(3) Ohio State 52, Wisconsin 21: 2-minute drill

COLUMBUS -- Wisconsin couldn't stop Ohio State and got very little going offensively as the No. 3 Buckeyes steamrolled the Badgers 52-21 on Saturday night.

Game Balls

Offense:

RB Braelon Allen

The game was out of reach by the time Allen got going but he did finish with a season-high 165 yards and a touchdown. That score came on a 75-yard run, his second-longest run of the year, topped only by his record-setting 96-yard touchdown in the opener against Illinois State. Wisconsin also unveiled its version of the wildcat with Allen serving as the quarterback. He had varied success with it but eventually got to use his throwing ability on a third-and-2 conversion for 10 yards to tight end Jack Eschenbach.

Defense:

S John Torchio

He gets the call here because someone has to get it. Torchio made a diving interception of a CJ Stroud pass, the quarterback's first of the year, just before the half. It set Wisconsin up with some good field position, though the offense was unable to take advantage. Torchio finished with seven tackles, the second most on the team.

What Went Wrong

The start

Wisconsin couldn't have had a worse start. The Buckeyes went right down the field on the opening drive, going 88 yards in six plays to take a 7-0 lead. The Badgers followed that with Graham Mertz throwing an interception on a ball intended for Chimere Dike, who wasn't even looking for the ball.

"Just a little miscommunication," Mertz said. "I'll own that one. I can buy more time just to truly see how he's coming out of (his break). It was just an option route. We've got to iron out those details a little more."

Ohio State would be in the end zone two plays later for another touchdown. After a Wisconsin three-and-out, the Buckeyes would take just 3:24 to go 70 yards and another touchdown. The Badgers had some success on the next drive and had a fourth-and-2 near midfield. Instead of going for it, coach Paul Chryst tried to pin Ohio State deep by sending out the punting unit. It didn't work, as Andy Vujnovich’s punt went just 23 yards. Only 3:21 later the Buckeyes went up 28-0 with 13:33 left in the first half and the game was essentially over.

"You can't hide from what happened and you got to own it," Chryst said. "And then you also got to own your response. I don't think there is anyone that doesn't own it. Like I said, I feel good with this group about the response. Now we got to go do it, but you can't hide from this."

The defense

Wisconsin defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard said this week that teams had made it too easy on Stroud this year and that they would have to challenge him. The Heisman Trophy candidate didn't look challenged one bit, nor did the Ohio State offense in general.

"The whole defense, we were in positions all game to make plays and I just feel like we didn't execute as a defense," linebacker Nick Herbig said. "We had a solid plan going in, a lot of plays that we left on the table. But you got to hand it to them. They came to play tonight and they were the better team tonight."

The Buckeyes did whatever they wanted to the tune of 52 points and 539 yards. It was the most points and yards given up by Wisconsin since the 2014 Big Ten title game when Ohio State had 59 points and 558 yards. It wasn't just Stroud throwing five touchdowns -- the most by an opposing QB since 2005 -- the Buckeyes also ran it down the Badgers' throats. Miyan Williams and TreVeyon Henderson combined for 222 yards and averaged 6.9 yards per carry doing it. Both topped 100 yards, the first time Wisconsin has allowed a pair of 100-yard rushers in the same game since the 2012 Rose Bowl.

The offense

Wisconsin scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to make its offensive effort more pleasing to the eye but make no mistake the group was not good. Mertz went just 11-for-20 for 94 yards and that killer interception. Despite Ohio State missing two of its starting cornerbacks, the Badgers couldn't take advantage down the field. Mertz's passing yards were the second fewest in his 24 career starts. The offensive line, playing without starting tackles Jack Nelson and Riley Mahlman, failed to get much push in the run game. Outside of Allen's 75-yard run against backups, Wisconsin averaged just 3.4 yards per carry.

What They Said

Chryst was asked, with many fans being concerned with the direction of the program, what was his message to them:

"My message to our team is, yeah, we don't want to be where we're at right now, but we've got an opportunity to go forward. I care about our fans, but what I care most about is our team. I feel good about the group of guys that I get to be around and coach. I appreciate and feel good about the staff that I get to work with.

"I get people not being happy with where we're at right now. They're no more disappointed than I think anyone in the program is. But I also know we got to bounce back from this stuff. That's part of it. We want to have a team that people are proud of but my biggest concern is getting our guys to play good football."

Mertz on how they rebound from such a difficult loss:

"It's kind of obvious. Fans, everybody feels pain after that. Who do you think feels that the most? And who do you think is going to use that as fuel the most? There's no team that is going to respond the way we do this next week."

Best Video

About the only thing that didn't go right for Ohio State on Saturday night

https://twitter.com/nocontextcfb/status/1573859408416686080

In Case You Missed It

-- Wisconsin tight end Clay Cundiff fractured his right leg late in the second quarter. He was eventually taken off the field on a cart. Cundiff missed the last month of last season after suffering a gruesome injury to his left leg.

