One of the great things about this job is our ability to help people live out their dreams.
That happened last week when everyone here agreed to steer clear of a correct prediction so that one of our long-time forum posters could win the week.
That poster was Crabapple Buck, who won the week with his 51-3 prediction. As you may remember, Ohio State went to Northwestern last week and beat the Wildcats 52-3.
Our generosity was also seen in the second-closest pick of 54-6 by poster Smartwater.
It was a great day of giving back from everyone here and nothing will ever top seeing their smiling faces as we all totally sandbagged our picks.
But those days are gone.
Crabapple Buck is back, but we don’t allow charity to double-dip. Also joining the fray is long-time poster Oscar Sierra Uniform.
But we don’t care who is joining us this week, it’s time to get real again.
I think we dominate, rain or no rain. If we have rain all game, 38-14. If we get enough dry weather we will score more. If it was a sunny day, I would think 45-17. It won’t be as close as the final score would indicate. Wiscy is not going to be able to pass and our defense will contain Jonathan Taylor.
Ohio State 38 – Wisconsin 14
As of right now — 24 hours before kickoff — it looks like it’s going to be raining the entire game on Saturday. Both teams will have to deal with it and both teams will need to take care of the ball.
While some might see the rain as a neutralizer for Ohio State, it could also move the Badger offense in the one-dimension direction, which would not be good for them.
It doesn’t look like it’s going to be super windy — a steady 12-13 mph breeze outside of the stadium is cut down inside of it. Regardless, Justin Fields will be better equipped to throw through the wind than Jack Coan.
I think this weather simply brings Ohio State’s defense closer to the ball, which is bad news for Wisconsin. The Buckeye defense would need to play an uncustomary game of poor tackling and lax coverage for the Badgers to outscore Ohio State.
Wisconsin will come into this game looking to make up for last week’s debacle, and a win in Columbus would cure what ails them.
Ohio State 34 – Wisconsin 13
The Buckeyes are going to get an angry Wisconsin team coming off of its unexpected loss at Illinois last week.
If they want the W, this has to be Ohio State’s best game of the year. They have to prepare better than any game, they have to be ready to compete for an entire game, and they will have to deal with adversity and be able to adjust.
For the first time this season, I think the Buckeyes are going to have themselves a game. Wisconsin and Jonathan Taylor will make plays and Justin Fields will get shut down at times. But I think this Ohio State team is something different. I think the Buckeyes have been waiting for a game and have been waiting to prove to people what they can really do against a good team. They won’t let the hype around this game get the best of them because this is what they have been preparing for.
Don’t get me wrong, Wisconsin has a great defense, but I don’t think they’ve faced anyone on Justin Fields’ level yet this season. This game will be a lot harder for Fields to get things done. But I don’t see Wisconsin’s defense being too much for Ohio State to overcome. I predict this game coming down to the Buckeyes’ defense being on point and limiting Wisconsin’s run game. And with the way that Ohio State’s defense has been playing, I don’t think they will have that many issues even though they are facing arguably the best back in the country.
I’m following my gut feeling that’s telling me that this Ohio State team is really really good right now and Wisconsin won’t get in their way.
Ohio State 31, Wisconsin 17
Oscar Sierra Uniform
After a sluggish first quarter and trailing 7-3 entering Q2, the Buckeyes explode and go into the locker room at the half up 24-14. The Buckeyes come out in the 3rd and go up 31-14 and eventually win 31-21 as Wisconsin gets a TD in the 4th.
Ohio State 31, Wisconsin 21
Ohio State is a better all-around team than Wisconsin. Most advanced analytics systems have the Buckeyes as anywhere from a touchdown to 17 points better than the Badgers on a neutral field.
That means this is a game that should both be the most competitive OSU has played all season, and also probably a double-digit win for the Bucks.
The Buckeyes have not given up big plays on defense, and outside of Quintez Cephus, Wisconsin has little-to-no big-play ability through the air, and likely won’t be able to sustain multiple 10-play, 70-yard drives to score. That should keep the Badgers under 20.
OSU’s offensive balance and big-play ability should be enough to put them somewhere in the high 20s or low 30s.
