Game 4 Recap: Ohio State 52 – Wisconsin 21
For the second straight week, the Buckeyes hosted a team in a primetime spot, and their offense came to play. News before the game was announced that Jaxon Smith-Njigba would be out, as well as Cam Brown and Denzel Ward, and based on the first quarter, the Buckeyes didn’t those playmakers to make this game out of reach.
Ohio State scored on their first 5 possessions, with 4 of those for touchdowns, and 1 field goal, and only have up 7 points to the Badgers on a very questionable pass interference call against the Buckeyes which kept Wisconsin’s drive alive. The offense showed their balance on offense for the second straight game a well, passing for 281 yards, and rushing for 258 yards. They held the Badgers under 300 yards, and the only true big play they gave up was in mop up time against back up defense when Braelon Allen rushed for 75 of his 165 rushing yards and a touchdowns. Other that that, he was held in check for his other 22 carries of the game.
CJ Stroud put up a good performance, passing for 281 yards on 17 of 27 attempts, and 5 touchdowns to 1 interception. The interception was his first pick thrown all year and was a part of him passing to a window that wasn’t there. He showed again his athleticism, as was not sacked the whole game, and was able to roll out of the pocket to keep drives arrive.
Both TreVeyon Henderson and Miyan Williams rushed for over 100 yards, with Henderson hitting 121 yards on 21 carried, and Miyan hitting 101 yards on 11 carries with 2 touchdowns. Dallan Hayden also got involved in mop up time with 8 caries and 31 yards.
Only 4 players caught a reception this game, but each reception was big. Emeka Egbuka led all receivers with 118 yards on 6 catches for 2 touchdowns. Julian Fleming caught 4 passed for 67 yards and 1 touchdown. Cade Stover caught 4 catches for 51 yards, and Marvin Harrison Jr caught 3 catches for 45 yards.
The game really could have been closer, but the turning point was the Buckeyes 4th drive. The defense held Wisconsin to a 3 and out, and had the ball going into the second quarter with a 21-0 lead. 4 plays later, the Buckeyes scored their 4th touchdown of the game on Miyan William’s second touchdown run and a 28-0 lead. The Badgers never opened up outside of normal running playbook, and sort of conceded the game before it was even halftime.
Star of the Game
Tommy Eichenberg. CJ Stroud was great again, completing 9 of his first 10 passes with 2 touchdowns. but had his first interception at the end of the first half, and was 8 of 17 with 3 touchdowns to finish the game. But Eichenberg gets the nod here because he led the defense to stop the Badgers from ever making the game close. He had 14 total tackles, with 7 of those solo, and 2 of those were for a loss. The Buckeye defense held Wisconsin to 88 total yards the first half, and only gave up their first touchdown due to a weak pass interference penalty.
The Buckeyes put a statement win on a weekend where several top 25 teams struggled, or lost (looking at you Oklahoma.) Wisconsin is a good team overall with a solid defense, but this game was a display of the gap between Ohio State and potentially the rest of the Big Ten. The coaches and AP poll still had Ohio State as the third best team behind Georgia, who had their hands full with Kent State, and Alabama, who demolished Vanderbilt. The real question isn’t about if Ohio State is one of the best teams, but who deserves to be in the same tier as those three teams. With Rutgers and Michigan State (who just got handled by Minnesota) as the next two games before the bye week, the Buckeyes should be keeping their focus on not slipping up, and take care of business one game at a time. Michigan, who finally was challenged by Maryland, remains undefeated, and that November 26th match could just have a lot more impact to the playoff picture.
Ohio State (4-0) hosts Rutgers (3-1) at 3:30pm on BTN for their Homecoming game.
Wisconsin (2-2) heads home to host Illinois (3-1) at 12pm on BTN.
Photo Credit: Doral Chenoweth / USA TODAY NETWORK