Ohio State's Locker Room After Big Ten Title Source: Eleven Warriors
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|Ohio State celebrates a Big Ten Championship|
A celebration video of Ohio State's win over Wisconsin from the final seconds with Shelley Meyer to Jeff Heuerman throwing his shoes in the stands.
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Ohio State Wisconsin B1G Championship Game Highlights December 7, 2014 Source: Fox Sports
2014 B1G Champions!
December 7, 2014 Source: OSU Official Site - No. 6 Buckeyes blow out No. 11 Badgers 59-0
Ohio State's No. 3 quarterback looked every bit as good as the other two.
Cardale Jones even did something his two all-conference predecessors could not. He led the Buckeyes to a Big Ten title.
Jones threw for 257 yards and three touchdowns and was named the game's MVP in his first career start, leading No. 6 Ohio State to a 59-0 rout of No. 11 Wisconsin in Saturday night's conference championship game -- an emphatic statement to the College Football Playoff selection committee.
"I don't think there's any doubt we're one of the top four teams in America," coach Urban Meyer said after one of the most lopsided title games in Big Ten history.
Heading into championship weekend, it looked like the Buckeyes would be the first team out. They still might, but Ohio State hopes Saturday's impressive blowout at least keeps them in the conversation as the final deliberations take place Sunday.
Ohio State (12-1, 8-0 Big Ten, No. 5 CFP) has won 11 straight since losing at home to Virginia Tech and has beaten nine bowl-eligible teams all but two by double digits. Still, some wondered whether losing record-setting quarterback J.T. Barrett with a broken right ankle in the regular season finale after losing Heisman Trophy candidate Braxton Miller with a right shoulder injury in August, would be too much to overcome.
Not a chance.
Jones was efficient and effective Saturday, going 12 of 17.
Ezekiel Elliott carried 12 times for 150 yards and two scores in the first half and finished with 20 carries for a career high 220 yards.
Devin Smith caught four passes for 137 yards and three scores.
The defense completely shut down Wisconsin (10-3, 7-1, No. 13 CFP) and kept Melvin Gordon, the nation's leading rusher, under control. Gordon ran 26 times for 76 yards, his second-worst game of the season.
Ohio State handed the Badgers their first shutout since August 1997 and their worst loss since a 59-0 rout, also to the Buckeyes, in 1979.
All of it came after an emotional week for the Buckeyes, who learned of the death of defensive linemen Kosta Karageorge one day after Barrett's season-ending injury.
Ohio State honored Karageorge by wearing a decal with his jersey number, 53, on the back of its helmets. Defensive tackle Michael Bennett changed his jersey number from 63 to 53, and before the national anthem, there was a moment of silence to honor Karageorge, who was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Have the Buckeyes done enough on the field to make college football's inaugural final four?
They beat a team that had won seven straight overall, had rushed for 435.8 yards in its previous five games in the Hoosier State and was a four-point favorite coming into the game.
But against a quarterback and the motivated Buckeyes, Wisconsin never had a chance.
"We can play with anybody, and we're going to work extremely hard whoever we play against," Smith said.
They were outgained 364-91 in first half yards when Ohio State scored on five of its first six possessions against the nation's No. 4 scoring defense. Ohio State had 558-258 advantage overall.
And the Buckeyes made it look easy.
Just six plays into the game, Jones hooked up with Smith on a pretty 39-yard floater for a 7-0 lead. Elliott then found a whole in the middle and sprinted 81 yards for a score. After Wisconsin finally held the Buckeyes to a field goal, Jones hooked up again with Smith on a 44-yard TD pass to make it 24-0 with 11:09 left in the second quarter, then capped the half with Elliott's 14-yard TD run and Joey Bosa's 4-yard fumble return for a score to make it 38-0.
Not much changed in the second half.
Smith made a nifty two-handed, off-balance catch as he was going backward into the end zone for a 42-yard score early in the third quarter, and the Buckeyes closed it out with two Curtis Samuel touchdown runs in the fourth.
