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Ohio State 2020 Virtual Season preview: Week 4 at Iowa

Follow LandGrantHolyLand on Twitch and tune in Saturday at 3:15 p.m. ET to watch the Buckeyes take on the Hawkeyes in yet another field of corn!

As the 2020 Ohio State Virtual Season rolls on (follow all the action by following LandGrantHolyLand on Twitch), the Buckeyes are starting to hit their stride. Last week, they took it to the Nebraska Cornhuskers in Lincoln to the tune of a final score of 48-3 — not too far off from the actual result these two teams had last year.

Trey Sermon piled up 220 total scrimmage yards and four TDs, while Garrett Wilson made a spectacular touchdown catch in the endzone from nearly 40 yards out:

This week, Ohio State has a much more daunting challenge in store by way of the Iowa Hawkeyes. Traveling to Iowa has always been a pain for this team, and the Hawkeyes’ 2020 roster did grade out as a preseason top 25 team that loves to hammer opponents with its pro-style offense.

Here’s what to expect:

What to Watch: Ohio State Offense vs. Iowa Defense

Justin Fields and the passing game are starting to click in a big way. As Fields prepares to challenge Trevor Lawrence for the Heisman down the stretch, we have seen his chemistry with the receivers finally start coming together. Expect Field to pepper Ohio State’s tight ends with targets over the middle as he has often this year, but receivers like Chris Olave and Jameson Williams should see much greater success going forward than they have in previous games.

Iowa’s run defense offers much more resistance than Nebraska’s did last week, so don’t expect Sermon to run wild all over the place again. That being said, he’s also starting to find his groove behind the offensive line, and could make for a few surprise plays in what should be an initially close game.

What to Watch: Iowa Offense vs. Ohio State Defense

Iowa’s offense is stunningly effective this year. They’re still using the pro-style playbook that NCAA Football 14 had Kirk Ferentz using seven years ago, but now they have the personnel to really make teams stress on defense.

Ihmir Smith-Marsette leads the way for the skill players, and even with Shaun Wade across from him, ISM will likely have a big game and account for much of Iowa’s offensive production. Of course, Iowa always boasts effective tight ends and will use multiple formations with multiple TEs as blockers and receivers to keep defenses honest. While Ohio State’s defense has been fairly effective against the run this year outside of the Buffalo game, Iowa could give them some trouble.

The key for the Hawkeyes will be second year quarterback Spencer Petras — a player that saw five total games of action over the last two seasons before earning the starting job in 2020. Petras makes good decisions but has somewhat suspect arm accuracy, so it will be on the Buckeyes to make sure they capitalize on whatever mistakes may happen.

Follow LandGrantHolyLand on Twitch and Tune in Tomorrow at 3:15 p.m. ET to watch Ohio State vs. Iowa!

We’ll get the stream going around 3:00 p.m. ET, so be sure to tune in before the game starts! I still have to sim Ohio State’s games against Bowling Green and Rutgers, so I’ll be using the time before kickoff to provide updates on those performances as well as other news from around the virtual college football universe.

Go Bucks! We can’t wait to watch with you!