Ohio State Football: 4 Big Ten Teams That Will Give Buckeyes the Most Trouble
Welcome to your first season in the Big Ten, Urban Meyer.
The 4-0 Buckeyes, who are ineligible for the Big Ten Championship Game, kick off the conference season on Saturday against Michigan State as they try to win the Leaders Division crown.
The Big Ten is obviously in a very down year, but Ohio State is as well. They continue the transition into Urban Meyer's style, while not quite yet having the right pieces on the team.
There are some dangerous teams on the Ohio State schedule that can create some problems.
Here are four that can do just that.
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OSU's Braxton Miller probably still has nightmares from what the Michigan State defense did to him last year in Columbus where they sacked him nine times in a 10-7 Spartan win.
Miller is a lot better, but the Spartan defense is still very good and very fast, even without Jerel Worthy.
The Buckeye defense has to find a way to stop Le'Veon Bell, who is a freight train every time he runs the football because of how big and surprisingly athletic he is, as was evidenced by him hurdling defenders twice already this season.
Saturday's showdown may be a coin flip in the truest sense of the word, but Miller is going to have to show that he is night and day from the player he was a year ago if Ohio State is to pull this out.
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The only loss tougher to deal with after the Michigan State struggle was the collapse at Nebraska, only because Miller had looked so good, but was knocked out of the game.
The Huskers may not be as good defensively, but their offense is a lot better and it's because of how much better Taylor Martinez is playing at quarterback.
He and senior back Rex Burkhead took over in the second half to help lead the Nebraska charge, and both can create some problems for the Buckeye defense with how diverse they can be.
Ameer Abdullah has shined as a back as well, with Burkhead just now coming back from injury.
The Buckeyes had problems slowing down this offense in the second half last year, and the Husker attack is much better this year.
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It's true that Wisconsin is not very good this year and the "rent-a-quarterback" strategy looks more like a one-hit wonder.
The biggest concern for Ohio State when they play Wisconsin on Nov. 17 is the Camp Randall factor. Ohio State always has trouble against Wisconsin when they have to play in Camp Randall, no matter how good or how bad the Badgers are.
Montee Ball is still a very good running back and the Badgers, when they have better QB play, have a pair of good receivers in Jared Abbrederis and Jacob Pedersen.
By the end of the year, the Badgers should be a much better team. Like the Buckeyes, they have things to figure out and get smoothed out.
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Michigan has suffered two very difficult losses, including the embarrassment in Dallas against Alabama, but Michigan is still a concern because of the rivalry factor.
Denard Robinson is still a good football player, even though Alabama and Notre Dame have provided the rest of the country with a blueprint to beat the Wolverines.
It's been a rough start to the season for the Wolverines, with Robinson struggling and the injuries to talented players, including Blake Countess.
Both teams will come into the rivalry laying it all on the line, especially if the Wolverines have a chance to play for the conference championship the following week.
The fact that this is The Game alone makes Michigan a team Ohio State has to worry about.
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