After stewing in the stench that was the 9-6 loss at Illinois for an extra week on bye, the Iowa Hawkeyes are set to do something they haven’t done in nine years - travel to Columbus, Ohio to take on the Ohio State Buckeyes. Iowa and Ohio State have squared off just once since that 2013 trip to the Horseshoe (a 34-24 OSU win) in a game that many people forget as the then 5-3 and unranked Hawkeyes throttled the then #6 Buckeyes 55-24 inside the friendly confines of Kinnick Stadium.
As improbable as that win felt at the time, a Hawkeye victory feels miles apart from that 2017 win. For starters, this matchup is in Columbus, a place the Hawkeyes haven’t won in 31 years. Beyond that, this group of Buckeyes is superior to the group that came to Kinnick in 2017 at virtually every position.
That starts with Heisman candidate CJ Stroud who by himself has more yardage and touchdown production than the entire Iowa offense. That’s not saying too much given how abysmal the Hawkeyes have looked this season, but suffice it to say that Stroud is a stud and so is basically every other player on the OSU offense.
It’s a similar story on defense, where the Buckeyes might not have the same statistical cache of the Iowa D, but they more than make up for it in star power. The implied point total for the Hawkeyes is 10 points today - a number they’ve hit just three times all season. The matchup should do more to jump the OSU defense up the national statistical rankings than help Hawkeye fans gain confidence in their team.
That said, crazier things have happened. The Buckeyes are one of a handful of teams that Kirk Ferentz has admitted they gameplan differently around, knowing they will need to score points to keep up. We’ll save the soapbox about why it might be important to score more than 14 points per game the rest of the time for another day.
As we prepare for kickoff, here’s a reminder of the details for today’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
Weather Forecast: mostly sunny with temps in the low-60s, 5% chance of rain
DraftKings Sportsbook Line: Ohio State -30, O/U 49
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.
Oh, and if you’re feeling like this just isn’t the week to watch Iowa or you have a weak stomach, you can find the full watch guide for the weekend here. You might also consider simply watching 2017 matchup in Iowa City instead. Not to spoil the ending, but it is sure to be more enjoyable than what we see today.
If you’re looking for a refresher on the details of today’s game, be sure to check out our coverage from throughout the week, starting with the Game Center.
If you’re on the go and would rather listen to Hawkeye talk, be sure to check out the BHGP podcast feed. There are three new episodes up this week already with more to come today. You can find those wherever you get your podcasts, or by clicking below.
**NEW this year: we’ll also be hosting Twitter Spaces before and after the game. Be sure to tune in to @BHGP to get live, up to date news and analysis on things like injuries, warmup reports and more starting at 8am CT. We’ll hop back on live after the final gun to do the victory polka or wallow in our sorrows with you all.**