Grading the Badgers: Offensive line and tight ends

The key to any good offense starts up front with the offensive line and Wisconsin had a very good one in the 2017 season. Three Badgers offensive lineman were recognized as All-Americans for the season with Michael Deiter, David Edwards, and Beau Benzschawel claiming a place on one of the various teams.

In the last 10 seasons, Wisconsin has had 14 offensive linemen recognized as All-American. The offensive identity of the team is always to have a good rushing attack. Wisconsin certainly fulfilled that this season as the Badgers were able to run for 229.5 yards per game, good enough for 21st nationally.

While Deiter, Edwards, and Benzschawel were all deserving of the national recognition that they received, it’s also worth noting that center Tyler Biadasz was also recognized as a consensus All-Big Ten third team member for his season.

While it’s tough for the common person to be able to break down individual offensive line play, it’s easy to tell that the offense typically will only go as far as the men up front take it. Wisconsin was able average over 30 points per game this season which certainly wouldn’t have been possible without the efforts of this outstanding offensive line.

To simplify things even more, running back Jonathan Taylor would not be nearly as successful as he was without an offensive line this good.

The offensive line also provided what was arguably the most entertaining moment of the season when Deiter caught a lateral from quarterback Alex Hornibrook against Illinois and rumbled 4 yards into the end zone.

The tight end is often thought of as an extension of the offensive line in the type of offense that Wisconsin runs. The Badgers certainly utilized that position this season with Troy Fumagalli as the main threat. Fumagalli, like three of the offensive linemen, was named an All-American by several outlets for his season.

Despite missing two games due to a leg injury, he was the leading receiver for Wisconsin in 2017. He totaled 43 catches for 516 yards and reached the end zone four times. Fumagalli was Hornibrook’s security blanket throughout the season, often being found on third down for conversions or in the red zone.

Wisconsin also received contributions from Zander Neuville and Kyle Penniston throughout the year at the tight end spot. Those two primarily served more purpose as run-blockers, although they did combine for 16 catches for 137 yards and three touchdowns on the year.

GRADE: A – Simply put, offensive lines don’t get the amount of love that they deserve, but Wisconsin had one of the best in the country this season. The Badgers do not reach the heights offensively that they did this season without a really strong group up front.

Big Ten Championship; Three keys to Wisconsin winning

INDIANAPOLIS – Wisconsin heads into Saturday’s matchup with Ohio State searching for their first Big Ten Championship since 2012. The Badgers enter the game perfect on the season at 12-0, but haven’t faced a team quite as talented as the Buckeyes to date.

The Buckeyes come into the contest at 10-2 on the season. At times, they’ve looked like one of the best teams in the country, but on other occasions they’ve looked rather pedestrian.

Here are three keys to a Badger win on Saturday night:

1. Ohio State defensive lineman Nick Bosa was awarded as the Big Ten Smith-Brown Defensive Lineman of the year earlier this week. The matchup between Bosa and the Wisconsin offensive line will be a very interesting one to watch on Saturday. So far, this season Bosa has 12.5 tackles for loss and six sacks and both of those marks pace the Buckeyes.

“I think [Ohio State] and Michigan had some of the best edge rushers I’ve seen this year,” offensive lineman Michael Deiter said earlier this week. “One-hundred percent it will be my biggest challenge, especially on this stage, out there at tackle.”

Not only was Deiter speaking about Bosa, but also defensive end Sam Hubbard. Hubbard was a consensus second-team All-Big Ten this year and has 10 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks on the year. Things don’t end there for the Buckeye defensive line, Tyquan Lewis was also a consensus first-team selection, and Dre’mont Jones was named to the third-team by the media.

Wisconsin likely has the best offensive line that Ohio State has faced this season, but this will be a true battle of strengths. The Badgers must be able to open holes for freshman running back Jonathan Taylor to help keep quarterback Alex Hornibrook out of obvious passing situations. When the Badgers do fall into obvious throwing situations, the offensive line must keep Hornibrook upright.

