Joel Klatt: Wisconsin's upset loss to Illinois 'actually makes it more difficult for Ohio State' in Week 9
CFB on FOX analyst Joel Klatt appeared on the Big Ten Network on Wednesday with Dave Revsine to discuss Saturday’s top-15 matchup between No. 3 Ohio State and No. 13 Wisconsin in Columbus.
Klatt was asked about Wisconsin’s upset loss to Illinois in Week 8 and how it changes the perception of the Week 9 trip to Columbus. Quite frankly, it didn’t change anything for Klatt:
“It doesn’t, actually,” said Klatt. “I know some people might think that’s strange, but coming into the season…if you take a look at the equation of talent and execution…Wisconsin would tell you, and rightly so, that if they don’t execute the football portion and play clean football, then anyone on their schedule can beat them.
“I think it’s also true that when they play their brand when they play their blueprint when they play clean, they can beat anyone on the schedule. So it doesn’t’ really affect how I view this game…if anything I think it actually makes it more difficult for Ohio State to stay unbeaten, to beat this Wisconsin team.”
BTN shared video of the segment:
How did Wisconsin's loss to Illinois change @joelklatt's outlook on this weekend's Big Noon game?
"It doesn't, actually."
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) October 23, 2019
Winners of their first six games, the Badgers were stunned by Illinois (3-4) on October 19 in Champaign, 24-23. Perhaps caught looking ahead, Wisconsin will need to deliver a much more spirited performance on Saturday to keep it close with the Buckeyes.
Averaging 49.7 points and 526.7 yards per game, Ohio State’s attack starts with sophomore quarterback Justin Fields, a Heisman Trophy candidate.
Completing over 70-percent of his passes, Fields has thrown 22 touchdown passes to just one interception. Adding another 291 yards and eight scores on the ground, the Georgia transfer has established himself as one of the conference’s best players.
Holding opponents to just eight points per game, the Buckeyes possess a stout defense, too. Led by juniors Jeffrey Okudah and Chase Young, Ohio State has multiple playmakers on the field at all times.
The toughest test that defense will have faced yet, the Badgers feature arguably the country’s top running back, junior Jonathan Taylor.
Ripping off 6.1 yards per carry, Taylor has rushed for 957 yards in 2019 and surpassed the 5,000-yard mark for his career in the loss to the Illini.
Set to be televised on FOX, Saturday’s game from Ohio Stadium will kick at 12:00PM ET with Gus Johnson and Joel Klatt on the call.