This Wisconsin football game vs Ohio State was expected to be an uphill battle for the Badgers all night long. The Ohio State Buckeyes came into the game as 14.5-point favorites, but they struggled to pull away for most of the game. Although the Badgers’ defense kept the Buckeyes in check for most of the game, the lack of offensive output, especially after the Braelon Allen injury, eventually came back to bite them.
After the Wisconsin Badgers tied the game up at 10 with a touchdown pass to Will Pauling in the third quarter, the Badgers amassed just 81 offensive yards in their next four drives. At the end of the day, the offensive line just isn’t good enough for Wisconsin to hang with the big boys in the Big Ten.
Ohio State Defense Keeps Wisconsin Football in Check After Braelon Allen Injury
Braelon Allen Injury Brings Questions
There were a lot of question marks on offense for the Badgers coming into their matchup with Ohio State. The one offensive piece that was viewed as a sure thing was running back Braelon Alen. After two early fumbles and an early exit due to injury in the second quarter, Badgers fans are going to be left with more questions than answers.
The Badgers’ rushing attack took a noticeable step back after the Braelon Allen injury. Allen picked up 50 yards on 10 carries while three other Badgers combined for just 44 yards on 15 carries. The injury to Chez Mellusi was a bad enough loss for Wisconsin. A long-term absence from the Braelon Allen injury could bring this offense to its knees. Although offensive coordinator Phil Longo runs an “air raid” offense, their performance against Ohio State proves they’ll struggle against good defenses going forward.
Offensive Grade: C+
Defense Finally Forcing Turnovers
A lot of questions have been asked about Wisconsin’s inability to force turnovers this year, and rightfully so. In their last three games, Wisconsin’s defense has forced just one single turnover against Rutgers, Iowa, and Illinois. Against Ohio State, they knew they’d have to step it up if they wanted a chance.
Even though the Badgers struggled again to contain the running game, they did a great job at forcing turnovers. Wisconsin forced quarterback Kyle McCord to turn the ball over three times Saturday night. Even if the defense continues to be unable to stop the run this year, they should be okay if they’re able to force their opposition to give them the ball back. Ohio State isn’t as good as in years past, but holding them to 24 points is something to take pride in.
Defensive Grade: B+
Wisconsin Football Week 9 Preview: at Indiana Hoosiers
At this point, the Badgers need to win out to have a realistic chance to win the division. Their last four games are all winnable, with their first coming against the Indiana Hoosiers. Indiana has struggled this season, sporting a 2-6 record with wins over Indiana State and Akron in a four-overtime thriller.
For as bad as the Hoosiers’ record is, they are coming off a close loss to then-No. 10 Penn State. Indiana was tied at 24 with just under three minutes left to play. Their offense is led by freshman quarterback Brendan Sorsby who took over for Tayven Jackson in the middle of the season. Sorsby has done a better job taking care of the ball, but the offense as a whole has still struggled.
Defensively, the Hoosiers have struggled to keep any offenses down for long. In five games of Big Ten play, Indiana has given up over 36 points per game. With the Braelon Allen injury, Indiana could have a much easier time slowing down the Badgers offense.