2. Hornibrook’s favorite target this year has been senior tight end Troy Fumagalli. He leads the Badgers with 38 grabs on the season for 471 yards and four touchdowns despite missing some time due to injury. On the contrary, Ohio State has struggled defending tight ends in the play-action passing game at times this season.

Against Iowa, the Buckeyes allowed a combined nine catches for 125 yards and four touchdowns to tight ends T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant of the Hawkeyes. Those two aren’t necessarily mirror images of Fumagalli, but the area of weakness remains on the Buckeye defense. As recent as last week there were multiple instances of intermediate routes being open for Michigan’s offense. Wolverines’ quarterback John O’Korn was unable to find his teammates, however.

Hornibrook should be able to find Fumagalli in key situations, just as he has often attempted to do this year. That’s an area of weakness that the Badgers should look to exploit.

3. When Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett was removed from the game against Michigan last week immediate uncertainty surrounding the quarterback position for the Buckeyes emerged. Backup Dwayne Haskins entered the game for Ohio State and helped them to win the game.

News broke during the week that Barrett had surgery on his knee on Sunday following the Michigan game but is expected to play against Wisconsin. His effectiveness is yet to be seen. Ohio State head coach told the media that Barrett had practiced throughout the week and is cleared to play, but never declared Barrett the starter.

Barrett is a quarterback that’s able to extend plays and escape the pocket when things break down around him. If his knee isn’t right and his running ability suffers because of that, Wisconsin’s already stout defense could be in even better position. The Badgers would be able to key on running backs Mike Weber and J.K. Dobbins in running situations and presumably be able to get to Barrett easier when the pocket collapses.

Barrett has been inconsistent throwing the ball, even when he’s been healthy. Wisconsin’s defense could take control of the game and force Barrett into mistakes and make things much more difficult than they normally do. Wisconsin’s chance at winning improves exponentially if those things happen.

Prediction: Early in the week I was leaning towards taking the Buckeyes, and I did go on record picking them before news of Barrett’s knee procedure broke. His health is my deciding factor, it takes an incredibly special athlete to be able to play in a football game six days after having surgery. While I commend Barrett for having the guts to try and suit up with his teammates, I don’t think he’ll play well enough for the Buckeyes to win.

Wisconsin 24-21

Troy Fumagalli named Big Ten Tight End of the Year

MADISONWisconsin tight end Troy Fumagalli has been named the Big Ten Kwalick-Clark Tight End of the Year, the conference announced.

Fumagalli has played in 11 games this season, accumulating 38 receptions for 471 yards and four touchdowns. In his career, he’s caught 127 passes for 1,551 yards and seven touchdowns.

Fumagalli, an Aurora, Ill. native was also named as an All-Big Ten honoree this week as well. He was named to the first-team by the coaches and the second-team by the media. Fumagalli started his career at Wisconsin as a walk-on and was placed on scholarship prior to the beginning of the 2015 season.

Fumagalli is the second Badger to win the award, joining Jacob Pedersen in 2012.

(9) Wisconsin 38, Nebraska 17: 2-minute drill

LINCOLN, Neb. — Freshman Jonathan Taylor ran for 249 yards and two touchdowns as Wisconsin hammered Nebraska 38-17 Saturday night at Memorial Stadium to move to 5-0 for the first time since 2011.

Play of the Game

Nebraska had just gotten the stadium rocking with an 80-yard touchdown catch and run from wide receiver Stanley Morgan to get within 10-7 late in the second quarter. But Wisconsin had an answer — or more accurately — Taylor had an answer. On the first play of the ensuing drive, the running back got the handoff, burst through a hole on the right side and outran the safety for a 75-yard score to give the Badgers the momentum back.

Game Balls

Offense: Jonathan Taylor

In his just his fifth college game, the New Jersey product topped the 200-yard mark for a second time this season. And he did it by averaging 10 yards per carry, showing off both his power, speed and agility that made him so productive in high school. It’s becoming more clear by the day that Wisconsin got an absolute steal in Taylor.

Defense: CB Nick Nelson

Facing what was the best group of wide receivers Wisconsin had seen so far, the Badgers’ top cornerback had perhaps his best game of the year. Nelson finished with a team-high three pass breakups, and was draped all over Nebraska’s pass catchers. Nelson has been good this season, but Saturday night he took it to another level.

