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.
Oregon will outrush Ohio State
Okay, there are two reasons this will happen. First, Oregon brings one of the nation’s top rushers in C.J. Verdell and Travis Dye, who’ve collectively rushed for 4,501 yards in their time with the Ducks. It also doesn’t help that senior quarterback Anthony Brown is no slouch as a rushing quarterback. Or that Oregon returns an extraordinarily experienced offensive line.
The second reason is on the defensive side of the ball. Ohio State struggled to stop Mo Ibrahim last week. Sure, Al Washington and Co. are likely to have made adjustments, but the reality is the Buckeyes’ linebackers struggled to stop the run, and Oregon’s one-two punch is not exactly a letdown compared to what the Buckeyes faced last week.
Ohio State will get five (or more) sacks on Anthony Brown
Again, there are two sides to this issue. First, the Ducks gave up three sacks last week against Fresno State. As experienced as the aforementioned offensive line might be, they couldn’t contain the likes of Fresno State’s defense.
Not to diminish Fresno State, but, on the other side of the ball, Ohio State has built something of a powerhouse on the defensive line in recent years. Players like Zach Harrison (who had one of the Buckeyes’ two sacks last week) and Haskell Garrett will be going against a slightly-less-good offensive line than what they faced last week, and will certainly have a shot at taking Brown down repeatedly this afternoon.
The Buckeyes will possess the ball for maybe 25 minutes
Last week, Ohio State only had the ball on offense for 21:19. It fully makes sense given who the Buckeyes were up against (i.e., a primarily rushing team that ate up the clock) and given that Ohio State was looking to build CJ Stroud’s confidence on a rainy night in Minnesota — which meant a lot of incompletions. Of course, the Buckeyes also had three touchdown drives of three plays or less in the second half against Minnesota. Which doesn’t eat up a lot of clock.
Oregon ran 76 offensive plays last week, 49 of which were rushing attempts. By comparison, the Buckeyes ran just 48 offensive plays, including 26 rushes. Again, see above for the benefits of short scoring drives.
In sum, Ohio State can score quickly. The defense can stay on the field and not break. So it’s not necessarily a bad thing if the Buckeyes don’t win in time of possession.
The Pac-12 North will have a collective record of 2-10 by the end of the weekend
Is this really bold? The division is 1-5 heading into week two, with Oregon the only winner of the group. Ohio State is favored by more than two touchdowns over Oregon. Michigan is favored by 6.5 over Washington (which fell last week to FCS Montana). Stanford is a 17-point dog to USC, and TCU is an 11.5-point favorite over Cal. Those all feel like solid wins for the favorites. Then of course, Oregon State is favored by 11 over Hawaii, but the Beavers are bad, and they could drop to the Warriors. It feels like the only safe bet coming out of the North is Washington State, which could probably beat Portland State.
Brutus will beat the Duck in a dance off
Just for fun. As one of the up-and-coming mascots in the NCAA, Puddles, the Oregon Duck is certainly looking to make his mark against one of the titans of the mascot world. And what better way to attempt to assert dominance than with a dance battle?
Brutus obviously has home field advantage. He’s familiar with the traditions and the vibe. He got the set list from TBDBITL weeks ago and has been practicing. He’s not trying to dance at 9 a.m. PST. Sure, the Duck’s got some moves, but Brutus is a frequent guest performer with the Ohio State dance team. He’s got rhythm. And he can do backflips.
If nothing else, it’ll be a classier display than that time the Bobcat came to the Horseshoe. He’s never invited back.