Let’s get this season started finally.
Ohio State and TCU are getting together at a neutral site that has seen the two teams travel an average of 540 miles a piece, so no team is at an advantage here.
Both teams have had an easy start to their respective seasons, but now things are going to crank way up.
But before we move ahead to TCU, we have to look back quickly at my Rutgers predictions.
Prediction 1: Binjimen Victor will catch a touchdown pass.
Outcome: Failed it. I don’t want to talk about it. He did have his first three catches of the season, however, so I would normally chalk this up to half correct.
Prediction 2: Tate Martell will be responsible for a touchdown.
Outcome: Nailed it. Martell threw a touchdown and ran for a touchdown, so that’s pretty cool.
Prediction 3: Baron Browning will have at least six tackles.
Outcome: Failed it. The starting linebackers totaled six tackles, and they weren’t all Browning’s. He had one tackle.
Prediction 4: Chase Young will get a sack.
Outcome: Nailed it. In fact, Young had two sacks, so I feel like I should get double credit for this.
Prediction 5: The offense will have four plays of at least 33 yards.
Outcome: Nailed it. Tate Martell had a 47-yard touchdown run and threw a 51-yard touchdown pass to Terry McLaurin. Also, Johnnie Dixon had touchdown catches of 38 and 44 yards.
For the Week: 3 of 5
For the Season: 6 of 10
Now let’s get to the present tense.
1. The Buckeyes will give up two plays of at least 36 yards.
I don’t think this Ohio State defense is as bad as it showed against Oregon State, nor do I think it will be as good as it showed last week against Rutgers. There are some very legitimate playmakers on this TCU offense, and they will make plays against the Buckeyes. The linebackers are going to be tested. The strong safeties need to be better than they were against Oregon State. Everybody is going to have to be disciplined. I don’t know if that’s entirely possible this week with quarterback Shawn Robinson and TCU’s read game.
2. Dwayne Haskins will throw for at least 314 yards.
Every time I’ve done a radio show or podcast this week I have mentioned that TCU is going to set out to stop the run, which means Ohio State will be “forced” to pass. Given the way the Buckeyes have thrown the ball this season, they should be able to manage. The Horned Frogs essentially play three safeties with their two corners, but no safety is going to be a good matchup against Ohio State’s receivers. Dwayne Haskins should do pretty well in this one, but I do expect him to get hit and pressured. Deep shots will allow him to make up for some negative plays.
3. Ohio State will hold TCU under 151 yards rushing.
TCU is rushing for an average of 234 yards per game this season thanks to quarterback Shawn Robinson (56.0 ypg) and running backs Darius Anderson (52.5 ypg) and Sewo Olonilua (51.0 ypg). They haven’t needed to play all four quarters yet, but I will predict that the Buckeyes hold each of them — on average — to 50 yards rushing or less. Yes, some of that may come via the sack, but I’m totally cool with that.
4. An Ohio State running back will have a play of at least 42 yards.
J.K. Dobbins’ long run of the season is just 21 yards, so he is due for at least twice that mark in this game. Mike Weber had some nice carries against Oregon State, but topped out at 15 yards against Rutgers. To make matters worse for my prediction, TCU has allowed just one carry of over 20 yards this year.
5. Nick Bosa and Chase Young will combine for at least 2.5 sacks.
This is the first appearance of Stupid Tony this year. I have sworn off predictions about quarterback sacks, but Stupid Tony lives for them. With TCU going with a platoon at left tackle, I can’t say that I blame him. Nick Bosa has three sacks on the season and Chase Young has two — both of which came last week. So, based on my math, they are averaging 2.5 sacks per game so far. They have only truly combined for at least 2.5 sacks once, and that was last week when Young had two and Bosa had one.