Special Teams: Zach Hintze

Wisconsin kicked off seven times and Hintze put five of them in the end zone, while popping another one up that allowed the coverage team to get down and stop Nebraska at its own 17-yard line.

Video of the game

Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst talks to the media after the game
Linebacker Chris Orr on his interception return for a touchdown

In Case You Missed It

— Wisconsin’s captains were wide receiver Jazz Peavy, tight end Troy Fumagalli, safety Natrell Jamerson and defensive end Alec James.

— Walk-on Jason Erdmann replaced an injured Jon Dietzen at left guard late in the first half.

— After missing last week’s game against Northwestern with a leg injury, Fumagalli returned to the lineup and had three catches for 31 yards.

— After Nebraska tied the game at 17 with 10:43 left in the third quarter, Wisconsin ran the ball on 29 of the next 31 plays, outscoring the Huskers 21-0 in that stretch.

Inside the Numbers

131 — That’s how many points Wisconsin has outscored Nebraska in the seven games since the Huskers entered in the Big Ten in 2011. The Badgers are 6-1 in those games.

75 — That’s how long Jonathan Taylor’s second quarter touchdown run was — the longest play from scrimmage for the Badgers since an 88-yard catch and run by Melvin Gordon in 2014 against Iowa.

14 — That’s how many players have run for 200 yards against Nebraska. Of the 14, three of them are Badgers — Montee Ball (2012), Melvin Gordon (2012, 2014) and Jonathan Taylor (2017).

20 — That’s how many straight night games Nebraska had won at Memorial Stadium — a streak the Badgers stopped on Saturday night.

353 — That’s how many yards rushing Wisconsin had for the game, the most in a road game since 2012.

3 — That’s how many interceptions Wisconsin has returned for touchdowns this year, matching the most for the program in the last 20 years. The Badgers also had three in 1999 and 2010.

0 — That’s how many points Wisconsin’s defense allowed in the second half — the fourth time this year the Badgers haven’t allowed the opposing offense to score after halftime this year.

What’s Next

Wisconsin (5-0, 2-0) will return home to face Purdue (3-2, 1-1) at Camp Randall Stadium on Saturday.

Injury update on Wisconsin TE Troy Fumagalli

MADISON — It’s looking like Wisconsin will have the services of tight end Troy Fumagalli on Saturday at Nebraska.

“Troy’s been able to work every day this week and each day do a little bit more,” coach Paul Chryst told reporters. “Feel good [about him playing] barring any setback from [Thursday’s] work.”

Fumagalli is Wisconsin’s top offensive weapon, leading them in catches (15) and yards (236) despite missing last week’s game against Northwestern with a leg injury. In his place, sophomore Kyle Penniston and junior Zander Neuville combined for one catch.

Meanwhile, Chryst said that defensive end Isaiahh Loudermilk, who is listed as questionable with a leg injury, practiced on Thursday and he feels good about his chances of playing on Saturday. The 6-foot-7, 303-pound redshirt freshman is a vital component to Wisconsin’s front seven, especially with senior Chikwe Obasih still out with a knee injury.

Here is Wisconsin’s full injury report:

QUESTIONABLE
TE Troy Fumagalli (leg)
DE Isaiahh Loudermilk (leg)
K P.J. Rosowski (leg)

OUT
RB Taiwan Deal
DE Chikwe Obasih
WR George Rushing

OUT FOR SEASON

OLB Zack Baun (foot)
RB Sam Broadner (knee)
ILB Jack Cichy (knee)
ILB Mason Stokke (leg)

No. 9 Wisconsin overcomes a slow start to whip Utah State 59-10

MADISON — It took nearly 29 minutes, but No. 9 Wisconsin finally woke up. And once it did, the Badgers turned into a steamroller, scoring 59 unanswered points, including 49 in the second half, to beat Utah State 59-10 on Friday night at Camp Randall Stadium.