• • •
Postgame Quotes From 2014 B1G Championship Game Source: OSU Official Site
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Wisconsin vs Ohio State (12/6/14) Source: OSU Official Site
Scoring Summary, Team Statistics, Individual Statistics, Drive Chart, Defensive Statistics, Game Participation,
Box Score, Play-by-Play, Play breakdown
Devin Smith's Huge Day Helps OSU To B1G Title Game Win
It was over when... OSU's Joey Bosa picked up a fumble by Wisconsin star Melvin Gordon and returned it for a TD, which gave the Buckeyes a 38-0 lead.
Gameball goes to... Buckeyes wide receiver Devin Smith, who had three touchdown catches and 137 yards receiving in the blowout.
Stat of the game... 76. Gordon rushed for just 76 yards on 26 carries against the stout OSU defense. He averaged 2.9 yards per rush.
Ohio State's 59-0 win over Wisconsin is not only the largest shutout win in a Power 5 Conference Championship Game... It's the ONLY shutout ever in a Power 5 Conference Championship Game (ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12, SEC).
Ohio State's 59-0 win over Wisconsin is Urban Meyer's largest shutout win over a Power 5 school and his 2nd-largest over and FBS school (Ohio State beat Kent State, 66-0 earlier this season)
Ohio State gained 271 of its 301 rushing yards on zone-read runs, its second-most in a game this season. Ezekiel Elliott led the way, gaining 207 of his career-high 220 yards on zone-read rushes. Wisconsin came in allowing a Big Ten-low 3.4 yards per rush on zone-read runs. --Wisconsin allowed 301 rushing yards to Ohio State on Saturday, the fourth-most the Badgers have allowed in a game in the last 10 seasons.
Ezekiel Elliott's 220 rush yards are the most in the history of the Big Ten Championship Game.
Melvin Gordon rushed for 76 yards Saturday, 112 yards fewer than his season average. It was his second fewest rushing yards in a game this season, and the first time he did not have a run of at least 20 yards.
Cardale Jones completed four passes thrown 15 or more yards downfield Saturday, including three touchdowns. Jones' three touchdowns were more than J.T. Barrett had on such throws in any game this season.
Ohio State has won 10 straight games since falling to Virginia Tech on September 6, the second-longest active win streak in the FBS behind Florida State (28 straight). Since 2000, the Buckeyes have had six different win streaks of 10 games or more, tied with Boise State for the most such streaks in the FBS over that span
• • •
• Ohio State wins its first Big Ten Football Championship Game, extending the second-best winning streak in the nation to 11 games, and winning each of its last four matchups with the Badgers.
• This is the first shutout in the history of the Big Ten Football Championship Game.
• Ohio State's 59-point win is the largest margin of victory in Big Ten Football Championship Game history.
• The Buckeyes put up 558 yards of total offense, more than doubling what Wisconsin's defense was giving up per game this season (260.3)
• QB Cardale Jones set a new Big Ten Football Championship Game record with a career-long 44-yard touchdown pass to Devin Smith in the second quarter. He also tied the Big Ten Football Championship Game record with three touchdown passes, and his 255.8 QB Rating is a new Big Ten Football Championship Game record.
• Running back Ezekiel Elliott set a new career high with 220 yards rushing, establishing a new Big Ten Football Championship Game record. His 81-yard rushing touchdown was the longest rush of his career and is also a Big Ten Football Championship Game record.
• RBs Elliott and Curtis Samuel become the second pair of teammates to each rush for two touchdowns in a Big Ten Football Championship Game, joining Montee Ball and James White of Wisconsin, who accomplished the feat in 2012.
• Wide receiver Devin Smith set a new Big Ten Championship Game record with 137 yards receiving, and tied the Big Ten Football Championship Game record with three receiving touchdowns. He also surpassed Cris Carter for second on Ohio State's career receiving touchdown list with 29 touchdowns.
• The Buckeyes defense set a new Big Ten Football Championship Game record with four forced turnovers, and tied the Big Ten Football Championship Game record with two interceptions. Cornerback Doran Grant set a new Big Ten Championship Game record with two interceptions returned for 60 yards. Defensive end Joey Bosa added a fumble recovery, while safety Vonn Bell intercepted a pass.
• Bosa's fumble return for a touchdown is the first in the history of the Big Ten Football Championship Game.
• Defensive tackle Michael Bennett forced a Big Ten Football Championship Game record two fumbles, and tied the Big Ten Football Championship Game record with four tackles for loss.
