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Colin: Did we learn anything from the Army game that will matter against Penn State?
Baver: Not a lot. You saw Ohio St get the ball to the WRs on the perimeter in space more so than in the Oklahoma game, and the plays were actually successful against Army. Similar plays against Oklahoma were not. We did get to see Dwayne Haskins, but not until the final drive of the game. Haskins, like in the spring game, and like the whispers you hear from practice, looked good. And the Bucks may have a big time middle linebacker in Tuf Borland who replaced an injured Chris Worley. Worley is going to have a tough time getting his middle linebacker job back as Borland had double-digit tackles in a little more than a half of football.
Colin: Does it look like Kevin Wilson is taking control of the offense?
Baver: It looked like it against Army more so than against the Sooners, but it was Urban’s offense that I saw against Oklahoma. Your wider question really can’t be answered until after the Penn State game on Oct 28, as you surmised in your 1st question. I certainly still have a lot of confidence in Urban Meyer coaching this team, but I’d feel a heck of lot better if Wilson called the shots on offense against the Nits. Until then, it probably isn’t going to matter who is running the offensive show. The Bucks should put up 50+ against UNLV and handle Rutgers without working up too much of a sweat. Maryland could hang around and Nebraska could play OSU tight, but I still expect to see a one-loss Buckeye team playing Penn St Oct 28th. And that team will need Kevin Wilson’s help come 3:30 that afternoon.
Colin: I have no questions about UNLV though I know you’re hot picking Ohio St games against the spread….for I think a long time now. Do the numbers bear that out?
Baver: Yeah, I just ran the #’s and I’m 30-13-1 against the spread picking Buckeye games since the start of the 2014 season, my first year with Pencil Storm. A hell of a lot of luck involved, and there’s a 6-game losing streak built into those numbers. But, I’ve had the Buckeyes pulse as of late, going 22-7 since the start of the 2015 season, including 3-0 this year. Ohio State is laying 40 against UNLV Saturday. Urban will want to pile it up, and see the Bucks covering for the 3rd time in 4 games this yr. I like Ohio State 56-10.
Colin: What other games / lines will you be keeping an eye on this weekend and how have your picks on other games been going so far?
Baver: 4-3 ATS on non-OSU games. Not really feeling it except on Buckeye games, but I did hit all 3 of the other games last week. Michigan isn’t playing well, and travels to West Lafayette to play a much improved Purdue team, but Vegas seems to have over-adjusted for this one, with UM only laying 10. Michigan I think is probably the best play of the week at that number. Last year, Saquon Barkley basically said Iowa quit in the 2nd half of Penn St’s 41-14 lambasting of the Hawkeyes in Happy Valley. I know 19-year-olds will be 19-year-olds, but Iowa is going to be fired up Saturday night. I like the Hawkeyes plus the 12 ½ at home, at night. And I like Georgia laying 5 against Miss St in a situational play, with the Bulldogs off the big win against LSU, while Georgia comes off a meaningless game they had against Stamford.