Week 2 Predictions – 2021
Last Week: It was so great to see college football again and with fans in the stands. It was loud in Minnesota, and it was raining on and off but the Buckeyes weathered the storm. It took a few snaps to get those new starters in sync but by the second half, it looked like the team we hope to see this year. As for our staff predictions, Josh Watson led the way with a perfect 5-0 thanks to his faith in the Nittany Lions. Several others were 4-1 so we start the year with a high rate of success. Certainly better than the ‘Bear’.
This Week’s Games: Well as excited as we were to see some great match-ups in week one, the week two schedule is a joke. For the first time in the history we will only have two games on our prediction list. Of course we have the Buckeyes as they take on the Oregon Ducks. Should be a huge offensive display, will the scoreboard light up for more than over 100 points? …. The other big game will be in Ames as Iowa and Iowa State face off. Thank you Big Ten for scheduling games that matter. Then again Mercer was already taken this weekend.
Buckeye Greats: As with the past, we will continue to include former Buckeye players in our prediction fun and we are thrilled to have Vaughn Broadnax back with us as a regular participant for the sixth straight year. This week we feature the 1983 OSU-Oregon program with Vaughn on the cover.
Here we go with our Week 2 Picks – Good Luck to All – Gregg
(12)Oregon @ (3)Ohio State
Andy: This game is extremely interesting, I think last years matchup would have been even more interesting due to Oregon having an experienced and talented secondary last year going against Justin Fields and the talented Buckeye receiver groups. I digress. Last week against Fresno St. Oregon struggled to pull away the entire game, not only that but their star player Kayvon Thibodeaux appears to have injured his ankle and may not be available this week. Ducks head coach Mario Cristobal has built a team that resembles an SEC or Big Ten team, really aggressive play at the lines of scrimmage and shifty and fast skill position players. The strength of this Ducks team lies in their defense and on their lines of scrimmage. Names like Justin Flowe, Noah Sewell, Kayvon Thibodeaux, Mykael Wright and Brandon Dorlus are all names you should know, NFL caliber players the Ducks have on defense whose names you will hear called often this Saturday. On offense, expect to see a similar style of offense from Oregon that Ohio State ran in 2014 with JT Barrett. Ducks quarterback Anthony Brown is a stud athlete who has speed and moves and could be a legit running back, but last week against Fresno State he struggled throwing the ball going 15 of 24 for 172 yards and 1 touchdown. While I am concerned about the back half of the Ohio State defense, I don’t think we’ll see a ton of improvement from Brown this week on the road when he is facing more talented players than he did against Fresno State. That said, OSU defensive coordinator Kerry Coombs has to make more changes and improvements in the defense. The questionable play we saw last year from the back half of the defense appeared against Minnesota. The linebackers looked out of position and frankly none of them made an impact on the game, either against the run or the pass. Not only that, but defensive backs were playing off the ball favoring a zone coverage look which gave up some easy underneath passes against Tanner Morgan. Even though Oregon has an elite defense, the matchup to watch this week is to see if the Oregon offense can spread out the Ohio State defense and expose the soft coverage they’ve been affording with their schemes.. I expect to see Anthony Brown carry the ball 20 times or more this Saturday. I do think the Buckeye offense will find ways to get yards and points against a very talented and tough Ducks defense. Ohio State 37 Oregon 24
Coach Rick: I do not see this as a close game because Ohio State is at home in front of their fans. I hope the noise level will be at an all time high and assist in a large victory. I have OSU winning by 17 points. The other reason for the large difference is that OSU’s offense knocked the rust off in the 2nd half last week and I see that continuing this week.
