After taking care of business Saturday, the Ohio State football team had no trouble looking ahead to its next test.
Given the ease with which the fourth-ranked Buckeyes beat Oregon State (77-31) and Rutgers (52-3), the upcoming matchup with TCU might be more correctly called OSU’s first test, though.
“It’s going to be quite a challenge,” Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano said. “I got to peek a little bit at them (Friday night). Very fast. Very athletic. We’ll study them here starting tomorrow. We’re basically playing an away game down there, so it will be quite a challenge.”
The Horned Frogs (2-0) entered the weekend ranked No. 16 in the Associated Press poll.
After waiting out a rain delay Friday night at SMU, they shook off a slow start to win going away (42-12).
Including a season-opening 55-7 win over Southern, TCU has allowed only 19 points so far this season.
Defense has generally been the calling card of the Horned Frogs under head coach Gary Patterson, so the progression of their offense is expected to determine how far they can go this season.
Sophomore quarterback Shawn Robinson is 33 for 53 passing (62.3 percent) with four touchdowns and an interception. He is also the leading rusher with 112 yards on the ground and three more touchdowns.
A highly regarded prospect from Texas powerhouse DeSoto High School, Robinson is in his first year as the full-time starter in TCU’s spread offense.
“Every week in college football is a different game,” Schiano said. “In pro football, there are two or three offenses and you play them all season. Every week in college football is a different challenge whether it is (shotgun) run, two-back ‘gun run, pro-style like today — and that makes it quite a challenge. This week will be a challenge because not only do they have a good scheme, they have very good players.”
The Big Ten-Big 12 clash figures to be the biggest game of the third full weekend of the college football season and kicks off at 8 p.m. in Arlington, Texas, at AT&T Stadium, the home of the Dallas Cowboys.
That’s a place Ohio State is already familiar with thanks to a pair of memorable trips.
The Buckeyes beat Oregon there in January 2015 to claim the first College Football Playoff national championship and they took care of USC this past January in the latest edition of the Cotton Bowl.
“I’m very excited,” defensive tackle Robert Landers said. “At this point in time, this game is over with, so now we can turn the page and move on and get ready to fly back out to Dallas and play in ‘Jerry’s World’ and play a very good team. Watching them last night, they’re fast. They’re athletic. They’re physical. They have a lot of great athletes on the perimeter. It’ll be a good game. It’ll be a good test for us.”
Ohio State leads the all-time series with TCU 4-1-1.
The Buckeyes won the first meeting 14-0 in 1937 and also beat the Horned Frogs in ’66, ’69 and ’73.
The two times Ohio State did not beat them still worked out well for the Scarlet and Gray.
Despite a season-opening 18-14 loss to TCU in 1957, Ohio State went on to win the Big Ten and be named national champions by the UPI and Football Writers Association of America.
The Buckeyes opened the 1961 season with a 7-7 tie against TCU but reeled off eight straight wins to claim another Big Ten crown. Although a vote of the university faculty council denied them a trip to the Rose Bowl, the Buckeyes were crowd national champions by the FWAA again.
This meeting will be the first between the schools not played in Columbus.