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Zach Pekale | | October 31, 2020

2020 Ohio State football schedule: Dates, times, opponents, results

5 FBS games to watch in Week 9

Ohio State has a crucial Big Ten East game at Penn State on Saturday, Oct. 31.

No. 3 Ohio State opened its season with a 52-17 romp at Nebraska. Quarterback Justin Fields had 276 passing yards and two touchdowns with only one incompletion. The Buckeyes have won three in a row against Penn State, though the wins have come by a combined 13 points. As for the Nittany Lions, they fell to No. 18 in the AP Poll after losing to Indiana in overtime.

OSU comes into the 2020 college football season with some unfinished business. After an unbeaten regular season, the Buckeyes were stunned in the closing minutes of their College Football Playoff Semifinal loss to Clemson. OSU started at No. 2 in the 2020 preseason AP poll before falling out ahead of the Big Ten's decision to bring football back this fall. With eight games in eight weeks, Ohio State will look to climb back towards the top of the rankings while making a run at the program's fourth CFP bid.

Here is the complete 2020 Ohio State football schedule, including opponents, results and players to watch.

2020 Ohio State football schedule: Dates, times, opponents, results

Here is the full, detailed schedule for Ohio State's 2020 football season, with broadcast information and results. 

Ohio State 2020 Football Schedule
Nebraska Saturday, Oct. 24 12 p.m. FOX Columbus, OH W, 52-17
at Penn State Saturday, Oct. 31 7:30 p.m. ABC University Park, PA TBD
Rutgers Saturday, Nov. 7 TBD TBD Columbus, OH TBD
at Maryland Saturday, Nov. 14 TBD TBD College Park, MD TBD
Indiana Saturday, Nov. 21 TBD TBD Columbus, OH TBD
at Illinois Saturday, Nov. 28 TBD TBD Champaign, IL TBD
at Michigan State Saturday, Dec. 5 TBD TBD East Lansing, MI TBD
Michigan Saturday, Dec. 12 12 p.m. FOX Columbus, OH TBD
TBD Saturday, Dec. 19 TBD TBD TBD TBD

Note: Due to the coronavirus pandemic, all games, dates and times are subject to change.

2019 results

The Buckeyes went 13-1 last season, winning a third consecutive Big Ten title. The Buckeyes came into the College Football Playoff unbeaten, winning their first 13 games by an average of 36.2 points, all double-digit victories. Clemson ended Ohio State's season in the 2019 Fiesta Bowl in a 29-23 thriller.

Here’s what happened in every game of Ohio State’s 2019 schedule:

Opponent Date Time (ET) Location RESULT SCORE
Florida Atlantic Saturday, Aug. 31 12 p.m Columbus, OH W 45-21
Cincinnati Saturday, Sept. 7 12 p.m Columbus, OH W 42-0
Indiana Saturday, Sept. 14 12 p.m. Bloomington, IN W 51-10
Miami (Ohio) Saturday, Sept. 21 3:30 p.m. Columbus, OH W 76-5
Nebraska Saturday, Sept. 28 7:30 p.m. Lincoln, NE W 48-7
Michigan State Saturday, Oct. 5 7:30 p.m. Columbus, OH W 34-10
Northwestern Friday, Oct. 18 8:30 p.m. Evanston, IL W 52-3
Wisconsin Saturday, Oct. 26 12 p.m. Columbus, OH W 38-7
Maryland Saturday, Nov. 9 12 p.m. Columbus, OH W 73-14
Rutgers Saturday, Nov. 16 3:30 p.m. Piscataway, NJ W 56-21
Penn State Saturday, Nov. 23 12 p.m. Columbus, OH W 28-17
Michigan Saturday, Nov. 30 12 p.m. Ann Arbor, MI W 56-27
Wisconsin Saturday, Dec. 7 8 p.m. Indianapolis, IN W 34-21
Clemson Saturday, Dec. 28 8:20 p.m. Glendale, AZ L 29-23

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Top returning players

The Buckeyes were a top-5 team in total defense and total offense last season before losing three players to the first round of the 2020 NFL draft. Defensive end Chase Young was taken second overall by the Washington Football Team while defensive backs Jeff Okudah and Damon Arnette were selected third and 19th overall by the Detroit Lions and Las Vegas Raiders. Overall, Ohio State had 10 players (seven defenders) drafted in April, likely opening the door for some new faces to be key contributors in 2020.

Quarterback Justin Fields starred in his first season in Columbus after transferring from Georgia. He was a Heisman Trophy finalist as a sophomore, throwing for over 3,200 yards and 41 touchdowns to only three interceptions. Fields also showed his versatility as a dual-threat option, picking up another 484 yards and 10 touchdowns with his legs. Should Fields replicate his success from a year ago, he will likely be in the running for some major hardware.

The ground game might look different with J.K. Dobbins gone. Replacing a three-year starter is difficult enough. It gets even harder after the junior rushed for more than 2,000 yards while scoring 23 total touchdowns a season ago. The lead back role could come down to redshirt sophomore Master Teague III (789 yards, four touchdowns in 2019) or Oklahoma transfer Trey Sermon (13 touchdowns in 2018).

While the run game could see some personnel changes this year, Fields will have one of his top targets back in Chris Olave. His 49 receptions ranked second on the Buckeyes, though Olave led the team in yards (849) and touchdowns (12). With K.J. Hill and Binjimen Victor off to the NFL, there's going to be extra targets up for grabs. Don't be too surprised if Olave breaks the 1,000-yard mark with a significantly higher usage rate this season. 

MORE: Ohio State lands 50 players on 2020 NFL opening day rosters

Preseason ranking

We had Ohio State at No. 2 in our preseason Top 25. Here’s that breakdown:

2. Ohio State

The Buckeyes won't have J.K. Dobbins anymore, but OSU will continue to have a potent ground game (Master Teague) and a dynamic QB in Justin Fields (51 total touchdowns in 2019). The defense will lose star Chase Young and others, but CB Shaun Wade is among those returning.


2020 College Football Playoff

The College Football Playoff era is entering its seventh season in the 2020-21 season. LSU won a national championship in its first-ever appearance while Ohio State received its third bid in six seasons. The Buckeyes won the inaugural CFP in the 2014 season with wins over Alabama and Oregon. Ohio State has never before made back-to-back CFP appearances. 

Here are the dates and sites for the 2020 College Football Playoff semifinals and CFP national championship.

MORE: Burrow, LSU dominate Clemson to win 2020 CFP championship

When are the College Football Playoff semifinals?

The CFP semifinals are set for Jan. 1, 2021. One semifinal is the Rose Bowl at Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, Calif. The other semifinal is the Sugar Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.

When is the 2021 College Football Playoff national championship?

The CFP national championship is a bit later in 2021. The two winners of the semifinals will meet on the second Monday of January in Miami on Jan. 11, 2020 at Hard Rock Stadium

Below is a complete history of the College Football Playoff national championship game.

2015 No. 4 Ohio State 42, No. 2 Oregon 20
2016 No. 2 Alabama 45, No. 1 Clemson 40
2017 No. 2 Clemson 35, No. 1 Alabama 31
2018 No. 4 Alabama 26, No. 3 Georgia 23
2019 No. 2 Clemson 44, No. 1 Alabama 16
2020 No. 1 LSU 42, No. 3 Clemson 25

2021-2024 CFP national championship locations and dates

2021:     Miami-South Florida (Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, Florida) - Jan. 11
2022:     Indianapolis (Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana) - Jan. 10
2023:     Los Angeles (Los Angeles Stadium at Hollywood Park, Inglewood, California) - Jan. 9
2024:     Houston (NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas) - Jan. 8

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