Ohio State football: 5 reasons the Buckeyes will beat Wisconsin

MADISON, WI - OCTOBER 15: J.T. Barrett
MADISON, WI - OCTOBER 15: J.T. Barrett /
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MADISON, WI – OCTOBER 15: Mike Weber
MADISON, WI – OCTOBER 15: Mike Weber /

3. The Buckeyes have played well against upper level rushing defenses.

One type of defense that would be perceived to slow down Ohio State would be a quality rush defense. The Buckeyes’ tendency to be a bit inconsistent in the passing game usually leads opponents to focus on shutting down the run game.

However, that hasn’t gone so well for the Bucks’ opponents in this season.

OSU is no stranger to tough rushing defenses. In fact, they have had some of their best games against defenses who rank in the top half of the Big Ten in that category. With a run game like the Buckeyes have, there aren’t many teams in the Big Ten let alone the entire nation that can slow them down.

Michigan State had the best run defense in the Big Ten and was one of the top five rushing defenses in the nation when the Buckeyes played them. Ohio State took this as a challenge and went right at their strength early and often. The result was nothing other than pure domination headed by the Buckeyes’ powerful rushing attack.

In the end, Ohio State ran for 335 yards. That’s one way to make a statement.

Mike Weber and J.K. Dobbins have been an absolute force to be reckoned with. They’ve received less credit than what is deserved due to the team’s running back by committee approach. Fortunately, it’s only made the duo that much more dangerous. Weber is averaging a healthy 6.5 yards per carry while Dobbins is leading the Big Ten with 7.3 yards per carry.

Though Barrett’s late game heroics were the most admirable bits of the game, the Bucks’ run game was alive and well in the thriller victory over Penn State. Weber, Dobbins, and Barrett combined for over 200 yards rushing and a touchdown. The ability to gash Penn State on the ground in critical points was significant to their success.

The Buckeyes’ most recent success on the ground was just last week when they went for 226 yards and three touchdowns to secure the win on the road at TTUN. Weber, Dobbins, and Barrett each had a rushing touchdown and Dobbinsalso went for over 100 yards.

Ohio State’s ability to run the ball against even the toughest opponents makes this game less intimidating. The Badgers are the best rush defense in the Big Ten. Expect OSU to still have success in the run game even against a solid Badgers run defense.