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UM follies, Justin Fields, Chase Young, and the Indiana matchup - Baver answers Colin's questions: Hoosier Week

Colin: How surprised were you the way OSU dominated that Cincinnati game?

Baver:  I thought it would be a fairly tight game, and maybe I have been too cautious with this OSU team that had to replace Urban Meyer and Dwayne Haskins. Like most Buckeye fans, I think Ryan Day thought the Bucks would get a challenge from UC, which led Day to unveil more of his playbook. You and I had talked about Dobbins, KJ Hill, and the O-line having to pick things up after the opener. Well, OSU got the big games out of KJ and Dobbins, and the offensive line was much more consistent. After rolling Cincinnati 42-0, the rest of the CFB world might want to take notice of this Buckeye team, if they haven’t already.

Colin: Who looked more impressive: Justin Fields or Chase Young? 

Baver:  Considering Chase Young is the best defensive end in college football, that’s maybe not the fairest question. I just did a quick Google searching 2020 NFL mock drafts, bringing up the 3 most recent mock drafts I could find. Each had Young as either the 3rdor the 4thoverall pick in the draft. But Justin Fields stole the show Saturday, and he really made it look easy. As mentioned, Day opened the playbook more, and Fields took the bull by the horns. He got a lot of help from the rest of his offense, but Justin Fields is really shining. 

Colin: Who looked more impressive: defensive backs or wide receivers?

Baver:  I am going to say the WRs were. The 3 guys that are considered the starters, Hill, Mack and Victor combined for only 7 catches against FAU. Those three combined for 16 catches against Cincinnati. And Garrett Wilson’s first catch as a Buckeye? A touchdown...probably the first of many to come in his Buckeye career. But no doubt the OSU secondary is worlds better than they were a year ago. Shaun Wade is really starting to finding his stride.

Colin: Ok, now that I have hyped the squad, could over confidence be a problem against Indiana? Could the Buckeyes lose this game and how would it happen?

Baver:  Ohio St is only 1-7 against the spread against IU over the past 8 seasons, and in the one game they covered, OSU trailed in the 3rdquarter as a 20-point favorite. I think certain Buckeye players come into this game over-confident every year, and tomorrow will be no different. This is probably why Ohio St opened as only a 14-point favorite this week before bettors pushed it to 18. 

If the Buckeyes continue to play like they have been playing as of late against IU, sooner or later the Hoosiers will come away with the win. If Indiana does win, it’s likely because the their QB (Penix and/or Ramsey) finds time to throw, while Justin Fields gets into a funk in his first road start. Whether it’s Penix or Ramsey for IU, both have athleticism that can cause OSU problems. But, I’ve got Ohio St winning 38-21...in line with the current Vegas numbers.

Colin: Speaking of losers, you tweeted that Michigan is the worst coached team you have ever seen. What is the trouble with our friends up North? 

Baver:  They are a mess. They brought over Josh Gattis from Bama as the new OC, and Gattis was the guy that was supposed to run tempo, and bring Jim Harbaugh into the 21stcentury. But that offense has been so bad they haven’t sped things up much at all, likely fearing that they’d turn the ball over even more. They have already fumbled 8 times in 2019! Four fumbles in each game....so at least they’ve been consistent. Shea Patterson is responsible for four of them himself, two of them coming inside Army’s 30-yard line last Saturday. Shea is also over-throwing receivers and making bad zone-reads, so I guess you can see he’s been well-rounded. And if Gattis is truly calling plays, his play calling has been abysmal. And here is a stat for you....in Michigan’s last 5 gms dating back to last season, UM hasn’t come within 2 touchdowns of covering the Vegas spread in any of the 5 games. And were it not for the success UM had on a fake punt Saturday, they would have scored 7 pts against a service academy. PUH-thetic.

Colin: What other games and lines will you be keeping an eye on this week? 

Baver:  After an improvement in the slate of games a week ago, the Wk 3 games have reverted back to crap. I have to think that UF head coach Dan Mullen has figured out a few things in the two weeks since Florida had their problems against the Canes. With the way they looked in the opener, and with Kentucky looking good in both games, there’s value in Fla only laying 8 at UK. Kentucky just lost starting QB Terry Wilson for the season, and I think they get smacked by the Gators tomorrow. 

I don’t have any other hard takes, but a slight lean toward Oklahoma covering the slew of pts (23½) they are laying at UCLA, and would probably lean Syracuse to cover the 4 TDs they are getting at home against Clemson.

—Brent Baver and Colin Gawel