Sunday, December 8, 2019

Green’s takeaways from Ohio State’s Big Ten championship win over Wisconsin

Photo Credit: Geno Green

By: Geno Green
Twitter: @TheGenoGreen

The Ohio State Buckeyes continued their dominance against the Wisconsin Badgers on the grand stage as they moved to 3-0 all-time in Big Ten title game meetings with a 34-21 win. Here are my five takeaways from Indianapolis for CSO.

1) Taylor makes more history:

Jonathan Taylor continued one of the more stellar careers in FBS history as he became the seventh player to rush for at least 6,000 yards in a career on a six-yard run in the early stages of the second quarter.

Taylor’s highlight came on a bruising 44-yard TD run where the senior eluded an OSU defender to go right up the middle to open the scoring 2:03 into the game. Taylor finished with 148 yards on 20 carries and Buckeyes coach Ryan Day gave credit to Taylor’s efforts and contributions to the sport over the last three years.

“Man, what a back. I've not seen many guys who have the combination that he has of size and change of direction, body control, power. He's a talented back,” Day said.

“It's been great to watch he and J.K. go back and forth here. He ran hard. Broke some tackles in the game. Nothing but credit for not only their scheme, the way they're coached, but their talent. He's one of the best backs in -- I guess in Big Ten history. He deserving all the credit he gets.”

2) Fields of dreams:

While Justin Fields was named the Most Valuable Player with 299 yards through the air and three TD’s, adversity hit as Ohio State faced a two-touchdown deficit at halftime— the largest of the season.

Fields adapted to the pace of the game and excelled in the early stages of the third quarter as he found Jeremy Ruckert in the back of the end zone for the touchdown to pull OSU to within a TD. Day mentioned about Fields not being able to practice for a full week after being injured at Michigan.

“The way that he played today without having a full week of practice is incredible. His heart is like I've never seen before. The way he came out to play today goes to show you that.” Day said.

3) Second half shutdown by Buckeyes defense:

After allowing 21 points in the first half, the Ohio State defense revved things up in the second half and took away any open creases for Wisconsin. Chase Young finished with six tackles (four solo) saw the halftime session as a way to regroup and reclaim its swagger.
“I think we just had to go back in and refocus, just do the simple things like tackle, do our assignments. Coach Day, he just kept saying, Just keep swinging. We just kept swinging, kept swinging, kept swinging. We turned it out. It turned out for the best,” Young said.

4) Buckeyes special teams strike:

In need of a confidence boost on offense in the second quarter, and down 14-0, special teams would be turned to the forefront as punter Drue Chrisman found an open Luke Farrell for a 21-yard reception and a first down.

The play provided a spark and Day mentioned about the play being practiced earlier in the week.

“Yeah, I felt like we needed a spark at that moment. Something that Matt Barnes had recognized that we thought we had a shot at,” Day said. “We practiced it during the week. Drue actually throws a pretty good ball. Always want to be aggressive. We felt like we had it. We felt like we needed it at that point. Kind of had to get a spark going. I thought that gave us a little juice there in the first half when we needed it.”