The reigning Big 10 champions opened up their season with a victory over Florida Atlantic. Ohio State will host Cincinnati looking to move to 2-0. The Buckeyes were not granted access to the CFB Playoff last season, but they will be looking to do so this season with a new coach and quarterback.
The Bearcats hosted UCLA in week one and picked up a 10-point win. They finished 11-2 last season and earned a victory in the Military Bowl. This was just Cincinnati’s second 11-win season in program history. They will hit the road to take on the No. 5 team in the nation.
Cincinnati vs. Ohio State Preview
One of these two teams will be suffering their first loss on Saturday. Ohio State came out swinging in their first game. The Ryan Day era began like everyone assumed it would, with a boatload of points. The Buckeyes scored 28 points in the first seven minutes of the game to virtually put the game away. They ended up winning the game 45-21 but they did not cover the big spread over Florida Atlantic.
Justin Field transferred to Ohio State from Georgia. He was the No. 1 recruit coming out of high school and spent his freshman season with the Bulldogs. In his first start with the Buckeyes, Field went 18-25 for 234 yards and four touchdowns. He also ran 12 times for 61 yards and a touchdown. J.K. Dobbins is poised for a monster season and he began it with 91 yards and a touchdown on Saturday.
“I think when you look at college football today, I think it’s important to have a balance,” Ryan Day said after the win against FAU. “I think it’s important to be able to line up under center, run the football, play-action pass and do some things, and also run the spread and run with tempo. And I think when you can mix those two things and you’re good at both those things it’s not easy to do.”
Ohio State definitely has that balance and will look to keep it going against Cincinnati. The Bearcats picked up a 24-14 victory over UCLA in their opener. It was an ugly offensive game to say the least. Cincinnati got off to a slow start and led 10-7 at halftime. Their defense stepped up in the final 30 minutes of the game. Desmond Ridder threw for two touchdowns and turned the ball over once. Cincinnati leaned on Michael Warren II. He had 26 carries for 92 yards and one touchdown.
“It has nothing to do with us playing Ohio State and being 100 miles down the road,” Cincinnati head coach Luke Fickell said. “This is a big stage, and what I want to do is not what we did last year in some of those situations and maybe we got distracted.”
Cincinnati vs. Ohio State Pick & Prediction
According to FanDuel Sportsbook, Ohio State enters this game as 16-point favorites. The o/u is currently set at 53.5, which is surprisingly low for an Ohio State game. This means that they do not expect Cincinnati to score.
The Buckeyes came out with four touchdowns in the first quarter in week one. They showed off their explosive offense, but they slowed down over the final three quarters. It is difficult to adjust to a new coach and quarterback. With one game under their belt, Ohio State should be ready to go from the first possession in this one.
Cincinnati is in for a long day on both sides of the ball. Ohio State’s defense has multiple NFL prospects on it. The Bearcats struggled to score in week one against UCLA so they might have a harder time against a much stronger defense. This would be the ultimate statement game for Cincinnati but don’t expect much.
PICK: Ohio State -16
SCORE PREDICTION: Ohio State 44, Cincinnati 20