This matchup is being called one of the biggest conference games of the year. The Ohio State Buckeyes will travel to Evanston this week for a Saturday night showdown against the Northwestern Wildcats. The Buckeyes began their Big Ten season on a good note this past Saturday, as they got a big win over a good Wisconsin Badgers team. The return of starting quarterback Braxton Miller and his four passing touchdowns were a huge factor in the win over the Badgers. If Miller continues to play at this level, then the Wildcats’ defense is sure to have trouble stopping the Buckeyes’ passing attack.
Even with a knee injury that had sidelined him since the San Diego State Aztecs game on September 7, Miller is looking better this season than he ever has before. He is showing that he’s becoming a better all-around quarterback by increasing his completion percentage by 12 percent over his career average and only throwing one interception so far this season. Between Miller and backup Kenny Guiton, who took over for Miller while he was injured, the Buckeyes have thrown for 19 touchdowns already this season, which leads the Big Ten and puts them second in the FBS behind the Oregon Ducks, who have 21. The Buckeyes totaled 17 touchdown passes all of last season.
The Wildcats’ defense has had trouble stopping the pass this season. They are last in the Big Ten with 307.5 passing yards allowed and are 11th in touchdown passes against them with eight. The defense has allowed only two touchdowns on play-action, and most of Miller’s touchdowns this season have been in play-action. This does not mean they can stop him since Miller will be the best quarterback they have faced so far. The Wildcats’ defense has also done well with forcing interceptions, but Miller has been more accurate with the ball and has not been turnover-prone this season.
The Buckeyes have the clear advantage if they are able to go into Evanston and execute their passing attack successfully. If this is the case, there is no way the Wildcats’ defense can stop them, and the Buckeyes will earn yet another big win in the Big Ten.