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Miami (1-0) vs. Ohio State (1-0) Betting Lines from Bookmaker
MoneyLine: Ohio State (-350) Miami (+290)
CFB Betting Favorite: Ohio State -8.5
The Miami Hurricanes field a talented group of athletes under the direction of fourth year coach Randy Shannon. The team enters the second week of the season ranked #12 in the polls. This week the Hurricanes have their opportunity to solidify their place among the nation’s top teams if they can come into Columbus on Saturday and pull off an upset of the number two rated Buckeyes. How much the national championship loss to Ohio State in 2002 means to this group is questionable, but clearly the Hurricanes are a talented team with something to prove.
The offense of the Hurricanes revolves around Jacory Harris. Harris is a great play maker at the quarterback position. Harris completed 59.6% of his passes last year and threw 24 touchdown passes. The team would certainly like him to cut down on the number of interceptions he threw last year and miscues against a team as good as the Buckeyes could quash their chance for a victory. Harris is mobile enough to keep the play alive, but he is definitely a quarterback who prefers to pass the football. The receiving corps is full of talent and they should be able to get open against just about everyone they play this year. The quarterback play and maturity over last season will be an issue for both the Hurricanes and the Buckeyes.
The Miami defense is filled with guys who can roam all over the field with their impressive speed, but they have also had trouble trying to force turnovers in the last couple of years. The Miami defense is talented but they will be severely tested by an Ohio State offense that is loaded with weapons and last Thursday night against Marshall appeared remarkably sharp for an opening game.
The Buckeyes are led by junior quarterback Terrelle Pryor and an array of talented athletes on offense. Buckeye weapons on offense include an array of talented running backs and a number of capable receivers. In addition to the wide receivers, look for the Buckeyes to mix in passes to running back Brandon Saine and to tight end, Jake Stoneburner. The variety of options available to the Buckeyes on offense will put a lot of pressure on the Hurricane defense.
Terrelle Pryor is a tremendous athlete with elusive speed and would appear to be a legitimate Heisman candidate if his decision making at the quarterback position improves and he is able to utilize the array of talent available on offense. While Buckeye coaches probably don’t encourage Pryor to run the ball for fear of injury, he may need to run the ball at times to keep drives going and he is an amazing running threat.
This year’s defense though talented is a bit more of a question than in some years, and it may be necessary for the offense to shoulder more of the load than usual early in the season. Defensive lineman Cameron Hayward is an imposing presence that will face double teams consistently. The linebackers are solid with Brian Rolle and Ross Homan leading the way. The secondary is not spectacular, but they are solid. The Buckeyes defense is missing a super star player in the back seven, but they should still be good.
Miami vs. Ohio State Pick:
The Buckeyes appear to be the better team here, Miami has the advantage of being the underdog with little to lose but they are coming into Ohio Stadium and this Buckeye team will be ready to play. I expect the game to be hotly contested early on but in the end the Buckeyes will prevail. I like the Buckeyes -8.5 in this one.
Miami vs. Ohio State Score Prediction: Ohio State 31 Miami 17