By Matt Natali
Saturday marks the first matchup between Ohio State and Northwestern since 2008 when the Buckeyes traveled to Evanston and claimed a 45-10 victory.
With the addition of two schools to the Big Ten next season (Maryland and Rutgers) and subsequent restructuring of the conference divisions, Ohio State and Northwestern will not meet again until 2016.
Ohio State holds a lopsided advantage in the series with a 59-14-1 edge. The Buckeyes last lost to Northwestern in 2004 to the tune of 33-27 when they visited Evanston ranked No. 7 in the country. Before that, Northwestern’s previous win over Ohio State came during the Nixon Administration in 1971.
Meyer is 1-0 going head-to-head against Northwestern. In his first season as an FBS head coach at Bowling Green in 2001, Meyer’s Falcons edged the Wildcats 43-42 by converting a 2-point conversion in the final minute of the game.
The matchup was not originally on the schedule but Northwestern was left with an open slot after the matchup with Navy was postponed due to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and Bowling Green filled the slot.
“We had a six-hour bus ride and we refused to leave the locker room for about two and a half hours,” Meyer recalled of the win. “Those kids wouldn't leave and I wouldn't leave with them. We were just crying and enjoying it. It was an incredible comeback.”
The Bowling Green win ultimately eliminated Northwestern's chances of earning a bowl berth.
Fitzgerald was a defensive backs coach on the Northwestern staff at the time. Now in his eighth season as the Northwestern's head coach, the 2013 campaign marks the fourth time Fitzgerald's Wildcats have started at least 4-0 in his tenure.
Prediction: Ohio State 47, Northwestern 21