Week 3 College Football Picks: Northern Illinois Huskies vs. (1) Ohio State Buckeyes

Ezekiel Elliot has already rushed for over 200 yards and has yet to even really get going.
RB Ezekiel Elliot has already rushed for over 223 yards and 4 TDs and has yet to even really get going.

Northern Illinois vs. Ohio State
Time: 3:30 PM Sat, Sept 19, 2015
Spread: OSU -35.5
Total: 67

Betting odds courtesy of Bovada

Ohio State won 38-0 over Hawaii last week and defeated Virginia Tech 42-24 in Week 1. This week the Buckeyes will face a 2-0 Northern Illinois team that has knocked off UNLV and Murray State in Weeks 1 & 2.

The No. 1 ranked Buckeyes have rolled in the reinvention of Braxton Miller as a true running back, and there does not appear to be any slowing down of Urban Meyer’s team. Odds at Bovada listed the Buckeyes as 35.5 point favorites over the Huskies in this matchup with the betting total set high at 67.

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The Buckeyes have started Cardale Jones at QB and he has thrown 22 of 37 for 298 yards and an 8.05 yard per average gain. His passer rating is 139.5. Former QB Braxton Miller has rushed for 118 yards on 13 carries, while workhorse Ezekiel Elliot has been good for 223 yards through the first two contests, at an average gain of 5.9 yards per carry. Elliot already has four TDs on the year, while the OSU team has seven via the rush.

At WR, the Buckeyes have Michael Thomas and Curtis Samuel both with 16 catches between them for 183 yards, while Miller adds another five receptions worth 95 yards, including a TD. Miller’s reinvention as a WR/RB has hardly been surprising because he’s always had the talent, but the Buckeyes now have so much talent on the field that it hardly seems fair to opponents.

Added into the mix is last year’s savior J.T. Barrett, who has thrown for 96 yards and rushed for another 47.

Meyer has so many weapons at his disposal this year.

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The NIU Huskies have received astounding statistical production from its QB Drew Hare. Hare has thrown 50 of 64 for 718 yards and a 78.1 percent completion ratio on 11.22 yards per attempt. The Huskies also have got 204 yards out of its top back Joel Bouagnon, who has rushed for five of the team’s six rushing TDs.

WR Kenny Golladay is having a monster season with 357 yards on 17 receptions and two TDs. Shane Wimann has six receptions on the year, but three of those have been for TDs. Hare has thrown six TDs and no interceptions, helping account for his 203.3 passer rating.

NIU will face Boston College after this matchup against Ohio State, so the chance is there for this team to fall back to reality and 2-2. The Huskies are quite overmatched against OSU and this game could be even more lopsided than the colossal spread. In actuality, a spread bet on Ohio State does not seem out of order, as Meyer may seek to run up the score against the Huskies who had trouble keeping UNLV off the board in Week 1.

The MAC school is in over its head against the toast of the Big Ten.

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