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.
Ohio State will record their highest point total in Bloomington in nearly 40 years
Back in 1983, Ohio State scored 56 points against the Hoosiers in Bloomington. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Buckeyes at least get close to that mark, or even surpass it. The last time Ohio State was at Memorial Stadium, they scored 51 points against the Hoosiers in 2019. Ryan Day’s team at least scores more than they did two years ago.
Right now this Ohio State offense is humming. C.J. Stroud has been the best quarterback in the country since sitting out against Akron. Opposing defenses just don’t know how to gameplan for the Buckeyes since if they try and slow down the pass, then TreVeyon Henderson is going to hurt them on the ground. As if what the offense is doing isn’t enough, the Ohio State defense has recorded a touchdown in each of the last four games.
Ohio State hasn’t scored less than 52 points in a game since they beat Tulsa 41-20 last month. Indiana may be the best defense the Buckeyes has played in over a month, the Hoosier defense don’t strike fear in opponents this year like it did last season. Really though, if Iowa can score 34 points on Indiana, just imagine what the Buckeyes could do. I think the Buckeyes get 54 or 55 points to fall just shy of eclipsing what they scored in 1983.
C.J. Stroud throws his first interception in over a month
I know I said C.J. Stroud hasn’t thrown an interception in over a month, but really it has been two games. The last time Stroud was intercepted came against Tulsa. Then he sat against Akron before returning for the Rutgers and Maryland games, where he wasn’t picked off. To go along with not throwing an interception during that span, Stroud has tossed 10 touchdown passes.
Yes, I just said a little bit ago that Indiana’s defense doesn’t strike fear in opponents this year. That doesn’t mean the Hoosiers aren’t talented. Not that Stroud is going to struggle throughout the game, but we might see a little of the Stroud we saw from the first few games of the season where he was a little off to start the game. Not only is this Ohio State’s first game after the bye week, it is also a primetime game. Things could be a little nervy for the Buckeye offense to start the game before they settle into their rhythm.
Ohio State intercepts at least three Indiana passes
Since Michael Penix Jr. is dealing with an injury, Jack Tuttle will start at quarterback for Indiana. Last week Tuttle also got the nod, and he didn’t look very good against Michigan State. The junior quarterback not only completed just 28 of his 52 passes, Tuttle tossed two interceptions. Tuttle also threw a pick in the previous game against Penn State.
The biggest issue with Tuttle is he isn’t a very accurate quarterback. This year Tuttle is completing just 51.4% of his 70 attempts. During limited action in three years at Indiana, Tuttle has a 56.2 completion percentage. Ohio State’s defense has been getting after the football the last few games. Even if the Buckeyes don’t run back an interception for a touchdown for the fifth game in a row, Ohio State will still make life miserable for Tuttle on Saturday night.
The Ohio State offense rolls up at least 500 yards of offense for the sixth straight game
Honestly, the Buckeyes should be going for seven straight games of 500 yards or more of total offense. In the season opener, Ohio State fell just five yards short of 500 against Minnesota. The Buckeyes will be trying to match the 2017 and 2020 teams, who each had six games streaks of recording at least 500 yards of offense.
I know it seems like I am underestimating Indiana’s defense. I’m not! I know they have a lot of solid players on defense, who have spent a lot of time on the fields during their careers with the Hoosiers. This Ohio State offense is something they aren’t quite equipped to handle, though. Earlier in the year, Western Kentucky passed all over Indiana and almost upset the Hoosiers. If Indiana can’t slow down the passing attack of Western Kentucky, what hope do they have against the Buckeyes? And all that isn’t even taking into account TreVeyon Henderson and the ground attack of Ohio State.
Indiana will fail to make a bowl game this year
This is more of a slower burn than the other “bold predictions”. Plus, I’m not exactly sure how bold this prediction is since the Hoosiers are coming into this game at 2-4. If we assume that Indiana loses to Ohio State on Saturday night (stranger things have happened!) then the Hoosiers have to somehow go 4-1 in their last five games. Included in that stretch is Michigan, Minnesota, and Purdue. It’s going to take a miracle to get through those three games with at most one loss.
It’s just too bad that the Hoosiers couldn’t capitalize on the momentum that they had following last season. Indiana was ranked heading into their season opener, which is something that never happens! The Hoosiers just couldn’t recover from the loss to Iowa to start the season. It also was a massive blow that Michael Penix Jr. couldn’t get healthy. Even though Tom Allen is doing everything he possibly can to get the Indiana football program on the right track, Bloomington is just a really tough place to build a consistent winner in football.