It was a rain-soaked afternoon as Ohio State hosted — and bested — the Wisconsin Badgers by a score of 38-7, but don’t worry, the press box was relatively dry.
I stayed upstairs and watched the game as long as I could, but I eventually had to make my way downstairs, which is usually when Master Teague picks up 50 of his 80 rushing yards.
At this point, I’m not sure what else the Buckeyes could do to get ESPN to like them other than maybe make them a mix tape?
But then I don’t even know if mix tapes are still a thing.
They probably aren’t. And it probably wouldn’t have worked anyway.
I guess Ohio State will just have to continue doing what they’re doing and ESPN will just have to deal with it.
Maybe ESPN will be impressed by wins over Maryland or Rutgers, since they get pretty impressed by wins over Auburn and Texas A&M.
But that’s a Buckeye Watch for a different day. Today is the Badgers’ day.
11:00 Austin Mack is out. Tom and I talked about this on the pregame show and what the Buckeyes would do without him and never once did we mention the best answer — freshman Jameson Williams.
11:25 Jonathon Cooper is out as well. Tyler Friday has already been ruled out. Looks like the Buckeyes are going to have to rely on Javontae Jean-Baptiste and Zach Harrison in the rotation today. Can’t afford to wear down in the fourth quarter.
11:44 It’s certainly wet out today and the rain is constant, but it’s not a heavy rain, just steady. Sparse crowd just 20 minutes before kickoff. Fans don’t want to get out in the rain any earlier than they have to, never mind that they’re going to be out in it for like four hours. Just get to your seat and support your team, you cork sniffers.
11:45 (By the way, I am going to do everything in my power to avoid being out in the rain today.)
12:03 Ohio State wins the toss and defers to the second half. There is absolutely no wind right now, but the rain is steady and decently heavy.
12:04 For the first time ever, I’m having one of the free smoothies they offer. Have you ever had one of these things? This is pineapple and mango and is kind of like a chocolate milkshake but instead of chocolate it has pineapple and mango.
12:05 Tyreke Smith is getting the start. Justin Hilliard and Tuf Borland are getting the start as well. Buckeyes starting out in the 4-4-3, which is definitely new.
12:07 Third and three. Shaun Wade in now for Hilliard. Werner is the second deep safety. Jonathan Taylor gets the ball and gets taken down a yard short by Malik Harrison. Looked like there was room there, but the no vacancy sign got put up quickly. Demario McCall fair catches the punt at the 30-yard line.
12:09 Whoa. Josh Myers just snapped the ball and nobody else really moved. Justin Fields was immediately sacked, but at least he was ready for the early snap. That will kill this drive.
12:11 BIG NOON SATURDAY COMMERCIALS.
12:15 Jonathan Taylor goes for 15 yards on third and one. Big hole there. Is this the start of a very long day?
12:20 Third and eight. It’s a screen to Taylor. Baron Browning is there to slow Taylor down and then Chase Young doubles back and drops Taylor for a loss of one. Further evidence of how well this defense chases the ball. Also further proof of how good these linebackers are because Browning was waiting for Taylor. The Badger punt dies at the 13-yard line.
12:26 JK Dobbins is finding room. This time he peeled off 13 yards to get it to midfield. The Buckeyes are getting a push right now.
12:27 Third and five. Fields drops the snap on the QB run and that will be the second drive-killing play for the Ohio State offense. Drue Chrisman’s punt is fair caught at the 19-yard line.
12:28 Ohio State is stopping Ohio State right now. The rain is helping Wisconsin in a sense.
12:31 Jack Coan pressured by Robert Landers and then Chase Young takes him down for the sack! Young is now the first Buckeye since Mike Vrabel with multiple 10-sack seasons.
12:31 Not wanting Chase Young to sack Jack Coan yet again, the Badgers go with the Wildcat here and Aron Cruikshank picks up 27 yards to get the ball out to the Wisconsin 42-yard line. That’s a nifty play. They had trips right and went away from the defense to the left. Zach Harrison tracked him down.
12:33 Third and six. Tons of motioning. Coan throws it incomplete to Quintez Cephus. Funny things happen when Coan has to throw more than five yards downfield.
12:34 Demario McCall fair catches the punt while he’s falling down because he likes to show off. Or maybe he has trouble judging where the ball is. It will probably make you feel better if you go with the former rather than the latter.
12:35 Whoa, no commercial. I missed the play. That’s pretty sneaky, FOX.
