Which team wins the big moments?
In the game of football, performing well on third down and in the red zone are crucial to a team’s success. For Wisconsin and Ohio State, this has been true all year for both teams. Ohio State won those moments against Michigan, converting 50% of their third downs on offense and scoring each time in the red zone except for Sean Nuernberger‘s missed field goal in the fourth quarter. These moments will again play a big part in who walks away from Lucas Oil Field a winner.
Wisconsin leads the Big Ten on offense by converting 50.6% of their third down opportunities. Wisconsin also sits second defensively in the same category, holding opponents to a 28.8% success rate on third down. The defense tells a similar story in the red zone, allowing points on only 70% of their trips in scoring territory. Where the Badgers struggle a bit is scoring in the red zone, where they only convert 85.2% of the time, 8th best in the Big Ten.
For the Buckeyes, they barely trail Wisconsin by converting 49.7% of their third downs. The Silver Bullets perform well, but settle in only at fifth in the Big Ten by holding opponents to a 32.2% success rate. The Buckeyes are very lethal in the red zone, scoring on 88.9% of their trips including 43 touchdowns, second most in the Big Ten. Defensively, Ohio State opponents score on 78.8% of their 33 total trips in the red zone, the third best mark in the conference.