Every day for the entirety of the Ohio State football season, we will be asking and answering questions about the team, college football, and anything else on our collective minds of varying degrees of importance. If you have a question that you would like to ask, you can tweet us @LandGrant33 or if you need more than 280 characters, send an email HERE.
We are back, friends. Back into a period in which the outcome of Ohio State games is never going to be in doubt and the only questions that will remain are whether or not they look dominant or perfect. A three-game stretch of fine-tuning begins against the Northwestern Wildcats in Evanston, Ill. on what appears to be a rainy and windy day.
Question 1: Which opponent before The Game worries you the most?
I mean, if the answer to this was anything but the Terps, I would have been shocked, and frankly more than a bit disappointed. Maryland’s six wins on the season are 33% more than Northwestern and Indiana combined. I am actually looking forward to that game in a couple of weeks because it is going to be the only real opportunity for Ohio State’s secondary to test itself against a pass-focused offense with a really talented group of wide receivers.
Obviously, TTUN is going to be the game to really show how good the Buckeye defense is, but that will be primarily focused on running the ball, so having the opportunity to gauge where Jim Knowles’ secondary is will be informative, especially if OSU can secure the win the following week in The Game.
If the Buckeyes are to win the national championship, their defensive backs — primarily their corners — are going to need to step up and against the Terps in College Park will be the first real chance for us to see how much progress they’ve made.
Question 2: What is most likely to happen on Saturday against Northwestern?
This one is tough for me. I officially picked Ohio State to win 55-6, so not by 50 points, but I could still argue that putting up half a hundred is most likely. However, given the weather conditions and how awful Northwestern’s rushing defense is, I think I am going to go with the Buckeyes putting up over 300 yards on the ground.
The Wildcats are currently 109th nationally and 13th in the Big Ten in rushing yards allowed per game at 186.38. If the wind and rain are as bad as the meteorologists believe it will be, passing could be difficult meaning that the Buckeyes will need to stick to the rushing game. And coupled with how poorly the ground attack has played against Iowa and Penn State respectively, I think this is a good bet.
On Saturday morning, we learned that TreVeyon Henderson will be unavailable for the game for undisclosed reasons, but he wasn’t available to the media during midweek interview sessions on Wednesday, so it is possible that he has been dealing with something since the Penn State game. However, Miyan Williams will be back, but today could also be an opportunity for Dallan Hayden and Chip Trayanum to put up some big yards as well.
Question 3: How many points do you think Ohio State beats Northwestern by this week?
I’ve already told you that I’ve got the Buckeyes by 48, and to be honest, I could see it being more than that. Northwestern isn’t just bad this year, they are bad-bad. I think that any four-touchdown or better win is fine today, but if we start getting into situations where it is 42-21 for OSU, that is a really bad sign considering that NU’s offense is only scoring 17.9 points per game.