Cory: A lot of Buckeye fans were concerned by the team’s slow start in last week’s win over Minnesota, but you have to consider how many new starters Ohio State has on each side of the ball. Playing on the road, at night, against a fired up Minnesota team was always going to be a challenge, and it’s good that it was a challenge because now it shows how much this Buckeye team needs to do to get back to the college football playoff. The road does not get any easier with a game against Oregon this week. Oregon has its own week-one struggles, beating Fresno State at home by just one touchdown. To make things worse for the Ducks, star defensive lineman Kayvon Thibodeaux is questionable due to an ankle injury. It seems opposite of what Ryan Day likes to do but starting this game off with a heavy dose of Miyan Williams and Treyvon Henderson would open up the game so much. C.J. Stroud showed improvement in the second half last week but it’s unfair to pin the entire game on his shoulders. Let the running game, which was gaining terrific chunks of yards against the Golden Gophers, open the game up. Defensively, Ohio State is still a work in progress but some better tackling will do that unit wonders. Easy to say, not easy to do. Oregon will be better than it was last week, but with Thibodeaux out or very limited, and with this being a noon game, the edge goes to the Buckeyes. Ohio State 38, Oregon 24
Dave: This is one of those games everyone has been looking toward. People are saying that OSU did not perform well last Thursday. There are some areas that are suspect. I was a little concerned with the secondary and some of the big play balls down the field. The replay booth seemed to have their glasses on and made very correct calls when asked. There were some Pass Interference calls that did not happen to OSU. I only hope the coaches will be discussing that in the meeting rooms. OSU 42 – Oregon 21
Gregg: The only disappointing thing going into this game is that we may only have about 90,000 fans in the stands and the university does not seem to be too concerned. They may have finally priced out the fan base, and next year they will start a premium pricing process so you will pay $150 – $500 extra per season ticket depending on your seat location. Oh wait, the game this year. Expect a lot of points, expect the Buckeyes to have at least one 100 yard rusher and expect the Ducks to expose the middle of the field where Ohio State’s defense is weak. Hoping for a lot of growth in the defense. Ohio State 81 Oregon 44
Jason: All the nation’s eyes are on the biggest game of the week in college football that will kick at noon in Ohio Stadium. Oregon struggled in week one, but found a way to escape a pesky Fresno State team and the Ducks are looking for a signature win to put them firmly in the playoff conversation. Unfortunately for Oregon, they look to be without pass rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux, who may be the first overall pick in next year’s NFL draft, but make no mistake Oregon has the talent to pull the upset. The running game struggled against Fresno State and the entire offense took awhile to get going but it still has talent led by QB Anthony Brown, who is experienced and can handle a game like this in a hostile environment. To play with Ohio State, you must have elite speed and Oregon has it. The key will be overcoming the physical line play without Thibodeaux and get pressure on Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud, something Minnesota failed to do a week ago. For Ohio State it all starts up front, the offensive line must continue to keep Stroud upright and allow him to get the ball to his talented playmakers, led by Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson at wideout and create holes for a talented backfield. Last week, the offense started a bit slow, but once it got going, it was explosive, scoring 5 touchdowns on plays of 38 yards or more. If there is one weakness thus far, it’s Ohio State’s relative inexperience in the back 7, something the Ducks will need to exploit to score with the Buckeyes. Bottom line, Oregon will have to try to outscore Ohio State and without a running game to speak of, it will be difficult. Expect the Ducks to hit on a couple big scores early to keep it close for a half, but the lines of Ohio State will wear on Oregon and the Buckeyes will get enough stops to pull away in the third quarter and the Buckeyes get the win in what will likely be their biggest challenge of the regular season. Ohio State 50 Oregon 31
Joe-S-U: OSU – It’ll be a track meet
John: Ohio State 38 Oregon 21
Josh: Ohio State took a half to get into a rhythm, and their defense never really got to get confidence with the liberal use of subbing, but I anticipate Ohio State will be more conservative with how they rotate personnel because of the stakes of this time. Oregon’s defense will be impacted if Kayvon Thibodeaux is not able to play. The Ducks will depend on Brown to make plays for them, and hope that their running backs, who have ran for 1000 yards in their careers, are able to attack the Buckeyes front line similar to what Ibrahim was able to do, but I expect the Buckeye defense to buckle down on the run, and force Brown to pass. If the Buckeyes can keep their defense off the field long enough to let their offense get a groove, this game could get ugly, and the talent of the Buckeyes is showcased for this heavyweight matchup. Ohio State 42 – Oregon 24
Steven: I’m not sure how much analysis really is needed here. Last week we saw Minnesota run on Ohio State with bullying rushing attack led by the best rusher in the Big Ten. Oregon doesn’t normally push the 8 or 9 man fronts that Minnesota relied upon. Their offense is almost conventional, if you call the proto-typical spread conventional these days. After a quick glance at the Ducks win over Fresno State, it is easy to conclude that we beat the tougher, more talented and really under-rated team last week. Once again it will pick your poison with Ohio State’s offense and a bit of pick your adventure with the defense. If Brown and Banks come back healthy, they will bolster the secondary. What I’d like to see is a bit more push from the D-Line. Unless the Ducks play way over their heads, the Bucks win by 20 or more. Let’s make it 24. OSU doubles up the Ducks 48-24.
