Braxton Miller is perfectly fine and so are Ohio State’s chances at a national championship as the Buckeyes were able to hold off the Wisconsin Badgers in the Horseshoe on Saturday night, 31-24.
Coming in to the game, the main storyline was undoubtedly the return of former Heisman contending quarterback Braxton Miller, and how he would perform. Well, it was the same old Braxton. Miller was tremendous yet again by throwing for four touchdowns with no interceptions. As far as that injured knee is concerned, there didn’t seem to be any issues with his well-known mobility, and he also ate some stiff shots from that stout Wisconsin defense and held up well.
Miller’s leading receiver was Philly Brown who was on the receiving end of two of his four scoring strikes, and finished the game with eight total catches for 85 yards.
Aside from Miller’s outstanding performance, the Ohio State defense was key in this one, especially when it came to shutting down that dominant Wisconsin rushing game.
The Badgers came into this evening averaging near 350 yards-per-game on the ground. In this one though, they were barely able to crack over 100–finishing the game with 104 on the ground. The Buckeyes’ defense was all over the veteran James White and sensational freshman Melvin Gordon–who was forced out of the game in the second half with, what appeared to be, a knee injury.
Wisconsin, though, did put up a valiant effort in this one and a lot of that was due to one player from each side of the ball, each of whom had outstanding nights.
Although this should come as no surprise to anyone, WR Jared Abbrederis had a phenomenal night catching passes from QB Joel Stave. Abbrederis finished the game with an astonishing 10 catches for 207 yards and a score. The sure-handed young man was all over the field once again, finding holes all over the Ohio State secondary, as well as making All-American CB Bradley Roby look mightily inferior along the way.
Defensively, LB Chris Borland was a nightmare for the Ohio State offense to deal with. The linebacker personified what the position is actually all about. He was creating pressure throughout the game on Miller and the Buckeye backs.
In the end though, the OSU offense was too much and the Buckeyes passed, what many considered, their first “true” test of the year.
Ohio State moves to 5-0 on the year and now have a date with possibly a tougher opponent next Saturday night when they travel to take on the 17th-ranked Northwestern Wildcats.
Wisconsin drops to 3-2 on the season and also has Northwestern next up, but in two weeks on Oct. 12.