The best way for Ohio State fans to forget about a tumultuous August is to play Games. While the Buckeyes may be under scrutiny for the rest of the time Urban Meyer is head coach, they’ll still have some of the most talent in the country. Without Meyer, they’ll be fine in the opener against Oregon State as a -37 point favorite with an over/under of 64 at YOUWAGER Sportsbook.
The Bucks are just as loaded as any prior season even with new quarterback Dwayne Haskins running the show. He was great in limited time last year and still has plenty of weapons around him from running backs J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber to wide receiver Parris Campbell. The only real question for the offense is how the line will perform and that’s usually not an issue for a team like Ohio State. Even with only two starters returning, they’ll be fine, especially in this Game. Dobbins and Weber should be in for huge Games, while Haskins tosses a couple touchdowns.
It’s hard to see Oregon State’s defense keeping up after being worst in the nation, allowing 43 points per Game. The Beavers have a new coaching staff with Jonathan Smith in charge, but that won’t make up for a team that only had one win in 2017. There are problems everywhere on the defense and even if it looks a little better, could be set to give up at least 50 points to the Bucks. Six starters return to a group that gave up 48 points five different times last year and one of those was against Minnesota.
To cover, Oregon State will likely have to Scorea couple times and that’s not a given. The Buckeyes only return five starters from a defense that gave up 19 points per Game, but guys like Nick Bosa, Dre’Mont Jones and Chase Young are still forces on the line and that may be all they need. There are some pieces missing on the back end, yet that will only matter if Oregon State can capitalize in the passing Game.
Jake LUton is getting another shot as the team’s starting quarterback after going down early last year with a spine injury. He was at least competent when on the field, though still was only at 6.32 yards per attempt and his only win came against Portland State (barely). Through the air with LUton may be the only way to cover this Game, as it will be hard to find running room. To help, top tight end Noah Togiai is back with receivers Timmy Hernandez and Isaiah Hodgins. The running Game will likely have some issues even with Four starters returning on the line and Artavis Pierce in the backfield.
against any viable defense last year, Oregon State’s offense struggled, but that was without LUton. If he can get this group to a few scores and around 20 points, that’d likely be enough to cover. Then again, this Game is in Columbus and the Buckeyes will likely want to make a statement without Meyer. That could lead to a huge Scoreand ugly result for the Beavers.
Our Pick – Oregon State +37