The Ohio State Buckeyes, now ranked 22nd in the country, welcome in the Kent State Golden Flashes in college football action Saturday. The game is scheduled for a noon start time and it will bet televised live on ABC or ESPN2, depending on regional coverage. Currently the odds for the game have Ohio State laying several touchdowns.
When Braxton Miller went down with his shoulder injury, Ohio State knew it was in trouble. But Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes said all the right things, believed in J.T. Barrett and went to work. But a loss at home to Virginia Tech last week derailed their season. Taking on a Kent State team at home just a week later should help the Buckeyes get back on track, however.
Kent State is 0-2 on the season with both of those defeats coming at home — a 17-14 conference loss to Ohio in the opener and a 23-13 loss against South Alabama last week. Defensively they haven't been terrible this season but without being able to score more than two touchdowns per game, Kent State just isn't going to be good enough to win games.
Ohio State really needs a good showing in this one. Barrett at times was running for his life and got hit several times by the Hokies. It was the first loss at home under Meyer, so an inspired effort against a far inferior in-state opponent seems about right in this one. Ohio State also has a week off after this one, so a blowout of the Golden Flashes in the Horseshoe could be on the verge of happening Saturday. The Buckeyes have beaten Kent State both times in this series, picking up 51-17 and 48-3 wins.
The offensive line for Ohio State hasn't been able to figure itself out yet this season, but they should get better. Virginia Tech might be the quickest defense they play all season and expect the Ohio State coaching staff to use that game as a learning tool for the rest of the season.
In this one, Ohio State will want to get back to running the football effectively. Barrett completed just nine of 29 passes last week. If the Buckeyes can establish their ground attack, it should take less pressure off a quarterback that certainly is overwhelmed early this season.
Look for the Bucks to do everything right in this one.
Free Pick: Ohio State 45, Kent State 10
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