How we feelin’ Buckeye fans? Has your heart rate slowed down from Saturday’s late-game surge to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat in Happy Valley? That place never seems to produce an easy path for OSU.
Thankfully, things get a little bit easier this week as Ohio State heads to Chicagoland to take on the Northwestern Wildcats. Pat Fitzgerald’s club has struggled mightily this season and the Buckeyes coming to town won’t make life any better.
Let’s get ready for another Big Ten showdown
Records and Broadcast Information
Ohio State (8-0), Northwestern (1-7)
Broadcast, TV, Game Time
Date: Saturday, Nov. 5
Game Time: Noon EDT
Venue: Ryan Field (Evanston, Illinois) Capacity: 47,130
All-Time Series: Ohio State leads 64-14-1
Last Meeting: Ohio State defeated Northwestern, 22-10, in 2020 (Big Ten Championship Game in Indianapolis)
Ohio State Potential Game Plan for Victory
Sitting at 1-7 on the season, it’s no secret that Northwestern is not a very good football team. Offensively, the Wildcats have a hard time moving the ball and scoring points averaging only 17.9 points per game.
Northwestern struggles the most with the ground game. They average 113 yards rushing per game and have only nine touchdowns on the season. The running game shouldn’t pose much of a threat to the Buckeye defensive line. However, all-everything back Evan Hull will need to be accounted for. He is a threat running the ball and in the passing game accounting for over 1,100 all-purpose yards which ranks in the top 10 of all FBS players.
The passing game seems to be a little stronger for the Wildcats averaging 250 yards per game. But take that stat with a grain of salt… Northwestern quarterbacks have only thrown for 10 touchdowns and have been picked off nine times. On top of that, the offensive line has given up 15 sacks. You can bet Ohio State will be looking to keep the pressure coming the entire game.
The Wildcat defense gives up over 185 yards per game on the ground and only 220 yards through the air. However, it’s safe to say that Northwestern hasn’t seen a passing attack anything like what the Buckeyes will be throwing their way.
The Ohio State offense has been stymied two weeks in a row and really struggled to move the ball with the running game. Saturday will present an excellent opportunity to try to work out some of the kinks that have been slowing the running game down. Of course, the passing game should still be firing on all cylinders.
Two Key Players for Ohio State
TreVeyon Henderson – Running Back
TreVeyon Henderson hasn’t really broken out this year the way we thought he would after a record-breaking freshmen campaign. Unfortunately, Henderson has been dealing with some injuries for almost the entire season. Saturday may present itself with an opportunity to have that breakout game.
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) October 29, 2022
Denzel Burke – Cornerback
Denzel Burke has also not lived up to expectations after a stellar freshman season. The second-year defensive back has been playing better in the past two weeks which is a good sign. However, with only four pass deflections and zero interceptions, a date with Northwestern might be just what Burke needs to get his season jumpstarted.
Denzel Burke has had his struggles this season, but this is an excellent job of shedding a block and making a big tackle. pic.twitter.com/rfw3HBT0GV
— Bill Rabinowitz 🗞 (@brdispatch) October 24, 2022
After playing two outstanding defenses two weeks in a row, Ohio State gets a break of sorts coming up against 1-7 Northwestern. The Wildcats played Iowa most recently and gave up 33 points to one of the worst offenses in the country.
That doesn’t bode well with the Buckeyes coming to town. Even when playing top-rated defenses in Penn State and Iowa, Ohio State has still been putting up points in droves. Saturday will be no different as OSU will be facing a significantly weaker opponent. Expect some fireworks early as the Buckeyes cruise. Just make sure you’re there for the start, because this one may be over by halftime.
Ohio State 64, Northwestern 13
Ohio State -38.5