No. 2 Ohio State (5-0, 2-0 Big Ten) at No. 8 Wisconsin (4-1, 1-1), 8 p.m. (ABC)
Line: Ohio State by 9½.
Series Record: Ohio State leads 57-18-5
WHAT’S AT STAKE
Buckeyes can pad their playoff resume with a win in what could be their toughest remaining road game, in prime time at raucous Camp Randall Stadium. Trips to unranked Penn State, Maryland and Michigan State also loom on schedule. Playing a third straight top-10 opponent, Wisconsin can solidify its status as Big Ten contender by pulling off an upset at home.
Ohio State QB J.T. Barrett vs. Wisconsin linebackers. Buckeyes’ do-it-all quarterback can hurt a defense through the air or on the ground. The front seven, particularly, the linebackers, is the strength of Wisconsin’s defense, even with top OLB Vince Biegel sidelined by foot injury. Active OLB T.J. Watt and Biegel’s replacement, Garrett Dooley must set edges and be patient to limit Barrett’s running options, while ILBs Jack Cichy and T.J. Edwards will need stout efforts against nation’s third-best rush offense (323.6 yards per game).
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Ohio State: RB Mike Weber. Big Ten’s leading rusher (113.2 yards) coming off is lowest output of season after rushing for 71 on 15 carries against Indiana, though he did have two touchdowns.
Wisconsin: RB Corey Clement. The Badgers’ best breakaway threat has eclipsed 100 yards in a game once this season, when he had 111 on 21 carries against Akron in Week 2. Injuries to top two players at left guard have created shuffling along line.
FACTS & FIGURES
Ohio State is playing the first of four straight night games. … Barrett needs three more touchdowns, rushing or passing, to break QB Braxton Miller’s career school record (88). … Ohio State has won school-record 19 straight true road games (played on opponent’s home field), longest such streak in nation. … First prime-time meeting between teams in Madison since Wisconsin’s 31-18 upset win over the then top-ranked Buckeyes in 2010. … Wisconsin defense has allowed a total of three touchdowns and two field goals in the first three meetings with top 10 teams this season.
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