Breakdown & Prediction - No.6 Ohio State

Looking for its fourth Big Ten championship in five seasons, No.11 Wisconsin faces off with No.6 Ohio State tonight in the Big Ten championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. BadgerNation looks at the matchup.

No.11 Wisconsin (10-2, 7-1 Big Ten West) vs. No.6 Ohio State (11-1, 8-0 Big Ten East)

Date/Time - Saturday, December 6 at 7:17 p.m. CT

Stadium –Lucas Oil Stadium (67,000/FieldTurf)

Television –FOX (Gus Johnson, Charles Davis, Molly McGrath)

Radio - Wisconsin Radio Network (Matt Lepay and Mike Lucas)

Series –Ohio State leads 56-18-5 (First meeting at neutral site)

Last Meeting - Ohio State won, 31-24, on September 28, 2013 in Columbus, Ohio

Series Notes

Ohio State has claimed six of the last seven meetings in the series since the Badgers scored back-to-back wins over the Buckeyes in 2003 and 2004.

Saturday’s matchup marks the 16th time Wisconsin and Ohio State will match up with both teams ranked in the Associated Press Top 25. The Badgers are 4-9-2 in the previous 15 meetings in which both teams were ranked by the AP.

The Buckeyes join Wisconsin (2011, 2012) and Michigan State (2011, 2013) as the third team to make multiple appearances in the Big Ten Football Championship Game.

Andersen served as defensive line coach under Meyer at Utah in 2004, helping the Utes to a 12-0 record and win in the Fiesta Bowl.

Ohio State co-defensive coordinator Chris Ash served in the same capacity with the Badgers in 2011 and 2012, including for UW’s wins in the first two Big Ten Football Championship Games. Ash was also UW’s safeties coach in 2010.

Wisconsin’s roster features nine players from the state of Ohio, including three Columbus natives: (OL Ray Ball, TE Austin Traylor, WR Rob Wheelwright).

Wisconsin Notes

Gordon (2,260), Clement (830) and junior QB Tanner McEvoy (572) have each rushed for at least 500 yards this season, making UW one of just two Power 5 conference teams to boast three 500-yard rushers (Georgia Tech is the other).

UW won 10 games in the regular season for just the fourth time in school history. The Badgers also did so in 1998, 2006 and 2010. It is the ninth double-digit victory season in school history and sixth in the last 10 seasons.

Since 2006, Wisconsin is 32-7 (.821) in games played in November and December.

Wisconsin’s four starting linebackers (Vince Biegel, Derek Landisch, Joe Schobert and Marcus Trotter) have combined for 260 tackles, 49.5 tackles for loss and 22.0 sacks.

The Badgers have allowed just 24 red zone trips on the season — the fewest allowed by an FBS team.

Ohio State Notes

Ohio State leads the B1G and ranks 11th in the NCAA in total offense with 503.4 yards per game and is fifth in scoring offense at 44.1 ppg.

Head coach Urban Meyer is 2-2 in his career in conference championship games and 14-5 all-time in neutral site games.

Urban Meyer has had 11 of his assistant coaches move on to head coaching positions with 10 of them still a head coach. Saturday’s game will mark the seventh time Meyer has coached opposite one of them and the second time against Andersen. Meyer’s teams are 5-1 in the previous games.

Ohio State continues to lead the Big Ten Conference – and rank seventh nationally – in interceptions with 18. Nine different Buckeyes have an interception this season and five players have multiple interceptions led Vonn Bell’s four and three apiece by Tyvis Powell and Doran Grant. The Buckeyes have 13 interceptions in Big Ten games.

Joey Bosa had his school-record-tying streak of games with at least one tackle-for-loss – 14 – end against Michigan State, but 2.5 TFLs vs. Minnesota, another TFL vs. Indiana and 2.0 vs. UM gives Bosa at least one TFL in 17 of the last 18 games. Bosa has played in 26 games for the Buckeyes and has totaled 33.5 career TFLs and 21.0 quarterback sacks.


Gary Andersen on Ohio State’s run defense

“Very talented football players, they’re gap sound, they’re technically taught the right way on the defensive front, without question. Their ability to snap off blocks is impressive…They move to the football very well. They play at a high level. Melvin said it best, fastest defense he thinks he’s ever played against. They were fast when we played them a year and they appear to be very fast this year.”

UW receiver Alex Erickson on Wisconsin scoring more as the game progresses

“I think it’s just the conditioning that we have. I feel we are in as good of shape as anybody in the country, if not better. We wear people out. That’s the style of football we play. You just have to keep working and keep working. The big boys up front are going to wear you down.”

UW LB Marcus Trotter on coming back from 17-3 deficits in last two home games

“We’re really poise and really calm. If you would look at us on the sideline when we were losing to Minnesota by that much, we were calm … Some other teams wouldn’t do that. I think we’ve proved that if we’re down we’ll still come back.”


Ohio State is undefeated in Big Ten regular season play for the third straight year under Meyer, but the Buckeyes are not indestructible, especially against the run. Ohio State is giving up 145.6 yards per game and have given up some big hits this year, including a 90-yard touchdown run to Indiana’s Tevin Coleman.

Saying he’s never been in a conference with so many NFL-caliber running backs playing at the same time, Meyer called Gordon the best of the them and Wisconsin one of the best running teams in the country (i.e. Meyer will be dedicating more personnel to stopping the run than in previous weeks).

“I’ve only seen the highlights (of Gordon), and obviously there is a ton of them,” said Meyer.

Trotter thinks Ohio State will have a chip on its shoulder after the Buckeyes lost to Michigan State in the championship game last year. In the same breath, the Badgers have that same chip, too, after watching from home.

Not having quarterback J.T. Barrett is a huge loss for Ohio State’s offense, a loss I believe that will hurt the Buckeyes’ offense in much the same way if Gordon was removed suddenly from the Badgers’ offense. Expect defensive coordinator Dave Aranda to disguise plenty of pressures and blitzes to rattle Jones, Gordon to continue his 100-yard rushing streak and Joel Stave to make some clutch passes to lead the Badgers – a 4.5-point favorite – to their fourth Big Ten title in five seasons.

Wisconsin 28, Ohio State 21

Worgull's Predictions

Straight up: 10-2

Against the Spread: 6-5

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