Week 4 Predictions – 2022
Last Week: The Buckeyes turned in an eleven touchdown performance to record a 77-21 victory over Toledo and at the same time probably launched CJ Stroud back into the Heisman conversation. The defense may have given up 21 points but continue to show strong improvements over last season and was able to clear the bench in the second half. As for our staff predictions, Josh was only one point off his final score prediction for his ‘Upset Alert’ of Washington over Michigan State. Overall, five people went 5-0 and everyone else was 4-1. Let’s see if we can keep that up again this week.
This Week’s Games: Big Ten conference play begins this week for Ohio State and they will be tested right out the gate as they take on the Wisconsin Badgers. Will this West Division powerhouse be able to slow down the Buckeye offense? …. ACC conference play ramps up Saturday and the Clemson-Wake Forest game will likely go a long way in determining who may win the Atlantic Division. Can the Tigers head into Winston-Salem and come away with a quality road win? …. Florida heads to Knoxville to take on the Volunteers. Can the Gators score enough to keep up with Tennessee or are they going to start their SEC slate 0-2? …. Minnesota may be the best team from the B1G West but they will be playing the Michigan State Spartans, who are coming off a tough week. Will the Green give the Golden Gophers their first loss of the season? …. In another SEC ranked versus ranked we will find out if Arkansas or Texas A&M are for real.
Buckeye Greats: As in 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 eighth straight year.
Here we go with our Week 4 Picks, Good Luck to All – Gregg
Wisconsin @ (3)Ohio State
Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83): Wisconsin has usually played Ohio State tough over the past 40 years. Lately, Wisky’s running game has slowed passing teams and eaten a lot of time off the clock. I predict that Wisconsin will win the time of possession battle, but OSU capitalizes on their short but multiple drives to thwart the Badgers. OSU defeats Wisky 35-14
Coach Rick: Ohio State
Cory: It’s hard to get a read on Wisconsin as the Badgers have not really played anybody. Their toughest opponent so far was Washington State, and Wisconsin lost to them at home. With Wisconsin you know what you’re going to get: a physical, slow game. The Badgers still have Graham Mertz at quarterback but what makes their offense go is their two running backs – Chez Mellusi and Braelon Allen. Slowing down the running game will be the biggest test the new Buckeye defense has faced. While the score of last week’s game was pretty lopsided, you could see the defense still has a bit of work to do. Though the Buckeyes are more talented, I expect the Badgers will come ready to play. Ohio State 35, Wisconsin 24
Dave: Ohio State 32 Wisconsin 18
Gregg: Warm-ups are over, it is time when the season gets real. Wisconsin has been the class of the West for a number of years but has fallen off a bit since going 13-1 in 2017. However they are always a force to be reckoned with, even though are 0-5 in Columbus since upsetting the Buckeyes in 2004. And no one reading this will forget 59-0 in 2014. CJ is really getting his timing in sync with the receivers and he will have everyone back this week. Hopefully the injury to Treveyon Henderson is nothing serious, but we saw last week that Miyan Williams and Dallan Hayden will do just fine. The offense has not given up a turnover this year and I do not see any way the Badgers can hang with Ohio State if they cannot create turnovers. Ohio State 42 Wisconsin 10
Jason: The Badgers walk into the Shoe as big underdogs after dropping a tough one at home 2 weeks ago to Washington State. Wisconsin is who they always are, big up front with a solid ground game, but the QB is the big question mark. Although QB Graham Mertz did throw for 335 a week ago, it was against lowly New Mexico State. Ohio State’s defense has been much improved but they haven’t faced a big time offense as yet. Wisconsin may not be that offense, but they will ground and pound and try to limit the Ohio State offense’s touches. The Badger defense is solid and probably the best Ohio State has seen thus far, but they are healthy now at WR and look as dangerous as advertised. They won’t get completely shut down and the best recipe may be to keep it out of their hands. If Ohio State keeps the Badgers behind the chains early, it could get ugly quick. Wisconsin isn’t a quick strike offense, so if they do fall behind early, its big trouble. Look for the Wisconsin defense to have some success early, but likely not enough and the Ohio State defense will take away the ground attack and force Mertz to beat them through the air and he is prone to mistakes. The Buckeyes get out to a solid halftime lead and expand it in the 3rd quarter and coast to 4-0. Ohio State 42 Wisconsin 13
