Ohio State scored 27 consecutive points in the second half to beat the Wisconsin Badgers 34-21 in the Big Ten Championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Wisconsin Game Balls:
Offense: Jonathan Taylor
After being held to just 52 rushing yards against the Buckeyes back in October, Taylor had 148 yards and a touchdown Saturday night. He got the game off with a big start with a 47-yard rushing touchdown. Then, right before halftime he broke free for a 45-yard run that eventually led to another UW touchdown.
There was some uproar from the Ohio State side as to why JK Dobbins not winning the Big Ten Running Back of the Year award, but Taylor showed he was worthy of the award Saturday night. He now has 1,906 yards and 26 total touchdowns this season.
Defense: Isaiahh Loudermilk
Wisconsin’s defensive line held its own for much of the night against the Buckeyes, and that included Loudermilk. He made a big play early on in the game when he stripped the ball from Justin Fields in the red zone and the Badgers recovered. He also had a sack in the fourth quarter and finished with 5 tackles.
Linebacker Noah Burks suffered a leg injury in the first quarter and didn’t return.
A big killer for the Wisconsin Defense was when linebacker Chris Orr suffered a head injury in the second quarter and he didn’t return to the game. But he did come back to the sideline and added as an extra coach.
In the game, Jonathan Taylor became the first running back in history to go over 6,000 rushing yards in his first three years. He now sits at 6,080 yards in his career.
To me, the game changed on one play: On Ohio State’s first possession in the third quarter, the Badgers forced OSU into a 3rd & 7. On the third down play the officials didn’t throw a flag on a pretty blatant holding on the Ohio State lineman which the Buckeyes ended up completing a pass for 50-yards before scoring a touchdown to cut it to 21-14.
After the Badgers went three and out, they had a Special Teams blunder which gave Ohio State great field position which led to a field goal cutting the deficit to 21-17.
The other officiating issue was on the Buckeyes touchdown play to give them the 24-21 lead, the officials didn’t throw a flag on a blatant false start.
The Badgers offense wasn’t able to sustain the success they had in the first half.
Wisconsin (10-3, 7-2) will now await their bowl destination. It will be decided by the College Football Playoff Committee on Sunday. The most likely option is the Rose Bowl against Oregon. The other option would be the Cotton Bowl against Memphis.