12:36 Third and 10. Trips left. Fields drops back, breaks free from a sack, reverses a bit and finds JK Dobbins at the 24-yard line for a first down. The shot clock almost expired on that one.
12:37 Justin Fields gets sacked again, this time up the middle from linebacker Chris Orr. It was a delayed inside blitz. Loss of eight and brings us to the end of the first quarter with no score.
12:38 There are no such things as halftime adjustments anymore, so those adjustments are happening right now.
12:42 Chase Young jumps offsides. This guy is terrible.
12:45 Damon Arnette comes on the blitz, goes airborne and just misses the sack. Wisconsin picks up a first down. Arnette daps the guy who picked up his blitz.
12:46 Tight ends are moving around. Counter to Jonathan Taylor and Justin Hilliard takes him down for a loss of six. There’s Hilliard looking like that 5-star linebacker the Buckeyes signed way back in 2015.
12:47 Chase Young picks up his second sack as he went inside and Jack Coan simply went fetal. He gave himself up and rolled onto his back and showed his tummy. Once quarterbacks show their tummies, that means they are acknowledging a defender’s dominance. A defender is no longer allowed to hit the quarterback at that point, but one brief purple nurple is allowed if nobody is looking. Wisconsin punts.
12:49 Ohio State needs to take advantage of this momentum right now.
12:53 Two drops in a row for the Buckeyes, but then Fields finds JK Dobbins as an outlet on third down for a nice pick up.
12:54 Empty set again. Fields overthrows an open KJ Hill deep. He had him, just didn’t have the speed to run under it. Receivers are finding room, but the rain is playing a factor so far.
12:55 Rain is picking up. There’s the fake halfback pass from Fields, but nobody is free and he gets pounded for the sack. He loses his helmet and Chris Chugunov will have to come in. That play worked once this season as a jump starter, but the Badgers weren’t as cooperative.
1:00 Games like this, I can’t help but wonder what this offense could look like if Tate Martell was still here.
1:02 Ryan Day will call on Blake Haubeil to come out and attempt a 49-yard field goal on the wet plastic grass (“plass?”). Wind is not a factor. The kick is good. Laser beam. Ohio State leads it 3-0. Wisconsin is 0-1 when trailing this year.
1:09 Davon Hamilton collapses the pocket with Jack Coan inside it. Like a Russian stacking doll. Open for a surprise!
1:10 Third and 14. Wisconsin leaves Chase Young unblocked on a screen and he still almost gets there. Hamilton cleans it up and breaks up the pass. Complete defensive line destruction. Wisconsin punts. Ball dies at the 5-yard line with 2:37 to play.
1:12 Buckeyes get the ball out of the second half, so you don’t need to go crazy here, but you could make it 17-0 before Wisconsin touches the ball again.
1:13 First play, JK Dobbins finds a hole and picks up 17 yards between the tackles. That’s a pretty good start.
1:15 KJ Hill is still looking for his first catch. Fields finds Chris Olave for 12 yards. If the front five can protect, the empty sets will carve Wisconsin up. (Provided the receivers catch the football.)
1:16 There it is. KJ Hill picks up 13 yards with 1:49 to play. He continues his reception streak. Fields then follows that up with a 21-yard scramble to the 24-yard line. The entire left side of the field was vacated.
1:16 Thayer Munford is moving so slowly right now. This is where you miss having the option of playing Josh Alabi.
1:17 And there’s a sack. Justin Fields gets taken down by Munford’s man. That was not a great drop for Munford. Just lunged a bit. Timeout Ohio State with 48 seconds remaining at the 27-yard line.
1:18 Third and 13. Trips right. Chris Olave runs a slant and then cuts up field against man coverage and gets by his man with ease. Justin Fields sees him and it’s a 27-yard touchdown for the Buckeyes. Tom just said “Game.” That was eight plays, 85 yards, in less than two minutes.
1:21 Ohio State will go to the half up 10-0. This hasn’t been easy for the Buckeyes. The offense is having some difficulties, and they’ve have been stopping themselves just as much as the Badgers have stifled them. Jonathan Taylor has been held in check with 25 yards on 12 carries.
1:25 Chase Young has four tackles, three tackles for loss, and two sacks. I predicted that he would have no sacks today, so this is a pretty big blow to my ego, which was already tucked deep inside that Jack Coan stacking doll.
