INDIANAPOLIS, Mich. – Second-ranked Ohio State, which is atop the College Football Playoff rankings, looks to remain perfect when it faces No. 10 Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship game on Saturday in Indianapolis. The Buckeyes capped a dominant regular season with a 56-27 rout of 18th-ranked Michigan to extend their winning streak against the Wolverines to eight games, which is the longest in the rivalry, and they hope to clinch a spot in the CFP by knocking off the Badgers (No. 8 CFP) for the second time, following a 38-17 victory on Oct. 26.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Ohio State -16.5
"I think Wisconsin got better as the season went on and it's going to be a big challenge," Ohio State coach Ryan Day told reporters. "The end of the first race is coming on Saturday night and we have to accelerate through to the finish line." Wisconsin fell two games behind No.15 Minnesota following its loss to the Buckeyes before reeling off four consecutive wins, including a 38-17 victory over the Golden Gophers in the regular-season finale, to book their ticket to the conference championship game. The Badgers are making their sixth Big Ten title game appearance, but have lost their previous three trips to Indianapolis, and hope to avenge a 27-21 loss to Ohio State in 2017. "I''m always grateful when a team earns the right to play more games," Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst told reporters. "I wasn't sure if we would be playing this week and I'm proud of all the work that went in to give us this opportunity."
ABOUT WISCONSIN (10-2, 7-2 Big Ten)
Jack Coan completed 15-of-22 passes for 280 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the win against Minnesota to help the Badgers capture their fourth Big Ten West Division title in the last six years. Jonathan Taylor accounted for 115 yards and three touchdowns against the Golden Gophers to move within 68 yards of becoming the seventh player in FBS history to reach 6,000 rushing yards (including bowl games). Wide receiver A.J. Taylor (leg), cornerback Rachad Wildgoose (lower body), and offensive lineman David Moorman (leg) are all questionable for Saturday’s clash.
ABOUT OHIO STATE (12-0, 9-0)
Heisman hopeful Justin Fields threw for 302 yards and a career-high four touchdowns as the Buckeyes won their fourth consecutive game in Ann Arbor for the first time in program history. J.K. Dobbins was named the Big Ten Player of the Week after rushing for a career-high 211 yards and four touchdowns against the Wolverines, which vaulted him past Ezekiel Elliott (3,961) into second place on the program’s all-time list with 4,113. Fields sprained his MCL against Michigan, but is expected to play on Saturday while defensive back Shaun Wade is questionable after missing the regular-season finale with an undisclosed injury.
1. Dobbins has rushed for over 100 yards in eight of his 12 games this season.
2. Taylor leads the nation in total touchdowns (25).
3. Ohio State WR Chris Olave has caught seven touchdown passes in his last six games.
PREDICTION: Ohio State 42, Wisconsin 17