Last updated: October 18. 2013 4:59AM - 646 Views
JIM NAVEAU419-993-2087 jnaveau@limanews.com



Ohio State receiver Corey Brown catches a touchdown pass earlier this season against San Diego State. (Don Speck/The Lima News)
Ohio State receiver Corey Brown catches a touchdown pass earlier this season against San Diego State. (Don Speck/The Lima News)
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Iowa at No. 4 Ohio State, ABC, 7 p.m.


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QUARTERBACKS


Braxton Miller is 100 percent recovered from the medial collateral knee sprain that kept him out of almost three full games coach Urban Meyer said earlier this week. OSU’s coaches emphasized ball security to Miller during last week’s bye week after he lost two fumbles in a 40-30 win over Northwestern the last time the Buckeyes (6-0, 2-0 Big Ten) were on the field.


Iowa’s Jake Rudock has completed 60 percent of his passes for 1,202 yards and eight touchdowns. He had never taken a snap in a college game before this season.


Advantage: Ohio State


RUNNING BACKS


Carlos Hyde is coming off a career-best 168-yard effort against Northwestern. Jordan Hall is expected to be available after missing the Northwestern game with a knee problem.


Iowa’s Mark Weisman could make it a battle of power backs on Saturday. The 6-foot, 236-pound Weisman is third in the Big Ten in rushing with 624 yards.


Advantage: Ohio State


RECEIVERS


Corey Brown (30 catches, 381 yards, 5 touchdowns) and Devin Smith (23 catches, 362 yards, 5 TDs) lead a receiving group that has 19 touchdown catches this season. OSU had 17 touchdown passes all season in 2012. Brown has caught five or more passes in four of the last five games.


Kevonte Martin-Manley (26 catches, 225 yards, 1 touchdown) has twice as many catches as the next Iowa receiver.


Advantage: Ohio State


OFFENSIVE LINE


The efficiency of Ohio State’s offensive line has created an air of confidence in the Buckeyes’ running backs, assistant coach for running backs Stan Drayton says. OSU averages 6.1 yards per running play, second-best in the Big Ten.


Iowa (4-2, 1-1 Big Ten) ranks eleventh in the Big Ten in scoring at 29.7 points a game and the only time it has scored more than 27 points was in a 59-3 rout of Western Michigan. Right tackle Brett Van Sloten, with 18 starts, is the most experienced Hawkeyes lineman.


Advantage: Ohio State


DEFENSIVE LINE


Sophomores Noah Spence (3 sacks) leads a young group which has emerged as one of the strengths of Ohio State’s defense. Freshman Joey Bosa (2 sacks) has played like a veteran. Tommy Schutt will return Saturday after missing the first half of the season with a broken foot.


Iowa has not allowed a rushing touchdown this season and has given up only 88.5 yards rushing per game. End Dominic Alvis has two sacks and five tackles for losses.


Advantage: Ohio State


LINEBACKERS


Ryan Shazier might not have produced jaw-dropping highlights as often as he did last year, but his team-leading 47 tackles are a key part of OSU’s defense. Curtis Grant is expected to play after the death of his father during the bye week.


For Iowa, James Morris is a four-year starter. He is second on the team in tackles (43), has four tackles for losses and is a strong pass defender with three interceptions. Anthony Hitchens leads the Hawkeyes with 59 tackles after leading the Big Ten last season with 124.


Advantage: Iowa


DEFENSIVE BACKS


The 10 passing touchdowns allowed by OSU’s defense is tied for second-worst in the Big Ten, but one of the teams it is tied with is Iowa. Corey (Pittsburgh) Brown, the replacement for the injured Christian Bryant, will be under the microscope this week after an uneven performance against Northwestern.


Cornerback B.J. Lowery shares the Iowa lead for interceptions with three. Michigan State, not known for its passing game, had two long touchdown passes in a 26-14 win over the Hawkeyes.


Advantage: Ohio State


SPECIAL TEAMS


Ohio State punter Drew Basil is 5 of 5 this season. After missing the first four attempts of his career, he is 29 of his last 33.


Iowa kicker Mike Meyer is 8 of 11. Kevonte Martin-Manley had punt returns of 83 yards and 63 yards for touchdowns against Western Michigan.


Advantage: Ohio State

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