Army vs. Ohio State, 9-16-2017 - Expert Prediction
Written by: Brian Spaen
Army Black Knights (2-0 SU, 1-1 ATS)
vs Ohio State Buckeyes (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS)
When: Saturday, Sep 16th, 4:3 PM ET
Line: Ohio St -30
TV/Live Stream: FOX, FOX Sports Go
Ohio State looks to rebound after a brutal loss to Oklahoma one week ago. They’ve favored by four possessions against Army, who was able to seal the deal on a surprising fake punt in their last game. The Black Knights actually come in with a five-game winning streak, but this will be their toughest opponent by a wide margin.
Army gets big win on fake punt
Army was able to give Buffalo their second loss of the season in a thrilling 21-17 finish. The Black Knights were in their own territory, but they had the guts to go for it on a fake punt on fourth down. They converted and were able to ice the game with the Bulls having no timeouts left at their disposal. Army went 7-for-16 on third downs, but converted 3-of-4 on fourth downs. They only finished with 17 yards of passing, but were able to generate 339 total yards with their option offense.
Quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw carried the ball 25 times for 147 yards and a rushing touchdown. He had nothing going for him in the air, completing just 2-of-8 passing attempts for 17 yards. Darnell Woolfolk complimented the running game with 91 yards on 21 carries and two more touchdowns. Kell Walker did the same with 61 yards on eight carries. It’s unique to see the armed services’ football teams roll with the option attack, but it favored Army in this game. They’ll hope to control the clock and keep Ohio State as limited as possible offensively.
Ohio State looks vulnerable in second half against Oklahoma
Ohio State suffered a 31-16 defeat in a huge contest hosting Oklahoma last weekend. It’s now the second big loss the team has suffered against giant programs, dating back to last season when they got absolutely destroyed, 31-0, to Clemson. The game was tied at 3-all at halftime, but the Sooners scored four touchdowns in the second half to get the big victory. For the Buckeyes, it doesn’t end hopes for the postseason. However, after a bad showing in the playoffs and getting stomped at home against a new head coach, they’ll likely need to win out to reach the postseason.
Quarterback J.T. Barnett finished completing 19-of-35 passing attempts for 183 yards and recorded a very costly interception that aided in the OU run in the second half. Wide receiver K.J. Hill led the team with 44 yards on five catches. The team did dominate on the ground with 167 total yards; J.K Dobbins led the rushing attack with 72 yards on 13 carries and a touchdown. Barnett had 66 yards on 18 scampers. Wide receiver Trevon Grimes hasn’t played yet this season and is day-to-day with a knee injury.
- 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games in September
Ohio St is:
- 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games
- 2-7 ATS in their last 9 games against teams with a winning record
The Buckeyes should have no problem winning the game, but it’s hard to trust completing a spread this massive. The Black Knights should be able to control enough clock, or complete a backdoor cover in the end, to keep from losing by well over four possessions.
Pick: Army +30
Blogging journeyman and sports handicapper. His passion for statistics, analyzing team reports, and watching multiple hours of sports daily gives him an edge for picking who will beat the spread. Also writes about technology and video games. Hobbies include enjoying life in the big city, spending way too much time on YouTube, and discovering new craft beer and whisky.
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