College Football Pick
After Ohio State put 42 points on a solid Virginia Tech defense in Monday’s primetime Game, not many will be hoping to face the Buckeyes. That includes Hawaii, who travels to Columbus this weekend and despite an upset in its opening Game, the Rainbow Warriors will need to do a lot more to upset Ohio State. The Buckeyes are a 40-point favorite in this one (at mybookie.ag).
Cardale Jones got the start at quarterback in the opener and — according to him — he didn’t actually know about it until the opening series when he got the call. He got off to a slow start passing the ball and eventually finished 9-of-18 for 186 yards and two touchdowns, but that was all that was needed as the ground Game was the focal point against the Hokies. They rushed for 360 yards in total, Jones for 99 and Ezekiel Elliott for 122 on only 11 carries. Former QB Braxton Miller probably turned in the performance of the night. Miller ran for 62 yards and got another 78 in the receiving Game. OSU’s defense was a little rough, and maybe that was due to a few players missing the Game like Joey Bosa, but they still held VT to just 2.9 yards per carry.
Hawaii had a nice win in its opener, taking down Colorado 28-20. New quarterback and USC transfer Max Wittek still has some accuracy issues to fix, but he threw for three touchdowns, which was good enough for the Warriors. The problem for Hawaii is that Ohio State is at a much different level than Colorado, who only had two wins last season.
If the Rainbow Warriors can only manage 2.9 yards per carry against the Buffaloes, what will they do against the Buckeyes defense? That’s the first problem and then Wittek still isn’t a Game breaker at quarterback, despite his USC pedigree. He did finish with only a 50% completion rate and two interceptions to go with his three touchdowns, which equaled a 19.8 QBR.
This line is big, but in Ohio State’s home opener, you have to think that they won’t take the foot off the pedal until the second half. And by then, the Buckeyes could already have a 40-point lead. But the issue with that, is the OSU backups are probably going to continue to put points on Hawaii.
Maybe Jones gets the start for Ohio State at quarterback and then J.T. Barrett comes in later in the Game to get some reps. Barrett is not going to take it easy because he still wants the starting job. The Buckeyes have two Heisman-worthy QBs on the roster and that doesn’t even include Braxton Miller.
Unless Wittek can find some kind of success, this Game could end up rather ugly for the Warriors. Hawaii’s worst loss last year was only by 27 points, but their two hardest Games were against Utah State and Colorado State.
The Buckeyes should have their way with Hawaii from start to finish and that gives the ATS advantage to Ohio State in its home opener.
Our Pick – Can’t get involved here. Sure, Our model predicts an Ohio State win by anywhere from 45 to 63 points but laying 41 on a football Game isn’t something we’ll ever do.
We’d suggest the over if the line hadn’t already moved 6 or 7 points. Playing a Game on the same side of that move is sinply idiotic. We pass.