No.4 Ohio State and Iowa were both idle last weekend. On Saturday, they’ll get back on the field in a Big Ten matchup at Ohio Stadium.
The two teams haven’t faced each other since 2010. In that game, the Buckeyes scored a touchdown in the final two minutes for the 20-17 victory. The win marked the 12th win in 13 tries for Ohio State against Iowa.
In their attempt to beat the Buckeyes, the Hawkeyes will look to do what 18 straight OSU opponents have been unable to accomplish. The Buckeyes still have not lost since Urban Meyer took over as the head coach last season.
They remain undefeated at 6-0, but the fourth-ranked team in the nation saw its winning come to an end in its last two games. Against Northwestern, Ohio State didn’t pull away until late in the fourth quarter with a Carlos Hyde touchdown. The week before, they beat now-No.25 Wisconsin by just one score.
The rushing attack is what has propelled the club in conference play. Hyde totaled 253 yards in both Big Ten wins. Quarterback Braxton Miller added 68 yards in their last victory, and the whole team combined for 192 yards on the ground against Wisconsin.
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While Hyde has played very well since coming back from a three-game suspension, the Iowa rushing attack may be the biggest key to the game. Before their last game, the Hawkeyes were averaging 244.4 rushing yards per game. Their ground attack stalled, however, against Michigan State, leading to a 26-14 loss.
Mark Weisman is the team’s leading rusher, but was held to just nine yards on seven carries against the Spartans. He was limited as he battled an ankle injury. The junior, however, should be ready to go on Saturday.
"Another good defense, another good test," Weisman said. "We have to worry about us. That's all we can worry about now."
The Hawkeyes were forced to throw the ball more than they had all of last season. If that’s the case against the Buckeyes, they’ll try to take advantage of a weakened secondary. It will be Ohio State's second game since losing Christian Bryant for the season with a broken ankle. They surrendered 343 passing yards without the safety.
"Oh man, it's hard to even talk about," senior captain Jack Mewhort said when he learned Bryant was done for the year. "The energy he brings to this team and the juice, and he's such a good guy. He cares about everybody. It's heart-wrenching. He's a great friend, a great football player and a great leader."
Las Vegas Betting Odds: Ohio State favored by 18 points
Over-Under: 55 points
Kickoff Time: 3:30 PM Eastern Time
TV Channel: ABC/ESPN2
Prediction: Ohio State 37, Iowa 17