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Welcome To Week 9: Wisconsin

By October 23, 2023 (9:00 am)Football

Ohio State will be looking to carry momentum from Saturday’s big win over Penn State into Camp Randall Stadium this weekend, set to visit Wisconsin for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff on NBC.

The wrinkle, of course, is the man behind the headset for Wisconsin: former Ohio State player and assistant coach Luke Fickell, now lead man for the Badgers, who will play the Buckeyes for just the second time as a head coach and hopes to break a nine-game winning steak for Ohio State against the Badgers, one that – ironically enough – he started as interim head coach for the Buckeyes in 2011.

Check back every Monday at for a brief preview of the Buckeyes’ upcoming opponent, with stories and features throughout the week.

OPPONENT: Wisconsin (5-2)

Wisconsin’s season has not gone to plan in a historically weak Big Ten West, but things are still looking up for the Badgers based on how things had gone in previous seasons under Paul Chryst.

Fickell has Wisconsin off to a 5-2 start, including a last-minute 25-21 win over Illinois this past weekend in which the Badgers scored the winning touchdown with under 30 seconds remaining. But the quarterback behind that drive was Braedyn Locke, because expected starter Tanner Mordecai – who transferred to Wisconsin from SMU this offseason – suffered a broken hand a few weeks back and is out for the foreseeable future.

With the redshirt freshman Locke stepping into a big role, Fickell and offensive coordinator Phil Longo, air raid extraordinaire, will shift the focus of the offense back to star running back Braelon Allen, who has been as good as ever in his junior season for the Badgers. Along with Allen – not to mention Kaytron Allen, making for an impressive rushing duo – the Badgers’ defense has mostly gotten the job done this season, allowing just 18.3 points and 334.1 yards per game.

Wisconsin is led by several returning starters in the front seven, including defensive lineman Gio Paez and linebackers Maema Njongmeta, C.J. Goetz and Jordan Turner, but the real star of the show has been the Badgers’ secondary. Led by safety Hunter Wohler and cornerback Ricardo Hallman, Wisconsin has allowed just 196.3 passing yards per game this season, which could make matters worse for an Ohio State defense that has struggled at times to find a rhythm on offense.


  • RB Braelon Allen: Allen has been one of the best running backs in college football since his arrival at Wisconsin, and he has not slowed down in his junior season, with 704 yards on 120 carries (5.9 per attempt) with eight touchdowns.
  • WR Will Pauling: Far and away Wisconsin’s best receiver this season, Pauling – who transferred from Cincinnati, joining his former head coach – leads the Badgers with 37 receptions and 398 yards this season, and should be a security blanket for Locke.
  • CB Ricardo Hallman: He has been a ballhawk for Wisconsin’s defense this season, leading the Badgers with four interceptions, one of which was returned 95 yards for a touchdown.
  • LB Darryl Peterson: A leader for Wisconsin’s defense, Peterson has notched six tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks this season for the Badgers.

GAME INFO: Camp Randall Stadium, 7:30 p.m., NBC

This will be Ohio State’s second primetime game of the season, following the team’s win at Notre Dame in September, and the Buckeyes will also be back on NBC in a couple of weeks when they host Michigan State on Nov. 11 at 7:30 p.m.

SERIES HISTORY: This will be the 86th all-time meeting between Ohio State and Wisconsin, with the Buckeyes bringing a nine-game winning streak into this year’s contest.

The Badgers last won in 2010, in a 31-18 victory in Camp Randall Stadium, while Wisconsin has not won in Columbus since 2004. Three of Ohio State’s wins during this current streak have coming in the Big Ten Championship Game, including a 59-0 blanking in 2014 that helped propel the Buckeyes to a College Football Playoff berth and eventual national championship.

Sept. 2at IndianaBloomington, Ind.W, 23-3CBS
Sept. 9Youngstown StateColumbusW, 35-7BTN
Sept. 16Western KentuckyColumbusW, 63-10FOX
Sept. 23at Notre DameSouth Bend. Ind. W, 17-14NBC/Peacock
Oct. 7MarylandColumbusW, 37-17FOX
Oct. 14at PurdueWest Lafayette, Ind.W, 41-7Peacock
Oct. 21Penn StateColumbusW, 20-12FOX
Oct. 28at WisconsinMadison, Wisc.W, 24-10NBC
Nov. 4at RutgersPiscataway, N.J.W, 35-16CBS
Nov. 11Michigan StateColumbusW, 38-3NBC/Peacock
Nov. 18MinnesotaColumbusW, 37-3BTN
Nov. 25at MichiganAnn Arbor, Mich.L, 30-24FOX
Dec. 29Cotton Bowl vs. MissouriArlington, TexasL, 14-3ESPN
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