The Ohio State vs. Iowa Preview

After OSU vanquishing their two toughest challenges back to back (Wisconsin and Northwestern), the Buckeyes will host the Iowa Hawkeyes at 3:30pm, Saturday October 19th.

The Hawkeyes come in at 4-2 and tied for 2nd in the Legends Division. There has been a slight glimmer of hope with the Hawkeyes this year after going a horrible 4-8 and finishing tied for last in their division a year ago. Iowa’s wins were vs. Missouri State, Iowa State, Western Michigan and Minnesota. Their losses to Michigan State and Northern Illinois.

The Hawkeyes are ranked as follows:

Iowa Rankings

What can be taken away from this? Iowa’s defense is pretty damn good…like…really good. Meyer said that their front four may be the best they will face all year. The Hawkeye defensive line is stout and could give OSU’s highly ranked rushing attack fits. They did a good job shutting down highly touted Northern Illinois QB Jordan Lynch. Lynch had 56 yards rushing which is his 2nd lowest total of the season. Lynch did have success throwing the football and that is where Iowa seems to struggle most of defense. In both of their losses, the Iowa defense has struggled to defend the pass.

What to expect when Iowa has the ball:

Iowa will pound the ball like an old school Big Ten team should. They are lead by Mark Weisman who has 624 yards rushing and 3 rushing TD’s. Their QB Jake Rudock is inconsistent at best as he thrives off the play-action pass. Rudock has 8 TD passes to 6 INT’s. He will certainly give the Buckeye defense opportunities to pick him off.

Ohio State’s strength defensively is their ability to stop the run. OSU shutdown Wisconsins rushing attack, which is ranked 5th in the nation with just under 300 yards per game. OSU held them to just over 100. OSU also shutdown Northwestern’s outstanding running game as well. While this is great, both Wisconsin and Northwestern were able to throw the ball at will. Northwestern racked up 345 yards passing and Wisconsin tallied 295 yards passing. Neither team is known for throwing the football. The OSU secondary has got to step up their game.

Look for Ohio State to choke out Iowa’s rushing attack, but give up some chunks in the passing game off play-action. One of the major issues I have with this team is the fact that they are LOADED with amazing athletes on defense and for some reason refuse to be aggressive and force their will on lesser teams. Ryan Shazier is one of the most dynamic athletes OSU has ever had at linebacker and he blitzes less than Tim Tebow throws touchdowns. Fickell and Whithers need to simply be more aggressive during passing downs. Northwestern really struggled when their QB’s were pressured. We shall see Saturday if OSU creates more pressure.

What to expect when OSU has the ball:

Ohio State will do what they have done all year long…impose their will on the defense they are playing against. Braxton Miller will throw it between 20-25 times and Carlos Hyde will be the work horse in between the tackles. OSU will employ a deadly play-action passing game. Will there be a Dontre Wilson sighting on offense? When he is on the field good things happen. When he came aboard he was touted as the next Percy Harvin. He is averaging 9.5 yards per touch on offense. That is very Harvin like. He needs touches. The offense is just different when he is in there.

Iowa’s main focus will be to stop OSU’s rushing game and force Braxton Miller to beat them throwing the football. The bad news for Iowa is that Braxton can and will beat them threw the air. Millers passing game has improved by leaps and bounds since last year and he is spreading the ball all over the field, hitting check downs, tightens and getting his 3 WR’s involved in the game. He’s making quicker decisions and getting the ball out of his hands earlier. Last year OSU was ranked 90th in the country giving up sacks. This year thus far OSU is 32nd, mainly due to Millers improvement getting rid of the ball.

Iowa is a solid football team and as always well coached. They are a little in over their head vs. Ohio State however and this one should be over midway through the 3rd quarter. I see Iowa keeping things close for a bit and the Buckeyes pouring it on as the game wears on. Eventually Iowa will have to rely on their passing game and it will let them down. They lack the playmakers to keep up with the Ohio State offense, which is averaging 46.8 points per game, good for 6th in the country. Iowa REALLY struggles with the playaction game and OSU thrives on that. OSU should cruise.

Prediction:

OSU 41
Iowa 20

Comments

  1. Iowa hasn’t faced an offense with the Buckeye’s kind of firepower. It could get ugly. Even though Meyer says he doesn’t worry about “style points” he has to be thinking about it a little.

    Buckeyes roll easy, 45-23

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