Six things you should know about the Buckeyes

The #3 Texas Longhorns (11-1) are headed to Arizona to face the #10 Ohio State Buckeyes (10-2) in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. Before the schools play in several weeks, here are six things you should know about the Ohio State Buckeyes.

Most Texas Longhorn fans remember the Buckeyes by the early season beating at the hands of the USC Trojans. To assume this team is the same one that disappointed in September at the L.A. Coliseum would be a mistake. For one, Chris Wells did not play in that game. And perhaps more importantly, Terrelle Prior is now firmly entrenched as the starting quarterback, rather than an infrequent change of pace.

Six things you should know about the Buckeyes

1. Ohio State is in the top 10 nationally in five statistical categories: turnover margin (sixth, +1.25), pass defense (sixth, 164.33), scoring defense (seventh, 13.08), total defense (eighth, 279.25), and net punting (tenth, 37.82).

2. Ohio State leads the Big 10 in three statistical categories: punt returns (12.91), turnover margin (+1.25), and pass defense (164.33).

3. Ohio State is in the bottom half of the Big 10 in six statistical categories: sacks allowed (seventh; 2.17), sacks (seventh, 2.00), tackles for loss (eighth, 5.58), total offense (ninth, 339.67), passing offense (tenth, 148.08), and kickoff returns (10th; 18.96 yards).

4. Texas and Ohio State both protect the ball very well, so don't expect many turnovers. Ohio State threw six interceptions and lost seven fumbles for 13 total turnovers on the year. Texas also committed only 13 turnovers (7 interceptions, 6 fumbles lost). Both teams tie for fifth nationally in fewest turnovers. Defensively, Texas has only forced and recovered 10 fumbles and intercepted opposing teams just six times. Ohio State is much better intercepting 14 balls and recovering 14 fumbles.

5. Texas is not the only team to have players in contention to win a bunch of national hardware. Ohio State's Malcolm Jenkins won the Jim Thorpe Award for the nation's best defensive back. James Laurinaitis won the Butkus Award in 2007. Laurinaitis also won the Bronko Nagurski Award in 2006 – the same award Texas Longhorn defender Brian Orakpo won this season. In addition, Laurinaitis was a semifinalist this season for the Bednarik, Lott, and Lombardi awards.

6. Ohio State owns the Fiesta Bowl. The Buckeyes will be making their sixth appearance in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, and have won their last four appearances. The Buckeyes also won their 2003 national championship with a 31-24 double-overtime win over the Miami Hurricanes in the Fiesta Bowl.

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