Ohio State needed a victory over Tulsa to remove the bad taste of a crushing loss to Oregon. Akron needed a victory last weekend to get any sort of momentum going ... they're 2-19 since the start of the 2019 season and even though they beat an FCS team last week, the Zips looked like they made some small progress.
Here's how our staff sees Saturday night's game playing out:
AKRON at OHIO STATE – Saturday, 7:40 p.m.
Spread: Ohio State (-48.5)
O/U Total: 66.5
Brendan Gulick: Ohio State 63, Akron 10
While Ohio State is going to have an advantage at every position on the field against a young Akron team that has a lot of growing to do, I think the biggest advantage for Ohio State will be in the passing game. Akron has generated essentially no pass rush this year and the Buckeye receivers are elite. I expect Kyle McCord and Jack Miller to have a monster day and wouldn't be surprised one bit if the Buckeyes take a couple of deep shots early on.
This is exactly the game the Buckeyes need right now to get their confidence going before league play resumes next week at Rutgers.
Andrew Lind: Ohio State 56, Akron 3
The Buckeyes are overwhelming favorites on Saturday afternoon and rightly so against the Zips, who have won just three games over the last four seasons. The defense should have its best game of the season and have something to build upon as Big Ten play resumes next week.
With C.J. Stroud sidelined by his nagging shoulder injury, this will be a big opportunity for true freshman Kyle McCord. If he plays as well as I think he will, Ohio State could have a quarterback controversy on its hands.
The again, the Buckeyes would probably win this game with ease with walk-ons Jagger LaRoe or J.P. Andrade behind center.
Eddie Marotta: Ohio State 76, Akron 13
I'm going to keep this one short (for once.) This game is simple... Ohio State is much, much more talented than Akron, and although they may not be the greatest Buckeye team we've seen in recent years, they handle the Zips without any major hiccups along the way.
OSU should be able to give some younger guys experience playing in their scheme with live game reps in the second half of this game, which may bring about an interesting, and increasingly needed, conversation surrounding C.J. Stroud and Kyle McCord.
Caleb Spinner: Ohio State 44, Akron 10
Ohio State will dominate this game; there’s no doubt about it. Coach Day’s decision to bench C.J. Stroud in an “emergency role” threw a wrench into my previous prediction, but it doesn’t change the outcome. It’s still unclear whether we’ll see Jack Miller, Kyle McCord or both under center this week.
For that reason, I’m going to aim small with Ohio State’s score this week, and settle at a final score of 44-10. Furthermore, I’ll go ahead and say Ohio State will not record a shutout this season.
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