5th Quarter Consensus: Badgers suffer first defeat

Wisconsin at Ohio State

Kickoff: 2:30 p.m. CT

Location: Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio

Weather Forecast: 58F, Mostly sunny, 10% chance of rain


Radio: WIBA-AM 1310, WIBA-FM 101.5 and the Badgers Radio Network

Coverage: A week's worth of coverage on our Ohio State Game Page

Opposing Blog: Eleven Warriors

The Consensus

Adam Hoge (5-0, +63): Ohio State 21, Wisconsin 17

Jake Harris (5-0, +67): Ohio State 27, Wisconsin 17

"Wild Card" Pick (ElevenWarriors.com): Ohio State 27, Wisconsin 13

The Reasoning

Ohio State has been impressive this season.  The Buckeye defense posted back-to-back shutouts of Toledo and Illinois.  The offense, led by star quarterback Terrelle Pryor, hasn't missed a beat despite the departures of Beanie Wells and the starting wide receivers.  This game will be played in Columbus in one of the most hostile environments in the Big Ten and kickoff is 3:30 local time, which means the fans will be well rested.  Ohio State is the better team on paper and the Buckeyes are playing at home.

An upset is certainly not out of the question, however, and would not even be a huge surprise.  The Badgers have won three of the last four meetings between these teams in Ohio and always seem to play the Buckeyes tough.  Wisconsin probably should have won this game a year ago.  Ohio State has already lost once at home, to an overrated USC team starting a true freshman quarterback on the road at night.  We really don't know how good they are after beating a mess of an Illinois team and a bad Indiana squad in Big Ten play.  Wisconsin's offense will be the most balanced the Buckeyes have faced thus far.  Quarterback Scott Tolzien has been an excellent caretaker, throwing only one interception in his last four games.  If John Clay continues to carry defenders and get stronger as the game progresses, the Badgers have an excellent shot.

Ultimately, however, four of the five final scores on the Badgers' schedule this season are closer than they should be.  Wisconsin has made crucial mistakes in nearly every game played so far, from fumbling at inopportune times to surrendering long touchdown plays late in games.  The Badgers basically have to play a perfect game in order to win in Columbus and, with a young team playing its first road game in a monster stadium (TCF Bank Stadium is no Horseshoe), that will be too much to ask for.

Who has the edge?

Offense: Wisconsin

Defense: Ohio State

Special Teams: Ohio State

Coaching: Ohio State

Intangibles: Ohio State

-Jake Harris

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