Week 9 Predictions – 2023
Last Week: For 8 out of the last 9 games, the Buckeyes were faced against an unbeaten opponent. For the sixth straight time, they came out victorious. Penn State came to Columbus with label of being Coach Franklin’s best team ever. But they didn’t get their first 3rd down conversion until their last drive of the game and left with a 20-12 loss. They can still salvage the ‘great’ season if they can win out but that will require beating Michigan in Happy Valley. Ohio State continues to roll and is the only team with two top ten wins this season. For our staff predictions, Josh and Gregg were 4-0 with almost everyone else 3-1, results that would impress even Vegas.
This Week’s Games: It seems like every week the Buckeyes have a big game that will make or break their season. This week is no different. Wisconsin sits atop the Big Ten West standings, can they pull off the upset over the Buckeyes? …. OKlahoma had a close game last week against a .500 team in Central Florida. Will they be able to win a road game this weekend against the Kansas Jayhawks who are still playing for a spot in the Big 12 Championship game? …. Texas will face off with BYU without their star quarterback, can their back-up do enough to keep the Longhorns in the Big 12 title hunt? …. Utah is once again on our list of games to watch as they host Oregon. Can they get a win over a ranked conference opponent for the second straight week? …. The big game in the SEC this week will be Georgia and Florida. The Bulldogs have not looked like a #1 team in the nation the past few weeks, can the Gators do enough to get a win?
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 9 Picks – Good Luck to All – Gregg
(3)Ohio State @ (36)Wisconsin
Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83): Luke Fickell knows about Ohio State’s as much or more than any other coach outside of OSU’s staff. He knows he has the runningback to really slow the game down and keep the Buckeyes’ possessions to a minimum. If successful, that is the only way this game stays close. Add in some questionable weather forecasts and things could get ugly. However, this is a new Buckeye defense or shall I say a new age version of the Silver Bullets. I have finally come around and admit this Jim Knowles’ defense is playing its but off. If the Buckeyes can contain Braelon Allen and force them to pass with their backup QB, it will be a recipe for success. For OSU’s offense, I want to know what’s going on in practice and in the training room that is either getting our guys injured and not getting effective treatment to get them back on the field. I know the practices aren’t full go, so what is going on? If we get some of our horses back this week, the Buckeyes beat the Badgers 45-10.
Coach Rick: This is going to be a great game! I really think the Badgers will be prepared for this game. In the end, I have Ohio State winning by 17.
Cory: I have to admit that after seeing Ohio State dominate Penn State for 58 minutes last week my confidence in the team has risen sharply. The defense was simply amazing. Holding two NFL-caliber running backs to a combined 74 yards, and forcing Drew Allar to complete just 42 percent of his passes was amazing to see. The growth under defensive coordinator Jim Knowles has been terrific, and the Buckeyes will need that defense to come up big again this week with a tough road game at Wisconsin. Offensively, Kyle McCord doesn’t quite pass the eye test, however, his numbers have been good and he’s done a great job of avoiding big mistakes. Wisconsin has done alright under first year coach Luke Fickell, but the Badger offense is struggling. I see this game being low scoring. Ohio State 21, Wisconsin 10
Dave: Ohio State 38 Wisconsin 14
Gregg: Ohio State has got to be the ugliest 7-0 in the history of college football, but with only 9 unbeaten teams remaining at this point in the season, there are 124 teams out there that would love to be just as ugly. They are doing it mostly with defense which is part of what makes it look ugly, but have the offensive weapons to put points on the board when needed. Coach Fickell will have the Badgers prepared for the game, and the stadium will be rocking (or Jumping) from the start. But expect the Buckeyes to slowly chisel away the Wisconsin confidence and get the road victory. This will be the perfect opportunity for Kyle McCord to get in much needed reps as we have to remember, he is still a first year starter. I hear TreVeyon Henderson will be back, which shoud be a welcomed boost to the running game. The one request I have of Coach Day is can we please pick up the pace on offense, this team seems to perform better on those 90 second drives. versus a four minute drive. Ohio State 27 Wisconsin 13
Joe-S-U: Ohio State
John: Night game, in Camp Randall, Halloween weekend, former player as head coach, following a big win in the prior week. This game screams “Trap Game”. However, the Badgers come into this one unranked, with a backup QB and in Ohio State they are facing one of the best defenses in College Football this year. Bucks are a 14 ½ point road favorite. They may not cover, but should get the W. Ohio State 31 Wisconsin 21
Josh: The Buckeyes make their first trip to Camp Randell since 2016, and have had the most difficult road trips their this century. This year though, Buckeye alum Luke Fickell is lead the Badgers in his first year, and will be without his starting quarterback Tanner Mordecai. The Buckeyes need to focus on winning this game, and not what is happening in Ann Arbor this week with the sign stealing investigation. The Buckeyes have all of their goals ahead of them, and they can not let this be an emotional game. I think Ryan Day will make sure they are ready, and gets a win on the road, it might be a little closer because of the weather and could slow the pass game. Ohio State 28 – Wisconsin 7.
