Ohio State Football Predictions 2020
Written by: Ben Pekay
Sep. 4 Bowling Green- Win
Sep. 12 @ Oregon- Win
Sep. 19 Buffalo- Win
Sep. 26 Rutgers- Win
Oct. 10 Iowa- Win
Oct. 17 @ Michigan State-Win
Oct. 24 @ Penn State- Win
Oct. 31 Nebraska- Win
Nov. 7 Indiana- Win
Nov. 14 @ Maryland- Win
Nov. 21 @ Illinois- Win
Nov 28. Michigan- Win
The 2020 Ohio State football team is one of the most talented teams in the country. Last year, the Ohio State offense was 4th in the nation overall. On offense, they lose 2,000-yard rusher J.K. Dobbins and the school's all-time leading receiver, K.J. Hill. For any other team, I would be worried, but it is Ohio State we are talking about. They lose this quality of talent every year. They return preseason Heisman candidate Quarterback Justin Fields who threw for 3,273 yards with 41 touchdowns and Wide Receiver Chris Olave who caught 12 touchdowns last year and had 848 total yards. Replacing J.K. Dobbins will be Oklahoma graduate transfer Trey Sermon who had 385 yards and 4 touchdowns last year. Master Teague also will get a lot of carries. Ohio State also has an insanely talented offensive line and will be able to move the ball against any team in the nation. On defense, Ohio State will take a small step back. They lost all of their top 9 tacklers to the NFL draft including No. 2 Pick Chase Young and No. 3 pick Jeff Okudah. This is a big loss to any program, but Ohio State has plenty of talent replacing them. They return Cornerback Shaun Wade who had 25 tackles last year and 8 pass deflections and is probably a future first-round pick. Replacing Chase Young will be Zach Harrison who had 24 tackles last year and 3.5 sacks last year. With Ohio State’s high scoring offense, the Ohio State defense will only need to slow down the opposing team to win the game.
In the first game of the season, Ohio State plays Bowling Green. In 2019 Bowling Green went 3-9. Ohio State will easily win this game because of the level of talent on their team. Next up Ohio State has its first test of the season in an away game at Oregon. Last Oregon went 12-2 and won the Rose Bowl. Star Quarterback Justin Herbert was drafted No. 6 to the Chargers. Replacing Herbert is 2019 backup Tyler Shough who is a pocket passer with NFL potential. They return a very good receiving core including Johnny Johnson III who had 836 yards and 7 touchdowns last year and Jaylon Redd who had 465 yards and 7 touchdowns last year. They also return CJ Verdell who had 1,220 yards and 8 touchdowns. He will be one of the best running backs in college football this year. In addition to having solid running backs and wide receivers, they return Offensive Lineman Penei Sewell who won the 2019 Outland Trophy which is given to the nation's best lineman. He is a future top 10 draft pick. Oregon is also very talented on defense. Last year, they led the Pac-12 in sacks and finished second overall in scoring defense. They lose Linebacker Troy Dye to the NFL draft but return 11 of 13 leading tacklers. They return Defensive End Kayvon Thibodeaux who was one of the top recruits in the 2019 recruiting class and had 35 tackles last year with 9 sacks. He will be much improved this year. They also return Cornerback Thomas Graham Jr who had 64 tackles and 10 pass deflections last year. Ohio State will win this game because Fields will outplay Shough and the Ohio State offense will be able to move the ball against Oregon's defense. Next up for Ohio State is Buffalo. Buffalo went 8-5 and won the Bahamas Bowl last season. Ohio State will easily win this game because of the level of talent on their team.
Next up for Ohio State is Rutgers. Well, everyone knows about Rutgers. The real question is: Would Ohio State’s second team beat Rutgers’ first team? The answer is probably. Next up for Ohio State is Iowa. Iowa’s Starting Quarterback will be Spencer Petras who was Nate Stanley’s backup last year. Iowa returns Wide Receiver Ihmir Smith-Matsette who had 722 yards and 5 touchdowns last year. They also return their top four receivers this year. They are one of Iowa’s most talented receiving groups ever. On the defensive end, they lost 3 starters including Defensive End A.J. Epenesa who was drafted in the 2nd round by the Buffalo Bills. Replacing him will be Defensive End Chauncey Golston who had 47 tackles last year and 3 sacks. He will have a bigger role on the team with Epenesa gone. Ohio State will win this game because their defense will stop Iowa’s offense and Fields will have a big game. Next up for Ohio State is Michigan State. This will be a rebuilding year for MSU. Over the summer, head coach Mark Dantonio stepped down and Michigan State hired Mel Tucker. Last year starting Quarterback Brian Lewerke went to the NFL. Replacing him will be Rocky Lombardi. Michigan State returns Running Back Elijah Collins who ran for 988 yards last year and had 5 touchdowns. He will make up a large portion of MSU’s offense. Michigan State also lost 8 starters on defense to the NFL draft including 1st Team All-Big Ten Defensive End Kenny Willekes. They return Linebacker Antjuam Simmons who had 90 tackles last year and 3.5 sacks. Ohio State will win this game because they will be able to stop the Michigan State running game and move the ball on offense.
