Week 8 Predictions – 2021

Last Week:  The Bucks take the week off and move up one more spot in the polls. But the real poll comes out in another week and a half, so that will tell the tale we all want to see. For our Buckeye 50 predictions, we had 5 people go 4-1 (jelly Chris – the Bear?) and when the dust settled we had only Joe-S-U on the top of the standings at 25-8. But everyone else is still bunched together so let’s see if this week finaly starts to create some separation.   

This Week’s GamesOn tap for this week’s action, there are no games with two ranked teams playing.  But you can be sure there will be some upsets, maybe even in one of our five games.  The Buckeyes return to the gridiron this week and take on Indiana.  They Hoosiers still believe they were cheated out of the B1G East title last year and will want retribution. Will that be enough for them to pull off the upset at home?  ….  Oregon is struggling but is still ranked in the top 10.  UCLA started fast but has cooled off.  Which Pac-12 team prevails this week?  ….  BYU has lost their unbeaten season but they still have big prizes to play for before heading to the Big-12.  They take on Washington State who just lost their coach.  The more focused team will likely win this one.  ….  In a rare week we actually cover three Pac-12 games as we include on our list Utah vs. Oregon State. Maybe we will give the conference a chance to showcase their talents.  ….  Pitt will host Clemson and this might just be the perfect storm for the Panthers to secure a rare win over the Tigers.  Can they pull off the win and stay in the ACC race, while eliminating Dabo and the boys? 

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 seventh straight year.

Here we go with our Week 8 Picks – Good Luck to All – Gregg

(5)Ohio State Indiana

Andy:  I think this IU is a far cry from the team that came into Columbus last year. For starters Michael Penix is going to be out for a while with his current injury, he wasn’t playing that well this season to begin with, but losing him still hurts the Hoosier offense. I’m not concerned at all about Indiana’s offense, they’ve been pretty weak behind backup QB Jack Tuttle. The one area Ohio State will need to be careful of is the Indiana defense which is head coach Tom Allen’s bread and butter. Last year they gave Ohio State a hard time with multiple formations out of their base 3-3-5. It limited a lot of big yardage plays as the defense is designed to do. OSU will have to establish the run, it probably won’t be pretty against this defense, but they’re going to have to do it consistently if they want to hit any deep shots on this defense. I think Ryan Day and his staff will call the right plays and get it done.   Ohio State 38  Indiana 17

Coach Rick:  This is what the doctor ordered to come off a bye week with a team to try new plays against.  Everything is moving in the correct direction but I hope OSU does not let their guard down.  I have OSU winning by 28 points.  

Cory:  This should be a good game, but the problem is the Indiana offense has been terrible this season. Backup quarterback Jack Tuttle has not been good, but to be fair starter Michael Penix was not good before his injury, either. Conversely, the Hoosier defense is quite good and should be the toughest challenge Ohio State has faced this season. It’s probably not realistic to expect a 50-point game from the Buckeye offense, but the Indiana offense poses so little of a threat that the Buckeyes should leave Bloomington with a comfortable win.   Ohio State 38, Indiana 14

Dave:  Ohio State 48  Indiana 21  

GreggThe Buckeyes return from their off week to take on the Hoosiers, which may be the easiest game remaining on their schedule.  In 2019, Ohio State dominated Indiana 51-10.  After the first half of the 2020 game, OSU was up 35-7 and had outrushed Indiana 307 to -1.  So in a sense, they had outscored Indiana 86-17 over a 6 quarter stretch.  It is no wonder they called off the dogs in the second half.  But the fact that Indiana pulled the score to 42-35 let them believe they were in the same league as the Buckeyes.  But they are not, and they need to be reminded of that.  Score early, score often Buckeyes, and kept Indiana in their place.   Ohio State 52  Indiana 10 

