Wisconsin Badgers vs Ohio State Buckeyes Game Day

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Forums College Football Wisconsin Badgers vs Ohio State Buckeyes Game Day

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    The Wisconsin Badgers battle the wounded Ohio State Buckeyes for the Big Ten Championship this weekend.
    It is the sharing of information from the entire forum community that makes this the best sports betting forum on the internet!
    This thread will be updated daily with information on the game to include important news, injuries, and all essential information to picking a winner leading up to kickoff. Feel free to add anything about this game from news, opinion or picks, all comments and questions are welcomed!
    Good Luck this week!
    Cole (cool)


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    Wisconsin -4, Total: 54


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    The scene at last year’s Big Ten Conference Championship game was one University of Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon won’t forget.

    He was in Indianapolis as a friend — not a competitor — to watch former high school teammate Trae Waynes, now a cornerback for Michigan State.

    After watching Waynes and the Spartans celebrate a victory over previously undefeated Ohio State, the Big Ten title Gordon won with the Badgers the previous year as a redshirt freshman no longer felt like enough.

    “I watched how the confetti just dropped down,” Gordon said, “and I just kind of felt like, ‘Man, this would be a great feeling if we were back here.’

    “We’ve got that chance. So we’re going to make something happen.”

    UW’s 34-24 victory against Minnesota on Saturday at Camp Randall Stadium clinched the Big Ten West Division, sending the 11th-ranked Badgers (10-2, 7-1 Big Ten) to Indianapolis this week for their third appearance in the conference title game in its four years of existence.

    UW will be up against an Ohio State team that, once again, has national championship hopes. The No. 6 Buckeyes (11-1, 8-0 Big Ten) were slotted second in the BCS rankings at this time a year ago before letting a fourth-quarter lead slip away against Michigan State.

    “They may have a little bit of a chip on their shoulder because they weren’t successful in that game a year ago. There’s no question about that,” UW coach Gary Andersen said. “But we’re excited to be able to get into this game. We’re excited to be in the spot we are.

    “There’s two special teams playing. You get double-digit wins on the season, get a chance to go to the conference championship, you’re part of a special group.”

    The Badgers earned their spot by winning their final seven regular-season games behind a Heisman-caliber year from Gordon, improved quarterback play and one of the country’s most productive defenses.

    But they opened as a three-point favorite in Las Vegas primarily because Ohio State starting quarterback J.T. Barrett broke his ankle Saturday against Michigan and will miss the rest of the season. It’s a major blow for a Buckeyes team that lost Heisman-hopeful quarterback Braxton Miller to a season-ending shoulder injury in August.

    That leaves Cardale Jones under center to lead Ohio State against UW. The 6-foot-5, 250-pound sophomore was actually No. 2 on the Buckeyes’ depth chart behind Miller coming out of spring practice.

    “You’ve got to prepare like you’re playing J.T. Barrett or Braxton Miller,” UW junior linebacker Joe Schobert said. “They’ve got a lot of good football players, so they’ll probably be just as good as those guys. You’ve got to prepare like they’re the best you’re going to face.”

    UW doesn’t expect Ohio State’s offense to change much with Jones in the game, and the Buckeyes were still able to pull away from Michigan on Saturday after Barrett left the game early in the fourth quarter.

    The Badgers know winning the Big Ten championship still won’t be easy, but they’ve been playing as well as anyone in the conference over the past two months.

    “We’ve got more work to do,” Andersen said. “We didn’t set a goal at the first of the year to say, ‘Let’s just get to the championship game.’ That wasn’t the goal. The goal was to find a way to be champs, and we’re still fighting for that and we’re moving on to one more game to see what happens.”


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    Since losing in last year’s Big Ten championship game, Ohio State has wanted to return to Indianapolis in the worst way.

    The Buckeyes have achieved that, and, unfortunately, in the worst way. Never could they have imagined the circumstances they now must overcome to defeat Wisconsin on Saturday night and stay in the hunt for the College Football Playoff.

    A season that began with the loss of quarterback Braxton Miller ended with the fractured ankle of J.T. Barrett in the regular-season finale against Michigan. Now, the Buckeyes are dealing with something that dwarfs any football injury — the death, apparently by suicide, of walk-on defensive tackle Kosta Karageorge.

    The shock and grief could render football so unimportant that a team might be incapable of playing with the necessary focus and execution, or it could serve as inspiration to play with an even higher purpose and clarity.

    The Buckeyes (11-1, 8-0) believe it will be the latter.

    “It kind of hits you and it makes you take a step back and see there’s life outside of this place and outside of football,” sophomore right guard Pat Elflein said. “It makes me think of Kosta and, ‘What would he want?’