Joe-S-U: Ohio State over Wisconsin
John: Not sure why, but this one feels like it will be tight into the fourth quarter. Maybe because Notre Dame has turned out to have been massively overrated in the preseason (Yeah, I know, and water is wet). While it is possible the O picks right up where it left off last week, I look for the Badgers to play a lot of 2 deep zone to force the Bucks to sustain long drives, while looking to establish the run and grind out drives on their own, all in the hope of shorten the game and limiting OSU offensive possessions. That was ND’s game plan, they just didn’t have the talent to pull if off over 60 minutes. Not sure UW does either, but my eyeballs tell me they are better than the Irish, so I think they are bale to keep it close. In the end, though OSU just has too many weapons. Ohio State 31 Wisconsin 17
Josh: The Buckeyes open up conference play against a solid Wisconsin team, who is coming off a 66 point game against New Mexico State. The Badgers will have to rely on their defense behind defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard that is only giving up 8 points a game. They Buckeyes will have their hand full with trying to slow down Braelon Allen, who has 332 yards rushing already this year. The Buckeyes should have everyone back on offense for this game after getting TreVeyon Henderson some rest, and an arsenal of wide-receivers that Badgers will have to worry about. The Badgers will get a few plays, but the Buckeyes will come out with the win. Ohio State 45 – Wisconsin 14
Steven: I think it is safe to say that Ohio State’s defense is still a work in progress, but it is certainly miles ahead of where it was at this point last year. Line play has been solid across the board. The linebackers have been unleashed so they are flying to the ball and look so much more instinctive and anticipatory this year. One area expected to be a strength seems to have gotten stuck in second gear is the secondary, (no pun intended, but it is appropriate). There have been way too many home run hits already this year. That’s fine if you’re playing Toledo, and can overwhelm them with CJ Stroud and the offense, but what happens if you get to play Georgia? I have faith that DC Jim Knowles will get it figured out, but it may not be fully baked for a while. Wisconsin’s D is statistically good, only giving up 8 points per game, but they managed to lose to the only good team they’ve played, at home no less. Paper Badger, anyone? They are giving up 76 yard per game on the ground, so it may be a bit to get to run game going, especially with Trevyon Henderson being dinged up. I expect this one to start a little slow, but OSU should be able to dominate by the second half. OSU 44-21.
Trout: I think this will be Ohio State’s biggest test so far. I don’t think the Badgers are great by any means, but they are a step up from the 3 teams that the Buckeyes have played so far. The game should be close for a while. I can see the Buckeyes having some lapses in defense much like they did with Toledo. However, I think the offense will eventually allow Ohio State to pull away. Stroud and his receiving core are just too much for Wisconsin to handle for all four quarters. I think the Badgers play the Buckeyes tough for a while, but Ohio State eventually wears them down and they win by a couple scores. (Ohio State, 35-21)
Final Score: Ohio State xx Wisconsin xx
(5)Clemson @ (21)Wake Forest
Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83): Clemson has not looked good this year. It appears that defection of their longtime coordinators has really impacted the team. Wake Forest has seen an upward trajectory and may be primed for an upset. This game is my upset of the week. The Demon Deacons upset the Tigers 28-24.
