year’s 3-9 record was as gruesome as a Wes Craven film, and the offseason hasn’t been any better. If the bizarre number of transfers wasn’t enough (I know that player transfers always occur with coaching changes, but not at the alarming rate at which we’re seeing up north), now we have news of players reporting violations of practice time-limits, as well as the recent lawsuit filed against Rich for defaulting on a 3 million dollar loan.

The struggles will continue as we move through the season, and Michigan will come into the Big House on November 21 needing one more victory to become bowl eligible. Terrelle Pryor will throw for three touchdowns and run for one more as the Buckeyes defeat the Wolverines for a sixth (!) time in a row.