Ohio State entered Week 9 with a flawless record and looking for more against Wisconsin. This time, the Buckeyes ventured into Madison for a road showdown.

The game was far from pretty throughout, though that seems to be a recurring theme for the Buckeyes. At times, Phil Longo’s Air Raid offense created some problems for Ohio State’s defense, but Wisconsin was unable to consistently create points Saturday night.

When it was all said and done, Ryan Day’s squad secured another low-scoring effort with the defense leading the way in a 24-10 win. At this point, the head coach is likely unbothered by style points as long as the defense continues to hold.

Here are the key takeaways from Week 9:

TreVeyon Henderson remains a major difference-maker

Henderson has been Ohio State’s most explosive running back this season. He entered Week 9 with 295 rushing yards and 6.7 yards per carry.

Unfortunately, Henderson had not seen the field since the win over Notre Dame on Sept. 23. After missing a month of action, he made his return to the game on Saturday night, and Henderson’s performance was a welcome sight.

Henderson rushed for 162 yards on 24 carries, including a 33-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter. He also delivered 45 receiving yards on 4 catches out of the backfield.

It is hard to overstate the importance of Henderson. Marvin Harrison Jr. continued his fantastic play with another outing of 100 yards and at least 1 touchdown, but Kyle McCord struggled with Emeka Egbuka sidelined and Cade Stover failing to record a catch.

With Henderson in the lineup, Ohio State can grind down opponents while the star RB is always one cut away from a home run burst and a game-changing touchdown.

The Buckeyes are what they are — but the formula might work

We are now through Week 9 of the college football season. At this point, teams are legitimately what they have put on tape, and that means this Ohio State team is a defense-first unit.

Saturday night marked Ohio State’s 4th victory with 24 points or less. Two of those wins came in top-10 outings, but the other two came in wins over Indiana and Wisconsin. The good news is Ohio State allowed a total of 39 points in those four low-scoring wins.

At least for this season, fans can pass on the idea of Ohio State piling up wins while scoring 40+ points per game. But, when it’s all said and done, the formula might be one that continues to work.

In recent seasons, it has been the defense that caused Ohio State to fall short of its goals. While QB Kyle McCord still needs to grow and improve with the offense, this defense under Jim Knowles might be a strong enough unit to carry the program to a B1G title and College Football Playoff appearance.

Then again, the continued slow starts offensively are a bit like playing with fire. Either way, the Buckeyes are what they are, so it’s time for fans to get used to this style of play in 2023.

Where does Wisconsin turn at RB?

Wisconsin entered Saturday’s game with Braelon Allen serving as the workhorse back and Jackson Acker filling in behind him with Chez Mellusi sidelined. That situation was turned on its head when Allen was injured just before halftime and did not come out to open the second half.

Allen’s status was later updated to being out for the rest of the game. A bigger concern was the fact that Allen was seen sporting a walking boot on his lower left leg and foot in the second half.

The status of Allen will be a major topic for Wisconsin coming out of Week 9. Though the Badgers fell to 5-3 overall, the team is still in contention for the B1G West with a 3-2 conference record as we hit November.