    Players described Karageorge as a player with almost unique enthusiasm, even though he never appeared in a game. They said he would yell, “Yeah, baby!” at the start of practice to get his teammates fired up. Karageorge would routinely stay after practice or spend extra time in the weight room, despite his lack of playing time.

    “He wouldn’t want us to go downhill from this,” Elflein said. “Kosta wants us to win this game and get Kosta a ring. He’s put in the work to deserve that. He wants a championship. So we’re going to get it.”

    One player after another said that this Ohio State team is the closest they have been on, and that Karageorge was an integral part of that.

    “What he put into everything is kind of like the model of what we want — of effort and toughness and being passionate and loyal,” Elflein said. “That’s who he was, and that’s what everybody tries to be.”

    Now the Buckeyes must regroup and play peaking Wisconsin (10-2, 7-1), which has won seven straight games. And, oh yeah, do it with a quarterback, redshirt sophomore Cardale Jones, making his first career start.

    While Miller was rehabilitating from his first shoulder injury, Jones played with the starters throughout spring practice and most of training camp. Barrett then surpassed him on the depth chart.

    Offensive coordinator Tom Herman said that was strictly because the offense clicked better with Barrett, not because of any deficiency with Jones.

    Most teams would be panicky at the thought of a third-string quarterback starting in a game of this magnitude. The Buckeyes seem nonplussed.

    “Is he ready to go beat Wisconsin today? No,” Herman said, “but he’s certainly ready for the moment, and he’ll be ready when it comes to the game plan and winning the game on Saturday.”

    Jones has a stronger arm than Barrett. At 6 feet 5 and 250 pounds with deceptive speed, he can be a beast in the run game.

    “He’s really everything you need in a quarterback,” receiver Evan Spencer said.

    This offseason, Urban Meyer put his players through an intense leadership seminar trained to teach them how to overcome adversity. Not even he could have anticipated this kind of adversity.

    “Every red flag is up,” Meyer said. “You have some really good built-in excuses. To overcome the incredible tragedy that happened (to Karageorge), this is a real challenge.

    “We’re going to watch it very closely. I can tell you this is an extremely close team that does a lot of things together and cares about each other.”


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    Wisconsin -4, Total: 53

    The Ohio State Buckeyes are still looking for their first Big Ten Championship Game victory as they face the Wisconsin Badgers on Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The Buckeyes lost to the Michigan State Spartans 34-24 in last year’s Big Ten title game as 5.5-point favorites while the Badgers won the previous two by a combined score of 112-70.

    Big Ten East champion Ohio State lost starting quarterback J.T. Barrett to a fractured ankle in last week’s 42-28 home win over the Michigan Wolverines, and the team has failed to cover the spread in its past three games against Big Ten opponents. Big Ten West champion Wisconsin is riding a seven-game winning streak in conference play and has gone 4-3 against the spread during that stretch. However, the Badgers have dropped six of the previous seven meetings with the Buckeyes both straight-up and ATS.

    The Ohio State Buckeyes are 11-1 so far on the season, and 7-5 ATS vs the point spread. The Wisconsin Badgers, meanwhile, are 10-2 and 5-7 ATS. Those over under betting have seen Ohio State go 10-2 and the Wisconsin Badgers go 6-5-1 on the totals.

    – How Wisconsin Badgers vs Ohio State Buckeyes Stats Matchup

    The game also pits Ohio State’s No. 5-ranked offense, averaging 44.08 PPG, against a Wisconsin defense that ranks No. 4 this week at 16.75 PPG. The Ohio State aerial game is averaging 246 yards per game, more than the Wisconsin Badgers secondary allows through the air, 156.58 YPG per game.

    Defensively, the Wisconsin Badgers feature the league’s No. 5-rated road run defense, allowing 101.5 yards per game. Ohio State, meanwhile, ranks No. 17 in rushing offense at home.

    – Wisconsin Badgers vs Ohio State Buckeyes Betting Odds Trends

    Wisconsin is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games
    Wisconsin is 5-10 ATS in its last 15 games
    Wisconsin is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
    Wisconsin is 1-6 ATS in its last 7 games when playing Ohio State
    Ohio State is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games
    Ohio State is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
    The total has gone OVER in 10 of Ohio State’s last 11 games
    Ohio State is 6-1 ATS in its last 7 games when playing Wisconsin


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    Ohio State should have been celebrating a victory over Michigan in one of college football’s great rivalries last weekend. Instead, the Buckeyes were mourning the death of a teammate and coping with an injury to its star player.

    Backup defensive lineman Kosta Karageorge’s body was found Sunday in a dumpster near his Columbus apartment. He died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound after leaving for a walk early Wednesday morning.

