One doesn’t simply “make predictions.”
It takes hours of study and, in my experience, even more hours of procrastination.
These things don’t “just happen.”
They come from somewhere deep and it requires soul searching usually reserved for much more serious matters, which is why only 17 of us in the world are able to do this.
But do this we do.
This is my third week of predictions this season and things continue to go just as I predicted — poorly.
Last week, I got three of my five predictions correct, which brings us up to a 4-of-10 clip (40%) on the season. I’d write it all out, but I’m against the clock here as we get ready to head to Indiana.
Let’s get to this week.
1. Garrett Wilson will have a career high in receiving yardage.
Ryan Day said this week that Garrett Wilson has had his best week of practice and when I asked him what that entailed, he said, “Attitude, work ethic, attention to detail, preparation physically, mentally, and emotionally.” So it sounds like Wilson is set to have a career day catching the ball. Pay no attention to the fact that his career high in receiving yards is just nine. That’s not the point of this prediction.
2. A cornerback will have an interception.
No Ohio State cornerback has an interception yet this season, but that eventually has to change, right? Shaun Wade has been in a position to have two already this season, so he is clearly due. With as much as Indiana has been throwing the ball this season, the Buckeye corners are going to have some opportunities. They just need to show some hands when the ball gets there.
3. Indiana will start at least three drives from inside their own 20-yard line.
Freshman kick returner David Ellis had a nice game against Ball State in the season opener with four kickoff returns for 104 yards. Based on that data, it looks like the Hoosiers might be willing to return some kicks this week. If they do, the Buckeyes will tackle them before the 20-yard line once or twice. Punter Drue Chrisman will also pin them deep once or twice. He has had a punt downed inside the 10-yard line three times this season, and each time the opponent has gone three-and-out and the Buckeyes have scored a touchdown on the ensuing drive.
4. Justin Fields will have a career high in passing yardage.
Four of my predictions are calling for something that has never happened in the entire history of the world this year, so I should probably label them all as bold predictions. I should also get a ridiculous amount of credit whether I’m right or wrong about them after the game. Calling for a quarterback to have his career-best day through the air is the very definition of bold, regardless of how many starts he has in his career. Fields’ career high is 234 yards, which may not seem like a lot until you try sprinting the length of that number. Go try it right now and then come back to me and scoff at this prediction. I expect this game to be a game longer than the other games, which means the passing game will be allowed to go on longer than in any other game this season. That is usually too many times to have the word “game” in one sentence, but as I said earlier, I’m running late. This could be Fields’ first career 300-yard game if the Buckeyes aren’t careful.
5. The Buckeyes will have a completion of at least 40 yards.
Ohio State is one of four teams without a 40-yard completion this season. That’s mostly because of the amount of zone defense they have seen this season. Defenses are trying to keep everything in front of them and limit the deep stuff. Eventually, however, something has to give. The Hoosiers will mix their coverages, but maybe some nifty downfield blocking can turn a 20-yard catch into a 40-yarder. Or, perhaps, Justin Fields will simply throw deep to Garrett Wilson and he’ll go over two defenders for a 42-yard gain and I’ll kill two birds with one throw.
Bonus: Chase Young will have at least one sack.
I feel like it would be stealing if I made this an official prediction again.
Bonus: JK Dobbins rushes for at least 117 yards.
The number 117 flashed in my head as I began to type out JK Dobbins, so I think I’m psychic now.
Bonus: Austin Mack will score.
A fade pass in the end zone seems a fitting homecoming for the Hoosier State native.
Bonus: Indiana will be held under 300 yards of total offense.
This comes out to about 70 yards rushing and 230 yards passing. I think those are doable numbers for the Buckeyes, provided that one of those numbers is one yard less than I typed, of course.