Buckeyes on the fast track to the Playoff as they head to Iowa

Written by Garin Turner
​The No. 6 Ohio State Buckeyes (7-1, 5-0 BIG 10) don’t want to have a letdown after an emotional win last week against No. 2 Penn State as they travel to take on the Iowa Hawkeyes (5-3, 2-3 BIG 10) Saturday at 2:30 PM CST on ESPN. The cross-divisional matchup is the first game between the Buckeyes and the Hawkeyes since 2013.

The longer Iowa can keep it close, the more confidence they’ll have at home so the Buckeyes will want to get off to a faster start than what they normally do. Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett is having a career year and may win the Heisman Trophy at the end of the year if he keeps this pace up. Barrett is 171-246 for 2,166 yards with 25 touchdowns and just one interception.

J.K. Dobbins will lead a potent Buckeye rushing attack. Dobbins has carried 113 times for 863 yards and five touchdowns. He’ll want to keep Barrett from having to carry the ball, something he’s also great at.

Iowa QB Nathan Stanley has put up solid numbers this year for the Hawkeyes. He’ll need to play a near flawless game for a chance to pull off the upset. Stanley is 131-228 for 1,703 yards with 17 touchdowns and four interceptions.

Akrum Wadley and the Iowa offensive line much win in the trenches to slow the game down as it will be hard to match points with the Buckeyes. Wadley has 161 carries for 643 yards and five touchdowns. Iowa is coming off of a 17-10-win last week over Minnesota.

Iowa ranks 10th in the conference in scoring offense at 25 points a game, third in scoring defense 17.4 points a game and 10th in total offense at 345.9 yards a game.

Ohio State also has to focus on this game and not think ahead to next week’s game against No. 24 Michigan State. The Buckeyes are the only undefeated team in conference play in the East, and they control their destiny. Win out, and they have a solid shot at the College Football Playoff again.

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