Oklahoma Sooners vs Ohio State Buckeyes

Ohio State vs. Oklahoma Top ESPN College Gameday signs from Columbus

A year ago Ohio State clobbered Oklahoma 45-24 in Norman, a result that largely lifted the Buckeyes into the College Football Playoff and kept the Sooners out of it. MI is 6-2 SU and ATS in its last eight games in Week 1. We'd never seen a team sing their fight song on our field.

Not only do the fifth-ranked Sooners, a 7½-point underdog, need revenge against the No. 2 Buckeyes.

"There are times when we push it down the field, " said Barrett, who must be tired from constantly having to defend his performance (he's 27-4 as an Ohio State starter). The 23rd-ranked Horned Frogs, the only team from Texas in the Top 25, are a 3-point favorite against an SEC club that beat them in overtime in Fort Worth a year ago.

The Oklahoma Sooners crushed UTEP in their season opener to the tune of 56-7. Instead, Ohio State averaged 47.4 points per game the remainder of the year, imposing their will on every team they played en route to a 59-0 Big Ten Championship win over Wisconsin that solidified their spot in the playoff.

Murphy: The Buckeyes won this monster matchup a year ago thanks to their best deep-passing performance of the year.

Mayfield, one of the most prolific passers in college football, will have his work cut out for him if he wants to realize his goal.

While it remains to be seen whether or not James will make the trek to Columbus to witness the game in person - as he has done several times throughout his NBA career - the 4-time NBA MVP appears to have donated another gift to his favorite college football program.

But Campbell, whose six catches in Ohio State's opening win at in included a 74-yard touchdown, also acknowledges that players know when the stage is bigger. This week, it's Ohio State's turn.

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"Hey, if you scared, you don't wanna go hard?" If the running game isn't there early, expect OU to lean heavy on the intermediate and deep passing game to open up some of those rushing lanes.

If anybody can get a push on Ohio State's mighty front, it might be the Sooner line, but we don't yet know much about Sooner running backs and whether they'll be able to take advantage. With Mayfield back, and the Sooners looking to replace nearly 80 percent of their rushing totals from 2016 having lost Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon to the NFL Draft, it is likely the Buckeye secondary will be getting a lot of work again.

What are your predictions for the big game? The Sooners went over the 62.5-point total in the victory.

"Oh, definitely", Campbell said. Properly deploying linemen and fullbacks to stop the evolving looks of some of the country's best defensive lines can be a logistical nightmare.

On the other side of the ball, Ohio State has a Heisman hopeful of its own in quarterback J.T. Barrett.

Ohio State coach Urban Meyer plans to use both backs but hasn't decided on a rotation.

In all, Oklahoma returns nine starters on offense.

That freshman-laden Buckeyes secondary was torched for three quarters by Indiana. "I think the footwork is the biggest difference between all the positions". "I think Phil Knight - the Nike CEO - Coach Meyer and LeBron, they're all for it". "It will be a great atmosphere, one our guys are looking forward to going and competing in".



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