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Who you got? LGHL staff predicts the score of Ohio State-Northwestern

This season, the LGHL staff is competing to see who is the best prognosticator!

Michigan v Ohio State Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Thanks to the resounding victory over the Michigan Wolverines, the No. 6 Ohio State Buckeyes have earned the right to play for their third Big Ten Championship in five years. And while that’s all well and good, the brightest side is that an extra game means that the 2018 LGHL predictions pool is back for another week.

Tonight at 8 p.m. ET, the Buckeyes will take on the No. 21 Northwestern Wildcats for the B1G crown. The conference title game will take place at Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium and will be broadcast on FOX. Unlike last week when only seven of our 13 writers picked the Buckeyes to win, we collectively have much more faith in OSU’s ability to knock off the Wildcats tonight.

Over the course of this season, we here at Land-Grant Holy Land are competing to see who the best prognosticator is on staff.

How this is working is that every week our writers and editors will predict what think the final score of the Ohio State game will be. If a forecaster foresees the game’s correct winner, he or she will receive 75 points. If the expert gets the score exactly right, they will receive a bonus 25 points. However, for every point that a prediction is off, one point will be subtracted—with a max total of 25 points getting subtracted. Get it? Got it? Good.

With every new week of predictions, we will update the standings, so that you can follow along and see who the best handicapper on the LGHL staff is. Current standings are below this week’s predictions.

Matt Brown

Ohio State 31, Northwestern 17
Season Point Total: 669 | Place: 1 out of 13

(He’s THE Matt Brown, he doesn’t need to give an explanation.)

Alexis Chassen

Ohio State 63, Northwestern 10
Season Point Total: 585 | Place: 9 out of 13

Colton Denning

Ohio State 48, Northwestern 13
Season Point Total: 537 | Place: 12 out of 13

On Thursday’s episode of The Hangout in the Holy Land, Colton said that while the Buckeyes won’t be able to put up as many points as they did against Michigan, they will be able to turn the Wildcats over, and will still blow out Northwestern en route to a Big Ten Championship.

Grant Freking

Ohio State 49, Northwestern 17

The moment’s maybe a bit too big for Northwestern, while the Buckeyes will be (Haskins-)armed and ready regardless of what happens in Oklahoma-Texas. Ohio State should be buoyed by a highly-partisan Scarlet and Gray crowd, too.

Geoff Hammersley

Ohio State 41, Northwestern 28
Season Point Total: 628 | Place: 6 out of 13

The Buckeye offense is too much to handle, but the Wildcat defense is no slouch. Think we’ll see a frenetic pace in the first 10 minutes before everything gets calmed down. Definitely after halftime adjustments, though, Ohio State begins sprinting away.

Dan Hessler

Ohio State 48, Northwestern 17
Season Point Total: 591 | Place: 8 out of 13

The Buckeyes know they need to win this one big in order to save the hopes of going to the playoffs. Northwestern will score but Ohio State still walks away with a convincing win.

Meredith Hein

Ohio State 34, Northwestern 21
Season Point Total: 654 | Place: 2 out of 13

Northwestern is a tough team to blow out (just ask Notre Dame and Michigan). The Wildcats take a long time to score, so the Buckeyes will need to capitalize when they get the ball.

Caleb Houser

Ohio State 52, Northwestern 21
Season Point Total: 641 | Place: 4 out of 13

I’ve got the Buckeyes winning big. With the offensive running on all cylinders after last week, the Buckeyes pick right back up where they left off. Dwayne Haskins dices the Wildcat defense up for 5 TD passes in the game. The RB duo of J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber account for two TDs. Also, a FG for insurance is made.

The defense lets Northwestern have its way three times, but in the end, the Buckeyes talent, speed, and athleticism is just to much for NU to handle. I like the Buckeyes to cover the spread and make their best pitch for a final playoff spot.

Max Littman

Ohio State 38, Northwestern 28
Season Point Total: 556 | Place: 11 out of 13

I’m not convinced OSU has absolutely everything figured out, but I think the raw talent can beat Northwestern. Can’t get caught looking ahead or could be in for a long night.