Jason:  The Buckeye offense is the nation’s leader, Indiana on the other hand has scored just 21 points in 3 Big Ten Games.  Ohio State is led by QB C.J. Stroud who is putting up Heisman like numbers and freshman RB TreVeyon Henderson may be the best back in college football.  Not to mention weapons galore in the WR room.  Indiana has no chance to keep up if Ohio State continues that torrid pace. The Buckeye defense has been playing better, but it’s still surrendering some yards. IU can’t get into a shootout with Ohio State but they can keep the ball out of their hands by keeping the sticks moving. The schedule hasn’t been kind to the Hoosiers and it this may be their toughest challenge to date. This one likely won’t be close.  Coming off a week off, it may take the Buckeyes a drive or two to get going although they are healthier than they have been in a few weeks.  Look for Ohio State to score often once they get going and the floodgates will open. Indiana will have moderate success offensively but not near enough to keep up.  All Buckeyes in this one.   Ohio State 52 Indiana 14

Joe-S-U:  Ohio State

John:  This game is much scarier if Michael Penix plays.  While he is not definitely out for this one, it is highly unlikely he plays or would even be close to his normal self if he does play.  Assuming no rust from the bye, Bucks should roll.  Ohio State 49  Indiana 13

Josh: Ohio State is coming off a bye week after being nearly perfect on offense, and leaps above where they started on defense. Indiana has loses to team all ranked in the top 10, and plays another team this week. Without Michael Penix Jr though, the Indiana offense is not as effect, and will be another growth opportunity for the Buckeye defense. I think Ohio State’s offense can score 30 or more on anyone with the it is rolling on any team not named Georgia.   Ohio State 52 – Indiana 13

Steven: We all know this should be a walk in the park, but we all thought that about Oregon.  Words for Indiana – “I knew Oregon, and you sir are no Oregon”.  Indiana is battered, bruised, but that doesn’t mean they will not put up a fight.  The Hoosier offense has been discombobulated this year, with QB Michael Penix Jr. taking a huge step back from his performance last year.  Before he was knocked out by injury, (or stapled to the bench by Coach Tom Allen, take your pick) Penix had 4 touchdowns and 7 interceptions.  This week the Hoosiers will use a combination of Jack Tuttle and Donoven McCulley at quarterback.  While the Indiana offense may be bruised and sputtering, the Hoosier defense still has a lot of pride and should come out fighting, if maybe only for a half.  If the Bucks can strike quickly and put up a couple of scores early, Indiana could fold.  If not, and if the Bucks give them a hint of life, expect a battle. Looking for the former. Bucks are up 2 scores at half and run away in the second. Look for another huge game from the Ohio State offense.   OSU 52-17

TroutOhio State should win this game. It may not be a complete blowout, but I do think they win by three or more scores. I don’t think the Hoosiers are good, even with Penix, but for whatever reason, Indiana always plays the Buckeyes tough. I don’t think it’ll be a struggle, like previous matchups, but Stroud and the Ohio State Offense might have a few hiccups in the first half. However, talent usually wins out and the Buckeyes are clearly the more talented team. I see at some point in the second half, Ohio State turns on the jets and have no trouble moving the ball. They’ll get a few scores ahead and maintain that lead. The Hoosiers put up a good fight in the first half, but the superior talent level of the Buckeyes guides them to another victory.   (Ohio State 42-21)  

Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83):  The hills of Bloomington seem to offer the Buckeyes  unexpected challenges every year we visit. This year will be no different. However, it appears last year’s magic is gone. Buckeyes prevail over the Hoosiers 49-21.

Final Score:  Ohio State 54   Indiana 7 

(10)Oregon  @  UCLA

Andy:  This has all the potential to be an upset. UCLA has been the surprise team in the Pac 12 conference after getting off to slow starts with head coach Chip Kelly. This season they’re 4-2 and playing some physical football with running back Zac Charbonnet (transfer from Michigan). Oregon also received some bad news on the offensive side of the ball losing star running back CJ Vedrell who was the decisive factor against Ohio State is out for the season with an injury. But realistically Oregon’s strength has always been their lines of scrimmage. I just feel without a consistent running game they will have a hard time coming out on top of an offensive shoot out.  UCLA 31  Oregon 27

Coach Rick:  Statistical speaking this should be a close match.  But I do not think this will be close and Oregon should win by 17 points.

