Week #1 – Northern Illinois – Open Thread

OSU FootballWe’re starting a new regular feature here at Men of the Scarlet and Gray now that the season is upon. We’ll start each Friday with an Open Thread where the MotSaG bloggers will discuss that week’s game, along with some predictions which will almost certainly be embarrasingly off. But we’ll make them with pride. We invite our readers to chime in as well, let us know what you think about the game, your predictions, what have you, in the comments.

Week #1 brings the beginning of the much anticipated 2006 season with an opening game against Northern Illinois. Expectations are sky-high and questions abound about the defense, and hopefully Northern Illinois and Garrett Wolfe will prove a worthy opponent for week one.

For a preview, check out The 614’s preview or Buckeye Planets exhaustive NI Preview.

Vegas has the line at about 18 points.

In addition to the final score, how about a couple other predctions:

How rushing yards will the new OSU defense give up (over/under at 120 yards)?

How many touchdowns will Ted Ginn Jr score (over/under at 1.5)?

How many touches will Beanie Wells get (over/under at 8.5)?

My predictions are:

I think the Huskies might threaten early, driven by adrenaline and the atmosphere of the Horsehoe, but this game will be over by the middle of the second quarter. OSU will pound the ball with the running game against NI’s small-ish defense and simply wear them down. On defense, I imagine this will be try-outs for the Texas game for the defensive backfield. I think our depth and speed overwhelm the Huskies.

Final score: 31-10
NI’s rushing yards: 100 (under)
TGJ’s TDs: 2 (over)
Wells’ carries: 10 (over)

Zeke’s Predictions
Final Score: 38-17
NIU’s rushing yards: 119 (under)
TGJ’s TDs: 1 (under)
Wells’ carries: 13 (over)

I would agree with Kaiser that NIU will be able to move the ball early. I fully expect as the game goes along OSU’s front four will be too much for NIU’s OL to handle. The 7-8 man rotation on the DL with keep the guys fresh. I can’t count how many times I have heard this week listening to radio and preview shows, “the game is won in the trenches”. I think it will be key for OSU to get pressure on the Huskie QB with the front four, allowing the speed of the back seven to make plays.

In the past few years it has taken a few games for OSU’s offense to get up to speed, I don’t think anyone expects it to take time this year. I sure don’t. I would’nt be surprised if the score is something like 17-10 at halftime, with the Huskies hanging in, but I fully expect the second half to be dominated by the Buckeyes.

sportsMonkey’s Predictions
NIU is a perfect first opponent for OSU – a solid team with a good first unit that will challenge the Bucks and coaches.

If I were a Texas fan, I’d be a bit nervous over the difference in first opponents between OSU and the ‘Horns. OSU will be tested by NIU, and will be able to come away with some good experience and opportunities to learn and improve. Texas won’t be tested at all by North Texas, which will make preparing for OSU next week much harder.

As is the case for most MAC schools, I expect NIU’s first team to come out swinging, and make it a competetive first half for the Bucks. Garrett Wolfe put up a buck-fifty against UM last year, including a huge 76 yarder. But a team like NIU simply doesn’t have the two-deep that a Big Ten school has, so things will start to fall apart for them by the end of the second quarter/beginning of the third quarter.

Final score: 34-13
NIU’s rushing yards: 130 (over)
TGJr’s TDs: 1 (under)
Beanie’s carries: 7 (under)


  1. I have to go with the score I wrote on my website: OSU 31 NIU 24 (but NIU gets that last one late against the JVs).
    Rusing yards – Over, 140 (that hurts to write that – hope i am wrong)
    TGJr. – 1 TD (under)
    Wells – 12 touches (over)
    Go Bucks! I will be at the game. See some of you there.

  2. I just took care of beating NIU on NCAA 2007 handily, so we should have no problems right? I probably won’t use my 42-7 thrashing as my score call, but now that I look, it may be close…

    OSU 41 : NIU 17

    G.W.’s rushing yards: 125 (a pussy call over)

    Ginn: He’ll have a couple. One better be a kick return, but I’d be happy if he just caught everything kicked his way.

    Wells: 8 (under). I don’t believe the hype.

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