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All things pigskin.

1. It started off a lot like 2010, it ended up a lot like 2012, and there was an unhealthy dose of 2013 thrown into the mix. Anyone who thought that this was going to be a redux of 2014 was disabused of that notion about two minutes into the game. Here, let me explain:

2. In the 2010 contest between Ohio State and Wisconsin, the Badgers opened up a 21-0 lead early in the second quarter and never looked back en route to a 31-18 upset victory over the #1 Buckeyes. This year the early script was much the same, with the Badgers scoring a touchdown with 6:17 left in the first quarter to take a 10-0 lead over the #2 ranked Buckeyes. At that point, the Badgers had run 12 plays for 147 yards (12.25 average) and 10 points, while the listless Buckeyes had run 10 plays for 22 yards (2.2 average) and zero points.

3. The Buckeyes were on the verge of a 2010-style blowout, but the offense rebounded with a much-needed scoring drive (11 plays, 67 yards for a field goal), and the defense stiffened somewhat before the half, allowing 30 plays for 156 yards (a still unacceptable 5.2 average) and 6 points on a pair of short field goals (32 yards, 22 yards). The offense was able to add another field goal to make the score 16-6 at the half, which was quite a difference from the last time the two teams met: In the 2014 Big Ten Championship Game, Ohio State led 38-0 at halftime and eventually won the game by the score of 59-0, the largest margin of victory in the series (tied with 1979, also a 59-0 rout by Ohio State).

4. In the third quarter, the Buckeye defense held Wisconsin to 11 plays for 11 yards, an interception, and no points. Meanwhile, the offense got into gear, scoring touchdowns late in the third quarter and early in the fourth quarter to build a 20-16 lead. Then the defense fell asleep once again, allowing an 11-play, 81-yard drive that was highlighted by a 36-yard pass completion on third-and-9 from Wisconsin's own 20-yard line.

5. The Buckeye offense responded...

1. The University of Wisconsin is located in Madison, the capital of Wisconsin, about an hour-and-a-half due west of Milwaukee. UW is the state's public flagship, and is a land-grant and sea-grant The school's motto is Numen Lumen, which is a popular line from the sit-com Seinfeld.

2. Wisconsin's colors are cardinal and white. The badger was adopted as Wisconsin's mascot in 1889. According to Wikipedia (always 100% accurate), "Wisconsin was dubbed the Badger State because of the lead miners who first settled there in the 1820s and 1830s. Without shelter in the winter, they had to live like badgers in tunnels burrowed into hillsides." That story is so hokey that it might actually be true.

3. The name of the school's mascot is Buckingham U. Badger, more commonly known as simply Bucky Badger. Wisconsin's official fight song is On, Wisconsin, but the school is more noted for playing House of Pain's Jump Around between the third and fourth quarters of every home game.

4. Wisconsin has played football since 1889, and their overall record is 678-488-53, for a .578 winning percentage.

5. Wisconsin became a charter member of the Big Ten in 1896. Wisconsin's record in Big Ten play is 342-355-36, for a .491 winning percentage. The Badgers have 14 Big Ten championships, including the conference's initial championship in 1896. The Badgers last won the conference title in 2012, which was their third in a row.

6. Wisconsin has never won a recognized national championship. The closest that the Badgers have come to a national title were in 1942 when they finished #3 in the final AP poll with a record of 8-1-1; and in 1962 when they finished #2 in both major polls with a record of 8-2-0.

