Wisconsin Badgers vs. No. 3 Ohio State game recap: Everything we know

Head coach Paul Chryst and the Wisconsin Badgers (2-2, 0-1 Big Ten), 18.5-point underdogs, walked out of the Horseshoe on Saturday night with their second loss of the season after a lopsided defeat in the Big Ten opener.

For No. 3 Ohio State (4-0, 1-0 Big Ten), Saturday’s victory marked the 26th straight home victory over a Big Ten opponent, to add some context to the blowout loss.

The Buckeye’s top-ranked offense, led by Heisman hopeful C.J. Stroud, looked the part against UW, totaling 539 yards of offense on 7.7 yards per play. In short, Jim Leonhard’s defense didn’t have any answers.

On offense, Wisconsin mustered up 296 yards of offense, most of which came in the second half when the game was well out of reach, looking like a shell of themselves against one of the nation’s best programs.

Here’s a recap of Wisconsin’s road loss to the No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes.

Final score: Buckeyes 52, Badgers 21

Sep 24, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes defensive end Jack Sawyer (33) sacks Wisconsin Badgers quarterback Graham Mertz (5) during the first half of the NCAA Division I football game at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Cairns-The Columbus Dispatch
Ncaa Football Wisconsin Badgers At Ohio State Buckeyes

Key to the game: Obvious talent gap

Sep 3, 2022; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers head coach Paul Chryst looks on during warmups prior to the game against the Illinois State Redbirds at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Nobody expected Wisconsin to beat Ohio State on the road, but it would have been encouraging to see the Badgers play them tough. That wasn’t the case on Saturday night.

At the end of the first quarter, the Badgers had just two more yards (23) than the Buckeyes had points (21) – not exactly ideal.

UW will never recruit at the level OSU does, but the gap in talent between the two schools seems…significant, to say the least.

It’s reasonable to believe Wisconsin can compete with OSU in a given year, but when the Badgers don’t dominate in the trenches, take care of the football, and control the clock – they simply cannot overcome the talent disparity.

It was over when...

Sep 24, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Wisconsin Badgers quarterback Graham Mertz (5) runs the ball during the first quarter against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Immediately after the Buckeyes walked down the field in six plays on the opening drive to score a touchdown, Graham Mertz handed it right back.

The Kansas native threw an interception on a pass intended for Chimere Dike. Not sure if there was a miscommunication between the two, but the throw wasn’t even close.

OSU scored again off the turnover, putting the Buckeyes up 14-0 with 8:54 remaining in the first quarter.

Standout performer: Braelon Allen

COLUMBUS, OHIO – SEPTEMBER 24: Running back Braelon Allen #0 of the Wisconsin Badgers breaks a tackle by linebacker Steele Chambers #22 of the Ohio State Buckeyes in the first quarter at Ohio Stadium on September 24, 2022 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Gaelen Morse/Getty Images)

RB Braelon Allen: Braelon Allen was one of the lone players worth mentioning, carrying the ball 23 times for 165 yards and a touchdown.

In an otherwise embarrassing outing, he was one of the lone bright spots for the Badgers. Allen’s effort never waivered, and he played hard until the clock struck zero. Tip of the cap.

What's next

Sep 24, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Wisconsin Badgers quarterback Graham Mertz (5) gathers teammates in a huddle during the first half of the NCAA Division I football game against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Cairns-The Columbus Dispatch
Ncaa Football Wisconsin Badgers At Ohio State Buckeyes

The Wisconsin Badgers (2-2) will return home next weekend, playing Bret Bielema and the Illinois Fighting Illini (3-1) at Camp Randall Stadium on Saturday, October 1.

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Story originally appeared on Badgers Wire