Game of the Week Preview: Ohio State vs. Iowa
Iowa will take on the spoiler roll in this game as Ohio State attempts to continue their March towards at least a share of the Big Ten title. Coming into this one the Buckeyes have won 3 in a row since their loss at Wisconsin on October 16. However, OSU’s last 3 victories have come against Purdue, Minnesota and Penn State, who are a combined 12-19 on the year. Iowa on the other hand is trying to and bounce back from an embarrassing loss to Northwestern in what I suspect was classic long ahead game for the Hawkeyes. Iowa will also be trying to avenge last year’s loss in Columbus when they were eliminated from the Big Ten Title chase.
Ricky Stanzi 6’4” 230 QB
I have watched a good number of his games this year and I continue to think: nice player who generally shows poise in the pocket and looks to be backup quarterback on the next level. I cannot fathom how some experts are suggesting that he will be a second round pick. His arm is only average and his accuracy/ball placement while improved this year are just not good enough to warrant such a high selection. Factor in his injury history and you have a 3rd rounder at the very most. This will be a great opportunity to see Stanzi play against one of the better defenses in the nation and really analyze his ball placement, his accuracy and how he reacts to pressure in the pocket.
Adrian Clayborn 6’4” 285 DE
Since I reviewed him against the Spartans his stock has drop somewhat from a likely top 10 pick to more of a middle of the first round pick. He has disappointed this year with his sack totals and has yet to show the dominance that he displayed last year. There have also been some questions concerning his conditioning which I myself had during their game against Michigan State. In one of Iowa’s biggest games of the year I want to see if he plays hard the entire game, whether he can dominate in getting pressure on Pryor and if he is able to prove that he is worthy of a top 10 selection.
Tyler Sash 6’1” 210 DB
Honestly, I have not seen much of him yet but from what I have read he is a smart player demonstrating good instincts and awareness, who plays well in run support and is a good tackler. Drawbacks are his overall athleticism, lacking elite balance, and the ability to quickly turn his hips, struggling in his transitions. I will be watching him closely to see his coverage skills, his run/pass recognition skills and his overall athleticism.
Cameron Heyward 6’5” 288 DT
At the beginning of the season if you asked most draft pundits they would have said Heyward was a top 15 pick, but his lack of production this year has dropped him most likely to the latter part of round 1 or possibly round 2. Described as a Tweener at the next level he does not show the necessary skills to be a dominant pass rusher at the next level, however, he showcases versatility where he could be an end in a 4-3 or a 3-4. At times his motor and his consistency has been questioned so I will be looking for any drops in effort level and how well he plays the entire game.
Ross Homan 6’0” 227 LB
A backer who lacks ideal size at only 6-0, he possesses good instincts, awareness and does well to consistently find the ball. In coverage he shows the ability to turn his hips and minimize separation with tight ends and backs. Homan is another guy who lacks elite athleticism and explosion in his game, he appears to be a possible backup at the next level. I want to see how active he is. The common thread I am seeing in nearly every linebacker this year is their indecisiveness and lack of activity. I also will be watching his coverage abilities and if he is able to keep himself clean while moving towards the ball.
Chimdi Chekwa 6’0” 190 DB
My first look at him, he is known to have very good athletic ability, possessing excellent size and speed. Like all corners I want to see if he is a complete corner who plays the run and the pass or if he is just a coverage corner. In addition I will be analyzing his balance and footwork in every aspect of his game and how fluid he is in turning his hips.
The Buckeyes have had one of the easiest schedules in the entire country this year and their only loss was to the Wisconsin Badgers which not coincidently also the highest ranked opponent on their schedule. Iowa would like to do nothing better than to return the favor and knock the Buckeyes out of Big Ten Title contention.
Iowa +3, and they win outright 27-21