Ohio State vs. Navy College Football Picks Week 1

Jeff Grant

Monday, August 4, 2014 3:20 PM GMT

Monday, Aug. 4, 2014 3:20 PM GMT

The Navy Midshipmen and Ohio State Buckeyes both have experienced signal-callers, which will lead to a high-scoring season opener at M&T Bank Stadium.

Perfection
Ohio State has put together a perfect 24-0 straight-up record during the regular season under third year head coach Urban Meyer, which can’t be ignored when making your Week 1 college football predictions, especially since the program has won all four all-time meetings in this series.

The Buckeyes did slip up at the end of last year in dropping a 34-24 decision to the Michigan State Spartans in the Big Ten championship game—leading directly to an emotional letdown in suffering a 40-35 setback to the Clemson Tigers in the 2014 Orange Bowl.

College football handicappers will find that the squad has failed to cover the number in its two neutral site affairs under Meyer.

 

Plenty to be Excited About 
Navy should always be respected as a underdog when looking over the NCAA football lines on a weekly basis, as it has won 21 games against schools from the Power 5 conferences since 2003—the most such victories in the country by a non-automatic qualifier school.

The Midshipmen welcome back their highest number of returning starters since 1996, which will allow them to improve upon their solid 92-49 straight-up record over the previous 11 campaigns.

It’s still important to point out that the program is just 11-11 against the spread versus non-service academy opponents the last two years.

 

Miller Time
The Buckeyes return five starters from an offensive unit that set a Big Ten Conference record for most rushing yards (4,321)—establishing that mark with Heisman Trophy candidate Braxton Miller under center.

Miller has won more Big Ten individual awards that any player in league history, which has allowed him to set nine school records at the quarterback position.

His success in the early going will likely depend on the performance of four new starters along the offensive line, but Meyer has recruited heavily at that position since arriving in Columbus.

 

Finding Pay Dirt
Keenan Reynolds’ 31 rushing touchdowns last year were the most by a quarterback in NCAA history for a single season—allowing the Midshipmen to average 33.5 points per game in that span.

Navy’s option attack finished tied for fourth in the country with Ohio State in fewest three-and-outs (just 17 percent of its drives), which played a big role in the unit scoring a touchdown on nearly 45 percent of its drives.

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Prediction
I’m going to recommend that readers play the total as one of their Week 1 college football picks, as both offenses should be ahead of the opposing defenses at the home of the Baltimore Ravens at the end of this month.

Free College Football Pick: Over 63 at 5Dimes 

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