Football

Five Predictions: Ohio State at Penn State

Dwayne Haskins helmet Ohio State Football Buckeyes

The first thing they teach you at The Prediction Academy is that there is no such thing as an incorrect prediction. Instead, we are taught to explain that there are circumstances that kept some predictions from being correct.

That is why I routinely receive angry emails and voicemails from the people at TPA who are irate when I admit to getting a prediction “incorrect.”

Now, you know and I know that I didn’t get anything wrong and that if a prediction doesn’t occur exactly as it was supposed to, then that’s a player’s fault. Remember, these are 20-year olds who are still finding their way. They are going to make mistakes that make predictions look less accurate than they actually are.

But I still have a responsibility to let you know whether or not the prediction happened as predicted. So on the rare occurrence when a prediction isn’t fulfilled, it has to be notated for historic purposes.

Because of this, I have been banned from TPA’s campus — which was an old RV in the parking lot of the Panera down the street from the courthouse. We had free campus-wide WiFi, which is pretty forward-thinking.

Anyway, some of my best years have been spent in that parking lot, and now because of my weekly game predictions in which I sometimes admit to a player failing to prove me correct, they no longer want anything to do with me.

I still drive by sometimes just to smell the bread and urine.

But now I have moved on. Do I miss TPA? Of course I do. Who wouldn’t?

Do they miss me? I like to think they do.

Sorry, this is the fourth anniversary of my banishment, so the wounds are a little raw. Fortunately, I’m no longer enrolled at The Prediction Academy, so an open wound won’t lead to a staph infection this time.

Let’s just move on to last week’s predictions and see how I did.

1. Binjimen Victor is going to freaking score this week, I can feel it.

Outcome: Nailed it. Victor caught a 31-yard touchdown pass on a fake screen. I never had a doubt.

2. Tate Martell will have at least 100 yards of total offense.

Outcome: Nailed it. Martell threw for 115 yards and rushed for 22 yards. This was a nice job by me.

3. Shaun Wade will be in the box score for something other than a standard tackle.

Outcome: Failed it. Not only did Wade not appear in the box score for something other than a tackle, he didn’t even appear in the box score at all. I’m going to blame Tulane’s inaccurate passing.

4. A safety will intercept a pass.

Outcome: Failed it. I don’t have any good excuses for getting this wrong, but I have recently enrolled in The Excuse Academy and my hope is that this will never happen again.

5. A freshman will be involved in a play of over 26 yards.

Outcome: Nailed it. Redshirt freshman quarterback Tate Martell completed a 35-yard pass to Demario McCall. Boom.

Weekly Total: 3-of-5
Season Total: 11-of-18

Now let’s get to the game that Penn State fans have been waiting two years for.

1. Ohio State’s defense won’t give up more than two plays of 36 yards.

Now, before you roll your eyes, please realize that in Ohio State’s two games against offenses with a pulse (Oregon State, TCU), the Buckeyes have given up four plays of 30 yards or more in each game. That will happen again in this game, but I think you’ll see an improvement. However, I have hedged my bets a bit by setting the mark at 36 yards.

2. Dwayne Haskins will set a career high in something.

I’m thinking this will be a career-high in yards passing in a game, but I’m not gonna put Dwayne Haskins in a spot to fail me. I don’t expect him to beat his completion percentage record, but maybe his yards per attempt could be tested. If this is the shootout that everyone expects, then what happens when Haskins plays all four quarters and is asked to throw the football? The last time that happened, he would have thrown for over 400 yards had his receivers not had a case of the dropsies.

3. Jordan Fuller will be one of Ohio State’s top two tacklers.

In last year’s game against Penn State, Jordan Fuller had nine tackles — including eight solo — as Ohio State’s strong safety. This year, he is now the free safety defending the wide side of the field. That gives him more ground to cover and more receivers to defend. Fuller will have to work hard to get involved in the running game, but that’s never stopped him before. He led the Buckeyes with eight tackles against TCU.

4. J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber will combine for at least 175 yards rushing.

J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber are averaging 155 yards rushing combined this season, so me going 20 yards above and beyond that is pretty commendable. Penn State’s run defense definitely has some question marks. They gave up exactly 245 yards rushing to both Pitt and Illinois. Those are the only two P5 teams Penn State has played this season. I don’t know if Ohio State’s running game can compare with Pitt and Illinois, but then I’m not expecting it to. I’m only looking for 175 yards.

5. The Buckeye defensive tackles will combine for at least 2.5 tackles for loss.

Nose tackle Robert Landers missed last week’s game, so he’s going to be raring to go for this one. With Penn State’s threat of the quarterback run, a penetrating pair of defensive tackles are key in disrupting their entire offense. The Buckeye DTs have only hit the 2.5 TFL mark twice this season, and one of them was last week without Landers. This is the biggest game of the season and everyone needs to step up because there is no Nick Bosa to rely upon.

Bonus: A linebacker will have an interception.

Bonus: J.K. Dobbins will have a touchdown of at least 26 yards.

Bonus: Parris Campbell will have a play of over 40 yards.

4 Responses

  1. Gerd,

    Can you vouch for my The Excuse Academy application? I promise I won’t let you down. But if I do, I’ll have a good excuse.

  2. You were almost right last week with the safety interception if Wint had held on to the tipped pass deep in Tulane territory where the Tulane WR finally snagged it. Wint had 2 shots at it too – that really should count as a correct prediction.

  3. As long as Haskins’ career record isn’t in turnovers I’m fine

  4. 1. Dwayne Haskins throws for 280 yards with 3 TD’s and an INT.

    2. Mike Weber is angry and this is a game where both he and JK can vent. , but only Mike scores 1 TD.

    3. Demario McCall will score a receiving TD.

    4. Someone in the secondary, I’ll go with Kendall Sheffield gets a pick 6.

    I agree. Though I see Jordan Fuller leading all Buckeye defenders in tackles with 11.

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