Ohio State Football: How Buckeyes Match Up with Final Two Opponents

Patrick Clarke@@_Pat_ClarkeCorrespondent INovember 14, 2012

STATE COLLEGE, PA - OCTOBER 27: Quarterback Braxton Miller #5 of the Ohio State Buckeyes looks to pass against the Penn State Nittany Lions in the second quarter at Beaver Stadium on October 27, 2012 in State College, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Ohio State's despicable postseason ban can't keep the 2012 Buckeyes from achieving the elusive perfect season. At 10-0, Urban Meyer, in his first season as head honcho in Columbus, is two wins away from achieving legendary status in his home state. 

After two months of domination on the gridiron, only Big Ten foes Wisconsin and Michigan stand in the way of Ohio State's first perfect season since 2002. 

Here, we break down how the Buckeyes match up with their final two potential roadblocks: the Badgers and Wolverines. 



The Badgers have played well at home this season, going 5-1. But if there is good news for the Buckeyes, it's that Wisconsin dropped its most recent home game to Michigan State in overtime.

Still, Ohio State will have to contain the Badgers' 17th-ranked rushing attack in Week 12. Wisconsin's ground attack is led by senior Montee Ball, who has rushed for more than 1,200 yards and 16 touchdowns in 10 games this fall.

The Buckeyes should be able to keep Ball under wraps though, considering that their rush defense ranks towards the top nationally, allowing fewer than 108 yards on the ground per game.

Look for Ohio State's defense, fresh and revitalized following its Week 11 bye, to continue to play a bend-but-don't-break style, more importantly making points, not yards hard to come by for the Badgers.

Offensively, Ohio State's shot at success rests solely on the shoulders of Braxton Miller. The sophomore quarterback leads the team in passing and rushing this season.

If he can continue to average eight yards per pass attempt and six yards per rush on Saturday, then Ohio State will win convincingly in Madison.

Otherwise, expect another nail-biter from the Buckeyes on the road, where they've won their three games away from Columbus by a combined 16 points in 2012.



Although they often say that you can throw out the statistics and records when it comes to a rivalry game like Michigan-Ohio State, that saying won't apply inside Ohio Stadium two days after Thanksgiving. 

Sure, these two teams, schools and fan bases flat-out hate each other, but hatred can only inspire for so long before talent overcomes.

The obvious edge in this matchup goes to the undefeated Buckeyes, who will host the Wolverines in Columbus. Not only will Ohio State have the home-field advantage on November 24, but Urban Meyer's squad will also have a notable advantage on the ground.

Michigan ranks just 60th in the country this season defending the run, while Ohio State ranks eighth in rush offense, putting up a tad more than 256 yards on the ground per week.

Brady Hoke's Wolverines are far from the team they were a year ago when they won the Sugar Bowl. Denard Robinson has been banged up all year it seems, and the passing offense is virtually nonexistent, ranking 101st in the nation.

Therefore the Buckeyes shouldn't have to much to worry about on defense, and can focus on avenging their 2011 loss in Ann Arbor all the while running their record to a perfect 12-0 


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