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Ohio State vs. Northwestern Football Game Preview – October 5, 2013

Ohio State vs. Northwestern Football Game Preview – October 5, 2013

The spotlight will be shining brightly on Northwestern’s Ryan Field when they host Big 10 powerhouse Ohio State for a nationally televised game on October 5. This game will be the teams’ first meeting since 2008.

The Buckeyes have historically dominated the series over their conference-mates. They went 7-1 in the 2000s against Northwestern, with the Wildcats’ last win coming in 2004. This season, the undefeated Wildcats look to shock Ohio State in front of a national TV audience.

Game Preview: Ohio State vs Northwestern

(4) Ohio State (4-0, 0-0)

*as of September 26, 2013

Ohio State possesses the 4th highest scoring offense in college football at over 50 points per game. The Buckeyes scored 76 unanswered points on Florida A&M, where quarterback Kenny Guiton threw six touchdowns to break the school’s single-game passing TD record. [sc:NCAA240banner ]

Even with his record-breaking performance, Guiton probably won’t be under center against Northwestern as regular starting quarterback Braxton Miller is set to return from injury.

But while the passing game is good, the running game is even better. Senior Jordan Hall is the featured back of the 6th ranked running attack, which averages over 300 rushing yards a game. Despite the likely return of their starting quarterback, expect the Buckeyes to concentrate their offense on the ground.

The only possible chink in Ohio State’s armor is its defense. The Buckeyes yielded 503 yards in a 52-34 shootout with California. But with an offense as potent as theirs, giving up a few points probably won’t even matter. Put a few bucks on the Buckeyes at Top Bet sportsbook.

(17) Northwestern (4-0, 0-0)

*as of September 26, 2013

After a number of lean years, Northwestern had its first double-digit win season since 1995 in 2012. Head coach Pat Fitzgerald has slowly transformed the Northwestern University football program to what they are now, ranked 17th in the nation. The Wildcats are 4-0 after defeating non-conference foes California, Syracuse, Western Michigan and Maine.

Coach Fitzgerald has relied on a platoon at quarterback; junior Trevor Siemian is the more conventional passer while senior Kain Colter makes plays more with his legs. However, the main strength of the Wildcats offense is the running game. Led by Colter and junior running back Treyvon Green, the Wildcats have averaged 250 yards rushing in their first four games.

If the Wildcats hope to defeat the Buckeyes, their defense must contain the explosive Buckeyes offense. Despite facing relatively weaker opposition, Northwestern has surrendered an average of over 308 yards passing in its first four games, which it cannot do against the returning Braxton Miller.

In spite of their no. 17 rank, Northwestern will likely enter as underdogs against the Buckeyes. If you think a wild upset is in the cards, bet on the Wildcats at Top Bet sportsbook.

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