Five bold predictions for Ohio State against Akron

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Gameday is almost nigh once again. We’re just two days away from Ohio State taking on in-state foe Akron, and some rather significant news dropped on Thursday has this little tune-up game looking a little more interesting.

That’s because OSU head coach Ryan Day let the world know that starting freshman quarterback C.J. Stroud will be given the game off to rest an ailing shoulder. That means either Kyle McCord or Jack Miller will get the nod against the Zips, and if they put up some big numbers, well … we won’t go there just yet.

Anyway, that’s clearly one of the main stories everyone will now be watching in this one, but we’re going to do you even better and put ourselves out there with five bold predictions for the game. These aren’t just your standard, run-of-the-mill, easily attainable ones, but one’s that will be a bit of a stretch because it’s just more fun that way.

Here are five bold predictions for Ohio State vs. Akron on Saturday.

NEXT … So about the quarterback

Kyle McCord gets the ball and has a day

WATCH: Ohio State quarterbacks discuss upcoming competition
WATCH: Ohio State quarterbacks discuss upcoming competition

Apr 17, 2021; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Kyle McCord (14) with head coach Ryan Day during the second quarter of the annual spring game at Ohio Stadium. Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Will it be Jack Miller or Kyle McCord that gets the nod in place of Stroud? We say it’s going to be McCord based on where things appeared to be during fall camp. However, don’t be surprised if Miller also gets some snaps, and maybe, just maybe, we’ll get a small glimpse of another quarterback in mop-up today.

But wait. Not only will McCord start, but he’s going to show well. You can almost bet on the Ohio State coaches running the ball a bushel because of the situation, but Day has never been one to completely take his foot off the gas. McCord is a 5-star recruit that can sling it with accuracy, so he’s going to put up some decent numbers. We say he throws for over 250 yards in this one to the surprise of many.

NEXT … Master Teague makes himself known again

Master Teague will rack up over 100 yards rushing

Ohio State running back Master Teague III had 514 yards rushing and a team-high eight touchdowns in 2020. Credit: USA TODAY Sports

This wouldn’t be that bold of a prediction before the season, but now that we’ve seen the pecking order of things, Teague feels like a running back that’s a little lost in the shuffle. But that will change this week.

TreVeyon Henderson will still get plenty of opportunities, and so will Miyan Williams if he is full-go, but look for the coaching staff to re-establish Teague in the running game with his physical, straight-line speed. The coaching staff needs to keep all three running backs engaged, so look for them to throw a bone to Teague in this one to keep him happy. He won’t disappoint.

NEXT … The defense will show vast improvement

The defense will keep Akron under 300 total yards of offense

Look for a lot of improvement from Week 3 to Week 4 for the Ohio State defense. The trend of being more aggressive and attacking will continue, and it’ll happen against an offense that just simply isn’t that dynamic.

Ohio State will control the run game, get pressure on the quarterback, and put a pretty good lid on things by holding the Zips to under 300 yards of total offense en route to the victory. It’ll be a shot of confidence in the arm of the collective efforts on that side of the ball.

NEXT … Marvin Harrison, Jr. will get his first touchdown pass

Marvin Harrison, Jr. will hit pay-dirt (or rubber pellets these days)

So far, we haven’t got to see too much of freshman wide receiver Marvin Harrison, Jr., but I think that’ll change a wee bit on Saturday. If things go according to plan, Ohio State should be in control of this game in the second half, meaning you’ll see more playing time for those that have been just off the radar so far. That means more of Harrison, Jr.

Add that to the fact that his high school quarterback, Kyle McCord, might be slinging a few balls around, and we might see the St. Joseph’s Prep connection in the red zone again. They’ll hook up for at least one touchdown through the air.

NEXT … Quinn Ewers will enter the game late

Look for quarterback Quinn Ewers to get a few snaps late

Many in and around the program believe the future of the Ohio State quarterback position sits squarely on top of the shoulders and golden mullet locks of 5-star freshman Quinn Ewers. He wasn’t even supposed to be at OSU this season, but here he is as a reclassified 2021 prospect that’s already taking advantage of some pretty lucrative money via the new NIL legislation.

Ryan Day has already stated that he’s not been on campus enough or gotten the reps in practice to be considered for extensive playing time with Stroud on the bench, saying it would be “nearly impossible” to get Ewers ready for this one.

But, that doesn’t mean we won’t see him at all. Remember, a kid can play in up to three games and still retain redshirt status, so why not give the people what they want? Watch for Ewers to trot out there and dip his young toes in the FBS college football waters late in the game, but not for long.

Remember, these are bold predictions, right?

List

Five reasons Ohio State beats Akron big on Saturday

Five reasons Ohio State beats Akron big on Saturday | Buckeyes Wire
Five reasons Ohio State beats Akron big on Saturday | Buckeyes Wire

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