    A day earlier, redshirt freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett went down at the start of the fourth quarter and didn’t get up. The roar of the Ohio Stadium crowd faded to silent. His right ankle was broken.

    Just like that, the season was over for the Heisman Trophy candidate who broke school passing records during a dazzling first year as a starter and set a Big Ten record by accounting for 45 touchdowns.

    Barrett underwent successful surgery on Sunday to repair the ankle and won’t rejoin the Buckeyes on the field at least until spring practice.

    “It’s been a tough week,” Ohio State coach Urban Meyer. “We believe in an extremely close team that stays together in tough times. To overcome the incredible tragedy that happened last night is a real challenge.

    “This is life lessons and something so much deeper than lining up on a football field.”

    The Buckeyes, who came in at No. 5 in the College Football Playoff rankings on Tuesday night, are left to pick up the pieces from the tragedy and adversity and move on. It’s not an easy task, but they’re playing for a Big Ten championship on Saturday night (8 p.m. ET on FOX) at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis against Wisconsin (10-2, 7-1), which reached the title game for the third time in four years.

    Ohio State players will rally around each other as they attempt to atone for last year’s loss to Michigan State in the championship game

    “You can look at a coaching manual and I’m not sure you’ll find anything,” Meyer said about dealing with such hardship. “But the tighter the group, the better opportunity. You’ll never get over it. It’s an opportunity to, I’m not sure if learn is the appropriate word either, but just continue to grow and stay on your journey.”

    For all that Meyer has accomplished in three seasons as coach, the Buckeyes have yet to claim a conference championship. They’re an unprecedented 24-0 in Big Ten regular-season games during that time.

    If winning a title and making a case for inclusion in the four-team College Football Playoff is not enough motivation for the Buckeyes (11-1, 8-0), they opened the week as an underdog to Wisconsin.

    “We’re underdogs for this game? I didn’t know that,” Meyer said when told of the spread by reporters.

    Meyer knows it won’t be easy going up against the Badgers. Meyer respects Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen, who was on his staff at Utah.

    The Badgers have the nation’s No. 2-ranked defense in yards allowed per game and an offense led by running back Melvin Gordon, a Heisman Trophy candidate who has rushed for a Big Ten-record 2,260 yards this season.

    Adding to the challenge for the Buckeyes is going with a first-time starter at quarterback for the biggest game of the season. Cardale Jones, a 6-foot-5, 250-pound sophomore who finished Saturday’s 42-28 win over Michigan after Barrett was hurt, possesses a strong arm but not much experience under fire.

    “He is your prototypical quarterback,” Ohio State defensive tackle Michael Bennett said. “He handles pressure in the pocket well. He can run over people. He has a rocket for an arm. He’s a good decision-maker. I have a lot of confidence in Cardale. He gave J.T. a run for his money this spring.”


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    For most of the season, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer has barely feigned knowledge of or interest in the College Football Playoff.

    That all changed on a Big Ten championship game teleconference.

    The third-year Buckeyes coach was asked if he thought the CFP panel would downgrade his team after quarterback J.T. Barrett broke his ankle in Saturday’s win over Michigan.

    “I think that’s wrong, if that happens,” he said, clearly upset. “Whether it’s Ohio State or some other team, I don’t know how you do that.”

    The CFP panel may have taken his words to heart, moving the Buckeyes up one spot to No. 5 in the latest rankings released Tuesday night.That slight move forward went against thinking that Ohio State is less worthy of a playoff spot because it’s not as good a team without Barrett, who took over for the injured Braxton Miller and had a sensational season with a school-record 35 touchdown passes and 3,772 total yards.

    The Buckeyes (11-1, 8-0), are preparing redshirt sophomore Cardale Jones to start in the conference title game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Saturday.

    Awaiting them is No. 13 Wisconsin (10-2, 7-1), which says that Heisman Trophy hopeful Melvin Gordon will play despite spraining his ankle last week against Minnesota.

    The Badgers certainly would be worse off without their star running back, who has run for a Big Ten-record 2,260 yards and set a single-game mark with 408 against Nebraska on Nov. 15 that was quickly broken by Oklahoma’s Samaje Perine (427) the next week.

    Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen is keeping a close eye on Gordon considering his heavy workload the last two weeks: 60 carries for 351 yards against Iowa and the Gophers.

    “It’s got me on high alert and the only thing I can do is listen to Melvin Gordon, because I know Melvin is going to tell me what his mindset is – and he will be 100 percent ready to roll on Saturday,” Andersen said.

    It should help that backup Corey Clement, who has been bothered by a right shoulder injury, is getting better. He ran for 89 yards on seven carries in the second half against Minnesota, and Andersen expects Clement to get more touches.

    Gordon, though, remains the top option for the Badgers.

