Week 1 Predictions – 2023

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Last Year:  I know that everyone Buckeye fan has replayed that Georgia loss in their head for the past eight months.  This weekend we can finally put that behind us and start fresh again. Hopefully the 2024 Bucks don’t play in games that come down to a last second field goal.

This Week’s Games Not a lot of big match-ups this weekend. In fact, we normally pick five games each week, but this week we are only looking at three games.  The first is of course the Buckeyes game with the Hoosiers.  Ohio State has only lost two games in Blomington out of 32 games, seems unlikely they will suffer their third loss with this group of athletes  ….  We will also will give Penn State an early look as they have enough talent to be a dark horse in the B1G East this season.  They take on West Viriginia, can the Mountaineers pull off the early upset?  ….  The marquee match-up this opening weekend will by LSU vs. Florida State.  Great to see teo traditional powerhouses square off in a meaningful game. Which team will get a win and a leg up on the playoff race? 

Buckeye Greats:   As in the past, we will continue to include former Buckeye players in our prediction fun and we are thrilled to have Vaughn Broadnax back with us as a regular participant for the ninth straight year.

Here we go with our Week 1 Picks – Good Luck to All – Gregg


 (3)Ohio State  @  Indiana

Vaughn Broadnax (OSU-RB 1980-83) Indiana at home has always been a first half struggle. Even though a lot is unknown about Indiana, those unknowns are reflected on OSU as well. My first question is and has been for the last 5 years, how will our defense perform. I am tired of hearing about Jim Knowles “2nd year”. We don’t pay nearly $2 million to wait on improvement. This is Ohio State not Duke or Oklahoma State. 

This game will be a gauge to see whether our DC is competent or just quirky. It could be an example of playing as many players as possible to get real game experience or keeping our starters in unnecessarily. Hopefully, most on the travel squad will have to take a good shower after the game.
Offensively, I am not concerned who plays quarterback. We can run the ball whenever and our receivers can catch whatever wherever. The offensive line will have to mesh at live game speed, but I know they will work any kinks out.   Final score: OSU 51-13 over Indiana

Andy:  I don’t think there is much to be said here. I believe this is Tom Allen’s last season as head coach, this IU team doesn’t really have many players we should be concerned about. They should finish near the bottom of the conference alongside teams like Northwestern and Rutgers. I don’t think the starting quarterback for Ohio State really matters for this contest. I expect to see Ohio State run the ball a lot, I expect to see our depth at running back on display. I expect the Ohio State defense to attack and suffocate this Hoosier offense.   Ohio State 54  Indiana 7

Coach Rick:   Ohio State will have some “issues” in the beginning of the game but will take the 1st quarter to get them worked out. I see the score as OSU wins by 35.

Cory:  A lot of focus has been on the quarterback battle for Ohio State, but what fans should be paying attention to is the offensive line. Three new starters on the offensive line and they are at center, and both tackle spots. You can hype yourself up about how talented they are and how much praise they got from coaches over the summer, but this is a big deal, especially when you add in that the Buckeyes will have a new quarterback. A big part of success this season rests on how much this offensive line gels and opening against a Big Ten opponent on the road should be a good first test. Yes, Indiana returns the fewest starters of any team in the Big Ten and the Hoosiers are generally seen as not a threat, however, Indiana likes the freshmen and transfers they’ve brought in, and they’ve played up to Ohio State before. Using two quarterbacks could also be a recipe for disaster for Ohio State. Don’t be surprised if this game is a little closer than the line suggests.   Ohio State 45  Indiana 28  

Dave Ohio State 52  Indiana 17

GreggOhio State has almost always been a huge favorite over Indiana and it should be that way.  The Buckeyes are 78-12-5 against the Hoosiers and have won the last 27 meetings.  As usual, there are huge expectations for Ohio State this year and this game is just a play through.  Players are going to get good reps, we will get to see both quarterbacks, the defense will get to break in four new starters but in the end, they will dominate this game from start to finish.  And don’t expect to see anything too flashy as they will save that for South Bend in a few weeks.   Ohio State 48   Indiana 10   