• Punter Cameron Johnston punted four times for 212 yards, establishing a new Big Ten Football Championship Game record of 53.0 yards per punt. His long of 73 yards is also a Big Ten Football Championship Game record and a new career long.
• • •
Stars of the game: Quarterback Cardale Jones can take a bow for delivering huge plays in his first start, but the night belonged to running back Ezekiel Elliott, who outshone Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon. And the defense saved its best game for when a dominating performance mattered.
Turning point: Elliott’s 81-yard, untouched run up the middle behind blocks from Jacoby Bor?en, Daryl Baldwin and others put the Buckeyes up 14-0 just 11 minutes into the game. After that, Vonn Bell made an interception on Wisconsin’s next possession, and the romp was underway.
Repercussions: The College Football Playoff committee has quite a quandary. Florida State, No. 4 last week, stayed unbeaten by squeaking past Georgia Tech. No.5 Ohio State, as an underdog, put on a tour de force in making claim to being the hottest team at season’s end.
One-liner: Watching Wisky’s pass defense was like watching Christopher Walken play Captain Hook. Miscast and lifeless.
Numbers for dummies
38 & 31: Points at halftime for the Buckeyes and points at halftime for the OSU men’s basketball team in a 70-50 win over Colgate
73 & 76: One punt by Ohio State’s Cameron Johnston and rushing total for Wisconsin tailback Melvin Gordon
On tap: A bowl game. Which one? The College Football Playoff selection committee will let us all know at 12:45 p.m. today on ESPN
Sources: ESPN, OSU Official Site, Columbus Dispatch
Buckeyes sing Carmen Ohio
Two-Minute Drill: Updates from the Big Ten Championship Postgame December 7, 2014 Source: The Ozone -
Urban Meyer Updates
+ Meyer credited Luke Fickell and his defense for stopping the Wisconsin running game yet again. It was the fourth consecutive year Fickell's defense has held Wisconsin to under four yards per carry.
+ On if the Buckeyes deserve to be in the CFB Playoff: "We just won 59-0 against one of the top teams in America."
+ Meyer credited Cardale Jones for his level of maturity. He said that he knew Jones had the talent to throw the ball, but he figured there would be jitters. "There was none of that."
+ "The Selection Committee has a tough job. The whole BCS thing, this is supposed to clean up the BCS conflict or conversations. All I can speak to is I've been around teams that have competed and won national championships. This team, the way it's playing right now, is one of the top teams in America."
+ "This was a complete, thorough effort by our defense. Coach Fickell, Coach Ash. Everybody was waiting for the silver bullets to come back, including the head coach. That was a fantastic effort."
Devin Smith Updates
+ Smith said that this win meant a lot considering what happened to them last year.
+ Smith said they had nothing but confidence in Cardale Jones, and he knew he would be able to execute against Wisconsin's defense.
+ "We've been playing well and working extremely hard. We proved why we should be there tonight."
+ Smith said it was hard to put the win into words, but he was just so happy for everyone on the team.
+ On Cardale Jones: "I knew exactly what he was going to do...and he got the job done."
+ Smith said it doesn't matter to him who lines up at quarterback because they all know what they're doing.
+ "Man, I just wanted to score in this game, period. Kind of just to leave my mark a little bit. The game plan was to take shots when we can."
Cardale Jones Updates
+ "We worked all week for this and as a team we had faith in one another. There was no down time and we treated this like it was our game to take and we were going to leave it all on the field."
+ "I thought our guys played the game of a lifetime and we trusted each other."
+ I wouldn’t say a chip on my shoulder. I played with confidence because of the confidence my teammates had in me, the confidence my coaches had in me, my family, close friends, Buckeye Nation."
Joey Bosa Updates
+ On Cardale Jones: "I believed in him from the very beginning. We get to see a different side to him in practice that most people don't have a chance to see. But I think right after that first initial drive is when everyone else caught on too."
+ Bosa said he could not care less how well he played tonight because it was about the team as a whole, because they knew that would be the only way to stop the Wisconsin offense.
Taylor Decker Updates
+ "We needed to come out and make a statement. That we should be in the top four. I think without a doubt that we deserve that."
+ Decker said they didn't talk about the playoff before the game, they just talked about going out there and playing for their brothers and continue to overcome adversity.
