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2015 College Football Betting – Ohio State-Virginia Tech Preview

Posted by Blake Frazier on 8/28/2015 12:03:49 AM

The college football season starts in a week, and the final game of an extended first weekend of the season is a Labor Day night game between Ohio State and Virginia Tech. Can the Hokies upset the Buckeyes for a second straight year?

Ohio State Buckeyes @ Virginia Tech Hokies – Monday, Sept. 7

Betting Line: Ohio State - 11

Why Ohio State Will Win

This is a game the Buckeyes should win, even without the players who won’t be suiting up due to a one-game suspension. Ohio State is still the most talented team in college football, with one of the two preeminent coaches in the sport, Urban Meyer. The Buckeyes have two great quarterbacks to choose from. If one of them is either ineffective or hurt, the other one can come in and expect to play well. J.T. Barrett will likely get a majority of snaps in this game, but Cardale Jones should at least make an appearance if not something more than that. Either man has big-game experience and should be able to capably lead the Buckeyes’ attack if asked to. Then the Buckeyes also have Ezekiel Elliott, a Heisman Trophy candidate, at running back. The offense can also ask quarterback-turned-wide receiver Braxton Miller to make plays in open space, where his natural speed and elusiveness will really come in handy. The Buckeyes have a plan B, a plan C, and a plan D when their plan A doesn’t pan out. This team is versatile, balanced and deep, and its defense – which struggled a lot last season – should be better this time around. It is also true that Virginia Tech’s offense faces a lot of questions this year, and against Ohio State, those questions aren’t likely to be answered the way the Hokies want. This is still very much Ohio State’s game to lose. Don’t think otherwise.

Why Virginia Tech Will Win

The Hokies could very realistically win this game because Ohio State will be missing four players, a few of which are very valuable pieces. The foremost loss for the Buckeyes, due to suspension, is defensive lineman Joey Bosa, a man-eating defensive end who made plenty of edge tackles in run support and could consistently get to the quarterback on the pass rush. He is the best player Ohio State has on defense, so his absence means quite a lot in this or any game the Buckeyes play against a team from a power conference such as Virginia Tech.

Ohio State also loses H-back Jalin Marshall, who would have added a number of dimensions to the Buckeyes’ offense. Another H-back, Dontre Wilson, and receiver Corey Smith will also be missing from the lineup on Sept. 7, eroding a lot of depth from Urban Meyer’s arsenal. The thing is this: If one or even two people were out of the lineup, other guys could perhaps step up. However, with four players gone, that next “other guy” won’t be as good, and if there are injuries at wide receiver or running back, there won’t be someone else to turn to. Barrett or Jones would have to win the game by himself, and that’s not how winning football is played.

Who Will Win

The Buckeyes are missing four guys, but they’re still absolutely loaded with talent. They want revenge from last year’s loss to Virginia Tech, and they will get it.

College Football Betting Pick: Ohio State -11

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