Coach Rick: Clemson
Cory: Similar to Wisconsin, Clemson has not really played anybody tough so far. Their wins have come over Georgia Tech, Furman, and Louisiana Tech. Wake Forest enters 3-0 also having faced nobody, but the Deacons are sure glad to have quarterback Sam Hartman back after he missed the opener. Hartman can absolutely sling it, and is the X-factor in this game. If he can help keep the Deacons moving the chains they stand a good chance of pulling the upset here. Clemson’s offense still doesn’t look fully right. Wake Forest 30, Clemson 24
Dave: Clemson 28 Wake Forest 14
Gregg: I think these two teams are a lot closer, mostly because I think Clemson is overrated. However, they can go a long way in the polls and in the Atlantic division of the ACC with a road win over Wake. The Tigers have won 13 straight over the Demon Deacons but I think the streak ends this year. Should be an entertaining game played a lot closer than many expect. Wake Forest 24 Clemson 21
Jason: The Clemson defense has been good, very good, but they are about to face the best offense they’ve seen this year. They will have to bring their patented pressure up front and force Sam Thornton into quick throws. There isn’t much threat that the Deacons will run the football with any success, so if the Tigers can slow the pass, they will be in great shape. Clemson’s offense has been a major question thus far. They have put up points but it hasn’t been pretty. If Wake gets things going on offense, it will put a ton of pressure on Clemson’s O to answer. It will likely be a somewhat low scoring game as neither offense will find their footing with consistency, but the Tiger D will get a stop that they need late to fend off a pesky Wake team looking to pull the upset. Clemson 27 Wake Forest 21
Joe-S-U: Clemson over Wake
John: Now that conference play is beginning we’ll get to know are really contenders fairly quickly. Neither team has really played anyone with a pulse yet and while Clemson has wone all three of their non conference games comfortably, they haven’t yet lit some one up ala OSU over Toledo or UM over UConn. For a number of reasons I’ll be rooting for Wake in this one, and the game is in Winston-Salem which will help, but I just don’t think they have the ponies to pull the upset. However, Clemsoning (like Spartying) became a verb for a reason, so if the Tigers win I think it will be close. Clemson 24 Wake Forrest 21
Josh: Wake Forest escaped a scare against Liberty last week, while Clemson found momentum in the second half the last three weeks. Sam Hartman has been good and the Deacons should really challenge the Tigers at home for a noon kick. As much as the upset could happen, I see the Tigers getting a win on the road in a close game. Clemson 35 – Wake Forest 28.
Steven: Clemson boasts an outstanding defense and quarterback DJ Uiagaleilei has come out of the gates solid this season. Wake could well be a tough out this year, as they are 3-0 like the Tigers. Despite the statistical edge of the Clemson defense, I lie the Deacons in this one since the Clemson record has so far been built upon wins over Georgia Tech, Furman and Louisian Tech. Not exactly murderer’s Row. This match looks pretty even on paper, so I’ll give the Deacon’s the benefit of the doubt and the 3 point home field advantage. Wake 31-28.
Trout: xI think Clemson wins the game, but I could see it being very close. Mostly, because I still don’t believe in Clemson. They were terrible last year.The only reason they were 9-3 last season was because the ACC is an awful conference. I really don’t know if they have improved at all. They haven’t played anyone of note. Their biggest win against Georgia Tech is a lot closer than the final score indicates. They only started pulling away towards the end of the game. Plus the Demon Deacons have shown an ability to put up points. Granted, it’s against lesser competition, but they have shown to be more adept this year, than in previous seasons. I still think the Tigers will win. As bad as they were, they are still the best team in the ACC, for whatever that’s worth. I see it being very close, and very low scoring. Uiagalelei will make some costly mistakes that will keep Wake Forest in this game. However, they are able to get past that and manage to pull off the victory. Clemson wins in a low scoring, sloppy game against the Demon Deacons. (Clemson, 17-14).
Final Score: Clemson xx Wake Forest xx
(20)Florida @ (11)Tennessee
Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83): Florida is putrid and Tennessee is primed make this game a blowout. Tennessee blows Florida out 45-21.
