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 pitch a shutout
The last time the Buckeyes held an opponent scoreless wasn’t all that long ago, with Ohio State defeating Cincinnati 42-0 in 2019.
While Akron is coming off a 35-14 win against Bryant, the Zips have been rather anemic on offense so far in 2021. Akron managed just 10 points against Auburn, and put up 24 on Temple. Though the Buckeyes have had their struggles on defense, we can anticipate that, if a shutout will happen this season, this will be their best opportunity.
On that note... the Buckeyes will cover their 48.5-point spread
Why is this a bold prediction? Because the Buckeyes haven’t even scored 48 points in a single game this season. It’s also a stretch because, as Ryan Day has noted this week, CJ Stroud — the starting quarterback for Ohio State’s first three games of the season — will not be starting.
But also...48.5 POINTS?! That’s a lot.
That being said, this will probably be the worst defense Ohio State faces all season, and the Buckeyes’ biggest opportunity to put up big numbers. On that note...
TreVeyon Henderson will break Ohio State’s single game rushing record
The true freshman running back already busted Archie Griffin’s single-game freshman rushing record, dating back five decades, with his 277 yards against Tulsa last weekend. That performance was also good for third all-time for a single game in program history.
So might Henderson nab the all-time record? That performance is less than a year old, with Tre Sermon having rushed for 331 yards against Northwestern in last year’s Big Ten Championship game. While that 54 yards is not an insignificant gap, it certainly bodes well for Henderson that he’s come so close in just his third collegiate game. And perhaps he could overcome that margin today.
Tulsa had some semblance of a defense — something that can’t be said for Akron. The Zips are 96th in the NCAA in rushing defense, allowing 174 yards per game, so Henderson could, theoretically, have a solid opportunity to earn the program record this weekend.
Of course, he may still be resting up after last week’s performance.
The Buckeyes won’t attempt a field goal all game
Why would they?
Ohio Stadium will have its lowest attendance in decades
...or since last weekend.
It won’t all be sunshine and rainbows for the Buckeyes Saturday. Well, there won’t be sunshine at all, since it’s a 7:30 p.m. ET kickoff for some reason. Which, of course, leads to the saddest prediction of all. Because we saw last weekend that even the best damn fans in the land only turned up at 70% capacity for Ohio State’s first win of the season.
While night games certainly bring a lot of excitement, we can’t imagine that, after a full day of tailgating and on the first truly fall-like Saturday of the year, Ohio Stadium will see any more capacity than it saw last weekend in the Buckeyes’ afternoon soiree against Tulsa.
College football’s attendance has been dropping steadily for almost a decade. Rising ticket prices, combined with the increasing benefits of the at-home experience, have been majorly impacting smaller programs nationwide. However, last week, we saw those repercussions come home to Ohio State.
Sure, we are still in the midst of a global pandemic, and many are choosing to stay home — but last week saw Ohio State’s lowest attendance since 1971 just a week after turning out a 100,000+ person crowd against Oregon.
That can’t bode well for Akron.