Five Predictions: Illinois at Ohio State


How do you come up with prediction for a game that is going to have heavy rain and large amounts of disinterest?

Very carefully.

More than any other predictions I have ever made, these are not only the most recent, but also the most dependent upon balancing the sciences of weather and Senior Day weepery.

I’m pretty sure I will nail it.

Due to time constraints — a 4:10 pm showing of Justice League — I’m not going to go through my numbers from last week. I believe I was 3-of-5. I’ll have everything tallied for my Michigan game predictions. Don’t worry.

What is going to happen this week? Scroll down for spoilers.

1. Three running backs will rush for at least 50 yards.

We know J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber are going to hit the 50-yard mark, but I’m thinking Antonio Williams will get there tomorrow as well. Williams’ career-high mark is 58 yards against UNLV this season — which I correctly predicted as you will no doubt recall. I don’t expect there to be a reason for Weber or Dobbins to carry the ball past the 4-minute mark of the third quarter, which means 8-9 carries for Williams. He averages nearly 6 yards per carry, which would put him right at that 50-yard mark.

2. The defensive line will have at least 4.5 sacks.

The Illinois offensive line has more freshmen than most schools’ recruiting classes. Three true freshmen and a redshirt freshman will have to deal with an Ohio State defensive line that can take that inexperience and make balloon animals out of it. I know I have a terrible history of predictions based on sacks — or rather, Stupid Tony does, but this seems like an opportunity to finally get one of these correct. I was originally just going to go with 1.5 sacks for Nick Bosa, but I think with possibly six defensive linemen playing their final game at Ohio Stadium this week, we might see a little bit more from them.

3. Tuf Borland will start.

I don’t know what is going to happen on the outside, but I do expect Tuf Borland to start at middle linebacker. Chris Worley performed well at the Will last week after a rough start. Does he remain there, and if so, what does that mean for Jerome Baker, Malik Harrison, and Dante Booker? If you’re making me choose, I’d probably go with Baker at the Sam, but it is a position he hasn’t played since the first week of the season last year. Fortunately for OSU, the Sam and Will are interchangeable.

4. J.K. Dobbins will have a run of at least 40 yards.

The Illinois defense has given up more rushes of at least 10 yards than anybody else in the Big Ten. Interestingly, however, they are fifth in the B1G in runs of 20+ yards (9), which is eight fewer than what the Buckeyes have given up. No team has given up more such runs than OSU in the conference. Illinois has only given up two 30-yard runs and just one 40-yard run. They have yet to give up a run of 50 yards, but I think that could fall in this game. If there is one thing that Dobbins is good at, it’s making the second level miss.

5. Ohio State will hold Illinois under 200 yards of total offense.

Illinois has only been held under 200 yards of total offense once this season, and that was 199 yards in the fourth game of the season against Nebraska. Ohio State has held two opponents under 200 yards of total offense this season — last week against Michigan State (195) and back in October against Maryland (66). I don’t know how Illinois plans on moving the ball this week, unless they are just going to wait until the backups come in so that they can put up some cheap yards that totally shouldn’t count against me.

Bonus: Somebody other than J.T. Barrett is going to throw a touchdown.

Maybe Parris Campbell on a jet sweep. Now is the time to put something cute in for Michigan to have to worry about.


5 Responses

  1. Today’s mortgage rate is 3.04% APR for 15 year fixed yeah

  2. I have the Buckeyes rushing for 400 yards this week. On another column I had Williams topping 75 yards…basically mirroring your first prediction.
    Tuf Borland has to start in the middle. If not, I have lost all confidence in this coaching staff.
    With Borland starting, Illinois could have negative rushing yards going into garbage time when sacks are taken into consideration.
    Three backs will hit for a TD run of at least 30 yards.

  3. As I have said in my other posts, with this Jekyle and Hyde team who the hell knows what will show up. I am predicting the following:

    1.) corners will be torched for a minimum of 1 TD
    2.) Illinois will score a TD first.
    3.) OSU will have a minimum of 50 yards in penalties
    4.) starters will still be playing in the 4th quarter.. not because we want to run the score up, rather out of necessity
    5.) OSU will win by 14 or less
    Bonus 1: we will all be very frustrated after this game

    Bonus 2: we will win but this will be another game we chalk up to lack of discipline and sloppy play

  4. The Jekyll and Hyde nature of this team is baffling as much as it is disconcerting. Which Buckeye team, and which Buckeye staff shows up. History shows foul weather head scratchers from the powers that be at Ohio State. Will this be any different? Probably not, but, it shouldn’t matter. 99.5 percent of the passing game will be stuffed back in the box and not to be opened until next Saturday. The CEO’s history of ultra conservatism in bad weather makes former head man Jim Tressels offense look like Texas Tech under Mike Leach.

    Mike Weber and JK Dobbins will ignore the mandate to fall down after 2 yards because of the risks of bad weather and slice the Illini up. At least 1 of them will be right at 200 yards rushing, while the other will only manage to get around 150 yards. JT Barrett will ODDLY be reined in by the CEO and saved for next week. Oh, he’ll play but I think the CEO has heard the chorus and won’t make this game about JT Barrett. In the 2.5 quarters JT plays he won’t reach 50 yards rushing OR 150 yards passing, UNLESS, a couple of the passes finds distance from the horizontal game YAC by the receivers. Maybe a couple of jet sweeps or 5 – 10 yard opportunites to wideouts who shake loose.

    The Buckeyes will finish about 400 yards rushing and 225 yards passing.

  5. I’d bet Haskins gets a TD pass. I don’t think Dobbins will get a carry in the 2nd half and Weber not past the 1st drive of the 3rd quarter

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