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Game Data: Wisconsin at Ohio State

Wisconsin at Ohio State

Boom Herron had 91 yards and 2 TDs in last year's 31-18 loss to Wisconsin in Madison.

* Date, Time: Sat., Oct. 29, 8 p.m. (Eastern)

* Special Occasion: Homecoming

* Location: Ohio Stadium

* TV: ESPN (national telecast; announcers: Brad Nessler, Todd Blackledge and Holly Rowe).

* 2011 Records: Ohio State, 4-3 overall, 1-2 Big Ten; Wisconsin, 6-1 overall, 2-1 Big Ten.

* 2011 Rankings: Ohio State, unranked; Wisconsin, ranked 15th in the BCS standings, 12th in AP poll and 11th in USA Today coaches poll.

* Coaches: Ohio State, Luke Fickell (first year at OSU, 4-3; vs. Wisconsin, first meeting); Wisconsin, Bret Bielema (sixth year at UW, 55-17; vs. Ohio State, 1-3).

* Series History: Ohio State leads the all-time series, which dates to 1913, at 53-18-5. That includes a 29-7-3 edge in Columbus. Wisconsin handed then-No. 1 ranked Ohio State a 31-18 defeat on Oct. 16, 2010, at Madison. The Buckeyes won the last meeting in Columbus in 2009 (31-13).

OSU has a slight 8-6-1 advantage in the last 15 meetings (since 1992). OSU has won eight of the last 13 meetings overall (since 1994). But the Badgers have won three of their last five visits to Columbus.

* Wisconsin Schedule: Sept. 1, UNLV, W 51-17; Sept. 10, Oregon State, W 35-0; Sept. 17, vs. Northern Illinois (at Chicago), W 49-7; Sept. 24, South Dakota, W 59-10; Oct. 1, Nebraska, W 48-17; Oct. 15, Indiana, W 59-7; Oct. 22, at Michigan State, L 37-31; Oct. 29, at Ohio State; Nov. 5, Purdue; Nov. 12, at Minnesota; Nov. 19, at Illinois; Nov. 26, Penn State.

* Wisconsin Key Players (2011 Stats): QB Russell Wilson (109 of 149 passing, 1,780 yards, 16 TDs, 3 INTs; 32 carries, 212 yards, 3 TDs), RB Montee Ball (125 carries, 768 yards, 17 TDs), RB James White (80 carries, 458 yards, 4 TDs), WR Jared Abbrederis (30 catches, 482 yards, 2 TDs), WR Nick Toon (27 catches, 505 yards, 6 TDs), TE Jacob Pedersen (19 catches, 262 yards, 6 TDs), LB Chris Borland (71 tackles, 10 TFLs, 1-1/2 sacks, 1 INT), LB Mike Taylor (64 tackles, 4-1/2 TFLs, 1 INT), DB Aaron Henry (30 tackles, 2 INTs), CB Antonio Fenelus (26 tackles, 2 INTs), DE Louis Nzegwu (21 tackles, 4-1/2 sacks).

* Wisconsin Fast Facts: Location: Madison, Wis.; Enrollment, 42,041; Conference: Big Ten Conference; Nickname, Badgers; Colors, Cardinal and White; Stadium, Camp Randall Stadium (surface, FieldTurf; capacity, 80,321).

* Ohio State Schedule: Sept. 3, Akron, W 42-0; Sept. 10, Toledo, W 27-22; Sept. 17, at Miami (Fla.), L 24-6; Sept. 24, Colorado, W 37-17; Oct. 1, Michigan State, L 10-7; Oct. 8, at Nebraska, L 34-27; Oct. 15, at Illinois, W 17-7; Oct. 29, Wisconsin; Nov. 5, Indiana; Nov. 12, at Purdue; Nov. 19, Penn State; Nov. 26, at Michigan.

* Ohio State Key Players (2011 Stats): QB Braxton Miller (26 of 51 passing, 403 yards, 5 TDs, 2 INTs; 61 carries, 243 yards), RB Boom Herron (23 carries, 114 yards, 1 TD), RB Carlos Hyde (78 carries, 408 yards, 5 TDs), RB Jordan Hall (79 carries, 321 yards, 1 TD), TE Jake Stoneburner (12 catches, 150 yards, 5 TDs), WR Devin Smith (9 catches, 187 yards, 3 TDs), WR Chris Fields (6 catches, 75 yards), LB Andrew Sweat (49 tackles, 5 TFLs, 1 INT), LB Etienne Sabino (35 tackles, 4-1/2 TFLs, 2 sacks), DT Johnathan Hankins (36 tackles, 6-1/2 TFLs, 2 sacks), DB C.J. Barnett (31 tackles, 2 INTs), DB Christian Bryant (33 tackles), CB Bradley Roby (21 tackles, 3 INTs).

