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Wisconsin Football vs. Ohio State: Three Things to Watch For

Here are three things to watch for in the clash between Wisconsin football and Ohio State.



Wisconsin Badgers vs Ohio State Buckeyes
Sep 24, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Emeka Egbuka (2) scores the touchdown as Wisconsin Badgers safety Preston Zachman (14) attempts the tackle during the fourth quarter at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Following a thrilling win over Illinois, the Wisconsin football program will head into a big-time matchup against No. 3 Ohio State as the Badgers are looking to take their first victory against the Buckeyes since 2010.

Wisconsin now controls its own destiny in the division race after improving to 5-2 overall and 3-1 in conference play. Heading into the toughest matchup of the season, the Badgers will need to work some real magic to come away with a win and keep division title hopes alive.

Here are three things to watch for in Saturday night’s tilt.

Can Wisconsin Football QB Braedyn Locke Build Off an Impressive Showing?

In his first career start, Braedyn Locke was one of the biggest bright spots for Wisconsin. The redshirt freshman logged 21 completions on 41 attempts for 240 yards and two touchdowns, including a game-winning touchdown pass to Nolan Rucci. Locke showed plenty of poise against Illinois, but it will be interesting to see how he will fare against a dynamic Ohio State defense.

The Buckeyes have one of the nation’s best pass defenses, currently sitting at No. 6 per Ohio State has limited opposing quarterbacks to just 159.6 yards per game, which doesn’t bode well for a team with a young quarterback. Locke must keep the same level of poise he had during the matchup against Illinois if UW wants a fighting chance in this one. 

Locke showed a lot of promise in his first career start, which is a sign that could bode well for the future of the QB room. Still, Ohio State is no Illinois, so this will be a substantial test for the Rockwall, Texas native. 

Can the Badgers Secondary Hold Up Against Ohio State’s Dynamic Passing Game?

Wisconsin’s secondary has been solid throughout the 2023 season, thanks to players like Hunter Wohler, Ricardo Hallman, and Preston Zachmann. However, the secondary has not faced a passing attack quite like Ohio State’s thus far. 

The Buckeyes have two of the nation’s top receivers in Marvin Harrison Jr. and Emeka Egbuka. The former has solidified himself as a bonafide Heisman contender, while the latter has emerged as one of the best route runners and receiving threats in college football. Safe to say, this secondary will be tested.

Now, the secondary’s play will rely on how effectively Wisconsin can stop the run. If UW consistently gives up yards to TreVeyon Henderson, as they did in last year’s matchup, the Buckeyes won’t have to rely on the passing game. Every level of Wisconsin’s defense will need to be stout for there to be a chance for UW to come away with the win here, but limiting chunk plays through the air will be paramount.

Will Wisconsin Football Feed Braelon Allen?

Braelon Allen is coming off one of his best performances of the season, registering 145 yards and a touchdown on 29 carries against Illinois. From the eye test, Allen looked back in classic form as he ran with authority and became the focal point of Wisconsin’s offense in some moments. 

Against Ohio State, keeping Allen rolling will be crucial. Ohio State’s run defense is nothing to scoff at, as they currently sit at No. 17 in the nation in run defense, per That said, I think there are some weaknesses in the Buckeyes defense that Allen could exploit. 

Allen registered 165 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries last season against Ohio State. Granted, a good chunk of those yards came when the Buckeyes started to sub some players in during the blowout. While I don’t think he’ll hit those marks again, getting the junior tailback going early and often to relieve some pressure off of Locke will be extremely important. 

Feed Agent 0.

The Wisconsin football program will take on Ohio State in a Saturday primetime matchup at 6:30 p.m. CST.

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Jake Maier is the managing editor and publisher at He has provided coaching and editorial support to numerous writers in his role, contributing significantly to the platform's growth. His expertise extends to Wisconsin Badgers football, basketball, and recruiting coverage. Jake's previous bylines can be found at Fansided and Wisconsin Sports Heroics.