No. 11 Ohio State Buckeyes (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS) vs. Toledo Rockets (1-1
SU, 1-1 ATS), 12:00 p.m. EST, Saturday, September 19, 2009, Cleveland
Stadium, Cleveland, Ohio, TV: ESPN360.com or ESPN GamePlan PPV
by Badger of Predictem.com
Point Spread: Buckeyes -20.5/Toledo +20.5
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The 11th-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes will try and avoid the hangover
from last weeks disappointing loss to USC when they play the intra-
state Toledo Rockets of the Mid-American Conference in a neutral-site game in Cleveland Stadium Saturday.
The Buckeyes nearly dumped the monkey off their backs in last weeks
showdown with the Trojans, but an 84-yard touchdown drive in the
final minutes by USC instead continues Ohio States big-game jinx.
The Buckeye defense held the heralded Trojan running attack to just
118 yards (3.0 ave.) and 6-for-16 on 3rd downs, but it finally broke
on the final USC drive and the Ohio State offense was unable to give
them much help in the big loss.
Toledo brings one of the nations more prolific offenses into Cleveland Stadium for the clash, fresh off of a 54-38 victory over
Colorado last weekend. Senior quarterback Aaron Opelt threw for 319
yards and 4 touchdowns, and added 103 yards running and two
touchdowns on the ground as the Rockets rolled up 624 yards of
offense to embarrass and upset the Big 12 Conference Buffalos.
Now the Rockets offense will take aim and try to knock off Goliath,
at least the Goliath of the state of Ohio, as the Buckeyes havent
lost a football game to a rival school in their home state since the
1921 season (176-48-15 all-time vs. Ohio schools). Ohio State also
owns a 25-1 lifetime mark against teams from the MAC, as if the
Rockets need extra motivation for this game.
The bookies opened the game with the Buckeyes as early 20.5-point favorites, but most of the offshore sportsbooks have already lowered
the point spread to Ohio State minus 20 points. The
over/under total is holding at 58.
If the Buckeyes are going to keep their dominance over the state of Ohio, they are going to have to get things going on offense.
Quarterback Terrelle Pryor has yet to really play like the countrys
best recruit two years ago, as he has only completed 54 percent of
his passes for less than 200 yards per game (193.5) and has thrown
more interceptions (2) than touchdowns (1) in the early going.
The good news for Ohio State is that they should be able to get the
offense going against Toledo, where the defensive scheme in the early
going appears to be to just let teams score as quickly as possible so
that the Rocket offense can get back on the field. In two games the
Rocket defense has allowed an average of 493 yards per game and 45
points per game as well, including a 315 yard rushing day by fellow
Big 10-team Purdue in the opener (a 52-31 loss).
On the other sideline the Rockets and Opelt should be able to move
the football on offense, even against mighty Ohio State and their
defense. The Rockets are 7th in the country after the first two weeks
with an average of 558.5 yards per game, 371 of it through the air
via the Rockets spread-attack passing game. The Rockets have put
points on the board at a 42.5 points per game clip, but when your
defense allows 45 per game, its still not prolific enough.
Toledo must eliminate the mental miscues that have plagued them in
their first two games, as they still hung on to upset Colorado last
week despite having 10 penalties for over 100 yards in lost yardage
in the game. That cannot happen if they hope to knock the Buckeyes
off the throne.
These two schools have met only once before, back in 1998 in a game the Rockets would like to forget because it turned into a 49-0 route
by the Buckeyes. Ohio State covered the game as well, as large 36.5-
With the over/under total at 58, that steep
number may not be enough as both of the Rockets games have gone
over this season and the over is 9-4 in their last 13 games in
September during the mostly non-conference schedule.
Badgers Pick: I see letdown game written all over this one. Ohio
State will feel sorry for themselves for losing a close one to USC,
come out going through the motions early, and before you know it
theyll find themselves in a tight game against a good Toledo
offense. OSU pulls it out when all is said and done, but they wont
cover the large number. Take Toledo plus the 20 points.
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