(4-2, 3-3 ATS)
Ohio State Buckeyes
(6-1, 5-2 ATS)
Last season, the Purdue Boilermakers effectively ended any chance of the Ohio State Buckeyes winning the BCS Championship. The two teams will meet in college football betting festivities on Saturday afternoon in the Horseshoe for bragging rights in the Big Ten.
When you think of teams that are undefeated in Big Ten play this year, you wouldn’t think of the Boilermakers, especially since they have been without RB Ralph Bolden all season long and have now played without QB Robert Marve for the better part of three weeks. True freshman QB Rob Henry hasn’t played horribly this year, but he hasn’t exactly played well either. He has completed just 50.6 percent of his passes for 443 yards, but most importantly, he isn’t turning the ball over that much, as he has just three picks against three scores. Offensively, all that is keeping this team going is its ground game, which Henry is a big part of. The frosh leads the squad with 356 yards on the ground this year, but he is closely followed by RB Dan Dierking, who has 353 yards and three TDs. This defense has played well to boot, holding all but one foe this year to 23 points or less, including keeping both teams it has faced in the Big Ten to just 17 points.
We have a gut feeling that this is changing on Saturday afternoon, though. The Buckeyes were probably upset enough about this game before it actually came up on the schedule, but now that it is here and they are coming off of a loss to the Wisconsin Badgers that ended their brief reign as the No. 1 team in the nation, you know that there is going to be blood in the water in Columbus. QB Terrelle Pryor has a lot of work to do to get back in the Heisman Trophy race, and this is a huge game for him. Pryor only accounted for 212 yards and a pick last week against the Badgers, but not only is he trying to erase the memories of that bad game, but the awful one that he had against Purdue last year as well. Pryor threw two picks to the departed DB Brandon King and ended up going just 17-of-31 for 221 yards with a TD and two picks. Special teams once again failed the Buckeyes last week, as the Badgers returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown. It marked the fourth special teams score against Ohio State this year. If you take those away, this defense would only be averaging allowing 12.0 points per game. As it is, the Bucks rank in the Top 15 in every single major defensive category.
We just don’t think the Boilers have enough offensive weapons to get through this one on Saturday afternoon. They are going to get stymied by the OSU defense all day, and if the Buckeyes can get to about 35ish points in this game, there really shouldn’t be a question as to which team is beating the NCAA football odds.
College Football Free Pick: Ohio State Buckeyes -24
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