Wisconsin Football: Badgers Keys To Victory VS OSU

Five Keys To Victory for the Badgers against Ohio State

The Wisconsin Badgers will play host to the second ranked Buckeyes on Saturday Night, here are five keys for the Badgers to come away with a victory against Ohio State and put them back into the College Football Playoff conversation.

Sep 24, 2016; East Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan State Spartans tight end Jamal Lyles (11) has pass broken up by Wisconsin Badgers linebacker Jack Cichy (48) during the first quarter of a game at Spartan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive Pressure

There’s no doubt that Ohio State’s quarterback JT Barrett is an all world player in terms of skill, but he’s had his limitations in games so far this year. Barrett struggled against both Tulsa and Indiana, which forced the Buckeyes to rely on the running game as they usually do under Urban Meyer. If the Badgers can force Barrett to have to throw more than normal, it will mean they’ve won the running game match up. The Badgers front seven has been the bright spot of Wisconsin Football so far this season, allowing just 90 yards per game and 3.1 yards per carry. Ohio State is averaging 326 yards per game on the ground, so something will have to give come Saturday. Wisconsin has shut down both Michigan and LSU’s run game, so it’s a match up the Badgers feel they can win at home.

Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Preventing Defensive Pressure

On the opposite side of the ball, Wisconsin will have to look to prevent the exact thing the defense is looking to do. Wisconsin is coming off an abysmal offensive performance at Michigan, as they could do virtually nothing against the Wolverines. The offensive line has struggled all year, and with Ohio State seeing the results of the Michigan game, its likely to expect a similar tactic from the Buckeyes defense. With the offensive line struggling to run the football, Ohio State will likely pin their ears back and rush the passer come Saturday. For the Badgers, preventing pressure and allowing Hornibrook to get to his second and third read will be vital for offensive success. In the loss at Michigan, Hornibrook forced a lot of balls, especially to receiver Jazz Peavy. Part of this was due to the defensive pressure the Badgers were facing so quickly. To have success Saturday, the Badgers will have to prevent a pass rush, and get the running game moving more forward.

Sep 10, 2016; Madison, WI, USA; Wisconsin Badger fans celebrate "Jump Around" before the start of the fourth quarter during the game against the Akron Zips at Camp Randall Stadium. Wisconsin defeated Akron 54-10. Mandatory Credit: Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

Mandatory Credit: Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

Get the Crowd Amped Early

Wisconsin Football fans should have no issue getting excited for Saturday’s contest, but it always helps to get the crowd into the game early. It obviously worked in 2010 when Ohio State came to town, as David Gilreath took an 88 yard kick back for a touchdown to start the game, getting the Wisconsin faithful loud early and leading them to a win against the Top Ranked Buckeyes. Its also important to remember that despite Ohio State’s success so far this season, they remain very young all across their roster. Getting the early jump and getting the crowd into the game can have a big impact, as the young Buckeyes have yet to be road tested as they dominated from the beginning at Oklahoma. If the Badgers can jump early, they can fluster a young team and come out with a victory on Saturday.

Sep 10, 2016; Madison, WI, USA; Wisconsin Badgers head coach Paul Chryst looks at the scoreboard during a contested call during the game against the Akron Zips at Camp Randall Stadium. Wisconsin defeated Akron 54-10. Mandatory Credit: Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

Mandatory Credit: Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

Control the Pace of Play

While slowing the game down is more of a Wisconsin Basketball trait, Wisconsin football is notorious for it too. For the Badgers, a key to the game will be controlling the time of possession and preventing a high scoring game. Wisconsin’s D should have no issue doing that, but its still a key to establish. Wisconsin does not want to get into a shootout, so keeping the score low, and allowing the defense to work their magic is vital. The Badgers learned a lot from their loss at Michigan, as they lost the time of possession battle which led the defense to get wore down over time. The Badgers will have to put together drives and control possession like they have in the past to keep the games within their comfort zone.

. Michigan won 14-7. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Don’t Get Beat by the Deep Ball

We saw the game winner for Michigan on Saturday, and the Badgers will have to prevent that from happening in this week’s contest. Wisconsin’s front seven can shut down Ohio State’s running and short passing if they play as they have so far this season, but must be careful to not creep up too much and get burnt on the deep ball. Wisconsin’s corners have been relativity good so far this season, but with the uncertainty of Nickel Corner Natrell Jamerson playing, Wisconsin will be thin on the outside again. A positive for the Badgers is that JT Barrett is inaccurate with the deep ball, and if the Badgers have pressure in his face as they normally do to opposing quarterbacks they will be able to prevent accurate deep passes.

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