Army Black Knights vs. Ohio State Buckeyes
Date and Time: Saturday, September 16, 2017, 4:30 p.m. ET
Location: Ohio Stadium, Columbus, OH
Opening College Football Odds: Ohio State -29.5
Army vs. Ohio State TV Coverage: FOX
Ohio State's 31-16 loss to Oklahoma was a bit on the stunning side. Let's not take anything away from the Sooners and how good they were, but the Buckeyes were just flat. J.T. Barrett had one of the worst games of his career, and the OSU defense allowed 490 yards and what could have been far worse than 31 points.
The Sooners had an advantage of 130 yards at halftime of a 3-3 game, and you just had the sense they were set to put it all together in the second half. They did just that, scoring four straight touchdowns against a team that dominated in Norman the year before.
The question? Can Ohio State take that image of Baker Mayfield planting the OU flag right in the center of the "O" at the Horseshoe and turn that into the motivation to run the table?
You kind of have to feel for Army here. The Black Knights were never really going to have much of a shot of actually winning in Columbus, and Oklahoma probably just made that challenge a heck of a lot harder.
That said, the Cadets have their own motivation to draw from. On 4th and goal from the 1-yard line and facing a 17-14 deficit, coach Jeff Monken told his kids if they couldn’t get one more yard, they didn't deserve to win the game. Army went for it instead of taking the sure field goal that would have tied the game and hit the jackpot, as Darnell Woolfork scored his second touchdown of the game to win it.
But Army should have never been there against a team like Buffalo. The Bulls are awful and were 16-point underdogs in this game. They were up 17-7 at the end of the third quarter, but in the second half, the Army defense finally rose up after a terrible showing in the first 30 minutes to put the game away.
Your shocking stat of the day: Ohio State has already allowed teams to throw for 806 yards against it this year. That won't be a problem against Army, of course, but 463.5 yards and 26.0 points per game could be an issue.
Playing in the Big Ten, you don't get to see the triple option all that often, but you can bet that Meyer is going to have his men ready for all of the gadgets the Black Knights are going to put on the table. The key is going to be dominating at the point of attack, something that hasn't been a problem all year long for Ohio State.
Army's offensive line is ridiculously undersized for a triple-option team, and at some point, that athleticism differential really has to show in a game like this one.
Army vs. Ohio State Free Picks
Everyone and their brother is going to be lining up at college football sportsbooks across the internet backing the Buckeyes, and we're going to be in line with them.
Barrett wants to be a Heisman Trophy candidate, J.K. Dobbins wants to be one of the top freshmen tailbacks in America, and the Buckeyes want to be back in the National Championship race even after losing at home to a darn good team. That means blowing the snot out of Army, and we can't see any other result, even against a massive point spread like this.
College Football ATS Pick: Play Ohio State at BookMaker.eu
College Football Score Prediction: Ohio State 56, Army 7