EVANSTON – On the road, and under the lights, this usually spells trouble for the Ohio State Buckeyes.
The No. 4-ranked Buckeyes travel to Evanston to play a program on the rise—and also very underrated—in the 16th-ranked Northwestern Wildcats, who have quietly under head coach Pat Fitzgerald have the look of a team that may give Urban Meyer’s Buckeyes some problems.
On the ground, Northwestern is one of the stingiest in allowing 118 yards on the ground, will have to stop a re-born Carlos Hyde on the ground and Heisman Trophy candidate in quarterback Braxton Miller and his legs if they hope to pull of their first home upset over a top-ten team in 35 years.
Can they do it though? Not likely.
While the Wildcats will have the energy and emotion of the crowd behind them at Ryan Field, but unless the Wildcats can find a way to record only their second win vs Ohio State in 30 meetings, then expect the Buckeyes to extend their nation-best 17-game winning streak, much to the disappointment of the Wildcat faithful.
On the verge of starting 5-0 for the first time since 1904-05, Northwestern will need career nights from juniors in quarterback Trevor Siemian, running back Treyvon Green and wide receiver Tony Jones if they hope to keep the Buckeyes high-powered up-tempo offense off the field—or attempt to keep up with—as Ohio State averages 48.2 points while allowing 17.0 a game.
Northwestern averages 41.3 points per game, while giving up 23.8
Based on those stats, this could either be a high-scoring 41-39 type of game, or a 20-17 classic B1G 10 old-school slobber-knocker.
Stats aside, Northwestern has a chance—albeit slight—in knocking the Buckeyes off at home in front of a national audience and a loud and fiery crowd.
Will they? That remains to be seen.
Robert D. Cobb is the Founder/CEO/Senior Editor-In-Chief Of The Inscriber : Digital Magazine, for questions, comments and concerns email me at [email protected] and follow the Inscriber : Digital Magazine on Twitter at @TheInscriber