1:44 JK Dobbins picks up four yards and goes over 1,000 yards rushing for the third time in his career. He’s the first Buckeye to ever do it in his first three seasons, which is pretty dang impressive. Or maybe it’s a commentary on poor recruiting the last three or four years?
1:45 Third and six. Fields gets sacked on an inside blitz. Ohio State will punt. Wisconsin overloads the left side and they get a hand on Chrisman’s punt. The Badgers take over at the 30-yard line. Winning percentages go way up when a team blocks a punt, which is probably not the kind of statistic you want to hear right now.
1:48 Wisconsin motioning around, Damon Arnette runs around as well. Jack Coan throws it deep into coverage and drops it beween Shaun Wade and Jeff Okudah for a touchdown to AJ Taylor. How did that happen? Was that luck or perfection? I guess it doesn’t matter. Buckeyes lead it 10-7 now with 12:08 remaining in the third.
1:52 Wisconsin has five sacks.
1:53 Adversity, let’s watch you respond to it. Fields hits Olave over the middle and he flips the burners to the 47-yard line.
1:55 Third and six. Dobbins motions into the backfield. Fields finds Olave on a slant for the first down. Olave is getting stronger and cockier.
1:56 Dobbins squirts through the left side for 28 yards. Munford with the seal. Buckeyes get a first and goal at the 10-yard line. Seems like the response to adversity is in motion.
1:57 Fields keeps it for the 10-yard touchdown. Vultures another score from JK Dobbins. Everybody congratulating JK as he goes to the sideline. Ohio State leads it 17-7 with 9:34. I have to wonder how much longer Dobbins will put up with this week-after-week thievery.
1:59 That was a pretty good answer, but Fields is now in the tent after taking a hit at the goal line.
2:05 Garrett Wilson is back to return the punt, which is a positive sign. And now Garrett Wilson is doing Garrett Wilson things by returning the punt 22 yards to midfield. Time to make him the full-time guy.
2:09 Trips left. Dobbins goes down the right side for 33 yards. He just smashed a dude. Badgers don’t want anymore of him. They’re shying away and getting planted. First and goal.
2:10 Dobbins knifes in for nine yards untouched for the touchdown. Ohio State leads it 24-7. JK Dobbins has 16 carries for 129 yards. Jonathan Taylor has 14 carries for 29 yards. One hundred more yards than Taylor. That’s math even I can do.
2:13 If Ohio State doesn’t want to split their Heisman candidates, why don’t they just have people vote for “Ohio State #2.” Heismen, if you will.
2:16 Trips left for the Badgers. They are borrowing from OSU’s playbook, but they don’t have a JK Dobbins.
2:18 Nice tackle by Damon Arnette on Bradrick Shaw but he has to take himself out of the game because he tweaked his wrist again. Can’t say enough for the way Arnette has played this year. Jeff Okudah gets the attention, but I don’t think anybody is playing better than Damon Arnette. And he’s doing it in a cast every week.
2:21 Fourth and three. Wisconsin is going for it. Damon Arnette went in motion before Quintez Cephus. They know what’s coming. False start Badgers and now they’re even more screwed.
2:22 Fourth and eight. Trips right. Chase Young with the sack and forced fumble and Ohio State takes over at the 45-yard line. Was that a Heisman moment for Chase Young? If only non-quarterbacks and running backs were eligible for the award…
2:24 Jake Hausmann goes in motion and he seals his man and allows JK Dobbins to pick up 13 yards. That’s the end of the third quarter and the other tight ends are going crazy for Hausmann’s block. They’re on the field congratulating him. Buckeyes lead it 24-7.
2:25 Turns out Ohio State is also a third quarter team.
2:29 Fields drops back, swings it over to JK Dobbins for a 21-yard gain. Dobbins is having some fun today. This has to feel good for him. If he’s not careful, he’s going to win the October Heisman.
2:30 Luke Farrell motions to the right side, Dobbins gets the ball and goes untouched for 14 yards and yet another touchdown. That was beautiful. Buckeyes lead it 31-7 and once again they have not been tested by an opponent.
2:37 Oh dear God, Chase Young has now just notched his fourth sack and his second forced fumble. Pete Werner picks up it and rumbles to the 45-yard line. Can a player have two Heisman moments in a single game?
2:38 And now it’s time for Master Teague to close things out. This is also my cue to head downstairs. I wonder if I’ll miss his 56-yard run before I get down to the field.