Ohio State dominates Wisconsin 52-21 in first game of Big Ten play

No doubt the Buckeyes’ Big Ten opener.

Against Wisconsin, expected to give Ohio State one of its toughest tests of the season, the Buckeyes dominated on both sides of the ball and scored on the game’s first five possessions en route to a 52-21 victory. Badgers.

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

#3 Ohio State

21

10

7

14

52

Wisconsin

0

7

0

14

21

Ohio State’s offense drove 88 yards down the field in six plays on its opening drive. C.J. Stroud completed an 18-yard pass to Marvin Harrison Jr., a 22-yard pass to Kate Stover and a 33-yard pass to Emeka Ekbuka before Mian Williams capped the drive with a 2-yard touchdown run.

The Buckeyes got the ball back inside the red zone after Tanner McCallister intercepted a pass and returned it to the 16-yard line. Two plays later, Stover broke open for a 13-yard touchdown run, the first of his Ohio State career, to give the Buckeyes a 14-0 lead less than six minutes into the game.

Stover scored again on the Buckeyes’ next possession, capping a seven-play, 70-yard drive with a two-yard touchdown catch to make it 21–0.

Ohio State

Metric

Wisconsin

539

Total yards

296

258

Rushing yards

192

43

Urgent efforts

35

6.0

Average per rush

5.5

2

Rushing touchdowns

2

281

Passing yards

104

17-27

Completions-attempts

12-21

16.5

Average per completion

8.7

5

Passing touchdowns

1

28

1st Downs

11

70

Total plays

56

7.7

Yards per game

5.3

7-7

Red zone

2-2

7-11

Change under third

6-13

3-27

Punishments

4-55

33:02

Possession

26:58

Williams extended Ohio State’s lead to 28-0 on its fourth possession when he spun through multiple tacklers on a 21-yard run and scored a 3-yard touchdown on the play.

The Badgers finally got on the board on their fourth possession of the game. A 26-yard pass from Graham Mertz to Skyler Bell put Wisconsin in the red zone, and Mertz finished the drive by running the ball into the end zone from a yard out.

Ohio State punted inside Wisconsin’s 10-yard line on its fifth possession before settling for a Noah Ruggles field goal on 4th-and-2 from the 7-yard line, drawing some cheers from the home crowd but extending its lead. 31-7.

Wisconsin safety John Torchio threw his first interception of the season, his 100th.

That gave the Badgers a chance to score again before halftime, but McCallister preserved the Buckeyes’ 24-point halftime lead with a rungy pass breakup that otherwise might have been a deep-ball touchdown.

Ohio State returned to the end zone on its opening possession of the second half when Julian Fleming scored a 12-yard touchdown and then brought the Buckeyes into the red zone with a 31-yard catch and run.

Stroud extended the Buckeyes’ lead to 45-7 with 2:22 left

The Badgers scored their second touchdown of the game on their next drive, driving 80 yards in 14 plays, capped by a 2-yard touchdown pass from Mertz to fullback Jackson Acker.

Strode threw his fifth touchdown pass of the night and Ekbuka scored his second touchdown as the pair combined on a 32-yard scoring play to put the half-century on the scoreboard.

That was the final play of the night for Ohio State’s starting quarterback, who finished the game with 281 passing yards on 17 completions and 27 attempts. Ekbuka caught six passes for 118 yards and two touchdowns, while Trevion Henderson (121) and Williams (101) both topped 100 rushing yards.

With backups mostly in the game, Ohio State’s defense gave up a one-play touchdown drive on its second-to-last defensive series, allowing Braylon Allen to run for a 75-yard score to cap the Buckeyes’ final score. Win by 31 points.

Tommy Eichenberg led Ohio State’s defense with 14 total tackles on the night, including two tackles for a loss.

Ohio State ends September with a 4-0 record. It will begin its fifth straight home game to open the season in October when it hosts Rutgers in the second game of Big Ten play televised on the Big Ten Network next Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

Game tips

  • That includes wide receiver Jackson Smith-Najikba and cornerbacks Cameron Brown and Denzel Burke. 11 Ohio State players were unavailable.

  • Julian Fleming made his season debut at wide receiver, while Emeka Ekbuka started in the slot in place of Smith-Njikba.

  • J.K. Johnson and Jair Brown both made their first career starts at cornerback in place of Burke and Cameron Brown. Jake Sawyer made his first career start at defensive end, getting the nod against JD Tuimolo.

  • CJ Stroud, Kate Stover, Tommy Eichenberg and Kort Williams were captains.

  • True freshman Sonny Stiles saw playing time with the first-team defense against the Badgers as a hybrid safety/linebacker in short-yardage situations.

  • Mian Williams had the third 100-yard game of his Ohio State career, while Henderson had the fourth 100-yard game of his Ohio State career. Both had their first 100-yard games of the season and became the Buckeyes’ first pair since Trey Sherman and Justin Fields against Michigan State in 2020 to top 100 rushing yards in the same game.

  • Henderson now has over 1,500 yards rushing in his Ohio State career.

  • Saturday night’s game drew 105,473, marking the third time this season that the Shoe has drawn more than 105,000 fans.

  • Stroud is now third in Ohio State history with 60 touchdown passes, behind JD Barrett (104) and Justin Fields (63).

  • It was Stroud’s seventh career game with five passing touchdowns, extending his streak for most games in school history. He now has 10 career games with four passing touchdowns, tied for most by Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett is pushed back.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.