+ This was the first time they played all nine units strong.
+ On Cardale Jones: "He was amazing. I couldn't be more happy for him because he hasn't gotten to play a lot here. He has all the talent in the world. I know he took his preparation really seriously this weekend, that was the biggest thing for him." "I couldn't be more happy for him. I know he's going to love it. Good for him."
+ "We've done what we can do. We finished it off with a bang. If we're not viewed as one of the top teams, that's out of our hands."
Darron Lee Updates
+ Lee said he knew a defensive performance like this was coming. The key to stopping Gordon was simply doing their jobs. "We got it done tonight."
+ Lee said it felt great to send the seniors out with a Big Ten Championship Game.
+ Regarding being underdogs: "The coaches may have told us here and there."
+ They had nothing but faith in Cardale Jones. They knew all they had to do was stop Melvin Gordon. "We did our job assignments flawlessly tonight."
Tyvis Powell Updates
+ On Cardale Jones: "I was confident in him all along because I knew what he could do."
+ Powell was running around after the game holding a giant Big Ten sign. What was going through his mind after the game? "We finally did it! Finally! After losing last year and having all of this criticism that we took in the offseason, to finally come back here again and get the job done, it's just the most amazing feeling in the world."
+ "I think this is the first time everybody on the team left it out on the field, literally, left it out, because I am exhausted!"
+ Michael Bennett and Adolphus Washington told the team not to worry about anybody running the ball up the middle, so everybody else knew they just had to leverage the ball and keep Gordon contained.
+ Powell said Urban Meyer was just thankful in the locker room after the game that the team finally got it done, and they had a couple of prayers for Kosta Karageorge and his family.
Adolphus Washington Updates
+ Washington said there was no plan for a shutout, but he was happy to get it.
+ The coaches told the team the last couple of days that this was just another game and not to make too much of it.
+ Washington said that the defense made a statement that they can stop anybody. He said they had a guardian angel with them in Kosta Karageorge.
+ He and Mike Bennett made it clear before the game that this was a game that those two could control and if they forced Gordon to bounce it out, then they would win, and that's what they did.
Ezekiel Elliott Updates
+ Elliott said the Buckeyes deserved to make the playoff. "We dominated tonight."
+ Elliott said he expected Cardale Jones to play extremely well. "His number was called today and he showed that he was one of the best quarterbacks in the nation."
+ Elliott said it's easy to run for a bunch of yards when the offensive line moves defenses like they have been. He also said that he would have scored on his second long run had he not lost his shoe.
Wisconsin Football Big Ten Championship Postgame Press Conference
HC Gary Andersen, Melvin Gordon, & Marcus Trotter take questions from the media following loss to Ohio State
Wisconsin Postgame Notes
• Wide receiver Kenzel Doe had a season-high 114 yards on six kick returns. It is his third career 100+ yard kick return game.
• Wide receiver Alex Erickson had 83 receiving yards on seven receptions, giving him 143 yards on 12 catches in his last two outings.
• In two Big Ten Football Championship game appearances, running back Melvin Gordon has 282 yards on 35 carries. He finished with 76 yards on 26 carries today.
• Wisconsin's block of a 29-yard field goal attempt by Ohio State in the fourth quarter was its first of the season. Defensive end Jake Keefer recorded his first career blocked kick.
• The Badgers were shut out for the first time since August 24, 1997 vs. Syracuse (34-0), a string of 231 games. It was the first shutout of Wisconsin by a Big Ten team since Iowa on November 16, 1996 (31-0).
• Wisconsin's eight punts is a new Big Ten Football Championship Game record, as is its 329 punt yards.
• ILB Marcus Trotter had a team-high 10 tackles, his second-straight double-digit tackle game and fourth this season. Trotter has 15 solo tackles in his last two games.
• QB Joel Stave had a season-high 43 pass attempts, just the second time in his career he has thrown the ball 40 or more times in a game (53 vs. Penn State-2013).
• Wisconsin had a season-best three fourth-down conversions (3-of-5).
B1G Title Game
Dec 6, 2014
Ohio State Football: Big Ten Championship Trailer
WHAT'S AT STAKE
The Big Ten's long shot hope of making the College Football Playoff likely rests solely with the one-loss Buckeyes, not the two-loss Badgers. But there's no assurance Ohio State would get one of the coveted four playoff spots even with a win. Wisconsin is chasing its fourth Big Ten title in five years and is playing in its third conference championship game in four years. The Badgers won the previous two.
