Bowling Green-Ohio State
Time: NOON EDT
Spread: OSU -28
M/L: OSU -7000, BG +3000
Betting odds c/o 5dimes
Ohio State had a QB controversy last season in its 12-1 season which saw it fall short of a title chase following its embarrassing 17-14 loss to Michigan State at home, which left it out of the BCS playoffs. The Buckeyes averaged 35.7 points and 434.0 yards per game last season, ranking No. 28 and No. 41 in the nation.
The Buckeyes now move forward with J.T. Barrett as Cardale Jones exits the picture. Barrett finished fifth in Heisman voting two seasons ago as a redshirt freshman, so he could be primed to have a huge year. Though OSU has a lot of questions to answer, we see Meyer’s club do this on an annual basis. The skill positions are almost always stocked, and this season will be scarcely different even with just three returning starters from last year’s offense.
At WR, the Buckeyes No. 1 option will be Noah Brown, who is recovering from a broken leg suffered last fall. He is an exceptional talent though, once healthy, and Barrett will have no problem finding him open this season.
Parris Campbell and Marcus Baugh are the other WR and TE, and both will get their fair share of plays this season. Curtis Samuel may led OSU in touches this season, and there is plenty of depth on the offensive skill positions. The OL returns both Pat Elfin and Billy Price.
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The Buckeyes return a lot of talent in its defense despite having only three true returning starters. There is starting level talent at every position, and the Buckeyes held opponents to just 15.1 points per game last season while surrendering only 311.3 yards per game.
DE Tyquan Lewis led the team with eight sacks a year ago, and that was sharing the field with Joey Bosa. Sam Hubbart is the other end, and he his a five-star prospect who is a big playmaker and will be a star this season.
At LB, OSU boats one of the best in the nation in junior Raekwon McMillan. OLB Chris Worley and Dante Booker both are keys at LB too. Booker is a former Ohio Mr. Football. The secondary only returns CB Gareon Conley, but Marshon Lattimore will start opposite of him. Lattimore is coming back from a hamstring injury. S Malik Hooker is a great athlete in the back end and should be able to disrupt some passes this season.
The Bowling Green Falcons return 10 total starters from last season’s conference championship team. The offense has been retooled some, and the team has a new coaching staff that is seeking to use a less-vertical passing game. The Falcons averaged 366.8 passing yards per game last season, ranking No. 5 in the NCAA.
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QB James Knapke is a good and capable QB with a strong arm and decent running ability. Head coach Mike Jinks has high expectations for a first-time coach, and there is a lot of roster turnover. That will give the Falcons their own share of problems this season, and the team has four Mid-American Conference home games against teams with combined records of 12-36 last season, but it also faces Ohio, Toledo, Northern Illinois and Akron in another five-game stretch, who combined to go 34-18.
The veteran OL should help the transition into the new offense, and Knapke has the experience to make it work after starting most of the 2014 season while Matt Johnson was injured.
At RB, the Falcons will turn to Donovan Wilson and Matt Domer, and they both had productive springs.
WR Scott Miller has good hands and is quick, and he will be with junior Ronnie Moore who caught 72 passes for 954 yards last season. He should be the leader of the WRs assuming his shoulder is good to go.
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