Saturday, October 29, 2011
1Q update: Wisconsin takes early lead
By Adam Rittenberg
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Some quick thoughts at the end of one quarter at The Shoe, as No. 15 Wisconsin leads Ohio State 7-0.
- Wisconsin doesn't appear to have a hangover from its heartbreaking loss to Michigan State. The Badgers took the field with energy and avoided major lapses in the first 15 minutes. Russell Wilson, who finished the Michigan State game strong, completed 6 of 7 passes for 86 yards and a touchdown.
- While Wilson gets most of the credit, junior running back Montee Ball is becoming the biggest difference-maker for Wisconsin's offense. The Badgers looked different with Ball on the field in East Lansing, and certainly lost something midway through the game with their top ball-carrier on the sideline. Ball made a terrific catch and run for a 22-yard touchdown on a pass thrown slightly behind him and nearly into the arms of Ohio State safety Christian Bryant.
- After getting dominated at the line of scrimmage last year in Madison, Ohio State is doing a better job so far tonight. The defensive line has limited Ball and James White on between-the-tackles run and got a big stop on third-and-short to force a punt. Wisconsin had just 19 rush yards on eight carries in the quarter.
- Ohio State already has matched its pass completions total (1) from the Illinois win on Oct. 15. The Buckeyes are opening things up more and giving Miller chances to air it out, but his first instinct often remains to run the ball. The freshman also isn't getting much help from his targets, as Corey Brown dropped a deep pass and Jake Stoneburner dropped what would have been a first-down strike on a crossing route.
- Linebacker Mike Taylor and defensive end Brendan Kelly have stood out for Wisconsin's defense.