Games with Ohio State played a major role in both those near-miss seasons. On October 31, 1942, the Badgers beat the...
1. Ohio State scored 38 points and gained 383 yards against Indiana, which were far below the Buckeyes' averages in points per game (57.0) and yards per game (576.3). Indiana scored 17 points and 281 total yards, which caused the Buckeyes' defensive numbers to take a slight hit as well:

CategoryOSU Statistic-NCAA Rank-
Scoring Offense53.2 ppg3rd
Scoring Defense10.8 ppg2nd
Point Differential42.4 ppg1st
Total Offense537.6 ypg5th
Total Defense246.4 ypg4th
Yardage Differential291.2 ypg1st
Rushing Offense323.6 ypg3rd
Rushing Defense97.8 ypg9th
Passing Offense214.0 ypg86th
Passing Defense148.6 ypg5th
Pass Efficiency Offense163.5410th
Pass Efficiency Defense82.642nd
3rd Down Offense.5295th
3rd Down Defense.28915th
Red Zone Offense.89738th
Red Zone Defense.5831st
Sacks2.20 / game60th
Sacks Allowed0.60 / game2nd
Net Punting46.71 yds2nd
Turnover Margin1.60 / game5th
Time of Possession36:004th

2. Here's how Ohio State and Wisconsin stack up in the major offensive and defensive categories. The Buckeyes are top 5 in all categories, while the...
1. #2 Ohio State 38, Indiana 17: This game was closer than the score indicated. Indiana had a chance to make it a one score game in the fourth quarter, but turned the ball over on downs deep in the red zone. Ohio State came into the game averaging 57 points and 576 total yards, but were held to just 38 points and 383 total yards (only 93 passing yards) by a surprisingly stingy Indiana defense. The Buckeye defense was spotty until midway through the third quarter when they finally clamped down, allowing the Hoosiers just 22 yards on their final 19 plays.

2. #4 Michigan 78, Rutgers 0: Rutgers had 35 total yards; completed just 2 of 18 passes; was 0 for 17 on third downs, and punted the ball 16 times. Needless to say, Michigan took advantage of all that ineptitude.

3. Brigham Young 31, Michigan State 14: Well, it looks like Sparty's magical three-year run is finally over. After posting a 36-5 record (.878 winning percentage) over the past three seasons, with two Big Ten titles and two major bowl victories, Michigan State has fallen to 2-3 on the 2016 season. Unlike the true big boys of college football, Sparty doesn't reload, they rebuild. Maybe they'll be back in 2017. In the meantime they are squarely in the sights of Ohio State and Michigan, both of whom have revenge on their minds. Look out, Sparty!

4. Penn State 38, Maryland 14: The Nittany Lions improved to 4-2 on the season, and Maryland came back to earth after winning their first five games. The score wasn't close, and neither were the stat lines: Penn State crushed Maryland in total yards (524 to 270); first downs (28 to 11); and time of possession...
1. A win is a win is a win ... but, man, that game was painful to watch. The final score was 38-17 in favor of Ohio State, but it sure didn't seem like a three-touchdown win. And for much of the game, it didn't seem like the final margin would be anywhere near 21 points. Ohio State took a 17-3 lead (on a Curtis Samuel 5-yard touchdown run) with 3:32 left in the first half. Then Tyler Durbin booted the ensuing kick-off out of bounds, giving Indiana the ball at their own 35-yard line. The Buckeye defense forced a 3rd-and-6 at midfield, but on the next two plays the Hoosiers connected on a 32-yard pass into the red zone and an 18-yard pass for a touchdown, cutting the Ohio State lead to 17-10 with just 1:03 left in the half. Thanks to a 91-yard kick-off return by Parris Campbell, the Buckeyes were able to regain their two-touchdown lead right before halftime.

Indiana went on a 13-play, 89-yard touchdown drive to start the second half, once again making it a one-score game, 24-17. The Buckeyes would score a third quarter touchdown of their own to push the lead back to fourteen points, 31-17. After a J.T Barrett interception, Indiana began at the Ohio State 13-yard line with 11:34 left in the game. With the short field, the Hoosiers had an excellent chance to make it a one-score game down the stretch. Indiana gained eight yards on first down, but then the Buckeye defense stuffed three straight plays and the offense took over on downs at their own 4-yard line. After an Ohio State punt, Indiana once again turned the ball over own downs, this time in their own territory. Ohio State scored a short field touchdown to bump the lead up to 38-17, and that was all she wrote.

2. It seems like every so often the Buckeye offense goes into a funk and yesterday was one of those games. J.T Barrett entered the game completing 68.2...

