The-Ozone Staff Picks: Ohio State at Northwestern

Ohio State football Northwestern Ryan Field

Brandon Zimmerman’s reign of terror is over.

After coming closest to the actual score for four weeks in a row, Brandon missed the Michigan State score by a couple touchdowns. The King is dead (or at least a loser), long live the King.

In this case, the King is either Tony Gerdeman or myself. We both nailed OSU’s exact point total against MSU (34). Gerd had the Spartans losing 34-7, while I had it 34-3. Some might claim that 7 is closer to 10 than 3 is, but it’s enough of a gray area that we can just agree to disagree.

Either way, you should definitely listen to The Buckeye Weekly Podcast, because we are geniuses and experts.

This week, there is serious disagreement among our staff. Will the Buckeyes beat Northwestern by a lot?

Perhaps they’ll embarrass them by more than that?

Some bold staffers think the Buckeyes may humiliate the Wildcats by an even more galling margin!

Who’s right? There’s only one way to find out.

[We added a few posters from The-Ozone forum to the list of predictors as well. You can find their picks at the bottom.]

Tony Gerdeman

Having watched Northwestern as much as I could stand, I don’t see much hope for the Wildcats in this one. They do have a very good defense, but their offense is entirely underwhelming.

I don’t know where the Wildcats’ points will come from, if not from OSU turnovers or maybe some special teams plays. I don’t see more than one or two long drives from Northwestern, and that’s just me being a nice guy.
Northwestern held Wisconsin’s offense in check, so it’s going to be fun to see how the Buckeye offense looks in comparison. Justin Fields may be no Jack Coan, but JK Dobbins is a reasonable facsimile of Jonathan Taylor.
Ohio State 35, Northwestern 0

Brandon Zimmerman

If you couldn’t tell, I try not to be a pessimist when it comes to Ohio State football.  I don’t care if the (insert year of past Buckeye team here) struggled in the second half against Northwestern when these current players were around five years old.  I watch the current team and I make predications based off of what I watch.

With all of that said, I fully acknowledge that Ohio State should completely dominate Northwestern on uhhhh <checks schedule> uh Friday night but I’m a little pessimistic this week.  I think the Buckeye players have Wisconsin circled on that calendar next week even if they say they don’t.  It would be hard not to.  The game probably won’t be close at all but the Buckeyes are going to look sloppy while winning this game.  They’ll probably drop in the polls but just remember polls are dumb.

I’d be very surprised if the offense looks as crisp as we have seen it in games past.  I see JK Dobbins carrying the load and having a pretty good day.  Defensively, I think we will once again see Chase Young and Jashon Cornell shut down the run game while the DBs get a few interceptions.

Ohio State 27, Northwestern 6

Caroline Rice

Another night game, on the road, on a Friday night. This game is weird and normally that would lead me to believe that Ohio State could fall into a trap game…but not this week.

After reaching the Big Ten Championship game last year, Northwestern has been somewhat disappointing so far this season and they have struggled to get things done offensively. Ohio State, on the other hand, has been significantly better overall but especially on the defensive side of the ball. The Buckeyes are also coming off of their first bye week. They had a lot of time to work and improve without having to prepare for a game but also rest their bodies before some tough games ahead. This should be an easy game for Ohio State but they can’t get caught looking ahead to Wisconsin next week.

I’m predicting the Buckeye backups to gain some playing time and experience and I think this game will be over pretty early on.

Ohio State 42, Northwestern 6

Jared Ilovar

Northwestern has a bad offense. I mean really bad. Their passing offense is historically bad. They average a mere 4.33 yards per attempt and a team completion percentage of under 50%. Their running game is… fine… I guess. To call their offense one dimensional is generous.
And yet many are nervous. We have touched our hands to the hot stove of B1G West away games. Will this be like Iowa and Purdue, or will it be like Nebraska?
Ohio State 38, Northwestern 0

Adam Borland

Let’s play a game.
Guess the higher number in these four questions…
A) Ohio State passing yards on the season going into the game on Friday night or
B) Northwestern students’ average composite SAT score?
A) Jordan Fuller total tackles in the season thus far or
B) Northwestern students’ average composite ACT score?
A) Demario McCall’s average yards per rush this year or
B) Average high school GPA of admitted Northwestern students?
A) Northwestern’s winning percentage against Ohio State in this millennium or
B) Northwestern’s acceptance rate?
Alright, enough of that… Ohio State simply has too much firepower on offense for Northwestern to be able to hang with them for any substantial amount of time. On top of that, NU’s offense is bad and OSU’s defense is an intimidating, soul-taking group of angry, athletic monsters. Pat Fitzgerald is a very respectable coach. Ryan Day has never lost a game as an NCAA head coach.The Buckeyes are better and more talented at every position on the field and it will show on Friday night.
Ohio State 41, Northwestern 7
(Answer Key: B, B, B, A)

Chip Minnich

Based on how Northwestern played Ohio State last year in The B1G Championship Game, I believed Northwestern was going to be a more challenging opponent coming into this season.  Those beliefs were dramatically changed as the 2019 season has progressed, as Northwestern is faltering offensively, while Ohio State’s defense has completely changed from the unit that was routinely giving up big plays last season.  The Northwestern Wildcats seem to be suffering from the lack of development by Hunter Johnson at the quarterback position – after losing Clayton Thorson this offseason, the thought of landing a one-time 5 star recruit had to be somewhat reassuring, and Johnson’s lackluster play at quarterback has truly handicapped the offense.

