2012 College Football Week 1 Predictions: Miami (Ohio) RedHawks vs. Ohio State Buckeyes

Miami (Ohio) RedHawks at No. 18 Ohio State Buckeyes
Saturday, 9/1/12, 12:00 PM EST, TV:  Big 10 Network
Opening Point Spread:  Ohio State -22.5
Current Betting Line:  Ohio State -23
Opening Total:  47
Current Total:  48
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

Ohio State Buckeyes QB Braxton Miller will be even more of a dual-threat in running Urban Meyer’s spread offense

Miami (Ohio) has one of the more established options at quarterback in the nation, as Zac Dysert ranks third behind only Oklahoma’s Landry Jones and USC’s Matt Barkley in terms of career passing yards among active players.  He threw for 3,513 yards last year and will look to connect with wide receiver Nick Harwell, who was fifth in major college football with 1,425 receiving yards.  Miami Ohio is 10-7 as an underdog the last two seasons, with the “under” going 11-6 in that situation.

The RedHawks have been a proud member of the Mid-American Conference for 64 seasons, winning more games than any other program in the league.  Miami (OH) has lost all four previous matchups in this series, including a 34-14 setback as 15.5-point road underdogs on Sept. 3, 2005.  It’s important to note that the team was out-gained by just 84 yards in that affair.  From a handicapping perspective, the squad has gone 9-6 ATS versus Big Ten Conference opponents since 1996.

Ohio State has won 57 consecutive regular-season non-conference home games against unranked competition, which will likely lead to an easy victory in Urban Meyer’s first game on the sidelines in Columbus.  The Buckeyes have tallied a 21-1-1 record when coaches make their debut for the program.  The team has won 31 of its last 33 season-openers, with both setbacks coming in the Kickoff Classic at Giants Stadium against Miami (1999) and Alabama (1986).  Ohio State is 3-1 ATS in its last four games versus MAC foes.

The Buckeyes are very proud that their coaching staff has tremendous ties with the community, with eight assistants who were either born, raised or schooled in the great football state of Ohio.  The offense will have a new look in running a spread formation, with quarterback Braxton Miller being the leader.  On the other side of the ball, the defensive line should be one of the best in the nation, featuring 68 combined starts among the unit.  In total, 15 starters return to the fold in a season that will not result in a postseason berth due to NCAA sanctions.

Sports bettors will likely back the Buckeyes due to their 11-3 ATS record in non-conference games, while the RedHawks are 3-9 ATS in September.

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