Heisman Hopefuls Battle

Saturday Spotlight

(5) Oklahoma Sooners at (2) Ohio State Buckeyes

Oklahoma: I’ll be one of many to admit to you that it was weird seeing another coach not named Bob to lead the Sooners out the tunnel and onto the football field. A potential playoff team and hopeful title contender are now being led by 34-year-old Lincoln Riley, the youngest head coach in college football. In their opener against UTEP, Baker Mayfield was sharp and for those of you that know me, he’s become one of my favorite players to watch in the nation. He completed 19 of his 20 pass attempts for 329 yards and three touchdown passes. He’s a Heisman hopeful and if Oklahoma wants to get back to the playoffs, he needs to be on the field for them and be consistent. The biggest question surrounding the Sooners this offseason was their defense which struggled in 2016. If the offense still continues to do what they’ve done and the defense can improve, this is a scary team that many won’t want to see. Just like last September, they’ll see Ohio State once again, this time though, at the shoe.

Ohio State: After losing to Clemson in the playoffs in December and a slow start against Indiana, there were some questioning of whether the program had seen its better days which is silly to ask after the first game and in the second half of that game, they made necessary adjustments and proved to be too much for the Hoosiers. Once they got comfortable, everything they wanted to do, they did it. They passed it, ran it and on defense they got key turnovers which allowed their offense to get the ball back and score. We also saw what their offense is capable of doing under new coordinator Kevin Wilson which I thought was one of the best hires in college football this off-season. Week one is in the books and they are ready to keep it moving in a heavyweight battle against Baker Mayfield and the Oklahoma Sooners on Saturday night in Columbus. You have to love and appreciate these early season heavyweight showdowns.

Oklahoma Player To Watch: Matthew Romar– He’s a 6 foot tall, 305-pound linemen who’s the anchor of that defensive line which looks to be in great shape this year. He’ll be key in trying to contain Barrett and limit the Buckeyes running game.

Ohio State Player To Watch: J.K. Dobbins– With Mike Weber sidelined with a hamstring injury last week, this kid came in and stole the show. He’s fast, he’s aggressive and always moving when the football is in his hands and he helped put Ohio State in a great position to win that game last Thursday. He’ll have to bring his a game once again.

Final Analysis: This is the second time in less than a year that these programs will meet each other. Last year, the game was extremely hyped up and Ohio State stormed into Norman and walked out with a 45-24 victory. Oklahoma needs to spread the ball around and attack a young Buckeyes secondary. There’s a ton of talent in that secondary, but it will be tested early and often. Ohio State needs to improve its pass rush up front and get to Mayfield. Make him scramble and knock him around and do a better job of that than how it did against Indiana.

Prediction: Ohio State 38 Oklahoma 28