Buckeyes step on Badgers’ throats, bully way to B1G first-half lead

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A starting quarterback who, were it not for injuries, would’ve been the No. 3 quarterback in early December, and facing the best statistical defense in the conference?  So far, no problem at all.  Literally.

Thanks in equal parts to a combination of Cardale Jones, Ezekiel Elliott and a stifling, swarming defense, Ohio State completely controlled, dominated, lorded over, however you want to describe it, the first half of the Big Ten championship game and leads Wisconsin 38-0 after two quarters of play.

Jones, a redshirt sophomore who was making his first-ever start and came into the game with 121 career passing yards, looked like a seasoned veteran in completing 10-of-13 passes for 211 yards and two touchdowns — both to Devin Smith (3-95).  It actually would’ve been three touchdown tosses were it not for Elliott dropping what would’ve been an easy touchdown.

Elliott, though, more than made up for that misstep, leading the Buckeyes with 150 yards rushing and two touchdowns on just 14 carries.  One of those scores was an 81-yard touchdown run that is the longest in Big Ten championship game history.

Wisconsin’s defense came into the game giving up an average of 260 yards per game; Ohio State had 224 yards in the first quarter alone.  For the half, OSU totaled 364; 10 of the 12 teams UW played this season didn’t reach that mark in entire games.

Not to be outdone, the Buckeyes’ defense, at times a source of angst for the coaching staff and fan base alike, has been at its dominating best on the biggest stage of the year.

Melvin Gordon, widely viewed as the only player with even a remote chance of finishing close to Oregon’s Marcus Mariota in the Heisman chase, was held to just 43 yards on 14 carries; he came into the game averaging nearly 200 yards per game.  Reining in Gordon was part of an impressive defensive effort as the Buckeyes’ held the Badgers to a measly 91 first-half yards and eight first downs.

Five of UW’s eight possessions ended in punts, with four of those punts coming after three-and-outs.  The other drives ended with an interception, a fumble and the end of the half.

That fumble was returned by Joey Bosa for a touchdown late in the second quarter, putting an exclamation point on OSU’s best half of football this season in all three phases of the game.  Michael Bennett, who is wearing No. 53 to honor fallen teammate Kosta Karageorge, had a first-half sack to add an emotional bent to the woodshedding.

With the game essentially over, the question will now become: does OSU have enough of a case to be a part of the four-team playoff?  I don’t know if they do or not — that Virginia Tech loss still looms large — but they are certainly making it tough on the committee that will ultimately answer that very question.

Eastern Kentucky WR shot in bar dispute

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Eastern Kentucky wide receiver Cameron Catron was shot in the early morning hours of Sunday following a dispute outside a bar.

According to WKYT-TV, Catron and an unidentified man were fighting outside the Two Keys Tavern in Lexington, Ky., when the other man ran to his vehicle, returned with a gun and shot Catron. It is not known where he was shot.

The suspect, described as wearing a blue shirt with dreadlocked hair culminating in frosted tips, is still at large.

“He’s one of the biggest hearted guys I know. Whoever done that to him was just really in a bad place right now,” teammate Gunner Slone told the station.

A Belfry, Ky., native, Catron was a redshirt freshman in 2018; he appeared in two games on special teams.

Catron has already undergone two surgeries to remove the bullet and repair internal damage. A social media post by his mother indicated he is out of ICU and able to walk a short distance.

Former Ole Miss DB, Nebraska LB Breon Dixon headed to JuCo

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Breon Dixon has yet to really make a mark in college football, but his closet has become well stocked. A 4-star prospect out of Suwanee, Ga., Dixon signed with Ole Miss and enrolled in January of 2017, but left quickly thereafter.

Given a waiver to play immediately as part of the Hugh Freeze explosion, Dixon was enrolled at Nebraska within 365 days of originally enrolling at Ole Miss. He appeared in four games on special teams for the Huskers this season, but by this spring he was no longer a Cornhusker, either.

In May, the Omaha World-Herald contacted Iowa Western Community College head coach Scott Strohmeier, who said Dixon would become a Reiver. Now, Dixon has confirmed that himself.

He is expected to enroll in classes in July and compete for IWCC this fall, with the expectation he’ll look for another four-year university in the winter. Strohmeier told the World-Herald he didn’t expect Dixon to re-enroll at Nebraska, meaning the player could be looking for a fourth school in as many years come 2020.

Ex-Arizona State, Ohio State DE Darius Slade now enrolled at USF

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It appears Darius Slade has found himself yet another college football home.

In early February, it was confirmed that Slade had taken the first step in moving on from Arizona State by placing his name into the NCAA transfer database. A little over four months later, it’s now being reported that the defensive end is enrolled at South Florida.

For what it’s worth, a USF official declined to confirm Slade’s addition to the roster and the lineman isn’t yet listed on the football program’s online roster.

Slade, who originally began his collegiate career at Ohio State before transferring and landing at ASU prior to the start of the 2017 season, played in 10 games in 2018 after sitting out the previous year to satisfy NCAA transfer rules.

As a graduate transfer, Slade would be eligible to play for the Bulls immediately in 2019.

Louisville adds Marshall’s leading sacker as grad transfer

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On the same day we noted an addition to Marshall’s roster, there’s been a development regarding one of the football program’s personnel subtractions earlier this offseason.

Utilizing his personal Twitter account, Ty Tyler (pictured, No. 1) announced that he is “honored and overwhelmed to announce I am committed to [the] University of Louisville.” Earlier this offseason, the defensive lineman opted to enter his name into the NCAA transfer database after four years with the Thundering Herd.

As Tyler will be coming to the Cardinals as a graduate transfer, he’ll be eligible to play immediately for the school in 2019. The upcoming season will serve as the lineman’s final year of eligibility.

This past season, Tyler led the Thundering Herd with eight sacks and tied for second on the team with nine tackles for loss. He leaves Huntington having been credited with 15.5 tackles for loss and 10 sacks in 35 career games, 20 of which were starts.