B1G Title Blog: Ohio State vs. Wisconsin

BruceHooley

Ohio State goes for an unprecedented third straight outright Big Ten championship in an 8 p.m. kickoff against Wisconsin at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Unprecedented, as in, not only hasn't Ohio State done it.

No team in Big Ten history has done it.

The Buckeyes (12-0) defeated Wisconsin, 38-7, in the teams' earlier meeting in Ohio Stadium on Oct. 26.

OSU quarterback Justin Fields went 12-of-22 for 167 yards and two touchdowns to wide receiver Chris Olave.

Tailback J.K. Dobbins carried 20 times for 163 yards and two scores.

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Gus and Klatt say "Jack Coan is getting better every day." Question is, have enough days passed since Oct. 26, when OSU stopped the Badgers, 38-7, and Coan completed 10-of-17 for just over 100 yards?

Nine of Jonathan Taylor's first 10 carries at Columbus went for two or fewer yards. His first carry tonight goes for 4.

That second-down throw from Coan looked like it got caught in the wind.

Oh, we're indoors.

Sorry, Jack.

Coan scrambles for a first down on third-and-6. He shook Baron Browning to get the required distance.

Wow, Taylor goes 44 yards up the middle and Bucky  the Badger has a 7-0 lead. Tuf Borland got smoked by a pulling guard and Jeff Okudah arrived just a tad late. Taylor high-stepped out of the tackle and on two carries has more yardage than he did in the 2017 Big Ten title game.

Third-and-4 and Fields did what he did the first time against the Badgers, he breaks their hearts with a drive-sustaining scramble.

A sack of Fields on second down brings fourth-and-6 at the Wisconsin 34. Badgers bring pressure and force him to run, which goes for no gain and an exchange of possession on downs.

Buckeyes fortunate Wisconsin did not convert on third-and-7 at midfield. Pass on target, but bounced off the helmet of Quintez Cephus.

OSU gets its second drive moving with a spectacular Austin Mack catch for 34 yards to near midfield, then uses a Fields scramble and a J.K. Dobbins fourth-down run for the requisite yard to set up shop at the Badgers' 34-yard line.

Seems Wisconsin was counting on Fields being limited to the point where he wouldn't run. Clearly not the case. That's likely going to be an issue for Bucky.

Fields has no where to throw on third-and-10, tries, but can't get away from Chris Orr, so OSU will punt. Drue Chrisman's punt goes into the end zone and Wisconsin will start at the 20.

First quarter ends with OSU down, 7-0.

That's the first scoreless first quarter for the Buckeyes since their Oct. 26 win over Wisconsin.

Cephus catches and runs for 17 on third-and-9. Takes advantage of Okudah being out with an undisclosed injury. Cam Brown in for him, and got beaten on that play.

Fourth-and-4...Badgers go and Danny Davis gets a half yard more than they need on a reverse, running through Jordan Fuller's tackle at the mark.

Again, Bucky converts on third and long. This time, Coan materializes from a scrum in the pocket and runs for the first down.

Two players later, he keeps on a Zone Read.

Wisconsin doesn't run the Zone Read.

Well, it does to keep the Buckeyes off balance, and that one did.

Coan scores untouched, going 14 plays to cover 80 yards and it leads, 14-0.

Ryan Day said he was going to coach aggressive and he wasn't kidding. On fourth-and-9, OSU fakes a punt from its 26-yard line and Chrisman hits Luke Farrell for 21 yards and the first down.

Dobbins tacks a 25-yard run onto that and the Buckeyes are in business inside the Wisconsin 10.

Fields tries to make something happen on third-and-goal from the 7, but he makes something bad happen with a fumble that the Badgers recover at the 5.

Taylor bulls for a first down on the first play after the turnover, then Coan fires a dime to Cephus for 17 yards. Wisconsin is moving, trying to consume the four minutes remaining, if not get on the board again before halftime.

OSU holds on third-and-7 and will get the ball back with three minutes left.

Fields keeps the Buckeyes moving with a third-down completion to Chris Olave, then OSU goes back to its old friend, Crossing Route.

K.J. Hill rambles for 27 to the 3-yard line, and from there it takes Dobbins two carries to reach the end zone. Blake Haubiel's extra-point cuts the Wisconsin lead in half and the wind in Ohio gusts to 40 miles-per-hour as the entire state exhales at once.

Taylor hits OSU with a 45-yard run, breaking three tackles, and then smashes for five to get to the 25 with 23 seconds left in the half.

Cephus rises over Cam Brown on a jump ball near the goal line and the Badgers have stunningly gone the length of the field in under a minute.

Replay spots the ball at the half-yard line with 18 seconds left and Coan powers in on the sneak, completing a 75-yard, four-play drive in 32 seconds to re-establish their 14-point lead, 21-7.

Fields went 7-of-14 for 127 yards in the first half.

THIRD QUARTER

Ohio State greets the third quarter with a five-play, 75-yard drive to reduce the deficit to 21-14. Fields scrambles away from pressure on third down hit Olave for 50 yards, then after a Dobbins run finds Jeremy Ruckert for the TD from 16 yards away.

Ruckert snags the throw one-handed and pulls it in before tumbling to the turf in the back of the end zone.

A three-out follows for Wisconsin and OSU will get possession with a chance to tie the score.

OK, Wisconsin is wetting its pants. The punter Anthony Lotti just flat drops the ball before he can punt the ball. Ohio State takes over on downs at the 16.

Fields misses an opportunity, throwing wide of Luke Farrell, who certainly would have had the first down, if not the touchdown.

Haubiel's field goal draws Ohio State to within 21-17 just three minutes into the second half.

Wisconsin gets the benefit of two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties on OSU to move to the Ohio State 20. Badgers return the favor with a holding penalty that puts them in first-and-20 at the 30.

That forces Zach Hintze on to attempt a 48-yard field goal, but he misses it left and the margin remains four points.

Buckeyes will have the ball for the first time all night with a chance to take the lead.

Fields hits K.J. Hill for a first-down conversion, then Dobbins starts pounding into Wisconsin territory. Mack draws a pass interference penalty that moves OSU to the Badgers' 16, where Fields finds Hill for the score and a 24-21 lead.

FOURTH QUARTER

Ohio State breaks Bucky's heart with a third-and-18 conversion. Fields hits Binjamin Victor, who dodges a few tackles to get the necessary yardage and move OSU inside the 20.

Two plays after that, Fields throws his second straight touchdown pass to Hill and third of the night. Now it's 31-21 with 12:57 left to play.

Haubiel's 24-yard field goal adds three points to that, and now it will take two Wisconsin touchdowns to deny the Buckeyes an unbeaten season and third straight outright conference title.

The Badgers come up short on a fourth-and-two pitch to Taylor and OSU will have it, with just 2:39 to kill before it's official.

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