College Football Picks, Predictions, and Previews: The Way It Oughtta Be

Ohio State vs. Illinois 11/28/2020 College Football Picks, Prediction, and Preview

The Ohio State visits Illinois on 11/28/2020 at 12:00PM.

Ohio State and Illinois face off in an important game for both teams as every game in this shortened season with limited or no fans in attendance means more. Ohio State has a record of 4-0 this season. Illinois is 2-3 this season. Both have players to meet and know.

Ohio State Team Defense Preview

Ohio State has had 47 total defensive drives this season and they yield 4.51 plays per drive. Relatively speaking, Ohio State is not a team that allows many plays per drive. This defense either gives up big plays quickly or induces a lot of three-and-outs, we shall find out more. Ohio State has a generally average defense. Nothing too special about it, but they are capable of rising up when needed. Ohio State opponents pass the football 61.79% of the time.They are a team that faces a lot of Air Raid Offenses.

Ohio State opponents have struggled with running the ball and this defense has crushed the spirits of their opponents with zero or negative yard plays. 4th and Short is not a cake walk against this defense, maybe passing on 4th and Short or having some sort of RPO is the way to go here because if an Offensive Coordinator thinks that they can just line and run a Quarterback Sneak or hand it off to a tailback, they are mistaken. Opponent rushing yards attributed to their offensive line this season comes out to 2.04 yards per carry. Opponent offensive lines have been simply unable to support their running games against this defense. When it comes to getting to that second level, running backs are getting stopped. This defense does not allow themselves to be gashed. Opponents have shown a relatively average level of explosiveness in the running game, maybe there will be a breakout rushing play against them.

Disruptive plays are a part of the fabric of this team’s defensive effort. Game changing plays that drive Offensive Coordinators and Quarterbacks crazy, they find ways to deliver. Getting more specific, this front seven is a cause of a lot of headaches for offenses. They may be good enough to cause trouble in pass rush with just four rushers!Ohio State is better at stopping the run than the pass this season.

Ohio State Team Offense Preview

Ohio State has had 43 total drives this season and they generate 6.21 plays per drive. When you are among the best at plays per drive, you are certainly a team that aims to wear down the opposition with a high play count or with long, physical grinding drives that eat up a lot of clock. We need to find out more here when it comes to Ohio State. Any defense is in for a challenge with Ohio State, given their ability to accrue more than 5 yards on 1st Downs and their ability to convert on 3rd and 4th Downs. They put a lot of pressure on opposing defenses.Ohio State passes the football 43.82% of the time.They favor running the ball as opposed airing it out.

Move the pile forward, falling forward, making progress, ensuring north-south running, smart Quarterback reads, well-adjusted alignments to ensure leverage, and an offensive line that is getting a great push forward are cornerstones of this offense. Based on the Adjusted Line Yards metric, which measures the amount of credit that should be ascribed to the offensive line for a rushing play, they average 3.46 yards per carry. This is an elite offensive line when it comes to generating a push for the running game. They know how to create creases for running backs to break loose. Playing 7 in a box may not be enough for opposing defenses, this is a great O-Line. This is a team that is rather above-average when it comes to gashing defenses. The threat of the run should force opposing to play more honest and assignment defensive football is a must. They have an explosive running game and they are capable of breaking big yardage runs on First and Second Down. This puts a lot of pressure on Linebackers and Safeties.

Defenses have had trouble making big, disruptive plays against Ohio State this season. Front sevens are causing an average amount of trouble for the Offense. Ohio State is a better passing team than running team this season.

Illinois Team Defense Preview

Illinois has had 52 total defensive drives this season and they yield 5.77 plays per drive. Illinois lets opponents run a lot of plays per drive and in the Fourth Quarter, this team could be gassed. Offensives should lick their lips given their inability to stop anyone, this is one of the worst defenses in the country. The Defensive Coordinator coaching search threads on Illinois message boards are flights of fantasy. Illinois opponents pass the football 45.67% of the time.Their opponents favor running the ball as opposed airing it out.

Illinois is not doing anything particularly special as far as their ability to create negative yardage plays on the ground. Opponent rushing yards attributed to their offensive line this season comes out to 3.24 yards per carry. This defense lets offensive lines have too much control over them on the ground, too much push from the opposing offensive line. Running backs should look forward to this porous defense filled with poor tacklers who take terrible angles. Long breakout runs against this Defense are far too common. This is a very porous rushing defense that is incapable of preventing a situation where their safeties chase down a running back or quarterback.

This Defense has had average success disrupting the flow of the opposing offense.. Getting more granual into the front seven and their ability to cause trouble, they are just average in this regard. Illinois is better at stopping the run than the pass this season.

Illinois Team Offense Preview

Illinois has had 54 drives in non-garbage time minutes and they average 5.56 plays per drive. There is not much to take away here when it comes to how many plays per drive they run, but they are a team that falls in the average window when it comes to plays per drive. Illinois is an average offense when it comes to staying ahead of the chains, getting into 3rd and Short scenarios, and converting on 3rd and 4th Down. Illinois passes the football 38.00% of the time.They favor running the ball as opposed airing it out.

Illinois is not doing anything particularly special as far as their ability to avoid negative yardage plays on the ground. How effective is the offensive line given what we know about their ability to prevent negative yards on rushing plays? More than you think, thanks to the Adjusted Line Yards metric. Illinois can take credit for 2.94 yards per carry. Generally speaking, this is an average offensive line as far as their ability to set up the running game. This is a team that is rather above-average when it comes to gashing defenses. The threat of the run should force opposing to play more honest and assignment defensive football is a must. They have an explosive running game and they are capable of breaking big yardage runs on First and Second Down. This puts a lot of pressure on Linebackers and Safeties.

