There is nothing like the excitement of a made-for-TV matchup in college football, and on Saturday, we have all the makings of a classic as the Oklahoma Sooners play host to the Ohio State Buckeyes in college football action that begins at 7:30 PM ET at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman. BetAnySports customers will have the opportunity to place wagers on this game even after the opening kickoff, as they take advantage of all that is available through the facilities of Live Betting Ultra.
Oklahoma has already been tested, as they lost by ten points to the Houston Cougars, despite 323 passing yards by Baker Mayfield. Texas Tech transfer has completed 71.7% of his passes on the season, but his efforts were not enough in the opening game, as Houston, which now has a top 10 ranking, carved up the Oklahoma secondary. Greg Ward had 321 yards through the air, although he is more seasoned than any of the preferred QB options for ‘Bama. This is obviously an opportunity for this OU team to redeem itself, and they are unquestionably going to have to do it using balance on offense.
Ohio State, of course, won the national championship a couple of seasons ago, and one of the holdovers on that team was quarterback JT Barrett, who unfortunately suffered an injury and had to give way to Cardale Jones, who led the team through the Big Ten championship game and the four-team playoff for the title. Barrett is no stranger to Oklahoma football, as he grew up not far from the Oklahoma-Texas border, and by now he is a master at running coach Urban Meyer’s spread option offense.
In the college football betting odds posted on this game by the people at BetAnySports, Ohio State is the slight favorite on the road:
Mayfield is, for the most part, a dropback passer, and he is often a sitting target for opposing pass rushes. In the opening game he was sacked five times by Houston, and then, as Oklahoma came back from that with a 59-17 victory over Sun Belt conference member Louisiana-Monroe, he was sacked two more times. So obviously his offensive line has to protect him.
And sometimes the best protection is a great running game. This is where the balance comes in. Oklahoma has a trio of people who can run the football, and we have to say that two of them are very special. Samaje Perine admittedly has not matched what he did in his freshman season, during which time he set the record for rushing yards in a single game with 427 against Kansas. But he is still a top NFL prospect, as is Joe Mixon, who is averaging almost eight yards per carry. This dynamic duo is going to put a lot of pressure on the Ohio State defense.
BetAnySports patrons should know that, in a sense, Oklahoma has already seen the Buckeyes’ offense. That’s because the coach at Houston, Tom Herman, was formerly the offensive coordinator at Ohio State. Whether that turns out to be an advantage or not is not really known. But remember that Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops is no stranger to big games, and like Meyer, he has put in some of his coaching time at the University of Florida.
Ohio State is ranked third in one poll and fourth in another, but has not really been severely tested, with warmup games against Bowling Green and Tulsa. Oklahoma is ranked #14 in both major polls. The Sooners made to the four- team college football playoff last year (falling to Clemson), and even though they have lost already, it is not too late for them to mount a run again. Remember, they dropped a decision in the “Red River Rivalry” game to an inferior Texas squad last season, then rolled to the Big 12 title.
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