Gameday is finally upon us, and that means we are kicking off our weekly tradition of Bold Predictions. Ohio State has an intriguing matchup with the Iowa Hawkeyes this week, who are elite on defense, but abysmal on offense. I've got the Buckeyes winning comfortably with a 45-6 prediction I made back in our Staff Week 8 Predictions , but this will most likely be the toughest test the offense has faced all year. With that all said, let's get into the predictions.
Ohio State Rushes For 300 Yards
The Buckeyes have yet to rush for 300 Yards in a game this season, and Iowa is only giving up 110.7 Rushing Yards Per Game, but I think the Hawkeyes will try to slow down the passing attack. With the offensive line that Ohio State has, Ryan Day has shown no hesitation to run the ball, as he has chosen to do so on 54.6% of plays this season. I think the Buckeyes get chunk yardage early and often, and continue to pound the ball with a healthy Miyan Williams and TreVeyon Henderson. If there is a weakness on this Iowa defense, it is most likely the D-Line, so I think this is where Day centers his attack.
Iowa Gains Less Than 150 Total Yards Of Offense
Its no secret that the Iowa offense is bad. I mean insanely bad. In overall offense, the rank 129th out of 131 FBS schools (that's as bad as Tennessee's pass defense). The Hawkeyes are averaging a whopping 238.8 YPG on offense which is yielding them 14.7 PPG. Mix that with an ultra aggressive defense from Jim Knowles that has complicated Blitz schemes and can hide multiple coverages out of the same looks, you get a recipe for disaster. QB Spencer Petras has been limited at best this season with throwing 2 TDs and 5 INTs this season, and today might just be the breaking point for Brian Ferentz as the offensive coordinator. I know Kirk Ferentz doesn't want to fire his son, and hates change in general, but the cries of the Iowa fans are starting to spill over in asking to the HC to leave as well. Hopefully for his sake, he sees this soon, or Iowa may be in on the Matt Rhule sweepstakes as well this offseason. No one likes nepotism.
Tuimoloau Breaks Through, Gets 2 Sacks
One of the surprises of the first half of the season was that second year DE Jaylahn Tuimoloau has not yet recorded a sack. On the surface, this could be alarming, but if you have watched the Buckeyes closely this season, you realize that he has been effecting just about every play he is on the field for. Larry Johnson even went so far as to call out the B1G for missing blatant holds against J.T. during media availability this week. The past few games, I have seen J.T. attempt a spin move to the inside after driving the opposing OT upfield, and he has just been missing out on a sack each time. The drought ends today, and the spin cycle pays off with multiple sacks for the second year DE.
Its easy to forget that this is a revenge game for the Buckeyes today. If you're going to the stadium, wear red, be loud, and lets kick some Hawkeye ass! O-H!