Joe-S-U:  Ohio State

John:  Given the angst over who will start game 1 at QB, one would think that OSU has a problem at that position.  I don’t see way.  You have two players, both highly recruited out of high school, that bring different skill sets to the position.  That is making this a very close battle.  Both Brown and McCord  will and should play a lot in these first three games.  I am not of the school of “if you have two QB’s you don’t have one”, especially when their strengths are as different as these two are supposed to be.  While I do think that Brown wins the starting job at some point this year, I would not be shocked to see a q QB system most if not all of the season.   It won’t matter this week, as IU stinks like last weeks fish.  Busck pull away in the 4th and win big.  Ohio State 38  Indiana 17 

Josh: Ohio State at Indiana – The Buckeyes will roll out a two quarterback system to start the season, which brings back memories (some good, and some painful) of the 2004, 2008, 2011, and 2015 season where the Buckeyes last had true quarterback battles. This time however, and the fact that makes this process a little easier to swallow is the ridiculous talent around the signal caller. Kyle McCord will get his first start, but Devin Brown should play some snaps as well. How that will look will be determined, but it makes me feel like the offense will be a little more conservative on their offensive approach. What should be exciting is how Jim Knowles’ second year defense should look, and based on reports from practice, players like Jack Sawyer, Sonny Styles and JTT would have an explosive first game as they are playing in their positions of strength. Indiana had a lot of turnover this offseason, and will look different than they have the last two years. What can be expected is for Tom Allen, who might be coaching for his job this season, to not be afraid to blitz and confuse a Buckeye offensive line who replaced 3 starts from last year. I feel like this one isn’t close, and each quarterback will have something to prove as they are jockeying for the final starter, especially with Notre Dame 3 weeks away.   Ohio State 45  Indiana 10

Steven: All the talk surrounding who would be named the starting quarterback seems much ado about nothing.  It did give Columbus sports radio something to talk about for the last month or so. Both Kye McCord and Devin Brown will have ample time to fight it out on the field, at least between now and when the Bucks go to South Bend in week 4. Expect the Bucks to rely on the ground game, giving the offensive line time to gel. Lost a bit in the “best WR room in America” talk has been how deep the running backs are.  If everyone is healthy, there’s a lot to like among Treveyon Henderson, Miyan Williams and Chip Traynum. Indiana might give us a run for a quarter or so, but the line talent disparity alone should tip the field in Ohio State’s favor. Hopefully, the defense can be disruptive along the line and opportunistic in the backfield. Look for linebacker Tommy Eichenberg to pace the defense in tackles. OSU should cruise, at least by the second half.    OSU 52-7

Trout: It’s good to have OSU football back. This year, I am a little nervous about the Buckeyes chances of getting to the National Championship. There is a brand new quarterback in Kyle McCord, who in his limited time, has not lit the world on fire. Granted, McCord was a 5 star recruit. He obviously has talent, or he wouldn’t have been rated that high and Ryan Day wouldn’t have offered him a scholarship. We will just have to wait and see if he develops into anything. Plus there is the uncertainty of the Buckeye Defense. For years now under Ryan Day, the defense has held this team back. CJ did all in his power to beat Georgia last year, and the defense let him down in key moments. Although I am uncertain where this year will take the Bucks, I do think they won’t have an issue with Indiana. The Hooisers are not just a great team. Even though this could be a down year for the Buckeyes, I still think they are head and shoulders above Indianna. The game will be close at first. Ohio State always starts off a little sluggish. But as the game progresses, I can see the Buckeyes pulling away to a comfortable lead. It may not be pretty at first, but I do think Ohio State pulls off the win by a few scores.   (Ohio State, 38-14)  

Final Score:  Ohio State 23   Indiana 3 


West Virginia  @  (7)Penn State

Vaughn Broadnax (OSU-RB 1980-83)One of these years James Franklin is going to have a team talented enough to win the B1G outright. This may be one those elusive years. Their offense is loaded with talent and a new QB many thought should have played last year. Their defense isn’t too shabby either. Go B1G!!!! Penn State 45-20 over West Virginia. 

Andy:  This game in most years might be more competitive, but this Penn State team will likely be James Franklin’s best. Penn State has two excellent running backs in Kaytron Allen and Nicolas Singleton who will feast against this West Virginia front seven. Lions quarterback Drew Allar will likely throw the ball a decent amount, but I believe his first start will be all about building confidence and consistency. As a result I don’t expect to see Lions coordinator Mike Yurich take a ton of shots down field unless the Mountaineer defense is giving their receivers a wide berth. Penn State is going to have one of the best overall defenses in the country this year and I expect them to blanket this WVU offense.   Penn State 51  West Virginia 17

Coach Rick:   I do think this will be much of a game. I have PSU winning by 28 in the end. 