Trout: This should be a good challenge for this young Buckeye team. Although I think Minnesota is a good team and played very well, I just think Oregon is slightly better. I don’t think they are good enough to bet the Buckeyes. Stroud did have some mistakes, and maybe made last week’s game closer than it should have been. However, he remained poised and improved in the second half. It’s also going to help the Buckeyes that it at the Shoe. They should close to 100K fans cheering them on. And as last year proved, crowds play a factor in home field advantage. I think the game will be close. The Ducks are going to give the Buckeyes all they got. However, OSU’s talent will win out. I see them pulling away towards the end of the game. Bucks win a tough fought game. (Ohio State, 38-24)
Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83): Ohio State 42 Oregon 21
Final Score: Oregon 35 Ohio State 28
(10)Iowa @ (9)Iowa State
Andy: An amazing matchup between two in state rivals in week two. We don’t really know how good these two teams can be this year until we see them play tough competition, thats exactly what both teams will get this Saturday.. tough competition. Iowa State has more experience on their roster with a bunch of super seniors and seniors returning due to COVID, but Iowa looked like a top 5 team Saturday against a top 10 opponent in Indiana. So where is the give and take in this matchup, what should you watch for? Its going to be Cyclones quarterback Brock Purdy against the pass rush from Iowa and against the secondary of Iowa. I am personally on the train that Brock Purdy is good, but overrated and he will struggle against tough defenses. That is exactly what Iowa has this year, a stingy and tough defense. The Hawkeye defense took one of the best quarterbacks in the Big Ten completely out of the game last week. Michael Penix only completed 14 of his 31 passes with 0 touchdowns and 3 interceptions, two of which were pick sixes by outside linebacker Riley Moss. Still the Cyclones do have arguably the best running back in the entire country with Breese Hall who ran for just under 1,600 yards and 21 touchdowns last year in a limited schedule. If the Hawkeyes can shut down Hall, this game will be very one-sided as I can’t see Brock Purdy taking on an elite defense by himself and coming out on top. Iowa 31 Iowa State 21
Coach Rick: In a game like this one I would normally go with the better defense. I believe Iowa State has that, but I am led to believe Iowa’s offense is going to be too much for them. I have Iowa winning by 10 points.
Cory: Is it possible we already have a playoff elimination game? Both Iowa and Iowa State entered this season with hopes on reaching the college football playoff, and a win for either team this week would do wonders for the resume. Iowa ended the 2020 season on a tear and it looks like the Hawkeyes picked up right where they left off with a dominating win over Indiana last week. The Hawkeyes forced three interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns. Iowa State struggled to a 16-10 win over Northern Iowa last week but the Cyclones have the best running back in the country in Breece Hall. Hall was held in check last week with just 69 yards and touchdown, and if Iowa can make the Cyclones one-dimensional they stand a good chance to win this game. Iowa State Matt Campbell is very popular and often tied to big-name coaching searches in the offseason but for what he’s accomplished with the Cyclones he has yet to beat the Hawkeyes. The game being at Iowa State means it will be close but expect the Hawkeyes to move to 2-0 this week. Iowa 27, Iowa State 24
Dave: Let’s see statistics are saying that it has been 1100 days since Iowa State has beaten Iowa. But that is only 3 years. Funny how they try to throw a big number out there to make it sound like a long time. Iowa seemed to diced up Indiana fairly easily last week. I don’t believe Iowa State has enough horses to keep up with Iowa during this match-up. Iowa 38 – Iowa State 14
Gregg: Iowa certainly had everything working for them last week against Indiana. Are they really that strong or did they get an early 14-0 lead and play Tressel ball the rest of the way? If Iowa State wants to compete with the big boys of the Big 12 before they skip town, they need to be able to win a game like this. Tough to pick rivalry games as emotion is so big. I am going to give the edge to the home team in a great match-up. Iowa State 24 Iowa 20
