As we arrived in Columbus, the anticipation for kickoff was almost unbearable and we were a mere five hours away. It’s become a yearly ritual that a group of us attend the Ohio State/Wisconsin game every year and we were all giddy with excitement to reunite once again for this rivalry.
After a little tailgating and shopping, we made our way over to the skull session but watched from the entrance where the band and the team would enter in St John’s arena. I met the mom of a bass drummer who was participating in his first ramp entrance that evening. It’s stories like this that adds to the mystique of going to games in Columbus. As Urban Meyer and daughter Nikki entered through the old doors of the aging arena, a tall dark figure appeared behind them and it clicked, it was none other than two-time NBA champion LeBron James. After everyone filed in, I heard the King was greeted by a good mixture of boos and cheers as he gave the annual speech to the Buckeye faithful.
|UPDATE: According to Coach Meyer, Senior Captain Christian Bryant has broken his ankle on the next to last play of the game, and will require surgery. It is likely that his Ohio State career is now finished. More information as it becomes available.|
As has been typical for these teams in recent years, the Buckeyes and Badgers met on the gridiron in a memorable fight. The Badgers struggled to keep up with the OSU offensive attack, falling 31-24 in a vaguely field-position game. Braxton Miller came back from his injury and put together a solid game throwing the football, hitting 17/25 for 198 yards and 4 touchdowns. He also added 83 yards on 22 carries. Joel Stave responded with an excellent day 20/34 for 295 yards, 2 touchdowns and an interception.
On the ground, the Buckeye running corps was led by Carlos Hyde’s 80 yards on 16 carries. He was followed by Dontre Wilson’s 21 yards on 2 carries. Wisconsin went primarily to Melvin Gordon for their ground attack, gaining 15 carries for 74 yards. The story of the day however was Jared Abbrederis and his 207 yards on 10 catches with a touchdown.
There were a couple streaks on the line for the Buckeyes. The first, and most obvious was the 16 game win streak, which was extended to 17. The second was a streak of 4 straight games for the Buckeyes scoring at least 21 points in the first quarter, which did not continue as OSU scored “only” 14. The third was a similar streak for the Bucks scoring over 40 points per game, another that the Buckeyes couldn’t extend.
Braxton Miller got the start for the first time since the first quarter of the San Diego State game. The Bucks started by distributing the football, hitting a strong run in the teeth of the defense from Carlos Hyde, and followed by a great pass to the edge to TE Jeff Heuerman. Ultimately, the Buckeyes only needed four plays to find Evan Spencer over the middle for the perfectly thrown touchdown pass. Interestingly, the Buckeyes employed a play that forced Wisconsin to defend both Evan Spencer and Corey “Philly” Brown with a single defender, allowing Braxton to pick his target and hit Spencer for the TD.
Wisconsin struggled to move the ball early in the game. While they were getting solid blocks on the line, the Corners and Linebackers did a fantastic job stuffing the run in the first two possessions, both of which ended in three-and-outs.
The Buckeyes are taking on the Badgers today in Ohio Stadium. The game is scheduled for 8:00 pm Primetime on ABC.
Come join your favorite Buckeye bloggers for a livechat officially starting 30 minutes before gametime. Feel free to stop by earlier and see who’s around watching College Football all day!
AtW returns to the interwebs with a give-and-take from our buddies over at Madtown Badgers. Go check ‘em out.
The Buckeye Battle Cry: Let’s start with your running game; James White and Melvin Gordon are joined by freshman Corey Clement. These lads are averaging 8 yards per carry. How do they do it?
Madtown Badgers: They do it by being really good, that’s how.
No, seriously, they’ve done it by having confidence in the offensive line, which has been producing huge holes and by hitting long gainers all. Each of Gordon, White and Clement have had over a 50 yard touchdown run this season.
The other part of it is that all three backs do something a bit different. James White is more of the between the tackles type, while Gordon can do that and burn you off the edge and Corey Clement can do both of those as well as be a bit more powerful than the rest of the group.
That’s the dangerous part to this offense, just when you think you know what is coming at you in the run game it switches up and most defenses can’t adjust fast enough.
tBBC: Ohio State has not seen a power-run team thus far in 2013. What things do they need to be aware of if they hope to be successful against the Badgers?
And now, things get B1G
In today’s edition, we celebrate number 19 and love every minute of it by reliving Ohio State’s 19-14 win at Wisconsin in 2002.
The win, OSU’s 8th straight, inched the Buckeyes closer to a Big 10 title and a berth in the BCS Natonal Championship game.
In typical Tressel Ball fashion, OSU, which trailed 14-13 at halftime, used an opportunistic offense and defense to seal the deal in Madison.
Michael Jenkins kept a drive alive with a 45-yard catch on a big 3rd and 7 early in the fourth and Chris Gamble picked off a pass in the end zone on Wisconsin’s next drive to help the good guys notch their 50th win against the Badgers.
Freshman Maurice Clarett ran 30 times for 133 yards and Jenkins had five catches for 114 yards and a touchdown. None was bigger than his leaping grab over a pair of Wisconsin defenders. After the game, Badger coach Barry Alvarez said, “We had two guys in position, no one made a play on the ball.” Well, no one in a Wisconsin uniform, that is.
The Buckeye defense generated two turnovers and sacked Badger QB Jim Sorgi twice.
OSU went on to win the national championship and Wisconsin …. well, who cares?
#1 Indiana versus #4 Wisconsin
The first ten minutes of the first half has been back and forth with neither team wanting to pull ahead. However, back to back three pointers by Indiana’s Watford and Abell helped pushed the Hoosiers to a 5 point at the under 8 media timeout. But the Badgers refused to back down thanks to the efforts of Ryan Evans on the offensive boards and key three point shots by Ben Brust and Mike Bruesewitz that put them ahead 26-22 at the final media timeout of the first half. Wisconsin was able to sustain a late flurry by Indiana to hold a 34-31 lead at halftime. Evans leads all scores at the half with 10 while Indiana’s Watord and Oladipo both have 8.
The first ten minutes of the second half were nothing but a game of runs. Wisconsin opened the half with a 6-0 run to open a nine point. Indiana immediately answered with a 9-0 run of their own. The Badgers’ Evans then took the team on his shoulders leading them on a 10-3 run and a 50-43 lead at the mid-way point of the second half. The Hoosiers tried and tried down the stretch to take the game over but Evans refused to let it happen as his 16 points paved the way to Wisconsin’s 68-56 victory over Indiana.
Tom Crean will now have to “Deal with It” as he awaits his tournament seeding while the Badgers await the winner of the second game between Michigan State and Ohio State. Be sure to check out our live blog during that game and check out our review of the game afterwards!
After a closer than comfortable win against Northwestern, Ohio State now travels to the Kohl Center and one of the more hostile environment in the B1G. Ah, good times with Bucky once again.
Today’s game is scheduled for 1 PM EST on the CBS. The LiveBlog is scheduled to start 15 minutes before tip.