Ohio State Football: Previewing the Next 4 Games

Martha CoppCorrespondent IOctober 30, 2011

Ohio State Football: Previewing the Next 4 Games

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    After a stunning 33-29 victory against Wisconsin, Buckeye fans' faith has been restored. Rumblings of winning the Leaders subdivision are surfacing, as well as winning the Big Ten Championship game on December 3.

    However, the Buckeyes have another four games to get through before they can think about playing in Lucas Oil Stadium at the end of the season. 

    Click "Begin Slideshow" to see how the Buckeyes will stack up against Indiana, Purdue, Penn State, and Michigan.

November 5 vs. Indiana

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    Preview: Indiana (1-8, 0-5 Big Ten) has lost the last six games in a row and has been outscored by their opponents 343-192. Most recently, Northwestern racked up 616 yards on offense against the Hoosiers.

    Indiana is now being led by true freshman Tre Roberson. Next Saturday's game against Ohio State will mark Roberson's third career start. Against Northwestern, Roberson was 14-of-26 for 169 yards. Roberson also ran for 122 yards and a touchdown.

    The Bottom Line: Ohio State will have no problem here. The Hoosiers' run game is better than the passing game, and Ohio State proved last week that the silver bullets can shut down the run. Look for Ohio State to take the win when Indiana visits Columbus.

    Score Prediction: Ohio State 28, Indiana 14    

November 12 vs. Purdue

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    Preview: Purdue (4-4, 2-2) was routed by Michigan 36-17 on Saturday. The Boilermakers' passing offense is nothing spectacular, averaging 191 yards. However, the running game is ranked 42nd overall. Purdue has a double rushing threat with junior running backs Ralph Bolden and Akeem Shavers, though both have been stuffed as of late. Michigan's defense held them to only 50 total yards. 

    The Bottom Line: Again, Buckeye fans should count this game as a victory for the scarlet and gray. The Boilermakers have a good defense, but quarterback Braxton Miller's confidence should be growing exponentially. 

    Score Prediction: Ohio State 17, Purdue 14.

November 19 vs. Penn State

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    Preview: Penn State (8-1, 5-0 Big Ten) is going to be Ohio State's next test. The Nittany Lions are currently undefeated in the Leaders subdivision, and Ohio State must beat them in order to head to the division championship. Penn State's only loss came in a 27-11 game against No. 3 Alabama. Joe Paterno's defense is ranked fourth in the nation, with their opponents only averaging 12 points per game. However, Penn State has won all of their conference games by 10 points or fewer.

    The Bottom Line: Penn State is good, but they have the potential to fall. Quarterback Matthew McGloin played poorly against Illinois until he led a huge 80-yard drive at the end of the fourth quarter. But with Ohio State's offensive problems still plaguing the Buckeyes, this is one of the most challenging games they will play. The victory will lie in Braxton Miller's hands. 

    Score Prediction: Penn State 17, OSU 10

November 26 vs. Michigan

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    Preview: Ah, the game that Buckeye fans wait 364 days for. This heralded college football rivalry will once again provide a moment for the history books. Two first-year coaches, Luke Fickell and Brady Hoke, will square off against each other when Ohio State visits Ann Arbor at the end of November.

    The Wolverines (7-1, 3-1 Big Ten) have performed well this season, most recently dominating Purdue. Quarterback Denard Robinson's mobility is a threat, and freshman quarterback Braxton Miller has yet to play in the Big House.

    The Bottom Line: This game will come down to one word: defense. If the Buckeyes can repeat their performance shutting down Wisconsin's Montee Ball, Ohio State can bring home a victory. In addition to Robinson, running back Fitz Toussaint is also dangerous. Against Purdue, Tossaint ran for over 300 yards. It will be tough, but Ohio State has the ability to take down the Wolverines.

    Score Prediction: Ohio State 34, Michigan 28   

The Bottom Line

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    The Buckeyes have gained momentum with their huge win against Wisconsin. Braxton Miller proved that he can make a crucial pass at a crucial time. After the win against the Badgers, Miller could barely speak. He was quiet and calm, taking in the victory. If he can keep his composure, Ohio State has a chance to shock the world and head to the Big Ten Championship.