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    Long Awaited Big Ten Game of Year???

    Updated: November 16th, 2010
  • CollegeFootballBreakdown.com

    Game Preview
    Ohio State at Iowa

    This was supposed to be a battle of unbeatens battling not only for the Big Ten Championship but also a National Championship. Now we have Iowa who enters with three losses and who is out of the Big Ten race unless Michigan State and Wisconsin lose a game which is highly unlikely and Ohio State who still has a chance of a Big Ten title if their BCS ranking is highest in the Big Ten but whose national championship dreams died in Madison a few weeks back.
    Iowa enters after to losing to the Northwestern Wildcats in Evanston. That makes it two years in a row that the Wildcats have defeated the Hawkeyes. Iowa’s previous game against Indiana was also a poor effort. The Hawkeyes seem to save all their energy for the big games on their schedule and don’t show up on others. This is the complaint against non-BCS qualifying schools that they don’t need to show up every week. This is the Big Ten, come on Hawkeyes, you’ve got to play every week. Against Michigan State, they looked like the 86 Bears, against Wisconsin a fake punt cost them the game, now they lose to Northwestern, a team that got spanked by Penn State the week before. Forgive my frustration but I was looking forward to this game since the beginning of the year and although this will be a great game, Iowa is playing the spoiler role instead of trying to win the Big Ten.
    Ohio State’s defensive injuries probably cost them an undefeated season. That and a poor first half against Wisconsin. However, they still have a chance at a Big Ten title with a win over Iowa. Can they get it done?
    When Ohio State has the ball:
    Iowa is vulnerable with the short passing game in the middle of the field. Their linebackers are slow to find the open receivers. Pryor has struggled with the short passing game his whole career so Ohio State may not be able exploit Iowa’s weakness. Iowa also has an advantage in that their defensive line does not overrun the pocket which will give Pryor trouble because he will not able to elude and throw so easily as he does in so many games. Ohio State needs to establish the run to consistently move the ball. I expect some success but Iowa is sure tackling and has an instinctive secondary who supports the run well. Unless Pryor hits some big throws his talented wide receivers, I think Ohio State will score points, but they will be limited.
    Small Edge Ohio State
    When Iowa has the ball:
    Iowa’s offensive line has not been dominate in run blocking this year and is going against a defensive line that is one of the best in the nation against the run. Running yards will be tough to come by for the Hawkeyes. Ohio State’s defensive line will not overwhelm anyone with their explosion off the ball, so QB Stanzi should have some time especially on rollouts to hit his receivers. The key for Iowa will be to keep the down and distances in their favor and avoid the obvious passing downs.
    No edge

    Special Teams:
    As always in the big games, special teams can be a factor. The Buckeyes have proved vulnerable at times this year and think that the Hawykeyes are more likely to make a big play in this area.
    Edge Iowa

    Big Ten Analyst-John Jacobson

  • JJBeatz


    John "JJBeatz" Jacobson is a handicapping analyst who covers the Big Ten, Sun Belt, MAC, Big East, Big 12 and Conference USA for www.collegefootballbreakdown.com. His nickname, "JJBeatz" was given to him by colleagues on Wall Street for his ability to make them money betting college football. JJBeatz is short for JJ beats the spread.

    John's passion for the sport of college football began when he played his first parlay card in elementary school. His fascination with making informative predictions allowed for a smooth transition into equity analysis and trading on Wall Street. As John often says, "Similar skills, such as money management, an analytical mind, hard work, an attention to detail, and perseverance, are needed in both trading and sports betting." JJ continues to work on his craft and loves to make people money.

    E-mail JJBeatz: jjbeatz@collegefootballbreakdown.com.

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