Staff Predictions: Bucks host RedHawks

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/">Follow Noon | Givler | Axelrod | Birmingham
Yesterday we talked about several of the biggest games in the nation but that is not what our readers here want to hear the most. The Buckeyes are just a day away from starting the 2012 season against the Miami RedHawks. How does our staff see this one going down? We have our picks here.

Kevin Noon - Publisher
Mother Nature won't be able to dampen the excitement at Ohio Stadium on Saturday as the Buckeyes look to erase memories of the 2011 season. Braxton Miller will be much improved, even if the rain comes down in buckets. The Ohio State defense is going to be as stout as ever but truth be told, Zac Dysert and Nick Harwell are both very good and will get their plays. That won't matter as the Ohio State 'spread' and 'sped up offense' both advance Ohio State's offense into the current decade. Bucks roll. Ohio State 44 Miami 13

Ben Axelrod - Lead Team Writer
Despite the monsoon that's expected in Columbus on Saturday, I fully expect the Buckeyes to come out victorious in Meyer's debut as Ohio State's head coach. The rain could prevent fans from seeing just what Meyer's spread offense is capable of, but it will likely affect the pass-heavy RedHawks more than it will the Buckeyes. I don't expect Braxton Miller and the OSU passing game to set the world on fire just yet, but I do think the Buckeyes will do enough to keep the preseason excitement around the program moving towards Week 2. Ohio State 34 Miami 3

Marc Givler - Recruiting Analyst
The much anticipated debut of Urban Meyer as Ohio State's head football coach will take place on Saturday afternoon in 'The Shoe'. The Miami (Ohio) Redhawks return some of their top offensive weapons from a season ago, including super quarterback Zac Dysert and should provide a good challenge for the Buckeye's secondary. Still, with everything that has happened around this program over the last 10 months, this is a team that is chomping at the bit to get back on the football field. It would be a major shock if this team didn't come out ready to play on Saturday and Meyer and the rest of the coaching staff will surely want to set the tone for the season. Ohio State 45 Miami 14

Jeremy Birmingham - Team Writer
The Buckeyes will start the Urban Meyer era the same way they've started so many seasons in the past, against an in-state MAC opponent. Miami will give the Buckeyes a bit more of a fight then Akron did a year ago, but the Buckeyes will come out with all guns blazing and new era will start with a bang. Ohio State 51 Miami 10

Andy McLachlan - Team Writer
To be honest, I don't know what to expect from this Ohio State team. A year ago, this talented yet youthful roster had a few ups and a lot of downs. It might be tough to imagine such a drastic turnaround but the Buckeyes have the tools for a double digit win season.
Miami University finished 4-8 last season but they battled in every game. Teams like Missouri, Minnesota and Western Michigan all got scares from the RedHawks a year ago so the Buckeyes need to play with discipline, otherwise they could be in a tough Saturday. After such a strong camp, I just cannot see Ohio State coming out flat in Urban Meyer's opening game. Ohio State 34 Miami 10
Tom Levenick - Time and Change Contributor/Former Player
Ohio State, in Urban Meyer's inaugural home opener with the Buckeyes, will dismantle the Miami RedHawks. The Buckeyes are anxious to deliver some hits against a different team and the RedHawks will be the unfortunate recipients.
While Miami returns three year starting quarterback Zac Dysert (3,513 yards, 23 touchdowns, 11 interceptions) and WR Nick Harwell (97 rec 1425 yds - 9 touchdowns), they will need to have a more balanced attack as the offensive line surrendered 47 sacks last year.

That will be a tough task against the Buckeyes as The RedHawks had the worst rushing offense (73.8 yards per game) in the nation last season.
I believe the Ohio State Offense will come into the game with a chip on their shoulder, wanting to prove that they are a vastly improved. Ohio State 45 Miami 17

Doug Bean - Team Writer/Social Media
Ohio State fans can't wait to see Urban Meyer's offense in action for the first time, but the defense will dictate the outcome in the opener. The defensive line, led by John Simon, will unmercifully pressure Miami quarterback Zac Dysert and the secondary will make it tough on prolific RedHawks wide receiver Nick Harwell. Ohio State 38 Miami 7