Defenses have had average success disrupting the flow of the Illinois Offense. Front sevens are causing an average amount of trouble for the Offense. Illinois has shown themselves to be a better running team than passing team this season.

The Ohio State Roster

The Players to Watch for Ohio State

Justin Fields QB 6-3 228

This season, Justin Fields has put up 1208 yards and 13 touchdowns. He has thrown 3 interceptions. He has a QB Rating of 202.1thus far this season. Justin Fields has thrown 3 interceptions this season.As a rusher, Justin Fields has 135.0 rushing yards, which puts him in the 84.26 percentile among Quarterbacks. He ran the ball as opposed to throwing the ball 42.0 times this season, which puts him in the 81.64 percentile. Has he hit paydirt as a runner? He has 3.0 rushing touchdowns this season.

Master Teague RB 5-11 225

This season, Master Teague has 380 rushing yards on 73 carries. Was he able to get to the end zone on the ground? He has 6 rushing touchdowns.As a receiver in the backfield, Master Teague picked up 37 yards. He caught the ball as opposed to taking handoffs or catching laterals 3 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 0 receiving touchdowns this season.

Garrett Wilson WR 6-0 193

This season, Garrett Wilson picked up 513 yards. He caught the ball 31 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 4 receiving touchdowns this season.

Tommy Togiai DT 6-2 300

The leading tackler among Defensive Tackles for Ohio State, Tommy Togiai has 15 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 3 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 84.98 percentile among Defensive Tackles. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 3 times this season, which put him in the 95.77 percentile among all Defensive Tackles in College Football. He has forced 0 fumbles this season.

Jonathon Cooper DE 6-4 257

The leading tackler among Defensive Tackles for Ohio State, Jonathon Cooper has 11 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 2 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 68.37 percentile among Defensive Tackles. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 2 times this season, which put him in the 83.9 percentile among all Defensive Tackles in College Football. He has forced 0 fumbles this season.

Marcus Hooker S 5-11 200.0

He is the leading tackler among non-exclusive Defensive Backs (meaning he can play either Safety Position, Nickel Back, Star or even play as a Cornerback in coverage) for Ohio State, Marcus Hooker had 14 tackles which puts him in the 58.06 percentile among returning non-exclusive Defensive Backs. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 0 tackles for loss last season, which puts him in the 33.65 percentile among Secondary position players. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, last season he was able to take them down 0 times last season. Marcus Hooker as a ball hawker was able to pick off 1 passes last season, which puts him in the 85.62 percentile among returning secondary position players last season.

Shaun Wade CB 6-1 195

Considered the leading tackler among non-exclusive Defensive Backs (meaning he can play either Safety Position, Nickel Back, Star or even play as a Cornerback in coverage) for Ohio State, Shaun Wade had 12 tackles which puts him in the 62.69 percentile among returning non-exclusive Defensive Backs. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 0 tackles for loss last season, which puts him in the 35.17 percentile among Secondary position players. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, last season he was able to take them down 0 times last season. Shaun Wade as a ball hawker was able to pick off 1 passes last season, which puts him in the 83.79 percentile among returning secondary position players last season.

The Illinois Roster

The Players to Watch for Illinois

Coran Taylor QB 6-2 190

This season, Coran Taylor has put up 379 yards and 3 touchdowns. He has thrown 2 interceptions. He has a QB Rating of 132.0thus far this season. Coran Taylor has thrown 2 interceptions this season.As a rusher, Coran Taylor has 74.0 rushing yards, which puts him in the 72.62 percentile among Quarterbacks. He ran the ball as opposed to throwing the ball 36.0 times this season, which puts him in the 78.2 percentile. Has he hit paydirt as a runner? He has 0.0 rushing touchdowns this season.

Chase Brown RB 5-11 195

This season, Chase Brown has 357 rushing yards on 61 carries. Was he able to get to the end zone on the ground? He has 2 rushing touchdowns.As a receiver in the backfield, Chase Brown picked up 15 yards. He caught the ball as opposed to taking handoffs or catching laterals 3 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 0 receiving touchdowns this season.

Josh Imatorbhebhe WR 6-2 220

This season, Josh Imatorbhebhe picked up 215 yards. He caught the ball 15 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 2 receiving touchdowns this season.

Owen Carney Jr. DL 6-3 260

The leading tackler among Defensive Tackles for Illinois, Owen Carney Jr. has 16 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 6 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 93.29 percentile among Defensive Tackles. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 4 times this season, which put him in the 94.93 percentile among all Defensive Tackles in College Football. He has forced 1 fumbles this season.

Tony Adams DB 6-0 205.0

He is the leading tackler among non-exclusive Defensive Backs (meaning he can play either Safety Position, Nickel Back, Star or even play as a Cornerback in coverage) for Illinois, Tony Adams had 41 tackles which puts him in the 94.18 percentile among returning non-exclusive Defensive Backs. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 0 tackles for loss last season, which puts him in the 33.65 percentile among Secondary position players. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, last season he was able to take them down 0 times last season. Tony Adams as a ball hawker was able to pick off 1 passes last season, which puts him in the 85.62 percentile among returning secondary position players last season.

Ohio State vs. Illinois Prediction, Picks, and Odds


Prediction: Ohio State 51 Illinois 15

Spread Pick: Ohio State -25 -110 5Dimes
Moneyline Pick: Ohio State -1750 matchbook
Total Pick: Under 72 -110 5Dimes