Ohio State Buckeyes
CONFERENCE RECORD: 2-0
NEXT OPPONENT: At Penn State Nittany Lions
LOCATION: Camp Randell Stadium, Madison, WI
BETTING LINE: Wisconsin (+9.5)
CONFERENCE RECORD: 1-1
NEXT OPPONENT: At Iowa Hawkeyes
OHIO STATE PLAYER TO WATCH
Tyquan Lewis came alive and made a big difference a week ago against a surprisingly tough Indiana offense. Recording 5 tackles, a sack and a forced fumble, Lewis embraced his role as the upperclassmen pass rusher for the Buckeyes. He was thrown into the spotlight as Joey Bosa was drafted number three overall in the NFL and has quietly filled his role perfectly. Look for Lewis to build off of his week six performance and shine in Ohio State’s first real contest this season. Facing a freshman quarterback, the best way to ruin home field advantage is to put him on his back and Lewis will do just that.
WISCONSIN PLAYER TO WATCH
Corey Clement has the led the backfield for the Badgers and has recorded five touchdowns for Wisconsin this season. Indiana a week ago stayed true to their game plan and established the run against Ohio State’s front seven. If Wisconsin wants to keep their playoff hopes alive they must keep their freshman quarterback comfortable in their week seven matchup and the best way to do so is to set up in the pocket through play action and keep the Buckeye’s defense guessing. It sounds easy on paper but without an exceptional performance from Clement, it could be a long day for the Badgers at Camp Randall.
Ohio State Buckeyes Key Positions
It is no secret that Ohio State features an array of talent at the receiver position and every player must be held accountable to beat Wisconsin. The pass game was nonexistent a week ago but must be established for the Buckeyes to find success.
Wisconsin has relied on the run game heavily to get them out of sticky situations this year and will do so against the Buckeyes if they can find success. The defensive line must stay active and look for defensive coordinator Luke Fickell to have a big rotation to keep guys fresh in the fourth quarter.
Pairing Ohio State’s defensive line with their linebacking core is a scary thought and is one of the key reasons that the Buckeyes find themselves with one of the best defenses year in and year out. Raekwon McMillan and company will have a busy day as they try to slow down Corey Clement, Dare Ogunbawale, and Bradrick Shaw.
GAME PREVIEW ANALYSIS
Wisconsin. Ohio State.
Primetime. Camp Randall.
The 5-0 Buckeyes travel to Camp Randall to take on the 4-1 Badgers at home Saturday. Ohio State comes into the game as a 10-point favorite but with home field advantage, freshman quarterback Alex Hornibook as excelled in the spotlight. With ESPN’s College Gameday traveling to Madison this week, all pressure is on Wisconsin to keep their college playoff hopes alive.
Ohio State is coming into Madison with the majority of their roster intact, and their run game one of the best in the nation. Wisconsin has the talent to keep up with the Buckeyes, but Ohio State must use their athleticism on the edges to beat the Badgers at home. Look for Urban Meyer to put an emphasis on balanced play calling early and for the J.T. Barrett – Curtis Samuel duo to be the focal point of their offense. On the defensive side of the ball, the Buckeyes will try to beat Wisconsin with speed and force their freshman quarterback to make decisions on the fly in hopes of stealing some possessions off of turnovers.
On the home sideline, Wisconsin looks to learn from their mistakes against Michigan and steal a perfect season away from the Buckeyes. After a midseason quarterback change, freshman Alex Hornibrook hopes to solidify his starting job by knocking off Ohio State. Wisconsin must stay true to their offensive scheme of running the ball and relieve some pressure off of their young quarterback. On defense the Badgers will have to take chances to try and generate pressure on J.T. Barrett. They do not have the speed to run up and down the field with Ohio State so they must capitalize in third down situations and allow for Wisconsin to control the tempo of the game.
College Gameday traveled to Madison for a reason and it should be an enticing matchup on Saturday. Both teams must play as if they are in postseason form and limit the mistakes made to put their teams in position to capitalize on drives. Ohio State escapes a close win behind their Heisman candidate J.T. Barrett.
Ohio State – 31 Wisconsin – 24
Wisconsin Badgers Key Positions
Wisconsin has been known for producing offensive lineman and play traditional smash mouth Big Ten football. Although young, the Badgers’ offensive line, backed by redshirt sophomore Brett Connors, have given ample time for Wisconsin’s offense this year. Being challenged all year with one of the toughest schedules in the nation, the Badgers should be more than prepared for Ohio State’s stout front seven.
The Badgers’ secondary has the tough task of matching up with some of the quickest guys in the nation this week against the Buckeyes. Turnovers will determine the outcome of the game and Wisconsin must be ball hawks this week. Cornerback Derrick Tindal has pulled down three interceptions already this year and will have to pull down another if the Badgers hope to pull of a home win victory.
Although Wisconsin comes into the game ranked in the top 10 and has home field advantage, facing Urban Meyer will be no small task. Second year head coach Paul Chryst has done an excellent job getting his team prepared this year but Ohio State is another beast. Arguably facing the best team in the nation this week, his team must follow the game plan and beat Ohio State schematically to escape with a win.