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College Football Week 0 Best Bets: Ohio vs San Diego State

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 10 Ohio at Penn State

UNIVERSITY PARK, PA - SEPTEMBER 10: Ohio Bobcats Quarterback Kurtis Rourke (7) looks to throw the ball during the second half of the College Football game between the Ohio Bobcats and Penn State Nittany Lions on September 10, 2022, at Beaver Stadium in University Park, PA. (Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

College Football is back! Vaughn Dalzell breaks down the best bet in a Week 0 matchup between the Ohio Bobcats and San Diego State Aztecs.

Ohio at San Diego State (-3): O/U 49.0

It wouldn’t be Week 0 of the College Football season without some MACtion, so here we go!

The Ohio Bobcats travel to San Diego to take on the Aztecs on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. ET to open their respective seasons. Both teams finished with Bowl berths in 2022 and were two of the hottest programs over the final eight games of their seasons.

The major news is QB Kurtis Rourke is playing Week 0 for Ohio and he was the MAC Offensive Player of the Year despite not playing a full season. The Bobcats’ signal-caller posted 25 touchdowns and four interceptions over 11 games with four turnover-worthy plays in the final six contests.

San Diego State signed Ryan Lindley as the OC, who is the program’s all-time leader passer (2008-2011). Lindley was quoted as wanting to pass more and I don’t think Jalen Mayden is that type of drop-back quarterback. While Mayden was impressive as a dual-threat QB, he was a turnover-machine with 10 interceptions over the last six games.

Mayden will have an impressive rushing attack around him and San Diego State is 54-2 in the last 56 games when rushing for 200-plus yards, but Ohio has one of, if not, the best and most experienced linebacking core in the MAC.

While the Aztecs’ defense is stronger on paper than the Bobcats, Ohio’s defense is expected to improve after allowing 24 or fewer points in seven of the final eight games of 2022.

The weakest part of the San Diego State defense is the defensive line and Ohio’s offensive line has 86 career starts under their belts, so if there isn’t much pressure on Rourke, then Ohio’s offense should find success after 36.0 points per game last year.

San Diego State’s defense played two highly efficient passing offenses last season, Fresno State and Middle Tennessee State, losing to both by a combined six points (30.0 ppg allowed). If Rourke looks anything like his 2022 self, then Ohio will put up points and San Diego State should struggle to keep up.

I hate fading one of my sweethearts from last year, but with Rourke being back, a new OC for San Diego State, plus 15 total starters returning for an underrated Ohio team, I grabbed the Bobcats at +3 (-118) and would play this down to ML as I think Ohio wins outright.

Pick: Ohio +3 (1u)

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