Before each Ohio State game this year, LGHL is going to bring you some “bold predictions”. This will include somewhere a few hot takes for the game, whether it be passing yards, points scored, sacks, or some 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.
C.J. Stroud will throw for over 400 yards
Last week saw C.J. Stroud throw for his lowest yardage total as a Buckeye, only finishing with 154 yards against Rutgers. The Buckeyes didn’t need Stroud to do much though, as Miyan Williams ran for five touchdowns in the 49-10 win. The previous low mark for Stroud in a game in terms of passing yardage came last year against Tulsa, when he threw for 185 yards against the Golden Hurricanes.
If there was ever a team for a quarterback to rebound from a poor performance against, it is the Michigan State Spartans. Last year Michigan State had one of the worst pass defenses in the country, and it hasn’t improved this year. In the 56-7 win over the Spartans in Columbus, Stroud threw for 432 yards and six touchdowns.
There’s no reason Stroud can’t have a similar performance this year. Michigan State’s pass defense has no confidence, and a quarterback like Stroud is not who you want to face when you are doubting your abilities. Ohio State also has a bye next week, so Ryan Day might leave Stroud in a little longer to get him some extra work, especially after seeing him struggle last week.
Ohio State scores 50 points against Michigan State for the third straight meeting
The spice level on this prediction might not be all that hot, but with a big day predicted for Stroud, this just makes sense. Ohio State has been up on the Spartans in the last two meetings, beating Michigan State 52-12 in 2020 in East Lansing, followed by a 56-7 drubbing in Columbus last season. Overall, the Buckeyes are averaging 43.2 points per game against Michigan State after their last five matchups.
Then again, it feels like the Buckeyes could put up 50 on just about any team in the country right now. Following the 21-10 win against Notre Dame, Ohio State is averaging 55.7 points per game over the last four games, and that’s without a healthy Jaxon Smith-Njigba, along with TreVeyon Henderson being in and out of the lineup with a foot injury. Even without those two stars, there are just too many weapons for opponents to keep tabs on and hold in check.
Bryce Baringer won’t average 50 yards per punt in a game for the first time this season
Iowa’s Tory Taylor and Adam Korsak of Rutgers are often talked about as the best punters in the Big Ten. While those two are both great punters, the true top foot in the conference is Michigan State’s Bryce Baringer. The sixth-year graduate student is averaging 53.3 yards per punt this year, with 11 punts of more than 50 yards, and four punts topping 60 yards.
Ohio State has yet to have a punter average at least 50 yards per punt against them this year. Even though Baringer is very experienced, he could be pressing a little in this game, trying to make the perfect punt to help his team out. So many things can easily go wrong when punting. Maybe the snap is bad, or the ball goes off the side of your foot. The Buckeyes have also had success blocking punts, so maybe Baringer rushes a couple of punts and it leads to them being shorter, giving him more work to do to hit that 50-yard average.
Ohio State doesn’t fumble in today’s game
While Michigan State’s defense has been leaky against the pass this year, the one thing the Spartans do a great job at is separating the football from their opponents. Michigan State has nine forced fumbles already this year. Linebacker Jacoby Windman leads the country with five forced fumbles this year, while safety Kendall Brooks has been credited with three forced fumbles.
Amazingly, the only two fumbles Ohio State has lost through five games this season both came on muffed punts. The Buckeyes have done a great job at securing the football, not allowing opponents to separate them from the football and possibly shift momentum in the game. Michigan State may do a great job at creating turnovers, it just won’t happen today against an Ohio State team that makes very few mistakes when it comes to ball security.
There will be baseball cut-ins during the Ohio State game
Lately, something that has triggered college football fans has been cut-ins of Aaron Judge at-bats. Luckily for college football fans, Aaron Judge won’t be playing today, since the Yankees have a bye in the Wild Card Round of the MLB Playoffs. Unfortunately for college football fans, expect some baseball cut-ins during today’s Ohio State game since there will be playoff games going on throughout the day on ESPN and ESPN2.
Honestly, I don’t see why college football fans are so offended by the cut-ins. Sure, Judge didn’t hit a homer during any of those updates, but it’s not like you still didn’t get to see what was going on in the college football game. Sorry, that you couldn’t fully see what was going on for about a minute in Clemson-Wake Forest or Kentucky-Ole Miss, but nobody is going to remember those games in 50 years. For some, Judge’s 62nd home run will be something they remember.
No matter what your stance is on the cut-ins, just wanted to warn college football fans that they might be subjected to a small amount of baseball today. Deal with it.