The-Ozone Staff Picks: Ohio State at Iowa

Saturday is Ohio State’s final road game of the year until The Game in Ann Arbor at the end of the month.

Is it a trap game? Are there any concerns about a letdown?

To be honest, if the Buckeyes aren’t aware of the danger of playing at Iowa — which is basically like a giant box trap with a huge blinking neon sign that reads, “Giant Box Trap” — then they deserve to be trapped.

Urban Meyer has been adamant that he is keeping an eye on any signs of letting up by his team, including his coaches.

Will there be any letting up by us here? Will we have a letdown on our picks and rest on our laurels from last week? Probably, but let’s find out.

Mike Meihls
Iowa is…something. Known for pink locker rooms, buyouts way bigger than they’ll ever need to be, and tight ends and receivers who are a pain in the side of the Silver Bullets. Iowa is also know for overachieving year in and year out, playing above their talent level to scare a heavy favorite while cruising to an 8-5 finish. This year is no different.

Ohio State will have to contain running back Akrum Wadley, and this defensive line should have no problems with that. Iowa is averaging over 330 yards per game, and played Penn State closer than any B1G team not decked out in Gray & Gray has all season. Iowa is going to try to pound the ground game, control the clock to keep J.T. & Company off the field, and open up play-action passes on the still young OSU defensive backfield.

The Hawkeyes are giving up less than 18 points per game, and they will not be able to keep Ohio State below their season average. The linebacker corps for Iowa is tough, but they have not faced an explosive offense on the same level as they’ll face this weekend. I fully expect 15-20 carries for both running backs, and 250+ yards passing for J.T. Barrett.
Ohio State 35, Iowa 14

Tom Orr
If you just go position-by-position down the lineups for these teams, Ohio State should win by 30. While OSU has reeled in the nation’s 2nd, 4th, 7th, and 3rd-ranked recruiting classes the past four seasons, Iowa’s have been 41st, 47th, 59th, and 58th. Basically, the Hawkeyes have the talent of a good MAC team under a coach making SEC-level money with a contract guaranteed until the heat death of the universe.

Iowa’s offense is, to put it kindly, deliberate. Ohio State averages 7.1 yards per play, good for 5th in the country, while the Hawks manage just 5.2. That puts them 82nd in FBS, just 0.1 yards per play ahead of teams like Florida, Michigan, and Florida State whose offenses have basically been barely-controlled implosions all season. (Go ahead and mentally insert “Not Great Bob Dot Gif” here)

Buckeye players and coaches called Iowa “tough” a lot this week, which is a nice thing to say when you can’t use words like “explosive” or “creative” or “coherent.”

It’s not all bad news for the home team. Iowa’s defense and special teams are solid — they’re 16th in S&P+ on defense, 28th in special teams… and 99th in offense. Kinnick Stadium can be a tough place for visitors to play, and the forecast looks like it’ll be chilly and possibly rainy as well. All of that figures to help keep the score down.

Iowa is good enough to hang around for a while, but barring another catastrophic OSU special teams collapse (What could possibly go wrong?), a massive hangover from the PSU win, or the sudden return of Tim Beck, the Buckeyes’ talent and depth should be enough to pull away.
Ohio State 27, Iowa 10

Caroline Rice
The Buckeyes are traveling to Kinnick Stadium for the first time in seven years. This will be a new experience for these Buckeyes and Kinnick Stadium presents a tough environment for opposing teams. I’m expecting the Scarlet and Gray to carry their momentum from the Penn State game into to this game. But this is another tough one for Ohio State.

The Hawkeyes have a strong defense. They rank No. 3 in the Big Ten in scoring defense. Iowa’s three losses this year have been decided by one possession, and two have come down to the final play. Iowa has also won three of its last four games vs top 5 teams at home with the one loss being against Penn State this year. The Hawkeyes made it a hard win for the Nittany Lions.

I think it will be difficult for the Buckeyes to completely dominate this game. This Iowa squad is a very good team, but I think the Buckeyes are a more talented and complete team overall. The Buckeyes have the advantages on both offense and defense, they just have to play like it.
Ohio State 42, Iowa 24

Tony Gerdeman
Iowa football is like a show that you can start watching and then stop watching for years at a time and then when you tune back in you haven’t really missed anything. You know how in soap operas it can take a year for them to cover two weeks? If Iowa was a soap opera, you could get four years out of somebody just getting up from their recliner to go make a mayonnaise sandwich. You tune in four years later and you’ve missed nothing. The only thing that changes are the actors.

Because of this, Ohio State knows what they’re going to get in all facets from the Hawkeyes. They know the offense, they know the defense, they know the special teams. Now they just have to scheme against it and execute in a manner that puts Iowa in bad situations. I expect that they will do this.

The Hawkeyes have a solid defense, but Ohio State’s offense right now is operating at a higher level, and the offensive line is protecting at a higher level as well. I think the Buckeyes may have to throw the ball to open up the run — or maybe just keep giving the ball to J.K. Dobbins and it will open on its own. Dobbins outside should be able to find some yardage. The tempo will also put Iowa on their heels.
Ohio State 34, Iowa 17

Brandon Zimmerman
Even before the season started, this is a game that has intrigued me. I, like every other person who watches the Buckeyes, felt like this could be a trap game for the Buckeyes. Going to Kinnick Stadium is hard enough, but coming off a huge win against a crappy Penn State team and with Michigan State around the corner makes this game even scarier.

