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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / 2017 Big Ten Championship Game Wisconsin Badgers vs Ohio State Buckeyes: Preview and Prediction

2017 Big Ten Championship Game Wisconsin Badgers vs Ohio State Buckeyes: Preview and Prediction

Ohio State-Wisconsin Preview
Publish Date: 12/02/2017
Fact checked by: Simon Briffa
Oct 15, 2016; Madison, WI, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) scores a touchdown during the third quarter against the Wisconsin Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium. Ohio State won 30-23. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Wisconsin Badgers will get another chance to prove they are an elite program on Saturday when they battle the Ohio State Buckeyes. The Buckeyes still have faint playoff hopes, while it looks like Wisconsin is-win-and-in. Let’s take a look at this match-up?

Who will be the Ohio State quarterback?

A knee injury to J.T. Barrett makes picking this game a lot harder than what it would have been. Details on how the senior Ohio State quarterback was first injured are still murky, but Barrett tried his best to play through the pain before it was finally too much to handle in the third quarter.

But from there redshirt freshman Dwayne Haskins gave Ohio State fans some optimism for life after Barrett with his performance against the Wolverines. Haskins took over for Barrett with six minutes left in the third quarter, and just a few minutes later on third down, Haskins delivered a 27-yard strike to Austin Mack to move the sticks. Just two plays later, the redshirt freshman scrambled down to the 1-yard line, and J.K. Dobbins scored on the next play to give the Buckeyes the lead for good.

So with Barrett you have a quarterback who has been under major scrutiny over the last two years and the other option which is Haskins is mainly untested. So which is the better option?

Can the Buckeyes pressure Badger quarterback Alex Hornibrook?

The Badgers have given up just 17 sacks all season. The problem with that is they have played nobody with a defensive line like the Buckeyes have. If the Buckeyes can pressure Hornibrook they will win this game.

Can the Buckeyes run the ball?

The Badgers have a stingy run defense but the Buckeyes will counter with running backs J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber. If anybody can move the ball on the ground against Wisconsin it may just be Ohio State.

Have the Badgers been tested enough this year?

Whether it’s their fault or not the Badgers schedule was sorely lacking this year, so the question becomes are they ready for the Buckeyes? The Buckeyes have tested themselves against Oklahoma and Penn State, and Wisconsin has not played one team of that caliber.

Prediction: The Buckeyes will win this game. They are battle-tested. They have a better coach and that’s why they are a 6-point favorite against an undefeated team. The Badgers also seem to come up short in these situations and I feel like we are about to see it yet again.

Ohio State 27  Wisconsin 20

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