Friday, November 3, 2017

Buckeyes Preview 11/3/17: Ohio State @ Iowa Hawkeyes

By Jason Disantis, @JasonInCLE

The Ohio State Buckeyes are coming off one of the greatest comebacks in college football history. After winning in the final minutes against then No. 2 Penn State, the Buckeyes travel to Iowa to take on the Hawkeyes.

The biggest question for the Buckeyes heading into this weekend is whether or not they have recouped from the emotionally draining comeback against Penn State. After allowing a touchdown on the opening kick-off and getting down by as much as 18, Ohio State spent the rest of the afternoon chasing points until the final minutes when they took the lead and finished off the Nittany Lions.

Buckeye wide-out Johnnie Dixon who is coming off of a two touchdown performance last week against Penn State was asked about refocusing after the epic comeback:

“We’re elite warriors,” Dixon said. “Once that assignment is over we lock in to the next one.”

Add to the comeback win the Buckeyes (7-1, 5-0 Big Ten) coming in at No. 6 in the first official Playoff rankings and there has been a lot to talk about around Columbus this week. “We’re in the hunt for a lot of big things right now,” coach Urban Meyer said. “But the target is Iowa on the road at 3:30.”

Although an 18-point favorite, Meyer is preparing his team for one of the most physical games they’ll play this weekend.

“They’re just tough. They’re like their coach,” Meyer said. “Their coach is a tough guy. They’re like the state of Iowa. They’re tough people. I love Iowa. I never met too many people or players that just don’t have the characteristics of toughness and I’m going to hit you as hard as I can.”

And by the quotes from Buckeye players this week, you can tell Meyer got that message across to his team very clearly.

“They’re a tough team,” safety Jordan Fuller said. “They get after you. A downhill running team, they take shots, they have it all.”

If Iowa is going to keep this game close they will have to control the ball the best they can to keep the high-powered Buckeye offense off the field. That starts with Hawkeye running back Akrum Wadley.

Wadley leads Iowa with 643 yards on the ground and 268 through the air on 19 receptions. He has eight total touchdowns on the year. But with the Hawkeyes starting two freshman at tackle against what many believe to be the best defensive front in the country it could be a long day for Wadley and first-year starter at quarterback, Nate Stanley.

Hawkeye coach Kirk Ferentz is aware of the battle his team is about to walk into. They Buckeyes are playing their best ball of the year and that is a lot for any team to handle.

“I do know this: If we are going to have a chance to win, we are going to have to be there in the fourth quarter and that’s going to be easier said than done. We are going to have to really fight our tails off to get there.”

What: Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Iowa Hawkeyes
When: Saturday November 4, 2017 at 3:30 PM ET
Where: Kinnick Stadium, Iowa City, Iowa
Watch: ESPN
Spread: OSU -18.5
Over/Under: 52.5
Money Line: OSU -920, Iowa +695

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