Cory:  Penn State has been knocking on the door of elite teams but has yet to open and walk through it. The Nittany Lions feature a roster with a lot of returning starters on both sides of the ball, a highly-rated quarterback in Drew Allar, and talent all around him. West Virginia enters this game in what could be coach Neal Brown’s last season with the team. The Mountaineers used to be a threat but under him they’ve been no better than mediocre. Years ago, West Virginia versus Penn State was a game that had some juice behind it. Now, expect to see a lot of Penn State’s back ups.   Penn State 48  West Virginia 13

Dave Penn State 31  West Virginia 18

GreggAll Nittany Lion fans will be watching the play of their new quarterback, Drew Allar.  On his shoulders may rest the fate of this season for Coach Franklin.  Could this be the year they get over Ohio State and Michigan and once again return to Indy?  This team will have a lot of growing today, working to play together.  West Virigina may be a Power 5 opponent but will not be able to travel to Happy Valley and snag an early season upset.  Chalk up a win for the Big Ten over the Big 12, regardless of how many teams are presently in these two conferences.   Penn State  35  West Virginia 17  

Joe-S-U:  Penn State

John:  This game might be more intriguing if it were being played in Morgantown, but with the game in Happy Valley I think the Nits roll.  Looks like a solid three team race in the B1G East for this last year of divisions.  Penn State 42  West Virginia 17 

Josh: So beings the Drew Allar era for the Nittany Lions after the 13 seasons of Sean Clifford (kidding of course). Penn State opens the season with a Power-5 non-conference match up against West Virginia, who went a disappointing 5-7 in a Big 12 that seemed like everyone but TCU was vulnerable to an upset. The Mountaineers will have a plethora of new faces at quarterback to try out this season after JT Daniels transferred to Rice, and will have a tough environment to go into Beaver Stadium at night to try and leave with a win. I think Penn State uses a heavy dose of their run game tandem of Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen to ease in their new QB, and win this game by chewing clock. Penn State 34  West Virginia 7

Steven:  Penn State may have the second best team in the Big Ten (East). What will determine their success, much like Ohio State, is QB play. Unlike Ohio State who have a 1a/1b QB situation, the Nittany Lions have 3 freshmen and 1 redshirt freshman backing up sophomore QB Drew Allar. Heaven forbid Allar gets dinged up  On the other side of the ball, ‘eer QB Garrett Greene could pose some problems for the Lion defense with his mobility. Whether it be by designed runs, scrambling out of the pocket or just avoiding the oncoming rush, Green’s legs could be the only thing keeping the score close. Like Ohio State and Indiana, PSU should overwhelm West Virginia from a talent standpoint, but this one could be a bit closer.   PSU 42-28.

Trout: Not really sure why, but the Nittany Lions are getting a lot of hype this year. They do have a new quarterback that is supposed to be a step up from their last couple of starters, but I don’t really see them making a splash this year. They’ll be good. Most likely right there in the mix for the Big Ten East title with Ohio State and Michigan, but I don’t think they are going to take that next level. Mostly because I don’t believe in James Franklin. He can’t seem to win the big games. He’s gotten the Nittany Lions back to respectability, but he can’t quite get his teams over that hump. Having said all that, I think they should beat West Virginia. The Mountaineers are a bad team, plain and simple. Last year they didn’t even make a bowl, going 5-7. The game will be close for a while. I think Penn State has a tendency to play down to their competition sometimes. However, as the game progresses, the Nittany Lion’s lead will increase more and more. West Virginia puts up a valiant effort, but Penn State will become too much for them. The Nittany LIons win, and keep their top 10 ranking for another week.   (Penn State, 31-13)  

 Final Score:  Penn State 38   West Virginia 15


(5)LSU  vs  (8)Florida State

Vaughn Broadnax (OSU-RB 1980-83):  Brian Kelly’s surprise move Baton Rouge resulted in an immediate impact felt all the way from South Bend to Tuscaloosa. With talent in his hand I cannot bet against Brian Kelly and his Tigers. Florida State and Mike Norvell still have a lot to prove to show me they are back to that perennial place amongst the nation’s elite college teams. I am going with LSU 31-21 over Florida State.

