After a slow start to the season, the Wisconsin Badgers (7-3, 4-2) have won four out of their last five games heading into this showdown against undefeated Ohio State. Although the Buckeyes are ineligible for postseason, they are motivated by first year head coach Urban Meyer, who knows the future is bright. This is a battle between Wisconsin's brute strength and Ohio State's speed. The question is who will come out on top? Here are three bold predictions.
1. Montee Ball will go off.
Even though Montee Ball might not be playing at the same level he was playing at during last season's record-setting season, Ball is still a workhorse. He ranks 11th in the country in rushing yards and has been playing best as of late, rushing for 13 touchdowns in the last six games.
Ball will be facing Ohio State's rush defense that ranks 16th nationally. I believe this defense can't maintain the level of play that they are playing at right now, eventually cracking. Unfortunately for the Buckeyes, I believe that will happen this week against Montee Ball.
2. The Ohio State offense will be held in check.
The Ohio State offense has been praised all year, mainly because of Heisman-contending quarterback Braxton Miller. Although some of that praise has been deserved, they play in a conference that is a mid-level BCS conference, at best. This is a team that struggled to put up 29 points against a UAB squad that ranks higher than 75th in both pass and rush defense.
Yes, they have had their moments, but this will not be a game the Ohio State offense will want to remember. The Wisconsin defense ranks 12th nationally, only allowing 17.2 points per game. The Badgers are led by senior linebacker Mike Taylor who could surpass 100 tackles this week, for the second straight season.
3. Wisconsin will come out on top.
Traveling to Camp Randall is never easy for visiting opponents, where the Badgers all-time record is 641-471-51. They are five and one this season at home, their only loss being in overtime to Michigan State. On the road this season, the Buckeyes have won by a total of 16 points, and not one of those games was as difficult as this week's game will be.
With Joel Stave and Danny O'Brien injured, senior Curt Phillips will be starting at quarterback for Wisconsin. With the Badgers' style of play, Phillips doesn't need to make big plays, he just needs to make sure he doesn't force any turnovers. If Phillips does this the Badgers will upset undefeated Ohio State, and end Braxton Miller's chances of bringing the Heisman Trophy back to Columbus.