-- Wisconsin was without left tackle Jack Nelson due to an illness. He missed practice all week and Chryst said they knew Thursday they would not have him for sure. The team does believes he'll return in time to play next week.

-- After games, Wisconsin usually has as many as 10 players come to speak with reporters. But on Saturday only the three captains -- Herbig, Keeanu Benton and Mertz -- came to talk.

"Three seats for three captains are here," Herbig said. "I mean, this is our idea. Come up here, being captains of this football team, you got to take full responsibility of this loss. I wouldn't want to be with no other group of guys right now."

-- The Badgers dropped their Big Ten opener for a second straight season. They actually lost their first two conference games last year only to rebound and put themselves in position to win the Big Ten West before falling to Minnesota in the regular season finale.

"In the end, we just got to win games," Mertz said. "I mean, everything that we want is still out there for us to get. These three (captains) up (here) are going to make sure that happens."

Inside the Numbers

5-12 -- That is Chryst's record against top 25 teams since 2018. It includes a 1-6 record against top 5 teams, with four of those losses coming against Ohio State.

464.4 -- That is how many yards the Badgers have given up to Ohio State on average in the five games with defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard on staff. Against everyone else, Wisconsin allows just 284.8 yards, the fewest of any team in the country in that time.

31 -- That was the margin of victory for Ohio State. It's the same margin the Buckeyes beat Wisconsin by in the regular season in 2019. That Badgers team would rebound and make the Big Ten title game where they gave Ohio State a game before falling 34-21.

What’s Next

Wisconsin (2-2, 0-1) will welcome former coach Bret Bielema and Illinois (3-1, 0-1) to Camp Randall Stadium next Saturday with kick coming at 11 a.m.


Badgers land Nolan Winter in class of 2023

Wisconsin has landed its third commit in the 2023 class.

Three-star forward Nolan Winter (Lakeville, Minn.) announced his commitment to the Badgers on Friday.

https://twitter.com/NolanWinter5/status/1573417205907488768

The 6-foot-10 Winter is ranked as the No. 2 player in the state of Minnesota and the 38th-best power forward in the country, according to the 247Sports Composite. Winter chose the Badgers over offers from Minnesota, Stanford, Nebraska and others.

Winter comes from the same high school, Lakeville North, that sent forwards Nate Reuvers and Tyler Wahl to Madison.

Coach Greg Gard's 2023 class now includes Winter, center Gus Yalden and guard John Blackwell, along with walk-on guard Jack Janicki.

https://youtu.be/ZjHwO-T3CTk


Packers: WR Sammy Watkins to miss Tampa Bay game, four others questionable

Green Bay will be without wide receiver Sammy Watkins on Sunday in Tampa Bay.

The team listed the veteran out with a hamstring injury on the final injury report of the week. Watkins was limited in practice on Wednesday and didn't take part the last two days.

Two other wide receivers -- Christian Watson and Randall Cobb -- are questionable for the game. Watson missed practice the last two days with a hamstring injury, while Cobb hasn't practiced this week due to an illness.

The one wide receiver that missed time this week that will play is Allen Lazard. He was given Wednesday and Thursday off to rest his ankle before taking part on a limited basis Friday. He does not have an injury designation.

All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari is questionable after practicing for a second straight day. He was also questionable the first two weeks and did not play. But the fact he practiced on back-to-back days to end the week gives the appearance that he may be getting close to game action. Bakhtiari has played just one game since injuring his knee in December of 2020.

Tight end Marcedes Lewis is questionable with a groin injury.

Meanwhile, the Buccaneers are also very much hurting at wide receiver. The club will be without the suspended Mike Evans, while Chris Godwin won't play for a second straight week due to a hamstring injury. Julio Jones is listed as questionable with a knee injury that kept him out last week. Fellow wide outs Russell Gage and Breshad Perriman are also questionable.

Here is the full injury report for both teams:


Preview: Wisconsin at (3) Ohio State

THE BASICS

The teams: The Wisconsin Badgers (2-1) at vs the No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes (3-0)

The time: 6:30 p.m. CDT, Saturday

The place: Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio

The TV coverage: ABC with Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit on the call, and Holly Rowe on the sideline.

The last time: Ohio State erased a 21-7 halftime deficit and beat Wisconsin 34-21 in the 2019 Big Ten championship.

The series: Ohio State leads 61-18-5

The line: Ohio State -19

THE BREAKDOWN: 5 THINGS TO WATCH

1) Best offense in the country

The Badgers will face what many believe is the best offense in the country. It’s a group loaded with major talent in running backs TreVeyon Henderson and Miyan Williams, a bevy of wide receivers led by Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Marvin Harrison Jr., Emeka Egbuka and Julian Fleming, tight end Cade Stover and an offensive line filled with likely future NFL players.

