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December 7, 2014 | Ohio State’s 2014 postseason was an amazing conclusion to arguably the most memorable season of Buckeye football ever. There was even a book written about it. A win over Alabama and a national title all in the same January is the best start to the year a team can have. But before the Buckeyes overpowered the Crimson Tide with an unforgettable performance and dismantled Oregon with an entertaining capper, they gave a three-hour swirlie to the Wisconsin Badgers in the Big Ten Championship Game. This piece from Tony Gerdeman is his Buckeye Watch from that night in Indianapolis — and he was just as awestruck as you were. — TG
You’ll read that word a lot over the next few minutes, but it’s probably the word that best fits what we all saw on Saturday night.
Ohio State defeated Wisconsin 59-0 for the Big Ten Championship, but they obviously won much more than that. Sunday came and the Buckeyes found out they had made the first College Football Playoff, and much of that reality was because of how they looked on the field in the Big Ten Championship Game.
The Buckeyes played as well as I have ever seen them play, and they could have very well made it 70-0 or 77-0. How is that even possible?
It was an incredible game to witness. It was like being in a ballpark and watching a no-hitter to clinch the pennant.
And regardless of what happens next, it is a game that no Buckeye fans should ever forget.
6:43 Jalin Marshall is warming up with the quarterbacks. I knew this might happen, but it still looks strange to me.
7:32 Ohio State is 4-0 when they aren’t favored under Urban Meyer. Something will give tonight. Or it won’t. In which case we should probably never doubt Meyer again. At least not until the first playoff game.
8:14 The captains have met at midfield for the coin toss. Wisconsin wins the toss, OSU will get the ball. Here comes Cardale. Why wait? Let’s get this thing started. I’m actually looking forward to seeing what Cardale Jones can do because I have no idea.
8:15 Jalin Marshall’s ankle is wrapped up. That doesn’t look good. How much does this change Ohio State’s plans for tonight?
8:17 Here comes the kickoff. Curtis Samuel gets it one yard deep and takes it out to the 23-yard line. The offense jogs out onto the field and Marshall is not with them. Interesting.
8:18 First snap for Cardale Jones. He rolls right, fires it towards Michael Thomas and Thomas makes a diving grab for nine yards. That’s how a receiver calms a new quarterback down, by making catches like that one.
8:21 Jalin Marshall is now in. Shotgun. Ezekiel Elliott goes in motion. Jones gets the snap, makes a fake step forward, then throws it deep to Devin Smith. He goes up and catches it for a touchdown! Wow. That’s how you start a game. Receivers are making plays for their quarterback already tonight. Buckeyes lead it 7-0 and Oregon is now asking for J.T. Barrett’s phone number. Don’t worry, I’m not going to mention the fact that Ohio State has never lost when Devin Smith catches a touchdown pass.
8:23 Like, wow, right? Cardale Jones has a 366.8 passer rating so far tonight.
8:27 Third and four. They start in the shotgun, then shift to I-formation. Melvin Gordon gets the ball and Michael Bennett and Rashad Frazier drop him for a loss of one. Wow, what a start for both the offense and defense. Who knew that a defensive script could work as well as an offensive script. The Badgers will now punt.
8:29 I can’t wait to see the commercials after a big Buckeye win. The camera finds Michael Bennett and the voice asks, “Michael Bennett, you just won the Big Ten Championship Game, where are you gonna go after this game?” And his answer: “I’m gonna go watch ESPN Sunday at 12:30 pm!”
8:31 First down. False start on Taylor Decker. Drive killer. A four-yard loss for Jones on second down does the Buckeyes no better. Ohio State goes three and out and will now punt.
8:35 Punting from the 25-yard line. Cameron Johnston comes out and booms it 73 yards and it stops at the two. You know Johnston is running around the sideline right now, utilizing his best Crocodile Dundee: “That’s not a punt. This is a punt.”
8:39 There is a timeout for an injured Badger. Uh oh, it’s banged up center Dan Voltz. They can’t afford to lose him. FOX goes to another commercial break. FOX has more commercials than 5 a.m. cable television.
