(3) Ohio State Buckeyes (2-0) at (14) Oklahoma Sooners (1-1)
Ohio State: When you lose players with the calibers of guys such as Ezekiel Elliott, Braxton Miller, Joey Bosa and Eli Apple, of course, there’s going to be a cause for concern when you lose guys from a title winning team. There have been a ton of questions surrounding them. How would they be with this youth? What about the inexperience? I didn’t see any inexperience in their first game against Bowling Green and I know the opponent doesn’t sound all that appealing but you play who you play and they scored 77 in that one. Last week against Tulsa, it looked as if Ohio State was in for a rough afternoon when Tulsa was sticking with them but the Buckeyes pulled away. J.T. Barrett accounted for 204 yards and rushed for tow touchdowns and the Buckeyes offense picked up where they left off in week one. Now, they’ll face some real competition and this is the first of a home and home series as they head on down to Oklahoma to face a Sooners team looking to get it going after stumbling out the gate.
Oklahoma: They haven’t looked as sharp as many expected them too. The first week of the season, they stumbled and were upset by a Houston Cougars team that just outplayed them. Last week, they got back on track with a 42 point victory over Louisiana-Monroe and the Sooners offense had a field day with the Warhawks defense as they accounted for 640 total yards of offense and they looked like the playoff contender that so many, myself included coming into the season and there’s still a lot of football left to be played so there’s a strong possibility that they can still get to the College Football Playoff with some consistency and good football. When we saw their schedule, we knew it’d be a tough one with Houston in the first game and look what happened. Now, Urban Meyer and the Ohio State Buckeyes are coming to town and we’ll be able to see what this team is really made of on Saturday night.
Ohio State Player To Watch: Mike Weber– Coming into the season, we knew he’d have very tough shoes to fill in replacing Ezekiel Elliott who was considered to be the heart and soul of this Buckeyes offense. He’s averaging 114 yards on the ground through the first two games and for Ohio State to keep the balance afloat, get him going early one and wear down that Oklahoma defensive front.
Oklahoma Player(s) To Watch: The running backs– When I previewed their first game against Houston, they were my players to watch then and they’ll be even more key in this one. Ohio State comes in with a very inexperienced defensive line. Tulsa had a lot of success running against that young unit and I see Perine and Mixon doing the same. Challenge those guys early and get the running game going.
Prediction: This game can have early implications on the College Football Playoff when the first set of rankings are released in November. I see this one being a close one all the way throughout and points will be scored. This will be a test for both teams, more so Ohio State since Oklahoma had their test with Houston already. I like the Buckeyes on the road in this one. Ohio State 37 Oklahoma 34