Daily Football Beat Predicts No. 2 Ohio State At No. 5 Michigan

Though most college football programs would be more than content with an 11-2 record and a Rose Bowl victory, at Ohio State, things fell short of expectations. For the first time since 2015, there was no Big Ten title or College Football Playoff appearance to flaunt.

And while the Buckeyes were one of the youngest teams in the country, the talent was there to make a run at some really special things. The defense wasn’t up to par, and the physicality in the trenches was lacking at key times of the season, and that kept the full potential from becoming a reality.

Now it’s time to look ahead and see what things look like for next season. Can Ohio State bounce back and get back to winning the Big Ten and being a part of all the playoff fun in 2022? Many think so, and with all the staffing overhauls head coach Ryan Day orchestrated after the end of the regular season, it sure feels like OSU is going to do almost anything it takes to get back to where it belongs.

A lot of that has to do with the schedule though, something Ohio State can’t control. It’s a tough one next year with crossover games against Wisconsin and Iowa, a nonconference out-of-the-gate game against Notre Dame, and road trips to Penn State and Michigan State.

We’re peering into the crystal ball in a way-too-early run through the schedule to predict every game on the docket for 2022, and here’s how we think things will shake out.

Sept. 3 - Notre Dame

Marcus Freeman was reportedly offered D-coordinator gig at Ohio State
Marcus Freeman was reportedly offered D-coordinator gig at Ohio State

Nov 27, 2021; Stanford, California, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman stands on the sideline during the second quarter against the Stanford Cardinal at Stanford Stadium. Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

How we think it’ll play out

Former Ohio State linebacker Marcus Freeman brings his Irish club to Ohio State for one of the biggest early national matchups. Ohio State’s offense should be one of the most explosive in the entire country again, and early on, having a veteran offense to start out the year when offenses are generally further ahead than defenses will be the difference in this one.

Ohio State 45, Notre Dame 35

Running Record: 1-0

Sept. 10 - Arkansas State

Oct 7, 2021; Jonesboro, Arkansas, USA; Arkansas State Red Wolves quarterback Layne Hatcher (3) fakes the handoff to running back Lincoln Pare (22) at Centennial Bank Stadium. Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

How we think it’ll play out

Things did not go well for the Red Wolves in 2021 with a 2-10 record. They were one of the worst teams in all of the FBS last season and it’s hard to see that turning around in one year. Ohio State should roll at home and get a ton of guys playing time.

Ohio State 63, Arkansas State 17

Running Record: 2-0

Sept. 17 - Toledo

Sep 23, 2017; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Toledo Rockets head coach Jason Candle looks on from the sideline in the game against the Miami Hurricanes during the second half at Hard Rock Stadium. Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

How we think it’ll play out

Toledo had some bright moments last season finishing at 7-6 and should be a little better coming into 2022, but you don’t just waltz into Ohio Stadium and take down Goliath and all that talent on the OSU sideline. The Buckeyes should beat the seemingly annual in-state opponent without too many problems.

Ohio State 54, Toledo 20

Running Record: 3-0

Sept. 24 - Wisconsin

Wisconsin Badgers running back Braelon Allen (0) runs for a long first down in the third quarter against Nebraska Cornhuskers safety Myles Farmer (4) during their football game Saturday, November 20, 2021, at Camp Randall in Madison, Wis. Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin.

How we think it’ll play out

We know Wisconsin will bring the physicality into the ‘Shoe and that’ll be a good test for a retooled defense under new coordinator Jim Knowles. This might be the toughest game on the schedule when it’s all said and done. The Badgers defense will be a good one again most likely, and the combination of quarterback Graham Mertz and running back Braelon Allen could give OSU fits. However, the game is at home, and look for the Buckeyes to be much better on defense in 2022. Ohio State wins a tough one.

Ohio State 34, WIsconsin 24

Running Record: 4-0

Oct. 1 - Rutgers

LOOK: Ohio State is behind Rutgers in one computer poll. For real.
LOOK: Ohio State is behind Rutgers in one computer poll. For real.

Greg Schiano with Aron Cruickshank of Rutgers in the fourth quarter as Rutgers crushed Temple 61-14 in their season opener at SHI Stadium in Piscataway, NJ on September 4, 2021.

Credit: USA TODAY Sports

How we think it’ll play out

Rutgers has yet to beat Ohio State since joining the Big Ten, and that trend should continue. Look for the Scarlet Knights to be even more competitive in Greg Schiano’s third season, but the program isn’t anywhere near where it needs to be to handle the talent and size of Ohio State.