8:46 Second and nine. Vonn Bell creeps forward. Darron Lee comes in on the run blitz and brings Corey Clement down for a yard gain. He was in the backfield immediately. There is a lot of Ryan Shazier to Lee’s game.
8:47 Third and eight. Vonn Bell is telling the crowd to get loud. They listen. Buckeyes come with a blitz and Joel Stave throws it downfield to an open Kenzel Doe, but it’s out of bounds. That’s the problem with having a quarterback like Joel Stave, accuracy is never a guarantee. Wisconsin’s punt rolls inside the 10-yard line.
8:51 First and 10 from the seven-yard line. Jeff Heuerman gets a nice seal block and Ezekiel Elliott picks up an easy 12 yards. Just feed that guy until he gets fat.
8:52 Buckeyes in the pistol. Elliott gets the carry and he is GONE! More stellar blocking and nobody is going to catch Elliott. That’s 81 yards for the score. Fat, fat, fat. Another Heuerman special on that play. Wow. Buckeyes now lead it 14-0. Elliott has five carries for 114 yards and a touchdown. His runner rating is the sun.
8:53 Elliott is now on pace to break the FBS single-game rushing record. That’s an insult right in Melvin Gordon’s face.
8:57 Raekwon McMillan is in. He’s moving people around. Gordon finds a huge hole in the middle and picks up 10 yards. Next play sees Gordon pick up about 13 yards. Michael Bennett and Curtis Grant come back in because Luke Fickell wasn’t happy with the last two plays. And now the Badgers go with a hurry up. This is awkward.
8:58 Two tight ends. Stave rolls right, throws back across his body and Vonn Bell picks it off because why should anything good happen for the Badgers tonight. This is incredible. Ohio State ball at their own 41-yard line.
9:00 Marshall goes in motion on second and 14. Jones drops back and finds Mike Thomas over the middle who makes a couple of defenders miss and picks up about 23 yards. He was almost gone on that one. The clown show of OSU receivers has turned into Cirque du Soleil.
9:01 Play-action, Jones finds Marshall running over the middle and he nearly breaks free, but the Buckeyes will have to settle for the 32 yards that he picked up instead. The Buckeyes will have first and goal. This keeps getting crazier.
9:02 Mercifully for the Badgers, the first quarter comes to a close with the Buckeyes leading 14-0. Unfortunately for the Badgers, the Buckeyes will have second and goal from the six-yard line. The crowd gives Ohio State a pleasing ovation. Look at this balance for the Buckeyes — 113 yards rushing and 111 yards passing.
9:03 Cardale Jones’ career passer rating as a starter is 293.7.
9:05 Third and goal from the one-yard line. False start number two for Taylor Decker. That makes it third and goal from the six. Jones drops back, has Elliott in the flats, but it’s just a bit tall and Elliott can’t bring it in. It should’ve been caught and Elliott will be the first to admit it. That leaves a 23-yard field goal for Sean Nuernberger. He nails it. Buckeyes lead it 17-0. Wisconsin dodged a bullet there, but man this offense looks good right now.
9:09 I don’t know why, but Brian Griese is being honored in some fashion right now. The crowd is obviously booing this decision.
9:11 Joey Bosa drops Melvin Gordon for no gain on first down. On second down Michael Bennett sacks Joel Stave. Third down is an incomplete pass downfield. This was supposed to be the possession where Wisconsin wakes up from their 17-0 deficit. This was where the comeback was supposed to start. Now it’s just the scene of even more destruction. Wisconsin punts.
9:14 And now the bad news for Wisconsin — Ohio State finally has the wind!
9:16 Elliott runs wide for nine yards. Give him 30 carries and you win.
9:17 Second and one. Corey Smith comes in. Elliott goes in motion. Jones fakes the draw, steps back and throws it deep to Devin Smith for another touchdown! Holy crap. The Buckeyes now lead it 24-0 and I don’t really believe what I am seeing. Did you know that Ohio State is undefeated when Devin Smith catches two touchdowns in his career?
