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Bold Predictions: TreVeyon Henderson cracks triple digits on the ground

Plus more bold predictions for today’s matchup against Arkansas State.

NCAA Football: Notre Dame at Ohio State Kyle Robertson-USA TODAY Sports

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.

TreVeyon Henderson ends streak of six straight games without 100 yards rushing

After bursting onto the scene with three triple-digit rushing performances in his first eight games in scarlet and gray, TreVeyon Henderson has been quiet of late, failing to reach the 100-yard mark in each of his last six games. It hasn’t been like Henderson has been completely unproductive during that span, as he has rushed for at least 63 yards in each of those contests.

What has been hurting Henderson over the last six games has been his inability to break the big run. Henderson has just one run of 30 yards or more in his last six games, with that run being a 57-yard scamper against Purdue. Lately Henderson has been using a more physical style of running, where in the first half of last season he was using his speed to create separation from opponents.

This is a great game for Henderson to rediscover some of the big play ability that we saw from him against Tulsa, where he set an Ohio State freshman rushing record with 277 yards. Henderson has been trying to find yards against tough defenses like Notre Dame, Utah, and Michigan. Arkansas State isn’t going to be able to hold the talented running back in check.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba won’t play in today’s game

Ohio State fans feared the worst last week when it was announced that wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba wouldn’t return to the game after suffering an injury in the first half against Notre Dame. Luckily the injury wasn’t as serious as first thought, since head coach Ryan Day was saying there is a possibility that the wide receiver would be available to play against Arkansas State.

While it would be great to see Smith-Njigba on the field so he could work on some of his timing with quarterback C.J. Stroud, Ohio State doesn’t need Smith-Njigba to play today. Just look at what happened to Stroud when he sat out last year against Akron to rest a shoulder injury. Stroud went from being a quarterback that some fans wanted to see benched to a Heisman Trophy finalist.

Even though the wide receiver room is loaded at Ohio State, it is imperative that Smith-Njigba is healthy if the Buckeyes want a shot at the national title. There’s not much to gain by stacking up some numbers against Arkansas State if Smith-Njigba is returning to the field too soon. The Buckeyes will be just fine in this game without JSN, and it’d be better to protect his health so he is on the field against Wisconsin, Penn State, and some of the other Big Ten teams Ohio State will take on over the next couple months.

The Ohio State defense records at least five sacks in today’s game

The Buckeye defense looked completely different from what we have seen over the last few years. There’s no doubt that new defensive coordinator Jim Knowles has brought some excitement into a defense that desperately needed a change. The way the Ohio State defense looked last Saturday night is exactly the type of defense that is needed to win a national title.

Ohio State recorded three sacks against Notre Dame. The Buckeyes should be able to improve on that number today. Notre Dame came into last week’s showdown with one of the best offensive lines in the country, and it didn’t matter since it felt like the Buckeyes were in Tyler Buchner’s face all night long. If the Fighting Irish can’t slow the Ohio State pass rush down, then it’s hard to imagine the Red Wolves having much success at keeping quarterback James Blackman clean.

Plus, since Arkansas State will likely be trailing in the game, it will force them to pass the football more to try and keep pace, which will leave Blackman more vulnerable to sacks.

Brian Snead will score a touchdown in his return to Ohio Stadium

Running back Brian Snead started his college football career at Ohio State, and looked primed to become a key running back for the Buckeyes. During his brief time in Columbus, Snead ran the football 11 times for 37 yards and a touchdown. Prior to the 2018 game against TCU, Snead was suspended from the team after allegations of rape were levied against him. Snead was dismissed from the team a couple months later.

Even though the victim declined to press charges against Snead, a university investigation found that Snead violated the student code of conduct. Following his dismissal from Ohio State, Snead went to Western Community College in Iowa, followed by spending two years at Austin Peay before transferring to Arkansas State.

Snead saw 12 carries for 57 yards and a score last week in a blowout win over Grambling. Getting Snead into the end zone feels like something that Arkansas State head coach Butch Jones will try and do just to give Snead a moment in what will likely be an Ohio State blowout.

Ohio State won’t have the biggest margin of victory amongst Big Ten teams on Saturday

The Buckeyes will put a lot of points on the board against a team that went 2-10 last season. The Ohio State win won’t be the most lopsided in games involving Big Ten teams, though. Michigan is a 52-point favorite against Hawai’i on Saturday night. It wouldn’t a surprise to see the Wolverines win by more than the point spread, since Hawai’i is terrible.

The Rainbow Warriors already have two games under their belt this season. In Week 0, Hawai’i hosted Vanderbilt and got destroyed by the Commodores, 63-10. If Hawai’i can’t keep the score against one of the worst Power 5 teams in the country within 50 points, what chance do they have against a Michigan team that loves to pad their stats on cupcakes. Just look at what Michigan did last week to a Colorado State team that is a few notches above Hawai’i. The Wolverines took it to the Rams 51-7.

While I could see Ohio State winning by 40-50 points, Michigan could win this one by 60 or more.