For the first time since 2017 (more on that in a minute), the No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes (6-0, 3-0) will take on the Iowa Hawkeyes (3-3, 1-2) at 12 noon ET on Saturday, Oct. 22. The game will be FOX’s Big Noon Saturday game of the week, and even though none of the players currently on the Ohio State roster were a part of the two teams’ last meeting, today’s game has taken on an added element of revenge following the 55-24 beat down that the Hawkeyes put on the then-No. 3 Buckeyes.
During the week, head coach Ryan Day — who was in his first season as Ohio State’s offensive coordinator that year — has talked about the scars that the upset has left on him and the program. The two teams were originally slated to meet again in 2020, but due to COVID, that game never happened.
Iowa and Ohio State come into today’s game in two very different places. The Buckeyes are undefeated and halfway to earning a College Football Playoff berth while Iowa has already suffered losses to Iowa State, Michigan, and Illinois. The Buckeyes enter the game with the No. 1 scoring offense and No. 2 scoring offense in all of college football while Iowa is the No. 127 (of 131) scoring offense and No. 131 (still out of 131) total offense.
Much of the conversation around the Hawkeye offense this season has been about offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz’s inability to generate even the slightest bit of offensive efficiency. The son of long-time head coach Kirk Ferentz, the offensive coordinator has come under fire not only for the poor play of his unit, but also for his unwillingness to make a change at quarterback. Veteran Spencer Petras has been lackluster under center this season coming in 13th in the Big Ten in passing yards per game, despite the fact that he has taken every single snap for the Hawkeyes.
The one saving grace for this Iowa team is that its defense has been characteristically impressive, coming into today’s game at The Shoe with the No. 7 overall defense in the country and No. 3 scoring defense. Outside of their 27-14 loss to TTUN, the Hawkeyes have not allowed their opponents to score more than 10 points this season.
The Iowa D is especially adept against the pass ranking third in the country in passing yards allowed per game at just 154. Obviously, this is likely to be the more competitive matchup in today’s game as Ohio State’s defense is as statistically good as Iowa’s offense is statistically bad.
The Buckeyes come out of their off week ranked fifth nationally in total defense and 10th in scoring defense. This should be an interesting experiment for Ohio State; if they can keep Iowa under its 14.7 points per game average, there would be added reason to think that the defense is as good as it has looked through the first half of the season. However, if the Buckeyes end up giving up an abnormal number of chunk plays and the Hawkeyes put up three to four touchdowns, that could be concerning moving forward.
When is the game and how can I watch?
Game Date/Time: Saturday, Oct. 22 at 12 noon ET
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Online: Sling TV
Radio: 97.1 FM | 1460 AM
DraftKings Sportsbook line: Ohio State -30 | o/u 49.5
Official LGHL Prediction: Ohio State 55, Iowa 14
Matt’s Prediction: Ohio State 42, Iowa 10
Join the conversation
Below is your Ohio State vs. Iowa GameThread. Be respectful, be kind and — as always — keep it classy, BuckeyeNation. If you like GIFs, lay ‘em on us. In all, be good fans, cheer for your teams, be cool to each other (even if somebody else isn’t) and everyone wins. Let’s finish the season strong!