Ohio State 31, Wisconsin 13
The key metric I will be focused on when Wisconsin has the ball is how they do on first down. If Ohio State can frequently turn the Badgers’ 1st and 10 into 2nd and 7 or 2nd and 8, I will be much calmer. If Wisconsin is getting a healthy diet of 2nd and 4, my concerns will be elevated, as the Badgers will be in an ideal position to run whatever they choose from their playbook, either with more running by Jonathan Taylor or play action passes to players such as Badgers TE Jake Ferguson.
Every week, we keep believing that this is the game Ohio State will finally be tested. While a healthy favorite, I believe this game will go into the fourth quarter before Ohio State eventually pulls away.
Ohio State 28, Wisconsin 17
Ohio State and Wisconsin should be a knock-down, drag-out battle for four quarters. I’ve said similar things about previous Ohio State games and have been wrong every time. This is probably the week I finally get that prediction right. Ohio State’s defense is certainly capable of shutting down the Wisconsin offense but it will need to play its best game of the year to do so.
Wisconsin will not make things easy as ball security will be a priority after the Badgers’ embarrassing stumble last week at Illinois. The OSU offensive line will need to open some holes for J.K. Dobbins and protect Justin Fields, and I think it will…eventually. The Buckeyes will need to weather a bit of adversity this week and eventually find some distance after the third quarter.
Ohio State 35, Wisconsin 20
You can’t take the Illinois game and use that to judge Wisconsin. That was clearly a trap game and we know all too well what that’s like. You can take into account that it’s supposed to be nasty weather and that will change a whole lot of offensive game plans.
Wisconsin All-World Running Back Jonathan Taylor is just that. He’s a beast and there’s a reason he’s been called one of the best in the nation the last three years…and it’s not just because he shares his name with a 90s heartthrob. Can Ohio State stop Taylor? No, I don’t think they will. Can the Silver Bullets slow him down and contain the Wisconsin offense? Absolutely. Taylor will get his yards and have some big plays. But like OSU did to Penn State and Saquon Barkley a few years ago, slowing him down will allow OSU to stop the offense.
On offense, it will be a lot of 1-2-3 punches from our All-World backfield with Master Teague joining Justin Fields and JK Dobbins. These three will control the clock and the football in terrible weather, and keep the Buckeyes rolling. It won’t be as pretty as we’ve cone to expect, but it’ll be some fun, old school, sloppy weather Big Ten football.
Ohio State 35, Wisconsin 21
Big, bad Wisconsin is angry and out to avenge their poor showing last week. The loss to Illinois only made them more dangerous for the rest of the season, especially this week. They have nothing to lose, will unleash all of the tricks and upset the Buckeyes in Columbus.
Yea, sure, those may be some common narratives this weekend. They won’t matter. Wisconsin has a good defense that has been tested against poor offenses. Taylor will eat and get his yards and carries, but that will only get them so far.
The Buckeyes’ explosive offense and improved defense will be too much for the Badgers to overcome. It’ll stay close for a while, but OSU will pull away on the second half, earning a comfortable lead. Justin Fields will be the X-factor in the run game, especially in the red zone, for which Paul Chryst and company won’t have an answer.
Ohio State 41, Wisconsin 20
Well, like Michigan, I seem to have peaked in September and have now have settled nicely into the middle of the pack. Tomorrow, we finally get to see Ohio State face a team that we don’t have to artificially build up as something they are not. I think Wisconsin is in a perfect spot in that 10-15 range and I thought that even before they lost to Illinois.
On offense, I think we will see the Buckeyes rely on Justin Fields a lot more than we have so far this year. The Badgers are going to sell out to stop JK Dobbins and I think Fields will force them to change that strategy later in the game as he breaks a couple of chunk plays.
Defensively, the line will have to continue to play great and clean up a few mistakes from last week. If they can get pressure and force Jonathon Taylor to make his cuts 2-3 yards deep, the linebacker crew will hopefully be there to stop him for little to no gain.
Overall, I don’t think Wisconsin matches up well with the Buckeyes at all. Depending on the weather, I think Ohio Stateshould dominate offensively and defensively.
Ohio State 38, Wisconsin 13