No. 5 Ohio State bowls over No. 13 Wisconsin, 59-0, for Big Ten title

No. 5 Ohio State bowls over No. 13 Wisconsin, 59-0, for Big Ten title
Ohio State wide receiver Devin Smith hauls in a touchdown pass against Wisconsin cornerback Derrick Tindal (25) in the first half of the Big Ten championship game. (Sam Riche / TNS)
Ohio State

's No. 3 quarterback looked every bit as good as the other two.


Cardale Jones even did something his two all-conference predecessors could not. He led the Buckeyes to a Big Ten title.

Jones threw for 257 yards and three touchdowns and was named the game's MVP in his first career start, leading No. 5 Ohio State to a 59-0 rout of No. 13 Wisconsin in Saturday night's conference championship game — an emphatic statement to the College Football Playoff selection committee.

"I don't think there's any doubt we're one of the top four teams in America," Coach Urban Meyer said after one of the most lopsided title games in Big Ten history.

Ohio State hopes Saturday's impressive blowout at least keeps them in the conversation as the final deliberations take place Sunday.

Ohio State (12-1, 8-0 Big Ten) has won 11 straight since losing at home to Virginia Tech and has beaten nine bowl-eligible teams all but two by double digits. Still, some wondered whether losing record-setting quarterback J.T. Barrett with a broken right ankle in the regular season finale after losing Heisman Trophy candidate Braxton Miller with a right shoulder injury in August, would be too much to overcome.

Not a chance.

Jones was efficient and effective Saturday, going 12 of 17.

Ezekiel Elliott carried 12 times for 150 yards and two scores in the first half and finished with 20 carries for a career high 220 yards.

The defense completely shut down Wisconsin (10-3, 7-1) and kept Melvin Gordon, the nation's leading rusher, under control. Gordon ran 26 times for 76 yards, his second-worst game of the season.

The game came after an emotional week for the Buckeyes, who learned of the death of defensive linemen Kosta Karageorge one day after Barrett's season-ending injury.

Ohio State honored Karageorge by wearing a decal with his jersey number, 53, on the back of its helmets. Defensive tackle Michael Bennett changed his jersey number from 63 to 53, and before the national anthem, there was a moment of silence to honor Karageorge, who was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.