Four Things to Watch: Ohio State-Wisconsin
Wisconsin welcomes Ohio State to town as they finish the first leg of the Big Ten gauntlet. This crowd is going to be bananas as Urban Meyer makes his first visit to Camp Randall Stadium.
Which Alex Horinbrook are we going to see?
There is the Alex Hornibrook who played masterfully against Georgia State and Michigan State. Then there’s the Alex Hornibrook who couldn’t complete a pass versus Michigan. He got an extra week to prepare for Ohio State’s defense. A part of me has to think he’s going to ball out in this game. The added prep time should do him wonders in this one. Hornibrook needs to get comfortable early. Whether that’s a big shot play with Jazz Peavy or marching it down the field for points, Hornibrook needs to prove to himself that he can do it against the best teams in the country.
Preventing Ohio State’s big play capability –
Ohio State’s offense can be a like a snowball that turns into an avalanche of points. They have players who can make big plays happen like Curtis Samuel, Mike Weber, J.T. Barrett, Noah Brown and others, and it can change so quick. Wisconsin might be up 7-0 and two minutes later, it’s a tie ballgame. Badgers need to do their best to slow the big plays from happening. This defense has been tested time and again, and they’ve passed every time thus far. It’s hard for me to see them getting beat on a big play even against Ohio State
Offensive Line needs to step up
Wisconsin’s usual strong point of their team is the offensive line. Year in and year out, they are the steady rock that guides the rest of the team. That’s not the case this season. Wisconsin’s offensive line struggled to say the least, and it’s showed the true badness versus Michigan. If Wisconsin could get Jon Dietzen back from injury, that would be a huge help for the line. Watch for Paul Chryst to limit Hornibrook to more three-step drops to help protect this line.
Curtis Samuel Needs To Be Contained
It’s hard to know who is the most scary player with Ohio State right now, but I’m giving it to Samuel. He’s found a way to make big plays throughout the season from the H-Back positon. Samuel is on pace for 1,800+ toal offense. He’s a true duel-threat and something Wisconsin hasn’t seen much this year. Ty Issac should have been more of a problem for Wisconsin when they played Michigan, but Harbaugh rotated him in and out. My fear is the bigger back whether it’s Samuel or Weber will have a huge game as big backs have given Wisconsin a bit of trouble.
All Fall I thought Wisconsin would win this game. I get there are things pointed against them, but I don’t think Ohio State can pass the ball at all. J.T. Barrett is more of a mess through the air than anyone is talking about currently. That’s going to make it tough on Buckeyes to put up points, and Wisconsin’s offense does just enough for the victory. UW 21-17