Coach Rick: Florida
Cory: A lot of eyes will be on the SEC this week with two big top-25 matches. Tennessee might be a little overrated, but a win here would go a long way towards legitimizing the Volunteers. Being honest – this game all hinges on which Anthony Richardson shows up. The Florida quarterback has insane talent but is very inconsistent. He struggled against Kentucky and managed to go just 11-for-18 with two interceptions last week as the Gators barely scraped by South Florida. Richardson does not seem quite ready yet so I’ll give the edge to Tennesee. Tennessee 35, Florida 21
Dave: Tennessee 21 Florida 20
Gregg: Tennessee has three primary rivals, Alabama, Georgia and Florida. Since Coach Fulmer left, the Volunteers are only 5-34 against those teams. They pick up win 6 this weekend. Tennessee 31 Florida 28
Jason: The Vols are on their way back. Led by QB Hendon Hooker, the Vols have been able to fling it all over the field and the Gator D has been an issue. They haven’t been able to stop the run game, and USF exposed them a week ago and nearly pulled off the upset. The Gators offense has been solid but really struggling through the air as QB Anthony Richardson has only thrown for 423 yards with 4 picks and is yet to throw a TD pass, so if Tennessee can slow down the ground game and get off the field, they will be fine. Florida’s defense will do enough not to get blown out, but ultimately in Knoxville, behind their home fans, Tennessee will get the job done and pull off their biggest win in several years. Tenn 37 UF 24
Joe-S-U: Tennessee over Florida
John: This a “Backs against the wall” game for the Gators. After losing in week two to Kentucky They can’t afford another loss in the division if they want any hope of making it to Atlanta. We’ve been down this road before thinking the Vol’s are back, only to have them disappoint. Vegas likes UT enough that they are a 2 score favorite at home. I don’t think they cover, but home field is enough to give the Tennessee the edge. Tennessee 30 Florida 24
Josh: The Gators survived last week against South Florida, while Tennessee has been solid their first 3 weeks of the season behind Hendon Hooker. With this game at home, I like the Volunteers at home in this game as they should be able to keep up in a slight shootout. Tennessee 34 – Florida 31
Steven: Let me be succinct, Florida QB Anthony Richardson is a tremendous athlete and can be electric at times, but he’s NOT yet a quarterback. Pluck him out of Gainesville and drop him into any Big Ten program and who would he beat out for a starting job? Keep thinking, I’ll wait… Right now Richardson and the lack of production on the offensive side of the ball for the Gators is a tremendous liability. I had mentioned a couple weeks ago that I believed Richardson should and could be replaced by OSU transfer Jack Miller III. Unbeknownst to me at the time, Miller had thumb surgery and is therefore out for a while. Had Miller been healthy, I think he’d be your new starter. The inconsistent nature of Richardson will be too tough to overcome and I like Tennessee to take advantage of the Gators. UT 27-21
Trout: This will be a very close game, with both teams taking the lead at various points, but in the end I see the Tennessee Volunteers pulling off the victory. Florida has not looked very good this year. Even in their wins, they are still just putting up pedestrian numbers. And even though I don’t think Tennessee is great either, they have shown they can put up some points. The Volunteer quarterback, Hooker has double the amount of passing yards than the starting quarterback for the Gators. Their superior offensive talent should allow them to pull away at the end and give the Florida Gators their second loss of the season. Both teams will score a few times, and it should be a relatively fun game to watch, but by the fourth quarter, I can see Tennessee start to pull away, and Florida won’t be able to catch up. It is strange to see, because of how bad Tennessee usually is, but I see them winning this game, and remaining undefeated. (Tennessee, 34-24)
Final Score: Florida xx Tennessee xx
Minnesota @ Michigan State
Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83): Minnesota has played well against a cupcake schedule and Michigan State looked bewildered against Washington last week. I feel Mr. Ibrahim will run over and around Sparty 28-21.