Jason: The other big game in college football takes place in Ames, Iowa where the Hawkeyes invade Cyclone territory in a battle for the illustrious CyHawk trophy. The Hawkeyes are off to an explosive start, destroying what was a higher ranked Indiana team who had high hopes entering the season. The Iowa defense shut down the Hoosiers in all facets, while the offense overcame a couple turnovers to dominate the game. On the flip side, the Cyclones struggled in their opener to escape with a 16-10 win over Northern Iowa and managed just three second half points. There were positives out of that game for the Cyclones however as QB Brock Purdy was efficient through the air, hitting on 21 of 26 passes without a pick. While Iowa dominated the line of scrimmage against Indiana, the offense was rather pedestrian other than a couple big runs early. The bottom line however is not to overreact one way or another after one game. Iowa is likely not that good, and Iowa State is not that bad and either way, both teams sit at 1-0. Throw last week out the window for this game, as is normally the case in a rivalry. This one has the makings of a defensive battle. Both teams will have to rely on the run and ball control as Iowa RB Tyler Goodson and Iowa State RB Breece Hall take center stage. Which team can control the line of scrimmage and create some explosive runs and move the chains will come out with a win in this ballgame. It will be a one-possession game for most of the second half but the Hawkeyes have just a bit better defense and will come up with a big stop or two in the fourth quarter to get a rivalry game win and move to 2-0. Iowa 31 Iowa State 21
Joe-S-U: Iowa – Hawks may have one of their “once every 5 years” teams that makes some noise in the West
John: Iowa St 20 Iowa 17
Josh: Iowa State is notorious for keeping their play calling conservative against FCS opponents, and that is exactly what happened on Saturday as they defeated Northern Iowa 16-10 in a game that shouldn’t have been that close for the 7th ranked team in the preseason. Iowa on the other hand had their defense show up in a big way against Indiana, who was supposed to be a challenger for the Buckeyes in the Big Ten East, but the Hawkeyes had two pick-six interceptions, and held the Hoosiers to just 6 points. The offense though for Iowa was able to do just enough to keep Indiana at bay, bult will have a tall task of trying to slow down Doak Walker favorite Breece Hall. College Game Day will also be in Ames to make this game a little more noteworthy, but that should only put more pressure on Iowa State. I anticipate the Hawkeyes leaving with a win and hold on to the Cy-Hawk trophy for the 6th straight time. Iowa 24 – Iowa State 21
Steven: Let’s hear it for Iowa QB Spencer Petras. His last outing has him in the TOP 100 passers in the nation! Iowa State’s Brock Purdy is sitting at 68 (both rankings are by yardage only). So don’t expect a ton of points. This will be another battle of the defenses, of which we have had a couple in this young season. There is a huge difference between leaning on your defense and not being able to rub two points together on offense, (here’s looking at you Clemson). I’m going with faith in coaching here. Kirk Ferentz is a Hall of Famer, no doubt. Iowa State’s Matt Campbell is a perpetually hyped flavor of the week that hasn’t yet won his own conference. Go Hawks. Iowa 31-28. God that sounds high scoring for these two teams… but I’ll stick with it.
Trout: I see this game being a defensive struggle. Although Iowa put up 30+ points on Indiana last week, I don’t see that being their style. They are a slow methodical football team, that will try to run it down your throat. The Cyclones have been seen as a dark horse pick for the playoffs this year. And Although I think they will be a good team, I just don’t see the hype. The only beat Northern Iowa by 6. This game will be very low scoring, with both teams having trouble finding the endzone. In the end, I see the Hawkeyes doing just enough to sneak by the Cyclones in the upset. It won’t be the prettiest game, but Iowa wins the Cy-Hawk game in a slugfest. (Iowa 13-10)
Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83): Iowa 24 Iowa State 21