Northwestern is strong defensively, and will possibly be able to keep it interesting for the first half, but the Ohio State defense is going to stifle the Wildcat offense, and eventually, the dam is going to break with big plays by the Ohio State offense.  It will not surprise me if J.K. Dobbins is held in check at first by Northwestern, a la in the style of Michigan State, but just like that game, Dobbins is going to break some big runs against a fatigued defense.  I have it Ohio State 42, Northwestern 10.

Michael Citro

Northwestern has a bad offense and a decent-ish defense. Ohio State has a great offense and a great defense. This seems to skew in favor of the Buckeyes. If there are no outstanding variables that go the Wildcats’ way, this shouldn’t be an issue for Ryan Day’s team.
Ohio State 42, Northwestern 13

Mike Miehls

Even Mother Nature wants the B1G to stop this foolishness of playing Ohio State games on a Friday night. Thanks to the rainout in NYC of the ALCS, the Bucks will match wits with the Nerds on BTN. This is a lesson to Indianapolis, I’m sure. There will be no changing my mind.
As for the Wildcat offense, it has been missing since the last time these two faced off. Northwestern has completely fallen off from the 2018 campaign. The Silver Bullets will be flying all over Ryan Field. The D’s playmaking ability will only be limited by NW’s lack of an ability to make a play.
On the other hand, the Wildcat D has been pretty dang good this year. MLB Paddy Fisher is as solid of a player as any LB in the Big Ten. You’ll hear his name a lot as the Bucks attempt to establish the running game. But even a stout defense will not stop the Buckeyes. Expect OSU to pull away by the 3rd quarter. It won’t be a total blowout, but it won’t be as close as it feels.
Ohio State 48, Northwestern 10

Tom Orr

Northwestern’s offense is… what’s the technical term here… let’s just go with… “bad.” 
The Wildcats average just 3.6 yards per rush and 4.35 yards per pass attempt. Just for comparison, Ohio State has allowed 2.4 yards per carry and 5.2 yards per pass.
So when they’re playing lesser defenses, Northwestern basically produces like most teams do when they’re facing the Buckeyes. How do you think they’re going to do when they’re actually facing OSU?
I had this as 38-3 OSU before the news broke that one or possibly two of OSU’s top four tackles could miss the game. That’s enough of a concern to lower it by a touchdown.
Ohio State 31, Northwestern 3 

Crabapple Buck

Northwestern is the most offensively anemic team since the M00N game, but tOSU has the offensive goods and will probably score twice on defense.
I’m putting 42 on the offense with a touchdown and safety from the defense. I am being generous with NU getting 3. Their kicking game isn’t good and a shutout is definitely possible.
Ohio State 51, Northwestern 3


It’s the seventh game, middle of October, conference road matchup against a well coached, if undermanned, team.

Northwestern has seen 6 games of tape so they know what to expect and how to counter. OSU just wants to keep winning and any victory against a conference foe, at night, away from home is a good one.

Logic says 31-14 is a successful night. But I think these Buckeyes know that there are other teams out there with gaudy scores, dominating stats, and marquee victories. They play driven and inspired and take the Wildcats to the woodshed.

Going against everything I believe about road conference night games against well coached teams, I take Ohio State 54, Northwestern 6.

7 Responses

  1. I forgot to say that the moronic black uniforms aren’t going to help Northwestern. They don’t help anybody. I hope to have seen the last of them.

  2. No love for the Northwestern offense. Bucks 38-17

  3. 55-0 Buckeyes; or what Caroline Rice says.

  4. The Buckeyes aren’t looking ahead to anything. Give Day credit. Coach Day has them focused on this game. Anyway this is not a trap game because NW hasn’t got the offense for it. If the Buckeyes focus on the game at hand they will win the Big Ten this year.

  5. I predicted 34-13 last week so I tied Tony for closest to the pin (although the pros took no notice). It’s like getting up on the green and then missing a 4 foot putt. I donated my winnings to charity.

    I’m in the mood for a shutout but I’ll allow for NW to recover an OSU fumble within in the Red Zone once and kick a FG. That’s the only way the Wildcats are going to score if at all. No way Fitz’s defense shuts down the Buckeyes balanced offense for two halves. The Buckeyes cover 38-3 and Northwestern goes back to the library to study for their Midterms. NW doesn’t have a chance. OSU 38 NW 3

  6. Like Gerd, I’m just not sure where NW points come from. Also like Gerd in his predictions I see multiple INTs this game and one of them does NOT get called back due to a ticky-tack ‘block’.
    Buckeyes 49
    Mildcats 7

  7. A recent report from somewhere in South America stated that they believe they had seen the Northwestern office fleeing from piranha and anaconda’s and panthers…..oh my. In a completely different report they were reportedly said to be seen along the Mekong Delta eating rice with the NVA regular army.

    No matter which report you choose, the NU offense is nowhere near the United States let alone in the vicinity of Ryan Field.

    Ohio State Offense – 31
    Ohio State Defense – 14

    NU – 7

Comments are closed.