9:18 Cardale Jones is 7-9 for 165 yards with two touchdowns. His passer rating is an okay 305.1. Clearly, he wasn’t starting before now because of politics. These things are always politics. Ohio State is out-gaining Wisconsin 292 yards to 70. I laugh at the idiots who took Wisconsin this week.
9:25 Wisconsin goes three and out because of habit.
9:28 There’s a 13-yard pass to Evan Spencer. Now a 21-yard completion to Corey Smith. And 11 more yards to Devin Smith. Now capped by an eight-yard scramble down to the Wisconsin 14-yard line. Eric points out to me that as a redshirt sophomore, Cardale Jones is draft eligible after this season.
9:31 Split backs with Marshall and Elliott in shotgun. The ball is given to Elliott and he goes untouched for a 14-yard touchdown. Two defenders ran with Marshall, vacating the middle of the field and there was nothing but open space for Elliott. Ohio State leads it 31-0. Jeez Buckeyes, hasn’t that curb been stomped enough?
9:32 Cardale Jones is 10-12 passing for 211 yards and Ezekiel Elliott has eight carries for 138 yards with two touchdowns. He is averaging OMG per carry.
9:35 Melvin Gordon gets dropped, nope, he escapes but then gets thrown down for a loss of two by Eli Apple. Wow. These guys. Wow. Wisconsin goes three and out.
9:36 Before you ask, no, this hasn’t been a perfect half for Ohio State because they are 0-2 on third downs. Urban Meyer will let his team have it at halftime I bet.
9:41 Whoa. Jones just missed a wide open Spencer. This Wisconsin defense is running around without any idea of what Ohio State is doing right now.
9:42 Cardale takes off for eight yards. Corey Smith is flagged for targeting on the block. Under review. Smith had a bigger hit than this one last week. Not sure what else he was supposed to do on that play. It’s times like this when I miss having Earle Bruce sitting behind me. He’d have an opinion on this one, I bet.
9:46 The call holds up. Wow. Corey Smith has to leave the game.
9:47 The OSU drive falters and they will have to punt because they hit too hard.
9:48 Here comes Cameron Johnston to punt with 2:30 left in the half. Holy crap. What did I just see? Johnston drills a punt that bounced inside the five-yard line and spun backward. Of everything I’ve seen tonight, that was the most amazing. Heisman voters, make sure you save a spot on your ballot for a certain Cameron Johnston.
9:50 Gordon gets the carry…FUMBLE! Joey Bosa picks it up and takes it in for the touchdown. Bennett forced it and Bosa cleaned it up. I don’t even understand what I am seeing right now. My mom says I’m not a’sposed to watch these kinds of movies. Ohio State now leads it 38-0. This place shook when Bosa picked that fumble up.
9:58 Wisconsin tried to get a score, but couldn’t do it. We have reached halftime with the Buckeyes up 38-0. I’ll be back in a few, for now I am off to get halftime cookies.
10:02 I don’t even know what to say. I’m typeless. I am without type.
10:05 What does Gary Andersen’s halftime speech sound like? “Okay men, after the Buckeyes pull the old ‘confetti in the bucket’ toss, let’s try to get under Meadowlark Jones’s skin a little.”
10:08 Ohio State has dominated this game so completely that it is actually beginning to diminish the win.
10:25 Okay, back to football. Wisconsin is going to have to speed things up in the second half, but that’s not really where they go for success.
10:28 Joey Bosa stuffs Melvin Gordon for nothing once again and then Tyvis Powell drills him for good measure as well. Gordon is essentially carrying an unwanted tractor beam around with him tonight.
10:31 Wisconsin punts again. At what point do the Buckeyes start thinking about a shutout?
10:35 The Buckeyes are moving deliberately, allowing the clock to do its job. Cardale Jones rolls right, there is nothing there so he reverses field and picks up a wide open 20 yards. Wow, there was nobody over there. He had the ball tucked high and tight. This dude is being careful with the football, but still letting his teammates go and make plays.
10:36 Play-action…Jones is going deep again and Devin Smith goes up and gets it for another touchdown. Oh goodness. Buckeyes lead it 45-0. This is amazing. But just imagine how much more amazing it would be if Bret Bielema was still at Wisconsin.
