Sleeping giants

The running games may be in the headlines, but the Buckeyes and Badgers passing games will look to awaken Saturday

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While Wisconsin has been missing tailbacks Anthony Davis and Dwayne Smith intermittently, the Buckeyes offense has also dealt with a key component missing games due to injury. Quarterback Craig Krenzel, though, is certain to play Saturday and should be 100 percent.

 


Craig Krenzel (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The Buckeyes, like the Badgers, were supposed to have an explosive, multi-faceted offense that could burn teams through the air and on the ground. Instead, Ohio State has struggled in both respects, averaging just 3.3 yards per carry and 6.5 yards per pass. The Badgers, meanwhile, have hit plenty of big plays in the passing game, but quarterback Jim Sorgi has struggled with his accuracy.

 

Whereas the Buckeyes and Badgers have been billed as having two of the most talented receiving corps in the country, that depth and wealth has been only partially showcased this season. Wisconsin's Lee Evans and Brandon Williams and Ohio State's Michael Jenkins have starred, but few of the rest have shined through. Still, why not simply turn to your stars to make plays? It has worked for the Buckeyes through a 19-game winning streak, after all. And despite the respective passing games not putting up quite the gaudy numbers that were anticipated, each of these teams can still stretch the field.

 

"I think they do a good job of when they throw and what they throw," Tressel said. "When you're playing against a good run team, knowing that at any moment they can hit a homerun throwing the ball, I think that makes your challenge tougher."

 

"This game especially is where you really have to be on top of your keys," Wisconsin safety Jim Leonhard said. "They are a balanced team. They will run the ball, they will throw the ball. Being a safety you are going to be clean, you have to be on both. This is where you can't be thinking, ‘I've got to make this big interception,' because they will run the ball on you. This is where you really have to be on top of your game because they are such a balanced offense."


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