Play of the Game

Utah State led 10-7 with 1:01 left in the first half and had a first-and-10 at its own 18-yard line. The Badgers had just gotten their first points of the game, so it would have made sense for the Aggies to be satisfied with their lead and head into halftime. They apparently weren’t satisfied, as quarterback Kent Myers came out throwing and it turned into a disaster. His short toss to Carson Terrell on first down went off the receiver’s hands and right into the waiting arms of linebacker T.J. Edwards.

“That was huge,” safety D’Cota Dixon said afterwards. “It was the hammer and the nail. That’s exactly what you need, especially when you’re down. It was exactly what we needed.”

The interception only led to a field goal, but it was the first of many mistakes the rest of the way for Utah State, which would go on to turn the ball over four times.

Game Balls

Offense: TE Troy Fumagalli

Others were flashier, but the senior posted a career-high 105 yards receiving, picking up where he left off in Wisconsin’s Cotton Bowl victory last January.

His 15-yard catch on third-and-12 in the second quarter kept the Badgers first scoring drive of the game going, and then quarterback Alex Hornibrook found him wide open on third-and-2 early in the third quarter for a 23-yard touchdown.

With his big night, Fumagalli now sits fifth all-time in receiving yards for a tight end at Wisconsin, and will likely end up with the second-most by the time his career is over.

Defense: ILB T.J. Edwards

The junior was everywhere on Friday night, collecting seven tackles, one tackle for loss, picking off one pass and breaking up two more throws. His interception late in the second quarter proved to be the turning point in a game that Utah State led at that point.

But it wasn’t just the numbers for Edwards. It was the passion he played with, finishing off tackles with an emphasis. It was everything you’d expect out of one of the best linebackers in the Big Ten.

Special Teams: K Rafael Gaglianone

He only kicked one field goal — from just 29 yards — but Gaglianone gets the game ball because it was his first time on the field since suffering a season-ending back injury last September.

Wisconsin didn’t need his leg to win on Friday night, but history would suggest they’ll need it at some point this season.

Video of the Game

In their own words

Jonathan Taylor describes his first career touchdown, a 13-yard scamper in the third quarter.

Quote of the Day

“I always describe Coach Chryst as a dad away from home. He’s just the same guy. He’s very smooth, very calm, very collected. But, as a father would when a child needs to be disciplined and needs to be talked to, he will discipline us. He just honestly told us the truth. We were beating ourselves a lot.”

— Dixon on the loud and direct message that coach Paul Chryst gave the team at halftime on Friday night.

In Case You Missed It

— Wisconsin’s captains were defensive end Alec James, wide receiver Jazz Peavy, tight end Troy Fumagalli and safety Natrell Jamerson. The honorary captain was Al Toon, a member of UW’s Athletic Hall of Fame.

— Several true freshmen made their debuts on Friday, including running back Jonathan Taylor, wide receiver Danny Davis, quarterback Jack Coan, cornerback Madison Cone and long snapper Adam Bay.

— Fumagalli wore No. 48 in honor of senior linebacker Jack Cichy, who will miss the year with a torn ACL. Fumagalli said it was just a one time thing, but that he really wanted to do it to show Cichy how much he meant to the team.

— Junior Zander Neuville’s first career catch turned into his first career touchdown, as he tightroped down the sideline for the 28-yard score early in the third quarter. But it wouldn’t have been possible without the extra effort of Danny Davis, who managed to block three different guys to help get the tight end into the end zone.

— Wisconsin trailed 10-0 in the first half. It was the first time the Badgers had trailed by double digits in a non-conference home game since 2012 against — you guessed it — Utah State. The Badgers won that game 16-14.

Inside the Numbers

15:19 — That’s how long it took for Wisconsin to go from down 10-0 to up 38-10.

87 — That’s the number of rushing yards for freshman Jonathan Taylor in his first career game. It included a pretty 41-yard run on the first play of the second half to jump start the offense.

99 — That was the length of Joe Ferguson’s interception return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter, the longest return in school history.

3 — That’s the number of touchdowns Alex Hornibrook threw on Friday night, a career high and 1/3 of what he threw all of last year.

478 — That’s the number of yards Wisconsin’s offense rolled up. It’s the third-highest total since Chryst took over as coach in 2015.