10:37 Devin Smith now has four catches for 137 yards and three touchdowns. The Buckeyes have never lost when Smith catches three touchdown passes in a game.
10:39 Cardale Jones is 11-14 passing for 253 yards and three touchdowns. His passer rating is 301.1, which is pretty much what I expected for him tonight. Clearly.
10:41 Is this the best I’ve ever seen the Buckeyes play against a quality opponent? I can’t remember anything like this, offensively, defensively and on special teams. It’s complete destruction. It’s so bad that Wisconsin shouldn’t even feel bad. They had no say in tonight’s game.
10:44 Badgers punt again after Gordon was suplexed by Bosa on second down, then pushed out of bounds for a loss on third down. You can’t even draw up this game plan because people would point and laugh.
10:49 Ohio State goes three and out. Now there is no need to run it up and pin them inside the five-yard line again, so just give them something to work with. Please. There, that’s better. Johnston’s punt goes out of bounds at the 32-yard line. That’s class. That’s sportsmanship.
10:50 Wisconsin needs to score the next seven touchdowns to almost cover.
10:57 Fourth and six. Stave avoids the sack and then heaves the pass downfield, and right into Doran Grant’s angry hands, but he drops what would have been an easy pick six. Wisconsin finally moved into scoring territory, but the Buckeyes held once again.
10:58 Ugh. Classless Ohio State still has their starter in at quarterback. What a bunch of jerks. Good, justice serves and they go three and out. Jones got sacked on third down. The offense is bogging down. Typical. What’s Tom Herman’s problem?
11:04 Stave drops back, throws over the middle and it is picked of by Doran Grant, who returns it to the Wisconsin 31-yard line. This is just two different levels of talent here tonight. It’s not even competitive.
11:05 The end of the third quarter is upon us. Ohio State leads it 45-0. Could you imagine if the Buckeyes got a shutout against the Badgers? I cannot. I could not. Even if they get it, I may not still believe it.
11:06 Now it’s time for Wisconsin’s long-standing 15-year tradition of jumping around. There is a portion of the corner of the endzone that is jumping around. Maybe 200 people. It is very sad.
11:12 Fourth and six from the 13-yard line. Urban Meyer is trying to figure out what to do. He sends the field goal team out late. They are rushed. The kick is blocked. Not a great plan there. They could have taken a delay of game, but I don’t think too many will mind. Ohio State still leads it 45-0. But that missed field goal could come back to haunt them if Wisconsin scores 45 unanswered points this quarter.
11:19 Three and out for Wisconsin. I’ll be heading down to the field here shortly.
11:28 First and 10 from the 28-yard line for Ohio State. Elliott gets the carry and bursts through the line of scrimmage, loses a shoe at the 50-yard line and finally gets tackled after 60 yards. Wow. If he doesn’t lose that shoe, he probably scores. I guess he’ll have to settle for 20 carries for 220 yards instead.
11:21 Curtis Samuel gives Elliott a rest and takes the carry wide to the left and races into the endzone untouched. It’s 52-0 for the Buckeyes right now. Wisconsin is no longer stunned. All of this has become expected.
11:22 Time to head down to the field.
11:30 Stopped by the room where the press conference is going to be held. Gary Andersen’s name card is upside down on the dais. It’s a fitting placement.
11:36 Fourth down. Stave goes deep and it’s intercepted one more time by Doran Grant, who picks up a nice return to possibly ice the game. Though maybe an insurance touchdown might make Urban Meyer feel better.
11:37 Bri’onte Dunn is in the game, getting rewarded for his special teams play.
11:42 Oh man, Dunn breaks through the line and picks up 25 or 30 yards. And they’re going to tack on a personal foul on Wisconsin. With 3:34 to play, it looks like the insurance touchdown is a go.
11:44 Curtis Samuel takes it in from one yard out. The Buckeyes lead it 59-0. The only question now is if they can keep the shutout.
11:45 It’s not often that Vegas is wrong by 63 points.
11:53 That’s ball game. The shutout remains intact. Absolutely incredible. Ohio State wins it 59-0 over the Wisconsin Badgers. I have to try to not get run over by people building a stage now. Send help!