Ohio State Football: Predicting Every Game for the 2018 Season

Ohio State Football: Predicting Every Game for the 2018 Season

Terry Johnson

Ohio State Football: Predicting Every Game for the 2018 Season


Buckeye Wire’s Terry P. Johnson predicts the winner of every game on Ohio State’s schedule and makes a few other bold predictions along the way.


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Ohio State Football: Predicting Every Game for the 2018 Season

Spring practice kicks off a week from today, which means that the college football season will be here before you know it.

With that in mind, it’s time to make some way-too-early predictions about how the team will do this year. Obviously, these prognostications could change as things develop throughout the spring, but here’s how I think the Buckeyes will do this season based on what I know right.

Sept. 1 vs. Oregon State

Record in the last five meetings: 0-2
Last year’s result: Did not play. The last meeting was in 1984, which Ohio State won 22-14

Bold Prediction: The Beavers went 1-11 last season, including a 48-14 home loss to Minnesota. While Jonathan Smith will lead the program back to prominence (he was the starting quarterback for the 11-1 squad in 2000), Oregon State is light years away from competing with ranked opponents. Ohio State hangs half a hundred on them, while we see what the second and third stringers can do in the final 30 minutes of the contest.

Sept. 8 vs. Rutgers

Record in the last five meetings: 4-0
Last year’s result: W, 56-0

Bold Prediction: Although Rutgers could possibly earn a bowl bid this season, it is not quite ready to compete with the upper echelon of the Big Ten…yet. Ohio State defeats former defensive coordinator Chris Ash convincingly and opens up conference play 1-0.

Sept. 15 vs. TCU at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX

Record in the last five meetings: 4-1
Last year’s result: Did not play. The last meeting was in 1973, which Ohio State won 37-3

Bold Prediction: The Horned Frogs welcome back six starters from a stellar defensive unit that ranked sixth nationally against the run, allowing a paltry 3.03 yards per carry. Whoever starts at quarterback this year will be making his first start away from the friendly confines of Ohio Stadium. While there are plenty of reasons to be excited about this year’s offense, this matchup reminds me an awful lot of the Virginia Tech game in 2014. TCU pulls off the upset, but Ohio State gets better because of it.

Sept. 22 vs. Tulane

Record in the last five meetings: First meeting
Last year’s result: They didn’t play, obviously.

Bold Prediction: The Green Wave went 5-7 in American play last year, but did upset Houston near the end of the season. Although I expect the Green Wave to improve significantly again this season — Willie Fritz is one of the best offensive minds at any level of football – they simply don’t have the talent to play with Ohio State for 60 minutes. An angry Buckeye team wins this game by a large margin.

Sept. 29 at Penn State

Record in the last five meetings: 4-1
Last year’s result: W, 39-38

Bold Prediction: A lot of people are high on Penn State this year because quarterback Trace McSorley returns. However, the Nittany Lion offense has to replace Saquon Barkley, DaeSean Hamilton, and Mike Gesicki. They also lose coordinator Joe Moorhead, who is now the head coach at Mississippi State. With so many question marks on that side of the ball, I don’t see how they’re going to move the sticks against a defense as tough as Ohio State’s. The Bucks get a huge win and move into the driver’s seat in the East Division race.

Oct. 6 vs. Indiana

Record in the last five meetings: 5-0
Last year’s result: W, 49-21

Bold prediction: Ohio State wins. That’s hardly a bold prediction since the Buckeyes haven’t lost to Indiana since 1988, which was John Cooper’s first season at the helm. As Forrest Gump would say, “that’s all I have to say about that.”

Oct. 13 vs. Minnesota

Record in the last five meetings: 5-0
Last year’s result: Did not play. The teams last played in 2015, with Ohio State winning 28-14

Bold prediction: To hear some people in the media tell it, PJ Fleck once shot a 14 on an 18-hole golf course, falling two strokes short of his personal best. While I agree with them that he’s a solid coach, the Gophers aren’t going to compete for the West Division title like everyone expected them to this season. Minnesota ranked 123rd nationally in total offense last year, and was shut out in its final two conference games. Ohio State wins another blowout causing the spin-doctors at ESPN to start talking about whether the Selection Committee should put in a one-loss SEC team in over the Big Ten champion. I’ll write an article sinking that boat refuting that argument.

Oct. 20 at Purdue

Record in the last five meetings: 3-2
Last year’s result: Did not play. Ohio State won the last meeting 56-0 in 2013.

Bold prediction: With Jeff Brohm calling the shots, you’d better believe that the Boilermakers are going to rack up their share of yardage in every contest. However, Ohio State will get the job done through the air as well, turning this into a Big 12-style shootout. The secondary comes up with a few big picks late in the game, as the Buckeyes pull away in the fourth quarter.

Nov. 3 vs. Nebraska

Record in the last five meetings: 4-1
Last year’s result: W, 56-14

Bold Prediction: Nothing bold to say here. The Buckeyes have won the last two meetings by a combined score of 119-17. It’s going to take a few years before Scott Frost gets the team back to where it was under Frank Solich (what is it with Nebraska and firing coaches for going 9-3?), but he’ll ultimately get them there. Unfortunately for Husker fans, Ohio State wins big again. This causes the four-letter network to talk about what’s wrong with the Big Ten.

Nov. 10 at Michigan State

Record in the last five meetings: 3-2
Last year’s result: W, 48-3

Bold Prediction: Yes, I know that the Buckeyes throttled the Spartans last year, but Michigan State is always a tough matchup. After all, Sparty knocked Ohio State out of the national championship game in 2015, 2013, and 1998. With a veteran squad returning, MSU will be the toughest regular season conference game that the Buckeyes play this year. Thanks to the lessons learned in the road loss to TCU, Ohio State wins a tight contest. After posting a “W” over a top 10 opponent, ESPN finally gives the Bucks the respect that they deserve (talk about making a bold prediction!).

Nov. 17 at Maryland

Record in the last five meetings: 4-0
Last year’s result: W, 62-14

Bold Prediction: Ohio State has destroyed the Terps in each of the past two seasons, scoring 124 points in the process. However, this contest is smack dab between Michigan State and TTUN, which makes it a “trap door” game. While Walt Bell’s offense scores some points to make it interesting early, the Buckeyes pull away late heading into The Game with an undefeated record in conference play.

Nov. 24 vs. That Team Up North

Record in the last five meetings: 5-0, what a shock?!
Last year’s result: W, 31-20

Bold Prediction: First, a non-bold prediction: instead of talking about how Ohio State is a national championship contender, ESPN shifts the conversation to Jim Harbaugh, who by the way has never won a division title at the FBS level. That trend doesn’t change this year, as Ohio State’s defense turns in its best outing of the season, earning its 15th win in the last 16 meetings.

Conclusion

I’ve got the Buckeyes going 11-1 and playing Wisconsin for the Big Ten championship. While there will be pressure on the College Football Playoff to put two SEC teams in again this season, Ohio State gets in the field, as the No. 2 team in the country.

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