I am out of the country, and a mini preview is all my schedule permits. Plus, the Interweb in our hotel is super slow and uploading is painful. To top it all off, my laptop seems to know we are on vacation and is taking it easy as well. Ugh.
Ohio State Offense v. NW
If nothing else, the Wildcats’ defense is pumped up after literally winning the game versus Minnesota by getting two turnovers in the final minute, including running an interception back for a touchdown with less than 30 seconds remaining. The Buckeyes’ offense is not enjoying the same emotional high at the moment.
Physically speaking, Pryor is far superior to Adam Weber, but I do not think any of us are expecting Pryor to compile close to 400 yards of total offense this weekend. I liked the way Pryor worked the passing game against Penn State, and if Beanie can find a hole, the Buckeyes should achieve a balanced attack.
NW held Minnesota to 2.7 ypc last weekend. My guess is that the Buckeyes will use the pass to set up the run, with Pryor having his highest passing yardage of the season.
Minnesota Offense v. OSU
Not to be outdone by Weber, NW backup quarterback Mike Kafka put up 260 yards of total offense, including 217 yards rushing, a conference record for a quarterback. The funny thing is, Kafka may not play this weekend, as Cats' starter C.J. Bacher is back and will start if completely healthy.
Dilemma No. 2 for Northwestern is that Tyrell Sutton is out for the season. His backup and erstwhile starter, Omar Conteh, is also out for this game, so that means that NW is a one-man show whether Kafka or Bacher is under center.
If the newly stout Buckeyes’ defense can slow down PSU and knock Clark out of the game, you have to believe that NW will need to use both quarterbacks on Saturday.
The law of the universe and blog ownership compel me to predict
Maybe it is my heritage, but I have a hard time seeing the Wildcats hanging with Ohio State regardless of the Buckeyes’ struggles on offense. Pryor may not be exploding right now, but I do not think he will have to in order to tame Northwestern.
Ohio State 31, NW 13