Five Predictions: Penn State at Ohio State

It’s almost gonna be a sad day when this game is actually played because we’ll all finally have to stop talking about what is going to happen.

There are only going to be a few of us who were right about this game all along. Try not to let it go to your head if you are one of us.

For instance, I know that I am one of the world’s premier predictors, but you don’t see me telling people about it. And if I do tell them, it’s so that they’ll know the proper amount of awe to display. I don’t do it for me, I do it so that they don’t feel embarrassed when they find out after the fact that they were just in the presence of greatness. It’s called being a caring person, which I am also great at being but don’t brag about.

I am probably the best non-bragger in the world. I’d say top three for sure, but I don’t know two others who would compare. My humility forces me to try to imagine somebody more humble than me, but my logic has to end the search after a few minutes.

Anyway, I don’t like to talk about myself too much. I’d rather let my picks do the talking. And what they say is usually pretty darn glowing.

This week it’s Penn State at Ohio State. The most important game of the season.

For me, however, I treat every game one prediction at a time. I don’t look ahead. I don’t look behind. I look straight ahead.

Wait, I guess that would count as looking ahead. But I have to look ahead. It’s how I drive and walk.

Everybody looks ahead. Our eyes are on the front of our faces for a reason.

I’m really running low on days left before the game, so I’ll go back next week and grade myself on the Nebraska predictions. I believe I only got one or two correct, and I just don’t have the time to come up with the reasons why right now.

So enough introducting, let’s get to the predicting.

1. An Ohio State running back will have a reception of at least 20 yards.

As the Ohio State offense constantly implements new building blocks, already-installed aspects of the offense continue to strengthen. One of those areas is throwing to the running backs. Against Maryland, J.T. Barrett hit Mike Weber for a 53-yard gain. Two weeks ago against Nebraska, J.K. Dobbins had four catches for 42 yards, including a 17-yarder. The Buckeyes run wheel routes a bunch and it leads to gains for everybody but the running backs. In this one, however, Penn State’s defense will got lost in the sauce and the wheel route will once again lead to a nice gain for an Ohio State tailback.

2. The Ohio State defensive ends will combine for at least three sacks.

This is where Stupid Tony steps in and says, “You think that was a terrible prediction? Here, hold my beer.” The Buckeyes have only had three sacks three times this season — against Indiana, UNLV, and Maryland. So why would he go all-in on just the OSU defensive ends doing what the entire team can’t normally do? Because he’s an idiot, that’s why. That being said, there are four defensive ends — Nick Bosa, Sam Hubbard, Tyquan Lewis, and Jalyn Holmes — who have been dying to play this game. Not only because it’s a big game, but because they are likely going to play more snaps. And more snaps for these four guys means more sacks. Trace McSorley will try to get rid of the ball quickly, but he also likes to keep the play alive, which should lead to at least a couple of sacks all by itself.

3. Either Austin Mack or Binjimen Victor will score.

I feel like a toss into the corner of the end zone from the 10-yard line is a pretty sure bet. I originally was just going to go with Binjimen Victor here, but my seventh sense (yes, I have seven) screamed out Austin Mack, and so I had to include him here because you do not ignore your seventh sense. And yes, “will score” is vague enough to include two-point conversions or field goals.

4. J.T. Barrett will account for at least 300 yards of total offense.

J.T. Barrett is averaging 313.9 yards of total offense per game, but he managed just 249 against Oklahoma. In conference play, that number jumps to 355.5 yards per game, but since you are always telling me those games don’t matter, then you won’t mind me putting this predictions 55 yards under his average. But let’s not pretend that this is an average defense that he is playing against. (It’s probably slightly above average.” That 300 yards is a pretty bold number though, because Penn State is only allowing 289.8 yards of total offense per game in conference play.

5. Tight end Mike Gesicki will score.

Everybody is worried about Penn State tight end Mike Gesicki, and for good reason. He is a difficult matchup and a very good athlete. That’s not why he’s going to score in this game, however. He is going to score because football karma is a real jerkbag. Earlier this week I tweeted out about how there is so much worry about Gesicki, but Ohio State’s tight ends have been just as productive, and they’ve even scored three touchdowns in their last two games, while Gesicki hasn’t scored since the second week of the season. So, yeah, I went and poked the bear with a very emphatic jab. When Gesicki is hauling in his sixth touchdown pass of the second quarter, just know I didn’t mean for any of this to happen.

Bonus: J.K. Dobbins, Mike Weber, and J.T. Barrett will all have rushing touchdowns.

I know people are worried about J.T. Barrett’s rushing numbers, but if he is able to throw the ball, then he can go ahead and carry it 20 times and the Buckeyes are going to be in very good shape.

Bonus: Parris Campbell will have over 125 all-purpose yards.

I was gonna say he’ll have more all-purpose yards than Saquon Barkley, but then I remembered that Barkley is going to have two big hits somewhere that probably gives him a quick 80 yards.

Bonus: Jerome Baker will have at least nine tackles.

Baker should be a very busy man, so nine tackles doesn’t seem like a lot, but he’s only done it once this season.

5 Responses

  1. Two of those McSorley looping downfield passes (which seem to all elude the Wolverine defenders) will be picked off by the Buckeyes.

  2. 1. PSU will finish below 300 yards offensively.

    2. Ohio State will finish with 550 yards of offense.

    3. Barkley falls behind JT Barrett in the 2017 Heisman race based on their performances by this games conclusive storyline. Barrett pops 350 yards of offense.

    4. JK Dobbins tosses his early hat in the ring for the 2018 Heisman Trophy

    5. PAIN. PSU will leave Columbus, Ohio, torn, tired and mangled by a FAR superior team.

    1. I like your thinking. Everything screams tOSU wants this much more than PSU.

    2. Dang! Nothin’ left for me to predict! Who am I kidding? Great picks, James but I’ll add these two:
      Ohio State OVERCOMES yet one more special teams gaffe by forcing two Penn State turnovers, one of which bringing tears to Gerd and my eyes – WE ARE…PICK SIX!
      Barrett doesn’t just break Brees’ career TD pass record (he only needs 1 to do that) but smashes it with four more here.

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