When a football team sees their schedule for the first time each season, there are opponents and games that stand out, and there are games that could look like an easy victory. For much of the history between these two teams, a game against the Northwestern Wildcats was a pushover for the Ohio State Buckeyes who lead the all-time series 60-14.
The Saturday October 5th, the Big Ten Conference match up between the Buckeyes and the Wildcats was the first meeting between the Big Ten rivals since a 45-10 Buckeye victory in 2008.
This game most definitely stands out on a schedule. Ranked #16 in the nation head coach Pat Fitzgerald's Wildcats arguably pose the biggest threat to a second straight undefeated season for Ohio State.
In a game that saw seven lead changes, turnovers seemed to be the biggest issue for Buckeyes' quarterback Braxton Miller and the offense turned the ball over four times Saturday night. Head coach Urban Meyer even had senior backup quarterback Kenny Guiton loosen his arm up on the sideline after a fumble by Miller in the third quarter.
The biggest story in the 40-30 victory for the Ohio State over Northwestern was Carlos Hyde, who had three rushing touchdowns on 168 yards rushing. Miller added 68 yards on 17 carries on the ground also.
The always dependent Buckeyes' receiver Philly Brown came up big for the Buckeyes' offense catching six passes for 127 yards.
The Wildcats offense put up 437 yards in the contest with their two quarterback system featuring Trevor Siemian and Kain Colter. Siemian produced the bulk of the passing offense going 13-for-18 for 245 yards and two touchdowns in the loss. Colter passed for 98 yards, caught a touchdown from Siemian in the first quarter, and ran for a touchdown early in the second quarter.
Ohio State's defense contributed big in the victory Saturday. First when corner back Bradley Roby blocked and recovered a punt for a touchdown to give Ohio State a 10-7 advantage late in the first quarter. After giving up the lead on a touchdown with less than 10 minutes to play, they stepped up to stop Northwestern on their final drive forcing a turnover on downs with just over five minutes to play in the fourth quarter.
The Buckeyes (6-0) stay undefeated with their second straight conference win, and will return to Columbus in two Saturdays to continue Big Ten conference play, taking on the Iowa Hawkeyes at 3:30 ET.