Coach Rick: Michigan State
Cory: Was Michigan State overrated, or is Washington better than we thought? The Spartans lost to the Huskies last week, dropping Michigan State out of the top 25. The Spartans have to do a better job of running the ball. Peyton Thorne is a decent quarterback but you don’t want the offense entirely resting on his shoulders. This team lacks the balance it had last year. For Minnesota, the Golden Gophers are 3-0 but enter this without star receiver Chris Autman-Bell due to a season-ending leg injury. I like Michigan State to bounce back here, but the game could be an ugly one. Michigan State 27, Minnesota 20
Dave: Minnesota 32 Michigan State 28
Gregg: Not going to say Mel Tucker is overpaid. Wait I did just say that. I don’t think the Spartans have looked that impressive so far and expect Minnesota to run all over them. Watch for Mohamed Ibrahim to put himself in the Heisman conversation after his performance today. Minnesota 27 Michigan State 17
Jason: Minnesota suddenly has an offense. Ranked #2 nationally behind Ohio State, they have been able to really run the football behind the now healthy Mohamed Ibrahim. QB Tanner Morgan has been no slouch either, throwing the ball as well as he has at any point in his career. The Gophers are playing a little D as well, ranking 2nd nationally in total D, despite not playing difficult competition, so the Spartans have their hands full. The Spartans provide a whole different animal than New Mexico State, Western Illinois and Colorado for the Gophers, but confidence is a wonderful thing. The Spartans had it put on them last week, especially in the secondary, allowing almost 400 yards to Washington. Having said that, Washington is pretty good and the Spartans were right in it. This game has the makings of a classic in East Lansing, but Minnesota just has a little too much offensively for the Spartans and will eke out a tough victory and send them to 4-0 and in very good position in the Big Ten West. Minn 38 MSU 31
Joe-S-U: Minnesota over Michigan State
John: xSparty looked gawd awful last week in looking to the Huskies. Minnesota has played nobody, but looked good doing it. It wouldn’t stun me to see MSU bounce back, but as up in the air as the B1G west is the Gopher’s have to be thinking that a trip to Indy in November is at least a possibility. Gophers in a close one. Minnesota 34 Michigan State 31
Josh: Michigan State returns home after a deflating loss against the Huskies. It is never easy to play on the road, especially when there is a time zone change for the kickoff. Minnesota might be the best team in the Big Ten West, and has a great rushing attack which could wear down the Spartans. I like the Gophers in this one in a low scoring game, as Sparty does not have the same weapons heling Thorne due to injuries. Minnesota 17 – Michigan State 14.
Steven: Not sure if you’d call Minnesota running back Mohammad Ibrahim an under the radar Heisman candidate, but for leading a 3-0 team, he’s not getting a ton of press. He’s currently second in the nation in rushing and tied for first in scoring, averaging 2 touchdowns per contest. The guy is a cast iron stud. MSU is coming off a tough loss to Washington, although this may not be a horrible loss if Washington continues to win. Gopher quarterback Tanner Morgan isn’t putting up stellar numbers compared to MSU’s Peyton Throne, but when you have Mo Ibrahaim to lean on, you really don’t need to overexert yourself. Thorne’s 4 interceptions so far this year is worrisome. It means Sparty is getting themselves into situations where they need to press, or Thorne is just careless with the football. Either way, turnoververs will kill you. The Mothership’s Power Index has MSU as a slight favorite, but the betting line is tilted toward the Gophers. In such situations, I generally trust the bookies. Go, go Gophers. Minny wins in East Lansing 28-27.
Trout: I think the Gophers win this game. Sparty has had some struggles this year and even though MInnesota is not a juggernaut by any means, I can still see them winning this game. I still think it’ll be close. I see them being on par with each other. The only advantage I will give to the Golden Gophers is that they have a more dynamic offense. And I think that will be the main factor in the victory. Michigan State has had flashes of a good offense, but it just seems so inconsistent. The game should be close for most of the game, but Minnesota’s stronger ability to score will allow them to get up just enough to pull out the victory. The Golden Gophers pull off the slight upset, as they hand Sparty their second loss of the season. (Minnesota, 27-24)
Final Score: Minnesota xx Michigan State xx
(10)Arkansas @ (23)Texas A&M
Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83): Arkansas looked really shaky against Group of 5 “powerhouse” Missouri State. Because I despise the SEC, I am going with fellow SEC member Texas A&M to upset the Razorbacks 34-25.
