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by Joedy McCreary
(Monday, August 24) COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Mirages of West Virginia's receivers aren't dancing before Ohio State defensive back Damon Moore's eyes.
He's too focused on improving himself by bottling up the Buckeye receivers.
"I'm going to see David Boston, Dee Miller and Ken-Yon Rambo," Moore said. "If you see those three, you'll see three of the best receivers in the country. No doubt about it. And you've got to worry about one of the best quarterbacks in the country getting the ball to them.
"We're going to do a great job in practice every day against those guys," Moore said. "If we can stay anywhere close to David Boston, Dee Miller and Ken-Yon Rambo, we're going to be prepared for West Virginia's receivers, no doubt about it."
Mountaineer fans hoping Moore's academic pitfalls will keep him, Andy Katzenmoyer and Rob Murphy on the sidelines had better forget it, Moore said.
"Anybody in Ohio, don't worry about it," Moore said. "We're already confident that we're going to make it. If we're not there Sept. 5, then you can come to my house and throw stones."
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Ohio State hasn't opened its season at a non-conference opponent's stadium since 1912, when it beat Otterbein 55-0.
Since then, OSU began its season by visiting Big Ten foes twice, the last a 21-0 win at Michigan State in 1975. The Buckeyes have also played in the Pigskin Classic and two Kickoff Classics, the most recent a 38-6 win over Boston College in 1994.
And since 1900, Ohio State is 5-1 in season openers played outside of Columbus. The Buckeyes' lone loss was 16-10 to Alabama in the 1986 Kickoff Classic.
Buckeye coach John Cooper doesn't see the road trip as a character-builder.
"Is (Morgantown) going to be a tough place to play? Absolutely. ... That's the disadvantage of opening on the road with a tough road game.
"Nobody wants to open on the road that I know of," Cooper said. "I'd rather play at home every week."
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Most college students want to go home for the holidays. OSU quarterback Joe Germaine is no exception.
Germaine, from Mesa, Ariz., grew up about 10 miles from Sun Devil Stadium -- the site of this season's national title game.
And the Buckeyes are in prime position, entering the season as the nation's No. 1 team.
"(My family) has been kind of asking me if we can go back to Arizona to play our last game," Germaine said.
"It costs a lot of money to fly here and watch games, and Ohio State never really goes out west. I've kind of thought of that every day."
But Germaine knows there is much work to be done.
"We're not thinking ahead by any means. We've got one of our biggest games of the year in our first game."