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Gridiron Players Club (12/29/23)

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(2 Picks)

8:00PM EST: Ohio State -5. (4 Units)

8:00PM EST: Carnell Tate Over 50.5 Rec Yards. (2 Units)

Ohio State will be without starting QB Kyle McCord, but the roster is still loaded, and the majority of that talent is playing. WR Marvin Harrison Jr is expected to Opt-Out but he hasn't declared yet. There's a very real chance he returns to Ohio State next year thanks to NIL deals. This pick’s being made under the assumption he's out, but he could surprise by playing. Starting RB Treveyon Henderson will be playing in this game. OSU isn't expecting a single defensive Opt-Out and there are plenty of guys who could have. By all accounts this Ohio State roster has firmly bought into this bowl game.

Losing your QB is cause for concern, but he barely earned the starting job over Devin Brown this year anyway. He also left because he wasn't guaranteed to start next year. It also hasn't mattered who's been under center for the Buckeyes the last 8 years, their offense produces and the passing games always there. Much of it stems from the WR room that's always stacked. They are also down Julian Fleming in the WR room, but Emeka Egbuka is playing along with starting TE Cade Stover. Those are Ohio State's 2nd and 3rd leading receivers. Missouri is down a starting CB for this game due to injury.

True Freshman Carnell Tate will be the next big name WR for OSU and he's part of the reason Julian Fleming is transferring. He started eating into Fleming's playing time as the year progressed. He's a true X receiver and has received nothing but praise since he stepped onto campus. He's been turning heads all week as he gets starting reps and he's in line for plenty of work in this one. OSU QB Devin Brown and Carnell Tate have plenty of reps together throughout the year running the 2nd team.

Ohio State also has their entire offensive line intact. The unit really turned it on the final stretch of the season, averaging 163.8 rushing yards per game over their last 5. They also allowed just 3 sacks combined over their last 4 games. RB Treveyon Henderson is averaging 6.2 yards per carry this season and Missouri has had its struggles against the run. LSU ran for 274 against them, Kentucky 179, Georgia 131 but their RB's averaged 4.9 YPC, then Florida gashed them for 261. Those are 4 of their last 7 games. QB Devin Brown is also a better runner than prior QB Kyle McCord, adding a wrinkle to their offense.

The Buckeyes defense is going to present issues for Missouri. This is one of the best defenses in College Football. They allowed more than 17 points just once and it was against Michigan. The Wolverines scored 30 against them but 1 of their TD drives started at their own 7-yard line courtesy of a McCord interception. They completely shut offenses down and rank 3rd in yards allowed per game. The only comparable defense Mizzu has faced was Georgia and they only scored just 21 points that day. Ohio State's defense is better than Georgia's this year too.

The Bottom line, Ohio State has a National Championship caliber roster and team. The talent wants to play and is suiting up for this game when they didn't have to. Mizzu had a fine season, but these are 2 different levels of program. Mizzu had 2 shots at top SEC programs and lost both games by double digits. Their biggest win came at Home against Tennessee. The Buckeyes nearly punched their ticket to the playoffs but came up just short in a hell of a game against Michigan.


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