Andy:  This game was a classic last year with FSU closing out the game late against LSU. Florida State is trying to get back their national perception, a perception of excellence. Beating the SEC west champions last year was a great start, but to regain every ounce of that perception they must do it again. The key players for FSU will be quarterback Jordan Travis and edge rusher Jared Verse, these two have to lead their respective sides of the football and play mistake free against LSU if they hope to win. Tigers head coach Brian Kelly will have his star quarterback Jayden Daniels ready to lead LSU against a formidable opponent, but will it be enough to close out a victory on the road? Expect to see a close game here, with FSU narrowly beating LSU.   Florida State 31  LSU 27

Coach Rick:   This is a must watch game a I see it being decided late in the 4th quarter. I have LSU winning by 3 in the end. 

Cory:  While there aren’t many premier week one games in college football, the one most fans will be watching is LSU versus Florida State. Both teams enter the season with a lot of hype behind them. The Tigers had a second-half surge last season, including an upset of Alabama, but then went on to lose to Texas A&M and Georgia. Florida State ended its season on a five-game winning streak, but their three toughest games of the season – Wake Forest, North Carolina State, and Clemson – were all losses. Has Brian Kelly turned around LSU after just one season? Has Mike Norvell brought Florida State back? Honestly, we won’t have answers to those questions until well after this season. LSU won this game by a point last season and had to come from behind to do that. I am not a believer in Florida State at all – I think they coasted on an easy schedule last season. I think LSU wins by a slightly bigger margin this time.   LSU 28  Florida State 23  

Dave Florida State 28  LSU 24

GreggA lot of people are picking Florida State to win the ACC, and no one is really picking LSU to win the SEC.  If anyone thinks that, are we ready to believe that SEC has that many teams better than the top ACC team?  Of course not.  Should be the best game this weekend, with two great coaches, but in the end, the Seminoles will prevail.   Florida State 27   LSU 24 

Joe-S-U:  Florida State

John:  On paper this looks to be the best game of the long weekend in week one.  Two big name schools, Both preseason top 10, in a technically neutral site game in Orlando that will basically be a home game for FSU.  LSU is the slight betting favorite, giving 2.5 points, but I think the ‘Noles get it done.  Florida State 27  LSU 24

Josh: This game should be an exciting game to kick off the season, as both teams had disappoint finishes but where knocking at the door as spoilers for the College Football Playoff. The loser of this game is not necessarily out of the race this year, but will need to win out for the best chance. This will be a good glimpse into how good each team is, and if they can make some waves in their respective conferences. For LSU, they will have Alabama, Texas A&M and Ole Miss who are currently ranked on their schedule, to still have a fighting chance to get through the SEC West. Florida State has a two game season with LSU and them Clemson on September 23rd, where it can’t lost both, but can split and still have a chance for the playoff. The Seminoles won this game at home last year by 1 point, and I think they find a way to win again this year.   Florida State 27  LSU 24

Steven:  The line indicates this one will be pretty close. Both teams return the majority of their players this year, so the game may end up being a back and forth affair, much like last year’s. LSU reported Wednesday they will be without the services of running back John Emery. Emery’s loss may not be huge as the Tiger’s RB rotation was shaping up to be a three back affair, but any loss will be felt. LSU QB Jayden Daniels is more than capable of picking up the slack, having rushed for 885 yards last year. FSU QB Jordan Travis is a legit NFL prospect with a strong arm. While he’s not the runner Daniels is, he’s a bit more accurate and could have the better WR receiver corps. This is almost a pick ’em’ game. As such, let’s throw a dart at the board and call it LSU 31-29.

Trout: I see LSU winning this game. I know a lot of people think Florida State is going to be a contender this year, but I just don’t see it. Honestly I don’t see either team being in contention for the playoff at the end of the season, but I do think LSU is slightly better than the Seminoles. It should be a very tight game up until the end. Much like last year’s years, I can see it being somewhat low scoring. I don’t think either team breaks 30 points. The lead may be back and forth until the very end, with the Tigers pulling off the victory, winning on a last second touchdown or field goal. LSU wins a hard fought battle against Florida State.   (LSU, 27-24)  

Final Score:  Florida State 45   LSU 24

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