Western Kentucky at Ohio State: What to know about Saturday’s game

Credit: Matthew Hinton

Credit: Matthew Hinton

Who: Western Kentucky at No. 6 Ohio State

When: 4 p.m., Saturday

Where: Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio

TV/Radio: Fox/1410

Series history: This will be the first meeting between the schools. Ohio State is 1-0 against current members of Conference USA, beating New Mexico State 45-0 in 2009 when the Aggies were members of the WAC.

Last meeting: None.

Coaches: Ohio State’s Ryan Day is 47-6 in five seasons, including 32–2 in the Big Ten. Tyson Helton is 34-21 in five seasons at WKU.

Ohio State notes: The Buckeyes have allowed 12 plays of 10 or more yards, ranking No. 2 in the country in that category… Ohio State is fourth nationally in total defense (193.5 yards per game) and tied for second in scoring (5.0 points per game)… The Buckeyes are 70th in scoring offense (29.0 points per game) and 52nd in total offense (431.0 ypg.)…The Buckeyes are 6-6-1 against schools with Western in their name, beating Western Michigan in 2015 after going 5-6-1 against Western Reserve in a series that stretched from 1891-1934.

WKU notes: The Hilltoppers have 37 plays of 10 yards or more this season…Quarterback Austin Reed led the nation in passing yards last season and has thrown for 580 yards and six touchdowns so far this season… WKU is 14th in the nation in scoring (46.5 points per game) and 41st in total yards (449.0), but the Hilltoppers are 120th in total defense (454.0 yards per game) … They lead the nation in red zone offense with scores on every trip inside the 20-yard line…Defensive end JaQues Evans was a first-team all-league pick last season and is projected to be the defensive player of the year this season…The pass defense is 37th in efficiency and 50th in yards allowed (189.5)… Senior receiver Blue Smith is a Wayne High School graduate who began his career at Ohio State and also spent four seasons at Cincinnati… Helton is the younger brother of former USC coach Clay Helton.

Quoted: Helton on the game: “Really excited for this week. Get to play in a great arena in Ohio State, can’t think of a better place to go play a college football game. I’ve been in the Horseshoe several times. It’s a fantastic place to play. Definitely going to be a tremendous challenge, but a challenge our team is excited to play in, and excited to be in that arena. It’s what college football is all about. Looking forward to the opportunity.”

Next week: The Buckeyes will play at Notre Dame at 7:30 p.m. next Saturday. WKU will play at Troy at noon.

Prediction: Ohio State 45, Western Kentucky 27

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