UNLV at Ohio StateSaturday, 9 am PT - Big Ten NetworkCRIS Opener:
Ohio State -39.5 O/U 65CRIS Current:
Ohio State -40 O/U 64.5Recommendation:
Eliminate for a second Ohio State's dismal offensive showing vs. Oklahoma in which the Buckeyes posted only 350 total yards and 16 points. Instead, turn your attention to Week 1 in which the Buckeyes rolled up nearly 600 yards and 49 points against Indiana. And last week as well as OSU hung 586 yards on only 69 plays in its win over Army. Bettors should feel confident moving forward that Ohio State's offense is only going to get better as first-year OC Kevin Wilson and Urban Meyer adjust to one another. In the meantime, this is still a top-tier offense, especially when facing lower-tier competition which is exactly what they'll see this weekend in UNLV.
The Rebels were not an especially strong defensive team a season ago even though the schedule came up very light in terms of opposing offenses. UNLV faced only three teams in the top 50 in total offense and in those three games it allowed 50 ppg. This season's numbers look tolerable (5.31 ypp allowed) but once again, the competition (Howard and Idaho) was very weak.
Offensively, UNLV head coach Tony Sanchez stated
that while run-first, clock churning drives are ideal, they aren't likely to occur against the Buckeyes’ stout stop unit. Meaning, in order for UNLV to put points on the board, they'll need to do so via the big play.
“We know we’ve been a pretty successful run football team, and that’s who we are and that’s kind of how we’ve built ourselves,” Sanchez said, “but we’ve got a talented receiving corps, and if you’re going to have an opportunity in a game like this, you’re going to have to stretch the field. You’re not just going to be able to sit there, run the ball 50 times right at a front like that. They’re pretty stout up there.”
Easier said than done against a very formidable defense on the road but UNLV's offense has a lot of potential. Quarterback Armani Rogers gives the offense a run-pass dynamic it didn't have with last year's trio of sub-par signal callers. And there are weapons in both the backfield and at wide receiver. Despite a litany of key injuries and zero production from the QB position, UNLV still averaged a respectable 5.86 ypp last year in MWC play. And while this year's competition has been ultra-weak, it's a positive sign the Rebels averaged over 8 yards per play in both games. Ohio State’s got the plenty of potential to hang 50+ in this one which means a score or two from a very offensively improved underdog has this one going over the total.