While Week 2 of the college football season lacks the quantity of interesting nonconference games, it certainly does not lack quality. Arguably the biggest game on Saturday will be the top-five matchup between Oklahoma and Ohio State, a rematch from a nonconference game a year ago.
It's too early in the season to start talking about the College Football Playoff, but the winner of this game will certainly have a leg up in the race once it gets underway in October and November. Who has the edge in Columbus? We break down the storylines and matchups below.
Date: Saturday, Sept. 9 | Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Ohio Stadium -- Columbus, Ohio
TV: ABC | Live stream: WatchESPN
Oklahoma: This is the first test for new Sooners coach Lincoln Riley after a warm up against UTEP. Getting a win on the road against the No. 2 team in the land would be a statement for Riley if there ever was one. Like Ohio State, Oklahoma needs playmakers to emerge at wideout. Tight end Mark Andrews was the most reliable target against the Miners, but the Sooners are still looking for that next Dede Westbrook or Sterling Shepard. And can the defense show up after getting burned by the Buckeyes' passing attack last year? Oklahoma has an experienced secondary, but will need some younger players in the defensive front to have big games.
Ohio State: The Buckeyes' offense needs to get off to a faster start than it did against Indiana. J.K. Dobbins, who broke Maurice Clarett's yardage record for a freshman in his first game, and a healthy Mike Weber will anchor the running attack. What about the passing game, though? Parris Campbell showed game-changing ability on crossing routes, but will the Buckeyes have any more success going down the field? Getting separation was a challenge for wideouts against Indiana. Development in that area -- and the trust between quarterback J.T. Barrett and that group -- is the one thing holding this team back. Noah Brown had four touchdown catches against the Sooners last season in Norman; can anyone step into that role this year?
There's no doubt the Sooners will be looking for revenge after getting waxed 45-24 a year ago by the Buckeyes. Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield is as confident as they come, too. Those things aren't the problems. It's whether Oklahoma's defense is able to stifle Ohio State's ground game to put more pressure on Barrett to connect with his receivers. On the other side, can Oklahoma establish its run game against the vaunted Buckeyes D-line? Ohio State might need to grind this one out as it continues to search for an identity. Pick: Oklahoma +7.5 (Ohio State 34, Oklahoma 27)