On the day of Ohio State football games, Brett and Meredith alternate making Bold Predictions. On weeks that Brett writes the game preview, Meredith does Bold Predictions. When Meredith writes the game preview, Brett writes the Bold Predictions article. So far this season, Meredith has done Bold Predictions five times, while Brett has written Bold Predictions for four games.
When a team plays at a high level like Ohio State does, sometimes it feels like you have to really go outside the box to come up with actual bold predictions. It’s not like we can say “C.J Stroud is going to throw a touchdown today!” and that be considered bold, since Stroud is averaging around three touchdown passes per game.
Some predictions work out and others are way off. Today we are asking Brett and Meredith to look back on their predictions so far this year and find their best and worst ones. In a season that has been filled with players being ruled out a couple hours before games, as well as some other curveballs, it should be interesting to see their best and worst predictions.
Today’s question: What are our best and worst bold predictions of the season?
We’d love to hear your choices. Either respond to us on Twitter at @Landgrant33 or leave your choice in the comments.
Brett’s best bold prediction: Ohio State scores more than 40 points against Wisconsin in Columbus for the first time since 1989
Even as Ohio State’s offense has upped their scoring output over the years, Wisconsin had done a good job at keeping the Buckeyes from scoring more than 40 points in a game. The only time after 1989 that the Buckeyes scored more than 40 points against the Badgers came in the 2014 Big Ten Championship Game when Ohio State won 59-0.
The Buckeyes jumped out to a 21-0 lead by the end of the first quarter, and went into halftime with a 31-7 lead. Ohio State didn’t take their foot off the gas early in the second half, with C.J. Stroud throwing touchdown passes to Julian Fleming and Emeka Egbuka in the third quarter to give the Buckeyes a 45-7 lead. Ohio State cracked 50 points for the second time in the 2022 season when Stroud found Egbuka in the middle of the fourth quarter.
Brett’s worst bold prediction: Every time I predicted a wide receiver or running back would go for more than 100 yards
So far this season there have been three times where I predicted a running back or wide receiver would crack triple digits in a game. I am 0-3 on those predictions.
Before the Arkansas State game I predicted TreVeyon Henderson would rush for more than 100 yards, which would snap a six-game streak where he failed to reach 100 yards rushing in a game. Henderson was close to snapping the streak, finishing with 87 yards rushing on 10 carries. The Buckeye running back would go on to rush for over 100 yards a couple weeks later against Wisconsin.
Prior to the Wisconsin game, I was confident Jaxon Smith-Njigba was going to play and have a big impact on the game against the Badgers. The Ohio State wide receiver didn’t even play in the game after suffering a hamstring injury in the season opener against Notre Dame. Luckily the absence of Smith-Njigba didn’t keep Ohio State’s passing attack from feasting on Wisconsin, as Stroud threw five touchdowns in the game.
The final 100-yard bold prediction that I was off on was the one I’m least broken up about. I thought Penn State running back Nick Singleton would have a bigger impact in the game in State College a couple weeks ago than he ended up having. If anything, I should have gone with Parker Washington over 100 yards, since it seems like every time the Buckeyes and Nittany Lions meet, a new Penn State wide receiver has the best game of his career.
Meredith’s worst bold prediction: Ohio State would drop 80 points against Northwestern
Admittedly, when I wrote this prediction, it was late on a warm Chicago afternoon and, though there was some indication of foul weather in the forecast, I did not anticipate 40 mile-per-hour winds less than 24 hours later.
It felt like Northwestern was poised for a beatdown, but I forgot all the rules of a classic trap game. Ohio State was coming off its toughest win of the season on the road against Penn State. A dozen Buckeyes were out for various reasons, many to rest injuries against, frankly, a team that hasn’t won a game in the continental United States this calendar year.
Northwestern, meanwhile, is a team that can avoid a blowout with good defense, discipline and smart play (no turnovers, few penalties). The Wildcats are also more than competent with their rushing attack, which would play an obvious role on a windy day. In many ways, they are what Iowa could have been versus the Buckeyes if they’d not turned the ball over.
All these things are obvious in hindsight. And alas, the Buckeyes scored just 21 points against the Wildcats Saturday — tied for their lowest total of the season. They had their lowest offensive output overall, falling under 300 yards for the first time this year.
Meredith’s best bold prediction: Pre-Iowa predictions
Perhaps the Northwestern score was so high because my own ego was so inflated after my bold picks from the Iowa game:
- Not one, not two, but THREE non-offensive scores (well, we got two and were *this* close to a safety)
- We’ll see Iowa’s backup quarterback (Alex Padilla started the second half)
- 100-total receiving yards from tight ends (89)
- Less than 100 net rushing yards (143)
- No touchbacks (0)
- One more Bama loss (just a couple weeks early)
It wasn’t perfect, but it was pretty close. Plus, Alabama did end up losing this past weekend, and I’m very proud of myself for also picking Notre Dame over Clemson. But, I’ll take my slice of humble pie on the Northwestern score for what it’s worth.