While the Ohio State Buckeyes’ win over Indiana wasn’t pretty, it was decisive enough to keep the Buckeyes at the No. 2 spot in the AP Poll. In fact, the Buckeyes have beaten each of their five opponents thus far this season by at least 21 points. But Wisconsin is a different story. Four of the last five meetings between the two teams at Camp Randall have been decided by seven points or fewer. And while the Buckeyes managed a 59-0 shutout of the Badgers in the 2014 Big Ten Championship, it seems unlikely that Wisconsin would allow such a significant beatdown on their own turf.
Despite the double-digit win last week, the Ohio State offense looked stagnant, especially compared to the fireworks we had seen in the Buckeyes’ first four games of the season. Indiana--the nation’s No. 49-ranked defense--held the Buckeyes to just 383 total yards on offense, including a meager 93 passing yards on a windy afternoon. Still, Ohio State, led by J.T. Barrett, made the necessary adjustments to grind out 38 points.
Wisconsin, meanwhile, has limited its opponents (which include Michigan, Michigan State and LSU) to just 291.4 yards per game, and have been as stout and solid as you could expect, allowing just 12.2 points per game (No. 4 nationally). What is perhaps more worrisome, given last week’s run-heavy performance by the Buckeyes, is that the Badgers have allowed a Big Ten-best 90.4 rushing yards per game. And if Ohio State does go to the air, Wisconsin’s secondary has given up just three passing touchdowns through five games.
The deciding factor, then, could be the Ohio State defense, which stands just as stout as Wisconsin’s, allowing fewer points (10.8) and yards per game (246) than the Badgers. Safety Malik Hooker leads the nation with four interceptions on the season, including one returned for a touchdown. With a freshman at quarterback in Alex Hornibrook, whose last outing saw him toss three picks to Michigan, Wisconsin will need to lean on running back Corey Clement, who has been limited to just 3.9 yards per carry this season.
When is the game and how can I watch?
Game Date/Time: Saturday, Oct. 15, 8 p.m.
Location: Madison, WI
Radio: 97.1 FM/1460 AM
Where is GameDay this weekend?
The College Gameday crew is headed up to watch the Buckeyes! Gameday is returning to Madison for the first time in 2011, mercifully bypassing yet another Tennessee matchup as the ninth-ranked Vols take on No. 1 Alabama in Knoxville. This week is the second time Gameday has been to a Wisconsin game this year, after opening the season with Wisconsin-LSU at Lambeau Field.
What’s the rest of the Big Ten up to today?
With all eyes on Camp Randall for the night game, the Big Ten opens play with a trio of noon games between Illinois and Rutgers (ESPNN); Iowa and Purdue (ESPN2); and Minnesota and Maryland (ESPNU). At 3:30, No. 10 Nebraska faces Indiana on ABC, while Michigan State takes on Northwestern on BTN.
Join the conversation
Below is your Ohio State-Wisconsin GameThread. Be respectful, be kind and as always, keep it classy. If you like GIFs, lay ‘em on us. In all, be good fans, cheer for your teams, be cool to each other (even if somebody else isn’t) and everyone wins. Let’s keep the season going strong. Go Bucks.