Cory:  Since their tremendous upset win over Ohio State, the Oregon Ducks have sputtered. The lost in overtime to Stanford, and followed that up with a very uninspiring seven-point win over Cal last week. UCLA is 4-2 but all their wins have come over bad teams, and yes I’m including LSU as a ‘bad team.’ Both teams run the ball so expect a lot of that. Despite their inconsistent performances over the last few weeks I’m still a believer in the Ducks.   Oregon 31, UCLA 23

Dave:  Oregon 32  UCLA 24  

GreggIf this one was in Eugene, I might go with the Ducks, but being in the Rose Bowl I have to give the edge to Kelly’s Bruins.  At 3-1 UCLA is still very much in the mix for the Pac-12 South title.  They already lost to two quality teams, Fresno State (5-2) and Arizona State (5-2) at home, I can’t see them losing another one in Pasadena.  Plus this will be televised at 3:30 EST so they know this will be a spotlight game.  The only question I have is what will a second loss for Oregon do to the Buckeye’s stock.   UCLA  35  Oregon 24

Jason:  With all the issues on offense for the Ducks, they have run the ball well and went over 200 per game in each of the last two. UCLA has been solid, but as good as they’ve been, they allow over 290 through the air, dead last in the Pac 12. Oregon QB Anthony Brown has had mixed results but was able to throw for nearly 250 in his last outing against Cal and has only thrown one pick all year. The Oregon run defense however has struggled, and UCLA RB Zach Charbonnet has run for over 100 yards in 5 of his last 7 games and went for 131 against Washington most recently.  Leaning on Charbonnet to get tough yards and keep the chains moving has been the UCLA M.O. This one will likely be low scoring as neither offense scores in a hurry.  Both will lean on their ground game, while Oregon will take their shots early.  It has all the makings of a four quarter game, but UCLA will have the ball in their hands late and grind out the clock for a game winning field goal in the waning minutes to get a big conference win.   UCLA 27 Oregon 24

Joe-S-U:  Oregon

John:  This Oregon team the last few weeks hasn’t looked anything like the one that rolled into Columbus and beat the Bucks.  While the Ducks are the higher ranked team, UCLA is the darling of the gamblers, being slightly favored last I looked.  Oregon most likely loses at least one more game this year, starting with this one.  UCLA  38  Oregon 31

JoshThe Chip Kelly game is what this breaks down to, and if UCLA can score enough against Oregon. The Ducks best game was against Ohio State, and has looked average every game since. I anticipate this to be a close on and for UCLA to actually pull off the upset at home in the Rose Bowl.   UCLA 35 – Oregon 24

Steven:  This west coast game has huge implications for Ohio State in that the Buckeyes need as much help as they can get against Alabama in the battle of the one loss teams. Clearly, Ducks wins and any Texas A&M losses help in that regard.  The injury bug has hit the Ducks as their leading rusher CJ Verdell, (who carved up Ohio State’s defense) has been lost for the season.  His backup, Travis Dye has filled in admirably, but the offense doesn’t seem to have the same home run hitting capability as before.  UCLA has had a couple good defensive games over Washington and bottom feeder Arizona, but have had the propensity to give up large scores against better teams. Hoping the Ducks are that better team… Oregon 38-27

TroutThis game is a bit of a toss up. These teams seem to be pretty evenly matched when looking at the stat sheet. If I have to pick a team, I might have to go with the Bruins. As a Buckeye fan, I’d rather see the Ducks win, but I have a gut feeling that Chip Kelly will want to show up his former team. Plus UCLA’s quarterback, Dorian Thompson-Robinson seems to be playing slightly better at this point than Oregon’s Anthony Brown.I see this game coming down to the wire, potentially being decided on the last play of the game. The Bruin’s will do just enough offensively to pull off the slight upset.   (UCLA, 24-21)

Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83)Oregon has been shaky ever since playing the Buckeyes. Unfortunately, the Buckeyes probably had their worst game since a cold and wet night in West Lafayette. UCLA started off strong, but had some interesting losses. I think Oregon steps up their game and beats UCLA 34-24

Final Score:  Oregon 34   UCLA 31

BYU Washington State

Andy:  After one of the best starts to a season in the country, BYU went 5-0 before dropping their last two games. I still think BYU has built a solid program overall and Washington State just fired it’s head coach over the vaccine mandates out in the state of Washington. If you think a team losing their coach in the middle of the week to factors outside of the program won’t have an impact negatively on the team you’re wrong. I believe BYU gets their rebound win this week and back on the path.   BYU 34  Washington State 27

Coach Rick:  This should be a good game to watch and in the end I have BYU winning by 7.

