Cue The Best Damn Band in the Land as we celebrate the NATIONAL TOP RANKING by singing
“(Fight the Team) Across the Field”
Fight the team across the field,
That team is No. 18 Wisconsin. The Ohio State Buckeyes are on a winning streak against the Badgers winning at Ohio Stadium last season and (also against an 18th-ranked Wisconsin team) 20-17 two years ago in Camp Randle.
In the weeks before the ‘08 game in Madison, highly recruited freshman Terrelle Pryor replaced senior quarterback Todd Boeckman. With a little over six minutes left in the fourth quarter, Pryor orchestrated a 12 play, 80 yard drive ending in an 11-yard touchdown run to give the Buckeyes a victory.
Show them Ohio’s here.
Ohio State is currently the top ranked team in the nation for the 94th time in the history of the AP poll ranking third behind Oklahoma (97) and Notre Dame (95).
This match-up marks the ninth time Wisconsin has hosted a # 1 team. Bucky Badger and crew are 3-5 in the previous matchups. Only twice have they welcomed a top-ranked Buckeyes team, winning 17-7 in 1942 and losing 24-0 in 1973.
Set the earth reverberating
“The trenches is where it will be,” Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said. “The run game, certainly. Pass protection, for sure. Both sides. That’s where the game is won and lost.”
The turf will be pounded by a strong running and passing game by the Buckeyes. It is the responsibility of the OSU line to create opportunities for the likes of Dan “Boom” Herron (77 rushes for 355 yds and 7 td’s) and enough rushing talent to accommodate a cross country team to get the ball moving for positive yardage.
The Buckeyes are facing a Wisconsin defense that is encompassed with Louis Nzegqu and J.J. Watt capping the front four and a line that has experienced many position transitions due to injury. Not to say that these massive creatures aren’t a force with which to be contended.
The receiving corps will face a Badgers secondary featuring corners who are about as tall as DeVier Posey’s standing vertical at 5’11. Dane Sanzenbacher (411 yds for 7td’s) and Posey (364/ 3) will need to keep one eye on returning strong safety Jay Valai as he is ‘credited’ with knocking Sanzenbacher out of the 2008 Camp Randle appearance.
With a mighty cheer.
Rah! Rah! Rah!
Traditionally House of Pain song “Jump Around” is played during the 4th quarter in Camp Randle. This song debuted in 1992, yes 1992; never reaching # 1… much like the Badgers won’t top the current No. 1 FBS team on Saturday. Whatever flies your flag Badgers.
Hit them hard and see how they fall;
The 248-pound Badgers RB John Clay definitely has motivation against Buckeyes, who have held him to 59 yards in 2008 and 69 yards last year. This season Clay boasts 692 yds and 9 td’s followed by his protégée James White (485/ 8). A fun trickery play for Wisky is to create a Clay/ James distraction and get the ball to Montee Ball (ah hem) who has reached 201 yds and 3 td’s in 6 games.
The problem with this scheme is that if I am on to them then the Buckeyes are certainly on to them. Wisconsin’s offense is designed to avoid negative plays with their commitment to a power running game. If the running game is shut down then Scott Tolzien will be forced to air the ball. Tolzien has talented receivers and a 70 percent completion rating but that rating is on 92 completions on 132 attempts… in 6 games against teams that Boise State brags about beating.
This match-up is the real deal. Big Ten football much like when they played and lost to Michigan State. Wisconsin is one of only two FBS teams this season that has not yet connected on a touchdown pass of 20 yards or more.
Never let that team get the ball.
Ohio State leads the Big Ten in scoring at 43.2 points per game. Wisconsin’s defense allows roughly 19 points a game. The Badgers are rushing for 240 yards per game and have 21 rushing touchdowns in six games. But considering The Ohio State Buckeyes allow just 78.7 rushing yards per game and have given up only three rushing touchdowns in six games it looks like it will come down to who is more prepared to win this battle.
Ohio State needs a mistake-free performance from QB Terrelle Pryor who has completed 72.7 percent of his passes when forced out of the pocket by pressure. He has committed three INT’s on the season.
The other concern is with the Buckeyes steadily improving special teams. OSU must avoid handing Wisconsin any game-changing situations.
So let’s win against Wisconsin now!
Nice work everyone. We will do it again on Saturday.
More of Rebekah’s Ohio State coverage can be found at www.prosportsblogging.com