HQ football prediction: Ohio State 59, UI 17

HQ football prediction: Ohio State 59, UI 17

QUARTERBACKS
2    Nathan Scheelhaase    6-3    205    Sr.    Kansas City, Mo.

5    Braxton Miller    6-2    215    Jr.    Huber Heights, Ohio

Edge: Ohio State. Miller’s 15 touchdown passes compared with three interceptions is impressive. So are his 410 rushing yards. But his accuracy is really setting the dual-threat talent apart this fall. He has completed 72.5 percent of his passes. Scheelhaase, with 2,420 passing yards, is on track to have only the eighth 3,000-yard season in school history, but Miller is too dynamic.

RUNNING BACKS
6    Josh Ferguson    5-10    195    Soph.    Naperville

34    Carlos Hyde    6-0    235    Sr.    Naples, Fla.

Edge: Ohio State. Hyde missed the first three games of the season with a suspension but still has 701 rushing yards. Illinois linebacker Jonathan Brown calls Hyde a combination of Indiana running backs Tevin Coleman and Stephen Houston, who combined for 365 rushing yards on 32 carries. Doubtful Hyde will approach those numbers, but he could come close.

RECEIVERS
9    Steve Hull    6-2    200    Sr.    Cincinnati
8    Miles Osei    6-0    195    Sr.    Mount Prospect
80    Spencer Harris    6-3    205    Sr.    Greenwood, Ark.

9    Devin Smith    6-1    198    Jr.    Massillon, Ohio
6    Evan Spencer    6-2    206    Jr.    Vernon Hills
10    Corey Brown    6-0    190    Sr.    Upper Darby, Pa.

Edge: Ohio State. Spencer, son of former Buckeyes running back Tim Spencer, made waves this week by proclaiming Ohio State would “wipe the field” with Alabama and Florida State. And this is from Ohio State’s third-best receiver. Brown (41 catches for 547 yards, eight touchdowns) and Smith (38 for 542, six TDs) are a potent 1-2 duo, while Hull is coming off the second-best receiving total by an Illinois wideout.

TIGHT ENDS
3    Jon Davis    6-3    240    Jr.    Louisville, Ky.

86    Jeff Heuerman    6-6    252    Jr.    Naples, Fla.

Edge: Ohio State. Quick. Name the Buckeyes’ leading receiver in their 56-0 blowout win two weeks ago at Purdue. Look up at who plays tight end for Ohio State and you’ll find the answer. Heuerman had 116 receiving yards on five catches. Davis and Matt LaCosse have solid numbers stretched across the length of the season but are more safety options for Illinois than downfield threats lately.

OFFENSIVE LINE
57    Austin Schmidt    6-6    285    Fr.    Galena, Ohio
74    Michael Heitz    6-5    305    Jr.    Vermont
52    Alex Hill    6-3    315    Jr.    Slidell, La.
69    Ted Karras    6-4    300    Soph.    Indianapolis
70    Corey Lewis    6-6    315    Sr.    Cresco, Pa.

74    Jack Mewhort    6-6    308    Sr.    Toledo, Ohio
78    Andrew Norwell    6-6    316    Sr.    Cincinnati
71    Corey Linsley    6-3    297    Sr.    Youngstown, Ohio
79    Marcus Hall    6-5    315    Sr.    Cleveland
68    Taylor Decker    6-7    315    Soph.    Vandalia, Ohio

Edge: Ohio State. Schmidt is a true freshman protecting Scheelhaase’s blind side against a defense with 26 sacks. Good luck. Norwell is the younger brother of former Illinois defensive tackle Chris Norwell. He and Mewhort, the Buckeyes’ formidable left side of the line, each have started the last 34 games for Ohio State.

DEFENSIVE LINE
59    Tim Kynard    6-3    270    Sr.    Toledo, Ohio
93    Teko Powell    6-3    295    Soph.    Miami
44    Austin Teitsma    6-2    290    Jr.    Glen Ellyn
55    Houston Bates    6-3    250    Jr.    Covington, La.

97    Joey Bosa    6-6    275    Fr.    Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
51    Joel Hale    6-4    310    Jr.    Greenwood, Ind.
63    Michael Bennett    6-3    285    Jr.    Centerville, Ohio
8    Noah Spence    6-3    252    Soph.    Harrisburg, Pa.

