We are now just two hours away from the start of the 129th season of Ohio State Buckeyes football. At noon ET, the No. 5 Buckeyes will play host to the Oregon State Beavers in a game that will be broadcast on ABC.
As the new season gets underway, we here at Land-Grant Holy Land are going to start a new tradition, as every week, members of our staff will compete to see who the best prognosticator is at LGHL.
How this will work 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. 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.
Ohio State 52, Oregon State 10
(He’s Matt Brown, he doesn’t need to give an explanation.)
Ohio State 53, Oregon State 10
The Buckeyes are hungry and have no shortage of motivation, which means bad news for the Beavers on Saturday. OSU puts up at least 50 in their season opener.
Ohio State 56, Oregon State 7
Ohio State is one of the most talented teams in the country, and Oregon State is not. Dwayne Haskins looks great in his debut, throwing for 4 touchdowns, while Tate Martell rushes for 110 yards in mop up duty. Chase Young turns one of Oregon State’s QBs into dust.
Ohio State 44, Oregon State 13
Dwayne Haskins will look really good, mostly because Oregon State’s secondary is without their key safety. J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber will combine for 175 on the ground, and will account for 3 TDs. Ohio State’s defense is gonna put pressure on Jake Luton, and Nick Bosa will pick up a sack or two before the afternoon is over. Only one interception for the Buckeyes, and it’ll probably happen late as Luton starts forcing throws.
Ohio State 48, Oregon State 10
I’m thinking Ohio State is able to easily handle Oregon State in Week 1 despite head coach Urban Meyer being suspended for the first three games of the year. I see Ohio State taking control of the game on both sides of the trenches, leading to both J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber having solid outings. While on the other side, the Buckeyes defensive front will dominate all game.
Ohio State 41, Oregon State 14
It may take a few drives for the offense to get into gear in its first game, but Haskins and company will turn it on by the second half for a decisive win.
Ohio State 63, Oregon State 7
Ohio State comes out firing on all cylinders. Dwayne Haskins plays the into the third quarter and leads the Buckeyes to a score of 49-0. Midway through the 3rd, Tate Martell gets his chance to be seen and rushes for a TD and also throws another to get to 63 points. The defense does get one score off of an interception by Kendall Sheffield.
Offensively, J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber total 220 yards on the ground with 2 TDs for Dobbins and 1 for Weber. Haskins throws for 3 TDs—with the receivers being Binjimen Victor, Austin Mack, and Johnnie Dixon. Haskins throws for 250 yards. At the end of the day, the OSU amasses nearly 600 yards of total offense. A huge day for the Bucks and a 1-0 start to the year.
Ohio State 52, Oregon State 13
Oregon State was one of the worst teams in the FBS last season (127th in S&P+), and new head coach Jonathan Smith definitely has a Year Zero rebuilding job ahead of him. The Beavers are almost definitely the worst team on Ohio State’s schedule this season, even behind Rutgers and Tulane. That likely means that Ryan Day and Dwayne Haskins (and everyone’s backups) will get plenty of time to work on fundamentals ahead of an important Week 3 showdown with TCU. If this game is close after the first quarter then I’d be astounded.
Ohio State 58, Oregon State 13
In terms of talent, there’s no comparison between these two teams, and literally the only thing holding back the Buckeyes from scoring at will is that the coaching staff isn’t going to want to risk injuries. However, thanks to the relative inexperience of key players, including new quarterback Dwayne Haskins, I would expect the Buckeye offense to continue to score points well into the third quarter. I could see the signal-caller wracking up 327 yards through the air and 3 touchdowns, while both J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber eclipse 100 yards rushing with a score apiece.
The Ohio State defense will have a surprisingly difficult time getting pressure on 6-foot-7 quarterback Jake Luton, but Nick Bosa, Jonathon Cooper, Chase Young, and company will have their opportunities to create havoc in the backfield. Ultimately, a 40-plus point win will look closer than it actually is.
Ohio State 63, Oregon State 13
Oregon State is a Power 5 team, but it’s a Power 5 team in the same sense that my 1985 Oldsmobile Cutlass was technically an automobile. Sure, it can move, but Ohio State is a god dang monster truck. Put them up against one another and it’s going to get ugly. Ohio State is going to go up early and keep taking shots as it works the kinks out of an offense with a collection of new starters at important positions. A good old-fashioned blowout win is exactly what Columbus needs to wipe the taste of an embarrassing offseason out of its mouth.
So, to recap:
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)