College Football Pick
The slate for the third weekend of college football is loaded and a matchup between Ohio State and Oklahoma highlights that. While Oklahoma already lost, this will undoubtedly be a fired-up Sooners squad that doesn’t want to enter Conference play with a losing record. On the other side of the field, not many have looked better than the Buckeyes who are -2 point road favorites at betonline.
The most noteworthy aspect of these two teams in the first couple Games has to be Ohio State’s defensive dominance. against two of the best smaller Conference offenses in the country, the Buckeyes allowed just 13 points total in the first two Games. Tulsa and Bowling Green were absolutely manhandled in every aspect of those Games, while nothing has looked all that great for Oklahoma.
While the Sooners got an easy win over Louisiana-Monroe last week, it’s still notable they gave up 17 points to the Warhawks. That fell in line with a mediocre defensive display against Houston the previous week. And now, Oklahoma has to face an Ohio State team that clearly hasn’t taken a step back with J.T. Barrett mimicking his play from two seasons ago under center.
The question will be what Oklahoma can do to stop Barrett. The Sooners contained Houston’s Greg Ward from finding too much room on the ground, but he ended up beating them through the air for 321 yards. Barrett provides a bigger build at quarterback, but also a great arm. He threw for 6 TDs in the opener, but wasn’t asked to do much passing in the second Game as the Bucks ground Game rolled to 268 yards and Four touchdowns. OSU will likely lean on that run Game again behind Mike Weber and Curtis Samuel, but if needed, there’s no doubt Barrett can find Samuel and Noah Brown in the passing Game.
So with that, can Baker Mayfield match whatever the Buckeyes and Barrett can do? After the opener, there were a lot of questions in the Oklahoma offense, namely just 70 total yards on the ground as they got 71 yards from Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine. If they can’t run on Houston, what are the chances they can so against Ohio State?
And without some kind of positives in the run Game, it will fall again to Mayfield to beat a top opponent. Mayfield has been his usual self for the most part, but with a new offensive line and questionable ground Game, the offense may have trouble against better opponents. Mayfield will need to form an early connection with Dede Westbrook and Mark Andrews to get going.
And while the Buckeyes haven’t had easy matchups, nothing they’ve seen has been close to what Oklahoma brings to the field. The secondary will get a true test against Mayfield, while the defensive line has to match what they’ve done in the first two Games.
The Buckeyes want badly to return to the College Football Playoff and they have the tools to do it, but down south in Oklahoma against a Sooners team that doesn’t want to lose twice in three Games, expect a battle. After the first two Games, the edge has to go to Ohio State, but will home field push the Sooners to a win?
Our Pick – Such a great early season matchup. If we had to pick a team not likely to duplicate last years results between these two, prior to any football being played this year, we’d have to pick Ohio State to be that team. They only returned 6 starters from last years squad while the Sooners returned 7 on offense and 6 on defense. Both recruit very well however.
We can’t underestimate the home field edge in a spot like this. Arguably, THE college football Game of the week, with all eyes on these two in prime time. It will be a wild, rowdy crowd for sure which can often lead to mistakes and field position problems for the visitors.
Not to mention the Sooners added motivation of alreeady having a loss under their belts.
We’re getting a little added line value here as a result of Ohio State’s two lopsided wins and the fact that Houston beat the Sooners. We’ll play the Sooners to win this one outright. Sooners +110