But everything revolves around the play of quarterback CJ Stroud. A Heisman Trophy finalist last year, the redshirt sophomore has thrown for 941 yards, 11 touchdowns and no interceptions so far this season, while completing 72.9 percent of his passes. How does Wisconsin try and slow him and the offense down? The only way is to get pressure. The Badgers can do it in a variety of ways, whether it’s Nick Herbig on the outside, Keeanu Benton up the middle or defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard dialing up blitzes from different levels.

Holding the Buckeyes down completely won’t happen but for Wisconsin to slow them the defense must get after Stroud, limit big plays, and not get overwhelmed by the environment.

2) Graham Mertz stepping up

Graham Mertz is playing the best sustained football of his career and he’ll need to keep it up to give Wisconsin a chance. The junior has thrown for 200 yards in three straight games for the first time and already has six touchdowns after throwing 10 all of last year. Ohio State will obviously be the stiffest challenge Mertz has faced to this point, though the Buckeyes have given up some long pass plays in the first three weeks, including against Toledo last week. Can Mertz and the passing game hit on some of their own big plays and take the pressure off having to have long, sustained drives to score?

3) In the trenches

In the past, Wisconsin would give itself a shot in these types of games by dominating the line of scrimmage, especially on offense. The big, powerful offensive line would move bodies, keeping the Badgers in manageable down and distance and drain the clock while keeping the opposing offense off the field. Does this Wisconsin offensive line have it in it to do that against the Buckeyes? In a 38-7 loss three years ago in Columbus, the Badgers had just 83 yards rushing, Jack Coan was sacked five times and lost a pair of fumbles. This time around, the line must protect Mertz, while giving Braelon Allen, Chez Mellusi, and Isaac Guerendo a little space to make some plays. If they dominate, the game could be must closer than many expect.

4) On the road

Wisconsin will hit the road for the first time this season and face its most daunting crowd since its last trip to Columbus in 2019. Not only will the Badgers be facing nearly 100,000 fans, but they will also be doing it at night after a full day for the crowd to “prepare.” Communication is critical in these situations and will be difficult for both sides of the ball. That’s specifically true for Mertz, whose previous experience starting in tough environments away from Madison came at Purdue and Minnesota last year. This will be on a different scale and a huge challenge for everyone in white.

5) Playing clean

For the Badgers to have any shot at pulling the major upset they’ll have to play a clean game. That means limiting mistakes like turnovers and penalties, while also avoiding major breakdowns on special teams. Wisconsin accomplished that last week against an overmatched New Mexico State team, but everyone saw what happened a week earlier in a disastrous loss against Washington State when 11 penalties, three turnovers and special teams’ blunders did the Badgers in.

NUMBERS TO CONSIDER

Wisconsin is a 19-point underdog. It’s the biggest the Badgers have been an underdog since 1996 when they went to Ohio State and the Buckeyes were favored by 26.5. Wisconsin lost that game just 17-14. The Badgers have not won in Columbus since 2004, a stretch of five straight games. Overall, they haven't beaten Ohio State since 2010.

Paul Chryst is 5-11 against ranked teams since 2018, including a 2-3 record last season. He’s 1-5 all-time against teams ranked in the top 5, with three of those losses coming to Ohio State. The lone win was against LSU to open the 2016 season.

Since defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard joined the program in 2016, the Badgers rank first in the country in yards allowed per game at 284.8. In the four matchups he's been on the staff for against Ohio State, Wisconsin has allowed an average of 445.8 yards.

ZONE PREDICTIONS

Zach Heilprin's (2-1, 2-1 ATS) prediction: Ohio State 38, Wisconsin 13
Ebo's (2-1, 2-1 ATS) prediction: Wisconsin 24, Ohio State 21
Nelson Raisbeck's (2-1, 1-2 ATS) prediction: Ohio State 45, Wisconsin 21
RJ Brachman's (2-1, 1-2 ATS) prediction: Ohio State 28, Wisconsin 17
Ben Kenney's (2-1, 2-1 ATS) prediction: Ohio State 34, Wisconsin 20


Kenney & Heilprin: Wisconsin vs. Ohio State Preview With Bill Nagy

Ben and Zach are live from Monk's Bar and Grill in Sun Praire for this week's edition of the show. They're joined by former Wisconsin and NFL OL Bill Nagy as the three preview the Ohio State contest, talk about where the game can be won, review the matchups and also give picks for Week 4 in college football


Badgers: RT Riley Mahlman to miss Ohio State game

Wisconsin won't have its starting right tackle when it goes to No. 3 Ohio State on Saturday.

Coach Paul Chryst said Thursday that redshirt freshman Riley Mahlman still hasn't progressed enough to be cleared to play. Mahlman went down with a leg injury in the season opener against Illinois State. He has missed the last two games.

