The last time Ohio State Football played Northwestern, the game was in Indianapolis in late December 2020 when the two teams met in the 2020 Big Ten Championship Game.
Ohio State won 22-10 and advanced to the college football playoffs.
Northwestern, meanwhile, beat Auburn, 35-19, in the Citrus Bowl.
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Since then, things have been going downhill for the Wildcats. Northwestern went 3-9 in 2021, which is their worst record since Pat Fitzgerald’s appointment as head coach in 2006.
The Buckeyes will travel to Evanston, Illinois for a showdown with the Wildcats on November 5th.
The truncated pandemic season was sandwiched between two 3-9 campaigns, meaning the second-longest-serving coach in the Big Ten could be under pressure.
Fitzgerald, entering his 17th season as head coach, is a Wildcats legend who received a contract extension after the 2020 season. But he will have his job cut out for him as Northwestern looks to recover from a 1-8 Big Ten record set a year ago.
Here’s what you should know about the 2022 Northwestern Wildcats.
OSU football against Northwest all-time record
Ohio State famously went unbeaten to Northwestern from 1972 to 2003. Overall, it was a 24-game winning streak that included a 70-6 win in 1981. Ohio State is 64-14-1 all-time against Northwestern.
Fitzgerald had never beaten the Buckeyes, who last lost to Northwestern in 2004. That season was a mediocre 8-4 campaign for Ohio State that ended in a 33-7 Alamo Bowl win over Oklahoma State.
The Buckeyes were big favorites in that 2004 game, losing 33-27 in overtime.
Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame
Fitzgerald was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2008. He was a two-time Bronko Naqurski Trophy winner, a two-time Chuck Bednarik Award winner, a 1996 Jack Lambert winner, and a two-time Consensus All-American.
The Illinois native was one of the best players on the 1995 Northwestern team that went 10-1 to the Rose Bowl. Obviously, Northwestern avoided playing Ohio State this season.
Despite his distinguished career, Fitzgerald was not drafted into the NFL and his pro career lasted only two preseason games with the Dallas Cowboys.
He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant coach in Maryland and then Colorado before moving to Idaho in 2000 to work as a linebacker and special teams coach.
He returned to Northwestern in 2001 and has never left. When Randy Walker died in June 2006, he was the linebackers coach in 2005 and was promoted to head coach.
What has Northwest football been up to in 2021?
The Wildcats started last season 3-3 in October but ended the year on a six-game losing streak, the longest losing streak of its kind currently in the Big Ten. Northwestern managed a 21-7 win over Rutgers, it’s the only win of the Big Ten season in 2021.
During his six-game losing streak to end the season, Northwestern’s closest game was against Iowa, a 17–12 home loss.
Northwestern’s defense was poor in 2021. But also the offensive
Northwestern has had good defenses in the past, but last year’s team struggled. As is the Wildcats offense.
Northwestern averaged 14 points or fewer in seven games last season and allowed 6.15 yards per game on defense, the most in a decade.
Northwestern QB Battle between Ryan Hilinski and Brendan Sullivan
Ryan Hilinski and Brendan Sullivan are expected to fight for the starting spot this summer. Hilinski is a transfer from South Carolina and was a starting quarterback for the Gamecocks. Sullivan, on the other hand, is a redshirt newcomer.
Peter Skoronski is one of the best offensive linemen in the Big Ten
Peter Skoronski, the 6-foot-4, 294-pound tackle, allowed just two sacks and 11 pressures in 410 pass-block snaps in 2021, according to ESPN. He is poised to follow Rashawn Slater, 2021 NFL draft pick, as first round pick next year.
He was a 2021 first-team All-Big Ten player and served on the second-team as a freshman.
Northwestern plays Nebraska in Dublin, Ireland
The Wildcats and the Cornhuskers will play the 2022 AER Lingus College Football Classic on August 27 at Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland. The game kicks off at 12:30 p.m. on Fox.
What does the Northwest football plan look like in 2022?
Along with a trip to Ireland, the Northwestern schedule is as follows:
- August 27: Nebraska
- September 10: Duke
- September 17: Southern Illinois
- 24 Sep: Miami (Ohio)
- Oct. 1: at Penn State
- October 8: Wisconsin
- 22 Oct: in Maryland
- 29 Oct: in Iowa
- November 5: State of Ohio
- November 12: Minnesota
- November 19: Purdue
- November 26: Illinois
Who are Northwestern’s top picks for the 2023 NFL Draft?
Skoronski is #11 on Mel Kiper Jr.’s big board and #1 at Kiper.
Ohio State football schedule 2022
- Week 1: Ohio State vs. Notre Dame, 7:30 p.m., September 3, in Columbus, Ohio
- Week 2: Ohio State vs. Arkansas State, September 10, in Columbus, Ohio
- Week 3: Ohio State vs. Toledo, September 17, in Columbus, Ohio
- Week 4: Ohio State vs. Wisconsin, September 24, Columbus, Ohio
- Week 5: Ohio State vs. Rutgers, Oct. 1, Columbus Ohio
- Week 6: Ohio State vs. Michigan State, October 8, East Lansing, Mich.
- Week 7: Ohio State vs. Iowa, October 22, Columbus, Ohio
- Week 8: Ohio State vs. Penn State, Oct. 29, State College, Pa.
- Week 9: Ohio State vs. Northwestern, Nov. 5, Evanston, Illinois.
- Week 10: Ohio State vs. Indiana, November 12, Columbus, Ohio
- Week 11: Ohio State vs. Maryland, Nov. 19, College Park, MD.
- Week 12: Ohio State vs. Michigan, noon on November 26, Columbus, Ohio