It’s time for a couple LGHL writers to go “Freezing Cold Takes” on themselves. Brett Ludwiczak and Meredith Hein have been alternating writing our Bold Predictions pieces, which drop early on game days. Whichever writer isn’t tackling the game preview that week tries to find 4-5 predictions that are a little out there. Most of the predictions are about Ohio State, while they do try and mix in some pertaining to the other team or anything else that they think might happen during the game.
Being that this is the first season we have done “Bold Predictions”, there are still some kinks to work out. There have been some picks that have been on the money, while there have been some that have been way off the mark. We are asking Brett and Meredith to do a little self-reflection and find the bold prediction that they missed the hardest on.
So far this year, Brett was in charge of bold predictions for the Minnesota, Tulsa, and Rutgers games, while Meredith was the author for the Oregon and Akron games. Be sure to keep an eye out on game days the rest of the year as they’ll continue to alternate weeks. This week will see Meredith make predictions for Ohio State’s noon kickoff against Maryland.
Today’s question: Which “Bold Prediction” was your worst so far this year?
We’d love to hear your choices. Either respond to us on Twitter at @Landgrant33 or leave your choice in the comments.
Brett’s answer: Jeremy Ruckert would catch at least five passes against Minnesota
Jeremy Ruckert having six catches total entering Saturday’s game against Rutgers should tell you everything you need to know about just how off I was on my prediction that the Ohio State tight end was going to have a big performance in the season opener. Ruckert only caught one pass for 15 yards against the Golden Gophers.
Ruckert’s usage against the Scarlet Knights was more like I thought we would see against Minnesota last month. The senior caught four passes for 40 yards and a touchdown in the 52-13 win over Rutgers. It was obvious that quarterback C.J. Stroud not only looked like he had recovered from a shoulder injury, he also was a lot more comfortable taking the snaps against Rutgers than he was in the season opener.
We may not see Ruckert catch five passes in a game this season. The prediction felt like a safe one in the first game since it was Stroud’s first start, and Ruckert would have been a perfect safety valve. Instead, the Buckeyes were all about the big plays against the Golden Gophers. No matter how much Ruckert is used the rest of the year, opposing defenses will at least have to respect his presence on the field, since he is the best pure pass-catching threat in quite some time.
Meredith’s answer: TreVeyon Henderson will break Ohio State’s single game rushing record against Akron
So hindsight is indeed 20/20, but we probably could have figured out that, despite my bold prediction that true freshman running back TreVeyon Henderson would break Ohio State’s single-game rushing record against Akron, such a result would be unlikely.
For starters, Henderson had carried the load for Ohio State the week before, breaking the freshman single-game rushing record with 277 yards against Tulsa, and the coaching staff was probably thrilled for the opportunity to rest him, like Stroud, for the Buckeyes’ return to Big Ten play the next week.
While I maintain that, statistically, Henderson would have had more than a fair crack at the record had he played in the whole game. I was remiss in my theory that somehow Henderson would play for the whole game. When the Buckeyes are up big over a MAC opponent that probably won’t be able to overcome a 30+ point halftime deficit, the coaching staff is not going to risk injury by piling up yards. No, that’s a perfect opportunity for other folks to get reps and to get Henderson out of dodge.
Plus, there is a correlation of a game in which Henderson isn’t doing well and one where he stays in the game longer. In other words, the situation in which Henderson had to stay in for a longer period of time, especially against an opponent on the level of Akron, is likely one where he was less dominant. In all, Henderson rushed eight times for 93 yards and two touchdowns, playing for less than a half. He successfully put the team up big early, which meant he didn’t need to stay in the game.
I still think Henderson has a shot at the rushing record this season, but it will likely come against an opponent who can put up points and who also has a mediocre defense. Coincidentally, Maryland comes to mind. Perhaps we’ll see a repeat of this prediction sooner rather than later...