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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ANN ARBOR, MI – NOVEMBER 25: Jalyn Holmes
ANN ARBOR, MI – NOVEMBER 25: Jalyn Holmes /

1. The Buckeyes will be able to slow down the Badgers’ run game.

The success story of the Badgers’ super freshman running back Jonathan Taylor has reached no bounds. No team has actually been able to effectively contain him so far this season. He has scored in every game except for three and has less than a hundred yards in the same amount.

Taylor’s rise in superiority shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise though. The Badgers have always gotten great production from their running backs over the years. In fact, the Badgers have had a running back finish in the top three in the Big Ten in seven out of the last nine seasons.

Taylor is looking like the inherent heir of the throne in Badgers running back royalty joining greats like Montee Ball and Melvin Gordon. Many who are familiar with the Buckeyes’ championship season in 2014 will remember Gordon. He was the Badgers’ stud running back and the team’s greatest weapon.

With over 2500 rushing yards and almost 30 touchdowns, Gordon was by far the best running back in the Big Ten statistics wise. Even Elliott paled in comparison. Gordon would go on to win Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year.

Gordon was considered to be a major threat to the Buckeyes in the Big Ten Championship game. However, things didn’t pan out the way the Badgers expected it to. Ohio State completely shut down Gordon and the Badgers’ run game leading to the worst game he had all season.

Taylor’s play and the Badgers’ offense in general is looking strikingly similar to how they entered in 2014. His 1,806 total rushing yards lead the Big Ten by far. Dobbins is the next closest running back in rushing yards and he is still behind by over 600 yards.

The Badgers rank second in the Big Ten in rushing offense slightly behind the Buckeyes. This is possible due to the Badgers’ top notch offensive line play.

Ohio State is fourth in the Big Ten in rushing defense and are ranked second in least yards per carry allowed at just 3.1. The best rushing defense the Badgers have played was Northwestern who held Taylor to under 100 rushing yards.

Next: Stop focusing on the CFP

When Ohio State’s defense shut down Gordon in 2014, the defense was ranked 35th in the nation. Now, their rush defense has improved to 10th in the nation. This defensive improvement  along with the stacked front seven they have is going to make it very difficult for Taylor to maintain his top level play.