Badgers ready for title game

Badgers ready for title game

Badgers ready for title game

Ohio State's Tyquan Lewis kisses the championship trophy following the Big Ten championship game against Wisconsin. The outcome of the game could have big implications in the College Football Playoff rankings as the No. 8 Buckeyes face off against the 12-0 Badgers. Whether the committee buys the Buckeyes' argument is a question we won't know the answer to until Sunday afternoon. A win and they are in the final four.

The dome is also a protective bubble for quarterback J.T. Barrett, who runs like a running back and throws like one in bad weather.

Wisconsin had a flawless 12-0 record this season, including a 9-0 mark in the Big Ten.

No. 4 Wisconsin had its playoff aspirations nearly assuredly extinguished after its 13-game winning streak ended in front of a packed house at Lucas Oil Stadium.

After sprinting out to an early lead and appearing to be on the fringe of blowing the Badgers out for much of the first half, the game tightened considerably as the Badgers put the screws on the Buckeyes' deep passing game.

Barrett completed just 12 of his 26 pass attempts for 211 yards, rushing for 60 yards and another score. on 19 attempts six days after undergoing surgery to fix a knee injury suffered in Ohio State's victory over MI. Taylor is a breakaway threat, averaging 150.5 yards per game and 7.0 yards per carry. Rather than kicking a red zone field goal on fourth-and-1, Meyer gave the Ball to Barrett, who bounced backward off a pair of Wisconsin defenders and found a way to gain just enough yardage.

Ohio State had little trouble busting through on its way to building a big enough lead to survive Saturday night. Freshman back J.K. Dobbins was up next, as he left another Wisconsin defender with an armful of air on his way to a 77-yard run that set up a score.

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The only time he really paid for it, though, came on an ill-advised pass from near his goal line in the first quarter.

But Barrett's extra effort on the fourth down play set up the field goal and the Buckeyes defense stopped Wisconsin twice to close it out.

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However, that "2" in the loss column for Ohio State will make the decision very hard, especially since one of those losses was a 55-24 defeat to Iowa a month ago. In addition, they can point to Penn State previous year and Stanford in 2015. Both teams definitely feel the adrenaline pumping.

So, will unpredictable Ohio State show up tonight in Indianapolis? The only three-time captain in the history of the Ohio State program, Barrett owns 37 wins as a starting QB, which is also a school record. It always has been, anytime Ohio State has needed it throughout the midst of this romp through the college football landscape under Urban Meyer. Much speculation surrounded Barrett's status throughout the course of the week, as he had undergone a surgical procedure on last Sunday to fix the damage done to his meniscus. The senior quarterback completed practice Thursday and was cleared to play against No. 4 Wisconsin after what Meyer called a "very positive" week of treatment. It's not certain if or how much he'll play, but backup Dwayne Haskins performed well in Barrett's absence against MI and shouldn't be discounted if he's called into action again. The junior wide receiver came open over the middle, getting behind safety Joe Ferguson, and was untouched en route to his sixth scoring reception this season. The Buckeyes went 12-0 in the regular season despite a awful pass defense but Connor Cook and Michigan State's receivers exposed OSU's season-long deficiencies in the defensive backfield with a vengeance in the Big Ten championship game. Then Parris Campbell shook free of a Badger tackler for a 57-yard touchdown.

Terry McLaurin, an Indianapolis native, found the first cracks with an 84-yard catch-and-run that provided the first hints that team speed would be lopsided.

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