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!
Wisconsin week brings us a building rivalry, so let’s see what our experts are hoping to see happen:
1) No False Starts – Seems to work when I ask for it, so here we go.
2) Curtis Grant – Coach Meyer called him out on Monday and Tuesday; this game is primed for him.
3) Aerial Assault – Last year, Wisconsin cheated their safeties into the box and dared Ohio State to beat them over the top. This year, we have the weapons to do so… make them pay.
4) Speed Kills – Even Wisconsin’s Coach Anderson highlighted how fast Ohio State is on both sides of the ball. This is where they show why speed matters
5) More ZKL – For a lot of reasons… get the kid the rock.
1) Another fast start - OSU needs to come out fast, as we usually do. Saturday night’s crowd should be raucous; give the crowd even more reason to get into the game.
2) Sure tackling - Wisky running backs are averaging 8 YPC. This cannot be allowed on Saturday.
3) Solid pass defense - Jared Abbrederis is averaging 16 yards per reception and one third of team receptions. We need to blanket this guy, and blanket their QB Joel Stave.
4) Offensive Balance - The Buckeyes have shown they can run and pass fairly effectively. We need this to keep Wisconsin defense from loading up against the run.
5) Special Teams/Defensive TD - I’ll take either/or, but would prefer to have one of each. We’ve done well with those against Wisky in the past.
The B1G 10 season is about to kick into full gear and two of your favorite BBC writers are going head-to-head the rest of the way.
Each week yours truly and Gary will pick the games that matter We may agree, we may not. And when one of us is right and Gary is wrong (it’s starting already) there will no holds barred.
It’s a light week so lets get right into it. We will include the 2 non-conference games as well.
Wisconsin at Ohio State
No differences of opinion here. We both predict an Ohio State victory over the Badgers.
Iowa at Minnesota
Gary likes Minnesota. I like Iowa.
In choosing the Gophers, Gary opined “I think the two teams are evenly matched.” He gives Minnesota the home-field edge as the margin of victory.
Iowa has been stuck in reverse since losing to Ohio State in a de facto Big 10 title game a few years ago. Kirk Ferentz has been feeling the heat and I think the Hawkeyes will get the big win they need.
Northern Illinois at Purdue Read More
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?
When someone takes what’s yours, the next time you see them it’s going to be a fight.
We know we’re the kings. Simple as that. Last question.