Well, here we go ….
The meat of the schedule has now parachuted into reality. This coming Saturday (October 15th @ 8:00 p.m.) our beloved Buckeyes will meet up with the Badgers of Wisconsin in Camp Randall Stadium in Madison; which will be nationally televised on ABC.
In the last matchup the Buckeyes utterly destroyed the Badgers in the Big Ten Championship game in 2014, 59-0, with Cardale at the helms, as the Buckeyes eventually marched onto the National Championship trophy. Prior to that the Buckeyes won 31-24 in 2013, 21-14 in 2012, 33-29 in 2011. So the Buckeyes have won the last four times. Wisconsin beat OSU last in 2010 with a 31-18 score.
Looking at those scores above, outside of 2014, only specifies that these teams suit up to play one another. There is a respect amongst the programs for the other, but certainly no love is lost.
THE BUCKEYES LEADERS:
Passing: JT Barrett – 79 completions out of 123 attempts – 981 yards – 15 TD’s – 3 interceptions.
Rushing: Mike Weber – 83 attempts with 566 yards and 4 TD’s
Receiving: Curtis Samuel – 23 receptions with 345 yards and 3 TD’s.
Tyquan Lewis DL has 3 sacks, 13 tackles, and 4 TFL (Tackles for a loss).
Malik Hooker S has 4 interceptions for 117 yards and 1 TD
Raekwon McMillan LB has 12 solo tackles, 21 assisted for a total of 33 tackles and 2 PD’s (Passes defended).
THE BADGERS LEADERS:
Passing: Bart Houston – 44 completions out of 71 attempts – 527 yards – 2 TD’s and 2 interceptions.
Rushing: Corey Clement – 82 attempts with 319 yards and 5 TD’s
Receiving: Jazz Peavy – 17 receptions, 281 yards, and 2 TD’s.
TJ Watt LB – has 5 sacks, 29 tackles, and 7 TFL’s.
Derrick Tindal CB has 3 interceptions for 89 yards and 0 TD’s
What does this all mean?
It means in comparison that the Buckeyes have a more potent offense and on sheer numbers the Badgers have a better looking defense. This is how the national numbers pan out: In Passing the Buckeyes are ranked 165th with 214.0 PYPG. The Badgers are 189th with 198.6 PYPG. In Rushing the Buckeyes are 6th with 323.6 RYPG while the Badgers are 133rd with 161.6 RYPG. The Buckeyes are 10th in totals yards with 537.6 yards per game. The Badgers are 197th with 360.2 yards per game.
The Buckeyes have racked up 266 points thus far this season while giving up only 54 points. The Badgers on the other hand have scored 137 points and gave up an equal amount of points – 54.
These are numbers, nothing else. Arguably though it looks as if Wisconsin has had a bit of a tougher road than the Buckeyes have. They beat a highly ranked LSU 16-14. They also beat perhaps a highly over-rated Spartans of *ichigan State 30-6. And two weeks ago they crossed paths with TTUN, losing in a nail-biter 14-7. The Buckeyes have only come up against a top ten opponent in the Sooners of Oklahoma, beating them in Norman 45-24. A much improved Indiana though I feel is worthy to point out; beating them 38-17.
It appears that most of the predictions that I have seen from various sources (CBS, ABC, FOX, Yahoo Sports and a handful of blogs not associated with either the Buckeyes or Badgers) are taking Wisconsin for the upset. I must confess – that makes me take a long pause. I do not see why the functioning minds involved in this process arrived where they did pertaining to this game …. But then I am reminded of Warriner and Beck. Ultimately this game will wind down to a strong and talented offense against a strong and talented defense. That, I mean, is when The Buckeyes offense and the Badgers Defense is on the field. The clear difference is when the Badgers offense and the Buckeyes defense are on the field. The Buckeyes “D” isn’t getting any love in any of the previews that I have read. The Scarlet and Gray “D” creates scoring opportunities on their takeaways. … least the Buckeyes “Hating” Nation(s) forgets.
What it comes down to is that the Buckeyes will be in hostile territory, but they can handle that. They are simply too groomed for being so young. This Saturday in Camp Randall Stadium this prime-time showdown will show “us” all the elk in the Buckeyes drive. Thus far the # 2 Buckeyes (5-0) have powered through their schedule to date, beating their first five opponents by an average of 41.6 points. Keep in mind, that the # 8 Badgers (4-1) should be well-rested coming off a bye week and quite livid after having to sit around thinking and rethinking of their nail-biter loss to TTUN, 14-7 in Week 5.
Could Camp Randall be as harsh to the Buckeyes as in the past? The Buckeyes needed overtime to beat Wisconsin 21-14 in 2012, and two years earlier, the Badgers knocked off the top-ranked Buckeyes in a 31-18 upset.
This will be a good game, better than what we have seen so far. The predictions from all those sources I listed above also had the Sooners in Norman beating the Buckeyes in a close one. So, with that as an indicator, I personally feel their means of arriving where they did in their final summations equal a 0-1 record. I have faith. Not necessarily in an offensive showcase, because even with all of that wonderful talent lined up on that side of the ball, we must look up into the coaches boxes where we are reminded that Warriner and Beck DO exist. My faith is derived on the dismissal of the Buckeyes “D” – magnificent indeed in this young season – in all of the previews for this game. They will be lining up hungry against a sub-par offensive unit….
…They will win this one for the Buckeyes.
I see another close Buckeyes and Badgers game with Urban and team jacking it up to 6-0 in a 24-20 victory.