It’s a crossover matchup in the Big Ten in the Buckeye State in a marquee matchup on the college gridiron. The #13 Wisconsin Badgers are on the road as they travel to face the #3 Ohio State Buckeyes Saturday afternoon. Wisconsin was stunned 24-23 on the road by Illinois in their previous game last Saturday. Ohio State took care of business as they rolled to a 52-3 demolition on the road over Northwestern last Friday night in their previous contest. The Buckeyes own a 59-18-5 edge in the all-time series between the teams, taking the last six meetings: that includes a 27-21 win in the Big Ten Championship Game in the last matchup on December 2, 2018.
Wisconsin Badgers Seeking to Bounce BackWisconsin was caught by the trap game as they were coming off a victory over Michigan State the week before. The Badgers were looking ahead to this week and it cost them as they blew a nine-point fourth quarter lead to lose to Illinois. Wisconsin allowed nearly as many points in the loss as they had in their first six games (29) this season. The Badgers outgained the Fighting Illini 420-315, won the first down battle 22-17 and dominated time of possession by a 40:49 to 19:11 margin in the contest. Wisconsin turned the ball over three times while forcing just one takeaway: they gave up touchdowns of 48, 43 and 29 yards in the contest.
DEFENSE 👉 OFFENSEpic.twitter.com/a2neTfR7Hl— Wisconsin Football (@BadgerFootball) October 19, 2019
The Badgers are 89th in the nation in passing offense as they average 208.3 yards per game this season. Wisconsin is 17th in the nation in rushing with 235.4 yards per contest. The Badgers are 12th in the FBS in scoring offense with 39.7 points per game and stand first in the nation as they allow only 7.6 points per game. Jack Coan is 127 of 167 passing for 1,383 yards with nine touchdowns and two interceptions this season. Graham Mertz is nine of 10 for 73 yards while Chase Wolf hit his lone pass for two yards. Jonathan Taylor leads the team on the ground with 157 carries for 957 yards and 15 touchdowns on the season. Nakia Watson (55 carries, 247 yards, two TD) and Garrett Groshek (23 carries, 110 yards, TD) are capable of moving the sticks when called upon. Quintez Cephus leads the team with 24 receptions for 353 yards and three touchdowns this season. Jake Ferguson (20 grabs, 242 yards, two TD), Danny Davis III (20 catches, 168 yards) and A.J. Taylor (16 receptions, 158 yards) are solid secondary targets. Collin Larsh is 36 of 37 on extra points and six of 10 on field goals with a long of 44 this season.
Ohio State Buckeyes Try to Remain UnbeatenWhile Wisconsin was caught looking ahead, Ohio State had no such issue as they put the boots to Northwestern on the road. The Buckeyes now return home looking to remain unbeaten and in the mix for a top-four spot when the first CFP rankings come out in a couple of weeks. Ohio State broke open a close game with a 24-0 second quarter edge to lead 31-3 at the half before cruising the rest of the way. The Buckeyes owned a 480-199 advantage in total offense, racked up 22 first downs while allowing 14 and forced two turnovers while not committing one. Those numbers helped Ohio State offset a 32:22 to 27:38 disadvantage in time of possession.
The Buckeyes are 66th in the nation in passing offense with 239.6 yards per game through the air while the team is third in the country in rushing by averaging 287.1 yards per contest. Ohio State is third in the FBS in scoring offense with 48.7 points per game while they rank second in the nation in scoring defense as they allow eight points per contest.
Quarterback Justin Fields is 116 of 164 for 1,492 yards with 22 touchdowns and one interception: he’s added 291 yards and eight scores on the ground. Chris Chugunov is 12 of 16 for 111 yards with three touchdowns while Gunnar Hoak has hit all three passes for 74 yards and a score. J.K. Dobbins leads the team with 134 carries for 947 yards and seven scores: Master Teague III (73 carries, 512 yards, four TD) is next in line. K.J. Hill has caught 29 passes for 294 yards plus four scores to lead the team. Binjimen Victor (19 receptions, 355 yards, three TD) and Chris Olave (21 receptions, 318 yards, six TD) are other top targets in the aerial game. Blake Haubell has hit all 46 extra point attempts and is six of eight on field goals with a long of 55.
One thing is certain about Ohio State, is that head coach Ryan Day has done a good job of having them prepared to play against whoever is on their schedule.
"I think our staff has done a good job week in and week out of talking to the guys about how important it is to come every week," said Day said on Tuesday. "The leadership is the guys who drive that on the team. Their buy-in right now is pretty high. You're only as good as your last game. We have to keep that going. I think up to this point we've been playing with energy, but that goes to how we have been practicing. We have to go out today and have a great practice."
- No Key Trends
- Buckeyes are 8-0 ATS in their last 8 games after scoring more than 40 points in their previous game
- Buckeyes are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 conference games
- Buckeyes are 7-0 ATS in their last 7 games following an ATS win