Either that or another 59-0, who knows with this team?

Brett Ludwiczak

Ohio State 48, Northwestern 20
Season Point Total: 630 | Place: 5 out of 13

If Ohio State plays to the level this week that they did last week against Michigan, Northwestern stands no chance. The Wildcats are ravaged by injuries in the secondary, which should allow Buckeye quarterback Dwayne Haskins to add to his monster totals this season. If Haskins is able to find success through the air, it will open up the ground game for Mike Weber and J.K. Dobbins.

Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald prides himself on defense, but asking his team to slow down Ohio State is just too much to ask. The Wildcats haven’t played a team of Ohio State’s caliber this year and it will show on Saturday night. The Buckeyes eliminate any thoughts of an upset early on, and will continue to pile on the points throughout the game.

Patrick Mayhorn

Ohio State 31, Northwestern 14
Season Point Total: 644 | Place: 3 out of 13

On Thursday’s podcast linked above, Patrick said that OSU likely scores most of their points in the first three quarters, and then will coast to the win.

Tony Mazziotti

Ohio State 38, Northwestern 20

Chad Peltier

Ohio State 41, Northwestern 13
Season Point Total: 524 | Place: 13 out of 13

Matt Tamanini

Ohio State 42, Northwestern 13
Season Point Total: 581 | Place: 10 out of 13

If you could draw up an offense that is the exact opposite of the type what has given Ohio State problems all season, it would be nearly identical to the that Northwestern runs. The Buckeyes have been susceptible to big, explosive plays all season, but NU is 124th in Marginal Explosiveness and 125th in IsoPPP meaning that not only do they just not score a lot of points (23.7 per game), but it takes them a long time to do it when they do.

I think that the sheer talent advantage that Ohio State has will overcome Pat Fitzgerald’s zone scheme on defense to give OSU a comfortable Big Ten title victory.

Dan Vest

Ohio State 38, Northwestern 20
Season Point Total: 609 | Place: 7 out of 13

Ohio State controls the game but it’s not quite as dominant as 2014. They will need help to make the top 4.

Ok, after 12 games, let’s take a look as to how our staff’s picks are looking.

LGHL Predictions Scoreboard

Place LGHL Staff Total Points B1G Points TTUN Points Maryland Points Mich. St. Points Nebraska Points Purdue Points Minnesota Points Indiana Points Penn State Points Tulane Points TCU Points Rutgers Points Oregon St. Points
Place LGHL Staff Total Points B1G Points TTUN Points Maryland Points Mich. St. Points Nebraska Points Purdue Points Minnesota Points Indiana Points Penn State Points Tulane Points TCU Points Rutgers Points Oregon St. Points
1 Matt Brown 723 54 0 50 73 70 71 64 48 58 64 61 60 50
2 Meredith Hein 715 61 50 50 62 69 0 56 66 61 54 62 74 50
4 Caleb Houser 712 71 50 50 55 71 0 50 62 66 65 55 67 50
5 Brett Ludwiczak 704 74 50 50 54 68 0 50 61 59 61 62 65 50
6 Geoff Hammersley 703 75 0 50 62 73 72 64 64 0 64 74 55 50
7 Patrick Mayhorn 695 51 0 50 69 63 64 60 69 50 44 64 61 50
8 Dan Vest 673 64 73 50 0 70 0 62 58 63 58 61 64 50
9 Dan Hassler 662 71 50 50 50 53 0 58 55 57 51 65 52 50
10 Alexis Chassen 656 71 50 50 50 65 0 54 60 50 52 52 52 50
11 Matt Tamanini 642 61 50 50 0 67 0 56 59 61 59 72 57 50
12 Max Littman 628 72 0 50 55 60 0 58 41 62 57 56 67 50
13 Colton Denning 604 67 0 50 0 60 0 59 62 56 68 68 64 50
13 Chad Peltier 578 54 0 50 0 66 0 60 66 55 54 73 50 50

So, to recap our oddly overly complicated scoring system:

Correct Winner Prediction: 75 points
Perfect Prediction Bonus: 25 points
Point Total Deductions: Subtract 1 point for every point off total score (cap 25 points)