The No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes have had their bye week, and remain one of just 12 undefeated teams in the NCAA. Now, they look to prove why they deserve to be counted among the best teams in the country as they face Northwestern in Evanston in a rare Friday night matchup.
Yes, Friday night. If that seems weird for Ohio State, it is, as the last time the Buckeyes played a non-Saturday, mid-season game happened six decades ago. In other fun historical facts, tonight’s game also happens to be a rematch of last year’s Big Ten Title game, which the Buckeyes won 45-24.
Heading into the bye week, Ohio State brought home a 34-10 win over Michigan State. In that game, quarterback Justin Fields was 17-of-25 passing for 206 yards, two touchdowns and his first and only pick of the year (knock on wood). Running back J.K. Dobbins added 172 yards and a touchdown of his own.
Northwestern, meanwhile, enters the game with a 1-4 record on the season, but that record doesn’t tell the whole story. It’s true -- Pat Fitzgerald’s offense has had just eight touchdowns this season (including a mere two through the air), but the defense has been stellar. Against Wisconsin, the Wildcats held Heisman candidate running back Jonathan Taylor to just 4.6 yards per carry and one touchdown (still good -- but not as good as Taylor’s been the rest of the season).
The Buckeyes are 27.5-point favorites over the Wildcats. Historically, Ohio State holds a 62-14-1 advantage over its Big Ten opponent. Weird scheduling and all, the Buckeyes look to stay unbeaten when they take the field in Evanston tonight.
When is the game and how can I watch?
Game Date/Time: Friday, Oct. 18, 8:30 p.m.
Location: Evanston, Illinois
Radio: 97.1 FM/1460 AM
Where is GameDay this weekend?
For the 19th time in the show’s history, College Gameday is heading to the site of a Penn State game. The crew is heading to Happy Valley ahead of the Nittany Lions’ matchup with Michigan. GameDay has been to Happy Valley eight times overall, including once in each of the last three seasons.
What’s the rest of the Big Ten up to tomorrow?
The Big Ten has five matchups scheduled for Saturday. No. 6 Wisconsin is kicking things off on the road against Illinois at noon on BTN, while Purdue travels to No. 23 Iowa during the same time slot on ESPN2. At 3:30 p.m., No. 20 Minnesota (which happens to be 6-0) heads to Rutgers on BTN. Also at 3:30 p.m., Maryland gets Indiana in College Park. Finally, capping things off with the premiere game of the day, No. 16 Michigan heads to the aforementioned Happy Valley to face No. 7 Penn State at 7:30 p.m. on ABC.
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