College Football Preview: Ohio State Plays Oklahoma For The Third Time Ever, Looking To Stay In The Top 5

For the last two weeks, Ohio State has been steamrolling past the competition. The opening game saw quarterback J.T. Barrett put up record numbers, having a total of 349 passing yards and six touchdowns. He also had one rushing touchdown, totaling seven in Ohio State’s 77-10 win against Bowling Green.

In Game 2, the first half seemed a bit shaky, as the Buckeyes were unable to put many points on the board. However, similar to Week 1, their defense was stout against Tulsa, as they were able to gain a significant amount of momentum in the second half on their way to a 48-3 victory.

The Buckeyes hope to maintain the momentum gained over the past two weeks as they visit Norman for their first away game of the season against the Oklahoma Sooners. Oklahoma, who defeated Louisiana-Monroe last week 59-17, potentially have more at stake against the Buckeyes, as another loss would take them out of the Top 25, as well as virtually shatter their chances of making it back to the playoffs for a second straight year.

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Houston defeats Oklahoma in Week 1

Oklahoma’s first loss was against Houston on Week 1, who is led by head coach former Ohio State offensive coordinator Tom Herman. Herman’s elusive offensive style kept the Sooners unstable, as they were able to take them out of the top 10. This upped the ante for the team led by Bob Stoops, as defeating the Buckeyes would have even a greater meaning after losing to the Cougars.

Ohio State and Oklahoma does not have a very rich history against each other regarding their total number of games. In fact, they have only competed twice, once in 1977 and the other time in 1983.

The 1977 game saw the Sooners, led by head coach Barry Switzer, barely make it past the Buckeyes, led by head coach Woody Hayes, in the third game of the season. The game, determined by a last-second 41-yard field goal by kicker Uwe von Schamann, led the Sooners maintain their No. 3 ranking, and finish 10-1 for the season. The Buckeyes finished the season with a 9-3 record and a final ranking of 11.

Their second game occurred in 1983, with Barry Switzer entering his 11th year as head coach. The Buckeyes were led by Earl Bruce, entering his fifth season as head coach. This game was not the nail-biter of 1977, as Ohio State was able to defeat Oklahoma 24-14 in the second game of the season. Junior quarterback Mike Tomczak was able to complete two touchdown passes to senior fullback John Frank to gain early momentum and never look back.

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Thirty-three years later, the Buckeyes and Sooners meet again in the proverbial rubber match. Similar to Oklahoma in 1977, Ohio State enters the third game of the season ranked No. 3, undefeated, with national championship hopes at stake. Oklahoma desires to regain significant momentum from the Houston loss and reclaim a top 10 spot.

An overall comparison of the two teams is incredibly parallel on many accounts. Ohio State is the fifth winningest team in college football history at 877, while Oklahoma is seventh at 862. Ohio State has the fourth best all-time record at 0.723, with Oklahoma being fifth at 0.719. Oklahoma ranks second all-time in conference championships (44), with Ohio State at fourth (38). Ohio State is sixth all-time in the number of national championships (8), with Oklahoma at seventh (7). OSU tops the list for Heisman winners (7), while Oklahoma ranks fourth (5).

Even on the road, the Buckeyes are a one-point favorite against the Sooners in Norman. While this is mainly stemmed from Oklahoma’s loss to Houston in their first game, the spread is not enough to make the Buckeyes confident enough to enter the game sleeping on what the Sooners can do. The Buckeyes have shown that they are good on the road, winning 18 straight, and they look to make this win number 19 and reclaim their national championship trophy that was last won two seasons ago.

[Featured Image by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images]