Wisconsin running back Braelon Allen (0) and the rest of the offensive unit listens to quarterback Graham Mertz (5) in the huddle during their game Saturday, November 20, 2021 at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis. Wisconsin beat Nebraska 35-28. Mjs Uwgrid21 24 Jpg Uwgrid21

BadgerNotes Staff Predictions: Wisconsin vs. No. 3 Ohio State

BadgerNotes Staff Predictions: Wisconsin vs. No. 3 Ohio State

This Saturday, the Wisconsin Badgers (2-1) hit the road to take on the No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes (3-0) for a night game in Columbus, Ohio.

The unranked Badgers are coming off a 66-7 victory over the New Mexico State Aggies, where UW produced 595 total yards of offense (335 passing, 260 rushing) and scored the most points in a single game during the Paul Chryst era.

On the other hand, No. 3 Ohio State is among the nation’s best programs yet again, beating Notre Dame, Arkansas State, and Toledo to begin their 2022 campaign.

For Wisconsin, this David vs. Goliath matchup marks the beginning of Big Ten conference play, entering the game as 18.5-point underdogs, per MyBookie.

Here is how our BadgerNotes team sees Saturday’s matchup playing out on the field:

Dillon Graff: Managing Editor

Final score prediction: Ohio State 41, Wisconsin 20

When the Wisconsin Badgers (2-1) take on the No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes on Saturday, they’ll be searching for their first win against OSU since 2010.  

UW has a lifetime winning percentage of 24% against the Buckeyes, their lowest mark against all Big Ten teams – which also doesn’t inspire a ton of confidence for me personally. 

For the Badgers to have a chance at victory, they’ll need to play a near-perfect game – while still getting a few breaks along the way. Wisconsin will need to take care of the ball, pressure the opposing quarterback, and execute in the RedZone. 

I think Wisconsin, who enters the game as an 18.5-point underdog, will play OSU tough until halftime, but the Buckeye’s high-powered offense will ultimately wear down the Badgers’ defense and cover the spread. 

I’d love to be wrong about this, but I don’t see a scenario where the Wisconsin Badgers become the first team to walk out of Columbus with a win since September 2017. 

Brandon Cooper: Staff Writer

Final score prediction: Ohio State 31, Wisconsin 24

If the Badgers’ defense can generate a solid pass rush, and the offense can control the time of possession, they should be able to keep this game close.

Still, Ohio State has an insane amount of talent at wide receiver, which I think will give the badgers secondary enough fits for them to win this game.

Alex Fletcher: Staff Writer

Final Score Prediction: Ohio State 31, Wisconsin 17

I expect this heavyweight Big Ten matchup to be much closer than most people think.  Look for Wisconsin to capitalize on its strengths.  

The Badgers are ranked 31st in total offense and 11th in total defense. 

While only ranked 47th in passing offense, the Badgers make up for it with the 26th-ranked rushing attack, led by Braelon Allen and the always dangerous Badger backfield.  

Jim Leonhard’s defense is always tough, boasting the No. 13 rushing defense and No. 19 passing defense.  They will need to be every bit as good for a chance at winning against No. 3 Ohio State’s number No. 1 overall offense.  

This stellar unit comes with the No. 7 overall passing offense, led by Heisman hopeful CJ Stroud, and the No. 35 ranked rushing offense, led by future NFL running back TreVeyon Henderson. The cherry on top is a receiver room full of future high-round draft picks.  Despite all this future NFL talent, I expect the Badgers to keep it within the number, currently sitting at 18.5 points.  

Jake Maier: Staff Writer

Final Score Prediction: Ohio State 38, Wisconsin 21

The Badgers are facing a tough battle this weekend. The Ohio State offense has been spectacular through three games, led by CJ Stroud.

While the Badger’s defense will be the toughest OSU has faced so far, I don’t think Wisconsin will have enough juice to hold off Stroud and company.

On the offensive side, I expect Mertz to have a solid game. The redshirt junior has made some fantastic throws this season and has looked like the best version of himself, but I think this Buckeyes defense will be able to force him into making mistakes. I expect the Badgers to still be in it at the half, but I think the Buckeyes will run away with it in the end.

Sam Strash: Staff Writer

Final Score Prediction: Ohio State 31, Wisconsin 17

The first conference matchup of the season is here, and Ohio State is going to run away with this one. As much as I want to find a justification for why the Badgers will win on Saturday, there just isn’t one.

The only hope we have against the Buckeyes is the passing game. Ohio State has an elite defense, but their one weakness thus far is that they have struggled against the pass.

The Badgers need to pound the rock with the committee of Braelon Allen, Isaac Guerendo, and Chez Mellusi to open up the passing game for Graham Mertz and the receiving room.

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