September 28, 2006
Tale of the tape - Iowa
It's time to take a look at this week's match-ups, where we break down which team has an advantage on both sides of the running game, the passing game and in the trenches. Not only do we let you know who has the upper hand in each area, we rate it on a one- to five-star level, with one start being a slight edge and five stars being an overwhelming advantage.
|OHIO STATE BUCKEYES ||EDGE ||IOWA HAWKEYES |
|Ohio State DBs || ||Iowa QBs/WRs/TEs |
The Ohio State secondary has seen steady improvement each week of the season and should be able to account for the young Iowa receivers. Malcolm Jenkins and Antonio Smith each had interceptions returned for touchdowns against Penn State last week and the secondary as a whole ranks third in the Big Ten in pass defense allowing 167 yards per game.
| || |
The edge here has to go to the Hawkeyes solely on the talent of Drew Tate. The senior quarterback has grown since his meltdown last season in the Horseshoe. The Iowa receivers are young but the tight ends are going to be a challenge. Both Scott Chandler and Tony Moeaki are match-up problems for the Buckeyes. This will be one of the match-ups to monitor throughout the game.
|Ohio State LBs|| ||Iowa RBs|
Linebacker was supposed to be a position of weakness after losing all three starters to the NFL last season. James Laurinaitis leads a talented group with 36 tackles and three interceptions on the season. The Buckeyes are deep and fast at linebacker and most importantly are young.
******NEED YOUNG 100*****
The Hawkeyes have a three-headed monster at running back with Albert Young, Damian Sims[db], and [db]Shonn Greene. Young is the most dangerous weapon with his ability to play from the slot and catch passes. He leads the team in receptions and will play in the same backfield with Greene in a two back set. None of the Hawkeye rushers have had a 100-yard day yet this season and it will be on the Buckeye defense to keep the runners in check.
|Ohio State DL|| ||Iowa OL|
*****NEED DL PICTURE - OSU******
The Ohio State defensive line has racked up 16 sacks in four games this season. Vernon Gholston[db] has been the surprise of the line with 3.5 sacks on his own. The leadership of the Buckeye defense is paced by [db]Quinn Pitcock[db] and [db]David Patterson. Ohio State has been able to force pressure only rushing four which has made the defense that much better.
****DACE RICHARDSON OL******
When healthy the Hawkeyes have a formidable offensive line but injuries and suspensions have made it difficult for Kirk Ferentz to keep a consistent line on the field. The Hawkeyes have allowed only five sacks on the season but will have their hands full with a difficult assignment in slowing the Buckeye line.
|Ohio State QBs/WRs/TEs|| ||Iowa DBs|
After a shaky week against Penn State the eyes of the college football world will be on the Buckeye passing game to see if it was a one week hiccup or if the passing wheels are falling off. Troy Smith didn't put up Heisman caliber numbers against Penn State but had a defining moment in his completion to Brian Robiskie for the highlight reel touchdown. Ted Ginn Jr. and Anthony Gonzalez both had sub-par outings by their standards.
The strength of the Iowa secondary is in the safety position. Miguel Merrick and Marcus Paschal are both senior leaders for the defense. The cornerbacks are young but have a lot of potential. Will the Hawkeyes be able to slow down the dangerous receivers or at least limit their impact?
|Ohio State RBs|| ||Iowa LBs|
Antonio Pittman had his third 100-plus yard outing of the year against Penn State. The junior running back ranks 11th in the nation in rushing, averaging more than 112 yards a game. Maurice Wells and Chris Wells both have seen limited action behind Pittman, but even with the success of Pittman the Buckeyes rank 10th in the league in rushing offense.
After losing a pair of linebackers last season to the NFL the Hawkeyes have bounced back nicely with two new starters. Mike Humpal is cut from the same mold as Chad Greenway, while Mike Klinkenborg is 2nd in the Big Ten in tackles. Ed Miles is finally performing to the expectations many have had for him.
|Ohio State OL||Iowa DL|
****BOONE or DATISH
Last week was not the strongest week of pass protection for the offensive line. There won't be much of a break this week going against another quality line. Alex Boone was named offensive lineman of the week after the Penn State game and the entire line will need to be on the same page making a visit into a loud and hostile Kinnick Stadium.
****KENNY IWEBEMA PIC
The Iowa defensive line has racked up 12 sacks on the season and is paced by Kenny Iwebema and Mitch King. King has three solo and four assisted sacks to go along with 6.5 tackles for loss. The line will need to get pressure on Troy Smith early in the game if they want to have success similar to Penn State of limiting the Ohio State passing game.
|Ohio State Special Teams||Iowa Special Teams |
This battle was as close to even as one could get, and marking it as a tie was not an option. After a rocky start the Ohio State kicking game has improved and the punting has been solid all season behind A.J. Trapasso. The Buckeyes have not returned a kick or punt through the first four weeks, will this be the week?
Kicking has been solid for the Hawkeyes this season going 7 of 8 in field goals, but the punting has not been up to standards with a 35.3 yard average. The Hawkeyes are 2nd in the league in punt returns.
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