The defending National Champions look to cap off a rather disappointing season with a win against Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl. This one has to feel bittersweet for Ohio State, as they draw an opponent that should provide some reason to get motivated for. However, anything less than the college football playoff and trip to the National Championship would be seen as disappointing. Well here they are, removed from the college football playoff and playing in the Fiesta Bowl. But this game does feature two stories programs with a ton of history, it will make for some good TV. All of the talk for Ohio State is how they have three dynamic players who all could be the starting quarterback. Cardale Jones, J.T. Barrett, and Braxton Miller. Miller was shaping up to be a Heisman hopeful in the pre-season last year, but blew out his knee, which shaped up an improbable run to the National Championship.
This season I was not impressed by how Ohio State handled all three of those guys. Braxton Miller was not utilized to the best of his ability this season. They tried to involve him on sweeps and dump offs, but he never really took any games over or made an impact. They would go to him a couple times a game then ignore him for the rest. The Buckeyes needed to find more ways to get the ball in his hands. I was surprised as well by the lack of creativity. Miller never had many pass attempts out of any formation. You have this guy who was going into last season as the Heisman favorite at quarterback and the Buckeyes couldn’t draw something up to get throwing the football?
Running back Ezekiel Elliott was so infuriated after the 17-14 loss to Michigan State that he said he’d be going to the NFL following this season. It really was bad, and it was a sum of the entire season. Ohio State escaped several times this season but they couldn’t survive the Spartans. The Buckeyes blew Michigan out of the water the next week, so a win there for Ohio State against Michigan State would have given them a berth in the BIG 10 Championship, as well as a great shot at making it back to the National Championship. As a consolation the Buckeyes will face the Irish in the Fiesta Bowl.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Ohio State Buckeyes Fiesta Bowl Betting Odds:
Notre Dame +6(-110)
vs. Ohio State -6(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Ohio State vs. Notre Dame Pick:
Just a quick side note, couldn’t the bowl committee attract a better sponsor than Battlefrog for this game? I couldn’t tell you what Battlefrog is, but I thought they could have gotten somebody else. Battlefrog Fiesta Bowl does not yield the most attractive sponsor for a bowl called the Fiesta Bowl. This has nothing to do with the game, but just wanted to share what all of you are thinking as well, ha. Ohio State absolutely took their frustration out on the Wolverines in their final game of the season. They walloped their rival for a 42-13 win, leading them into the Fiesta Bowl today. Defensive end Joey Bosa will be departing for the NFL Draft as well. Good move by Bosa, as he’ll be a top 5 pick in the draft.
The spread in this game is a tough one to nail down. I think it’s going to be one of those games by the 4th quarter the spread is going to be a coin flip. There are some games where there wasn’t really a bad side, the ball just didn’t fall in your direction. This could be one of those games. The Ohio State offense showed life in their last game against a very good Michigan offense. Watch the Buckeyes finally open the offense up in this game and play loose, something they should have been doing all season long. Despite what was inefficiencies in the offense, Ohio State still averaged 35 points per game. Notre Dame was right there with them, averaging 34.2 points per game. Their running attack should bully Notre Dame around, as they have been susceptible against the run. Notre Dame has given up 165 yards per game on the ground, the Buckeyes are averaging 242 yards pounding the rock. If this were this was the scene of a college football playoff game I wouldn’t be taking this bet. However, since both teams should be playing loose I expect big plays. A total in the 50s, I will take the OVER.
PICK: OVER 57 POINTS (-110)