Florida Atlantic (@21.0) vs Ohio State (@1.006)

Our Prediction:

Ohio State will win

Florida Atlantic – Ohio State Match Prediction | 26-08-2019 12:00

Their kickers had a field goal percentage of 59%. Florida Atlantic Owls kickers made 93% of their extra points, going 40 for 42 last season. They returned 28 kicks for 722 yards on special teams, which put them 37th in kick return yardage. Florida Atlantic was 81st in the country in punt returns with 16 last season. Their punters accumulated 1,750 yards on 44 punts, averaging 40 yards per punt. The Owls averaged 26 yards per kick return and they were 35th in the nation in all-purpose yards with 6,538. The Florida Atlantic Owls tried 17 field goals last year and made 10, which was 107th in college football. That ranked them 95th in the NCAA in punting average. They totaled 70 punt return yards and averaged 4.6 yards per return, which was 118th in D-1.

The Ohio State Buckeyes averaged 18 yards per kick return and they were 4th in the country in all-purpose yards with 8,176. That placed them 37th in Division 1 in punting average. Their punters totaled 2,652 yards on 62 punts, averaging 43 yards per punt. They accumulated 213 punt return yards and averaged 7.9 yards per return, which was 75th in college football. The Buckeyes attempted 18 field goals last season and made 13, which was 74th in D-1. They returned 27 kicks for 463 yards on special teams, ranking 97th in kick return yardage. Ohio State was ranked 23rd in the nation in punt returns with 27 last year. Their kickers had a field goal percentage of 72%. Ohio State kickers made 100% of their extra points, going 76 for 76 last year.

Admittedly, I drank the Kool-Aid with Kiffin and FAU before last years opener. If theres a difference between the Meyer era and the Day era, were not going to see it in Week 1. Ill lean toward Ohio State to win by four touchdowns and cover. I expect the Buckeyes to be business as usual against an inferior opponent in their opener. But Im not making the same mistake this year.

Theyll all work behind a line that returns just two starters after having a nightmare of a time giving up tackles for loss, but was great in pass protection. Junior James Charles ran for 20 yards last season, but he has to hold off the fast Malcolm Davidson the teams leading returning running back and Alabama transfer BJ Emmons.

at Nebraska (Sept. 28)

The past two meetings in this rivalry have been 1-point thrillers and there's no reason to project 2019's matchup to be much different. If Justin Fields is still in the Heisman conversation coming down the stretch, his performance against Penn State could be vital to his campaign. 247Sports take: This is always a challenging game for the Buckeyes, but Penn State is a tougher out on the road and most are projecting the Nittany Lions to be somewhat of a mixed bag this season, hovering around the eight-win mark.

They ran 930 plays last year for 5,746 yards, which ranked them 76th in the nation in total offense. The Florida Atlantic Owls ran for 2,902 yards as a team last year, which ranked 19th in the nation. They were 64th in Division 1 in points scored with 373. They ran 566 times, averaging 5.1 yards per rush as a unit. As a team they accumulated a total of 287 1st downs last season, ranking them 38th overall as an offensive unit. The Owls were penalized on offense 79 times for 754 yards last year, which had them 58th in the country in penalties. The Owls averaged 6.2 yards per play, which was 27th in college football.

But Fields has plenty of arm strength and his mobility could actually make him a better fit for the OSU offense than Haskins. The best thing to happen to Day this offseason was landing Georgia transfer Justin Fields, who will be eligible to play right away and earned the starting quarterback job in training camp. There will be massive shoes for Fields to fill after Dwayne Haskins threw for over 4,800 yards and 50 touchdowns last year.

The Owls were 4-8-0 ATS and their over/under record was 6-6-0. Ohio Stadium is the venue for the game between the Florida Atlantic Owls and the Ohio State Buckeyes on Saturday, August 31, 2019. The opening line for this matchup has Ohio State as 24 point favorites. The Buckeyes were 6-8-0 against the spread last year and their over/under mark was 7-7-0.

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Ohio State vs. Florida Atlantic Prediction, Line

These are great kids and they're working really, really hard. "I feel great about the team. This is a new staff. I love being around the guys," Day said at Big Ten Media Day. I love our players. This is a new team. But like I said, we have a lot to prove. That's not the case here. We haven't done anything, and we need to do that. "There are teams you get around where it's a labor to go to work. I love our team.

247Sports take: Remember the chaos surrounding Ohio State's defense following last year's high-scoring win against the Terps on the road? If the Buckeyes are caught out of position and don't tackle well, it could happen again. Maryland's offense should be one of the Big Ten's best under first-year coach Mike Locksley, but this isn't a team blessed with depth and a ton of talent at the skill positions.

OSUs new head coach spent the last two seasons serving as the teams offensive coordinator. He was also the interim coach for the first three games of the 2018 season while Meyer was suspended. Its now Ryan Days responsibility to make that happen. But being the full-time head coach is different from being the interim, giving Day big shoes to fill and a lot of pressure on his shoulders heading into the 2019 season.

Tom Allen is 10-15 in two seasons as head coach and is still searching for that signature victory heading into the 2019 season. A fringe bowl team this fall, Indiana will be lucky to keep this one within the number, a point spread expected to hover around three touchdowns. 247Sports take: The Hoosiers haven't beaten the Buckeyes since 1988, a span of 25 games. Defensive struggles have been the chief problem with Indiana simply not having enough athletes and depth on defense to keep up with Ohio State's playmakers. It won't come here.

They gave up a total of 5,094 yards on D, which was 75th in the nation. The Florida Atlantic pass defense also surrendered a total of 2,861 yards in the air, which was 63rd overall in total pass defense. That placed them 7th in Division 1. Opponent offenses completed 241 throws on 378 attempts against the Florida Atlantic Owls defense last season, ranking them 81st and 48th in the country. They had 48 penalties for 473 yards on defense last year. Florida Atlantic was 88th in college football in points surrendered on defense with 382. The Owls rush defense gave up 484 attempts for 2,233 yards last season, putting them in 78th place in the country against the run. The Owls were 80th in yards per play allowed with 5.9.