Sep 21, 2013; Madison, WI, USA; Wisconsin Badgers running back Melvin Gordon (25) rushes with the football during the third quarter against the Purdue Boilermakers at Camp Randall Stadium. Wisconsin defeated Purdue 41-10. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
There will be blood.
Or, at least, there will be a lot of red. Wisconsin and Ohio State is one matchup that highlights a Saturday slate with national title implications all over the country.
Wisconsin is 3-1 in their first four games this season, and is ranked 23rd in the nation going into Ohio State to try and beat the Buckeyes, which won’t be an easy task. Believe it or not, here’s a stat for y0u. Through four games, the Wisconsin Badgers have rushed for 1,399 yards, averaging just a hair under 350 yards per game on the ground.
Ohio State is 4-0 and looking like a National Title contender and the best in the Big Ten, and this is a team that features a very intriguing breakout player. Quarterback Kenny Guiton had really no prospect of playing this season unless Braxton Miller were to get injured, and that’s exactly what happened.
Miller threw only 24 passes this season before Guiton had to come in for some relief, and he’s been nothing shy of spectacular. Guiton has thrown for 664 yards with 13 touchdowns and just two interceptions, and he’s also rushed for another 186 yards and a touchdown.
With Braxton Miller now healthy again, Ohio State will reportedly go with two ‘starters’ at the quarterback position. They are really between a rock and a hard place here. You can’t get a rhythm having two starting quarterbacks, but you also can’t NOT have both of these guys on the field at some point in time or in some way.
While Ohio State has an explosive offensive attack featuring two dynamic quarterbacks, Wisconsin uses the more traditional approach, featuring two running backs who are absolutely killing it this season.
Normally, James White’s 61 carries for 442 yards and three touchdowns would be impressive enough, but the leading rusher in the nation has everyone’s attention. Melvin Gordon III leads all runners with 624 yards on 53 carries in four games, scoring seven touchdowns on the ground.
Gordon is averaging 11.8 yards per carry, an absolutely unheard of number, and hasn’t even gotten any looks in the passing game yet. He is the leading rusher in the nation by 51 yards and Wisconsin ought to be feeding him the ball quite a bit in this game.
The question is whether or not Gordon’s playmaking will be enough to upset the Buckeyes on their home field. The Badgers have the offense to do it led by Gordon and White, so don’t be surprised to see a little Big Ten shootout on Saturday.