You know what’s disappointing to me? All of the thousands of dollars that I have spent on honing my prediction skills with conferences and seminars and brain tonic, and yet my ability to do math is still lacking.
For instance, in my predictions piece I wrote last week, I mentioned that I was 18-of-30 on the season. Not once did I think to myself, “Hey self, if you do five predictions for each game and this is the 12th game, shouldn’t you have more than 30 predictions?”
I didn’t even give it a second thought because 30 is a big number apparently and I’m a small mind.
I remember something that The Great Carl once said — and as the greatest predictor of the 80s from the northwest quadrant of North America, we should all remember everything he’s said — but he once said that “Math is a guessing game and the only true universal language is the fist.”
He was a big fan of Bruce Lee movies.
Anyway, I went back one week earlier and before the Penn State game I was 28-of-50. I went 3-for-5 for the Penn State game to move me up to an incredible 31-of-55.
How did I fare last week? Probably great.
Prediction 1 — JK Dobbins will outrush Michigan.
Outcome: Nailed it. JK went for over 200 and Michigan decidedly did not.
Prediction 2 — Chris Olave will score.
Outcome: Nailed it. Per usual, Chris Olave scored a touchdown against the Wolverines.
Prediction 3 — Shea Patterson will be held under 260 yards passing.
Outcome: Failed it. Patterson was held under 260 yards in both the first half and second half, but after throwing for 250 yards in the first half, I was done. Ohio State’s defense tried to save me by only allowing 55 yards passing in the second half, but they failed me.
Prediction 4 — Chase Young will cause a turnover.
Outcome: Failed it. I’m going to say he failed it because I can’t prove that Shea Patterson dropped the snap because of Chase Young, but I think we all know he was the reason.
Prediction 5 — Justin Fields will throw an interception.
Outcome: Failed it. What can I say, Justin Fields even succeeds when he fails.
So a 2-for-5 week put me at 33-for-60 during the regular season, which is the stuff of legend. Truly, truly impressive.
Now let’s see what my postseason slate looks like.
1. Justin Fields will not be the only Buckeye quarterback who takes a snap in this game.
Whether Justin Fields has to take a snap or two off to unkink his knee or he isn’t needed for the final drive or two, I’m thinking he will miss some snaps in this game. The knee gets better the further it gets from the initial sprain, but until it gets some time off, it won’t get to 100%. At least that’s how I view it as a non-doctor.
2. Garrett Wilson will have a punt return of at least 18 yards.
Garrett Wilson has muffed two punts this season, but there is a reason Ryan Day is sticking by him and it’s because he is an explosive, natural playmaker. We will see some of that on display tonight against a punt return defense that is 11th in the Big Ten. I no longer expect Wilson to be quiet in any game. He is as dangerous as any receiver in college football right now.
3. Chris Olave will score this week.
I’m just going to make this a standing prediction the rest of the season as long as he gets a smaller facemask. Chris Olave finished with 11 touchdown receptions, which tied for the lead in the Big Ten. Against Wisconsin the first time, Olave had a career-high seven catches for a then-career-high 93 yards and a many-times-repeated-career-high two touchdowns.
4. Jonathan Taylor will rush for at least 93 yards.
Why 93 yards? Jonathan Taylor has rushed for a total of 93 yards against the Buckeyes in his two career meetings. He’s on a fast track this week and he is long overdue to hit a big shot against Ohio State. And Ohio State’s defense is long overdue when it comes to allowing a big hit. The Buckeyes have allowed just two carries of 30 yards or more, and only one of them — Adrian Martinez’s broken scramble — has gone for more than 40 yards.
5. Ohio State will have at least three plays of 30 yards or more.
Wisconsin’s defense has given up just 15 plays of 30 yards or more this season, so I’m calling for the Buckeyes to nearly triple that average. It’s a bold prediction, but I have confidence in JK Dobbins, Chris Olave, and…Garrett Wilson. Plus, I’ll go ahead and count Damon Arnette’s 39-yard pick six too. I hope you don’t mind.
Bonus: Chase Young will go sackless.
I believe I predicted this the last time these two teams played and Chase Young finished with four sacks. So I’m due to get this one right.
Bonus: Malik Harrison will have at least 1.5 tackles for loss.
Malik Harrison has quietly put together an All-Big Ten season and finished fifth in the conference with 16.0 tackles for loss. He’ll increase that number this week.
Bonus: Drue Chrisman will put two punts inside the 15-yard line.
It’s time for Drue Chrisman to get back on track and start pinning offenses deep in their own territory. The Buckeyes will need to protect him better than they have the last half of the season.