Steven: It will be very interesting to use last week’s opponent, Penn State as a bit of a litmus test across the rest of the Big Ten, especially as they take on Michigan in a couple of weeks. Conventional wisdom coming out of the Penn State game is that both defenses are legit, but neither Ohio State nor Penn State’s offense showed enough to be considered elite. How much last week’s score can be attributed to a less than stellar offense remains to be seen. I think we’ll see against lesser defenses, both Ohio State and Penn State’s offense has the ability to shine. This week’s opponent Wisconsin may provide a bit of a respite as they are currently 39th in the nation right behind Maryland. Even so, on the road, at Camp Randall Stadium, at night is never a picnic. If the weather holds and there is little chance of rain, this should be a very winnable game. As long as OSU DC Jim Knowles can keep his squad’s attention to detail up for the next four weeks as we barrel down the road toward a date in Ann Arbor, the Bucks should be on cruise control. Now Ryan Day and OC Brian Hartline should have the time to tweak, hone and refine the offense into something that produces like a traditional Ryan Day offense should. Look for a bit of a sluggish start, but OSU explodes in the 3rd after Wisconsin keeps it close at halftime. OSU runs away in the second half, 33-17.
Trout: Going to Camp Randall at night is a pretty tall task for any team. But the Ohio State Buckeyes should be up for the challenge. In fact, I think they win comfortably. I do believe the offense is finding its footing. They are never going to be the high powered offenses that were led by Justin Fields and CJ Stroud, but they can be productive as long as Kyle McCord minimizes his mistakes and they get the ball to their best player, Marvin Harrison Jr. . Also, Ohio State’s defense is one of the best in the country. They completely dismantled the Penn State Offense. They didn’t allow a 3rd down conversion until late into the 4th quarter. They are legitimately a national championship level defense. Another reason I am picking Ohio State is that Wisconsin is still rebuilding. I think Fickell will do great things with the Badgers, but this team isn’t there yet. It should be close for a while. I think the crowd will make it tough for Ohio State. But as the game goes on, Ohio State will start to pull away and end up winning by a few scores. The Buckeyes go into Wisconsin and win comfortably. (Ohio State, 35-13)
Final Score: Ohio State 24 Wisconsin 10
(6)Oklahoma @ Kansas
Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83): Oklahoma showed last weekend that it can be vulnerable, but can Kansas build upon last year’s first half of the season success? They can try to with this home game against the Sooners. I think it’s close. However, Oklahoma edges out Kansas 35-33.
Coach Rick: I do not see this as much of a game. Outside of the Sooners barely winning the last couple of weeks is the only positive Kansas has going for them. I have Oklahoma winning by 24.
