#8 Wisconsin at #1 Ohio State
Time: 7 PM CST
Spread: OSU -16
Odds c/o 5dimes
The No. 1 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes are undefeated on the season and will attempt to close the year with another Big Ten championship as it hosts the Wisconsin Badgers Saturday at 7 PM CST on FOX. Ohio State is 16-point favorites and the over/under is set at 56.5 points according to college football oddsmakers at 5dimes.
Ohio State survived a scare against Penn State two weeks to score a touchdown and move ahead by 11 in the final quarter, winning 28-17. With that win, Ohio State leaped from No. 2 in the AP Polls to No. 1, and a win in this affair assures (almost naturally) a BCS playoff bid. It is sweet redemption for the Buckeyes after being snubbed in an undefeated season a year ago. It knocked off rival Michigan in definitive 56-27 fashion to close the regular season last week.
Against PSU, Justin Fields completed 16 of 22 passes for 188 yards and two touchdowns, while JK Dobbins rushed an outstanding 36 attempts for 157 yards and two rushing touchdowns. Ohio State limited the Penn State offense to just 227 total yards, despite allowing a pair of rushing touchdowns from its backfield. KJ Hill caught four passes for 46 yards for the Buckeyes, and Ohio State balanced its scoring with two receiving touchdowns to match its two via the rush.
Ohio State did fumble four times, three coming from Fields, and three of those four fumbles were lost. Despite these blunders, the win over PSU was huge and nearly secures OSU its playoff berth, but it must first handle business against its familiar rival this week. It must avoid repeating the turnovers for a second week, especially given the spread hovers in single-digits.
Fields has put together a very impressive statistical season for OSU. He has 2,654 passing yards on 68 percent completions, with an amazing 37 touchdowns to his one lone interception. His passer rating borders on absurd at 192.1. Fields is also a rushing threat. He has 105 carries this season for 445 yards, while ranking No. 2 on the team in touchdowns (10). Fields threw 14 of 25 against Michigan for 302 yards and four touchdowns while amassing a passer rating for the game of 210.3
Dobbins has 250 carries for 1,657 yards with 19 TDs. The Buckeyes averaged 5.8 yards-per-carry as a team with 37 total rushing touchdowns on the season. The receiving core is led by Chris Olave. He has 41 catches (No. 2 on the team) for a team-leading 705 yards and a team-leading 11 touchdowns. The Buckeyes sport eight players with at least 100 receiving yards on the season, though tight end Jeremy Rucket has been somewhat quiet with just 12 catches for 120 yards and three TDs.
Wisconsin finished its season 10-2, but both of its losses came in Big Ten play (to Illinois and its opponent Saturday, Ohio State). The Badgers enter this title game as winners of its last four.
The Badgers rank No. 15 nationally in rushing yardage with 243.9 per game, but its pass attack is nearly outside of the top-100. Even without much balance, the Badgers manage 35.8 points per game and its defense is strong as it often is, limiting opponents to just 14.6 per contest.
The rush attack is spearheaded by Jonathan Taylor, who has more or less carried Wisconsin this season. He has 1,761 yards on 279 carries and an amazing 20 touchdowns. The rest of the team has fared decently, as well, with the Badgers averaging 5.4 yards-per-carry as a team. Quintez Cephus has done a lot of damage as a wideout but without a ton of help. He leads the team in catches (45), yardage (720) and touchdowns (6).
Kicker Collin Larsh is 10 of 15 on field goals, but he is just 3 of 6 from 30 to 39 yards and his long-kick is just 44-yards.