Cory:  From a distance a game between BYU and Washington State would look to be an important PAC-12 clash. Both teams have winning records and at one point BYU was ranked No. 10 in the country. But if you haven’t paid attention to college football news this week you would missed that Washington State fired its head coach, along with multiple assistants, as they all refused to comply with the state’s vaccine mandate for public employees. The Cougars rely heavily on their offense, and all the coaches fired were from the offensive side of the ball. Regardless of your feelings on that matter, it’s hard to argue that this will have a significant impact on Washington State this week, and likely not in a good way.   BYU 42, Washington State 28

Dave:  Washington State 32  BYU 28  

Gregg BYU was a playoff darkhorse after the first month of the season but have lost two in a row so they can forget about that dream. They take on Washington State who will be playing for the first time since losing their head coach.  Too many distractions for the Cougars to win on the road. BYU improves their record against the Pac-12 to 4-0.   BYU 27  Washington State 24

Jason:  The Cougars have struggled of late, losing to Boise State and Baylor over the last two weeks, but they started the year off with wins over Pac 12 opponents Arizona, Utah, and Arizona State. The wins have been there for Wazzu, but offensively they have struggled, while BYU has hit 400 yard or more in each of the last four games. The Wazzu defense has been timely, turning teams over with regularity having two or more in every game but the win over Cal and the offense has taken advantage of the opportunities. BYU has been turnover prone of late, giving the ball away four times in the loss to Boise State, and they have been struggling on defense to get off the field. A coaching change at Wazzu galvanates the Cougar squad and they come away with a back and forth win and keeps the BYU team searching for answers.   Washington State 31 BYU 24

Joe-S-U:  BYU

John:   I have no option regarding anyone other than Oregon in the Pac 12.  Vegas likes BYU, so… BYU  30  Washington State 24

JoshWashington State might have a rally game after losing their head coach and a few others because they refused to be vaccinated, but Washington State is not the challenger that Mike Leach made them when he was there. BYU has a potent offense, and is undefeated so far already against the PAC-12, and I anticipate that to continue.  BYU 28 – Washington State 17 

Steven:  OK, I get it.  Rick has some amazing inside information on the west coast and Pac-12 teams, and he thinks he can make some hay this week with his picks. That man’s crazy like a fox.  BYU was supposed to be good, but have dropped the last two, and haven’t looked good doing it.  Wazzu is in a similar situation, although they’ve dropped 3 out of the last 4. This is a pick ’em if I’ve ever seen it, but having to make a choice, I’ll choose the team that was supposed to be good, and just may be able to come back.   BYU 28-27

TroutI think the BYU Cougars win this game. Not only do I think they are a slightly better team, but Washington State is also dealing with turmoil of losing their coach. No matter what players will say, it will affect them. It’s going to be tough for an interim coach to get a handle on the team in a week. The game should be relatively close for a while. Both teams seem to be close in their level of talent. Neither team is going to make a splash in the playoff discussion this year. But the BYU Cougars will take advantage of the issues that Washington State is having and will pull off the victory.   (BYU, 27-17)

Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83)BYU and Washington State will be an interesting game. I heard WSU may be hiring. When a team faces an event of this magnitude you just wonder how the players will respond. I am pulling for the fighting Pat Chuns and going with WSU over BYU 31-27.

Final Score:  BYU 21   Washington State 19

Utah  @  Oregon State

Andy:  This is an interesting matchup for the Pac 12, Oregon State has been a surprise team getting off to a 4-2 start. I really like coach Kyle Wittingham at Utah, he has his players playing physical football which is something not common in the Pac 12, he also preaches balance to his team. It shows when looking at their offensive stats, they have 12 passing touchdowns and 11 rushing touchdowns this season. Oregon State’s big weakness is their defense which ranks 71st in the nation in total defense, I think there is enough talent and enough balance to favor Utah in this game despite being on the road.   Utah 31  Oregon State 24

Coach Rick:  Oregon State has a great rushing game, but that will not be enough to win this game.  I have Utah winning by 10.

