After a week of much needed rest and relaxation without the stresses of watching the Iowa offense attempt to do something, it’s time once again to prepare for the Hawkeyes to take the field. This week, Iowa travels to Columbus, Ohio to take on the OSU Buckeyes.
Ohio State comes into the week undefeated at 6-0 and ranked #2 nationally. They’ve absolutely thrashed each of their first seven opponents with an average margin of victory of 33 points. That’s more than double the points Iowa is averaging on the season.
The Hawkeyes come into the week at 3-3 and looking for any signs of hope for the rest of the year. The Buckeyes are unlikely to provide any as they continue their imperial march toward the college football playoff. Oh, and Ohio State was also on a bye this week. They will be fully prepared to take on the Hawkeyes.
Those are all factors in the Buckeyes being favored by 28.5 points out of the gate at DraftKings Sportsbook.
Here’s an early look at what you need to know about this week’s matchup.
Date: Saturday, October 22nd
Time: 11:00 am CT
Matchup: Iowa Hawkeyes (3-3, 1-2) at Ohio State Buckeyes (6-0, 3-0)
Location: Ohio Stadium, Columbus, OH
Preliminary Weather Forecast: mostly sunny with temps in the low-60s, 5% chance of rain
DraftKings Opening Line: Ohio State -28.5, O/U 49
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.
The Hawkeyes and Buckeyes have faced off 61 times in the history of the two programs in a series that dates back exactly 100 years. The Hawkeyes came out of the gate roaring in the 20s with no losses through the first four meetings. Iowa won the first two games in the series in 1922 and 1923 before tying the Buckeyes 0-0 in 1924 and returning to Iowa City for a win in 1925.
That initial two-game winning streak is the longest in the history of the series for Iowa. For the Buckeyes, a 16-game heater from 1963-1980 remains their longest winning streak. It’s notable because despite the current #2 ranking for the Buckeyes and dismal outlook for Iowa, the Hawkeyes did throttle Ohio State in the last meeting between the two programs. That cam back in 2017 when Iowa defeated OSU 55-24 in a game many people forget.
However, this game is set to be played in the Horseshoe - a place Iowa hasn’t managed to win since 1991. Iowa’s only other win over the Buckeyes since that trip to Columbus more than 30 years ago came back in 2004 when the Hawkeyes also thoroughly dismantled OSU 33-7.
Preseason Prep Work
As we march toward kick off, be sure to check out our preseason preview for this week’s matchup. There’s loads of important details and unique looks at this week’s opponent, including these great stats:
45.1 points: The Buckeyes’ points/game average since Ryan Day took over as full time head coach, three seasons ago. They’ve scored less than 30 points just 4 times in 25 conference games since he took over. They amassed 328 points in their eight-game 2020 season. Coincidentally, Iowa scored 328 points in their 14-game 2021 season.
1-3: Iowa’s record in conference games following the bye week since 2017. All four games have been played on the road. Boooooo! Pre-2017, Iowa was 7-7 in post-bye Big Ten games under Kirk. 9 of those took place on the road. Maybe let Iowa have a home game post-bye?
44:6: Quarterback CJ Stroud threw an astounding 44 touchdowns, which was 3rd in the country and first in the conference by a wide margin (Purdue’s Aidan O’Connell was second with 28). With just six interceptions - 1.4% rate - it resulted in the second highest QB rating in the country.
18.1 PPG: Ohio State’s points allowed, which ranked in the country’s top 10. Why is that relevant? After ceding 22.8 points per game, the Buckeyes went out and hired Jim Knowles from the Pokes’ staff. While the 2021 OPPG number isn’t all that bad, the defense didn’t show up in the final two games of the season, ceding over 40 points in each (and 35 in a non-conference loss to Oregon).
Here’s a look at the preseason predictions for this one:
Staff Prediction: Ohio State Win, Unanimous
Fan Prediction: Ohio State Win, 95% of the vote
BizarroMath Prediction: OSU 38.50, Iowa 20.07 (OSU +18.43), 20.43% chance of Iowa win
Stay tuned all week as we dive deeper on the players, matchups and stats to know as the Hawkeyes face off with the Buckeyes.