NCAA Football – Week 5
Ohio State is currently serving a postseason ban as a result of NCAA sanctions but do not tell that to Urban Meyer. The new Buckeye head coach has his team heading into this matchup with a 4-0 straight-up record that includes a 35-28 victory over California as a 17-point home favorite in Week 3 and last Saturday’s 29-15 romp over UAB as a 35.5-point favorite at home. This Saturday will be the first true test to see just how good his team actually is after it failed to cover a hefty spread in its last three games.
Offensively, Ohio State has done a good job running the ball with an average of 229.3 yards per game. Braxton Miller has thrown for 754 yards and seven touchdowns but the quarterback’s biggest impact has been with his legs; rushing for a team-high 441 yards while adding another seven touchdowns on the ground.
Michigan State bounced-back from a disappointing 20-3 loss to Notre Dame on Sept.15 as a 4.5-point home favorite with a 23-7 victory over Eastern Michigan as a 31.5-point favorite at home this past Saturday. The total has stayed UNDER in three of its four games this year.
The Spartans have really struggled to put points on the board this season and are ranked 104th in the nation in scoring with an average of 21 points a game. Fortunately, they have a defense that is ranked 11th in points allowed; giving-up an average of just 11.8 points a game. Michigan State’s main weapon on offense has been running back Le’Veon Bell. He has rushed for 610 yards on 117 carries for an average of 5.2 yards per attempt. He also leads the team in touchdowns with five. If the Spartans are to have any chance at handed the Buckeyes their first loss it will be behind a heavy dose of Bell running the ball.
Ohio State’s record and overall stats look good on paper, but it has been less than impressive in failing to cover the spread against teams it should have easily beat. Look for the Buckeyes to get exposed as just a better-than-average team in a low-scoring loss to their conference rivals this upcoming Saturday afternoon. Michigan State 17 Ohio State 10