After a week off Ohio State looks to get back on the field this Saturday and continue their growing rivalry with Wisconsin. What this also means is, after a week off we reach out to our fellow bloggers across the Big Ten for our Across the Web segment. This week we turn to Andy Coppens from MadTownBadgers and Delany’sDozen to give us some insight on the Badger’s. Check out our turn under the microscope from yesterday!
1. Coach Beliema and Coach Meyer say that there’s no bad blood following this off season’s “war of words” about recruiting. Do you think this adds to this game at all?
I think it’s honestly something for us media types and bloggers to chat about more so than something real between these two for the game. Come Saturday all the off-field stuff goes away and it’s all about what happens between the lines.
However, it’s hard to ignore the fact that Wisconsin and Ohio State have been in some really big recruiting battles in the past season and probably will be for as long as Bielema and Meyer are around.
2. Last year, Ohio State’s last minute heroics derailed solid Wisconsin team; the year before, Buckeye players are still talking about how their undefeated season was “stolen” from them. What’s the perspective on the growing rivalry between these two squads?
I think it’s easily one of the biggest growing rivalries because of where these two teams are and likely will be in the future – competing for division championships. That alone helps grow the rivalry but the fact that Wisconsin owns the most wins over OSU since 1999 and the games have more often been good to great also adds to it.
Wisconsin fans have a general dislike for OSU and adding Urban Meyer to the mix only kicked that up a notch. I think the programs have respect for what each other do, but the fans, well that’s a whole different ball of wax. I’d say outside of Minnesota and arguably more than the Gophs this is the game Badger fans care the most about.
3. Is Curt Phillips the answer?
Damn good question and one I’m not sure we have a 100% answer for since he’s only attempted all of 7 passes this season. However, what I will say is that Phillips adds confidence and a different look than teams have been prepping for all season long. What was answered last week is with him behind center we have someone that will make smart decisions and can run.
That was the biggest concern for a guy coming off of back-to-back-to-back right ACL surgeries. He hasn’t really lost a step as a running QB, but we still need to see if he can be a consistent thrower.
4. It’s amazing to read that Monte Ball may break an NCAA record for touchdowns this season. What moment stands out to you from his career in Madison?
Hmmm…. There are quite a few, but to me it’s the Nebraska game last season that really stands out for me. It was his coming out party as he rushed for 151 yards and 4 touchdowns as the Badgers spanked the Huskers in their Big Ten debut. It wasn’t the yards so much as the way he just ran over, through, and around the blackshirts that really stick out to me.
5. In your years of covering the Wisconsin-Ohio State matchup, is there any one game that you recall as being the most memorable?
You’re going to hate me, but it actually is the 2010 game simply because it was pretty much lights out from the beginning and I had never seen a Wisconsin team dominate Ohio State the way they came out and did. Of course OSU being the No. 1 team in the country only added to that, but it was truly a spring board moment to where the Badgers are on the national scale even to today.
But a close 2nd for me is the 2001 20-17 Badgers victory at the Horseshoe. We weren’t exactly setting the world on fire and you were ranked. I honestly didn’t give us much of a chance in that one and yet we were able to pull out another underdog victory.
6. The Badgers scored 62 points against Indiana last week. What do you think has changed from the beginning of the year to make that happen?
I think two things have changed since the beginning of the season to make that happen. One, the Badgers have found more of their identity as an offensive line with the firing of Mike Markuson and hiring of Bart Miller. Two, Montee Ball is back to where he was before all the crap happened to him in the offseason. That concussion really messed him up and messed up his ability to get into a rhythm early on.
Outside of that I think the third thing is honestly not having Danny O’Brien behind center. Whether it’s been Stave or last week Phillips this team just is more confident in what it’s doing with someone other than D.O’B behind center.
7. Like Ohio State’s tradition of “Hang on Sloopy” after the third quarter of homes, Wisconsin has their “Jump Around” tradition. Can you give us a little history lesson on this Nationally known tradition?
You bet, this was an “unofficial” tradition dating back to 1993, but the real history dates back to Oct. 10, 1998 against Purdue. Wisconsin went scoreless in the 3rd quarter of the homecoming game against the Boilermakers and the crowd was rather dead so the sound guy piped in the song and the student section and team went crazy. It’s stuck around ever sense and it’s something you have to experience in person to truly understand.
Get 80,000 plus people jumping and the stadium completely shakes. I’ll tell you this much the worst place to be is in the press box which actually sways back and forth along with creaking and such as it’s attached to the foundation of the stadium. Luckily before this season they put in new flat screen TV’s up there so we weren’t fearing a tube TV falling on our heads during the tradition.
We would like to thank Andy for taking time to answer our questions. Andy also asked us a few questions so be sure to check it out and all of Andy’s stuff at MadTownBadgers and Delany’sDozen. We hope to see another classic game between these two teams with a “MadTown” victory for our Bucks.