Ohio State-Iowa position by position match-ups


Ohio State #16 quarterback J.T. Barrett hands off to Ohio State #2 running back J.K. Dobbins in the first quarter at Ohio Stadium on the campus of The Ohio State University October 28, 2017 Photos by Don Speck


QUARTERBACKS

In eight games J.T. Barrett has nearly matched Troy Smith’s total yardage statistics for the entire season when he won the Heisman Trophy in 2006. Barrett has 2,520 yards and has produced 30 touchdowns (25 passing, 5 rushing). Smith had 2,746 yards and 31 touchdowns (30 passing, 1 rushing).

Iowa’s Nick Stanley has thrown for 1,703 yards and 17 touchdowns with four interceptions in his first year as a starter.

Advantage: Ohio State

RUNNING BACKS

J.K. Dobbins (7.6 yards per carry) and Mike Weber (4.5 yards per carry) will continue to share the running back position for Ohio State. Dobbins went long stretches without playing against Penn State, a decision Urban Meyer said was made by offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson and running backs coach Tony Alford.

For Iowa, Akrum Wadley has rushed for 643 yards and five touchdowns. He has a chance to become the first Iowa running back to have back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons since 2003.

Advantage: Ohio State

RECEIVERS

Ohio State’s receivers showed against Penn State that their success between the Oklahoma game and that game was not solely a product of the level of competition. K.J. Hill had 12 catches, Austin Mack had six and Johnnie Dixon caught two touchdown passes.

Nick Easley (36 catches, 375 yards, 4 TDs) is the Hawkeyes’ leading receiver this season. Tight end Noah Fant has a team-high five touchdown catches.

Advantage: Ohio State

OFFENSIVE LINE

All five OSU offensive linemen graded as “champions” against Penn State. Right tackle Isaiah Prince continues to put the struggles he had last year behind him.

Iowa guard Sean Welsh was a third-team All-Big Ten selection last season. Tristan Wirfs is the first true freshman to start at offensive tackle in Kirk Ferentz’s 19 seasons as Iowa’s coach.

Advantage: Ohio State

DEFENSIVE LINE

Ohio State’s depth allows it to play its defensive linemen around 35 plays a game, which means they are fresh when four quarters of football are starting to make opposing offensive linemen struggle. That showed up big time late in the Penn State game.

Defensive end Anthony Nelson has 5.5 sacks and seven tackles for losses to lead Iowa’s defensive line position group. Nelson had six sacks last season

Advantage: Ohio State

LINEBACKERS

Middle linebacker Chris Worley appears to be close to 100 percent after battling a sprained foot for several weeks. He had five tackles, including a tackle for a loss against Penn State.

Iowa’s Josey Jewell’s strength is as a run stopper. He leads the Big Ten in tackles with 81 despite missing a game because of a shoulder injury.

Advantage: Ohio State

DEFENSIVE BACKS

Ohio State’s defensive backs appear to have made progress in defending the deep pass. Cornerback Denzel Ward’s punt block was a huge momentum changer against Penn State. The Buckeyes had one interception taken away by a puzzling pass interference call and another reversed by replay.

For Iowa, safety Armani Hooker is second to Jewell in tackles this season and has an interception.

Advantage: Ohio State

SPECIAL TEAMS

Kickoffs and defending kickoff returns remain a huge concern for Ohio State, which has allowed two kicks to be returned for touchdowns.

Iowa kicker Miguel Recinos is 7 of 9 on field goals, including making all four of his attempts between 40 and 49 yards.

Advantage: Ohio State

http://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2017/11/web1_Ohio-State-logo.jpg
Ohio State #16 quarterback J.T. Barrett hands off to Ohio State #2 running back J.K. Dobbins in the first quarter at Ohio Stadium on the campus of The Ohio State University October 28, 2017 Photos by Don Speck
http://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2017/11/web1_JTJK.jpg Ohio State #16 quarterback J.T. Barrett hands off to Ohio State #2 running back J.K. Dobbins in the first quarter at Ohio Stadium on the campus of The Ohio State University October 28, 2017 Photos by Don Speck