Rapid Reaction: Ohio State starts fast in first quarter of Big Ten title game

Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

Rapid Reaction: Ohio State starts fast in first quarter of Big Ten title game

BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is posting quick takes after each quarter of the Big Ten Football Championship from his perch at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Also, follow him on Twitter @BTNTomDienhart.

WISCONSIN vs. OHIO STATE: BOX | PBP | AP RECAP | UW VIDEO | OSU VIDEO

FIRST QUARTER

Quick take: This game couldn’t have started any better for Ohio State, which scored on two of its first three drives to jump out to a 14-0 lead. Not having to play from behind, no doubt, will help QB Cardale Jones, who is making his first career start.

Key moment: Trailing 14-0 and needing to show some life, Wisconsin QB Joel Stave had his team marching. On first down from the Wisconsin 47, however, Stave rolled to his right and fired a pass that was picked off by OSU safety Vonn Bell to snuff out the Badgers’ third drive of the game.

Key play: Facing a 1st-and-10 from the Wisconsin 39-yard line, Cardale Jones heaved a bomb to the corner of the end zone that Devin Smith cradled after slipping around a defender. It capped a 6-play, 77-yard opening drive that staked the Buckeyes to a 7-0 lead, as Jones hit both of his pass attempts.

Key number: 224, yards for Ohio State. Wisconsin entered the game No. 2 in the nation in total defense, yielding 260.3 ypg.

Key penalty: None.

Key score: On their third drive of the game, the Buckeyes needed one play to score. Sophomore RB Ezekiel Elliott burst up the middle for an 81-yard TD run to stake Ohio State to a 14-0 lead with 4:48 left in the opening stanza.

About Tom Dienhart BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men’s basketball for BTN.com and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at btn.com/tomdienhart, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.

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