Riding a seven-game losing streak, Northwestern ushers in No. 2 Ohio State to Ryan Field. What could possibly go wrong? A lot, in the eye of our staff.
Gavin Dorsey: Ohio State 54, Northwestern 6
This is the ultimate David and Goliath story, except in this edition Goliath beats David by nearly 50. Ohio State has Northwestern outmatched in every single way, and I, just like everyone else on this staff, don’t anticipate this being close. Even if we set aside the struggling offense, Northwestern’s defense just gave up 33 points and almost 400 yards to one of the worst offenses in the country against Iowa. Given the way Graham Mertz and Spencer Petras played against the ‘Cats, Heisman candidate CJ Stroud could very well torch Jim O’Neil’s unit and put on a record-breaking performance.
Iggy Dowling: Ohio State 45, Northwestern 7
C.J. Stroud coming to town after Northwestern made Graham Mertz and Spencer Petras look like blue-chip NFL prospects? Surely there is nothing that could possibly go wrong (except betting against the ‘Cats to cover, of course). Someone in the Iowa press box last week muttered that Petras looked like Lamar Jackson. That should tell you everything you need to know about what will happen against the Buckeyes.
Bradley Locker: Ohio State 63, Northwestern 10
Could the Buckeyes actually break the Northwestern single-game points allowed record of 78? Ordinarily, I’d say yes, but the weather might limit OSU somewhat. Nonetheless, the only real reason to watch this game is for scouting purposes, fellow draftniks.
John Olsen: Ohio State 41, Northwestern 7
No, your eyes do not deceive you, this is a somewhat kind prediction toward Northwestern from me. The Buckeyes will jump out to an early lead, but the combination of the weather, the ‘Cats’ bend-don’t-break defense and Ryan Day giving his second-stringers a chance to gain “valuable” experience will prevent the OSU offensive blitzkrieg from running up the score. Add in some more Brendan Sullivan garbage-time magic, and I can see a sneaky backdoor cover for NU (+38). #FireFitzgerald.
Jake Mozarsky: Ohio State 66, Northwestern 0
This game is a perfect chance for C.J. Stroud to pad his stats and become the front-runner in the Heisman race, especially with Hendon Hooker having to play Georgia in Athens this weekend. Also, Jim O’Neil’s defense just let up 33 points to Iowa: do you really think Northwestern can stop an offense with Stroud, Marvin Harrison Jr., Emeka Egbuka, TreVeyon Henderson, and more? Furthermore, when Stroud and company get pulled, expect the Buckeyes’ second stringers to come in and beat up on Northwestern. This game will be a massacre from the first whistle to the last. Ohio State is that good. It doesn’t need to show mercy on teams and it will show on Saturday.
Adam Beck: Ohio State 48, Northwestern 10
It’s going to be ugly, and it’s going to get ugly fast. The Buckeyes are one of the best teams in the country and are facing a squad that is currently winless on the North American continent this season. With Ohio State scoring quickly and often, Northwestern will get enough opportunities to put a touchdown and field goal on the board courtesy of a Brendan Sullivan QB sneak and a miracle 37 yard field goal that cuts through the wind and bounces off the upright and through the goalpost. That’s just the kind of game it’s going to be.
Ethan Segall: Ohio State 45, Northwestern 6
I just hope all the guys have fun out there. Maybe we’re looking at this whole thing wrong. Football is a game after all! Who cares about the final score? We get to watch a bunch of the best football talent in the world play the game they love and pursue their dreams. That’s pretty cool! Am I in denial or just trying to mentally dissociate from this football team? I’ll let you decide.
Brendan Preisman: Ohio State 77, Northwestern 3
Ohio State has the second best scoring offense and the tenth best total defense in the nation. Northwestern has the 83rd-ranked scoring defense and the 120th best total offense in the nation. That is all.
Sophia Vlahakis: Ohio State 55, Northwestern 14
Imagine a junior varsity football team playing a championship Alabama team. Northwestern against Ohio State is the equivalent of that—coaching, talent, and expectations for both teams are vastly different. The Buckeyes are one of the best teams in the nation and the Wildcats are....extremely difficult to watch. This game will be a bloodbath.
Patrick Winograd: Ohio State 59, Northwestern 10
Ohio State is just too talented on both sides of the ball for this game to be anywhere near the realm of a competitive game. The Buckeyes offense will easily score on Northwestern’s defense, and Northwestern’s struggling offense will struggle to score against a strong Ohio State defense.
Mac Stone: Ohio State 63, Northwestern 6
Jim O’Neil can block as many people on Twitter as he wants, but it won’t stop him from having to face the music. CJ Stroud and the Buckeyes could probably hang 100 on the ‘Cats if they wanted to, but Ryan Day will probably get the backups some “valuable” experience in the second half.
Zain Bando: Ohio State 48, Northwestern 10
This game is almost an exhibition, but in reality, it has been assigned by the Big Ten for mandatory viewership on ABC. C.J. Stroud will continue to do his thing, Marvin Harrison Jr. will score at least two touchdowns and Evan Hull will be left wondering what hit him. And no, that is not meant to be a dig. While the outcome of the game doesn’t matter at all, this is one of those games where if you’re a fan of another team in the Big Ten title race or have significant dough on it, you’ll watch every second and pray for a miracle. A miracle that would go down in college football lore forever.
7-1: John Olsen
5-3: Bradley Locker
4-4: Gavin Dorsey, Iggy Dowling, Sophia Vlahakis, Zain Bando
5-2: Jake Mozarsky
4-3: Jason Boué, Brendan Preisman
3-3: Sam Richardson
2-5: Sarah Effress
2-3: Mac Stone
2-4: Ben Chasen
2-0: Patrick Winograd, Leo Tesler, Ethan Segall, Ryan Cole
1-1: Adam Beck, Emma Manley, Myles Gilbert
0-3: John Ferrara
0-2: Justin Dunbar, Dan Olinger, Andrew Katz
0-1: Didi Jin