1. Indiana University is located in Bloomington, about an hour southwest of Indianapolis. IU is the state's flagship public university. The school's motto is Lux et Veritas, which translates to: "Light and Truth".

2. Indiana's colors are crimson and cream and the mascot is the Hoosier. No one knows exactly what a Hoosier is, other than a term for a resident of Indiana. Some say that Hoosier comes from an old Indian word, hoosa, which apparently meant "maize". Whatever the origin of the obscure word, Hoosier now apparently means: "friendliness, neighborliness, an idyllic contentment with Indiana landscape and life." At least that's according to the Indiana Historical Society, which is probably not the most objective source for such information.

3. Indiana has played football for 129 years. The Hoosiers have been good at football for exactly ten of those 129 years. Indiana's overall record is 475-665-44, for a .438 winning percentage. Among Power5 teams, only Wake Forest (.407) has a worse winning percentage.

4. Indiana is not a charter member of the Big Ten, but they have been in the conference since 1900. In conference play, the Hoosiers have a record of 205-495-24 (.300 winning percentage), and have been outscored 17,590 to 11,047 (24.3 to 15.1 on a per game basis). In 115 years of participating in Big Ten football, the Hoosiers have just two conference championships (1945; 1967).

5. Indiana does not have a recognized national championship, or any unrecognized national championships for that matter. The closest that Indiana has come to a national championship was the 1945 season when the team compiled a fine record of 9-0-1 (the Hoosiers' only undefeated season in their history). Indiana's only blemish was a 7-7 tie with...
1. If you look at the numbers, then Ohio State enters this game as the best team in the country. The most obvious numbers are the 4-0 record and the #2 ranking in both major polls. But here are some more numbers to consider:

CategoryOSU Statistic-NCAA Rank-
Scoring Offense57.0 ppg3rd
Scoring Defense9.3 ppg1st
Point Differential47.7 ppg1st
Total Offense576.3 ypg4th
Total Defense237.8 ypg3rd
Yardage Differential338.5 ypg1st
Rushing Offense332.0 ypg3rd
Rushing Defense97.5 ypg12th
Passing Offense244.3 ypg58th
Passing Defense140.3 ypg6th
Pass Efficiency Offense177.416th
Pass Efficiency Defense73.971st
3rd Down Offense.5711st
3rd Down Defense.27112th
Red Zone Offense.91329th
Red Zone Defense.5001st
Sacks2.50 / game44th
Sacks Allowed0.50 / game3rd
Net Punting47.18 yds2nd
Turnover Margin2.00 / game2nd
Time of Possession36:452nd

2. H-back Curtis Samuel is the Buckeyes' leading receiver (23 receptions, 345 yards, 3 touchdowns) and second-leading rusher (41 carries, 328 yards, 2 touchdowns). Samuel is...
1. #2 Ohio State vs Rutgers. In a battles of scarlets, the Buckeyes annihilated the Knights, 58-0. And the internal numbers were worse than the score. Ohio State had 669 yards of total offense to just 116 for Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights actually had a fairly good first quarter, gaining 74 total yards and holding the Buckeyes to just 6 points. However, the Knights' offense gained just 42 yards the rest of the game (including exactly 0 passing yards) and the defense fell apart. Leading the way for Ohio State were quarterback J.T. Barrett (284 total yards, 4 total TD) and running backs Mike Weber (147 all-purpose yards, 1 TD) and Curtis Samuel (144 all-purpose yards, 1 TD).

