Early in the third quarter of Saturday’s game against Wisconsin, Ohio State led by just three points and looked as though it could be in for its first real battle of the season.
Then, the rest of the game happened.
Ohio State scored touchdowns on four straight possessions in the third and fourth quarters and held Wisconsin to just one touchdown for the entire game to defeat the Badgers, 38-7, and improved to 8-0 on the season.
|#3 OHIO STATE||0||10||14||14||38|
The game started out as a low-scoring struggle between the nation’s two top-ranked defenses entering Saturday’s game, as neither team scored in the first quarter. With rain falling steadily in Ohio Stadium, Ohio State finished the first quarter with just 40 yards while Wisconsin had 59.
On Ohio State’s first three possessions, Justin Fields completed just one pass for 17 yards.
The Buckeyes finally broke through for the first points of the game on their fourth possession, after gaining just 41 yards on a 12-play drive, when Blake Haubeil connected on a 49-yard field goal from the left hashmark with 6:52 to play in the second quarter.
On their fifth and final possession of the first half, the Buckeyes drove 85 yards on eight plays, capped by a 27-yard pass from Fields to Chris Olave, for the first touchdown of the game to take a 10-0 lead into the break.
|431||NET TOTAL YARDS||191|
|5.3||AVERAGE PER RUSH||2.4|
|13.9||AVERAGE PER COMPLETION||10.8|
|13||RUSHING 1st DOWNS||6|
|10||PASSING 1st DOWNS||3|
|1||PENALTY 1st DOWNS||0|
|6.0||YARDS PER PLAY||3.7|
|0 (0)||TURNOVERS (DEF PTS OFF)||2 (14)|
Wisconsin was held to just 74 total yards in the first half, and never even made it past midfield.
After Ohio State went 3-and-out and Wisconsin blocked a punt on the Buckeyes’ opening possession of the second half, however, Jack Coan found A.J. Taylor on a perfect touchdown pass from 26 yards out to put the Badgers on the board for the first time in the game.
Ohio State responded in a big way. After a pair of passes from Fields to Olave got the Buckeyes past midfield, a 28-yard run by J.K. Dobbins set up a 10-yard touchdown run by Fields, moving the home team’s lead back to 17-7 with 9:34 to play in the third quarter.
The scariest moment of the day came after that touchdown, when Fields went to the medical talent to be evaluated for an apparent back injury.
Fields was able to stay in the game, though, and looked no worse for wear for Ohio State’s next possession. After Garrett Wilson returned a punt to the 47-yard line, Dobbins followed up a 34-yard run with a 9-yard touchdown run to extend the Buckeyes’ lead to 24-7 with 6:28 to play in the third quarter.
Wisconsin went for it on fourth down on their subsequent possession, and Chase Young forced a turnover on downs by getting to Coan and knocking the ball out of his hands for a strip sack.
Dobbins continued his domination on Ohio State’s next possession, gaining 21 yards on a catch-and-run and finishing the drive with a 14-yard touchdown run to extend the Buckeyes’ lead to 31-7 with 13:40 to play in the fourth quarter.
On Wisconsin’s next possession, Young came up with another strip sack – his fourth sack of the game – and Pete Werner recovered the loose ball for an Ohio State takeaway.
The Buckeyes scored their fourth consecutive touchdown on a 4-yard pass from Fields to Olave on their next possession to extend the lead to 31 points with 7:29 to play.
Dobbins finished the game with 163 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns on 20 carries, as well as three catches for 58 yards, while Young finished the day with six total tackles, five tackles for loss, four sacks and two forced fumbles. Fields completed 12 of his 22 passing attempts for 167 yards and two touchdowns and added 28 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown, and Olave had seven catches for 93 yards and two touchdowns.
Ohio State will now have its second bye week of the regular season before its next game against Maryland at Ohio Stadium on Nov. 9.
- 13 NFL teams had representatives on hand to scout Saturday's game: Indianapolis Colts, Oakland Raiders, Pittsburgh Steelers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Dallas Cowboys, Detroit Lions, Cleveland Browns, New England Patriots, Chicago Bears, Buffalo Bills, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles. The Buffalo Bills and Oakland Raiders each had two representatives in attendance, with Raiders general manager Mike Mayock among those in the stadium.
- Wide receiver Austin Mack and defensive end Jonathon Cooper did not play in Saturday's game after being listed as game-time decisions. Chris Olave started his first career game in place of Mack, while Tyreke Smith started in place of Cooper.
- Washington Redskins wide receiver Terry McLaurin was back at Ohio Stadium for Saturday's game.
- Ohio State commits in the Shoe on Saturday included quarterback Jack Miller and offensive linemen Josh Fryar, Trey Leroux and Grant Toutant for the class of 2020 and defensive end Jack Sawyer, wide receiver Jayden Ballard and linebacker Reid Carrico for the class of 2021.
- Chase Young, J.K. Dobbins, K.J. Hill and Tuf Borland serves as the game captains for Saturday's coin toss.
- Ohio State started the game in a four-linebacker defense with Tuf Borland, Malik Harrison, Pete Werner and Justin Hilliard all on the field, so Hilliard made his first start of the year.
- On a 3rd-and-8 in the first quarter, Young lined up as a standup middle linebacker, and the different look prompted Wisconsin to call its first timeout of the game. Ohio State stayed in that formation after the timeout, and Young brought pressure on the quarterback on a blitz from the linebacker spot before making a tackle for loss on a short dump-off pass.
- With multiple sacks in Saturday's game, Young became the second player in Ohio State history, joining Mike Vrabel, to record double-digit sacks in multiple seasons.
- Dobbins went over 1,000 rushing yards for the season in Saturday's game, becoming the second player
- Hill became the ninth player in school history with 2,000 career receiving yards in Saturday's game.
- 102,998 was the attendance at Ohio Stadium for Saturday's game.