Depth Charts

Ohio State Offense

WR 10 Corey “Philly” Brown, 5-11, 182, So.
16 Evan Spencer, 6-1, 190, Fr.
LT 75 Mike Adams, 6-8, 320, Sr.
78 Andrew Norwell, 6-5, 308, So.
LG 78 Andrew Norwell, 6-5, 308, So.
79 Marcus Hall, 6-5, 321, So.
C 50 Mike Brewster, 6-5, 305, Sr.
51 Brian Bobek, 6-2, 280, Fr.
RG 74 Jack Mewhort, 6-6, 303, So.
71 Corey Linsley, 6-2, 301, So.
RT 76 J.B. Shugarts, 6-7, 300, Sr.
73 Antonio Underwood, 6-3, 305, Fr.
TE 11 Jake Stoneburner, 6-5, 245, Jr.
88 Reid Fragel, 6-8, 280, Jr.
QB 5 Braxton Miller, 6-3, 210, Fr.
13 Kenny Guiton, 6-2, 195, So.
or 14 Joe Bauserman, 6-1, 230, Sr.
TB 1 Daniel “Boom” Herron, 5-10, 205, Sr.
7 Jordan Hall, 5-9, 195, Jr.
or 34 Carlos Hyde, 6-0, 238, So.
FB 44 Zach Boren, 6-0, 252, Jr.
49 Adam Homan, 6-2, 248, Jr.
WR 80 Chris Fields, 6-0, 180, So.
15 Devin Smith, 6-3, 190, Fr.
K 24 Drew Basil, 6-1, 212, So.
20 Russell Doup, 6-1, 175, Fr.

Ohio State Defense

DE (Leo) 50 J.T. Moore, 6-1, 252, R-Fr.
or 88 Steve Miller, 6-4, 245, Fr.
LT 54 John Simon, 6-2, 270, Jr.
93 Adam Bellamy, 6-4, 302, So.
NT 53 Garrett Goebel, 6-3, 290, Jr.
68 Evan Blankenship, 6-3, 288, Sr.
RT 52 Johnathan Hankins, 6-3, 335, So.
63 Michael Bennett, 6-3, 280, Fr.
WLB 42 Andrew Sweat, 6-2, 238, Sr.
10 Ryan Shazier, 6-2, 212, Fr.
MLB 32 Storm Klein, 6-2, 230, Jr.
41 Tony Jackson, 5-10, 225, Sr.
SLB 6 Etienne Sabino, 6-3, 242, Jr.
14 Curtis Grant, 6-3, 225, Fr.
LCB 7 Travis Howard, 6-1, 190, Jr.
5 Dominic Clarke, 5-10, 191, So.
LS 2 Christian Bryant, 5-9, 190, So.
19 Orhian Johnson, 6-2, 205, Jr.
RS 4 C.J. Barnett, 6-0, 190, So.
16 Zach Domicone, 6-3, 211, Jr.
RCB 25 Bradley Roby, 5-11, 185, R-Fr.
12 Doran Grant, 5-11, 180, Fr.
Star 26 Tyler Moeller, 6-0, 210, Sr.
2 Christian Bryant, 5-9, 190, So.
P 17 Ben Buchanan, 6-0, 180, Jr.
39 Derek Erwin, 5-10, 200, Sr.
LS 56 George Makridis, 6-2, 230, So.
54 Bryce Haynes, 6-4, 185, Fr.

Wisconsin Offense

LT 58 Ricky Wagner, 6-6, 320, Jr.
63 Casey Dehn, 6-6, 335, So.
LG 72 Travis Frederick, 6-4, 330, So.
75 Zac Matthias, 6-5, 330, So.
C 66 Peter Konz, 6-5, 313, So.
79 Ryan Groy, 6-5, 320, So.
RG 70 Kevin Zeitler, 6-4, 315, Sr.
64 Robert Burge, 6-7, 325, Jr.
RT 67 Josh Oglesby, 6-7, 330, Sr.
78 Rob Havenstein, 6-8, 345, R-Fr.
TE 82 Jake Byrne, 6-4, 260, Sr.
49 Sam Arneson, 6-4, 245, Fr.
TE 48 Jacob Pedersen, 6-4, 240, So.
85 Brian Wozniak, 6-4, 260, So.
QB 16 Russell Wilson, 5-11, 210, Sr.
11 Joe Brennan, 6-3, 205, R-Fr.
RB 28 Montee Ball, 5-11, 210, Jr.
or 20 James White, 5-10, 195, So.
22 Jeff Lewis, 6-2, 210, R-Fr.
WR 1 Nick Toon, 6-3, 220, Sr.
15 Jeff Duckworth, 6-0, 215, So.
WR 4 Jared Abbrederis, 6-2, 180, So.
19 Manasseh Garner, 6-2, 210, So.
K 18 Philip Welch, 6-3, 205, Sr.

