Eastern Michigan (0-3) at No. 2 Ohio State (3-0), 3:30 p.m. (ABC)
Line: Ohio State by 44.
Series Record: First meeting.
WHAT'S AT STAKE
Not much, judging from the line. The Buckeyes needed to fill out the schedule with another home date before opening Big Ten play next week at Illinois and Eastern Michigan, which has lost its last 15 games, needed an $850,000 check to underwrite its athletic program. Ohio State's third- and fourth-teamers should get lots of work.
Ohio State vs. itself. The Buckeyes have been Keystone Kops on kick coverage so far, allowing one punt and two kickoffs (one disallowed by a penalty) to be returned for touchdowns. In addition, they've had a punt and a field goal blocked. Much of the problem has been missed assignments. Priority one will be tightening things up and throttling the Eagles early.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Eastern Michigan: QB Alex Gillett's numbers don't point to a winless team. He's completed 58 percent of his passes in three games. But he'll have to be mobile to avoid Ohio State's rush, while making quick decisions such as short passes to TB Dwayne Priest and WR Ben Thayer if he wants to avoid a long afternoon.
Ohio State: DE Cameron Heyward always seems to be around the ball. So far in just three games, he's returned an interception 80 yards, had a tackle in the end zone for a safety and picked up a fumble for a short return. The Buckeyes figure to turn him loose, along with fellow DE Nathan Williams and DTs Dexter Larimore and John Simon, to see what havoc they can create.
FACTS & FIGURES
The Eagles have lost 15 in a row, all under coach Ron English. ... Eastern Michigan is 4-1 against Jim Tressel, all of the games taking place between 1986-90 when Tressel was the head coach at Division I-AA Youngstown State and the Eagles were (as now) in the bowl division. ... Tressel and English will be wearing patches on their sleeve to promote the cause of Duchenne muscular dystrophy, part of an initiative by the coaches' association. ... Ohio State leads the nation in turnover margin (+3.33). ... EMU has never beaten an Associated Press Top 25 team in five tries, and this is the first time it has played one ranked above No. 10.
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