Chris Olave

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Buckeyes get off to slow start but charge into halftime up 10-0 on Wisconsin

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A combination of two of the best defenses in the Big Ten and rain has led to some sloppy conditions for Ohio State and Wisconsin on offense. As such, it has taken a while to see some points being scored, but Ohio State is taking a 10-0 lead into halftime in Columbus. A touchdown pass from Justin Fields to Chris Olave in the final minute of the half gave the Buckeyes the double-digit lead.

Chris Young has been a beast for Ohio State’s defense, as the Badgers have had their work cut out for them. Jonathan Taylor has been limited to 25 rushing yards on 12 carries, and Jack Coan has completed just four passes for 26 yards (on nine attempts). Wisconsin has just 72 yards of offense, while Ohio State has picked up 180 yards. J.K. Dobbins has rushed for 51 yards for the Buckeyes, and he has caught two passes for 37 more yards. Fields has had pressure at times from the Badgers and has completed 8 of 14 passes for 109 yards.

Blake Haubeil finally managed to get some points on the scoreboard midway through the second quarter. With Ohio State’s offense stalling at the Wisconsin 32-yard line, Haubeil converted on a 49-yard field goal to give Ohio State a 3-0 lead.

So it looks like we have a good game on our hands heading to the second half. But will Wisconsin be able to score?

No. 4 Ohio State breezes by Northwestern, setting half the stage for B1G showdown with Badgers

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No. 4 Ohio State (7-0, 4-0 Big Ten) got a four-touchdown night from quarterback Justin Fields and J.K. Dobbins rushed for 121 yards and scored two touchdowns as the Buckeyes easily took care of business against Northwestern (1-5, 0-4 Big Ten) Friday night in Evanston. Ohio State’s 52-3 victory against the same program they face din last season’s Big Ten championship game was hardly a contest from the start.

Ohio State marched down the field on the Wildcats on the opening drive of the game with a pair of third-and-long conversions to keep the drive alive. Fields connected with a wide-open Chris Olave for an early touchdown to finish off the drive. After leading just 7-3 at the end of the first quarter, the Buckeyes put the game away in the second quarter with a 24-0 outburst. Ohio State scored three more touchdowns after halftime as even the backups got into the scoring mix.

While the Ohio State offense was once again putting up big points, the defense was dominant against a struggling Northwestern offense. The Wildcats managed to pick up just 42 passing yards by Aidan Smith, who had a rough night against Chase Young and the OSU defensive front.

No. 6 Wisconsin will be in action in the state of Illinois Saturday with a road game at Illinois. If all goes according to script, Ohio State will host Wisconsin in a matchup of undefeated Big Ten division leaders and top six programs next Saturday. The game could be a preview of the Big Ten Championship Game.

As it stands now, Ohio State owns sole possession of first place in the Big Ten East. Penn State has a chance to move into a tie for first place in the division Saturday night with a home game against Michigan. The Wolverines have lost once in Big Ten play this season and need a win to keep pace with Ohio State.

While Ohio State now prepares for its stiffest challenge of the year, Northwestern will once again look to regroup. While it may get easier next week, a home game against Iowa is anything but a walk in the park for the Wildcats. Northwestern is on the brink of being ineligible for a postseason bowl game, as the program needs five wins in its final six games in order to qualify for the postseason this year.

To say Ohio State and Northwestern are going in opposite directions is a gross understatement.

Big second quarter puts No. 4 Ohio State on cruise control at Northwestern

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Ohio State opened Friday night’s game at Northwestern with a touchdown drive and scored three more touchdowns in the second quarter to take a 31-3 lead on the hapless wildcats into halftime in Evanston. Justin Fields has thrown three touchdowns (two to Chris Olave) and J.K. Dobbins has one rushing and one receiving touchdown as the Buckeyes appear to be taking care of business in a scarlet and gray-clad Ryan Field.

Ohio State thrived on third-and-long on the opening drive. As Northwestern was unable to get its defense off the field, any chance to make things interesting appeared destined to fail for the underdog. Northwestern has welcomed back Isaiah Bowser at running back, but there hasn’t been much to write home about for Pat Fitzgerald and his program so far.

Northwestern did suffer a couple of key injuries on defense in the first half. Starting defensive tackle Trevor Kent left the game for medical evaluation. And defensive end Earnest Brown left the game and has been ruled out for the remainder of the game with what has been described as an upper-body injury.

No. 5 Ohio State makes case for No. 1 by hammering Nebraska

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On a day when the No. 1 team in the country eked out a 21-20 win over an unranked opponent, it seems we may crown a new No. 1 on Sunday. In spanking Nebraska 48-7 in Lincoln, No. 5 Ohio State made the case for it to be them.

Though the end result was a 41-point victory, the reality is the game wasn’t as close as the final score. The Buckeyes led 38-0 at halftime, and it would’ve been 45-0 had Justin Fields not overthrown an open Chris Olave streaking toward the end zone in the final minute of the first half. (Hey, quarterbacks coach Mike Yurcich has to have something to yell at him about, right?)

Other than that, Fields was near perfect. He connected on 15-of-21 passes for 212 yards and three touchdowns while rushing 12 times for 72 yards and another score. J.K. Dobbins didn’t score, but he did rack up 177 yards on 24 carries. Master Teague III rushed 12 times for 77 yards and two scores, and as a team the Buckeyes pounded out 52 carries for 370 yards.

But as good as the Buckeyes’ offense was, the defense might’ve been better.

Nebraska’s first half offensive output went as follows:

  • Interception
  • Three and out
  • Interception
  • Interception
  • Three and out
  • Three and out
  • Three and out

Perhaps no play summed up the night more than this Jeffrey Okudah interception, his second of the game.

Adrian Martinez finished the game 8-of-17 for 47 yards and three interceptions. He did rush 15 times for 81 yards, but the bulk of that production came after the game was well in hand and Ohio State’s starters were well into their second post-game coffee.

Following last week’s 76-5 blowout of Miami (Ohio), Ohio State has put together back-to-back complete performances impressive enough to make a compelling argument that this is the best team in the country, at least as we sit today at the end of the season’s first month.

No. 5 Ohio State mauling Nebraska through one half

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No. 5 Ohio State holds a 38-0 lead over Nebraska through one half in Lincoln.

Justin Fields completed 10-of-15 passes for 148 yards and two touchdowns while rushing eight times for 80 yards and a score. To give Ryan Day and quarterbacks coach Mike Yurcich something to yell at him about in film review, Fields did overthrow an open Chris Olave for what would have been a 52-yard touchdown to push the Buckeyes’ halftime lead to 45-0.

J.K. Dobbins added 114 yards on 17 carries.

Nebraska’s offensive possessions, meanwhile, have gone:

  • Interception
  • Three and out
  • Interception
  • Interception
  • Three and out
  • Three and out
  • Three and out

When he wasn’t throwing the ball to the team in white, Adrian Martinez went 2-of-8 for 10 yards.

Perhaps no play sums up the first half more than this Jeffrey Okudah interception, his second of the game.

As if this wasn’t enough, Ohio State will receive to open the second half.