Big Ten Championship 2019: Wisconsin vs. Ohio State Breakdown, Predictions

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistDecember 2, 2019

Ohio State running back J.K. Dobbins plays against Wisconsin during an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)
Jay LaPrete/Associated Press

The second meeting between the Ohio State Buckeyes and Wisconsin Badgers has the potential to be as lopsided as the first affair was on October 26. 

The Buckeyes enter Saturday's Big Ten Championship as the most dominant program in college football, and they will likely remain at No. 1 in Tuesday's College Football Playoff rankings. 

Their 31-point triumph over Wisconsin was one of many controlling performances, and unless Paul Chryst's team fixes the issues from the clash at Ohio Stadium, Ryan Day's squad could roll into the playoff. 

Wisconsin, who enters with four consecutive wins, can't qualify for the playoff, but an upset should push it ahead of Penn State in the rankings to earn a Rose Bowl or New Year's Six spot. 



COLUMBUS, OH - OCTOBER 26:  Baron Browning #5 of the Ohio State Buckeyes and Pete Werner #20 of the Ohio State Buckeyes tackle Jonathan Taylor #23 of the Wisconsin Badgers at Ohio Stadium on October 26, 2019 in Columbus, Ohio.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

In the 38-7 October victory over Wisconsin, Ohio State produced 15 more first downs, outgained the Badgers 431-191 and forced a pair of turnovers. 

One of the many impressive aspects of the performance was limiting Jonathan Taylor to 52 rushing yards on 20 carries. 

The junior running back's only output under 75 yards occurred against the Buckeyes, and he has failed to hit triple digits on two other occasions.

But in the wins over Michigan State and Minnesota, Taylor contributed a pair of touchdowns, despite struggling to hit 100 yards. 

Ohio State comes into Indianapolis with the fourth-best rushing defense that allows 91.2 rushing yards per contest. 

Wisconsin ranks seventh with 96.6 rushing yards conceded per game, but it was gashed for 264 rushing yards the last time it met the Big Ten East winner. 

If J.K. Dobbins once again thrives versus the Badgers, the Buckeyes could cruise to the conference title behind him and Justin Fields' pocket production.

Dobbins only has 104 fewer yards than Taylor, and he totaled 368 yards on the ground with six touchdowns versus Penn State and Michigan. 

Four of the junior's 150-plus-yard showings occurred against Top 25 sides. He also torched Michigan State for 172 yards and a score to start October. 

If he performs at a similar level, Fields will not be forced to make every big play through the air, and he could take his time developing a rhythm with Chris Olave, K.J. Hill and the rest of his wide receivers. 

Fields' pair of 300-yard passing performances occurred in two of the last three contests against Rutgers and Michigan. 

If the Georgia transfer reaches a similar total Saturday, he could solidify a trip to New York as a Heisman Trophy finalist. 

Wisconsin's best chance to win could be through the turnover battle. Its defense forced Minnesota quarterback Tanner Morgan into a fumble and an interception in its Big Ten West-clinching victory in Week 14. 

However, Fields has not made many mistakes, as he has a single interception to go along with 37 touchdown passes. 

Even if Wisconsin plays a perfect game, there is no guarantee it comes out on top because Ohio State possesses game-changing talent at more positions.



Ohio State 41, Wisconsin 21

MVP: J.K. Dobbins, RB, Ohio State

Dobbins is in the middle of a remarkable run, and his previous success against Wisconsin should translate into a fruitful Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium. 

Taylor may be able to match his output on occasion, but the Ohio State front seven, led by Chase Young, has not been dominated for a whole game by an opposing offensive line. 

Young and Co. have been the aggressors in all 12 games, with the defensive end owning five tackles for loss and four sacks from his first matchup with the Badgers. 

Even if Young fails to impact every play, Malik Harrison, Pete Werner and others can wreak havoc in the backfield to halt Taylor's progress and pressure quarterback Jack Coan. 

A commanding win should keep the Buckeyes atop the playoff rankings and earn it the choice of visiting either the Peach or Fiesta Bowl.


Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90

Statistics obtained from ESPN.com