What’s Next

Wisconsin (1-0) will host Florida Atlantic next Saturday at Camp Randall Stadium. The Owls, in their first game under new coach Lane Kiffin, lost 42-19 to Navy on Friday.

Wisconsin football: Predicting the depth chart

MADISON — The University of Wisconsin will unveil its first depth chart of the season on Sunday as the Badgers begin preparations for their opener against Utah State on Friday.

Before they do, though, we thought we’d take a shot at what it might look like.

Quarterback:

1) Alex Hornibrook (RS SO)
2) Jack Coan (FR)

Notes: The last practice the media saw was on Aug. 12, and to that point Hornibrook was having a very strong fall camp. After going 7-2 as a starter in 2016, the redshirt sophomore is now the clear leader of the offense and appears poised for big things this fall.

Coan, meanwhile, bested Kare Lyles to earn the backup job. The true freshman is still very raw, but he’s got the physical tools to be a very good quarterback at some point in his Wisconsin career.

Tailback

1) Bradrick Shaw (RS SO) OR Chris James (JR)
3) Jonathan Taylor (FR)

Fullback

1) Alec Ingold (JR)
2) Austin Ramesh (SR)

Notes: Shaw and James figure to each get the ball plenty this fall, though it’s unclear who will get the first snap of the season.

Behind them, things are a little murky. When healthy, junior Taiwan Deal is worthy of playing time. Unfortunately for him, he rarely has been and that was the case in fall camp. His absence allowed the most talked about player in the last 10 days — Taylor — to make big strides. The New Jersey product is in line for a much bigger role than anyone expected at the start of camp.

Wide receiver

1) Jazz Peavy (SR) and Quintez Cephus (SO)
2) A.J. Taylor (SO) and Danny Davis (FR)

Notes: Highlight catches were the norm at practice this fall for Wisconsin, and these four made a lot of them. Peavy is dynamic with the ball in his hands, Cephus is a big play waiting to happen, Taylor is a much more polished route runner than a year ago and Davis runs and moves better than the coaches thought he would.

Injuries hit the position in fall camp, and it’s unclear when senior George Rushing (leg) and redshirt freshman Kendric Pryor (moped accident) will return.

Tight end

1) Troy Fumagalli (SR)
2) Kyle Penniston (RS SO)
3) Zander Neuville (JR)

Notes: Fumagalli is one of the best tight ends in the country and that showed during fall camp. Penniston and Neuville will both get plenty of time, with the former a nice threat in the passing game. If injuries hit, redshirt freshman Luke Benzschawel could work his way into the rotation.

Offensive line

LT: Michael Deiter (JR) and Cole Van Lanen (RS FR)
LG: Jon Dietzen (RS SO) and Micah Kapoi (JR)
C: Tyler Biadasz (RS FR) and Brett Connors (JR)
RG: Beau Benzschawel (JR) and Jason Erdmann (RS SO)
RT: David Edwards (RS SO) and Patrick Kasl (RS FR)

Notes: If the starting five can stay healthy, it has a chance to be a dominant group. But recent history suggests everyone won’t stay healthy and that makes depth important. Wisconsin can manage an injury at guard or center, but if one of the tackles were to go down things could get dicey.

Defensive line

DE: Alec James (SR) or Chikwe Obasih (SR)
NG: Olive Sagapolu (JR) and Garrett Rand (SO)
DE: Conor Sheehy (SR) and Isaiahh Loudermilk (RS FR)

Notes: Wisconsin is loaded along the line, starting with the three seniors and Sagapolu, but the future is also very bright with Rand and Loudermilk.

Linebackers

OLB: Leon Jacobs (SR) and Zack Baun (RS SO)
ILB: T.J. Edwards (JR) and Arrington Farrar (JR)
ILB: Chris Orr (RS SO) and Ryan Connelly (JR)
OLB: Garrett Dooley (SR) and Andrew Van Ginkel (JR)

Notes: Even after losing senior Jack Cichy to a torn ACL in camp, the inside linebackers are stacked with Edwards, Orr and Connelly.

On the outside, Jacobs has the chance to be an absolute terror when rushing the passer.

