OSU -A week of rest should do wonders for Braxton Miller. The sophomore still leads the Big Ten in total offense, averaging 291.9 yards per game. Still the most impressive thing about Miller is that even though he's known for his running capabilities, he actually has more passing yards. He's thrown for 1,753 and rushed for 1,166.
WISC -Usual starting quarterback Joel Stave is out for the season after breaking his collar bone against Michigan State. Getting the start this week is Curt Phillips, which is the third quarterback that has started this year for the Badgers. After Stave was injured, Danny O'Brien was taking the snaps.
EDGE - OSU
OSU -Carlos Hyde is seventh in the conference in rushing, averaging 92 yards per game, which isn't bad considering how much Miller runs. With the duo, and adding in the other stable of running backs, OSU is second in the Big Ten in rushing offense, averaging 256.1 yards per game.
WISC -Two words:?Montee Ball. The senior is the driving force of the Wisconsin offense. He has carried the ball 245 times this season for 1,226 yards and 16 touchdowns. Backup James White is no slouch either, rushing 89 times for 647 yards. For the Buckeyes to win, they have to stop Ball, especially with a new quarterback under center.
EDGE - Wisconsin
OSU -Miller has been able to be successful in the passing game because of the ample amount of receivers he has at his disposal. Before the bye week against Illinois, Jake Stoneburner, Nick Vannett, Corey Brown and even Rod Smith had receptions for signficant yards. Wisconsin is allowing 206 yards per game in the air, so that is an area OSU can take advantage of.
WISC -When a team has Ball in the backfield, passing is generally pushed to the side. The leading receiver for the Badgers is Jared Abbrederis, who has 38 catches for 689 yards and five touchdowns. Wisconsin is 11th in the conference in passing offense.
EDGE - OSU
OSU -?The Buckeyes recorded their third 300-yard rushing game of the season against Illinois. That doesn't happen without a stable offensive line. Led by center and Boardman graduate Corey Linsley, who has only had three errant snaps this season. The Buckeyes have ran 719 plays this season.
WISC - There are some big boys up front making the holes for Ball to run through, as the line averages 6 feet, 5 inches and averages 325 pounds. But there are numerous similiarities statistically the same in terms of rushing yards and amount of sacks allowed.
EDGE - Even
OSU -This group will have their work cut out for them in trying to stop Ball. The line is only allowing 107.9 yards per game, but only one other time this season have the Buckeyes faced a back of this caliber (vs. Michgian State). However, Michigan State threw the ball heavily that game. With the state of the QB situation for Wisconsin, the Buckeyes need to make sure they are well rested for the amount of work they should see on Saturday.
WISC - Like Ohio State, Wisconsin also has its work cut out. Wisconsin is first in the Big Ten in rushing defense (Ohio State is second), but Wisconsin has yet to face a two-headed monster like the one of Miller and Hyde. This game could be over in an hour for the amount of rushing that will be done during this game.
OSU -Ryan Shazier is two tackles shy of becoming the first Ohio State sophomore since James Laurenitis to have 100 tackles in a season. He's second in the Big Ten and 25th nationally with 98 tackles this season.
WISC -Not far behind Shazier is weakside linebacker is Mike Taylor with 95 tackles for the Badgers. He has 12 tackles for loss and a sack as well this season.
OSU -If the Buckeyes let the Badgers beat them in the air, then there needs to be a secondary overhaul. OSU is 11th in the conference in this category, but with Ball running the ball and a quarterback only making his second career start, the Buckeyes have to make sure they stay assignment sound and don't get so preoccupied with stopping Ball and let the pass beat them.
WISC -Cornerback Devin Smith has three interceptions this season and leads the unit that is only 206 yards per game.
EDGE - Wisconsin
OSU -This game could come down to a field goal, so hopefully Drew Basil is ready. He's 4 of 6 and his long this year is 35 yards.
WISC -Field goal kicker Kyle French is 10 of 13 this season, with all three missses coming from distances more than 30 yards. Punter Drew Meyer is a dangerous weapon as he has pinned nearly half of his punts (25 of 54)?inside the 20.
EDGE - Wisconsin
Camp Randall and Ohio State have not been friends as of recent years and this is a very tight game on paper. OSU had the bye week, which helps, but the game plan can't be hard - stop Ball. There's the game plan. Stop Ball and score points. As much as I?want to call the upset, I'm going to go with the unbeaten, and now freshly rested squad.