Ohio State 59, Rutgers 27

Running Record: 5-0

Oct. 8 - at Michigan State

Michigan State quarterback Payton Thorne passes against Ohio State during the second half at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing on Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020. Credit: USA TODAY Sports

How we think it’ll play out

Ohio State throttled a very good Michigan State team last season in Columbus. Things will be different up in East Lansing next year, but you don’t close that gap by simply having a game at home. The matchup just isn’t a good one for the personnel the Spartans have. It’ll be a more challenging game, but Ohio State wins it without too many issues.

Ohio State 45, Michigan State 27

Running Record: 6-0

Oct. 22 - Iowa

Iowa Hawkeyes players Ryan Gersonde (2) Riley Moss (33) quarterback Spencer Petras (7) wide receiver Max Cooper (19) and defensive back Jack Koerner (28) get pumped up before an NCAA Big Ten Conference football game against Indiana, Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021, at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa. Credit: USA TODAY Sports

How we think it’ll play out

Iowa might be the best team in the West division next season, we’ll just have to wait and see. And while the Hawkeyes’ defense will make Ohio State display patience and work the ball down the field, the Iowa offense just won’t have enough firepower to keep up on the road. Strangely enough, this is the first time these two have faced off since Iowa blew OSU off the field in 2017. The revenge factor might not be as big as it would have been but you can bet the tape will be dusted off for motivation.

Ohio State 37, Iowa 17

Running Record: 7-0

Oct. 29 - at Penn State

Credit: USA TODAY Sports

How we think it’ll play out

Queue up the Lion roars, Zombie Nation, and the student section in prime time because you can almost bank on this game being a made for television whiteout. For all the pomp and circumstance the annual whiteout game can attract at Penn State, OSU has done fairly well, going 3-2. However, all but one of those games have been close, especially as the talent level of Penn State has gotten back to where it has been historically. This will be a dogfight, and coming off a physical game against Iowa, this might be where Ohio State becomes a casualty of the environment.

Penn State 34, Ohio State 31

Running Record: 7-1

Nov. 5 - at Northwestern

Sep 25, 2021; Evanston, Illinois, USA; Northwestern Wildcats head coach Pat Fitzgerald on the sideline during the first half against the Ohio Bobcats at Ryan Field. Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

How we think it’ll play out

It’s hard to know what to expect from Northwestern from year-to-year or even game-to-game. We know the Wildcats will be well-coached under Pat Fitzgerald, but this team has so many holes on both sides of the ball last season, it’s hard to find a scenario where Northwestern flips things completely around. This should be a fairly easy obstacle for the scarlet and gray in 2022.

Ohio State 45, Northwestern 24

Running Record: 8-1

Nov. 12 - Indiana

WATCH: Indiana coach Tom Allen calls Ohio State 'special' after loss
WATCH: Indiana coach Tom Allen calls Ohio State 'special' after loss

Indiana Hoosiers head coach Tom Allen walks along the sideline during the fourth quarter of an NCAA Division I football game between the Indiana Hoosiers and the Ohio State Buckeyes on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021, at Memorial Stadium in Bloomington, Ind. Credit: USA TODAY Sports

How we think it’ll play out

This should be a bit of a rebuilding year for Indiana after a very disappointing and underachieving 2021. The Hoosiers will be ushering in a new quarterback and several others on key spots on both sides of the ball. That’s bad news for a pretty veteran Ohio State offense who should be in peak form by now.

Ohio State 48, Indiana 23

Running Record: 9-1

Nov. 19 - at Maryland

Nov 7, 2020; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Maryland Terrapins quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa (3) runs with the ball against the Penn State Nittany Lions during the fourth quarter at Beaver Stadium. Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

How we think it’ll play out

The personnel Maryland keeps throwing out year-after-year does well against teams outside the conference, but it has yet to figure out the physical aspect needed to contend with the best teams in the Big Ten. That hasn’t changed, so the results will be much the same as what we’ve seen in years past.

Ohio State 55, Maryland 28

Running Record: 10-1

Nov. 26 - Michigan

Nov 20, 2021; College Park, Maryland, USA; Michigan Wolverines running back Hassan Haskins (25) reacts after scoring a touchdown during the second half at Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium. Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

How we think it’ll play out

Revenge. That’s what will be on Ohio State’s mind in 2022. What we don’t know is if Jim Harbaugh will be leading this team or not based on the NFL rumors circulating out there. Michigan loses some very key figures on the defense, and OSU will come into this one with all the emotion and bad intentions it lacked last season. It’ll be a game, but the Buckeyes are the more physical team in this one and start another streak against TTUN.

Ohio State 37, Michigan 24

Running Record: 11-1

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Source : https://money.yahoo.com/way-too-early-ohio-state-165608939.html

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