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Wisconsin blown out by Ohio State 52-21 in Columbus

The Wisconsin Badgers struggled in all phases of the game, as the Ohio State Buckeyes cruised to a 31-point win over the Badgers.
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The Wisconsin Badgers (2-2) came into Saturday night's matchup with No. 3 Ohio State (4-0) down a couple of key offensive lineman and 19.5-point underdogs. 

On a night filled with extremely poor execution by Wisconsin in all phases of the game, Ohio State would dominate the Badgers to finish with a 52-21 win. 

Here is an overview of the nightmare in Columbus. 

Game Recap

Ohio State would get off to a hot start, snagging an early 7-0 lead within the first three minutes of the game. Quarterback C.J. Stroud was a perfect 3-of-3 on the opening drive of the game for 73 yards and Ohio State running back Miyan Williams would finish it off with a short-yardage touchdown run. 

The Wisconsin offense would pick up a quick first down on the proceeding series, but quarterback Graham Mertz would throw an interception shortly thereafter as he and wide receiver Chimere Dike did not appear to be on the same page. Ohio State cornerback Tanner McCalister would return the interception 30 yards to put the Buckeyes back in scoring position. 

Ohio State would only need two plays to light-up the scoreboard once again, as C.J. Stroud found tight end Cade Stover on a wide-open throwback play to take a 14-0 lead in just over six minutes of action. 

After a three-and-out by the Wisconsin offense and an Andy Vujnovich punt, Ohio State stormed down the field once again. The Buckeyes needed only seven plays to find the end zone behind the arm of C.J. Stroud, who found Cade Stover for another touchdown. The touchdown made it a 21-0 lead for OSU, as Stroud was a perfect 8-for-8 to open the game. 

Ohio State would get the ball right back after another quick punt by the Badgers. The Buckeyes finished the first quarter with 12 first downs and 210 total yards compared to only 23 yards for the Wisconsin offense. 

Within the first two minutes of the second quarter, the Ohio State offense continued on their torrid pace with a rushing touchdown by Miyan Williams. The three-yard touchdown was his second of the game and gave the Buckeyes a 28-0 advantage with just over 13 minutes remaining in the first half. 

The Badgers would respond. On the next drive Wisconsin would put together a 10-play drive of 72 yards, that was finished with a 1-yard quarterback sneak by Graham Mertz. The junior signal-caller made a big 26-yard throw to Skyler Bell that set them up in scoring position during the drive, as the Badgers would make it a 28-7 game midway through the second quarter. 

Ohio State would manage to string together another long drive, but fortunately for the Badgers, the defense was able to hold the Buckeyes out of the end zone for the first time. Ohio State would settle for a Noah Ruggles 25-yard field goal to push the OSU lead back up to 31-7. 

A 38-yard kickoff return by Isaac Guerendo would set the Badgers up with positive field position on the next possession, but the offense was unable to secure a first down, giving Ohio State the ball back with under two minutes before halftime. 

An impressive interception by senior safety John Torchio would give the ball back to the Badgers moments later, but a significant injury to tight end Clay Cundiff and a dropped touchdown opportunity by wide receiver Skyler Bell would round out the first half for Wisconsin. 

Overall, it was a dominant first half of football for Ohio State in all three phases of the game. 

It was more of the same early in the second quarter, as Wisconsin was unable to generate any offense on their first drive. After punting the ball back to Ohio State, the Buckeyes offense made them pay with another touchdown drive that featured multiple big plays to wide receiver Julian Fleming to give OSU a 38-7 edge.

Attempting to respond, Wisconsin's next two offensive drives finished without points, giving Ohio State another opportunity to add to their lead. The Buckeyes would do just that, Stroud found Emeka Egbuka for a quick touchdown to make it a 45-7 game. 

Wisconsin running back Braelon Allen would complete a pass out of the wildcat and pick up a second-straight first down as a runner to conclude the third quarter. 

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The Badgers would ride Allen down the field with 11 carries on the drive, but it was Graham Mertz to fullback Jackson Acker for a two-yard touchdown pass to cut into the gaudy deficit. 45-14 OSU. 

Despite holding a 31-point lead, Ohio State would surprisinly keep their starting offense in the game on the next drive. A pass interference by Jay Shaw on third down would help Ohio State get back in business, and Stroud would connect with Emeka Egbuka for another touchdown to make it 52-14 OSU.  

Just seconds later, Wisconsin running back Braelon Allen had a big play of his own, going 75 yards for a long touchdown run in garbage time. 

The Buckeyes would run the clock down with their reserves on the next drive, and Wisconsin would fall by 31 to Ohio State in an ugly showing. 

Players of the game

  • Miyan Williams (Ohio State)

Wisconsin's defense had no answer for OSU running back Miyan Williams. The Badgers' inside linebackers were out of position most of the night, and as a result, the 225-pound tailback put together a big night. Williams finished the game with 101 rushing yards and two touchdowns on only 11 carries. 

  • Emeka Egbuka (Ohio State) 

Wide receiver Emeka Egbuka went for over 100 yards against the Wisconsin defense, and also added two touchdown receptions from C.J. Stroud. He averaged nearly 20 yards per catch, and was electric with the ball in his hands. The Badgers had no answer for Ohio State's offense, Egbuka included. 

  • C.J. Stroud (Ohio State)

Ohio State came into the game without starting wide receiver Jaxson Smith-Njigba, but it did not matter. Quarterback C.J. Stroud was locked-in all night long and spread the ball around to his other targets. Stroud was dominant outside of one interception and he finished with 281 yards and five touchdowns on the night. 

  • John Torchio (Wisconsin)

The Wisconsin defense was not good against Ohio State, but senior safety John Torchio came up with arguably the top play of the game for the Badgers. He came down with a beautiful interception late in the second quarter along the sideline that gave the offense a chance to put up points just before halftime. Torchio wound up with seven tackles as well with Ohio State's offense consistently getting to the second level of the defense. 

  • Braelon Allen (Wisconsin)

While most of his production came in the second half, Braelon Allen had a big game against Ohio State. He not only completed his first career pass, but he also rattled off a 75-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter. Allen had 165 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries (7.1 ypc) overall. 

Photos of the Game

Up next

The Wisconsin Badgers will welcome Big Ten West opponent Illinois (3-1 overall, 0-1 B1G) to Camp Randall Stadium next weekend. Kickoff time is scheduled for 11 a.m. CST and the game will be aired on Big Ten Network. 

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