We are now one day from finding out just how good this Ohio State football team might be.
The Buckeyes have made Oregon State and Rutgers look silly, but they’ve done it with plenty of help thanks to both the Beavers and the Scarlet Knights.
This week, however, Ohio State is actually going to have to be at their best in order to secure a victory against the Horned Frogs.
That’s what makes this game so fun — we may actually get to see the Buckeyes at their best against an opponent that could be very good.
Of course, TCU has yet to be tested as well, so there is plenty of mystery coming into this game.
But as we do here, we like to take the mystery out of the games by letting you know what we think is going to happen, just like last week when I won the “Closest to the Pin” with my pick of 52-7 for the Buckeyes. But I don’t like to brag…
Who will be closest to the pin this week? See who you agree with below and then feel free to add your own picks in the comments.
A few things that I’ve learned in briefly studying the Texas horned frogs (more accurately, horned lizards):
– They are extremely submissive creatures, despite their appearance.
– They require sunlight and bury themselves in the sand after dark.
– Their main defense is to look intimidating. But, puffing out their spiky scales really only serves to make the dining experience of the prey devouring them less enjoyable.
Sure, these items may describe the creature that the team was incorrectly named for, but I agree with a couple of aspects. I think that their defense has a good reputation, but will only serve to briefly slow Ohio State’s juggernaut offense. I also believe that the night atmosphere and AT&T Stadium setting will only enhance the speed-driven play of the Buckeyes.
TCU, as others will note, is a good team and will be an excellent barometer for OSU’s potential success this year. With that in mind, I simply think the athleticism on both sides of the ball, for the Buckeyes, eventually wears on the Horned Frogs and results in a convincing and impressive win.
Back to the creature, did you know they purposefully shoot streams of blood from the corners of their eyes? It was really tough to apply that to the football game, so I didn’t, but good luck sleeping tonight!
Ohio State 45, TCU 24
TCU being ranked 15th is a good spot for them. They have talent. They are a good team. They are not a great team. And they are not elite like the Buckeyes are. What does that mean for Ohio State? It means there will be times the offense gets stopped. There will be times the defense doesn’t get a stop. There will be mistakes, and there will be times OSU fans get angry for the first time this year.
TCU’s offense will be the best OSU has faced this year. That’s not saying much for Oregon State, Rutgers, or TCU. But they will move the ball and put up points. Quarterback Shawn Robinson will move the ball and score.
Look for a big game from OSU’s offense too, to show the world what they can actually do. Expect Haskins to play 3 full quarters. And expect the Texas Buckeyes to pound an in-state school.
OSU 45, TCU 17
Whether the Ohio State defense actually improved between the first two weeks of the season is probably more of an assumption than fact right now, but TCU will be able to tell us if actual improvement was made. With better athletes and offenses, the Horned Frogs will tell us a lot about the Ohio State linebackers.
TCU will also tell us more about Ohio State’s offensive line in pass protection. If the line holds up, Dwayne Haskins should be able to find receivers and the Buckeyes should be fine. If not, we might see more of the Tate Martell offense out of necessity and things could get dicey.
Ohio State 34, TCU 26
Even though both Ohio State and TCU prefer to play offense at a high tempo, look for the Buckeyes to use their massive offensive line to try and control the line of scrimmage, wearing the Horned Frogs down in the second half.
TCU defensive tackle Corey Bethley is listed at 6’2″, 290 pounds and had a big game last week against SMU (2 sacks, 3 tackles for loss). I will be keeping an eye on how successful the Buckeyes are up the middle with the run game and pass protection for Dwayne Haskins.
It could be closer than the point spread, but I am thinking Ohio State’s depth offensively will be too much for the Horned Frogs to keep pace late in the game. Close into the fourth quarter, then the Buckeyes pull away with some late touchdowns.
Ohio State 42, TCU 23
For the first time this season, there’s actually reason to pause for a moment before you pick the winner of the game.
After putting Oregon State and Rutgers in a blender and hitting “liquefy” for four straight quarters each, the Buckeyes now have to face a team that can both play some offense and also field a solid defense.
I don’t want to spoil anything for you, but Dwayne Haskins is probably not going to finish the season on his current pace of 63 touchdowns passing and 7 interceptions. This is the week we’ll finally get a better feel for how far off those numbers he’ll end up.
The Buckeyes have size and depth advantages all around the field. TCU has some very talented skill players on offense, but their offensive line is just “pretty good.” That’s not enough against the OSU defensive front.
On the other side of the ball, the Frogs’ defensive line is undersized, and should wear down if the Buckeyes are willing to stick with the run game throughout the evening.
OSU will give up a few long touchdowns at some point, but in the end the Buckeyes’ talent should win out.
Ohio State 38, TCU 27
This is the game we’ve been waiting for! This is the game where Ohio State will be tested by a “great” TCU team. Problem is, TCU isn’t that great. TCU fans can tell us how fast they are but in reality they are confusing “short undersized guys good teams didn’t want” as ultra-talented and speedy.
Offensively, TCU will look to stop the run and see if Haskins can beat them. It’s a bold strategy but I don’t think it will work. Even if they sell out and hold J.K. Webber to under 150 combined yards, I’d fully expect Haskins to throw for about 400 yards.
Defensively, the Buckeye defensive line will continue to dominate, leaving Browning and Fuller to clean up any scrambles.
Ohio State 56, TCU 17
I am expecting Ohio State to look a little bit different than they did the first two weeks. This game will be the first true test for Dwayne Haskins and the Buckeye offense. TCU has a very good — and I mean very good — defense. One of the best in the nation and possibly the best the Buckeyes will face this season.
I think Haskins and the offense will be able to do what they do, but it might take a bit of figuring out and there will still be some mistakes made. The offensive line has to be ready to play penalty free this week and the defense has to continue to improve in order to combat TCU’s multi-dimensional offense. This game will be a battle of the strengths for the Horned Frogs and the Buckeyes.
I think the Buckeyes are the better and more complete and talented team. But this game will not be as pretty as Buckeye Nation is used to seeing and it will not be one team dominating either side of the ball. I’m expecting the Buckeyes to pull out a win in Dallas, but it’s going to be a good football game.
Ohio State 35 TCU 28
When I think about this game, I focus initially on TCU’s offense and the Ohio State defense we saw against Oregon State. I fully expect some big plays from the Horned Frog offense, but I don’t think Shawn Robinson can be consistent enough throwing the ball to take as much advantage as other quarterbacks could. Especially when he is being pursued by Nick Bosa on every other drop back.
Defensively for TCU, they will set out to stop the run and force Ohio State to pass. Dwayne Haskins and the Buckeye receivers are totally cool with that, and so are Ryan Day and Kevin Wilson. If the Buckeye offensive line keeps Haskins upright, then this game is over. If they don’t, then it’s anybody’s game.
I like OSU’s tempo and depth to eventually win the game.
Ohio State 38 – TCU 24