The last time Ohio State and Wisconsin met up they were scheduled to play a classic for the BIG 10 Championship. Two of the best teams in the country went toe-to-toe and a loss would have derailed the Buckeyes’ run for the National Championship. It wasn’t what it was hyped up to be, as Ohio State embarrassed the Badgers by a score of 59-0. Wisconsin couldn’t even move the ball into Ohio State territory. I think they got the ball over the 50 only once. The blowout victory set up the Buckeyes to win the National Championship, and did they ever make the most of it. J.T. Barrett is still at Ohio State, but didn’t get the chance to play thanks to an injury and Cardale Jones stealing his job.
It feels like Barrett has been here at Ohio State for ten years now, but this is his fourth, and perhaps final season in Columbus. Barrett started as a sophomore and played great football, passing for 34 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He also rushed for 938 yards and another 11 touchdowns. It seemed like Barrett was going to keep the job throughout the duration of his career with that kind of production. Well, then, Barrett was injured and Cardale Jones seized the opportunity. Barrett played in spot duty, and didn’t completely regain control of the starting job until 2016.
Barrett has found the rhythm that he had during his sophomore campaign. He’s thrown for 15 touchdowns and 3 interceptions, and rushed for 342 yards and 4 touchdowns. Barrett has been playing mistake free football as we can see, but will be for a test tonight. The road didn’t faze him when he went to Oklahoma and spanked them good. Final score was 45-24 in favor of Ohio State. Oklahoma was completely outmatched from the opening kickoff. In fact, the Buckeyes had a big return nullified by a penalty, but it didn’t matter at all. Wisconsin doesn’t want to be their next victim, which they already were two years ago in the BIG 10 Championship. This will be their first meeting since that game. We’ll see if the Badgers have some extra motivation to get the job done on Saturday night.
Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Wisconsin Badgers NCAAF Betting Odds:
Ohio State -10.5(-110)
vs. Wisconsin +10.5(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Ohio State vs. Wisconsin Pick:
The Wisconsin defense has been a talking point for the Badgers this season. They’ve been an impressive unit, playing like one of the stoutest in college football. The Badgers have allowed just 12.2 points per game, which is 4th in the country. Their most impressive showings coming against LSU, Michigan State, and Michigan. Michigan has ran all over teams and have a top 10 offense in the FBS right now, so shutting down the Wolverines on the road is an overlooked feat that Wisconsin achieved quite easily.
This will be the biggest test Wisconsin has face to date, though. Ohio State is 3rd in the country, scoring 53.2 points per game on the season. They are also 3rd in rushing the football, with an average of 323.6 yards on the ground. It can look like a team has control of Ohio State and then they bust off a couple big runs, the defense has their hands on their hips, and the ensuing result is a game that gets of control. Wisconsin has controlled all of the offenses they’ve played thus and will need to be at their best against the Buckeyes. Wisconsin has been particularly good at stopping the run, allowing just 90.4 yards per game rushing. Ohio State isn’t far back, giving up an average of 97.8 yards.
I see a game where Ohio State could overcome the strong Wisconsin defense. However, Wisconsin overcoming the Buckeyes’ defense? I just don’t see that coming to fruition. Wisconsin is one-dimensional in the sense that they are not going to be able to drop back with Alex Hornibrook and win this game. If Wisconsin cannot find running lanes, then they can forget about it. Michigan picked Hornibrook off three times, and sent his touchdown to interception ratio to 4:5. Baker Mayfield of Oklahoma was fooled by Ohio State, I can’t imagine what they’ll do to the redshirt freshman here. I think the books are begging for Wisconsin money. The correct play seems to be on the Buckeyes.
PICK: OHIO STATE -10.5 (-110)