Cory: After getting off to a 4-0 start, Kansas has lost two of its last three games. One of those games was to Texas, but the other was to a mediocre Oklahoma State team. The Jayhawks look to be without star quarterback Jalon Daniels again this week, who is dealing with a back injury. His backup, Jason Bean, did throw five touchdowns in the loss to the Cowboys last week, so there is some hope for Kansas. That said, playing host to undefeated Oklahoma is a tall task regardless of who’s in at the quarterback position. The Sooners got a scare last week from UCF before a strong fourth quarter helped them to a two-point win. Dillon Gabriel has put himself in the middle of the Heisman race, and it will be tough for Kansas to slow him down that much. Oklahoma 35, Kansas 20
Dave: Oklahoma 28 Kansas 21
Gregg: Oklahoma sits on top the Big 12 standings and already has a solid win over Texas on their resume. And they have 18 straight wins over Kansas. Although I do think the Sooners pull this one out, I think it will be much closer than the experts believe. I would not be surprised if they Jayhawks actually have a lead some time as late as the second half. Oklahoma 33 Kansas 28
John: Last week’s OU game had all of the trademarks of a classic letdown game. Play a team you should spank after wining an emotional rivalry game, let the lesser team hang and .. oops! All of a sudden it’s a four quarter ballgame. Assuming they treat the UCF game as the wakeup call that it was, the Sooners take care of business this week, but better not let the Jayhawks hang around too long in this one. Oklahoma 34 Kansas 28
Josh: Oklahoma is the team to beat in the Big 12, and Dillon Gabriel is making his case for the Heisman. A win on the road in Kansas might be the last hurdle they have outside of Bedlam from going undefeated into the Big 12 Championship Game. I think both team have their flaws, but I like the Sooner offense making some plays in this one, and remaining unbeaten. Oklahoma 42 – Kansas 35
Steven: Oklahoma has a bit of the same problem that USC has, lack of defense. The Sooners are giving up close to 360 yards per game. Not to be outdone, Kansas is at 396 in the same category. Yuck. Maybe I’m being snobbish here, but you’re probably not going to go far in the playoffs if you can’t stop anyone. That being said, Oklahoma, the best overall team in the Big 12, still has a tremendous shot at making the playoff. They should be favored in every game down the stretch, probably through the Big 12 Championship game. I don’t see a hiccup this week… maybe next. Kansas keeps it close, but Boomer Sooner brings it home OU 38-35.
Trout: I am picking the Sooners, but I think the Jayhawks keep it close. It is clear that Oklahoma is the better team, but they are not invincible. This team has a lot of faults. They nearly lost to a vastly inferior UCF team last week. I think Kansas should be able keep up with the Sooners for most of the game. I can see the game becoming a classic Big 12 shootout and both teams scoring a ton of points. The lead should change multiple times. But at the end, Oklahoma gets that last score to push them over the edge, and the Jayhawks get served their third loss of the season. (Oklahoma, 45-42)
Final Score: Kansas 38 Oklahoma 33
BYU @ (6)Texas
Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83): BYU is playing well against some of the Big12 competition but they’re really going to have to step up to hang with the Longhorns. Texas shows they have QB depth and defeats BYU 35-17.
Coach Rick: If Texas underestimates BYU they will lose the game. I think that Texas will have a solid game plan and win in the end by 10.
Cory: We’ve got an interesting quarterback situation in this week’s BYU-Texas game. BYU enters the game with Kedon Slovis at quarterback. Does that name sound familiar? He started three years at USC before playing one season with Pitt in 2022. Thanks to COVID transfer rules he is playing as a graduate transfer for BYU this season, and he’s not doing half bad as he’s got 1,519 yards with 12 touchdowns and four interceptions. For Texas, the Longhorns will be without Quinn Ewers, who is going to miss some time with a shoulder injury. Arch Manning won’t be filling his shows, however, it will be Maalik Murphy instead. Murphy has attempted eight total passes in his collegiate career, which is quite the juxtaposition compared to Slovis. All that said, I still see Texas winning this game. The Cougars are extremely one-dimensional as they are maybe the only team in the country that is worse than Ohio State at running the ball. BYU as a team is averaging 2.8 yards per carry. That won’t be good enough to pull to upset. Texas 28, BYU 13
Dave: Texas 38 BYU 21
Gregg: Texas has been very solid this season and have a signature win over Alabama but a lot of that has been due to the play of former Buckeye quarterback Quinn Ewers. In fact at one point in the season I was wondering if the Buckeyes were going to have their second ‘former’ quarterback win a Heisman. But the injury last week to Ewers will take him out of this game and maybe even more. BYU quarterback Kedon Slovis will be making his 45 start behind center, while the Longhorns will be playing someone that does not have 45 snaps as as a signal caller. I have went back a forth all week on this thinking how much Kyle McCord has struggled at times this year, should Texas fans expect someone to step right in and lead this Longhorn team to a huge win. I am going with the Longhorns but ONLY because they are at home and still have plenty of offensive weapons. But it will not surpise me at all if the Cougars pull off the upset. Texas 13 BYU 10
