WILL THE BUCKEYES SUFFER A LETDOWN? Ohio State has Oklahoma on deck in what should be the biggest football game most of this roster has played in. They are coming off a big win, and more importantly a very easy win where they were not challenged by Bowling Green. Will they get caught peeking to the Sooners? I'm going to say NO, mainly because this is such a young and unproven team. Last year's team played hard when they felt like it, and it wasn't all that often to be honest. These guys are hungry, and I think Urban Meyer will have them playing with an edge once again against Tulsa. I expect Ohio State to play hard, which is half the battle when you are the more talented team.
CAN TULSA CHALLENGE OHIO STATE? I believe Tulsa will be able to move the ball on Ohio State, and they have players that could play in the Big Ten. Quarterback Dane Evans, runningback D'Angelo Brewer and wide receiver Keevan Lucas are all bonafide playmakers. There is a huge talent gap obviously, and Tulsa is going to give up a lot of points defensively, but I think they can put points on the board.
WILL MEYER TAKE HIS FOOT OFF THE GAS WITH A LEAD? He will want everyone healthy, so maybe the Buckeyes substitute liberally once the game is comfortable. I think Ohio State will come out strong, but will they play it out in the fourth quarter to save themselves for the Sooners? I'm not sure Meyer will keep the hammer down once he has the win, but we will see.
WHAT WILL OSU DO OFFENSIVELY? That's easy. They're going to score a lot of points. Last year taught me conclusively that I will hate the 2-QB system until the day I die. I saw Notre Dame suffer through the same thing last week. Well Ohio State only has one quarterback, and he's pretty darn good. Can they score 70? I don't think so, but they will hit 50 or come close to it. Tulsa is not good defensively, so J.T. Barrett should be able to do what he pleases on Saturday. I think the offense rolls right along and moves the ball at will. For Ohio State to not dominate offensively it will take Barrett throwing picks or Mike Weber putting it on the ground. Weber did not look particularly secure with the football last week, even though he did not cough it up. I will be watching for that this week.
WHAT WILL OSU DO DEFENSIVELY? Not much was needed last week other than to show up and put 11 guys on the field. That will not be the case going against the Tulsa offense. Although there was no pass rush at all last week, I'm expecting the people up front to play much better this week. They got chewed on a little by Meyer in practice, so I think 3-4 sacks are on the menu. Can the linebackers hold up against runs and passes to the backs? Will these defensive backs be up to task against some pretty nice wideouts this week? This will be a good test for the back-seven, and I would not be shocked to see Tulsa put some points on the board.
THE OFFENSIVE "WOW" PLAYER: Going to go back to the well with Curtis Samuel once again. I'm feeling about 200 total yards and three more touchdowns. Of course Barrett will put up sick numbers again as well.
THE DEFENSIVE "WOW" PLAYER: Not sure when I was as "wowed" as last week with the Malik Hooker Show. Have to go with him again and I can't wait to see what he does this week. As an aside to make everyone feel good, Malik Hooker IS draft eligible THIS YEAR. HaHa.
THE VEGAS LINE: We nailed a big "Take it to The Bank" special last week with the romp over BG. I wrote that the 27 point spread was a number we could attack, and felt OSU would cover it easily. This week? I think it's time for a Lee Corso "not so fast my friend" moment. I hate the line being 29, because this is a decent team and that's a lot of wood to chop. You're on your own on this game, and I think the number is spot on. If you put a gun to my head I would take Tulsa plus the 29, but that's just for rooting interest not an actual pick. The total of 73 is also probably right where it should be, and that's a big number to get up and over. If forced to pick, I would go under and hold my breath all day. No official pick this week, and we will come back hard on the Oklahoma game. For a bonus pick, I'm going with North Carolina to absolutely destroy the Fighting Lovies of Illinois.
THE PREDICTION: OHIO STATE 49 Tulsa 20.