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Oklahoma

vs.

Ohio State

College Football Pick

9/9/17

It’s likely both Ohio State and Oklahoma were looking ahead to this week’s matchup, but only the Buckeyes really showed it. They were tested in the first half against Indiana before pulling away as soon as the third quarter started. The Sooners had a much easier game, but still had an impressive 57-7 opening win against UTEP. For the game at Ohio Stadium, the Bucks are solid -7.5 point favorites at 5Dimes Sportsbook.

It took a bit to get going against the Hoosiers, but J.T. Barrett figured things out en route to 304 passing yards, 61 rushing yards and four total touchdowns. It wouldn't be surprising if he reached those totals again as the Oklahoma defense isn’t considered good. When these teams met last year in Norman, the Buckeyes did whatever they wanted on the ground with 291 rushing yards, although Barrett threw for four touchdowns. They ended up having three guys with at least 74 rushing yards and that could be the case again if Mike Weber returns to the field. Freshman J.K. Dobbins took over in place of Weber in the opener and he went for 181 yards.

The Sooners defense wasn't tested against UTEP, so we didn't exactly get to see them face adversity. With how they were handled for most of 2016, including against Ohio State, this game should be problematic for them.

And while Oklahoma ran up the score last game, it still didn’t find a running back to replace Joe Mixon and Semaje Perine. Abdul Adams got the start and went for 53 yards, while Marcelias Sutton and Trey Sirmon also ran for more than 50. It’s going to be much different running against this OSU front. If the Sooners can replicate what they did last year with 177 yards on the ground, they’ll have a chance, but that game was still a mess. Either way, the offense’s success depends on Baker Mayfield after he completed 19-of-20 passes for 329 yards and three TDs against the Miners.

Against a better defense, things may be different as he had trouble with Ohio State last year, throwing a couple costly interceptions. That said, the Buckeyes secondary looks slightly different and that kind of showed up against Indiana, allowing 420 passing yards, albeit on 68 pass attempts.

The Buckeyes are the better overall team with a much better defense. They are favored by a touchdown because if the offenses even each other out with two Heisman-hopeful quarterbacks going at it, the OSU defense will be what separates them. And that’s exactly what happened last year with Ohio State winning 45-24. Now at home, it could be even more difficult for the Sooners to win this game, unless Mayfield can take control and not make any mistakes. But that’s a much harder thing to gamble on than taking a team that’s notably better on one side of the field. Ohio State -7 or better

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