There’s only one correct answer to this question after last night’s performance – totally entertained. This team stepped up and got a huge win over a good team exactly when they needed it the most.
Plus, who doesn’t get entertained watching Wisconsin lose? That holds double for when they lose to the Buckeyes.
Controlling the line of scrimmage. We certainly didn’t get any turnovers in the game – Ohio State committed the only turnover when Jordan Hall muffed a punt return. That said, with Wisconsin gaining only 89 yards on the ground, and Ohio State breaking 260, there is absolutely no question who won the battle in the trenches.
Ability to hold coverage. Wisconsin managed to pick up some huge plays by taking advantage of the exact same coverage issues that Michigan State had. That said, OSU’s last touchdown came in a similar situation, so it’s not like we were the only one’s having coverage problems.
Control the tempo. 268 yards on the ground plus a nearly 36 minute time of possession means that the Buckeyes dictated play the whole game.
Raucous crowd. The fans could not have been any better last night. The stadium was rocking most of the evening. We even got to see the crowd rush the field – as much as it appears that there is open debate whether that was a “good” thing or not.
Coaching. The game plan was there on both sides of the ball. The offensive playcalling was a tad frustrating a times, but they did a good job of sticking to what they do well and setting up counter plays to be successful.
A super loud crowd. It was good in the first half, but it was great in the second. The crowd was pumped for that game, especially for such an exciting ending.
Braxton Miller showing more confidence in the pocket. Miller ultimately was 7-12 for 89 yards and a touchdown. He wasn’t asked to do a lot with his arm, but he succeeded at doing just enough. Admittedly, though, it wasn’t always exactly “in the pocket”.
The Silver Bullets swarming to the ball. The defense was lights out last night, particularly against the run game. Montee Ball had serious issues moving the football and the secondary played very well against Wisconsin’s passing game.
Eddie George getting a standing ovation at halftime when he is honored. I didn’t see if he got a standing ovation or not, but I would find it hard to believe that he didn’t. At the very least, he had to have received an “Eddie, Eddie” chant.
A tough defensive effort. I must admit, I’m surprised that Wisconsin scored as many as 29 points, particularly after such a low scoring first half for both teams. The defense certainly played tough, though, limiting the Wisconsin running game, and constantly getting pressure on Wilson all night.
Short, quick passes. We saw one! OSU used a 3 step drop and a quick slant route for 5 yards to Corey Brown! I have to admit, I couldn’t believe it when it happened. Miller needs to learn not to telegraph it by staring down the receiver the whole play, but it worked to perfection. More please!
A long offensive drive. The Buckeyes had several, including a 10 play, 5 and a half minute drive for their first field goal, and a 7 play, 75 yard drive for a touchdown that required exactly 3 minutes.
Force Wilson to make mistakes. OSU put plenty of pressure on him, and they did force him into some minor mistakes. For example, they forced him to commit another intentional grounding penalty. They didn’t force any turnovers, though Bradley Roby nearly had one fall into his lap, and that’s what we were really looking for.
Emotion, belief, and momentum. There was plenty of emotion, lots of belief, and we never really let go of the momentum. The crowd was in it, the team was fired up, the atmosphere was alive. Buckeye Nation wanted this win, and they were simply not going to be denied.
Physical Payback. The Buckeyes played tough trench warfare all night, and simply did not let up in the trenches. This team came out of the gate mentally and physically ready for the Badgers and proved it.
Passing Fancy. As mentioned before, 7-12 for 89 yards and a touchdown, especially when that touchdown wins the game, is just about as basic and effective as you can get.
Shoot To Thrill. We still have no score from the defense, and apparently it didn’t need to be the week for one. If it makes you feel better, we did basically get a score from the special teams.
In The Sack. The Buckeye defensive line was lights out all game long, and regularly got pressure on Wilson. I know that Adam Bellamy picked up one great sack on Wilson, and I think I remember John Simon getting him once or twice in the backfield as well.
False Starts. I know that Shugarts false started only once, and that was the only OSU false start of the game. I do believe Wisconsin false started once or twice, but it certainly wasn’t as much as we may have hoped for.
Smashing Russell. Russell Wilson was hurried all game long, and sacked on several occasions. I know that several Buckeye defenders popped him just after he released the football too. That was an all-around smash fest.
Run Like No Tomorrow. “To do so, Boom Herron needs at least 20 carries and 150 yards on the ground.” How does 33 for 160 sound? I’m actually amazed that he didn’t get into the endzone at all. Braxton Miller also ran 19 times for 99 yards and 2 TD’s, and is listed on ESPN as the top rusher for the day. I honestly give that distinction to Boom, but it’s close. Miller did a great job with his feet today.
Beat Them Deep From 3. We did get a pair of field goals during the game, but we certainly didn’t kick one to win. We did very nearly need one to tie, though, so you almost got your wish.