Buckeye Breakdown: Buckeyes Obliterate Bucky

Anything that could go right did go right for Ohio State as it cruised to a 59-0 win in the Big Ten title game against Wisconsin. We break down how it all happened.

Ohio State run offense: Wisconsin entered with its typically strong run game but instead Ohio State dominated this area. The Buckeyes were excellent in the early going with Ezekiel Elliott setting the tone, including on an 81-yard touchdown that included excellent blocking by Darryl Baldwin and Jacoby Boren (who might have held, but what can you do?). Elliott finished with a Big Ten title game record 220 yards and thoroughly dominated his personal battle with Melvin Gordon, something that Elliott took great pride in considering he's wanted to be in the conversation about elite Big Ten backs this year. OSU came out with its tight end an integral part of the blocking attack with Jeff Heuerman and Nick Vannett often lining up on the wing and blocking across the formation to open up lanes. Jones didn't have to do as much on the ground as the Buckeyes tasked Barrett with, but he still showed good pocket awareness and scrambled for a 20-yard gain at one point. -- Jeff Svoboda

Ohio State pass offense: Cardale Jones completed 12 of 17 passes for 257 yards and three touchdowns. What else is there to say? The fact that Ohio State was able to plug in a guy who for a few days in August was the third-string quarterback and would have stayed that way were it not for injuries to the two ahead of him is just incredible. The most impressive part of the passing attack was the way that Ohio State put its faith in Jones immediately. With speculation that the Buckeyes might lean on Jalin Marshall in some wildcat formations, Jones came out and completed an 8-yard pass on the first play of the game. A few plays later, the Buckeyes were in the end zone thanks to a 39-yard pass from Jones to Devin Smith. Wisconsin’s pass defense never improved. -- Ryan Ginn

Ohio State run defense: For the second year in a row, the Buckeyes made Melvin Gordon look ordinary. They loaded the box against the Badgers, but much of the time it seemed like that wasn’t even necessary as the defensive line physically dominated a very good Wisconsin offensive line that lost its starting center early in the game. Michael Bennett, Adolphus Washington and Joey Bosa combined for 14 tackles, including five for loss. Darron Lee and Vonn Bell tied for the team lead with seven stops as they helped make sure every gap was filled. The Buckeyes tackled well and played hard on every snap, suffocating Wisconsin from start to finish. -- Marcus Hartman

Ohio State pass defense: Like every other facet of the game, Ohio State was dominant in pass defense. The Badgers entered the game with the 119th-ranked passing offense in the nation with just 147.8 passing yards per game, so this one wasn’t actually a shock. Still, the Buckeyes limited the Badgers to a pedestrian 187 yards despite the fact that the Badgers were put in a position to throw all night and picked off Joel Stave two times. The pass rush was extremely effective as the Buckeyes recorded three sacks against a team that entered the game having allowed nine on the season. -- Blake Williams

What We Learned...

Ryan Ginn: Ohio State is a playoff team. This could have been a gritty, one-possession win like the one the Buckeyes churned out last season against the Badgers. It wasn’t. Playing with its third-string quarterback – a fact that some wanted the playoff committee to hold against the Buckeyes – Ohio State went out and beat the No. 13 team in the country by 59 points ... on a neutral field. After a performance like that in the house that Jim Mora built, “Playoffs?!” is a statement, not a question.

Marcus Hartman: The Buckeyes have become an efficient football killing machine under Urban Meyer. Ohio State has never spanked another ranked team like that, and it was a true team effort as nearly everything went right from the start. We knew they had advantages in speed and athleticism, but they executed their plans with ruthless efficiency. The emergence of new weapons at just about every offensive skill position and the incredible development of the offensive line had already put the Buckeyes in the national title picture, but Saturday night the defense and yet another quarterback played in a way that make this a complete team. And they showed what kind of culture Meyer has put in place.

Jeff Svoboda: That this is a team to be proud of for Ohio State fans. I don't know what's gonna happen in the playoff picture, but I do know that watching this OSU team up close has been a treat. It's a young, hungry team, and sometimes it does young team things, but it more than makes up for it with its resolve and its talent. The Buckeyes have overcome adversity at nearly every turn and always come out the better for it, which is a neat thing to see. These guys clearly enjoy playing with each other and have been coached expertly all season, and to be honest, there's a bunch of good dudes on this squad. Maybe they'll get a chance to play for the national title, maybe they won't, but this is a special group of guys.

Blake Williams: There may not be a limit to what this team can overcome considering the Buckeyes entered the game with heavy hearts after attending Kosta Karageorge’s funeral on Wednesday and entered the game without their record-breaking quarterback and flat out dominated from start to finish. Urban Meyer has said this is one of the closest teams he’s been a part of and it showed on Saturday. There was a lot working against the Buckeyes Saturday night and none of it seemed to matter. To say I was surprised by the outcome would be an understatement and that’s a testament to the senior leadership and coaching on this teams.

Buckeye Sports Top Stories