Barrett, Buckeyes out to build resume against Sooners again
By ERIC OLSON, AP College Football Writer
Some things to watch in the Big Ten this week:
GAME OF THE WEEK
Oklahoma at Ohio State. The second-ranked Buckeyes host No. 5 Oklahoma for the first time in 40 years in a matchup of two of the all-time winningest programs and 2017 College Football Playoff hopefuls. J.T. Barrett threw four touchdowns in a 45-24 win in Norman, Oklahoma, last year that helped get Ohio State into the CFP semifinals, and he’s coming off a sharp second-half performance against Indiana last week. Oklahoma is riding an 11-game road win streak, and QB Baker Mayfield will be a huge challenge for an Ohio State secondary that allowed 420 yards passing to Indiana.
Ohio State defensive line vs. Oklahoma offensive line. It’s a matchup of the nation’s best lines. Remember a month ago when Buckeyes defensive coordinator Greg Schiano said his D-line was the most talented one he’s ever coached, including the ones he had as head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2012-13? Against Indiana, ends Tyquan Lewis, Jalyn Holmes, Sam Hubbard and Nick Bosa combined for four sacks and 10 tackles and tackle Jashon Cornell had a sack and forced fumble. The Buckeyes probably won’t go against a better offensive line the rest of the season.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
Penn State enters its home game against Pittsburgh on a streak of scoring 35 or more points in a school-record eight straight games. It’s the longest streak among power-five teams. … Iowa was among 12 FBS teams that didn’t allow a touchdown last week. In fact, Wyoming never penetrated farther than the Hawkeyes’ 24-yard line. … WR D.J. Moore leads all Maryland receivers with a reception in 22 straight games, the longest streak for the Terrapins since Torrey Smith finished his career with a 30-game streak from 2008-10. … Michigan State, which held Bowling Green to 67 rushing yards, has held 43 opponents under 100 yards rushing since 2011, most in the Big Ten. … Minnesota heads to Oregon State 5-0 when RBs Rodney Smith and Shannon Brooks score in the same game. … Northwestern QB Clayton Thorson threw for what was then a career-high 320 yards in last year’s win over Duke, this week’s opponent. … Rutgers, 103rd nationally in sacks allowed in 2016, gave up just one against Washington, on the last play of the game. … Wisconsin has the Big Ten’s longest home nonconference win streak at 38 games.
Nebraska is a two-touchdown underdog at Oregon. This game could signal the direction this season will go for third-year coach Mike Riley. The Cornhuskers beat Arkansas State at home in an opener that went down to the final play, and now first-year starting QB Tanner Lee has makes his road debut in the raucous Autzen Stadium. The Huskers beat the Ducks 35-32 in Lincoln last year.
PLAYER TO WATCH
Michigan RB Chris Evans, who carried a career-high 22 times for 78 yards against Florida , is poised for a big game against Cincinnati. The Bearcats lost their top three tacklers and all three linebackers from last year, when they surrendered 190 yards a game on the ground, and FCS Austin Peay dented them for eight runs of 13 yards or longer last week.
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