Ohio State football predictions vs. Wisconsin – The Columbus Dispatch

  • September 23, 2022

Ohio State begins its 2022 Big Ten football schedule in Week 4 against Wisconsin at 7:30 p.m. at Ohio Stadium.
It’s a showdown of two of the top programs from their respective Big Ten divisions, and a matchup that could always be repeated at the Big Ten Championship Game, which is where Ohio State and Wisconsin last played in 2019.
And that might not be a good thing for Wisconsin, unranked at 2-1, which has not beaten Ohio State, ranked No. 3 and 3-0, since 2010. The Badgers have not beaten Ohio State in Columbus since 2004.
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The Buckeyes enter the game after having scored 77 points in a 56-point rout of Toledo in Week 3. They enter the game 18.5 Point favorites against the Badgers.
So we know who Las Vegas is expecting to win, but what about our own experts?
Here’s how The Columbus Dispatch Ohio State reporters and columnists as well as Wisconsin State Journal beat writer Colten Bartholomew picked the game.
Ohio State beat writer
The Columbus Dispatch
I don’t think Wisconsin matches up well against Ohio State. The Buckeyes have been stout against the run, and the Badgers need Braelon Allen to have a huge game to have a chance. The same goes for quarterback Graham Mertz, who hasn’t lived up to his early promise. Jim Leonhard is an excellent defensive coordinator, and the Badgers don’t beat themselves on that side of the ball. But can they contain C.J. Stroud and the Buckeyes’ offense? Doubtful.
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Ohio State beat writer
The Columbus Dispatch
Wisconsin might not be as formidable as in 2019 when it led the Buckeyes at halftime of the Big Ten championship game, but Jim Leonhard’s defense is one of only a handful in the conference that have yet to be bludgeoned by Ryan Day’s explosive offense. That’s enough reason to believe Ohio State could be held under 40 points. Still, Wisconsin is too one-dimensional on offense, even with modest improvement from quarterback Graham Mertz, to be threatening in the fourth quarter. Expect a comfortable win for the Buckeyes.
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Sports columnist
The Columbus Dispatch
They grow ’em big in Wisconsin, but today’s football is built on speed − really, when hasn’t it been? − and the Buckeyes’ offensive weapons are simply too fast for the Badgers to keep up. Throw in OSU quarterback C.J. Stroud’s uncanny ability to put passes on the money, even when he’s rolling out, and Ohio State will be off to the races. If there is any intrigue to this Big Ten opener, it is how well the Buckeyes’ defense, built on deception and pressuring the QB, handles the Wisconsin run game. Best guess? Good enough to hold talented tailback Braelon Allen to under his 111-yard average.
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Real-time reporter
The Columbus Dispatch
Wisconsin always seems to play Ohio State closely, even though the Buckeyes have dominated the head-to-head matchup in recent memory. Will Jim Leonhard’s defense give C.J. Stroud and company trouble? It could, at first, but expect the Buckeyes to settle in and continue with the momentum it’s cultivated over the past two weeks with a wide receiver room that is getting more and more healthy. The X-factor will be containing Braelon Allen. If the Buckeyes can remain up to par with what they have been able to do in the past three weeks in terms of stopping the run, they should breeze past Wisconsin.
Wisconsin beat writer
Wisconsin State Journal
The Badgers under Paul Chryst and Jim Leonhard have been able to hang in there against the Buckeyes in the first half before the talent gap starts to show in the second. This one likely plays out in similar fashion. Wisconsin has a better-looking passing game this year through three weeks, but it’s not yet ready for a prime-time game at Ohio Stadium. Leonhard’s defensive scheme will be good and varied enough that the Badgers don’t get blown out, but they’re probably not in the game for much of the second half.

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