Edge: Ohio State. Spence is a disruptive force in the backfield. Almost a third of his 35 tackles have been for loss, including a team-high 6.5 sacks. Bennett and Bosa have a combined five sacks and are big, physical linemen who help teams win Big Ten titles. Powell has given a boost to the Illinois defensive line, but this unit is well below Ohio State’s standards.

LINEBACKERS
45    Jonathan Brown    6-1    230    Sr.    Memphis, Tenn.
43    Mason Monheim    6-1    235    Soph.    Orrville, Ohio
34    Mike Svetina    6-2    230    Soph.    Brunswick, Ohio

2    Ryan Shazier    6-2    230    Jr.    Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
14    Curtis Grant    6-3    243    Jr.    Richmond, Va.
37    Joshua Perry    6-4    246    Soph.    Galena, Ohio    

Edge: Ohio State. Shazier is one of the premier defenders in not just the Big Ten but the country. He’s a future NFL player. Brown fits that description, too, and his four sacks this year lead Illinois in that department. Grant and Perry are more skilled than Monheim and Svetina, but Monheim is capable of having a double-digit tackle game.

SECONDARY
2    V’Angelo Bentley    5-10    190    Soph.    Cleveland
9    Earnest Thomas    6-2    210    Jr.    Orchard Lake, Mich.
21    Zane Petty    6-1    190    Jr.    Corning, Calif.
27    Eaton Spence    6-0    185    Soph.    Belle Glade, Fla.

1    Bradley Roby    5-11    192    Jr.    Suwanee, Ga.
3    Corey Brown    6-1    203    Sr.    Monroeville, Pa.
4    C.J. Barnett    6-1    204    Sr.    Dayton, Ohio
12    Doran Grant    5-11    191    Jr.    Akron, Ohio

Edge: Ohio State. Indiana picked on Illinois’ true freshman cornerbacks Darius Mosely and Caleb Day. If they’re in the game again, expect Ohio State to do the same. The starting secondary for Ohio State has combined for seven interceptions, seven more than the starters Illinois will trot out Saturday.

SPECIAL TEAMS
17    Taylor Zalewski (K, KO)    6-3    220    Soph.    Orland Park
18    Justin DuVernois (P)    6-1    190    Jr.    Plantation, Fla.
54    Zach Hirth (LS)    6-4    220    Fr.    Eureka, Mo.
86    Tim Russell (Holder)    6-6    235    Sr.    St. Charles
2    V’Angelo Bentley (KR, PR)    5-10    190    Soph.    Cleveland
8    Miles Osei (KR, PR)    6-0    200    Sr.    Mount Prospect

24    Drew Basil (K, KO)    6-2    212    Sr.    Chillicothe, Ohio
95    Cameron Johnston (P)    5-11    190    Fr.    Geelong, Australia
56    George Makridis (LS)    6-2    234    Sr.    Warren, Ohio
13    Kenny Guiton (Holder)    6-3    208    Sr.    Houston
2    Jordan Hall (KR, PR)    5-9    191    Sr.    Jeannette, Pa.
1    Dontre Wilson (KR)    5-10    180    Fr.    DeSoto, Texas
10    Corey Brown (PR)    6-0    190    Sr.    Upper Darby, Pa.

Edge: Ohio State. Anything beyond 40 yards and Zalewski becomes shaky. DuVernois has a good chance to test his leg out frequently if Illinois’ offense can’t get on track. The return game for Illinois has become stagnant. Wilson is the returner to watch for the Buckeyes, while Basil has made all seven of his field goals, and Johnston is a Ray Guy Award semifinalist.

COACHES
Tim Beckman    At UI (5-16)    Overall (26-32)

Urban Meyer    At Ohio State (21-0)    Overall (125-23)

Edge: Ohio State. Meyer is the hottest coach in the country right now. And he has a chance Saturday to equal Woody Hayes if he can lead the Buckeyes to their 22nd straight win. Beckman, on the other hand, is trying to salvage the season and lift what little confidence some Illinois fans have in him.

Prediction: Ohio State 59, Illinois 17

Fans not adorned in Scarlet and Gray might wish for a running clock Saturday afternoon. This has all the makings of a lopsided loss for the Illini. The fast-fading bowl hopes for Illinois are officially nonexistent by halftime. Only some late touchdowns by Illinois help this year’s game from becoming the worst loss in series history by the Illini. (N-G record: 7-2)

 

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pberg wrote on November 15, 2013 at 10:11 am

70-3 is my prediction.  Their 3rd teamers are better than our starters.