No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes (2-0 SU, 2-0 ATS) vs. No. 14 Oklahoma Sooners (1-1 SU, 0-2 ATS)
College Football Week 3
Date/Time: Saturday September 17th , 2016. 7:30PM (EST)
Where: Memorial Stadium Norman, O.K
by Jay, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: OSU -1.5/OU +1.5
Over/Under Total: TBA
The no. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes and the no. 14 Oklahoma Sooners will meet for just the 3rd time in history this Saturday at Memorial Stadium in Norman. Before the year began, this game promised to be one of the biggest cross conference games of the entire season with two National Championship contenders at the helm. Instead, Oklahomas upset loss to Houston in the season opener derailed much of the national anticipation and excitement surrounding this weeks game between the Buckeyes and Sooners. However make no mistake about it, this game will still be huge for both teams this Saturday.
Alabama has proved each of the last two years that an early season loss can be overcome in route to College Footballs Playoffs. If Oklahoma somehow manages to run the table, a win over Ohio State along with the rest of their schedule will be plenty good enough to get the Sooners into the playoffs. However, there is a lot of football to be played before we get deep into the playoffs conversation. Ultimately if things do not go right for Oklahoma this weekend, they could be staring down the barrel of a 1-2 start before Big 12 play even begins.
The Sooners offense sputtered in the 2nd half in the loss to Houston and the defense simply could not stay off the field which were among the main factors that led to their demise. Oklahomas defense relinquished 410 yards of total offense and 25 first downs to the Cougars. Now the Sooners defense will get the tough task of stopping an Ohio State offense that is loaded with playmakers and big play potential. Led by quarterback J.T. Barrett, the Buckeyes have averaged 595 yards of total offense (5th in FBS) in their first two games which resulted in blowout victories over Bowling Green and Tulsa. Barrett has been good completing 66% of his passes for 498 yards with 6 scores and 1 pick. Barrett has also scored an additional 3 touchdowns on the ground.
As stated before, Ohio State has a ton of playmakers and Coach Urban Meyer does a good job of finding ways to get the ball into the hands of his playmakers. Running back Curtis Samuel is a prime example of that scenario. Samuel has carried the ball 21 times for 162 yards on the ground and he also leads the team in receiving with 14 grabs for 239 yards. Samuel and Mike Weber typically share the carries with Weber getting the bulk of the touches. However, the offense finds ways to get Samuel involved due to his big play potential. All of the Buckeyes skill position players have speed and playmaking potential which is sure to give Oklahoma a tough time defending.
Obviously Oklahoma is going to need a big effort from the defense to give them the opportunity to win this game but it is the offense that really needs to deliver. This Sooners offense was marked as one of the best groups in college football entering the season with quarterback Baker Mayfield and running back Samaje Perine leading the way. Both Mayfield and Perine were considered Heisman Trophy hopefuls to start the season. Mayfield has been pretty good with a 71.4 completion percentage for 567 yards and 5 touchdowns.
However, Perine has had a pretty slow start with just 89 yards through the first two games. I think everyone expected this Oklahoma offense to put up ridiculous numbers this season and they just have not shown that explosive playmaking ability quite yet. Still, the Sooners will make it difficult for an Ohio State defense that has yet to be challenged this season. Ohio State is going to make plays and come up with ways to score. Therefore, the Sooners will have to respond to prove they can match the Buckeyes scoring potential.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: If Oklahoma puts everything on the arm of Mayfield, they will have a chance to win this game if they continuously attack the Buckeyes defense down the field. Unfortunately, I think Oklahoma will spend most of the early part of this game trying to balance out the run and the pass. Ohio State makes the big plays and Oklahoma runs out of time trying to play from behind. Take Ohio State -1.5
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