Rapid Reaction: Ohio State dominates Wisconsin behind monster performance from DE Chase Young
Final Score: No. 13 Wisconsin 7, No. 3 Ohio State 38
Brief Recap: Ohio State is not playing around. The Buckeyes entered Saturday’s rainy game as -14.5 favorites against Wisconsin. However, a lot was made about the Badgers coming off of the upset loss to Illinois. A number of analysts predicted a closer game than the two-touchdown spread, but Ohio State showed how dominant they can be this season. Wisconsin cut the score to 10-7 with a hot start after halftime, but it was short-lived. The Buckeyes scored the next 28 points in the game and never trailed in rolling to the finish line.
Key Moment: Coming out of halftime, Wisconsin looked up to the task of hanging with the Buckeyes. The Badgers forced a three-and-out and followed that up by tipping Ohio State’s punt. Wisconsin scored quickly to cut the deficit to a field goal.
Ohio State’s response was arguably the best five-minute stretch of football they have played this season. The Buckeyes scored two touchdowns sandwiched around a three-and-out by the Badgers to put a stranglehold on the lead. Ohio State would go on to force fumbles on back-to-back drives and cash both in for touchdowns, but it was that five-minute stretch that put the Buckeyes in the driver’s seat.
Key Player: With all due respect to JK Dobbins who led the offense with over 200 yards of total offense, the day belonged to superstar DE Chase Young. After a very good first half, Young took over in the second half to snuff out the Badgers time and again. He had 4.0 sacks, 5.0 tackles for loss, and two forced fumbles from strip-sacks. The sacks and TFL numbers tied the Ohio State record for a game, and Young was clearly the best player on the field. In a game that featured Jonathan Taylor, a career 5,000-yard rusher and perennial Heisman contender, Young proved that he belongs in any discussion for the best player in college football.
What it Means for Wisconsin: For the Badgers, their College Football Playoff dreams are dead after back-to-back losses. Beyond that, their odds to win the B1G West took a serious hit, depending on the outcome of Minnesota’s game against Maryland. As it currently stands, Wisconsin has two conference losses while Minnesota is undefeated. Both teams must still play Iowa, who also has two conference losses, so the division will likely come down to the outcome of those three games.
What it Means for Ohio State: For the Buckeyes, their claim to be the best team in the nation looks to be legit. Beyond that, they arguably have the best overall player (Young), one of the Top-5 running backs (Dobbins), an elite, dual-threat QB (Justin Fields), and a dominant defense upfront and in the secondary. Ohio State still has big games against Penn State and Michigan, but there’s no way the Buckeyes will not be favored, and favored big, in every game the rest of the way.