2. #4 Michigan vs #8 Wisconsin. These two teams played just the kind of football game that the Big Ten is noted for: tough, hard-nosed, defense-oriented, and boring as Hell. Michigan won, 14-7, thanks to a 46-yard TD pass from Wilton Speight to Amara Darboh midway through the fourth quarter. Both offenses were awful, as the teams combined for just 508 yards (remember that Ohio State had 669 yards this week all by itself); were a combined 7 for 31 (22.6%) on 3rd and 4th downs; and combined for 16 punts. Wisconsin's offense was an order of magnitude more awful, as the Badgers managed just 71 yards rushing on 28 carries (2.5 average) and 88 yards passing (3.3 yards per attempt). Wisconsin quarterback Alex Hornibrook was at the center of this dumpster fire, with 9 completions in 25 attempts (36.0%) for 88 yards, 3 interceptions, 2 sacks, and 1 touchdown. The Badgers managed just 8 first downs for the game, which is one less than Rutgers had in a 58-point blow-out loss to Ohio State. That's some ugly stuff right there.

3. Maryland vs Purdue. Don't look now but the Maryland Terrapins are 4-0,...
1. Ohio State defeated Rutgers 58-0 yesterday, but the actual beat down was much worse than the score would indicate. Coming off a bye week, the Buckeyes were predictably sluggish in the early going and held just a 6-0 lead after the first quarter. The team slowly woke up and the offense scored three touchdowns in the final six minutes of the second quarter to take a 30-0 lead into the locker room at halftime. At that point, the only thing that remained to be seen was whether Rutgers had enough fight in them to make the final score respectable. They didn't.

2. The Buckeyes posted 669 yards of total offense, including 410 yards on the ground. Red shirt freshman Mike Weber led the way with 14 carries for 144 yards (10.3 average) and a 46-yard touchdown, while true freshman Demario McCall added 85 yards on 10 carries (8.5 average) and a 20-yard touchdown. True freshman Antonio Williams saw his first game action and carried the ball 6 times for 28 yards (4.7 average).

3. Junior quarterback J.T. Barrett was his typical un-flashy efficient self yesterday, rushing 5 times for 46 yards (9.2 average) and completing 21 of 29 passes for 238 yards and 4 touchdowns (also an interception). For his career, Barrett now has 59 touchdown passes, a new Ohio State record. Barrett has 84 total touchdowns for his career, which currently places him third at Ohio State behind Braxton Miller (88 TDs) and Art Schlichter (85 TDs).

4. Junior running back Curtis Samuel is bidding to become the first Ohio State football player to amass 1,000 yards rushing and 1,000 yards receiving during his Buckeye career. Samuel entered the 2016 season with 525 yards rushing and 384 yards receiving. After yesterday's contest (68 yards rushing, 86 yards receiving), Samuel now has 328 yards rushing and 345 yards receiving for the season. At his current pace,...

1. Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, was founded in 1766 as Queens College. Rutgers is the 8th-oldest college in the United States, and one of the nine "Colonial Colleges" that were chartered prior to the American Revolution. Rutgers is located in New Brunswick New Jersey, although the school's football stadium is located in nearby Piscataway. The school is named for Colonel Henry Rutgers, a Revolutionary War hero who in 1825 donated $5,000 (equivalent to $105,000 today) and a bronze bell (still in use) to the college. Rutgers's athletic teams are known as the Scarlet Knights and their mascot is known simply as The Scarlet Knight.

2. Rutgers is famous for playing in the first ever football game, on November 6, 1869, versus Princeton. The Scarlet Knights won that game, which has been described as a cross between soccer and rugby, by the unlikely score of 6-4. The two teams played a week later and Princeton prevailed in the rematch, 8-0. Both teams finished the season with identical 1-1 records, and they split the inaugural (retroactive) national championship awarded by the National Championship Foundation and recognized by the NCAA.

3. Rutgers's split national championship in 1869 is the only one in school history. The Scarlet Knights' title drought is 146 years and counting, a streak that would make the Chicago Cubs blush.

4. Rutgers has an overall record of 653-633-42, for a .508 winning percentage. The Scarlet Knights have 33 conference championships, but only one in a major conference (Big East co-championship in 2012). Thirty-one of Rutgers's conference titles were in the former Middle Three Conference (in existence from 1929 to 1975), which also contained Lafayette and Lehigh (both now FCS schools and members of the Patriot League).

5. After leaving the Middle Three Conference, Rutgers became an independent school from 1976 to 1990....