Ohio State QB Cardale Jones vs. Badgers' defense. After losing Braxton Miller before the season and J.T. Barrett with a broken ankle last weekend, Jones is now preparing for his first career start -- in the conference championship game. Plus, he's facing a defense that has allowed the fewest points (16.8), the fewest total yards (260.3), the fewest yards passing (156.6) and the third-fewest yards rushing (103.8) in the Big Ten.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Wisconsin: RB Melvin Gordon. The Heisman Trophy candidate has already rushed for a Big Ten record 2,260 yards. He needs 168 yards to pass Marcus Allen for No. 3 on Football Bowl Subdivision's single-season list, 308 to pass Kevin Smith for No. 2 and 369 to break Barry Sanders' NCAA record. Could it happen? Well, Gordon did rush for 408 yards against Nebraska, which gave up 155.5 yards rushing to everyone else. Ohio State allows 145.6 yards.
Ohio St.: Jones. Living up to the record-breaking Barrett, the conference's top quarterback (perhaps the best replacement since Lou Gehrig), won't be easy. But asking Jones to win a championship game after going 11 of 19 for 121 yards with two touchdown passes since the start of 2013 seems impossible. What Ohio State needs most out of Jones is to make sure the Buckeyes are two-dimensional.
FACTS & FIGURES
The Buckeyes have won 24 consecutive regular season Big Ten games and 10 in a row overall but lost year's title game in Indy to eventual Rose Bowl champion Michigan State. ...Ohio State, the East Division champs, won the last meeting in this series 31-24 on Sept. 28, 2013 in Columbus. The last three games have been decided by three or fewer points. ... Ezekiel Elliott leads Ohio State in rushing with 1,182 yards (98.5 yards per game). ... With Barrett as the starter, the Buckeyes' national offensive rankings were: No. 2 in passing efficiency (168.6), No. 5 in scoring offense (44.1 points), No. 11 in rushing offense (257.4 yards) and No. 11 in total offense (503.4). ... Wisconsin has won seven straight since losing at Northwestern on Oct. 4. ... The Badgers are playing in their third title game in the four years of championship game's existence and are chasing their 15th Big Ten title. ... Their national defensive ranks are: No. 2 in total defense, No. 4 in scoring defense, No. 8 in in rushing defense and No. 8 in passing efficiency (104.85). ... The Badgers have won 11 straight games in Indiana. ... As a team, the Badgers average 334.2 yards rushing per game and Gordon and Corey Clement have broken the FBS record for most yards rushing by a tandem (3,090). Gordon and James White set the previous mark in 2013 (3,053).
Two-Minute Drill: Dec. 5 Updates from Ohio State Coach Urban Meyer
December 5, 2014 Source: The Ozone - + Meyer said he has a lot of former coaches who are now head coaches elsewhere. He said Gary Andersen was "one of my top guys" and would lean on him quite often when they were at Utah.
+ Meyer said Ohio State is "still not where we need to be" when it comes to depth on the defensive line.
+ Meyer said you could see Chase Farris on the defensive line a few times Saturday because he is such a big guy with a "quick twitch."
+ Meyer said it "was a rough week" for his team with the death and funeral of Kosta Karageorge, but there is a lot of positive energy through the team right now.
+ Meyer said Cardale Jones has prepared "very well" and he saw the improvement he needed to see in him this week before Saturday's game.
+ Meyer said this group of running backs he's faced in the Big Ten this season are the best he's seen in his career. He likened some of them to the time he faced Alabama's Mark Ingram when he was at Florida.
+ Meyer said he frequently talks about Michael Jordan with his team because of how many championships he won in Chicago. Wants the Buckeyes to understand the importance of winning titles and how it will tie the team together for the rest of it life.
+ Meyer said there "was no question" that J.T. Barrett and Braxton Miller were going to be in Indianapolis for the game against Wisconsin.
+ Meyer said the reason Barrett is a Heisman candidate because of his stats. Said the moment he'll never forget from Barrett this year is the Penn State game when he took the team on his shoulders in the first overtime to keep the Buckeyes in the game.
