The #24 Ohio State Buckeyes (16-5, 3-5) trek to the challenging environment of The Kohl Center to square off against the #14 Wisconsin Badgers (17-4, 4-4). After starting the season a combined 31-0, the two teams are currently limping at 2-9 in the past month. These teams are pretty close to being in free-fall, and that they are both seeking answers is not far off the mark.
Here’s their Profile
After rolling the overmatched FAMU Rattlers last week, things get a bit tougher this Saturday night as Ohio State hosts B1G/Leaders leader Wisconsin in an 8:00 PM game. The Buckeyes (4-0, 0-0) look to move into 1st place in the Leaders Division by shutting down the Badgers (3-1, 1-0).
First year Badgers Head Coach Gary Andersen was defensive line coach at Utah in 2004, Urban Meyer’s last year as Utah head coach, so there is familiarity between the two gentlemen. After a 4 year stint as Utah State’s head coach, Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez hired Andersen to replace the departed Bret Bielema, who was banished to coach at Arkansas.
I’m going to gloss over most of the season-to-date statistics for both teams because I don’t think those numbers are relevant for this game. Wisconsin’s wins and “numbers’ were racked up against University of Massachusetts (MAC) who has won 1 of its last 16 games, FCS school Tennessee Tech (2-2) and a not very good Purdue team. Unfortunately, Ohio State’s schedule is pretty similar.
Here are two tables that summarize both teams’ offensive and defensive performances so far this season. As I mentioned above, with both teams having sketchy schedules, use these numbers more for a general indication of performance. The first table, is relative offensive performances comparison between Wisconsin and Ohio State.
Yep, a lot of yards and points against so-so competition.
Here’s the defensive comparison; it’s looks similar.
Now that we really know that Wisconsin and Ohio State took care of their early season opponents, we move on to the game at hand.
In today’s edition, we celebrate number 4, the Ohio State’s margin of victory over Wisconsin on October 29th, 2011, 33-29. Ohio State entered the game with a 4-3 record, as the OSU program was dealing was significant changes in staff and players.
The 1st half was a tight, low-scoring affair with Wisconsin holding a 7-3 lead. Then all hell broke loose in the 2nd half. In the 3rd quarter the Buckeyes scored two short yardage TD’s (Miller, Hall) and the Badgers one (Ball, of course) to take the lead into the 4th quarter, 17-14.
After a Miller 44 yard TD run to extend OSU’s lead, UW’s Jared Abbrederis had two TD receptions to regain the lead for the Badgers, 29-26 with 1:18 remaining. Not a problem; Braxton and Devin then made this happen to get the win.
In today’s edition, we celebrate number 37, an Ohio State victory over the Wisconsin Badgers on October 4th, 2008, 20-17.
It was a pretty typical game between these team in Madison’ 5 lead changes and a couple ties thrown in for good measure. Total offenses were similar (OSU-327 yds, UW-326 yds). Beanie Wells led the offense with 168 yards and 1 TD while Terrelle Pryor Was an efficient 13-19 144 yards. The problem, was TP was sacked 4 times for -24 yards. Fortunately, it didn’t worry him too much, as he scored the game winning TD on an 11 yard run with 1:08 to play.
If you need a recollection of what a powerful runner Chris Wells was, these game highlights should do the trick.
In today’s episode of the tBBC’s Countdown to Kickoff series, we come to #69; the November 18th, 1969 win over Wisconsin, 62-7.
The Buckeye offense was paced by Ron Maciejowski’s 139 yards passing (139 yds, 2 TD) and running (108 yards). Oh, and by the guy carrying the ball, above.
The Buckeyes and Badgers played yet another tough battle on the hardwood tonight that could have gone either way until the Buckeyes finally opened up a lead late in the second half. The Buckeyes were able to withstand a couple Badger attempts at a comeback and eventually clinched the 58-49 victory at home. For the Buckeyes, DeShaun Thomas ended up leading a scorers with 25 and was joined by Aaron Craft as a significant scorer with 13. Wisconsin responded with Traevon Jackson’s 12 and Jared Berggren’s 11 for the game.
As is typical when you play a basketball game with Wisconsin you can safely expect there to be something less than no offense. That was exactly the case in the first half with neither team managing to score more than 10 points in the first 10 minutes of the game. Wisconsin took advantage of the traditionally poor OSU perimeter defense through the half hitting more three pointers than they hit shots inside the arc. That imbalance of shooting, and the success the Badgers had doing it, put the Buckeyes in a bit of a bind against Wisconsin’s strong defense. The Bucks were lucky to be down only two going into the locker rooms.
It took a while in the second half for the Buckeyes to finally exert control, but some great work on the fast break finally did the job. With the Buckeye defense holding Wisconsin scoreless for seven straight minutes in the middle of the half, the Bucks ran out on a 15-0 run to take an 11 point lead with only six minutes left in the game. A pair of Wisconsin three pointers put an end to the run and brought the game back into the ballpark of a couple possessions. Unfortunately for Wisconsin the Buckeyes were able to readjust, and the shots simply stopped falling for the Badgers allowing the Buckeyes to coast home for the victory.
The Buckeyes are back at home, ready to lay some Deal With It on Wisconsin’s Doorstep.
Today’s game is scheduled for 7:00 PM EST on ESPN. The LiveBlog is scheduled to start 15 minutes before tip.
In the calm before the storm… it’s midweek mayhem.
The rest of the week will be dedicated to hoops, particularly the matchup with folks from Cincy, but I thought I’d drop a little mascot knowledge on you. While that thing above may technically be a “bearcat”, I’m still convinced that the official team name should be “UChickFilAs.” According to some, it’s a version of a wolverine found in Asia, so strike two. And finally, the pajamas… with stripes… like the Bengals, but not like a bearcat. Ah well- if you want good UC coverage, you’ll need to go to the source.
The Scoops In Hoops
All of this pain, it multiples by 50 when you see a player like Robbie Hummel break down.
His career, his unbelievable and shining career at Purdue has come to an end. All of those clutch shots, all of those hustle plays, they’re all memories from now on.
But those memories have left a legacy on a program that needed something. Purdue Basketball NEEDED something to re-energize it.We were blessed to have #4 for FIVE years. We didn’t make it to any Final Fours, we didn’t win any National Championships…but we didn’t have to.
We won SO MUCH more than a trophy in the last five years at Purdue. We won excitement, memories, moments. Those stand the test of time, you can’t put that on a trophy.