Cory:  I’ve got to be honest, not many teams perplex me quite as much as Oregon State. The Beavers have losses to Purdue and Washington State, but also possess wins over Washington and USC. It is just so hard to get a read on this team. Utah began the season as a popular PAC-12 favorite, but a couple of losses have seen the Utes’ star fall. I think Utah is the better team but it’s very close, and Oregon State being at home will give the Beavers the edge.   Oregon State 35, Utah 27

Dave:  Oregon State 24  Utah 21 

GreggUtah is the only team left in the Pac-12 that does not have a conference loss. But like so much of this country, I have not seen much or either of these teams this year, so I have to go by the numbers.  Utah is 1-2 on the road and the Beavers are unbeaten at home. Both teams will put up some numbers but I will give the edge to the home team.   Oregon State 38  Utah 31 

Jason:  Utah has got it rolling since the start of Pac 12 play.  QB Cameron Rising has been playing well and has been supported by a running game that has rushed for over 200 yards in two of the last three. The key for Oregon State will be ball control, leading the Pac 12 in that category thanks to a rushing attack averaging nearly 250 per game. On the other side of the ball, OSU’s defense can’t get off the field.  This game will go back and forth and which defense can get a key stop late may end up being the difference. Look for that team to be the Utes and their balanced offense which will convert a late drive for a TD to get a big road win.   Utah 38 Oregon State 31

Joe-S-U:  Utah

John:  Again, haven’t seen either team this year.  Utah 27  Oregon State 21

JoshOregon State started off the year strong but have fallen off. Utah has a chance to regain some momentum in the PAC-12.  Utah 17 – Oregon State 14

Steven:  Taking the Utes based on their overall body of work.  Their losses are to BYU and San Diego State in OT and do have a top 25 win against Arizona State. Oregon State’s best win is against USC and they have losses to Washington State and Purdue.   Utah 33-24

TroutThis should also be a pretty close game.Looking at the stat sheet then teams seem to be pretty similar. However it looks like the Utes are slightly better on defense and the Beavers are slightly better on offense. This game is another toss-up, but if I have to choose, I think I will go with Utah. The Utes have been the more consistent team over the past few years, and they should be able to handle whatever Oregon State throws them. It’ll be very close. Potentially whoever scores last will win the game. I see the Utes getting a field goal late to go up and stopping the Beavers from answering in the last seconds of the game. Utah wins the game and remains on top of the Pac-12 South.   (Utah 20-17)

Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83)I can’t remember the last time I saw an Oregon State team at 4-2 at this point in a season. The an accomplishment in itself. However, we don’t know what is up with the PAC-12 this year. I like Utah over Oregon State 35-28.

Final Score:  Oregon State 42 Utah 34

Clemson  @  (23)Pittsburgh

Andy:  What a huge matchup for the ACC. On paper Clemson should beat the stuffing out of Pitt, they’re such a talented and deep team. However if anybody has watched Clemson this season their offense is almost entirely non existent this season. Tigers quarterback DJ Uiagalelei has not played well this season, completing just 55% of his passes and only throwing 4 touchdowns on the season. The Tigers run game has not been much better, rushing for 10 touchdowns through 6 games and leading rusher Will Shipley with 5 touchdowns is still out with injury. To add salt to the wounds, the Tigers lost their best young defensive player Bryan Bresee to season ending injury last week. The bright spot for Clemson this year has been their defense which has been outstanding, ranking second in scoring defense allowing only an average of 12.50 points per game. Pitt has the home field advantage, on top of that their quarterback Kenny Pickett has completed nearly 70% of his passes this season while throwing 21 touchdowns to just 1 interception. Normally I would give this to the team with more talent, the better coaching staff and track record. However Clemson has struggled against every team they’ve played this season, they barely beat Syracuse last week and escaped a last second come back attempt against Boston College earlier this season as well. I think Pitt will get the job done barely.   Pitt 24 Clemson 17

Coach Rick:  This game is a coin flip in my books.  Pitt is getting a lot of yards this season, Clemson’s chance of winning comes down to their defense.  I think Clemson has the defense needed and wins by 10.