Next up for Ohio State is the biggest game of their season and will probably decide the Big Ten East. They have an away game at Penn State. This is Penn State’s White Out game which is the most insane atmosphere in all of college football. In the last four White Out games, Penn State is 3-1 with a loss coming to Ohio State in 2018. Penn State returns Sean Clifford who had 23 touchdowns and 2,654 yards last year. Clifford will need to be more consistent on offense to win the Big Ten West this year. They also return Tight End Pat Freiermuth who had 507 yards and 7 touchdowns last year and Running Back Journey Brown who had 890 yards and 12 touchdowns. The Penn State offense is dangerous and can score large amounts of points quickly. On the defensive end, they return Linebacker Micah Parsons who had 109 tackles and 5 sacks last year and is arguably one of the best linebackers in the country. They also return Defensive End Shaka Toney who had 40 tackles last year and 6.5 sacks. The Penn State defense is poised for a strong year. This game is a toss-up. Penn State matches the talent of Ohio State but Ohio State will win because their stars, including Justin Fields, will have a big game. After Penn State, Ohio State has Nebraska. They return Quarterback Adrian Martinez who threw for 1,956 yards, 10 touchdowns, and 9 interceptions last year. Although they lost wide receiver, J.D. Spielman, to the transfer portal, they return Wan’Dale Robinson who had 453 yards and 3 touchdowns through the air and 340 yards and 3 touchdowns through the ground. Robinson will need to have a big year for Nebraska to be successful. Nebraska’s defense was 10th last year in the Big Ten in total defense and 7 of the top 14 tacklers are gone. They return Linebacker JoJo Domann who had 52 tackles and 2.5 sacks last year. Ohio State will win this game because their defense will shut down Adrian Martinez and Ohio State won't have a problem scoring against Nebraska. Next up for Ohio State is Indiana. Indiana is talented this year. They return Quarterback Michael Penix Jr. who threw for 1,394 yards and 10 touchdowns in 6 games last year and Wide Receiver Whop Philyor who had 5 touchdowns last year and a total of 1,002 yards. On the defensive end, they return Micah McFadden who had 60 tackles last year. Ohio State will win this game because of the level of talent on their team and the good play from Justin Fields.
Next up for Ohio State is Maryland. Maryland’s starting quarterback will be either Josh Jackson or Taulia Tagovailoa. Jackson was the starting quarterback last year and he threw for 1,274 and 12 touchdowns. Tagovailoa is the brother of the number 5 draft pick in the NFL draft, Tua Tagovailoa. He transferred from Alabama over the summer. Taulia Tagovailoa's transfer waiver has not been approved yet by the NCAA. Maryland has a relatively talented receiving core including Dontay Demus Jr. who had 625 yards and 6 touchdowns last year and has incoming 4-star recruit, Rakim Jarrett. On the defensive end, they are not very strong. Last year, they finished last in the Big Ten in total defense. No returning Terps defensive lineman had more than one sack. They return Ayinde Eley who was the leading tackler with 79 tackles last year. Ohio State will win this game because of the level of talent on their team. Next up for Ohio State is Illinois. Illinois returns its starting quarterback, Brandon Peters, who threw for 1,884 yards and 18 touchdowns, and its best wide receiver, Josh Imatorbhebhe, who caught 9 touchdowns and had a total of 634 yards last year. On the defense, they return Linebacker Jake Hansen who had 72 tackles last year and 7 forced fumbles. Ohio State will win because their defense will slow down the Illini offense and Fields will have a big game. Next up is Michigan or as Ohio State fans call them “the team up north”. The Ohio State football team has a superiority complex over “the team up north”. The last time Michigan beat them was in 2011. This inferiority complex will continue in 2020. The starting quarterback for Michigan will be either Dylan McCaffrey or Joe Milton. McCaffrey is a big threat running the ball while Milton is more of a threat with his arm. Joe Milton will probably get the start for Michigan against Ohio State. They also return Wide Receiver Nico Collins who had 729 yards last year and 7 touchdowns. On the defensive end, they return Aidan Hutchinson who had 68 tackles last year and 4.5 sacks. Ohio State will win this game because of their superiority complex and Fields will outplay Milton .
The 2020 Ohio State team will be more of the same. They are arguably the most talented team in the nation. I don't see a reason why they shouldn't make the Big Ten Championship and the College Football Playoff. For Ohio State to compete for a national championship, Fields need to improve from last year and the defense needs to maintain their level of dominance. The 2020 Ohio State Football team will go 12-0 and Win the Big Ten East.