John: Look for Texas to score early and often in this one. Texas 42 BYU 20
Josh: Texas will start life without Quinn Ewers and going against a BYU team that could challenge them. I think Sark will have a game plan ready for Maalik Murphy, and the defense will need to slow down Slovis for BYU. I like the Longhorns at home, but not covering the spread. Texas 31 – BYU 21
Steven: How much can Texas lean on the run this Saturday? Longhorn QB Quinn Ewers was injured in last week’s win over Houston.Luckily for the ‘Horns, they have a decent ground game on which to fall back.Running back Jonathon Brook is averaging 6.4 yards per carry. The run game should help protect backup QB Maalik Murphy who is expected to start Saturday. BYU will counter with USC transfer Kedon Slovis, who was 15/27 last week with 2 TDs last week against Texas Tech. Slovis isn’t the most mobile QB and has been sacked multiple times in 3 out of the Cougar’s last 5 games. While the overall defensive strength of the Big 12 may be suspect, Texas isn’t too bad, being ranked 37th in the nation. BYU gives up yards, but are one of the most opportunistic defenses in the country, with 11 interceptions and 5 fumble recoveries gained so far. Longhorns run the clock, punt and play defense. Expect Texas to try to grind this one out and BYU to push the pace. If BYU gets up a score or two, I worry Texas won’t be good at playing from behind. Calling the huge upset. BYU 28-20.
Trout: I am picking Texas, but it’ll be close. Especially because Ewers is out, and the Longhorns will be starting a Freshman quarterback. BYU has always been a decent team, but I think Texas is still better. If Sark is smart, he’ll keep the playbook simple, and try not to have his new QB do too much. The game should be relatively low scoring with both teams taking the lead at some point. Texas will be able to score late and hang on to their small lead. The Longhorns narrowly escape the Cougars and remain in the hunt for the Big 12 Championship. (Texas, 17-14)
Final Score: Texas 35 BYU 6
(8)Oregon @ (13)Utah
Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83): Utah has been playing well without Cam Rising who is now out for the season. Unfortunately, he may have been the one needed to edge out Oregon. He’s gone. Oregon beats out Utah 35-24.
Andy: The Pac 12 is the most interesting and competitive conference in football this year. Oregon has one loss in a nail biter at Washington and Utah has a close loss to Oregon State. These teams are built to be competitive and tough on the lines of scrimmage, Utah is a rush first offense and a Run stopping defense ranking 5th in the country. Oregon has one of the best rushing offenses in the country, averaging around 225 rush yards per game and totalling 21 total rushing touchdowns. Something has to give in this game, either Oregon will eventually break through the Utah rush defense, or the Utes will be able to throw a wrench into the Ducks rush offense. Oregon is one of the most complete teams in the country, their defense is really good and Utah will have a very hard time moving the ball against them. I like Oregon in this game despite the Utes being a tough team. Oregon 31 Utah 17
Cory: The PAC 12 has produced some of the most entertaining games this season, which makes it a little sad that this is the final season for the conference. This week’s game between Oregon and Utah should be no different. Oregon has one of the best offenses in the country, and Utah has one of the best defenses in the country. The Utes have been without star quarterback Cam Rising as well as tight end Brant Kuithe, yet they just continue to roll on. The Utes are coming off a bye week after beating USC, while Oregon got back into the win column with an impressive two-score win over Washington State last week. While I have a lot of confidence in Oregon’s offense, I’ve been an even bigger believer in Utah’s defense. This game is a must-watch for all college football fans. Utah 30, Oregon 28
Dave: Oregon 42 Utah 28
Gregg: Utah finds tin the middle of a big clog of teams in the Pac-12 with 1 loss. A second loss will likely knock any of them out of contention for the conference title game. I feel like I have seen a lot of Utah football since they played the Buckeyes in the Rose Bowl a couple years ago and they have been a good story this season with how well they have done without their top QB. And I loved watching them defeat Caleb Williams and the Trojans last week but I am not sure they can do that two weeks in a row. Oregon will be able to score on Utah, not sure that Utah will be able to get too many points against the Oregon defense which is uctually 3rd best in the Pac-12 and overlooked because of the attention to the Duck offense. Oregon 31 Utah 17
John: I slept on the Ute’s last week and then they went on the road and pulled the upset over USC. Color me a believer at home this week. Utah 31 Oregon 28
Josh: Utah is the two time defending PAC-12 Champion, but continues to get overlooked by Washington, Oregon, and USC, who they just beat for the 4th time, and third straight against Lincoln Riley. I think the Oregon defense will have an answer to slow down Utah’s offense, but will find it harder to move the ball than they were able to against Washington. I think Utah loses in a close one at home. Oregon 38 – Utah 35.
