Before every Ohio State football game, the LGHL Tailgate podcast will get you ready with all of the information that you need for that day’s game. Legendary Columbus sports reporter Lori Schmidt from 610 WTVN will also join us to give her signature insight into the contest.
Tonight, the No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes (6-0, 3-0) return to action after the first of two off weeks on the season and will play their first Friday, non-bowl game since 1959. They will take on the Northwestern Wildcats (1-4, 0-3) in Evanston, Ill.
The Buckeyes enter the game surprisingly beat up for a team coming off of a bye. Primary middle linebacker Baron Browning will be out for the game. Though Tuf Borland is the Buckeyes’ starter at the position, Browning has been increasingly getting more snaps than Borland, so it will be interesting to see what the rotation looks like tonight.
Starting offensive tackle Thayer Munford will be a game-time decision for the contest, and if he does prove to be out, that will make things complicated on the offensive line for the Buckeyes, as backup tackle Joshua Alabi is also out for the game in Evanston. So, if the starter is unavailable, OSU will likely turn to former five-star recruit, redshirt-freshman Nicholas Petit-Frere.
Northwestern is going through a bit of uncertainty of its own. Despite having what the advanced analytics say is one of the best defenses in the country, NU’s offense has been incredibly bad. While it is a team effort to be 124th (out of 130) in SP+’s offensive rankings, the team’s quarterback situation hasn’t helped much.
Both quarterbacks, Clemson transfer Hunter Johnson and junior Aidan Smith, have thrown for one touchdown and four interceptions apiece. Johnson has 367 yards passing and Smith has 273 on the season.
No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes (-28) at Northwestern Wildcats | over/under 50
Game Date/Time: Friday, Oct, 18, 8:30 p.m. ET
Location: Evanston, Ill. | Ryan Field
TV: Big Ten Network
Radio: 97.1 FM/1460 AM
Temperature: 54°F with a 0% chance of rain at kickoff
Matt’s Game Prediction: 49-10
Justin Fields: 235 yards passing, 3 passing TDs, 1 rushing TD
J.K. Dobbins: 135 rushing yards, 2 TDs
Chase Young: 1.5 sacks
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