Ohio State Football: Key Players for Buckeyes in Clash with Wisconsin

Hayden DeitrickFeatured ColumnistNovember 15, 2012

Braxton Miller will look to lead Ohio State to a win over Wisconsin this Saturday.
Braxton Miller will look to lead Ohio State to a win over Wisconsin this Saturday.Patrick Smith/Getty Images

While Ohio State is ineligible to play for the Big Ten title this season, it can still continue its impressive undefeated record with a win over Wisconsin on Saturday. 

The Buckeyes will look to avoid having their win streak snapped by Wisconsin, who has been responsible for ending Ohio State’s two longest winning streaks in school history.

Here are some key players that must play their absolute best on Saturday if Ohio State is to beat the Wisconsin Badgers on the road during their Senior Day. 


Braxton Miller

Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller has been electrifying for the Buckeyes this season, passing for 1,753 yards and 14 touchdowns.  And what he doesn’t do with his arm, he does with his legs.  Miller’s ability to run with the ball will be crucial for the Buckeyes this Saturday. 

The sophomore quarterback’s impact on the offense can be measured. Miller is responsible for 2,919 of Ohio State’s 4,453 total yards this season.  That is 66 percent of Ohio State’s total offense.

Braxton Miller must step up because, based on his percentage of total yards this season, the Buckeyes will only go as far he takes them on Saturday.


Devin Smith

Braxton Miller’s favorite target this season has been Devin Smith. He has caught 24 passes for 514 yards and six touchdowns.

At just 6’1”, the sophomore receiver relies on his speed and excellent route-running to burn defenses.

Smith caught the game-winning touchdown against Wisconsin in the Buckeyes' come-from-behind win last season.  If he can bring a similar performance to this season’s showdown, Ohio State has a good shot at winning again this year.


Etienne Sabino

Ohio State must stop the run if it is going to leave Wisconsin with a win.

Badgers running back Montee Ball is only two touchdowns away from breaking the record for most rushing touchdowns in college football history.

Etienne Sabino leads a linebacker core that must show up big to stop the prolific Wisconsin running back.

Sabino has 38 tackles and an interception this season.  If he can lead the Ohio State defense to overpower Wisconsin’s potent offense, then he will likely lead Ohio State to a victory.