No. 4 Ohio State kept rolling on Friday night, beating Northwestern 52-3 to remain undefeated at 7-0 heading into next week’s huge showdown against Wisconsin in Columbus.

The Buckeyes dominated the Wildcats in pretty much every way, once again owning the second quarter in particular. After leading just 7-3 after one quarter, OSU put up 24 unanswered points in the second to take a commanding 31-3 halftime lead.

That was just one aspect that made Friday’s game far less worrying for Buckeyes fans than last year’s OSU-Northwestern meeting in the Big Ten Championship Game.

Again, OSU’s performance was so dominant that it was impossible to find 3 things not to like. So here are 5 things I liked and 3 things to watch out for heading into the Buckeyes-Badgers game next week:

5 things I liked

Third-down dominance: Ohio State came into the Northwestern game leading the nation in third down offense at 55.9 percent (38-for-68) on the season. Those numbers were even better against the Wildcats, who despite their struggles have a decent defense.

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OSU was 8-of-14 (57.1 percent) on third downs in the game but what was really critical was that the Buckeyes converted often in the first half (5 of the first 6) and kept turning third-and-long situations into first downs. Four times in the first half the Buckeyes converted when they needed 7 yards or more on third down. That does not even account for a 3rd-and-12 to end the half (see below).

Special teams special sauce: Drue Chrisman had two punts of 50-plus yards, showing again that he has an excellent leg especially given how few opportunities he has to punt (OSU is 10th in the nation in net punting but Chrisman does not even have enough punts to qualify for the individual leaderboard). One of those punts was downed at the Wildcats’ 1-yard line thanks to great hustle from long snapper Liam McCullough to down the ball there.

But the special team highlight of the night was Blake Haubeil nailing a 55-yard field goal to end the first half. His previous career long was a 47-yarder but this kick would have been good from at least 60. His joy and that of his teammates as they ran into the locker room for halftime was an indelible image:

Killer instinct: Northwestern turned the ball over twice deep in its own territory and had a punt snap that went awry, also giving OSU the ball deep in Wildcats territory. Every time they got such an opportunity, the Buckeyes struck quickly, such as a two-play, 15-yard touchdown drive which ended with Justin Fields hitting Chris Olave in the corner of the end zone from 8 yards.

Seven and Sevyn: OSU again displayed its defensive depth when Sevyn Banks reacted nicely to intercept a pass in the fourth quarter, leading to another very short Buckeyes touchdown drive. That defensive prowess has been evident on the stat sheet all season — OSU has now held all seven of its opponents under 300 yards this season, the program’s first such streak in nearly two decades.

Offensive balance: At one point late in the first half, OSU had 115 yards rushing and 115 yards passing. For the night the Buckeyes had 279 yards rushing and 201 passing. You know an offense is clicking when it gains 480 yards — and that is the second-lowest total of the season (OSU had 469 against Florida Atlantic in the opener).

3 things to watch for vs. Wisconsin

Defensive depth: Linebacker Baron Browning did not make the trip but coach Ryan Day said Browning would be able to play next week against Wisconsin. Cornerback Damon Arnette played with a broken finger. Defensive lineman Jonathon Cooper is still rounding into form after missing a few games early in the season. OSU has excellent depth on defense but it will be tested when All-American running back Jonathan Taylor and Wisconsin’s usual bruising offensive line come to Columbus next week.

Offensive line health: Left tackle Thayer Munford was banged up and was in and out of the lineup. Redshirt freshman Nicolas Petit-Frere started against Northwestern, meaning that the Buckeyes had no starting offensive lineman in Friday’s game who were starters last season. The O-line did a fine job Friday but Wisconsin’s defense, allowing a staggering 4.8 points per game, presents a whole different challenge.

Find a way: Ohio State has made big plays and prevented them all season. For instance, Northwestern came into Friday’s game with only nine plays of 20-plus yards all season — and left with nine because the longest play for the Wildcats against the Buckeyes were 16-yard runs by Isaiah Bowser and Andrew Marty.

But again, Jonathan Taylor alone brings more explosiveness than the Buckeyes have seen all season and OSU’s offense has not played a defense nearly the caliber of Wisconsin’s. The Buckeyes won’t have a dominant edge in talent like they have in every other game in 2019 so OSU will have to make a few big plays and simply find a way to win if they want to stay unbeaten.