Cory:  It’s amazing that Clemson has managed to win four games. Yes, the Tigers’ offense is that bad, and yes their defense is that good. Realistically they should have lost to Boston College if it weren’t for a bad snap from the Eagles as they were driving for the go-ahead score. Pitt is tough as always, and it’s not a stretch to say that the Panthers have the better quarterback of the two teams – Kenny Picket has thrown for 1,934 yards, completed 69.8 percent of his passes, and has 21 touchdowns to just one interception. I want to pick Pitt so bad but honestly, you just feel like Clemson will find some stupid way to win this game.   Clemson 20, Pitt 14

Dave:  Pitt 27  Clemson 24 

GreggClemson is just not a good team, and I will keep picking against them until they prove me wrong.  On the other side of the ball, Pittsburgh is playing very well and seem to look like they are getting better each week. And they can score and don’t give up many points. On the other side of the ball, Clemson continues to struggle on offense and defense, barely escaping a 3-4 Syracuse team last week. I think Pitt takes care of business and completely takes the Tigers out of the national discussion. Meanwhile, the rest of the conference can start talking about a possible showdown between Wake and Pitt for the ACC title.   Pittsburgh 31  Clemson 17

Jason:  For all the problems the Tigers have had on offense, the defense is still really good. The Tigers have allowed below 400 yards in every outing and other than the loss to NC State, they haven’t surrendered anything through the air. On the other side, Pitt’s offense has been cruising behind QB Kenny Pickett, hitting for over 300 yards against everyone but one. The Panther D isn’t Clemson’s, but they are still solid. They won’t need to be the Steel Curtain to shut down Clemson and although Pitt won’t run away with it, their offense is too good and Clemson struggles to score.  Pitt adds a little 4th quarter cushion to grab the win and send the Tigers down to their 3rd loss.   Pitt 27 Clemson 17

Joe-S-U:  Pitt

John:  How bad is Clemson, really?  Pitt looks like the best team in the ACC, which really isn’t saying much.  Any time Dabo loses, an angel gets its wings.   Pitt  28   Clemson 17

JoshClemson’s defense is solid enough, but their offense has no identity. Pickett for Pitt has been on of the surprise stories this year, and has a chance to pull the name brand upset, even though they are favored. I like the Panthers over the Tigers in this one as I don’t think Clemson’s offense can keep up with the Pittsburgh offense.   Pitt 38 – Clemson 28

Steven:  We may be blinded by the two losses Clemson has this year and assume that the Tigers are just plain bad.  This is only half right.  Their offense truly is craptacular, while the defense is still pretty good, ranked only behind Georgia.  Pitt is way under the radar this year, primarily because they have one inexplicable loss to Western Michigan, (not a bad team, but not a good loss by any means).  Panthers quarterback Kenny Pickett is top 10 in the nation in yards per game, passing efficiency and passer rating. He’s probably the best QB out there that basically no one knows.  Pitt is 3rd in the nation in scoring just behind Coastal Carolina and Ohio State.  Much of those stats may be bolstered by the relative weakness of the ACC, but they still point to a great tilt.  Clemson is giving up some yardage, but are very stingy when it comes to opponents scoring on them.  Pitt will be the best offense they’ve seen this year and the score should reflect it.  Clemson suffers its worst loss of the season.   Pitt 44-24 

TroutThis is a weird thing to say, but I think Pitt is going to win this game. Clemson is clearly struggling this year. Teams have figured out Dabo’s offense and DJ Uiagalelei has regressed significantly.  Pitt has also been playing better football this season. Granted, they haven’t really played anyone of note, but you can say the same about Clemson, except for Georgia. And they also lost to Georgia. The game will be close. The Panther’s are playing better at this point but they are still unproven and Clemson is not without talent. Yet in the end, the Panthers will get ahead by a score or two and serve Dabo his third loss of the season.   (Pitt, 24-13) 

Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83)I hate to pile on a team when they are down, but Clemson may be the exception to that rule. Pittsburgh is playing well and, along with Wake Forest, appear to be the class of the ACC. Pittsburgh over Clemson 20-14.

Final Score:  Pittsburgh 27   Clemson 17

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