    “You stop Melvin Gordon, I think we’ve got a great chance,” Buckeyes linebacker Curtis Grant said.

    The teams haven’t met this season, though Ohio State can draw confidence from a 31-24 win in Columbus last Sept. 28. Gordon was held to 74 yards on 15 carries but he was splitting time with James White, now with the New England Patriots.

    “In order to stop a running game, you’ve got to have great team defense, you’ve got to surround the ball, you’ve got to build a wall at the line of scrimmage, you’ve got to swarm tackles,” Buckeyes defensive coordinator Luke Fickell said.

    Gordon has been getting better as the season wears on, averaging 241 yards rushing over his last four games. More than 40 percent of his yards have come in that span.

    Ohio State quarterbacks coach Tom Herman, who helped turn Barrett into another Miller, is now assigned with turning Jones into another Barrett. He can’t imagine if the Buckeyes beat Wisconsin that it could be held against them that they overcame two crippling injuries at the most valuable and vulnerable of positions.

    “I think that would be crazy,” he said. “To say do I expect it or not expect it or whatever, I don’t know what to expect. But I can’t imagine that would be the case.”

    It was considered a body blow to Ohio State’s season hopes when Miller – a three-year starter, two-time conference MVP and considered a top candidate for the Heisman as a senior – re-injured his throwing shoulder in August and was lost for the year.

    But the Buckeyes weathered that storm, overcoming an early loss to Virginia Tech to win their final 10 games and capture the Big Ten’s East Division.

    And then down went Barrett, who had surgery Sunday and is out until spring practice, when he’ll have a limited role while he and Miller will likely battle for the No. 1 job.

    Meyer believes that Ohio State should get credit for overcoming the injuries, not punished for suffering them.

    “You lose one Heisman Trophy candidate before the season starts, and then another guy in game (12) who’s also a Heisman candidate,” Meyer said. “That’s a positive that your team can still function. It tells you about the talent and depth on your team.”

    Almost everyone, with Ohio State’s team and around the nation, was amazed how quickly Barrett stepped into Miller’s role as a game-changing signal-caller.

    Meyer was asked Monday whether Jones could make a similar transformation in one week.

    “Well, we’re going to find out,” he said.


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    Ohio State is dealing with another quarterback injury at the worst time, right before the Big Ten title game against Wisconsin on Saturday night (8:15 p.m. ET, FOX). The game will be played at the neutral Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

    The Buckeyes are still in the national title hunt, but are down to their third string quarterback in sophomore Cardale Jones. They’ve had success (6-1 SU and ATS) against Wisconsin the last seven years, most recently getting a 31-24 home win as 6.5 point favorites in September 2013.

    The Line: Wisconsin -4, Total: 54.5

    Trends that matter: Ohio State is 0-3 ATS in its last three games after starting 7-2 ATS.

    The OVER is 10-1 in Ohio State’s last 11 games.

    Wisconsin is 1-5 ATS in its last six neutral site games. The OVER went 5-1 in those contests.

    Ohio State is 6-1 SU and ATS in the last seven games against Wisconsin.

    Jones under the spotlight: The Buckeyes (11-1 SU and 7-5 ATS) lost star quarterback Braxton Miller before the season, but got a Heisman-caliber effort from redshirt freshman J.T. Barrett (169.8 rating) before he suffered a season-ending ankle injury against Michigan last Saturday.

    Jones played the fourth quarter against Michigan and helped put the game away despite modest numbers (seven passing yards, 18 rushing). He is a big guy at 6-foot-5, 250 pounds and has a strong arm, but accuracy issues are a question in his first career start.

    Ohio State has plenty of offensive playmakers in scoring 44.1 PPG (fifth nationally). Wisconsin’s defense ranks second nationally in total yards (260.3 YPG), but hasn’t faced an offense of this caliber, even with the inexperienced Jones under center.

    Wisconsin can’t get overconfident: The Badgers (10-2 SU and 5-7 ATS) have won seven straight games, needing a comeback 34-24 home win over Minnesota last week as 16-point favorites to secure the Big Ten West Division.

    Wisconsin features the nation’s second-best rushing attack (334.3 YPG). Heisman candidate Melvin Gordon (2,260 yards) is the main man, and the Ohio State defense will do everything it can to slow him down and force quarterback Joel Stave (136 rating) to beat them through the air.

    Wisconsin won the first two Big Ten title games in 2011 and 2012, beating Michigan State (42-39 as 9.5-point favorites) and Nebraska (70-31 as 3-point dogs). Ohio State is looking for redemption after losing (34-24 as 5.5-point favorites) to Michigan State in last year’s edition.

    Injuries that matter: Ohio State’s Barrett (ankle) is out.

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