Wisconsin vs. Ohio State: Predictions for Saturday's Big Ten Clash

Tyler Brooke@TylerDBrookeSenior Analyst IISeptember 28, 2013

Sep 21, 2013; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Braxton Miller (5) warms up prior to the game against the Florida A&M Rattlers at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

In one of the biggest games to watch for this Saturday, No. 23 Wisconsin will be taking on No. 4 Ohio State in Columbus, and odds are that it's going to be one of the best games all week.

Buckeyes fans are anxiously awaiting the return of starting quarterback Braxton Miller this week, who suffered a knee sprain in Week 2 against San Diego State, forcing him to miss the last two games.

The Badgers are looking to pull off an upset and keep themselves in contention for the Big Ten title this week. They currently rank third in the nation in rushing yards, averaging 349.8 yards on the ground per game.

Here are some predictions for tonight's game based on what we've seen from both teams so far.


Braxton Miller and Kenny Guiton Split Snaps

Urban Meyer has a tough decision to make this week, but he's really lucky to have two talented quarterbacks to deal with.

According to Austin Ward of ESPN.com, Miller will likely start against the Badgers this week.  Meyer was hesitant to say that Kenny Guiton wouldn't play however, and stayed rather uncommitted as to whether Miller would play 100 percent of the snaps.

Based off of what Meyer has been saying and what we've seen from Guiton so far, it wouldn't be surprising to see the backup quarterback getting in the game often and making plays. He already has 664 yards passing and 14 total touchdowns with significant playing time in just three games.

While Guiton provides plenty of big-play ability in the pocket and can extend plays with his legs, Miller is the more explosive of the two. He had 1,271 yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground last season and will be looking to take off on the ground whenever he sees an open lane this week, even after coming off of a knee injury.

We're going to see Miller and Guiton this week, but expect the percentage of plays they each play to be pretty even as the game progresses.


Melvin Gordon Continues Making Case For Big Ten Player of the Year

MADISON, WI - SEPTEMBER 07: Melvin Gordon #25 of the Wisconsin Badgers runs for 65 yards during the first half against the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles at Camp Randall Stadium on September 07, 2013 in Madison, Wisconsin. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Imag
Mike McGinnis/Getty Images

As good as some players have looked in the Big Ten this year, there might not be a more exciting and explosive player in the conference right now than Melvin Gordon.

After the departure of Montee Ball, many were expecting James White to steal the show this season. He's had a strong start to the year, running for 442 yards and three touchdowns, but Gordon has been the star of the team so far.

So far, Gordon has been one of the best running backs in the nation. He has 624 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground on just 53 carries. Every time he touches the ball, he averages about 11.8 yards per carry.

The Buckeyes have yet to be really tested on the ground, and this is going to be an opportunity for Gordon and the rest of the Badgers to keep running it up their gut until they wear down.

Gordon might not run for 147 yards and three touchdowns like he did last week, but you can bet that he runs for at least 100 yards and finds the end zone at least once in this divisional clash.


Buckeyes Win in a Shootout

COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 21:  Chris Fields #80 of the Ohio State Buckeyes celebrates his 16-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter against the Florida A&M Rattlers with teammate Dontre Wilson #1 of the Ohio State Buckeyes at Ohio Stadium on September
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

With the return of Miller, the Buckeyes have an added dimension to their offense that they haven't had the past two weeks, and that's really good news for the team.

These two teams have high-powered offenses and defenses that have yet to be truly tested so far this season, and that means that we will be seeing points scored in bunches. These two teams have combined to score 374 points in eight games and that will continue this week.

Both teams are looking for an edge in the Big Ten Leaders division, and that means these offenses are going to be going at full-speed for the whole game.  

With what we've seen from guys like Miller, Guiton, Gordon and White, this is game is going to be a close one that ends in a shootout.



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