Congratulations, you have officially made it to game week!
We’ve spent this past month or so looking back through some of Ohio State’s most exciting games from the last 12 years, and with the real Buckeyes kicking off this Saturday, it is time to bring this series to a close. It has been a ton of fun running through all of these throwback games, and if you missed any of the action, you can find all of the regular season recaps here.
That being said, Ohio State did go 12-0 in our Perfect Season (shocker, I know), and so that means they still have a postseason ahead of them. For this, we will be looking back through these last 12 years once more, finding the best Big Ten Championship game as well as the two best non-conference matchups to serve as our playoff games. The “National Championship Game” (spoiler, they’ll make it there) will drop on Friday, closing out this series right before the 2020 squad begins their campaign on Saturday.
We’re not going to continue to keep stats like we have to this point, since the “regular season” is over, but you can find the final statistical leaders at the end of Game 12 vs. Michigan. We also won't be giving the “tale of the tape” for each season, since we’ve already done that for every given year throughout this series, so we can skip right to the highlights.
Without further ado, let’s see if the Buckeyes can win themselves a B1G title as they take on the Wisconsin Badgers (2014).
Before we get to the highlights, I am obligated to provide you with this clip:
With J.T. Barrett on the shelf, Ohio State wasted no time testing out the cannon of Cardale Jones. Following a couple of runs by Ezekiel Elliott to get the Buckeyes past midfield, 12 Gauge unloaded a 39-yard strike to Devin Smith, and just like that OSU led 7-0 less than two minutes into the game in Indy.
The Silver Bullets came out firing as well, and they forced Wisconsin into a quick three-and-out on their first possession of the game. Ohio State’s next drive was not as smooth, as they were also forced to punt, but they got the ball back shortly as their defense continued to stymy the Badgers.
Zeke made quick work of things his next time out. It took only two plays for the Buckeyes to find pay dirt, as Elliott followed up a 12-yard run with an 81-yard breakaway to the house to put Ohio State up 14-0.
Wisconsin was finally able to pick up a few first downs on their next possession, but it would not last long. With the Badgers near midfield, QB Joel Stave was picked off by Vonn Bell. Ohio State worked the ball inside the red zone, but would have to settle for a field goal as they took a 17-0 lead to begin the second quarter.
The Buckeyes were firing on all cylinders on both sides of the ball, and after Wisconsin totaled negative seven yards on their ensuing drive, it appeared as though Urban Meyer’s squad could do no wrong. On the third play of Ohio State’s next possession, Jones unloaded once again — another deep shot to Smith for a 44-yard TD, and OSU now led 24-0 with still 11 minutes remaining until halftime.
Another drive, and another three-and-out for Wisconsin. The Buckeye defense was absolutely locked in, and everything was working on offense as well. Back on the field once again, Jones completed three-straight passes of 13 yards, 21 yards, and 12 yards followed by an 8-yard QB keeper to put Ohio State in the red zone. Zeke capped it off with a 14-yard TD run untouched up the middle, and the Bucks were in full control up 31-0 midway through the second quarter.
Ohio State was not done scoring before the half came to a close. After the two teams traded punts, the Badgers got the ball back with a little under two minutes remaining until the break. The drive would end in disaster for Paul Chryst’s crew, as a Melvin Gordon fumble was picked up and returned by Joey Bosa for a defensive score, and heading into halftime the Buckeyes were blowing out the No. 13 team in the country 38-0.
Things did not change for either team to start the third quarter. Wisconsin was again forced to punt on their first possession of the second half, and Ohio State’s offense went right back to work. After Jones picked up 20 yards with his legs, he uncorked yet another deep ball to Devin Smith, and again it was caught — this one for a 42-yard TD as the Buckeyes continued to pour it on, now leading 45-0.
With such a big lead, Ohio State began to take its foot off the gas a bit on offense, but the defense was still stifling. The two teams traded punts, and Wisconsin would wind up turning it over on downs deep in Buckeye territory on their following drive. The Buckeyes punted again, but the Badgers could not get out of their own way as Stave was once again picked off — this time by Dorant Grant.
OSU missed a field goal after getting the ball on a short field, but the Silver Bullets continued their dominant afternoon as they forced another three-and-out for Wisco. With the Ohio State offense back on the field, it took only two plays to put more points on the board. A long 60-yard run by Elliott (without a shoe!) was followed by a 12-yard TD run by Curtis Samuel, and the Buckeyes were now on top 52-0 to start the fourth quarter.
Wisconsin had one more last-ditch effort to try and put points on the board, but it ended with yet another turnover. Faced with a 4th-and-22 at Ohio State’s 40-yard line, Stave lobbed it up towards the end zone, where it was intercepted by Doran Grant. Even with the backups now in the game, the Buckeyes were able to lead a seven-play, 61-yard drive — all on the ground — capped off by a short 1-yard TD run by Samuel.
The clock would hit zeros, and Ohio State walked out of Indianapolis with a 59-0 victory over Wisconsin. The team played a nearly perfect game on both sides of the ball, and as a result the College Football Playoff Committee had no choice but to include the Buckeyes in the first ever field of four.
Ohio State will be the No. 1 seed in our Perfect Season CFP, and as a result they will take on No. 4 Oklahoma in the first round of the playoffs.