Secondary:

CB: Nick Nelson (JR) and Dontye Carriere-Williams (RS FR)
S: D’Cota Dixon (JR) and Joe Ferguson (SR)
S: Natrell Jamerson (SR) and Patrick Johnson (SO)
CB: Derrick Tindal (SR) and Lubern Figaro (SR)

Notes: The hype around Nelson, a transfer from Hawaii, is real and deserved. With him and Tindal, the Badgers have one of the better tandems in the Big Ten.

Carriere-Williams and Figaro were still battling for the nickel spot when camp closed to the media.

Jamerson continued to look more and more comfortable at safety after moving from cornerback, while Dixon is ready to build on what was a pretty good first year as a starter.

Special teams:

Kicker: Rafael Gaglianone (JR) and Zach Hintze (RS SO)
Punter: Anthony Lotti (SO) and P.J. Rosowski (JR)
Kickoff: Rosowski

Kick return: A.J. Taylor (RS SO) and Chris James (JR)
Punt return: Nick Nelson (JR) and Jazz Peavy (SR)

Longsnapper:

Adam Bay (FR)

Notes: Gaglianone seemed to be hitting the ball well during camp and is now fully healthy after missing the final 11 games of 2016 with a back injury. Rosowski earned a scholarship this week in large part due to his work on kickoffs.

Nelson is extremely smooth as a punt returner, while Taylor and James are nice options as kick returners.

Fumagalli recieves more accolades

Earlier today the AP Preseason All-American Team was announced and Troy Fumagalli’s name was on it. Fumagalli received the honor of second team All-American at Tight end.

The Associated Press All-American team was chosen by votes from 51 members of the media panel from across the country. This is one of many accolades that Fumagalli has received already this season.

He was placed on the John Mackey award watch list, which is an award that goes to the nation’s most outstanding Tight end. Fumagalli was also listed on the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year watch list.

He was also voted as first-team All-Big Ten by Athlon. Fumagalli was selected as a first-team All American by Athlon and Sports Illustrated earlier this summer.

He joins a long list of Wisconsin Tight ends who have made a name for themselves at the position.

Being named captains is special for former walk-ons Jack Cichy and Troy Fumagalli

CHICAGO — Wisconsin’s walk-on tradition has become a well known contributor to the Badgers success since former coach Barry Alvarez arrived in 1990. From Joe Panos early in Alvarez’s tenure to Donnell Thompson, Jim Leonhard, J.J. Watt, Jared Abbrederis and many more, the school has thrived at finding under the radar players, developing them and watching them become stars.

Many have gone on to be captains and leaders on a number of the more successful teams in program history. That will be the case again in 2017, as former walk-ons Jack Cichy and Troy Fumagalli were named team captains on Monday.

“It means a lot to me especially because it was voted on by our players,” Fumagalli said. “I always think about the responsibility that comes with it. It’s cool they named me that. It’s my chance to be the best player and teammate I can be.

LISTEN: Jack Cichy joins ‘The Camp’ at Big Ten media days.

Cichy and Fumagalli earned their scholarships prior to the 2015 season and have been key players in helping the Badgers win 21 games the last two years.

One of the top tight ends in the country, Fumagalli led Wisconsin with 47 catches in 2016, while Cichy burst onto the scene late in 2015, including back-to-back-to-back sacks in the Holiday Bowl. The senior was off to a big start last season before suffering a torn left pectoral muscle and missing the rest of the year.

LISTEN: Troy Fumagalli joins ‘The Camp’ to talk about his legacy at Wisconsin and more

“It means a lot,” Cichy said at Big Ten media days. “I’m super appreciative, and I know a huge responsibility comes with that. Being an instate kid, being a walk-on, to earn the respect of my peers and teammates, have them vote me into that, it’s a great honor. And I know it’s all for naught if I don’t take the responsibility and be up to the challenge.”

The pair will be joined as captains by safety D’Cota Dixon, center Michael Deiter and defensive lineman Conor Sheehy.

Wisconsin picked to win the B1G West

Writers that cover the Big Ten either really like Wisconsin or really have a low opinion of the Big Ten West. Either way, the Badgers are the overwhelming favorite to win their division for a third time in four years.

