Week 8 at Ohio State
Looking at the schedule this season, most would quickly identify this game as, by far, the most difficult for Wisconsin. The Badgers have lost six straight in this rivalry, and haven’t beaten the Buckeyes in Columbus since 2004.
Urban Meyer may no longer be roaming the sidelines, but I would expect little to no drop off under new head coach Ryan Day this season. Ohio State is loaded on both sides of the ball and may possess the most cumulative talent on its roster of any program in the nation. Make no mistake, the Buckeyes remain the kings of the Big Ten.
Offensively, the Wisconsin defense is going to struggle to stop Ohio State’s balanced attack. I don’t think the Buckeyes will skip a beat under center with stud Georgia transfer Justin Fields taking over for Dwayne Haskins, and Day also returns J.K. Dobbins at running back, who has rushed for at least 1,000 yards the last two years.
In addition, while Ohio State’s performance on the other side of the ball was unusually average last season, I would consider that more of an anomaly than anything. There is a ton of talent there at all three levels, and the Buckeyes lost just two players from that defense. Among the returners is defensive end Chase Young, one of the best at that position in the nation, and an excellent linebacker corps. Also, best of luck to Jack Coan or whoever is under center for Wisconsin at this point in the season completing many passes against the likes of Jeff Okudah, Shaun Wade, and Jordan Fuller in the defensive backfield.
With the Badgers likely to struggle to both score and prevent the Buckeyes from scoring, their chances of getting the upset in one of college football’s most electric stadiums appear slim to none.
Wisconsin 14 – Ohio State 35
In possibly the biggest test of the season, Wisconsin football will travel to the Horseshoe to take on the Buckeyes.
They lost quarterback Dwayne Haskins, who put up huge numbers last season with 50 touchdowns and over 4,800 yards passing. They also lost running back Mike Weber and wide receiver Parris Campbell. Weber had 954 yards rushing and 5 touchdowns while Campbell had over 1,000 yards receiving and 12 touchdowns. That’s a lot of production that the Buckeyes need to replace, but they still have leading rusher J.K. Dobbins coming back, who ran for over 1,000 yards and had 10 touchdowns.
I think incoming transfer quarterback Justin Fields is the key to the success of the Buckeyes. Even without Urban Meyer, I think this is still one of the best teams in the country. I think the Buckeyes are too much at home for the Badgers to overcome, and Wisconsin takes a tough loss at Ohio State.
Wisconsin 17 – Ohio State 34