Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Akron Zips Week 1 Preview: Keys to the Game

The Ohio State Buckeyes are heavy favorites in their season-opening battle with the Akron Zips.

BetOnline published its betting odds for the game last week, setting the Buckeyes as -50.5 point favorites. Scarlet and Gray’s spread over the Zips is the largest gap of any matchup of the week.

That said, anything can happen in college football. Here’s what the Buckeyes and Zips need to do to come out of their meeting with a win.

Akron wins if…

Akron needs all its pieces to click if it wants to destroy Ohio State. The Zips have some talented players on their roster, but can’t always get them to excel in the same game (especially against high-caliber opponents).

One of the biggest things to notice about this year’s Akron team is the number of new pieces they have. Of the top 32 Zips players on offense and defense, 16 are freshmen or come from the transfer portal.

Perhaps the most impactful of these new players is redshirt junior quarterback Ben Finley. Akron had a good signal caller the last time they played Ohio State (DJ Irons in 2021), but the California Golden Bears transfer’s previous experience brings a lot to the table.

The Zips are a solid team and could win a majority of the games on their schedule this year. If Akron wants to take the piss out of Ohio State, they’ll have to show a side of them that no one has ever seen before.

Ohio State wins if…

Ohio State needs to play like Ohio State, plain and simple. A win is ultimately a win, but the Buckeyes can’t settle for anything less than covering the spread.

Buckeye Nation wasn’t exactly happy with the way the Scarlet and Gray opened last season. a 23-3 win over the less-than-challenging Indiana Hoosiers is not a good indicator of the year.

Ohio State not only needs to beat Akron, they need to punch them in the mouth. Morale among the fans is low, and the only way to fix that is to dominate at a level rarely seen before.

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