In what should be the toughest game of the season for both teams in the Big Ten, Wisconsin, with one loss already, travel to Columbus and play Ohio State, hoping to make sure their biggest obstacle on the way to a conference title is out of the way early on.
Wisconsin did reach the Conference title game and win it last season despite going only 4-4 in conference play, including a 14-21 loss at home to Ohio State. It’s hard to say if they’re happy or sad to see Braxton Miller back from injury; Kenny Guiton did play excellent football filling in for Miller, but Miller poses a running threat the Badgers don’t really want to see in front of them.
Wisconsin have one loss this season to Arizona State (32-30), although if the officials would have called the game properly, they would be going into this Big Ten showdown undefeated, giving it a much bigger impact nationally.
The big battle will be Ohio State trying to stop the Wisconsin ground game, and making it three wins in a row over the Badgers and 17 in general, the longest active streak in the nation. Wisconsin, powered with Melvin Gordon (624 yards, 7 touchdowns) and James White (442 yards, 3 touchdowns) have been running wild so far this season, averaging 349.8 yards per game on the ground.
Ohio State have been allowing only 116.1 yards, but are quite hard to stop on the ground themselves. They’re averaging 311 rushing yards per game, 5th in the nation, and will probably be much closer to that number with Miller back behind center. Miller ran for 48 yards last time the two teams met. Montee Ball had 191 yards for Wisconsin, which might be telling about Ohio State’s chances of stopping the run, but they still had enough defense when it mattered to win in overtime.
Prediction – Wisconsin are a one-trick pony, while Ohio State are a similar team, with a better defense and with the option of switching it up between quarterbacks to get themselves a better passing threat. These games are always close, but the Buckeyes should have enough to come out as winners.