+ Another moment that sticks out to Meyer about Barrett is the 3rd and long pass to Devin Smith against Michigan State that kept a drive alive. He said Barrett is the one making a case for Heisman, not him: "I didn't make a case. He made a case."
+ Next to Melvin Gordon, Meyer said the biggest thing that's jumped out to him about Wisconsin is its front seven and how it is completely different than last season's and still near the top in the rankings.
+ Meyer said he hasn't thought about shielding his team from worrying about the other national games that will have an impact on the College Football Playoff: "I don't see it, they're all smart guys. They understand what's at stake."
+ Meyer said he's spent some time reflecting on last season's loss to Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship Game: "That was a tough day walking off that field."
+ Are Braxton Miller and J.T. Barrett able to play a role Saturday night in helping Cardale Jones? "Oh sure," Meyer said. He said they will have a role but have to stay out of harm's way because both guys have injuries.
+ Meyer called it "a terrible offense" that took the field against Navy in week one, regardless who was playing quarterback. He said the game plan was so simple against the Midshipmen, just doing what the team had to do in order to win the game.
+ As a passer, Meyer said Jones' touch is very good but he still is getting better at being a leader and taking ownership of the offense: "I feel like he's much more prepared in that area, it's so much more than just throwing the ball."
+ Meyer said the No. 1 concern for Ohio State is getting Gordon to the ground, followed closely by keeping Jones upright in pass protection.
+ Meyer said he and Ohio State thought they would be prepared for the noise in Lucas Oil Stadium last year, but they weren't. "We are prepared this year."
+ Meyer said the closeness of a college football team can be measured in the locker room as well as on the field. He said the 2012 team was one of the closest he's ever been around and this one is in that ballpark.
+ Meyer said he's "a nut job" the night before a game like this. Said he won't be able to sleep very well Friday night and instead will just continue walking around and looking in the eyes of his players to make sure they're ready to go.
• • • #Wisconsin HC Gary Andersen Updates December 5, 2014
|Five key factors for OSU victory|
December 5, 2014 Source: Columbus Dispatch -
1. Get Jones comfortable
Cardale Jones will have the spotlight on him in his first-ever start at quarterback, and it’s crucial that his confidence grows throughout the game. It makes sense to give him easier throws at the beginning before having him let ’er rip, which he’s more than capable of doing — or so we’ve heard. Jones must make sure that his fundamentals are sound, mainly his footwork. He also has to be confident in his reads in the running game.
2. Rely on supporting cast
Jones has to play competently, but much of the burden must be shouldered by his offensive teammates. They must make sure that the running game is effective with Ezekiel Elliott and get Jalin Marshall his touches, both as a hybrid and taking direct snaps. Heck, let Marshall throw a little bit to keep the Badgers off-balance.
3. Limit Gordon
It’s unrealistic to expect the Buckeyes to hold Melvin Gordon under 100 yards, but under 150 might be a reasonable goal. Ohio State can’t let him run wild. The Buckeyes must make sure they remain in their gaps and don’t overrun plays, which has been an issue lately. Wisconsin’s line is as burly and effective as ever. The Buckeyes have to be stout, and linebackers and defensive backs must wrap up and gang-tackle. This also would be a good time for backup linemen such as Tommy Schutt and Donovan Munger to help hold down the fort. In this game, the starters could use a break now and then.
4. Don’t sit on a lead
The Badgers have fallen behind 17-3 in their past two games, before they roared back to take control. Wisconsin has outscored opponents only 69-67 in the first quarter, but has dominated in the middle quarters 288-61. If Ohio State takes an early lead, it can’t take its foot off the accelerator.
5. Get special teams help
Jalin Marshall has shown he can be a game-breaker as a punt returner, and Curtis Samuel has breakaway ability on kickoffs. A big play or two from them would be huge. OSU punter Cameron Johnston has the ability to be a game-changer with his leg. Above all, the Buckeyes have to be careful not to commit turnovers in the return game.
|"Cardale Jones had a good practice today. He's ready. He's handled the situation very well. Braxton & J.T. have been great (helping Cardale prepare). It's a pretty close group. They're both gonna go (to Indy w/ the team)" Urban Meyer|
|Urban Meyer Meyer talks Wisconsin preps December 3, 2014 Source: BuckeyeGrove.com|
Urban Meyer Updates Post-Practice Updates from Wednesday Dec 3 Source: The Ozone
+ Meyer said the quarterback situation behind Cardale Jones is Jalin Marshall and freshman Stephen Collier. Meyer is more comfortable with Marshall throwing the ball than he has been in the past. They haven't been using Marshall much more at wildcat in practice than they have in the past.
