College Football Picks - Ohio & Tennessee Will Make It Over The Totals

Tennessee Vols Take The Field

Matthew Jordan

Wednesday, September 14, 2016 4:26 PM UTC

Wednesday, Sep. 14, 2016 4:26 PM UTC

Tennessee opens SEC play vs. rival Florida next week. Thus could the No. 15 Volunteers perhaps overlook visiting Mid-American Conference school Ohio on Saturday? Check our college football pick.

Bobcats Get Rare Win Vs. Power 5
Ohio (1-1) opened with a 56-54 triple-overtime home loss to Texas State, and if I'm being honest I didn't expect the Bobcats to then do much last week at Kansas, which looked much improved in Week 1. But Ohio pulled off a 37-21 upset of the Jayhawks. It was no fluke as Ohio U led 15-0 after one-quarter and 25-0 in the second. KU never got closer than 31-21 early in the third.

Coach Frank Solich's team dominated statistically with 496 yards of offense, 329 yards rushing and 27 first downs to  KU's 232, 26 and 9, respectively. Ohio had the ball a whopping 44:42 -- that's about the widest time of discrepancy total I can remember seeing in years. In his second career start, Ohio quarterback Greg Windham threw for 167 yards and a touchdown while rushing 16 times for 146 yards and a score. Dorian Brown added 122 yards on 20 carries. Louie Zervos was 5-for-5 on field goals; he has made nine already in 2016. Ohio's kicker last year, Josiah Yazdani,  made only 16 all season.

Linebacker Chad Moore led the defense with seven tackles, including five solo stops, two tackles for loss, a quarterback hurry, and a safety. Windham and Moore were named MAC East Division Offensive and Defensive Player of the Week.

It was the first time since 2005 that Ohio had two players rush for more than 100 yards and the first win over a Power 5 school since upsetting Penn State in 2012. It was the school's first win over a Big 12 team since 1967. If you want to nitpick, Ohio only scored touchdowns on two of seven red-zone chances. So far this season, Ohio has converted just six of its 15 red-zone possessions into TDs.

The Bobcats played Kansas without running back A.J. Ouellette, who injured his foot against Texas State. The junior is questionable against Tennessee. He rushed for 687 yards and six scores last year.

Ohio has played Tennessee once, losing 34-23 in Knoxville on Sept. 26, 2009. The Bobcats are 2-11 all-time against current SEC schools. Both wins are over Kentucky. Ohio is 1-1 against the spread on college football odds this season and 1-1 O/U at online sportsbooks.


Shop Live Odds For Ohio Bobcats vs Tennessee Volunteers


Vols Finally Hit Stride Vs. Hokies
No. 15 Tennessee (1-1) didn't play well at all in its season opener at home against Appalachian State, barely avoiding one of the biggest upsets in SEC history. Last week in front of an NCAA-record crowd at Bristol Motor Speedway, UT didn't play great for a while against Virginia Tech but then showed why this was a Top-10 team and a preseason favorite at SBR's best sportsbooks to win the SEC East Division.

In front of nearly 157,000 at Bristol, Tennessee fell behind 14-0 after one-quarter -- Virginia Tech outgained UT 204-28 and had nine first downs to the Vols' one -- but then outscored Tech 24-0 in the second quarter and didn't look back in a 45-24 victory. Joshua Dobbs was  just 10-for-19 for 91 yards but had three touchdown passes and rushed 14 times for 106 yards and two scores.

Dobbs now holds the school record for rushing yards by a quarterback with 1,431. The Vols rushed for 239 yards and the defense, while allowing 400 yards, forced five turnovers. Micah Abernathy set a Tennessee record with three fumble recoveries against Virginia Tech, with them leading to 14 points. The defensive back was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Week, the school's first since 2013.

One of Tennessee's best defensive players, linebacker Darrin Kirkland Jr., will miss this game with a high-ankle sprain. Kirkland, who was All-SEC last year as a freshman, had seven tackles and a sack against the Hokies before the injury. Senior defensive end LaTroy Lewis will also sit with an ankle injury.

UT's eight-game winning streak is the third-longest in the nation and the school's longest since winning 14 in a row from 1998-99. The Vols are 1-1 ATS on college football picks and 1-1 O/U this year.


NCAAF Free Picks: Tennessee has won 24 straight vs. unranked non-conference opponents. It will certainly win this one, but I think the Vols will be peeking ahead to facing Florida next week. Take the points, go 'over' the total. Ohio is 7-1 ATS in its past eight non-conference games. The 'over' is 4-1 in the Bobcats' past five out of conference. It's 20-7 in UT's past 27 in September. 


Free College Football Picks: Over 57
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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