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Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Iowa Hawkeyes Free Pick 10/19/13

Iowa Hawkeyes (4-2) at Ohio State Buckeyes (6-0)

College Football: Saturday, October 19, 2013 at 3:30 pm (Ohio Stadium)

The Line: Ohio State Buckeyes -16.5 See the Latest Odds


The Iowa Hawkeyes will have their hands full on Saturday as the Hawks head to Ohio to face off against the fourth ranked Ohio State Buckeyes.

The Ohio State Buckeyes just keep winning under Urban Meyer, although it isn’t always pretty.  The Hawkeyes had last Saturday off after their tough win against the Northwestern Wildcats.  The Buckeyes are obviously playing good ball under Meyer, but there are a few chinks in the armor of the Buckeyes.  Ohio State is ranked just 74th in the nation against the pass, giving up an average of 7.4 yards per attempt.  Opponents are also throwing the ball just 54 percent of the time against OSU, so this number isn’t inflated all that much by teams coming from behind and the Buckeyes playing prevent defense.  Offensively the Buckeyes are ranked 11th in the nation in points scored per game, scoring an average of 41 per outing.  Ohio State is also ranked in the top 25 in yards per game, yards per play and points per play this season.  Granted, OSU’s schedule was weak to start the season, but the past two outings have seen the Buckeyes take on the Badgers and the Wildcats, and in those games the Buckeyes have scored a total of 71 points.  Against the Wildcats Braxton Miller was good enough, but far from impressive.  The Buckeye signal caller completed 15/26 on the day for 203 yards and one pick, giving Miller a QBR on the day of 24.9 the star of the day for the Buckeyes offensively was running back Carlos Hyde.  Hyde rushed for 168 yards against the Wildcats, averaging 6.5 yards per attempt, and scoring three times.  Look for another steady dose of Hyde on Saturday, especially if the Buckeyes get up early on Iowa.

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Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Iowa Hawkeyes Free Pick 10/19/13

Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

The Iowa Hawkeyes also had this past weekend off as Iowa is licking their wounds after falling at home to the Michigan State Spartans.  The Hawkeyes have had offensive struggles all season long, especially through the passing game, and those struggles reared its ugly head once again when the Hawks took on the Spartans.  Rudock, the sophomore quarterback for the Hawkeyes completed 26/46 for 241 and two scores, but also threw two picks on the day.  Iowa is a team that is reliant on the run, and when facing a defense like the Spartans, Iowa is out of their element, and as we saw in their game against Sparty, that is a major problem.  This will likely be an issue again on Saturday against the Buckeyes as Ohio State is allowing just 2.8 yards per attempt on the ground, and considering their last two games were against the Badgers and the Wildcats, that’s saying something.  Mark Weisman, the leading rusher for the Hawkeyes went out against the Spartans, and Iowa should have him back against the Buckeyes, but still I think things will be tough sledding for this Iowa team offensively against OSU.  Defensively the Hawkeyes are very solid, and should provide their offense with some opportunities.  If Iowa is going to move the ball, and score against the Buckeyes, they will need to do it through the air against this secondary of OSU, which can be suspect at times.

The total has gone under in seven of the last nine road games for the Hawkeyes, and Iowa is just 4-12 against the spread in their last 16 road games.  The Buckeyes are 7-2-1 against the spread in their last ten games against Iowa.

This is a tough one to call.  I’m going to take the Buckeyes at home, but I am hesitant as I don’t love their secondary play, and with the Hawks being healthy once again I could see Iowa making enough plays to get a backdoor cover here.  Personally I think the number is about right, and if you are thinking of taking Ohio State (I’m not touching this one) I would try and get on it early as the line should climb by kickoff. 

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