Ohio Bobcats at San Diego State Aztecs odds: Week zero college football preview

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FILE - Ohio quarterback Kurtis Rourke (7) gestures during an NCAA college football game against Akron, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, in Athens, Ohio. Last season, Ohio quarterback Kurtis Rourke had the Bobcats on the cusp of winning their first Mid-American Conference crown since 1968. Then he tore his anterior cruciate ligament and Ohio lost its fifth league championship game. Nine months later, the MAC's reigning offensive player of the year is nearing the end of his rehab schedule and about to start a new quest. (AP Photo/Emilee Chinn, File)

The Ohio Bobcats will open their 2023 season on the road in a nationally televised game against the San Diego State Aztecs. The game will take place on Saturday, August 26 at Snapdragon Stadium in San Diego.

It’s been a while since Ohio won a non-conference road game. In 2018, the Bobcats beat UMass and they have lost their next 10 non-conference road games leading into this week zero clash.

Ohio went 10-4 last year with an East Division and a 30-27 win over Wyoming in the 2022 Arizona Bowl. The Bobcats should have the services of quarterback Kurtis Rourke, who suffered a torn ACL late last season. Before the injury, Rourke was having an excellent year with 3,256 yards passing and 25 touchdowns.

Odds from the FanDuel Sportsbook have San Diego State as a three-point favorite with the total points set at 48.5. Ohio is +122 on the moneyline.

Let’s take a closer look at the odds and trends:

Ohio Bobcats at San Diego State Aztecs

Time/TV: 7 p.m. ET, FS1

Point Spread: San Diego State -3

Moneyline: Ohio + 122, San Diego State -145

Over/Under: 48.5

Analysis: The total points opened at 50.5 and has dropped with the belief that the game will be a little bit of a defensive struggle. It’s important that Ohio has improved on that side of the ball after giving up over 28 points per game last season. With Rourke handling the offense it’s going to be a challenge for San Diego State to handle a passing game like the one that Ohio possesses.

The Aztecs are going to try to control the clock with their running game, collecting first downs and dominating the time of possession. Aztecs quarterback Jalen Mayden has experience in the offense and the skills to manage the game in a way that keeps Rourke on the sidelines.

San Diego State’s physical style is going to be an issue for Ohio’s defense. Even if the Aztecs don’t score on money drives, they can control the clock and force Ohio’s offense into a sense of urgency. This game should come down to the last possession.

Prediction: San Diego State 23, Ohio 17

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