Saturday, October 16, 2010

Ohio State—Wisconsin: Gameday Preview, History Lesson, and Prediction

The last time Ohio State traveled to Madison, Wisconsin to face the Badgers, then-freshmen Terrelle Pryor won the game with his legs in the final minute.

This time around, Wisconsin will likely try to force Pryor and the Buckeyes to have to rely on Pryor's arm.

That may prove to be a tough road-to-hoe for the 18th-ranked Badgers, as the No. 1 ranked Buckeyes are prolific in both running and throwing the ball.

The same may also hold true for a banged-up Buckeye defense when it comes to stopping Wisconsin's passing game led by QB Scott Tolzien, and their very talented running back duo of John Clay and James White.

Camp Randall is always a tough environment to play in, so the Buckeyes will want to take the crowd out of the game early.

The best way to do that is by controlling the ball, taking the early lead, shutting down the running game and forcing the Badgers to throw, and by forcing Wisconsin into turnovers.

That formula worked to the tune of 31-13 in favor of the Buckeyes last season, and it should work again Saturday night.

Wisconsin—By the Numbers

Scott Tolzien, QB

92/132 passing, 1,201 yards, 69.7% completion percentage, 7 TDs/2INTs, 160.6 QB Rating

John Clay, RB

115 carries, 692 yards, 6.0 yards per carry, 9 TDs

James White, RB

63 carries, 458 yards, 7.7 yards per carry, 8 TDs

Montee Ball, RB

46 carries, 201 yards, 4.4 yards per carry, 3 TDs

Lance Kendricks, TE

25 receptions, 391 yards, 3 TDs

Jared Abbrederis, WR

15 receptions, 172 yards, 1 TD

David Gilreath, WR

8 receptions, 148 yards, 0 TDs

Nick Toon, WR

11 receptions, 134 yards, 0 TDs

Isaac Anderson, WR

12 receptions, 117 yards, 0 TDs

Jacob Pederson, TE

5 receptions, 69 yards, 2 TDs

Philip Welch, K

27/27 PATs, 7/9 FGs

Nationally, Wisconsin is 67th in passing (209 yards per game), 11th in rushing (241 yards per game), 16th in scoring (37 points per game), and 32nd in points allowed (19 points per game).

Ohio State—By the Numbers

Terrelle Pryor, QB

104/153 passing, 1,349 yards, 68% completion percentage, 15 TDs/3INTs, 354 yards rushing, 6.2 yards per carry, 3 rushing TDs, 1 receiving TD, 170.47 QB Rating

Dan Herron, RB

77 carries, 355 yards, 4.6 yards per carry, 7 TDs, 8 receptions, 115 receiving yards

Jaamal Berry, RB

20 carries, 219 yards, 11.0 yards per carry, 1 TD

Brandon Saine, RB

44 carries, 183 yards, 4.2 yards per carry, 2 TDs, 13 receptions, 159 receiving yards, 4 TDs

Jordan Hall, RB

14 carries, 75 yards, 5.4 yards per carry, 0 TDs, 5 receptions, 61 yards, 1 receiving TD, 1 passing TD

Dane Sanzenbacher, WR

27 receptions, 411 yards, 7 TDs

DeVier Posey, WR

26 receptions, 364 yards, 3 TDs

Jake Stoneburner, TE

9 receptions, 110 yards, 1 TD

Devin Barclay, K

32/32 PATs, 11/12 FGs

Nationally, Ohio State is 37th in passing (249 yards per game), 20th in rushing (217 yards per game), 6th in scoring (43 points per game), and 7th in points allowed (13.5 points per game).

Ohio State—Wisconsin History Lesson

• Ohio State leads the all-time head-to-head series 53-17-5.

• Ohio State is 6-3-1 vs. Wisconsin in the last 10 meetings in Madison.

• Ohio State's last road loss at Wisconsin was in 2003.

• Ohio State is 19-1 in their last 20 Big 10 road games.

• Ohio State is 18-8 (including bowl games) vs. top 25 teams since 2005.

• Ohio State boasts an all-time record of 362-126-28 in October games.

• Ohio State's defense has not allowed a 100-yard rusher in their last 29 games.

• Since the beginning of the 2005 season, the Buckeyes have allowed only seven 100-yard rushers during a span of 70 games, the fewest among FBS teams.

• Terrelle Pryor is now 25-3 as Ohio State's starting quarterback.

• Coach Jim Tressel (100-21) became the 3rd fastest coach to 100 wins in Big Ten history with last weeks win over Indiana.

• Tressel is 4-3 overall vs. Wisconsin, with a 2-1 mark on the road in Madison.

• Wisconsin is the only team to have beaten Ohio State three times in the last decade.

• Wisconsin has lost three straight games to Ohio State and they are 1-4 in the last five meetings at home.

• Since 2005, Wisconsin is 6-11 (including bowl games) vs. top 25 teams.

• Since 2005, Wisconsin is 1-5 (including bowl games) vs. top 10 teams.

• Wisconsin coach Brett Bielema is 0-3 against Ohio State, losing by an average of score of 30-16.

• Wisconsin last won the Big 10 conference title in 1999.

• Wisconsin is 21-4 in Big 10 games at Camp Randall since 2004.


Both teams will want to run the ball, and while the edge at running back goes to the Badgers, the edge at run defense goes to Ohio State, hands-down. A 30th-straight game without allowing a 100-yard-rusher could be on tap for the Buckeyes.

Whichever team protects the football should win this game.

This too bodes well for Ohio State, which leads all BCS AQ-schools with a turnover margin of plus 10 (17 take-aways, seven turnovers).

Wisconsin has a turnover margin of plus two (six take-aways, four turnovers).

The Badgers lost, 34-24, to a very good Michigan State team two weeks ago. Most knowledgeable fans would agree that Ohio State is the better overall team when comparing them to the Spartans.

Combine that with the trends and stats that are in Ohio State's favor and it seems as though if the Buckeyes and Badgers both play up to their capabilities on both sides of the ball, Ohio State should still easily cover the three-and-a-half point spread, and then some.

Final Score Prediction

Ohio State 38
Wisconsin 24

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