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Week 6 Preview: Ohio State @ Wisconsin

Posted By Chad Seely On Oct 14 2010 @ 6:20 pm In Wisconsin | 1 Comment

The Ohio State Buckeyes have owned the Wisconsin Badgers on the gridiron in the past few years.  How Bad? No current player on UW’s roster has EVER beaten the Buckeyes.  The last time the Badgers beat OSU was in 2004, in Columbus, when Barry Alvarez was at the helm.  So, no, Bret Bielema has never beaten the Buckeyes either as he carries an 0-3 mark against the Big Ten’s almighty power. 

Meanwhile, the Badgers are 40-4 since the start of the 2004 season at Camp Randall.  That includes 25 of 28 in games under the lights.  Wouldn’t you know, Saturday’s Big Ten contest is set for a 6:00 p.m start, in primetime, on ESPN. 

The stage is set.

The Buckeyes (6-0, 2-0) come in as the #1 ranked team in the country following Alabama’s loss at South Carolina a week ago.  The Badgers (5-1, 1-1) are coming off a nice win against rival Minnesota and can not afford another Big Ten loss.  They will have their hands full as they try to deal with Terrelle Pryor & company.

The last time Pryor played at Camp Randall was in 2008 as a young freshman but that did not deter him in any way.  He only lead the Buckeyes on two fourth-quarter scoring drives and delivered a dagger to the hearts of Badger fans as he ran for the final score with 1:08 remaining to give the Buckeyes a 20-17 victory.  If he did that as a freshman, what will the mature Pryor have in store for Saturday?  To date, he has passed for over 1,300 yards and rushed for another 354.  He has 15 touchdowns through the air with just three interceptions and is completing a ridiculous 68 percent of his passes. 

What will give the Badgers trouble is the balance Ohio State has.  They come in averaging over 465 yards per game, good for 18th in the country.  Running back Dan “Boom” Herron leads the Buckeyes solid ground attack while Jaamal Berry serves as the teams home-run hitter out of the backfield averaging over 10 yards per carry.  Wideouts Dane Sanzenbacher and DeVier Posey provide Pryor with two experienced targets for the improving quarterback.  The duo has combined for 53 catches, over 700 yards and 10 touchdowns. 

If that’s not impressive enough, check out the always-stout defense Jim Tressel’s squad sports.  The Buckeyes give up just 262 yards and 12 points per game, marks good for third and fifth in the country.  They are lead by the outstanding trio of Ross Homan, Brian Rolle and Cameron Heyward.  Homan is a ball-hawking linebacker who leads the way with 37 tackles.  Rolle is your classic undersized linebacker who has the quickness to beat lineman and get to the ballcarrier.  Hayward is a Pre-Season All-American defensive lineman who will line up all over the place and wreak havoc in the opposing team’s backfield. 

In order for the Badgers to have any chance at winning this thing, they’ll have to control the line of scrimmage.  Last years loss in Columbus was attributed to Scott Tolzien and the offense playing way too fast and making mistakes.  If Bucky’s experienced offensive line can get bodies on Ohio State’s front seven, the game will be a close one.  Call the expression old, used too much, whatever you want but the Badgers absolutely have to play 60 minutes of solid football.  They have yet to put together a full game in all areas of the game.  If they can do that, the Camp Randall crowd will help them knock off the #1 team in the land.  I just don’t know if they’re ready to do that.  I hope I’m wrong.

My Prediction: Ohio State 24   Wisconsin 20

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