Northwestern Wildcats vs. Ohio State Buckeyes Free Pick 10/5/13
Ohio State Buckeyes (5-0) at Northwestern Wildcats (4-0)
College Football: Saturday, October 5, 2013 at 8:00 pm (Ryan Field)
The Line: Northwestern Wildcats +6 See the Latest Odds
TV: ABC HD
The Ohio State Buckeyes head to Ryan Field on Saturday to face off against the Northwestern Wildcats.
The Northwestern Wildcats are currently sitting at 4-0 this season and are ranked in the top 20 in both the AP and the Coaches poll. The Wildcats one of the more dynamic offenses in the nation, averaging better than 41 points per game. True, Northwestern hasn’t had the toughest of schedules, but wins are wins and points are points. The Wildcats had this past weekend off to rest up and prepare for Urban Meyer and his Buckeyes. The previous weekend, the Wildcats took care of business, defeating the Maine Black Bears 35-21. The score doesn’t look all that impressive, but Maine did get a couple of late fourth quarter garbage time scores against the Wildcats. The passing attack wasn’t used all that much against Maine, as both Colter and Siemian combined for just 17 attempts and 122 yards through the air. On the ground however, the Wildcats pushed the Black Bears around, to the tune of 251 yards, averaging better than five yards per carry on the day. I really like this Northwestern team, and I have been saying for awhile that Pat Fitzgerald is one of the best coaches in the college ranks. The only thing that concerns me about the Wildcats is their defensive play. Northwestern has had a pretty easy slate thus far, and still the Wildcats are giving up nearly 24 points per game on average this season.
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The Ohio State Buckeyes continued their winning ways this past weekend as the Buckeyes defeated the Wisconsin Badgers 31-24. The Buckeyes under Meyer are just running through the Big Ten again this season, and looking down their schedule, the Buckeyes realistically have only a few potential hiccups. Ohio State put on an impressive display this past weekend against the Badgers, taking a solid first half lead, and then adding to it in the third quarter, putting things out of reach for Wisconsin. Ohio State had 390 yards of total offense against the Badgers, 198 of which came through the air. Braxton Miller was under center for Ohio State on the night, and Miller showed us that there is no rust there as the OSU signal caller went 17/25 for 198 yards and four scores. Miller also contributed on the ground, picking up 83 yards on 22 carries. Senior wideout Philly Brown had a huge day for the Buckeyes, hauling in eight passes for 85 yards and two scores against the Badgers. This Ohio State team just keeps winning, and as the recruits start to pile up for Meyer, you can just see the beginning of a potential dynasty in Columbus.
In their last ten road games, the Buckeyes are 7-3 against the spread, and 6-4 overall. When playing a team with a winning record, the Buckeyes are 9-2 against the spread in their last 11, and 8-4 overall. Northwestern is 3-1 against the spread in their last four games coming off a bye.
I’ve been back and forth on this one, but I’m going to settle on the Wildcats. I love what Northwestern is doing this season, and if the Buckeyes are going to get knocked off, this looks like a prime spot. OSU is running into a Northwestern team that has had a week off to prepare and rest and the Buckeyes are coming off a huge win at home against the Badgers the week before. Meyer will do everything in his power to keep his players focused and prepared here, but it will be tough for the OSU players not to have a letdown after last weekend’s game.
Personally, I am staying away from this one, but for my free pick on this game, I’ll take the points with the Wildcats at home against the Badgers.