Wisconsin’s self-inflicted damage and Braxton Miller’s lack of rust helped the Ohio State Buckeyes beat the Wisconsin Badgers 31-24.
It was a shock Wisconsin even had a chance to tie the game at the end considering how many mistakes the Badgers made on the night.
Miller completed 17-of-28 passes for 198 yards and four touchdowns while adding another 83 yards on the ground in his first game back from a sprained knee injury.
What It Means: The Badgers’ biggest mistake of the night occurred on the last play before halftime when they let Miller connect with Philly Brown on a 40 yard touchdown pass. Instead of entering the locker-room down by three, they went in down ten.
The next biggest concern was the Badgers lack of fundamental tackling, particularly from the secondary who whiffed on numerous occasions.
On the offensive side, the running game was neutralized by a solid Buckeyes game-plan and Wisconsin’s cherished relic, Melvin Gordon, was lost to an injury in the second half. The most eye-popping problem for the offense was how inept the wide receivers are outside of Jared Abbrederis. Abbrederis became only the third Badger ever to record a 200+ yard receiving game (Lee Evans x 3 and Al Toon).
Wisconsin is a solid team, just not on the same level as an Ohio State team who showed a lot more discipline on this Saturday Night.
Player of the Game: LB Chris Borland (16 tackles)
Borland, an Ohio native, was one of the few Badgers defenders to have a positive performance against the Buckeyes. He was all over the field and showed some impressive tackling/instincts that were hard to come for the rest of the team in the loss. His ability to not give up on plays is second to none. He may be undersized as a linebacker prospect, but his determination should find him a home in the NFL.
Highlight of the Game: Abbrederis made an acrobatic catch in the first quarter (pictured above) which set the tone for his game. The senior wide-out hauled in ten catches for a career-high 207 yards and a touchdown. This all happened with NFL prospect Bradley Roby guarding him.
Stat of the Game (105,826): The attendance at the Horseshoe in Columbus, Ohio. That’s good enough for the third highest attendance in school history, not too shabby for a stadium that’s seen some big games over the years.
What’s Next: The Badgers will get a week off to think about the loss before welcoming #17 Northwestern (4-0, 0-0) to Camp Randall. Northwestern will open their conference slate with a match-up against the Buckeyes at home next week. No matter what happens in that game, Northwestern will be a tough out for the Badgers.
What did you think of the Badgers loss to the Buckeyes? Let us know by commenting below.
Nick Grays is a senior writer at the Sports Bank where he covers the Wisconsin Badgers and Green Bay Packers. He also enjoys sharing Fantasy Advice and pretends to be a Golf expert from time-to-time. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here or visit his blog Nick Knows Best. If social media is not your thing, shoot him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Images obtained from USATodaysports