Coach Rick: Arkansas
Cory: Texas A&M has a new starter at quarterback – and it is not Haynes King. Max Johnson started last week and led the Aggies to a nice rebound win over Miami, though it was not a pretty game. Johnson was not great – he only completed 50 percent of his passes but he did avoid turning the ball over. Arkansas already has a decent resume with wins over Cincinnati and South Carolina, and the Razorbacks feature a surprisingly good offense. Last year they relied heavily on the running game but returning quarterback KJ Jefferson is throwing the ball really well – he’s completing 70 percent of his passes with six touchdowns and just one interception. The Razorbacks are one of the most well-balanced teams in the SEC and that gives them the edge in this game. Arkansas 28, Texas A&M 21
Dave: Arkansas 28 Texas A&M 24
Gregg: Arkansas can score, Texas A&M cannot. Arkansas 31 Texas A&M 10
Jason: Texas A&M bounced back. After a tough loss at home to Appalachian State, the Aggies got back in the win column, knocking off a solid Miami squad. The Aggie offense isn’t anything special, but their defense is ral good and they will have to rely on it to win games in 2022. A QB change by Jimbo Fisher to LSU transfer Max Johnson worked for a week. He wasn’t great against the Canes, but good enough to get the dub. The story has been that Aggie D, allowing just over 300 per game, it is good enough to carry A&M to wins. Arkansas has issues too. Offensively they have been good, but that defense can’t stop anyone. Yes, they are 3-0 but they haven’t looked pretty and nearly got upset last week against Missouri State. The D leads the nation in sacks though and A&M’s offense struggles mightily as it is which could be a recipe for disaster for the Aggies. If they are able to get time, Arkansas has the nation’s worst pass defense. They struggle to cover in space and if A&M is able to get some momentum, they should have success through the air. This won’t be a blowout by any stretch and likely not a ton of points on either side, but the A&M defense will once again carry the day at home and a late turnover will turn into points as the Aggies knock off Arkansas in a big SEC win. A&M 24 Ark 21
Joe-S-U: Arkansas over Texas “ATM”
John: I think Appy State got A&M’s attention two weeks ago. I don’t expect for them to lose again until they play Alabama in two weeks. Texas A&M 31 Arkansas 21
Josh: Arkansas has been a very physical team this year, and played some close games. In order to keep their chances alive to claim the SEC West, a win on the road against A&M will be a must win game. I like the Hogs getting another win in Jerry World. Arkansas 31 – Texas A&M 21
Steven: All that NIL money and what’s it getting you, College Station? If they fall off any further this year, I will fully pin the blame on Desmond Howard. Howard picked A&M to go to the College Football Playoff, along with Michigan, Pitt and Baylor. How’s that working out so far? Arkansas is averaging over 500 yards of offense per game, and while A&M’s defense is only giving up under 9 points a game, they are allowing over 300 yards to pretty mediocre competition, (and yes, I’m including last week’s opponent Miami in that list)., and they are scoring 20 points per game against those opponents. Arkansas has it going on offensively. I really like Razorback signal caller KJ Jefferson. The guy is good, and could well be a sleeper NFL draft pick come next April. I see Arkansas just running all over the Aggies. Woooooooo. Pig. Sooie! ‘Backs 33-21.
Trout: I am giving this game to the Razorbacks. I just do not have any confidence in Texas A&M. Not only losing to App State, but also looking ho-hum against Miami, I don’t think the Aggies are any good. Although I don’t see the Razorbacks competing against Alabama or Georgia this year, I still think their program is a step above the Aggies at this point. A&M is not without talent, so they should be able to put up a fight for a while, but I don’t see them lasting against Arkansas for the entire game. The Razorbacks should be able to pull away at some point in the second half and win by a few scores. The Razorbacks win this game, and destroy any remaining hope that Texas A&M had with getting into the playoffs this year. (Arkansas, 31-17).
Final Score: Arkansas xx Texas A&M xx
Josh: (6)USC @ Oregon State – For the second time this year, the Trojans will play on the road for a conference game against an undefeated Oregon State team, which averages 45.7 points per game. They do have a common opponent in Fresno State, which USC beat last week, but the Beavers are riding on momentum from a win against Montana State. Caleb Williams has not had an interception thrown, but the Beaver defense might be able to slow the Trojans, and an offense led by Chance Nolan. If the Beavers can play keep away from USC, they have a great chance on winning this game which has a late kick and not a lot of viewers. Oregon State 31 – USC 30.