Wisconsin Defense

DE 93 Louis Nzegwu, 6-4, 255, Sr.
51 Tyler Dippel, 6-4, 260, So.
DT 87 Ethan Hemer, 6-6, 300, So.
91 Jordan Kohout, 6-3, 290, So.
DT 95 Patrick Butrym, 6-4, 285, Sr.
96 Beau Allen, 6-3, 310, So.
DE 97 Brendan Kelly, 6-6, 255, Jr.
92 Pat Muldoon, 6-3, 260, So.
SLB 9 Kevin Claxton, 6-1, 240, Sr.
36 Ethan Armstrong, 6-2, 240, So.
MLB 44 Chris Borland, 5-11, 245, So.
30 Derek Landisch, 5-11, 225, Fr.
SLB 53 Mike Taylor, 6-2, 230, Jr.
13 Conor O’Neill, 6-0, 220, So.
CB 26 Antonio Fenelus, 5-9, 190, Sr.
32 Devin Gaulden, 5-10, 185, Fr.
CB 14 Marcus Cromartie, 6-1, 183, So.
21 Peniel Jean, 5-11, 190, R-Fr.
SS 24 Shelton Johnson, 6-0, 190, Jr.
12 Dezmen Southward, 6-2, 205, So.
FS 7 Aaron Henry, 6-0, 210, Sr.
25 Adam Hampton, 5-11, 185, Sr.
P 98 Brad Nortman, 6-3, 210, Sr.

Also Notable

* Wisconsin has 15 players on its roster from Ohio. That group includes several notables, including LB Chris Borland (Kettering Alter), WR Jeff Duckworth (Cincinnati Princeton) and DE Pat Muldoon (Cincinnati St. Xavier).

* From the Something Has To Give Dept.: Wisconsin last lost back-to-back games in October 2009 with defeats at the hands of No. 9 Ohio State (31-13) and No. 11 Iowa (20-10). Meanwhile, Ohio State hasn’t lost back-to-back home games since 1990 with losses to USC (35-26, the storm-shortened game) and Illinois (31-20).

* Wisconsin’s 27-6 record over the last three years is the fifth-best record in the country. Only Boise State (33-1), Alabama (32-3), TCU (30-3) and Oregon (28-5) have better records.

* This will be just the second time since 1974 that Wisconsin will go to OSU as a ranked team. The last time was in 2004 when the 15th-ranked Badgers won 24-13.

This will be the first time since 1963 that Wisconsin will meet OSU as the only ranked team. The Buckeyes had been ranked in the last 12 meetings between the teams, dating to 1994.

* Bielema sits fourth among active I-A coaches with five years of service in winning percentage at .764 (55-17). He trails Boise State’s Chris Petersen (68-5, .932), Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops (135-32, .808) and TCU’s Gary Patterson (103-30, .774).

* There are a ton of extra activities surrounding this Homecoming game. The Buckeyes will be wearing Nike Pro Combat throwback uniforms celebrating the 50th anniversary of OSU’s 1961 national championship team.

Also, 1995 Heisman Trophy winner Eddie George will be recognized at halftime for his selection into the College Football Hall of Fame.

OSU officials are asking fans to wear Scarlet to create a Scarlet Shoe effect.

* This will also be just the 11th night game ever at Ohio Stadium since the first one against Pittsburgh in 1985. OSU broke a three-game night game losing streak with last year’s win over Marshall. OSU is 7-3 all-time in home night games.

The Buckeyes are 0-2 this season in night games with losses at Miami (Fla.) and Nebraska. OSU is 35-19 all-time in night games.

* OSU is 65-19-5 in past Homecoming games.

* OSU game captains for the Wisconsin game will be senior center Mike Brewster, senior linebacker Andrew Sweat and junior defensive lineman John Simon. Brewster is a captain for a fifth time; Sweat is now a four-time captain.

