The only tape I got to see was Buckeye Replay due to the game being on the Big Ten Network but there were still plenty of things to analyze.
On the first drive, you saw the Buckeyes take advantage of Wisconsin's zone defense. To me it appeared to be Cover-3 on many of these plays. The Buckeyes were taking the soft spots in Cover-3 which are the flats.
On the touchdown, the Badgers decided to bring one more than the Buckeyes could block. Due to the deep threat that Brian Robiskie presents, the UW defender plays off him. A first-down pass then becomes a TD after a missed tackle.
On the fake punt, Ohio State was ready for it but it was a great throw by Wisconsin punter Ken DeBauche. I never ever thought he could make that kind of throw. Hats off to him!
The Buckeye pass rush was very tenacious against the Badgers. It was really nice to see guys like Cameron Heyward and Doug Worthington pressuring the QB even while being double-teamed.
Penalties were Ohio State's biggest problem in the first half. It took the running game away. Also, by passing the ball, the Buckeyes really set up the run for the second half. I would like to have seen some more running, but looking at the game track, there were only about four plays that could have been run that were not in the first half.
Todd Boeckman really made some plays in the first half with his legs. Also he made some very nice throws. The two throws on the move to Brian Hartline and Ray Small were excellent.
Beanie Wells' first TD run was set up by the bootleg play-action pass that was run in the first half and again in the third quarter. They were the short passes to tight end Rory Nicol that went nowhere. But as you watch the TD play, it has the same action. However, this time when the Wisconsin defensive end goes flying upfield to Boeckman, it created the cutback lane that Beanie ran through.
The second touchdown to Robiskie was set up by Boeckman's scramble on third-and-5 in the second half. The Buckeyes went with an empty backfield, but the Badgers had already been burned once by bringing the house and playing man. This time, they only rushed three. The linebackers got a deep drop and Boeckman ran for the first down.
I know sometimes people do not like OSU and the zone blocking, but Beanie's first two TD runs were a product of that scheme. He exhibited great vision, but heck – there was a hole where the play was supposed to go. Wow!
Do not be surprised if the Wisconsin's punter does not play next week. That was not supposed to be a fake in the fourth quarter. He misread a signal from the sideline.
On the second touchdown to Robiskie, it was a great catch but also a solid throw from Boeckman.
On Beanie's third TD – and I like the sound of that – Steve Rehring got a wonderful cut block on the linebacker.
Thad Gibson showed the ability to be a great player.
I was more impressed with Wisconsin QB Tyler Donovan than I thought I would be. He really kept the long TD pass play alive and made a great throw for the score.
Travis Beckum was excellent out there for the Badgers. He made a great catch in the end zone, and that's what a great player does.
The running defense for Ohio State was much better this time around. Without the tape, it is hard for me to go into specifics. The Buckeyes gave up the one long run in the third quarter for over 20 yards. Outside of that, the Badgers' running game produced only about 40 yards on about 20 carries. That does not include sacks.
It was great to see the pass rush really step up this week.
I will pop in with more thoughts today and please post some questions if you have them.
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