Cleveland.com polled 38 media members that cover the conference, and 31 picked Wisconsin to repeat in the West, while five had Northwestern and two chose Nebraska. In the East, Ohio State was also the pick of most, garnering 34 first-place votes, with defending Big Ten champion Penn State getting seven votes and Michigan getting one.

As for the title game, just four of the 31 writers that picked Wisconsin to make it there actually had them winning in Indianapolis. Three had the Badgers beating Ohio State and another had them over Penn State.

Overall, Ohio State was picked to win the Big Ten championship by 29 of the writers.

The poll also asked which teams would make the College Football Playoff, and Wisconsin got four votes as the only Big Ten team to make it, while one voter had Wisconsin and Ohio State both making it.

The writers also voted on offensive and defensive players of the year, with a first-place vote counting for three points, a second-place vote counting for two points and a third-place vote counting for one point.

Penn State running back Saquon Barkley was the runaway winner on offense, garnering 103 points and 30 first-place votes. Wisconsin quarterback Alex Hornibrook received two points and tight end Troy Fumagalli got one.

On defense, Ohio State defensive end Tyquan Lewis managed just beat out Iowa linebacker Josey Jewell – 61 points to 59 points. Wisconsin linebackers Jack Cichy (10 points, 1 first-place vote) and T.J. Edwards (7 points, 1 first-place vote) finished seventh and 10th respectively in the voting.

Full results via Cleveland.com:

BIG TEN EAST

1. Ohio State, 260 points (34 first-place votes)
2. Penn State, 231.5 (7)
3. Michigan, 192 (1)
4. Michigan State, 128
5. Indiana, 114
6. Maryland, 100.5
7. Rutgers, 38
(first-place votes equal more than 38 because of some ties for first)

BIG TEN WEST

1. Wisconsin, 259 points (31 first-place votes)
2. Northwestern, 219 (5)
3. Nebraska, 176.5 (2)
4. Iowa, 164.5
5. Minnesota, 131
6. Purdue, 57
6. Illinois, 57

Here were the predictions for the Big Ten Championship Game in Indianapolis on Dec. 2.

Ohio State over Wisconsin (22)
Ohio State over Northwestern (5)
Ohio State over Nebraska (2)
Wisconsin over Ohio State (3)
Wisconsin over Penn State (1)
Penn State over Wisconsin (4)
Michigan over Wisconsin (1)

BIG TEN PRESEASON OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

1. Saquon Barkley, Penn State RB, 103 points (30 first-place votes)
2. J.T. Barrett, Ohio State QB, 59 points (5)
3. Trace McSorley, Penn State QB, 30 points (2)
4. Justin Jackson, Northwestern RB, 25 points (1)
5. Mike Weber, Ohio State RB, 2 points
5. L.J. Scott, Michigan State RB, 2 points
5. Alex Hornibrook, Wisconsin QB, 2 points
5. Rodney Smith, Minnesota RB, 2 points
9. Troy Fumagalli, Wisconsin TE, 1 point
9. Simmie Cobbs, Indiana WR, 1 point
9. Jamarco Jones, Ohio State LT, 1 point

PRESEASON BIG TEN DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

1. Tyquan Lewis, Ohio State DE, 61 points (11 first-place votes)
2. Josey Jewell, Iowa LB, 59 points (12)
3. Rashan Gary, Michigan DE, 23 points (3)
4. Tegray Scales, Indiana LB, 19 points (4)
5. Jerome Baker, Ohio State LB, 12 points (2)
6. Sam Hubbard, Ohio State DE, 11 points (2)
7. Jack Cichy, Wisconsin LB, 10 points (1)
8. Maurice Hurst, Michigan DT, 9 points (1)
9. Marcus Allen, Penn State S, 9 points
10. T.J. Edwards, Wisconsin LB, 7 points (1)
11. Nick Bosa, Ohio State, DE 4 points (1)
12. Godwin Igwebuike, Northwestern S, 2 points
13. Steven Richardson, Minnesota DT, 1 point
13. Blessuan Austin, Rutgers CB, 1 point