COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Ohio State coach Ryan Day is scheduled to speak at noon to preview the No. 2 ranked Buckeyes home game against Iowa.
Although Ohio State is favored by nearly 30 points, it’s still an intriguing matchup pitting Ohio State’s No. 1 ranked scoring offense (48.8 points per game) against Iowa’s No. 3 ranked scoring defense (9.8 points allowed per game).
Day said the biggest advantage Iowa’s defense has is “years and years and years” of experience knowing who their opponents are and how they’re going to get attacked, which prepares them for the game.
“The tape shows that they’re really, really good,” OSU offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson said. “When you play the top defenses you show what you really are.”
Last week, Day said this should be the first game back for Ohio State’s standout receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba who’s missed the last three weeks with a hamstring injury suffered week one against Notre Dame.
Running back Miyan Williams, who tied a program record with five rushing touchdowns in one game versus Rutgers, is also expected to play after missing OSU’s road win over Michigan State.
During the press conference, Day said he would not provide an injury update until later in the week but did say Smith-Njigba would change the offensive scheme a little because of what he brings to the table.
One area the Buckeyes focused on improving during the bye week was the cornerbacks allowing big pass plays.
Denzel Burke, OSU’s the top corner from last year, has allowed three touchdowns, including two of 40 -plus yards. The other starter, Cam Brown, gave up a 50-yard touchdown against Toledo and a pair of 20-plus yard catches to Michigan State. Back up corners JK Johnson and Jyaire Brown also gave up a score to the Spartans.
But giving up touchdowns will be hard to do against Iowa. The Hawkeyes rank dead last in yards per game in the country (238.7 yards) and they’re also the fifth-worst scoring offense averaging 14.7 points a game.