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Ohio State-Northwestern preview


Who: No. 3 Ohio State (5-0, 1-0 Big Ten) at No. 15 Northwestern (4-0, 0-0)

When: 8 p.m.

Where: Ryan Field, Evanston, Ill.

Series notes: The Buckeyes have gone 29-1 in the series since 1971 with four straight wins. The Wildcats’ only win in that span was in overtime at home in 2004. The teams haven’t met since 2008.

Northwestern won the outright Big Ten title in 1995 under coach Gary Barnett and shared the crown with Ohio State in 1996. But the teams didn’t play in either of those two seasons.

Stat pack: Ohio State QB Braxton Miller 34-of-49 passing, 6 TDS, 1 int; WR Devin Smith 20 catches, 331 yards, 5 TDs; LB Ryan Shazier 7 tackles for loss (tops in the Big Ten).

Northwestern QB Trevor Siemian 47-of-70 passing, 671 yards, 4 TDs, 2 ints: QB Kain Colter 27-of-35, 264 yards, 2 ints; RB Treyon Green 404 yards, 5 TDs, 7.0 average; WR Tony Jones 24 catches, 362 yards, 3 TDs.

Local flavor: Nick VanHoose, a sophomore from Graham High School, is a starter at cornerback for the Wildcats. He’s tied for fifth on the team with 20 tackles, including seven against Cal, and has 2.5 tackles for loss.

Worth noting: The Buckeyes rank first in the Big Ten and sixth nationally in scoring at 48.2 points per game. They also lead the conference and are fifth in the nation in first downs with 127.

Quick starts: The Buckeyes have outscored opponents 116-21 in the first quarter. They’re less dominant in the fourth period, out-scoring foes 17-10, but they’ve been able to downshift with big leads and the outcomes already decided.

Record breaker: Braxton Miller surpassed Cornelius Greene to become the all-time leading rusher for quarterbacks at OSU after getting 83 yards against Wisconsin. The junior from Wayne has 2,151 yards.

Memorable victory: One of the biggest wins in coach Urban Meyer’s career came when he was at Bowling Green and played at Northwestern in 2001. The Falcons prevailed, 43-42.

Asked if he has vivid memories from that upset, Meyer quipped: “I don’t know my address, but I can tell you all about that game. We had a six-hour bus ride home, and we refused to leave the locker room for two and a half hours.”

After scoring a late touchdown, Meyer said: “We knew we couldn’t stop them in overtime. We went for two and got it.”

Prediction: Ohio State 42, Northwestern 35

— Doug Harris, staff writer


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