1. Establish a running game.
Everyone knows Pryor can’t win a game with just his arm. For the Buckeyes to have any chance, they need to run the ball effectively and make that whole defense start to creep up. Herron, Saine and Hall are good, but the most effective runner on the team is Pryor. If he can get in space and make things happen, a lot will open up down field.
2. No Stupid Mistakes.
Last week, we all saw Tressel Ball actually win a big game (shocker I know), but the biggest key to a Buckeye victory was that they didn’t make stupid mistakes. Not only were there no turnovers, but the defense never missed a big assignment in the secondary and Pryor (with the exception of one pitch play) didn’t make any plays that made you hold your breath.
3. Do What You Do Best
After Stanzi went out, the Iowa offense was completely ineffective. James Vandenberg looked extremely uncomfortable in the pocket and, as a result, Northwestern was able to compensate to stop the run. The strength of OSU’s team is undoubtedly the defensive line. They plug up the run and put pressure on the quarterback. I really don’t see Iowa being able to move the ball effectively unless something drastically changes.
4. Start Fast
Iowa is not built to come from behind. They were somehow able to pull it off against about every team they played, but that was with Stanzi. If Iowa is forced to abandon the run early in the game, an unbelievable amount of pressure will be put on a freshman making his first start. Barkley might have pulled it off, but from what I saw against Northwestern, there’s a world of difference. Not many people are unfazed by 104,000 screaming fans. Like Iowa, OSU isn't meant to come from behind, either. But if they get an early lead, Tressel can do what he does best, play it safe and run out the clock.
5. Be Athletic
This sounds really obvious, but no one can deny the athletic advantage OSU has over Iowa. OSU brings in some of the best athletes in the country whereas Iowa has to pick up a lot of the “under the radar” type guys. OSU needs to use these things to their advantage whether it be in special teams or getting the athletes the ball in space.
Prediction: Ohio State 34, Iowa 20
Iowa's down their top RB and QB in one of the toughest environments in the nation. Sounds like a no-brainer, but no one can be too sure because Iowa seems to have done just enough all season.
Check out how the Iowa Creature thinks the Hawkeyes can win....