Buckeye Flash

A dominant defense has carried unbeaten Ohio State to the top of the Big Ten. It should be more than enough to carry it to a 25th straight regular-season victory.

The third-ranked Buckeyes look to avoid a potential letdown Saturday afternoon when they play their final non-conference game of the season against Kent State at Ohio Stadium.

Ohio State (6-0) has hardly been tested in its first six games, winning by an average of 26.5 points.

Oddsmakers from Bodog.com have made Ohio State -31 point spread favorites (View College Football odds) for Saturday's game, the over/under has been set at 48.5 total points (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 65% of bets for this have been placed on Ohio State -31 (View College Football bet percentages). 

Facing a ranked team for the first time this season, the Buckeyes had no trouble Saturday in a 23-7 victory over then-No. 23 Purdue.

Todd Boeckman passed for 200 yards and two touchdowns and Ryan Pretorius made all three of his field-goal attempts in support of another stellar defensive effort. Ohio State limited Purdue, which entered averaging 45 points and 496 yards per game, to 272 total yards.

"I didn't think that their offense had seen a defense like ours," Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said, "but still, it was their place, it was a big game, and they were all fifth-year seniors that have played against everything. Our guys did a great job."

The Buckeyes have allowed only 43 points, their lowest total through six games since the 1975 team gave up 36. They lead the nation in scoring defense (7.1) and are second in both total defense (210) and rush defense (46.5).

Ohio State, which shares the Big Ten lead with Illinois, moved up one spot in the AP Top 25 this week and now only trails No. 1 LSU and California.

"If we keep winning, then the rankings will take care of themselves," Boeckman said. "If we win the Big Ten, we know we're going to have a shot at the national championship."

Saturday's win was the 24th in a row during the regular season for the Buckeyes since a loss to Penn State on Oct. 8, 2005. They also have won 15 straight home games.

Ohio State's stifling defense has helped overcome the few mistakes the offense has made. Boeckman threw a career-high three interceptions against Purdue, but the Boilermakers didn't score until late in the fourth quarter.

"They're something else," Boeckman said of his defense. "It's nice when you go out there and they're shutting them out the whole game. They're a great defense, and it's nice to have around your back."

Kent State (3-3) figures to have a very difficult challenge Saturday when it faces the highest-ranked opponent in school history. The Golden Flashes are 0-8 all-time against the Big Ten, including a 51-17 loss in their only meeting versus the Buckeyes, on Sept. 7, 2002 in Columbus.

Kent State, which has traded wins and losses in its first six games, is 0-19 against ranked teams. It has lost its last two games versus Top 25 foes by a combined 55 points.

"We are not going to change our style of play, we are going to go out and run the same offense and defense that we have been running," Kent State coach Doug Martin said. "We have to shorten this game, we can't leave our defense on the field and it be a 40-minute possession advantage for Ohio State."

Despite having more first downs and twice as many rushing yards, Kent State was a 20-13 loser to Miami of Ohio on Saturday.

Sophomore Eugene Jarvis, ranked third in the nation with 851 rushing yards, was limited to a season-low 82 on 19 carries.

While not in the same class as Ohio State, Kent State also boasts a strong defense. The Golden Flashes lead the Mid-American Conference in scoring defense (24.8), total defense (332.7) and rush defense (143.8).

by: Anthony White - theSpread.com - Email Us

More NCAA College Football Coverage from theSpread.com

 - NCAA College Football public betting chart
 - NCAA College Football teams
 - NCAA College Football standings
 - NCAA College Football schedule
 - NCAA College Football scoreboard
 - NCAA College Football injuries
 - NCAA College Football matchups
 - NCAA College Football stats
 - NCAA College Football odds
 - NCAA College Football news wire
 - NCAA College Football top stories
 - AccuScore NCAA College Football predictions
 - Expert NCAA College Football picks
 - NCAA College Football trends
 - Comments and discussion
 - Signup for theSpread.com daily newsletter
 - NCAA College Football Home


NCAAF Top Stories

Thumbnail Baylor vs. Texas Pick Will quarterbacks Seth Russell and Shane Buechele light up the scoreboard so bettors can cash the over in Baylor vs. Texas this Saturday?
Thumbnail Florida vs. Georgia Pick Should bettors expect a defensive struggle between Florida and Georgia when the SEC rivals clash at 3:30PM ET in Jacksonville on Saturday?
Thumbnail West Virginia vs. Ok State Pick Will Saturday in Stillwater be a defensive struggle when Oklahoma State hosts West Virginia at 12:00PM ET?
Thumbnail Miami vs. Notre Dame Pick Two struggling programs meet up this Saturday when Notre Dame hosts Miami at 3:30PM ET. Will the two have an...
Thumbnail Penn State vs. Purdue Pick After a huge upset win last week, is No. 24 Penn Statelooking at a possible letdown performance when it goes on the road to face Purdue...
More inNCAAF Articles  

NCAAF Headlines

  • A few things to watch in Week 9 of the Southeastern Conference football season:
    GAME OF THE WEEK: No. 14 Florida vs. Georgia at Jacksonville, Florida: Florida still controls its destiny in the...
  • Here are some things to watch in the Big 12 Conference in Week 9:
    No. 10 West Virginia at Oklahoma State. The Mountaineers (6-0, 3-0 Big 12), trying to stay undefeated be...
  • The Big Sky is routinely considered one of the stronger conferences in the FCS, and this year is no exception.
    It has four programs in the STATS FCS Top 25, with No. 17 North Dakota rounding o...
  • (STATS) - Picked to finish in first place in the Pioneer Football League for the sixth straight season, San Diego is right where it should be with November approaching. The same can't be said for t...
  • (STATS) - The 2015 STATS FCS Freshman of the Year won't appear in another game in 2016.
    Case Cookus is done for the season as a result of a shoulder injury suffered Sept. 24. His return had be...
More inNCAAF News  

NCAAF Team Pages