Five reasons Ohio State beats the Iowa Hawkeyes on Saturday

After a week off, the Ohio State football team gets back after it when it hosts West division conference opponent Iowa. In a bit of a schedule quirk because of COVID-19 and the cross-divisional aspect, this is the first meeting between the two since that scarring and nausea-inducing 2017 matchup the Hawkeyes won 55-24 in Iowa City.

This one should be different, but then again, college football has provided some memorable, unexpected, and shocking moments through the years. Ohio State hopes to keep the nation from turning on Fox towards the end of the game because of a tight one.

With what we’ve seen from both squads so far in 2022, the expectation is that Ohio State wins it going away and we tend to agree when looking at everything that goes into this one.

Here are five reasons Ohio State should walk away with another win under its belt and remain undefeated when the crowd files out of the Horseshoe on Saturday afternoon.

Touchdowns and yards are a rare treat in Iowa City

Iowa ranks dead last in all of the FBS in total offense per game. That’s not going to fly when you’re matching up with the highest-scoring offense in the country.

It’s true that the Hawkeyes’ offense can provide some resistance against about anyone, but do we really think it can hold down the Buckeyes’ offense enough to pull out the upset on the road? Highly unlikely and even if Iowa can try to kill OSU with a thousand cuts, it probably won’t be able to finish off enough drives to score the number of points needed to win.

 

Ohio State's defense is statistically better

As good as the Iowa defense has been, statistically speaking, the Ohio State defense has been even better, at least from a total yardage standpoint. The Hawkeyes are giving up 264.7 yards per contest (No. 7 nationally), while the Buckeyes are surrendering just 253.5 yards per game — good for No. 5 in the country.

So, all things being equal, if Iowa wants to hang its hat on stopping the Ohio State offense and has some success, the Buckeyes can probably hold serve and do the same — it’s the offenses that set these two apart.

The hometown feel

Ohio State hasn’t lost a conference game at home since it lost to Michigan State in 2015. That’s 27-straight wins. In fact, the Buckeyes rarely lose a home game and a lot of that has to do with the team playing on the banks of the Olentangy.

But it can be the setting as well. The environment is supposed to be a “scarlet-out” so expect the normally subdued Noon crowd to be a little more amped up than normal. Iowa is a giant killer at home, but there’s a reason it hasn’t won in Ohio Stadium since 1991.

Skill position players for Ohio State

Iowa is one of the best-coached defenses you’ll see. The program has always recruited to a style and scheme and it knows its identity and how teams will try to attack it.

But when we’ve seen Iowa get beat like a drum on defense it has been because it simply can’t match up with the skill of the other team. This Ohio State team fits that description with a bevy of skill position players across the board to create mismatches and beat guys all over the field.

Sometimes you just have the players that can draw plays up in the dirt and win, and that sure looks like what we’ll see here on Saturday afternoon.

The battle in the trenches

If there was one area that wasn’t up to Ohio Standards on offense last season, it was the ability to dictate things on the ground by leaning on the opposing defense. The passing game was off the charts but Michigan was able to bully the Buckeyes late in the year.

This team is built differently. The running game and offensive line are strengths of this team that allows the game plan to pivot and play any way the opposition wants to roll out.

When you take that into account along with this Iowa team not showing the same type of offensive line play we’ve been accustomed to seeing from it over the years, OSU should be able to have its way up front.

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Story originally appeared on Buckeye Wire