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 surprise us all with a rushing touchdown - Just one!
No one’s expecting it, so why not give it a shot? Despite his monster passing numbers, Ohio State’s returning starter has never quite found his footing when it comes to rushing. In fact, Stroud finished last season with -20 rushing yards. The most rushing yards he had in a game was 13. He obviously didn’t score, unless you count that one touchdown against Michigan that got called back.
The great irony is that the one play Stroud participated in during the 2020 season was a 48-yard touchdown run against Michigan State. It definitely skewed our expectations!
Locked down red zone defense - Touchdowns on less than 50% of Notre Dame possessions!
We get it: Ohio State’s defense was bad last year. One area of focus will certainly be red zone defense — an area the already struggling defense particularly grappled with. The Buckeyes gave up touchdowns on 74% of opponent red zone possessions in 2021. That’s truly abhorrent. Go figure, preventing an opponent from scoring is a key to victory. It’s unlikely the defense will perk up like a freshly watered plant, but they could show marked improvement in this area in week one.
No sacks - NONE!
This might be the boldest prediction of them all. The Ohio State offensive line, despite losing two starters from 2021, is one of the most highly touted in the FBS this season. The unit will need to show improvement since the memory of how it was bowled over against Michigan is still a bitter one. In that game, the Michigan defensive line sacked Stroud thrice. Notre Dame brings a strong pass rush, but the line will hold.
On the flip side, Notre Dame also brings a strong, veteran offensive line. Zach Harrison and company will have their work cut out for them as they try to reach Notre Dame quarterback Tyler Buchner.
No vomiting - PLEASE NONE!
Unfortunately, upchucking has come up (no pun intended) far more than it should have during fall camp and even into Week 1. First, we had Nebraska’s Scott Frost expelling (sorry) his perspective on how great it was that his offensive line was puking a whole bunch during practice. Then, Thursday, Purdue defensive back Chris Jefferson hurled the contents of his stomach live on broadcast television after a 72-yard pick-six.
It would be really great if we didn’t have any such incidents tonight because some fans among us have weak stomachs.