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

Ohio State vs. Michigan State 12/5/2020 College Football Picks, Prediction, and Preview

The Ohio State visits Michigan State on 12/5/2020 at 12:00PM.

Ohio State and Michigan State 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. Michigan State is 2-3 this season. Both have players to meet and know.

Ohio State Team Defense Preview

Ohio State has had 47 defensive drives in non-garbage time minutes 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. How effective are opposing offensive lines given what we know about their ability to force negative yardage rushing plays? Ohio State can take credit for holding the offensive line of their opponent 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.

Michigan State Team Defense Preview

Michigan State has had 60 defensive drives in non-garbage time minutes and they yield 5.52 plays per drive. There is not much to take away here when it comes to how many plays per drive opponents run, but they are a team that falls in the average window when it comes to plays per drive. Opponents face third and long situations a lot against this defense. This is a defense that forces opponents to commit penalties, have compromised offensive line play, and fail to convert on crunch possessions. Passing plays make up 55.89% of their opponents’ play calls.They are a team that faces a lot of Air Raid Offenses.

Michigan 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. How effective are opposing offensive lines given what we know about their ability to force negative yardage rushing plays? Michigan State can take credit for holding the offensive line of their opponent to 2.3 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. The breakout rushing plays are simply not happening, it is a massive reach to expect this team to give up big rushing plays.

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. Michigan State is better at stopping the run than the pass this season.

Michigan State Team Offense Preview

Michigan State has had 61 drives in non-garbage time minutes and they average 4.9 plays per drive. Relatively speaking, Michigan State is not a team that runs many plays per drive. The offense is either prone to faltering and struggles to notch first downs or extremely explosive, we will need to find out a bit more to get answers. Struggles to get ahead of the chains and convert on third and fourth down are common, the offense can stagnate. Michigan State passes the football 49.83% of the time.Relatively speaking, this is a team that favors run/pass balance.

Michigan State struggles with running the ball, getting zero or negative yard plays is disspiriting and the offensive line is not effectively making a good push. Poor playcalling, pre-snap adjustments or post-snap reads may be responsible and this could fall on the Quarterback, Offensive Coordinator, and Head Coach. 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 2.14 yards per carry. So what does this mean? It means that the offensive line has been incredibly disappointing in their contribution to the ground game. When it comes to getting to that second level where linebackers have not crashed down on the line of scrimmage, they are getting stopped with ease. The breakout rushing plays are simply not happening, it is a massive reach to expect this team to bust out big rushing plays.

Defenses have been able to impose their will on the Michigan State Offense this season. Front sevens of opposing defenses are causing a lot of problems. Michigan State is a better passing team than running 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 83.17 percentile among Quarterbacks. He ran the ball as opposed to throwing the ball 42.0 times this season, which puts him in the 81.27 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 83.03 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 95.64 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 Ends 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 66.53 percentile among Defensive Ends. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 2 times this season, which put him in the 82.48 percentile among all Defensive Ends 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 54.51 percentile among returning non-exclusive Defensive Backs. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 0 tackles for loss this season, which puts him in the 32.62 percentile among Secondary position players. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, this season he was able to take them down 0 times this season. Marcus Hooker as a ball hawker was able to pick off 1 passes this season, which puts him in the 84.5 percentile among returning secondary position players this season.

Shaun Wade CB 6-1 195

Considered the leading tackler among Cornerbacks for Ohio State, Shaun Wade had 12 tackles which puts him in the 58.94 percentile among Corners. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 0 tackles for loss this season, which puts him in the 35.19 percentile among Corners. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, this season he was able to take them down 0 times this season. Shaun Wade as a ball hawker was able to pick off 1 passes this season, which puts him in the 82.99 percentile among Corners this season.

The Michigan State Roster

The Players to Watch for Michigan State

Rocky Lombardi QB 6-4 225

This season, Rocky Lombardi has put up 1057 yards and 8 touchdowns. He has thrown 8 interceptions. He has a QB Rating of 122.0thus far this season. Rocky Lombardi has thrown 8 interceptions this season.As a rusher, Rocky Lombardi has 48.0 rushing yards, which puts him in the 62.54 percentile among Quarterbacks. He ran the ball as opposed to throwing the ball 29.0 times this season, which puts him in the 69.21 percentile. Has he hit paydirt as a runner? He has 0.0 rushing touchdowns this season.

Connor Heyward RB 6-0 230

This season, Connor Heyward has 179 rushing yards on 52 carries. Was he able to get to the end zone on the ground? He has 0 rushing touchdowns.As a receiver in the backfield, Connor Heyward picked up 61 yards. He caught the ball as opposed to taking handoffs or catching laterals 13 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 2 receiving touchdowns this season.

Jalen Nailor WR 6-0 185

This season, Jalen Nailor picked up 379 yards. He caught the ball 16 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 2 receiving touchdowns this season.

Naquan Jones DT 6-4 340

The leading tackler among Defensive Tackles for Michigan State, Naquan Jones has 16 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 4 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 90.37 percentile among Defensive Tackles. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 0 times this season, which put him in the 33.72 percentile among all Defensive Tackles in College Football. He has forced 0 fumbles this season.

Jacub Panasiuk DE 6-4 250

The leading tackler among Defensive Ends for Michigan State, Jacub Panasiuk has 25 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 66.53 percentile among Defensive Ends. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 1 times this season, which put him in the 68.5 percentile among all Defensive Ends in College Football. He has forced 0 fumbles this season.

Xavier Henderson S 6-1 210.0

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 Michigan State, Xavier Henderson had 28 tackles which puts him in the 78.68 percentile among returning non-exclusive Defensive Backs. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 1 tackles for loss this season, which puts him in the 73.47 percentile among Secondary position players. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, this season he was able to take them down 0 times this season. Xavier Henderson as a ball hawker was able to pick off 0 passes this season, which puts him in the 38.31 percentile among returning secondary position players this season.

Shakur Brown CB 5-11 190

Considered the leading tackler among Cornerbacks for Michigan State, Shakur Brown had 18 tackles which puts him in the 73.61 percentile among Corners. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 0 tackles for loss this season, which puts him in the 35.19 percentile among Corners. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, this season he was able to take them down 0 times this season. Shakur Brown as a ball hawker was able to pick off 5 passes this season, which puts him in the 99.85 percentile among Corners this season.

Ohio State vs. Michigan State Prediction, Picks, and Odds


Prediction: Ohio State 36 Michigan State 12

Spread Pick: Ohio State -23.5 -109 5Dimes
Moneyline Pick: Ohio State -1600 Intertops
Total Pick: Under 59.5 -109 5Dimes