Steven: Man, Utah has USC’s number. This, of course, will matter little against a much more complete team in Oregon. If Cameron Rising was playing I’d give the Utes a chance, but now that Rising has been shut down for the year, pig farmer Bryson Barnes gets to lead the team for the rest of the season. Barnes, much like Rising, has a ton of heart, but his skill set is not at the level of Rising. QB Bo Nix and the Oregon Ducks prove that despite their loss to Washington they are still one of the top teams in the country. Quack Attack 44-31.
Trout: I am picking the Ducks, but I could see this game being pretty close. The Utes have shown to be a dark horse contender for the PAC-12. I just think Oregon has the stronger offense. Granted, they can’t make dumb decisions like they did against the Huskies. As long as they play a smart game, and play to the best of their abilities, the Ducks should win the game. I do see Utah putting up a fight until the end. Both teams should score a lot of points. The Ducks sneak by the Utes in a hard fought battle due to their superior offensive talent. (Oregon, 43-38)
Final Score: Oregon 35 Utah 6
(1)Georgia vs (26)Florida
Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83): Georgia has literally lost its best player. Will Florida be able to capitalize? Georgia has too many athletes that can fill in the huge void left by Brock Bowers. Florida has yet to display the consistency necessary to compete with the big boys. I don’t believe Florida will be able to step up. Georgia wins the annual match up against Florida 28-17.
Coach Rick: I feel Georgia is going to make this a statement game and run up the score. I have Georgia winning by 21.
Cory: While the defending champion Georgia Bulldogs have not really been tested yet, people continue to call them underwhelming. Perhaps a big win over Florida might help silence the critics? Georgia’s offense has been balanced and efficient, but similar to Ohio State they just don’t quite pass the eye test yet. Florida is a team I have a hard time getting a read on. The Gators looked helpless in the season opening loss to Utah, then stomped Tennessee before looking mediocre against Charlotte then losing to Kentucky. Florida’s biggest problem is Georgia’s strength: consistency. Georgia’s won five of the last six meetings between the two teams in this rivalry game, with Florida’s lone win during that stretch coming in 2020. I am not a believer at all in this Florida team so I think Georgia takes it with ease. Georgia 31, Florida 10
Dave: Georgia 32 Florida 14
Gregg: I will have less interest in this game than most only because I think the SEC is down this year, I can even see the conference putting zero teams in the playoffs this year, imagine the headches for ESPN that would create. Georgia will win but the will not cover the spread. Georgia 24 Florida 22
John: I would love for the Gators to pull the upset this week, but I just don’t think they have enough firepower to do so. Georgia 35 Florida 17
Josh: Georgia will be without their all world TE, and their main offensive weapon. I think Florida is looking to revenge last years loss where they were competitive with the Bulldogs, but couldn’t win in the end. I think Georgia does get a loss in the regular season, but I expect it to be next week against Missouri. Georgia 24 – Florida 17.
Steven: This will be Georgia’s toughest test until the SEC Title game, should they make it. Georgia’s defense looks stout this year, but their 6 FBS opponents average offense would be 88th in the nation. The best offense they have played has been UAB, currently ranked 39th. As a comparison, Florida comes in ranked 46th. While nothing to sneeze at, something tells me that Florida and QB Graham Mertz, (ex. Wisconsin) is a bit outmatched. Georgia’s offensive differential vs. their opponents is roughly 50 yards better than Florida’s. Even in the Swamp, I like the Dawgs in this one. UGA slobbers all over the Gators 34-22.
Trout: The Bulldogs will crush the Gators. I don’t think it’ll be close. Florida is not a good team, and they haven’t been a good team in a long time. Granted Georgia hasn’t looked like the dominant force that they’ve looked like in past year, but they are still the better team. It may start off close, but once Georgia gets rolling, Florida will not be able to keep up. The Bulldogs hand the Gators their worst loss of the season. (Georgia, 56-10)
Final Score: Georgia 43 Florida 20