INDIANAPOLIS -- Saturday night was the culmination of the Big Ten season as Wisconsin took on Ohio State at Lucas Oil Stadium. Coming into the game, much was made about Ohio State's quarterback situation after freshman J.T. Barrett fractured his ankle last week. The game featured the nation's second-best defense in Wisconsin and an offense that averaged over 500 yards per game in Ohio State.
None of that mattered. The Buckeyes proved on the field that they were the superior team, demolishing the Badgers 59-0. Wisconsin had not been shut out since its game against Syracuse in 1997. It was the worst loss for the Badgers since 1979, when Ohio State beat them by the same score.
"It's my fault," head coach Gary Andersen said. "That's what I told them. I don't want to see the blame go to any of the players. I don't want to see any of the blame go to the coaches. Put this one on me."
"It's embarrassing," junior Tyler Marz said.
Ohio State had no problem getting its offense going in the first quarter despite being without J.T. Barrett. The Buckeyes wasted no time scoring in the game, with a touchdown pass from Jones to wide receiver Devin Smith to put the Buckeyes up 7-0. Ohio State again scored when Ezekiel Elliot scampered through a large hole and scored on an 81-yard touchdown. The Buckeyes gained 224 yards in the first quarter alone on their way to a 14-0 lead.wisconsin ohio state 2014 game notes
The Buckeyes stayed hot in the second quarter, as they started the quarter in the red zone and finished a 53-yard drive with a field goal. Wisconsin went three-and-out for the second time of the game and Ohio State answered with another Jones-to-Smith touchdown for 44 yards. The Buckeyes weren't done there. By the time halftime came around, they led 35-0.
"We didn't expect to get to this game and play like we did," sophomore Sojourn Shelton said. "[This] is a really bad feeling. That's all I can say."
"This is not Wisconsin football," Melvin Gordon added. "This is not how we play."
Ohio State finished the game with 558 total yards of offense, including 301 on the ground. The Buckeyes forced four turnovers and held the Badgers to 258 total yards of offense, while only gaining 71 yards rushing.
"Our offense as a whole just couldn't get things going," Gordon said. "They played harder than we did today."
Wisconsin went three-and-out seven times, and had major holes on defense. Cardale Jones and company were able to shred the defense apart any way they wanted to, whether it was through the air or on the ground. The only bright spot of the day for the Badgers was a blocked field goal by Jake Keefer. The game was already 45-0 at that point.
"We just couldn't get in a rhythm," Marz said.
The Buckeyes would tack on two more touchdowns by the end of the game. The players Wisconsin needed to step up were not able to do so. Melvin Gordon gained 76 yards rushing and averaged 2.9 yards per carry. Joel Stave threw three interceptions and was 17-of-43 passing the ball. The offensive line never opened holes for the run game and allowed Stave to be sacked three times.
"We couldn't make any explosive plays," Gordon sid. "Up front, they really got after us."
The Badgers will find out their bowl destination on Sunday when the matchups are announced. For now, the players will have to let this loss linger until they get back on the field.
"I know I'm going to let it burn for a little bit," Shelton said. "I know I've never experienced anything like that."
"I've never been through a loss like this as a football coach," Andersen said.