Ohio State football looks to stay undefeated as the Wisconsin Badgers look for revenge, as the two go head-to-head in the Big Ten Championship Game.
The Ohio State Buckeyes have been the most dominant team in all of college football this year. They’ve run the table thus far entering in the Big Ten title game undefeated.
The Buckeye offense has been unstoppable for any opponent. Whether it be the connection of Justin Fields and Chris Olave, or the speed and power of J.K. Dobbins, the Buckeyes’ offense has been one of the best in the country, ranking number one in scoring offense and fifth in total offense.
All of this offense fire power has had support, as Ohio State’s defense has been parallel with their offense, allowing just under 12 points a game and just 232 yards a game. The Buckeyes’ defensive dominance starts up front with arguably the best player in the country Chase Young, and finishes with Jeffrey Okudah and Jordan Fuller in the secondary.
The Wisconsin Badgers’ hasn’t been as easy going. The Badgers started off the season 6-0 and had many thinking they could beat Ohio State in their late-October match up and dethrone them atop of the Big Ten. But the Badgers fell into a trap, losing to Illinois a week before their highly-anticipated game with the Buckeyes, and then were embarrassed by Ohio State losing 38-7.
But the season wasn’t over. With some help, the Badgers claimed the West, finishing with a four game win streak with wins over both Iowa and Minnesota.
Wisconsin’s defense has been among the best in the nation, ranking sixth and yards allowed, and ninth in scoring defense. Unlike their counterpart, the Badgers’ offense has been one dimensional as the passing offense for Wisconsin ranks 98th in the nation. But with the best back in all of college football, Jonathan Taylor, putting up ridiculous numbers, the passing game issues become irrelevant in most situations.
The stage is set and there’s plenty on the line as these two meet for the second time in less than two months. These two have met twice before in the conference title game, Ohio State winning both. Can the Buckeyes keep the perfect season alive? Or will the Badgers’ redeem themselves and end Ohio State’s run atop the conference?
Here’s how you can watch Saturday’s game between Ohio State and Wisconsin:
Date: Saturday, Dec. 7
Time: 8 p.m. ET
Location: Indianapolis, Ind.
Venue: Lucas Oil Stadium
Live Stream: FOX Sports Go
Keys to Victory
For the Ohio State Buckeyes, their offense needs to stick to the game plan with their balanced attack and it all starts with getting J.K. Dobbins going early. Justin Fields has gotten banged up in their past couple games so relieving some pressure would go along way. Expect the Buckeyes’ offense to go big early to open the scoring up.
The Buckeyes’ defense needs to contain Jonathan Taylor and force the Badgers to win this game through the air, which will be a task in itself for the Badgers. Chase Young is best player on the field, but the second level run support of the linebackers and safeties is the X-factor in this one for Ohio State.
For the Wisconsin Badgers you obviously want to get Jonathan Taylor the ball and let him carry you to victory but the Badgers will need some yards and points through the air if they want a chance in this one. I’m not saying Jack Coan has to play his best game ever but he needs to play pretty close to it.
On defense, the Wisconsin Badgers need to keep Justin Fields in between the tackles and not allow him to roll out or step up in the pocket. The Buckeyes’ offense has home run threats everywhere, so eliminating the big plays is a must for the Badgers. If the Badgers keep Dobbins under 100 yards, they’ll be in this game throughout its entirety.
Odds courtesy of The Action Network
Point Spread: Ohio State -16.5
It’s one of the biggest games in conference championship history. The Buckeyes offense strikes first and second, going up by two scores early on. But Wisconsin puts together a couple of back-to-back drives on offense and defense to even things out mid way through the second quarter.
Unfortunately, that’s as close as they get as the big play ability of both the Buckeyes’ offense and defense opens things up and creates an insurmountable deficit for the Badgers to erase. The Badgers get a score late but it’s not enough, as the Buckeyes officially clinch their spot in the College Football Playoff.
Final Score: Ohio State 45, Wisconsin 24