Ohio State safety Josh Proctor (41) breaks up a pass intended for Rutgers receiver Johnny Langan during the Buckeyes’ 49-10 win over the Scarlet Knights earlier this season.


QUARTERBACKS

Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud has thrown 24 touchdown passes this season and has completed 70 percent of his passes. He has 68 touchdown passes with only 9 interceptions in 18 games as a starter.

Iowa quarterback Spencer Petras has thrown only two touchdown passes this season and has completed 54 percent of his passes. He has 21 touchdown passes and 17 interceptions in his career.

Advantage: Ohio State

RUNNING BACKS

OSU hopes to have both Miyan Williams and TreVeyon Henderson available together for the first time since the Wisconsin game on Sept. 24 when both of them went over 100 yards rushing.

Iowa has rushed for 499 yards as a team, which is only two yards more than OSU’s leading rusher, Williams, has this season in five games. Iowa ranks last in total offense (238.7 yards per game) nationally among FBS schools and No. 127 in scoring (14.7 points a game.)

Advantage: Ohio State

RECEIVERS

The big question for Ohio State once again will be if Jaxon Smith-Njigba is back to full strength and ready to play without aggravating a lingering leg injury. So far OSU’s passing game has dominated opposing defenses without him.

Iowa’s best receivers might be its tight ends Sam LaPorta (30 catches, 278 yards, no touchdowns) and Luke Lachey (9 catches, 157 yards, 1 touchdown). Wide receiver Arland Bruce has 14 catches and Nico Ragaini has 13 catches.

Advantage: Ohio State

OFFENSIVE LINE

Ohio State left tackle Paris Johnson Jr. is playing at a level which could make him an NFL first-round draft choice next spring and right tackle Dawand Jones is close to that level. OSU leads the nation in scoring at 48.8 points a game and second in total offense at 543.7 yards a game.

Iowa’s offensive line has been a strong point in most of Kirk Ferentz’s 24 seasons as the Hawkeyes’ coach but not this season. Iowa is averaging only 82.2 yards rushing per game, is last in the Big Ten at 2.6 yards per running play and has allowed 18 sacks.

Advantage: Ohio State

DEFENSIVE LINE

Defensive tackle Taron Vincent might be one of the unsung heroes of an OSU defensive line which has limited its first six opponents to 3.3 yards per rushing play.

Iowa’s John Waggoner (5 tackles for losses, 1.5 sacks), Logan Lee (4 tackles for losses, 2 sacks) and Noah Shannon were starters last season. Lukas Van Ness wasn’t a returning starter, but he has 6 tackles for losses and 3 sacks.

Advantage: Ohio State

LINEBACKERS

Tommy Eichenberg, Steele Chambers and Cody Simon rank 1, 2 and 4 in tackles for OSU.

Jack Campbell (team-leading 63 tackles) and Seth Benson (51 tackles) are two of the leaders of Iowa’s defense, which allows only 9.8 points a game.

Advantage: Ohio State

DEFENSIVE BACKS

OSU’s safeties, especially Lathan Ransom, have had a strong first half of the season. Its cornerbacks have had some struggles, including dealing with injuries.

Iowa cornerback Riley Moss was the Big Ten Defensive Back of the Year last season. Cooper DeJean has three interceptions.

Advantage: Iowa

SPECIAL TEAMS

OSU’s return game could use some work. Kicker Noah Ruggles is 2 for 3 on field goals and hasn’t missed since the opener against Notre Dame.

Iowa kicker Drew Stephens is 6 of 7 on field goals and Troy Taylor averages 46.1 yards per punt.

Advantage: Iowa

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Ohio State safety Josh Proctor (41) breaks up a pass intended for Rutgers receiver Johnny Langan during the Buckeyes’ 49-10 win over the Scarlet Knights earlier this season.
https://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2022/10/web1_Rutgers-One.jpgOhio State safety Josh Proctor (41) breaks up a pass intended for Rutgers receiver Johnny Langan during the Buckeyes’ 49-10 win over the Scarlet Knights earlier this season.

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