Recap: Ohio State vs. Wisconsin
Let me just say that Mountain Time is pretty excellent for old timers like myself when it comes to night football games. They wrap up right around my senior citizen bedtime and that makes me happy. On the other hand, when you’re meeting a good friend in Colorado and have a few local beverages the night before, a noon game (now all of the sudden a 10 am kickoff) makes for a rough showing.
Luckily, I wasn’t on the field, just in a near-Boulder sports bar nursing a coffee and a little hair of the dog simultaneously. Like me, the Buckeyes were a bit shaky at first, but they eventually came around and crushed the Badgers.
The Buckeyes didn’t quite hit my score of 41, instead finishing with 38, but made up for that by holding Wisconsin to 13 fewer points than I’d projected.
As usual, I had a couple of predictions that came to fruition, but had many others that fell flat.
Where I was close on my predictions:
- Justin Fields threw for 2 TDs and rushed for another (I had him with 2 rushing TDs, but 1 is ok too).
- I had Fields at 31 rushing yards on the day, and he finished close with 28.
- Dobbins factored in the passing game, catching 3 passes (I had projected 2).
- Blake Haubeil hit all 5 PATs, as noted, and was perfect on his lone FG attempt.
Where I was less close:
- Fields only completed 12 passes on the day, well below the 18 that I had assigned him. Stupid rain and wet gloves.
- J.K. Dobbins and Master Teague III out-rushed my projections, as Dobbins accounted for 163 himself. That number had been my projected total for the two of them combined.
- Wide receiver stats were, once again, rough. Chris Olave was everywhere, hauling in almost 60% of Fields’ completions.
- I had him down for a TD, but he went and doubled that total as well.
The game was a good one. The stat projections, errr, well… let’s move on to Maryland!
November 9 – Ohio State vs. Maryland
The Buckeyes found themselves perched atop the College Football Playoff rankings on their release last week. This is not good news for Maryland. What that essentially translates to is this: “A group of people are looking for any excuse to remove OSU from that ranking, whether it be a loss or simply a poor showing.”
Ryan Day does not want to give those people that chance. Thus, Justin Fields will be prepared to dominate on Saturday against the Terps and he’ll do just that. Fields will throw for just over 250 yards and 3 TDs and will rush for another score. He’ll be convincing enough that Chris Chugunov will see more game action, beginning fairly early in the 4th quarter. We’ll also see a decrease in the number of designed runs for Fields as the Bucks move into protection mode for the QB for the next two weeks.
Running Back Projections
Fewer QB runs. Impressive performances needed. Oh, and Maryland is not good at playing defense.
Enter, J.K. Dobbins and company. Dobbins will pick up where he left off against a much stronger Badger defense. He’ll rush for 161 yards and 2 scores before passing the torch to Master Teague III for the afternoon. Teague will hardly miss a beat, scoring his own TD and paving the way for even more Buckeye backs to get carries. In total, 4 running backs will tote the rock, 3 of which will also make it into the endzone.
OSU surpasses its season average (284) on the day, rushing for 307 yards and 4 scores. I wanted to make a Gettysburg Address joke there, but I’ll refrain. You’re welcome.
Pass Catcher Projections
Ah, yes, my nemesis… pass catcher projections!
- K.J. Hill finally gets back to his receiving ways, hauling in a tie for most passes (4) for just over the half-century mark and a TD.
- Yes, this was basically my line for the Wisconsin game as well… it’s gonna happen.
- Chris Olave finds his way into the endzone once more, leads the team in yardage, and ties Hill with 4 catches.
- Fun fact: Olave is currently on pace, given a 14-game season, to match David Boston’s 1997 receiving TD output (14), which would put him second only to Terry Glenn’s incredible 1995 campaign.
- Austin Mack, Binjimen Victor and Garrett Wilson all chip in with 3 receptions against Maryland.
- Victor makes the most of his, getting into the endzone on a 25+ yard pass and catch.
- Luke Farrell, Jeremy Ruckert, and Jaelen Gill join in the fun, each catching a pass and getting into the stat book once more.
Blake Haubeil gets his name called several times on Saturday, knocking in 8 extra points and rocking a solid, healthy beard.
Drue Chrisman is only needed thrice and booms them to the tune of just over 42 yards per punt. And, as was alluded to in Tony’s Two-Minute Drill, hopefully we don’t see any more breakdowns in punt protection and punting itself.
The Buckeyes go into Saturday as the best team in the country. They will end the game will that same distinction.
Later in the day, some folks may decide to change that, depending on the outcome of a certain 3:30 pm game. But, the little number beside the school name doesn’t matter just yet. OSU stays undefeated and very much in the playoff grouping after a tremendous showing against Maryland.
Final Score Prediction
Ohio State 56 – Maryland 7