Ohio State vs Cincinnati :: The Ohio State started off the first game of the Ryan Day era with a bang, scoring four touchdowns in their first 13 plays, going up 28-0 on Florida Atlantic in the first eight minutes of the game. From there things got a little stagnant for Ohio State, but the fifth ranked team in the country was still able to secure a 45-21 win over the Owls.
== MATCH INFO ==
Event : College Football 2019
Date : Saturday, September 7, 2019
Time : Live
Even though Ohio State won by 24 points, they’ll have to be better on Saturday to beat Cincinnati. Ohio State has dominated the series with Cincinnati, but the Buckeyes aren’t taking this Saturday’s matchup with their in-state foe for granted.
Buckeye State domination
Ohio State is 14-2 all-time against Cincinnati, with the only two wins by the Bearcats coming all the way back in 1896 and 1897. The last time the schools met on the gridiron was in 2014, with the Buckeyes earning a 50-28 victory.
The Buckeyes are 183-48-15 all-time against Ohio opponents, winning their last 41 games against other teams from the Buckeye State. Not only does Ohio State play Cincinnati on Saturday, but they’ll take on another team in two weeks when they host Miami (Ohio). Following this season, the Buckeyes have one Ohio team on their schedule each year through 2022.
The last matchup between Ohio State and another school from Ohio came in the 2016 season opener, where the Buckeyes trounced Bowling Green 77-10. The only touchdown by the Falcons came from an interception return for touchdown less than two minutes into the game. The last time Ohio State lost to a team from Ohio came back in 1921 when the Buckeyes lost to Oberlin 7-6.
What stands out most about Saturday’s matchup between the Bearcats and Buckeyes is the connections between the schools in terms of players and coaches. The most obvious connection is Cincinnati head coach Luke Fickell, who is a 1997 graduate of Ohio State. Fickell was part of nine Big Ten championship teams during his time in Columbus, with two of them coming as a player, and seven of them coming as an assistant coach. The former Ohio State defensive lineman even got a taste of life as a head coach while at Ohio State, bridging the gap between Jim Tressel and Urban Meyer as an interim head coach from the Buckeyes back in 2011.
Mickey Marotti started his college coaching career at Ohio State as a Graduate Assistant Strength Coach in 1987, and following a stop at West Virginia, Marotti spent nearly a decade at Cincinnati as their Head Strength and Conditioning Coach from 1990-98. The Marotti family will be even more divided on Saturday, as Mickey’s son Mitch is currently an operations assistant on Luke Fickell’s staff at Cincinnati.
Cincinnati’s defensive coordinator is someone who is very familiar to Ohio State fans. Marcus Freeman was a four-year starter at linebacker for the Buckeyes from 2005-08. Following his playing career, Freeman got his start in the coaching ranks as a graduate assistant on Jim Tressel’s staff in 2010. Freeman has served as Cincinnati’s defensive coordinator and linebackers coach since 2017, and is considering one of the up-and-coming stars in the coaching ranks.
Working alongside Freeman in his first year in Cincinnati was Al Washington, who was the defensive line coach of the Bearcats. After a stop in Michigan last year, Washington is now the linebackers coach of the Buckeyes. Much like Freeman, Washington looks to have a bring future ahead of him as a coach.
The most senior member of Luke Fickell’s defensive coaching staff at Cincinnati also has Ohio State ties. Defensive backs coach Jon Tenuta not only held the same role at Ohio State from 1996-99, but he added defensive coordinator to his title during the 2000 season, which was his final year in Columbus. Tenuta was born in Columbus and played high school football at Upper Arlington.
The coaches aren’t the only ones with connections between the schools, as a couple players started their career at Ohio State before transferring to Cincinnati. The most notable name is wide receiver L’Christian “Blue” Smith, who was granted immediately eligibility at Cincinnati by the NCAA after announcing he was transferring in May. Fellow wide receiver Garyn Prater and defensive tackle Joe Schroer also transferred from Ohio State to Cincinnati recently.