With that said, all of these fears were before the season actually started. As the season has played out, those fears have slowly trickled away because this is not your typical Iowa team. What has always kept Iowa in games in the past is their defense, and this year it is substandard. The Hawkeyes are 11th in the B1G in pass defense and are giving up 288 passing yards per game against ranked opponents. Things don’t get much better on the rush defense side of things as they are 8th in the B1G and giving up 168 yards per game against ranked opponents. Needless to say, they haven’t faced an offense as dynamic as Ohio State’s and they are giving up those types of numbers.

The only thing keeping this game from an absolute blowout is the inevitable sluggish start by the Buckeyes. It is bound to happen and no one should be surprised if this is a 13-6ish game in the second quarter. I think after Ohio State gets the kinks out they will pull away and get the starters out as quickly as possible and a few garbage points by the Hawkeyes will follow.
Ohio State 38, Iowa 17

Chip Minnich
Maybe I am in the minority here, but I am grateful that this game at Iowa is not a night game. Something about going on the road to Iowa at night had me tremendously concerned. Even without the night game, I will be curious to see if Ohio State comes out flat against Iowa on Saturday afternoon. Urban Meyer is talking about everyone being focused on Iowa; we shall see.

Ideally, Ohio State comes out, hitting on all cylinders from the beginning. The Iowa City weather forecast is calling for rain, so that could impact the Buckeye passing game. Maybe this is a breakout game for J.K. Dobbins running the ball. Iowa is tough and busy, like Tony Gerdeman, but may not have enough offensively to keep pace with the Buckeyes into the second half. I am going with the Buckeyes.
Ohio State 35, Iowa 17

Kyle Morgan
Traps are only traps to those who are unaware or unsuspecting of said trap. With that said, the collective nation has circled this game as a trap game for the Buckeyes. I fully expect the Hawkeyes to come out as an emotional and confident bunch. The blackout, pink locker rooms, seeing the Buckeyes struggle early versus PSU — a team they had on the ropes, it all adds up to a slow start for the Buckeyes in Kinnick Stadium.

But after watching film, there is a significant difference in speed that stands out the most. If the Buckeyes can remain disciplined in the back half of their defense it will be hard for Iowa to put up enough points to win this game.

I look for the Buckeyes to attack No.5 and No.11 early and often in the passing game and Mike Weber to run for over 100 with 2TD. Defensively, the secondary could benefit from the accuracy issues of Nate Stanley to create a turnover or three. It will be up to the linebackers to help contain the tight ends of the Hawkeyes.

Let’s flatten Stanley and send him on one more horrible adventure.
Ohio State 37, Iowa 13

10 Responses

  1. Excellent predictions, apparently everyone forgot to look both ways when crossing this street. Hard to believe no one on the team, including the coaches? Have ever been to Iowa for a game

  2. The Buckeyes clean up special teams and IMHO JT Barrett is just starting to hit his stride. I 100% believe that Iowa’s defense is MUCH better than Penn States defense. Truth be known. Eliminate the silly mistakes, turnovers and horrific ST’s blunders and Ohio State would have dumped 60 points on the Lions and the defense would have held then to 14 points. Iowa’s defense is better. Iowa’s offense is a wreck. The offense hitting its stride. Special teams being cleaned up. The defense continuing to blossom. The only thing I fear is a continuation of the WORST officiating in the history of College Football to travel to Kinnick stadium to try to level the playing field. Not sure the bought and paid for officials aren’t still bought and paid for. The question is? So any of those clown show officials get exposed and lose their job for trying to fix scores and games? JURY IS STILL OUT. But it won’t matter.

    Ohio State 52
    Iowa 14

  3. My Penn State predictions were pretty close except for the score, which was greatly aided by tOSU forgetting how to play kickoff coverage.
    Barrett throws for over 300 yards – again! He will complete his 1st 7 passes to tie Tee Martin for 2nd before a drop stops the streak.
    J.K. Dobbins will run for about 127-ish.
    Austin Mack will have HIS ‘breakout game’
    Buckeyes 56
    Hawkeyes 14
    Bonus: Nick Bosa causes 2 INTs with pressures and gets the strip-sack he’s been wanting.

  4. gosh darn it, I am so scared. This team beat ISU which went to Oklahoma and beat them which went to Columbus and beat us. They also nearly beat the PSU team that lead us for 58 minutes at home.
    Actually, I have this one at 45 to 13 OSU.
    We will hit our season average on offense against their average D which will have real problems with our line and our speed at the skilled positions. Dobbins will hit a couple home runs and JT will hit Dixon deep this game when he gets open.
    Our defense is tough against the run. We will put them behind the chains in long yardage situations which they will not be able to recover from as well as McSorley did. Our back end is improving very much as the season goes along…especially our safety play.
    Last week’s game will act as a springboard and not result in a letdown. Having the season almost blow up, then saving it has the team refocused. Dominance by both of our lines throughout against Penn State along with the best chemistry and confidence between JT and the receivers since 2014 will have us coming into this game clicking on all cylinders.

  5. so what most of you writers are saying is Iowa’s defense is better than PeeAssU’s???

    1. Iowa’s defense is definitely better in every phase than PeeSwho’s.

  6. I agree with what is being said above except I can not see Iowa putting up 17 points, unless they get some from their D or Special teams,

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