Prior to each Ohio State game this year, LGHL is going to bring you some “bold predictions”. This will include somewhere around five predictions for the game, whether it be passing yards, points scored, sacks, or a number of other things that we could see happening during the game.
We’d love to hear your bold predictions. Either respond to us on Twitter at @Landgrant33 or leave your bold predictions in the comments.
Chris Olave will record a season-high in receiving yards
The last two games have been rough for Chris Olave. Not only did the senior see his 17-game streak with at least one catch snapped against Tulsa, but Olave caught just two passes for 12 yards last week against Akron. At least the Buckeyes didn’t need much from Olave last week, as nine other receivers caught a pass in the 59-7 win over the Zips.
So far this year Rutgers has been good against the pass, only allowing 150 yards per game to opponents through the air. It’s not like those opponents take to the air all that much, though. Michigan, Delaware, Syracuse, and Temple don’t exactly scream “air raid”.
Not only will the Scarlet Knights have to try and find a way to keep the football out of Olave’s hands, they’ll also have to try and slow down Garrett Wilson, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, and a number of other Ohio State receivers. Rutgers just isn’t going to be ready for the smoke that the Buckeyes are going to throw at them. Olave makes up for some light production the last couple weeks and goes for at least 130 yards receiving.
Ohio State will rush for twice as many yards as Michigan
Michigan entered last week’s game averaging 350 yards rushing per game. After 60 minutes of game time in Ann Arbor, the Wolverines had rushed for just 112 yards against Rutgers. So much for the Wolverines fielding a rushing attack that can’t be stopped,
The Rutgers rush defense is good, which is why this prediction is scary. Then again, they don’t call them “bold predictions” because they are easy. The Scarlet Knights should be worried this week since they haven’t had to try and slow down somebody with the explosiveness of Ohio State freshman running back TreVeyon Henderson. If Henderson gets lose for a 60 or 70-yard gain, there’s almost a third of what you need to double up what Michigan was able to do last week.
There are also a couple hungry running backs waiting to spell Henderson. Miyan Williams and Master Teague don’t have the breakaway speed that Henderson does, but they are able to wear down opponents with their physical running styles. The trio of Ohio State running backs will also likely see a little extra work this week if C.J. Stroud starts, since Ryan Day might be a little hesitant to have Stroud throw the football as much as normal.
Ohio State scores less than 49 points today
The Buckeyes have never scored less than 49 points in seven previous matchups against Rutgers. Ohio State might get close to that number, they just won’t reach it. There are a few factors as to why the Buckeyes likely won’t put up at least 49 points today.
The first reason is there is still some uncertainty at quarterback for Ohio State. Will C.J. Stroud start? How healthy is Stroud’s shoulder? Will Ryan Day look to get Kyle McCord more game reps? There’s all that and more to ponder when it comes to the Ohio State offense. Even though the Buckeyes have amazing talent at the skill positions, there might be some hiccups since there has been some rotation at quarterback the last couple weeks.
Noah Vedral will throw his first interception of the year
So far this year, Rutgers quarterback Noah Vedral hasn’t thrown an interception in 112 pass attempts. It’s a bit of a surprise that Vedral hasn’t thrown an interception yet this year after throwing eight picks last year in 221 pass attempts. Somehow Michigan wasn’t able to force Vedral into an interception last week in 31 pass attempts.
Ohio State’s pass defense is starting to get a little better. Granted, last week was only against Akron, so we likely didn’t get a true feel for the progress the Buckeye secondary has made. At least Ohio State has intercepted two passes in each of the last two games. With the talent of guys like Sevyn Banks and Cam Brown, along with the hunger to make plays from Ronnie Hickman and Lathan Ransom, at some point during the game one of the Ohio State defenders is going to end up picking off one of Noah Vedral’s passes.
Jesse Mirco will put two more puts inside the 20-yard-line
While Mirco shouldn’t have to punt a bunch during today’s game, when his number is called he will continue to display tremendous precision. Of Mirco’s 11 punts this year, seven have already been downed inside the 20-yard-line. Mirco is following in the footsteps of recent Ohio State punters Cameron Johnston and Drue Chrisman, flipping the field to try and give a boost to the defense.
It’d be nice to think Ohio State won’t have to punt at all in this game. Unfortunately there is going to come a few times when they can’t pickup a first down. Breathe easy, since Mirco is punting with confidence. Who knows, maybe one of those punts that pins Rutgers deep in their own zone will result in a Noah Vedral interception!