When it comes to predicting scores, rarely do you go with a shutout. Ohio State’s first game this season against Florida Atlantic is proof of why.
Suffice it to say, none of our picks were all that close last week.
Should I tout myself for coming the closest to Cincinnati’s score with my 31-13 prediction? Of course I should. I have earned this. It required incredible foresight on my part and an ability to analyze data at a rate normally reserved for computers.
But will I tout myself? Of course not. I am above that. Besides, the readers already know what kind of skill is required when you nearly correctly predict an outcome like I did.
As to who came the closest overall (as if that’s any way to measure who came closest to getting a score prediction correct), that’s probably Brandon Zimmerman and his 41-17 pick.
How will we measure up this week?
Some of us will probably do pretty well.
Indiana will ask some questions of Ohio State’s defense, but I think it will be like an open-book quiz, so I expect the Buckeyes to answer most of those questions without issue. I’m not sure how good Ohio State’s defense is exactly, but I’m pretty sure it’s better than the Eastern Illinois defense that Indiana shredded last week.
This week may see the Ohio State offense’s biggest test so far. Bloomington isn’t the toughest road environment, and it’s not a night game, but it is still Justin Fields’ first start on the road in conference play and that can’t be overlooked — unless Fields himself overlooks it and just keeps doing what he’s been doing. For the most part, I think he will.
My final score prediction may turn out to be ultra-conservative. My gut says this could be the score, but my gut has been an idiot at times in the past.
Ohio State 40, Indiana 23
Indiana has played some competitive games with the Buckeyes in recent years, particularly at home. The Hoosiers are a very experienced team, this is Justin Fields’ first time playing a Big Ten team and playing on the road, and Indiana freshman quarterback Michael Penix is a playmaker. But other than Penix, I think the Buckeyes should be very familiar with a lot of the key players they will face.
I underestimated Ohio State last week and I won’t make the same mistake again this week. It’s just hard to think that Indiana will be able shut down everything that Ohio State has going on right now, or make enough plays to outplay and outscore them — especially if Penix is dealing with an injury.
Again, it won’t be the easiest game for Ohio State, but the Buckeyes are the better team and if they execute, they should win this game. I keep hearing about Iowa and Purdue, but I don’t see Indiana being a trap game for Ohio State.
Ohio State 42, Indiana 13
The Hoosiers have not beaten the Buckeyes since 1988. For perspective, head coach Ryan Day was in elementary school the last time Indiana got the best of Ohio State on the gridiron. That streak is in no danger on Saturday.
Yes, Indiana looked impressive in a 52-0 win over the Eastern Illinois Panthers. Those same Panthers, as it turns out, lost to something called the Chattanooga Mocs, who themselves got hammered by the Gamecocks… of Jacksonville State.
Point being, Indiana is who we thought they were. They’re a bad football team that’s currently only played other bad football teams. They’ll come out and try to keep OSU on its heels with their aggressive passing game and mobile QB, Michael Penix Jr. What they won’t be able to account for is the unleashing of Chase Young and the new defensive scheme that allows OSU’s talent to react and thrive.
OSU has its way on offense, shredding the IU defense and setting the stage for a big win. When the Hoosiers have the ball, they’ll get a couple of scores and create a big play or two. The Buckeye pressure at the line of scrimmage, however, will make it a very hard day for Penix or whichever quarterback is healthy enough to see the field on Saturday.
Ohio State 45, Indiana 20
This is an Ohio State/Indiana game in Bloomington, which means it’ll be close long enough that you start to get nervous, but the Buckeyes will ultimately win.
The Hoosiers are something of a mystery coming into this week. They’ve won twice against lousy competition, so it’s not clear just how good they really are.
Best guess: the offense is okay, and the defense is a little better than that. In the end, OSU’s talent wins out.
Ohio State 38, Indiana 20
This game is a step up from last week in every way, but not a big step up. It’s more of an incline. Not knowing the situation at quarterback for Indiana won’t really alter Ohio State’s defensive plans because they are preparing for both. If the Buckeyes are as good in the secondary as we think, then this game should be a fairly comfortable win for the Buckeyes.
I expect the Ohio State run defense to contain Stevie Scott, just as they did Michael Warren last week. The real question is whether or not the Ohio State running game can control the clock for a second straight week.
At this point, I think Justin Fields will be pretty good from week to week, but I don’t yet know when a GREAT game will pop up. He’s been really, really good so far, but what is his ceiling this year and how many times will we see it? This could be a big week for him given OSU’s versatility in the passing game.
Ohio State 38 – Indiana 14
It’s another Saturday, so it’s another week of everyone building up the opponent to be better than they are. Indiana has won exactly twice against Ohio State since 1951. The Buckeyes have won 24 straight game against the Hoosiers. “…but, but…Indiana always plays us close” Shut the front door with that nonsense.
Since 2010, the average margin of victory is 18.5 points and that includes the 2012 game where a blowout turned into a nail biter with two TDs in the last one minute and forty seconds by the Hoosiers. Over the last three years, the margin of victory is 24 points. Let’s not build them up to be more than what they are…Cincinnati lite.
Ohio State will have their way with the Hoosiers. Chris Olave will have 100+ yards receiving and KJ Hill adds 10 catches. Defensively, the trio of Chase Young, Jeff Okudah, and Shaun Wade continue to dominate as the Buckeye defense once again looks like what they are—the best defense in the B1G.
Ohio State 49, Indiana 13
Looking at this game on the road at Indiana, I think of what Ohio State defensive line coach Larry Johnson has stated about Cincinnati last week — that Cincinnati was built or looked like a B1G team. Using that logic, I would compare Cincinnati to other B1G teams, such as Indiana, Minnesota, Illinois, and Northwestern, based upon physical styles/philosophies.
Now that has been said, I look for Ohio State to be able to have equal or comparable success as they realized last week against Cincinnati. Perhaps it will not be as dominant as Ohio State had versus Cincinnati, but I look for a score that is reflective, even as Ohio State goes on the road against a traditionally pesky and annoying B1G rival such as Indiana.
Ohio State 42, Indiana 10
I truly have no idea what to expect out of the Buckeyes in 2019. I didn’t expect FAU to play competitively for three quarters of the game. I also didn’t expect Ohio State to dominate UC the way they did either. Either way, I surely didn’t expect the Buckeyes to play a great game and fall in the polls.
Indiana always is a pain in the side for OSU. However, starting quarterback Michael Penix being a game-time decision doesn’t instill hope for the Hoosiers…until you remember their backup is Peyton Ramsey, the same man who threw for 300+ last year against Ohio State. The Silver Bullets appear to have been reborn, and I expect the defense to be stout.
On offense, as my counterpart Brandon Zimmerman likes to say, “Fields is a cheat code!” He couldn’t be more correct. This offense has been molded to the strengths of the Buckeye signal caller and I know we’ve not seen the best version of this offense. Expect another big game when OSU has the ball.
Ohio State 48, Indiana 21
Indiana seems to play Ohio State closer than they should. But, I can’t help but feel that’s become less and less true the longer Kevin Wilson spends on this side of the sidelines.
Maybe it’s my recency bias. Maybe I’m still riding high off of the Buckeyes’ decisive dismantling of the Bearcats. Maybe it’s because I think a Hoosier is nothing but a Granfalloon. All I can say for sure is that I laughed out loud when I saw the opening 14-point spread and that I have Ohio State winning big.
Ohio State 49, Indiana 14