With Mahlman out, former five-star recruit Logan Brown has been the starting right tackle. However, against New Mexico State, redshirt sophomore Trey Wedig got some work at right tackle with the first-team offense and had success. It's unclear how offensive line coach Bob Bostad will approach Saturday's game.

The veteran coach also has a decision to make at right guard, where senior Michael Furtney has started the first three games. But, like Wedig, Tanor Bortolini got time with the first-team line against the Aggies and the offense seemed to benefit. It was his first game back from a knee injury that had sidelined him for about a month.

Junior kicker Vito Calvaruso will miss a second straight game with a leg injury. Redshirt freshman Nate Van Zelst will handle the place kicking duties again.

Kickoff specialist Jack Van Dyke appears to be a game-time decision after missing last week with a leg injury.

Injury report:

OUT

RT Riley Mahlman
CB Alexander Smith
S Hunter Wohler
OLB Aaron Witt
K Vito Calvaruso
TE Cam Large
QB Chase Wolf


Brewers avoid sweep, beat Mets 6-0

Milwaukee avoided being swept by the New York Mets with a 6-0 victory Wednesday afternoon at American Family Field.

It was a tight game until the seventh inning when the Brewers poured across five runs. That included a two-out, pinch-hit grand slam from Mike Brosseau. It was his first career grand slam and his first home run since Aug. 4.

https://twitter.com/Brewers/status/1572685898424238081

The runs would be more than enough for Milwaukee's pitching staff. After Adrian Houser didn't allow a run over 4 2/3 innings, five relievers held the Mets in check. In total, New York had just four hits on the day and went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position.

Willy Adames hit his 31st home run of the year, a solo shot in the sixth that served as the first run of the game. Garrett Mitchell went 2-for-2 on the day, while Tyrone Taylor drove in a run.

The win left Milwaukee two games back of Philadelphia for the final wild-card spot in the NL, with the Phillies scheduled to play later on Wednesday.

The Brewers will now hit the road for their final games away from home this year as they open a series against Cincinnati on Thursday.


Tampa Bay WR Mike Evans' suspension upheld, won't play Sunday against Green Bay

Green Bay won't have to face Pro Bowl wide receiver Mike Evans when it travels to Tampa Bay this Sunday.

The NFL suspended Evans one game for his actions in the Buccaneers win last week against New Orleans that led to him being kicked out for unnecessary roughness. Evans appealed the suspension and had his case heard Tuesday. It wasn't enough to sway an independent party and it was announced Wednesday the suspension had been upheld.

"Not much, we have enough to worry about," coach Matt LaFleur said when asked about the news. "They've got a lot of playmakers over there and really in every phase. Great coaches and it's going to be a great challenge. We only worry about things we can control and that's totally out of our control. It doesn't impact us at all."

Evans has reached 1,000 yards receiving in all eight of his professional seasons, including 74 catches for 1,035 yards and a career-high 14 touchdowns last year.

The absence of Evans could be significant with the other issues at the position for the Buccaneers. Chris Godwin (hamstring) and Julio Jones (knee) missed the game against the Saints with injuries. The only guarantees for Sunday are Russell Gage, Breshad Perriman and Scotty Miller.


Two home runs push the Mets past the Brewers 7-5

New York had just four hits but they were big ones in a 7-5 win over Milwaukee on Tuesday night.

A three-run homer from Pete Alonso, his second in as many games, allowed the Mets to get within one run at 4-3 in the sixth. In the seventh, after Taylor Rogers walked the bases loaded, Francisco Lindor drilled a grand slam to give New York its first lead of the game. Rogers took the loss to drop to 4-8 on the year and also recorded his 10th blown save of the season.

Milwaukee's offense had its moments, scoring three runs in the second inning and adding another in the fifth courtesy of a Kolton Wong single. Willy Adames would single in another run in the eighth but that would be all for the Brewers the rest of the night.

Aaron Ashby got the start for Milwaukee, his first in just more than a month. He went two innings, giving up one hit, while striking out two and walking a pair. The bullpen did its job until Alonso took Brad Boxberger deep in the sixth and Lindor's blast off Rogers in the seventh.

It was Milwaukee's third-straight loss but the club still only trails Philadelphia by 2 1/2 games for the final wild-card spot in the NL thanks to the Phillies recent five game losing streak.

The Brewers and Mets will finish out their series Wednesday afternoon.


Kenney & Heilprin: Does Wisconsin Have A Chance Against Ohio State?, Anatomy Of An Upset

Ben and Zach begin the show by recapping the New Mexico State win and giving some takeaways. They then discuss various angles of the Ohio State contest, where there should be positivity and everything Wisconsin has to do to win the game. Also: Big Ten Week 3 wraparound