Breaking It Down

* When Ohio State Has The Ball: The Ohio State running game is coming together nicely with Mike Adams back at left tackle and Boom Herron returning at tailback. Wisconsin has given up some yardage on the ground and is fifth in the Big Ten in rushing defense (121.1 yards allowed per game). The Buckeyes will lean heavily on Herron and Jordan Hall (and, heck, maybe even Carlos Hyde). If they can approach 200 yards rushing, that would be a huge development.

Meanwhile, Buckeye Nation has to hope that quarterback Braxton Miller has improved his passing ability during this two-week break. He completed just 1 of 4 passes in the win at Illinois. His young receivers have not helped the cause much, either. Wisconsin is coming off a game where it allowed 290 yards passing in its loss to Michigan State.

If the Buckeyes could get, say, 125 yards passing and 50 rushing out of Miller, that may be enough to put them in position to pull off the upset.

* When Wisconsin Has The Ball: The Badgers have been virtually unstoppable at times offensively this season. Their 31 points in last week’s loss at MSU stand as a season-low. They lead the Big Ten in scoring offense (47.4 ppg) by almost 10 points and total offense (511.7 ypg) by almost 80 yards.

The catalyst is N.C. State transfer Russell Wilson at quarterback. He was viewed as a possible Heisman Trophy candidate before the loss to MSU. He is second in the Big Ten in total offense at 284.6 yards per game. He is extremely dangerous in the play action passing game and in rollouts.

The Badgers have the best tailback tandem in the Big Ten in Montee Ball and James White. Ball leads the nation with 19 touchdowns scored. And receivers Jared Abbrederis and Nick Toon have also been impact players. The offensive line averages 6-5 and 322 pounds – even bigger than the line for the Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers just down the road.

Ohio State’s defense played well against Michigan State (10 points) and Illinois (seven points) and must bring it hard to hold the Badgers down. The key will be to get controlled, sustained pressure up front on Wilson. Oh, and stopping the run --- something OSU could not do in last year’s loss in Madison.

* How It Will Go: Wisconsin rose all the way up to fourth in the national polls before last week’s Hail Mary final play loss at Michigan State. Granted, their opponents prior to MSU were not exactly murderer’s row. (Uh, Sagarin’s ratings have OSU’s schedule strength at 21st nationally, while Wisconsin’s is 108th.)

While some viewed Wisconsin as a championship quality team, nobody has looked at Ohio State as a championship-caliber team. Still, Wisconsin’s loss to MSU opened the door for OSU – with a separate loss by Penn State – to win a share of the Big Ten Leaders Division title by winning out. So there is plenty for the Buckeyes to play for here.

Ohio State is just over a full touchdown underdog to Wisconsin. The only home game approaching that was in 2009, when visiting USC was rated as a seven-point favorite. The Trojans won that game 18-15 with a late touchdown drive.

I question the Ohio State offense. Will the Buckeyes consistently move the chains and put up the 24 or more points they will need to win this game? Miller has shown some flashes of brilliance, like in the first 2-1/2 quarters against Nebraska. OSU fans have to hope he put these last two weeks to good use because the passing game needed a complete overhaul.

I question the Ohio State defense. Yes, they were rugged in the win at Illinois with John Simon and Johnathan Hankins leading the way. But they are in against one of the game’s toughest offenses, best quarterbacks and best offensive lines. If the Buckeyes can hold UW under its season-low mark of 31 points, it has to be considered a huge moral victory.

Ohio State is used to winning championships with six straight Big Ten titles. If the Buckeyes want a chance to make it seven straight, they must win this game. There is no tomorrow. A loss means it’s time to push for a bowl bid, find a way to beat Michigan and start getting the young guys ready for next year.

This has the makings of another special night at the Horseshoe. It’s all right there to play for. But seven games of evidence -- for both of these teams -- is hard to debunk. The Badgers get it done at the end. I’ve got it Wisconsin 26-23

* For The Record: I am 5-2 straight-up and 4-3 against-the-spread with Ohio State. (Wisconsin is a 7-1/2 point favorite over Ohio State).

* Other Picks: Our panel supplied their picks. Here were the score predictions: Dave Biddle (Wisconsin, 20-14), Duane Long (Wisconsin, 27-13), Dan Rubin (Wisconsin, 27-20), Bill Kurelic (Wisconsin, 24-13) and Mr. Bucknuts (OSU, 25-22).

Guest picker Kyle Heikkinen from Badger247.com picked Wisconsin to win 24-20.

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