Football: Ohio vs. Northwestern gameday guide

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EVANSTON, Ill. – After a nine-day hiatus, Ohio will face their second Power 5 opponent of the season, Northwestern, for the last game on their non-conference schedule.

The Bobcats (0-3) have just suffered their toughest loss of the season against Louisiana. The Wildcats (1-2) are also struggling, with their only victory over Indiana State opponent Indiana State.

Kick-off is scheduled for noon EDT (11 a.m. CDT local) at Ryan Field. Big Ten Network will broadcast the game on television.

Below is a match day guide with how to call, depth charts, what to watch out for, who has the edge, a reading guide, and our predictions:

Follow along

How to watch: The game will be broadcast on Big Ten Network. Chris Vosters, Jeremy Leman and Michelle McMahon will be on the air.

How to listen: The game can be streamed through Learfield’s Ohio Sports Network. Russ Eisenstein and Rob Cornelius will be on call as usual.

How to find statistics: Statistics are provided here.

Depth maps

Provided from each team’s match notes.

Ohio offense

Provided via Ohio Athletics.

Ohio Defense and Special Teams

Provided via Ohio Athletics.

North West

Provided by Northwestern Athletics.

Three things to watch out for

Ohio’s performance in the second half:

The Bobcats struggled in the second half this season. In their first three games, they allowed 62 points after halftime. To make matters more difficult, Northwestern was a second-half team in 2021; 58% of his points have come in the second half this season, and he almost made a comeback against Duke last week.

Coach Tim Albin said in his Monday press conference that preventing defensive burnout was a top priority, and Northwestern is a prime example.

Can Ohio take advantage of Northwestern’s defense?

The Wildcats have placed in the bottom half of the Big Ten Conference in team defense this season and have allowed 30 or more points against their two Football Bowl Subdivision opponents. The Bobcats haven’t had the red zone success they wanted this season, but touchdown passes to O’Shaan Allison and Ty Walton against Louisiana have shown their potential.

With the return of wide receivers Isiah Cox and Jerome Buckner, Ohio may finally be able to put together the passing game they’ve been looking for.

The battle of the Northwestern quarterback

The Wildcats didn’t decide on a starting quarterback until game day. Their original starter, Hunter Johnson, battled Duke, being knocked out three times and throwing just six assists.

Johnson was taken out at the end of the first half for compatriot Andrew Marty, who came out in the fourth quarter with an upper-body injury after going 11 of 16 with 151 passing yards and two touchdowns.

Johnson and Marty are both listed as the top spots on Northwestern’s depth chart, so Ohio had to prepare for both quarterbacks in case either of them made the start on Saturday.

The edge

When Ohio has the ball: The Ohio offensive is making sense, but it has also seen flashes of potential against Louisiana. The Bobcats started to get creative, and it paid off in a matter of moments.

Quarterback Armani Rogers saw more playing time against Louisiana, and Albin has said he wants Rogers to spend more time on the court. However, Ohio’s offense proved too fragile on the third down and in the red zone to stress Northwestern’s defense. He has yet to come up with a plan for continued success.

Edge: North West

When Northwestern has the ball: Although it will also be necessary to decide between the quarters before Saturday, Northwestern is more stable in attack. His running body, led by sophomore Evan Hull, averages over 150 yards per game. Ohio have failed with the run defense this season, allowing an average of 253.7 rushing yards.

Edge: North West

Reading guide

Predictions

Sports Writer Jack Gleckler: Ohio stumbled in its first three games. His defense has consistently failed to stop the rushed attack and often runs out in the second half, and Northwestern is above average in both areas. Unless Ohio has a trump card up its sleeve to counter Hull and last four quarters of an hour, he’ll be canoeing up the river without a paddle. Northwestern wins 27-10.

Assistant Sports Editor Eli Feazell: Saturday will be a test for both teams. Ohio could claim their first Albin-era victory, while Northwestern will have the opportunity to prove they’re on top of their 1-2 start. Northwestern has an advantage with a proven rush attack against a shaky Ohio running defense. Fitzgerald is likely to lead his team to victory with more experience at the helm and with a more developed roster. Northwestern wins 28-14.

@thejackgleckler

@elifeaz

jg011517@ohio.edu

ef195418@ohio.edu



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