Preview: #2 Ohio State Buckeyes vs. #8 Wisconsin Badgers

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Fresh off of a poor passing performance at home against those pesky Indiana Hoosiers, the Buckeyes face a stiff test, with huge College Football Playoffs implications.  The Buckeyes are traveling on the road, for just the second time this season, but this time, it will be against BIG 10 foe Wisconsin on their home turf in Madison.  The battleground is set, the stakes are at an all-time high (until we play TTUN) and this showdown between two BIG 10 powerhouses will be an epic showdown and possibly one for the ages.  Ohio State is coming off of a 21-point win against a Hoosier team that has exposed them a bit.  They played to their Ohio State is coming off of a 21-point win against a Hoosier team that has exposed them a bit.  They played to their strengths but weren’t fooled by the constant movement by the Buckeye offensive playmakers, essentially shutting off Ohio States ability to pass the football downfield.

img_3773Ohio State is coming off of a 21-point win against a Hoosier team that has exposed them a bit.  They played to their strengths, which is the run to make up for their lack of an effective passing attack.  The Buckeyes used a lot of eye candy to try to fool the Indiana Defense, but the were prepared.  They weren’t fooled by the constant movement by the Buckeye offensive playmakers and the constant shifts along the offensive side of things and it essentially shut off Ohio States ability to pass the football downfield.   Their inability to throw the ball is one of the biggest concerns for the Buckeyes and Coach Meyer and we will have to see if they can succeed against an experienced Badgers Secondary that is looking to further entrench themselves into the College Football Playoffs conversation.  The Buckeyes have a tall task on their hands because this Badger Defense has a ton of talent left over from the 59-0 shellacking that started the run to becoming the Inaugural College Football Playoff Champions.  Most Buckeye sites are claiming that a few still have that bad taste in their mouths and that they believe that it is their turn to embarrass the unbeaten Buckeyes squad that is young in just about every position on offense and on defense.  My biggest concern is that the Buckeyes aren’t an elite passing offense and that they will be one-dimensional.  The  Badgers will do their best to ensure this happens to increase their chances to secure a win, but we will see what Urban Meyer will do because he is a tactician during big games like this.  The Silver Bullets will be ready and luckily, they weren’t called out like the backup Oklahoma Quarterback did.  The bulletin board material was provided by former Badger Defensive Back Jim Leonhard.  He stated that the Buckeyes Receivers, namely Noah Brown “will not run away from you” and that no corner this season has “utlitlized the proper press technique” against him.  Basically saying that they run a “simple offense”.  I don’t know about you, but I see Coach Meyer mentioning this every chance he gets to J.T. Barrett and company.  I would like to see some offensive fireworks just like that BIG 10 Championship Game, but it is easier said than done and we will just have to see it live this Saturday.

imagesWisconsin is coming off a bye week and they had two weeks to prepare for the visiting Buckeyes.  They suffered their first loss of the season to TTUN in what was a hard-hitting affair with TTUN outlasting the Badgers 14-7.  The revamped Badgers Defense looks like a stiff test for the Buckeyes and the crowd will look to get their team into the swing of things.  Their offense looked bleh against TTUN, but that might not be the case against the Buckeyes.  The Buckeyes play similar to TTUN’s Defense and they could go player for player, at just about every position because both teams recruit well enough to stay dominant.  The Quarterback position is the key part and we will have to see if he can withstand the pressure from the Buckeyes Defense, the Silver Bullets.  The pressure will surely be turned up because the starter looked uncomfortable for the majority of the game against our Arch Rival.  The strength of this Badger team is with their Defense.  They match up similarly with the Silver Bullets, but with one major difference, Wisconsin is tied for 22nd in total sacks with 15 total and they average 3 per game.  The Buckeyes Defense leads in Defensive Scores, Interceptions and Turnovers Forced. The Art of Defenses.  This will be a test for both teams and the chip on the remaining BIG 10 Championship Game players shoulders will play an integral role during this game because it is the first time in two years since that beat down and they will look to return the favor.

Prediction:  

One more stiff road test equipped with another hostile crowd and bulletin board material for this resilient Buckeyes team.  This will not be a cakewalk by any means, but the Buckeyes and the Badgers need a win to stay in Playoff contention.  This will be the Buckeyes first Top-10 battle and this is the Badgers’ third.  The Badgers are 1-1 with a win against LSU and a loss to TTUN.  This game is valuable to both teams, but I predict that this game will be another hard-hitting clash between two BIG 10 powerhouses. Both defenses are stout and they will both come out with a vengeance.  The offenses will be in the ground and pound variety and I think that it will be close for the entirety of the contest.  The chess match will be filled with bold moves that will occur throughout the contest until Ohio State makes the key plays to secure the win. J.T. Barrett will lead the Buckeyes toward victory 42-35.

J.T. Barrett:  279 passing yards, 3 touchdowns, and 100 yards rushing, 1 touchdown

Mike Weber:  126 yards rushing, 1 touchdown

Curtis Samuel:  170 all-purpose yards, 1 receiving touchdown, 1 rushing touchdown

Dontre Wilson:  47 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown

Noah Brown:  136 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown

Silver Bullets:  4 sacks, 2 interceptions, 2 forced fumbles/recoveries

They will come out with their heads on fire and they will double their game average for sacks (2.2).  They will add 4 more turnovers to their quest for best defense with 2 interceptions and fumbles recovered, but they will fail to add another defensive score.

Final:  42-21

Recruiting Tidbit:  Buckeye Running Back Antonio Williams is a wanted man in Madison.  Partly because he was once a prized commit for the Badgers and that he spoke up against the future of the team when Joel Stave was the starting Quarterback.  If Williams sees the field, there are a few Badgers that would love to hit him.

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