The #2 Ohio State Buckeyes (6-0, 3-0 Big Ten) welcome the Iowa Hawkeyes (3-3, 1-2 Big Ten) for a conference tilt between cross-division foes. OSU aims to stay perfect on the year, while Iowa tries to snap a two-game conference losing skid.
The kickoff of Saturday’s battle is at 12:00 p.m. EST inside Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State is a massive 30-point favorite, and the over/under total is 50.0 points.
What to Know – Iowa Hawkeyes
A new year, the same results for the Hawkeyes, who appear to roll out the same team and the same style of football year after year. A strong defense and limited offense have been Iowa’s identity in recent seasons, and that is still very much the same in 2022.
Spencer Petras hasn’t taken the necessary steps forward in his career you’d like to see from a senior quarterback. His lack of progression is alarming, and he’s trending toward his worst season as QB at Iowa. Petras has completed only 54% of his passes, throwing two TDs and three interceptions.
Iowa uses both Leshon Williams and Kaleb Johnson out of the backfield in almost an equal share. Williams leads the team in rushing attempts with 64 and 236 yards, while Johnson is right behind, adding 50 carries for 232 yards. Johnson’s found the endzone three times to Williams’ two trips.
With a lack of passing game, Petras has honed in on his tight ends as his main targets. Sean LaPorta has already racked up 30 receptions for 279 yards, and Luke Lacey has hauled in nine passes for 157 yards and a touchdown.
What to Know – #2 Ohio State Buckeyes
OSU is up to the No. 2 team in the country and is now the betting favorite to win the national title. The Buckeyes haven’t been tested since their season-opening victory over Notre Dame and are out-scoring opponents by 33 points.
Quarterback CJ Stroud is a Heisman favorite, throwing for 1,737 yards with 24 touchdowns and only three interceptions. Stroud is completing 70.6% of his throws and averaging 10.9 per competition.
Leading rusher Miyan Williams missed the last contest but is expected to be back against the Hawkeyes. Williams is averaging 7.8 yards per carry and has already scored eight times. Backup burner TreVeyon Henderson should also be in pads after being banged up this year, adding a home run threat out of the backfield of the Buckeyes.
The Buckeyes lost a pair of NFL wide receivers last year, along with starter Jaxon Smith-Njiba in the season-opener but haven’t lost a beat. Emeka Egbuka and Marvin Harrison Jr. have stepped up to combine for 66 receptions, 1,191 yards, and 15 touchdowns.
The Pick is In
This week’s matchups remind us a lot of last season’s Big Ten Championship between Iowa and Michigan, but OSU is better than the Wolverines, and Iowa is worse. The Buckeyes could make this ugly quickly.
The Pick: Ohio State Buckeyes -30