Thursday, October 13, 2016

Buckeyes Preview: Ohio State Buckeyes @ Wisconsin Badgers

By Jason Disantis, @JasonInCLE

The #2 Ohio State Buckeyes (5-0, 2-0 Big Ten) travels to Camp Randall for their toughest task of the season in a Big Ten showdown against the #8 Wisconsin Badgers (4-1, 1-1 Big Ten).

Ohio State is coming off of a 38-17 win against Indiana where the Buckeyes didn't look very sharp. J.T. Barrett was 9-21 for 93 yards and 2 total touchdowns (1 pass, 1 rush) to go along with 1 interception. Despite his struggles passing Barrett had his most efficient day on the ground, leading the Buckeyes in rushing with 137 yards on 26 carries. Look for the Buckeyes to continue to use Barrett more on the ground now that Ohio State is in the heart of their schedule. From now until the end of the season the Buckeyes have dates with three top-ten teams.

Wisconsin last played two weeks ago when they lost to Michigan 14-7. Before that game the Badgers had won four in a row including two top-ten wins against Michigan State and LSU.

Leading up to Saturday's showdown the first-year secondary coach of the Badgers, Jim Leonhard, spoke on Ohio State offense calling them "simple but effective."

If you feel like you've heard that before, you have. Weeks ago Oklahoma backup quarterback Austin Kendall had similar words about the Ohio State defense and the Buckeyes made it clear that they were aware of those comments.

Leonhard also garnered some attention for his comments on Buckeye receiver Noah Brown.

"I have yet to see a corner play it from a good position. So the way you play in press, he is not going to run past you. Same thing when you watch on tape. He is never more than this far [gesturing] away from a guy. Haven't seen it yet. So you can challenge him."

The last time Ohio State lost in Camp Randall was six years ago when the #1 ranked Buckeyes fell to the #18 Badgers. Ohio State was unbeaten and eyeing a shot at the National Championship. As Saturday nears I doubt anyone current player on the Buckeyes will give a damn about what happened six years ago. This team has shown the ability to go on the road and handle the pressure of being under the lights in a hostile environment.

On paper this game doesn't seem close. Ohio State is better in every category. And in some, it's not close. But when championship hopes are on the line on a Saturday night, anything can happen. So gather some friends, order a couple pizzas, and clear the schedule. It's gonna be fun.

What: Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Wisconsin Badgers
When:  Saturday October 15, 2016 at 8:00 PM ET
Where:  Camp Randall Stadium, Madison, Wisconsin
Watch:  ABC
Line:  OSU -10, O/U 44

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