A Weekend of Questions, Will They Get Answered?

By Kenny Roda

Both the Buckeyes and the Browns are going to find out a lot more about their teams for 2011 this weekend. Both are going up against the #1 ranked defense in their respective leagues.

The Spartans are statistically ranked #1 in defense out of all division-1 football teams in the NCAA. Are their stats a little inflated or misleading because of who they played? Yes they are, but Sparty is still as good as, if not better than the one team Ohio State has lost to, Miami.  Plus it’s the first Big Ten game for both teams. How will Quarterback  Braxton Miller, who will be making his first ever Big Ten start, handle that Spartans “D” as coach Mark Dantonio will throw the kitchen sink, microwave, dishwasher and whatever else he can at the true freshman.  This will be a major test for Miller and the entire offense. Will they be able to throw the ball effectively? Not only is this Miller’s first Big Ten game, it is as well for head coach Luke Fickell.  Is he ready to handle conference play? Will he have his team ready for Big Ten style football or will he prove to be in over his head?  We’ll find out come Saturday night around 7pm. We’ll see how a lot of people did with their first Big Ten test.

As for the Browns, who’d a thunk that the Titans would be at the top of the charts defensively after 3 weeks? Not me, but they are.  So while I don’t think the Titans defense will stay there for the entire season, they are playing well right now, which should provide for a good challenge for Pat Shurmur’s offense.  Can Colt McCoy build off of that last drive versus Miami? Will the Browns be able to get a first down in the first quarter and maybe even score some points, so they don’t have to play from behind?  How will they use the tandem of Peyton Hillis and Monterio Hardesty? If they can answer these questions in a positive way, that could lead to a Browns victory and a 3-1 start for a team that desperate needs that. We’ll know the answers to all of these questions around 4pm on Sunday.

I feel pretty good about both Ohio State’s and Cleveland’s defenses. I believe they can hold their own. It’s the offenses of these two teams that I still have a lot of concerns about. Hopefully I’ll be less concerned after this weekend’s games.

Follow Kenny on Twitter @RoadmanWKNR

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