+ Cardale Jones has handled this week very well. He has a good cast around him that he can rely on.
+ Meyer said that Dontre Wilson is out, but everybody else is pretty good to go injury-wise.
• • •
Jeff Heuerman Updates Post-Practice Updates from Wednesday Dec 3 Source: The Ozone
+ Heuerman said the goal before the season was to compete for championships in November and that's what they're doing now, even though it is now December. He did say that it's been a wild ride to get where they are this season.
+ The team still has a bad taste in their mouths from the loss to Michigan State last year.
+ This season has tested the team's leadership, especially now with an inexperienced quarterback taking snaps. Heuerman said it's on the shoulders of the veterans to help out Cardale Jones.
+ Jones has performed well in practice on Tuesday and Wednesday. They have spent extra time working on their timing. He has no doubts that Jones will be mentally ready for Saturday. "It will be fun to watch."
+ The Wisconsin defense doesn't do a lot of different things, they're just good at what they do. They are gap sound with solid fundamentals. They also have a knack for finding the football.
+ Jones throws the ball more like Braxton Miller than J.T. Barrett. "He can sling that thing." He also makes plays with his feet.
+ Heuerman said it took a day or two to get the timing down with Jones because of the velocity of his passes, but they caught passes from him all spring and summer, so they meshed quickly enough.
• • •
|"Walking off that field last year we said we'll be back (in B1G championship). It's time to finish the task & get the win." DB Doran Grant|
Doran Grant Post-Practice Updates from Wednesday Dec 3 Source: The Ozone
+ Grant says the defense needs more effort and more fight than last year's Big Ten Championship Game in order to get the win.
+ Wisconsin is tough on offense, they can obviously run the ball and they are disciplined, but the secondary still has to be ready for the pass because the Badgers aren't one dimensional.
+ Grant said the key to stopping Melvin Gordon is pursuing him and getting him on the ground. "That's what we have to do." Bri'onte Dunn has been emulating Gordon on the Scout team.
+ Communication in the secondary is key with all of the motion and shifting that Wisconsin does on offense.
|December 1, 2014 Source: The Ozone - Head Coach Urban Meyer, Defensive Coordinator/LB Coach Luke Fickell and Off. Coord/Quarterbacks Coach Tom Herman talk about the upcoming Big Ten Championship game vs. Wisconsin and about the tragic death of Kosta Karageorge|
• • •
|December 1, 2014 Source: The Ozone - Sophomore RB Ezekiel Elliott, Junior LB Joshua Perry, Junior OL Taylor Decker and Sophomore OL Pat Elflein talk about the upcoming Big Ten Championship game vs. Wisconsin and about the tragic death of Kosta Karageorge.|
• • •
Ohio State HC Urban Meyer, CB Doran Grant, DT Michael Bennett, WR Evan Spencer
#6 Ohio State 2014 B1G Championship Game Notes
December 1, 2014 Source: OSU Official Site - Conference title game to be televised at 8:17 p.m. ET Saturday on FOX...
First and 10
• Ohio State is making its second consecutive appearance in the Big Ten championship game.
• Ohio State enters the game having won 10 in a row, the second-longest active streak in the nation.
• Ohio State finished 8-0 in conference play, becoming the first Big Ten team since Minnesota in 1933-35 to go undefeated in regular-season conference play three consecutive years.
• The Buckeyes also became the first Big Ten team to win every game (undefeated and untied) in Big Ten regular season games three consecutive years.
• Ohio State leads the B1G and ranks 11th in the NCAA in total offense with 503.4 yards per game and is fifth in scoring offense at 44.1 ppg.
• Prior to his injury, QB J.T. Barrett set a B1G record with 45 TDs responsible for this season; that is currently the third-most in the FBS this season.
• Barrett also set school records this season for TD passes (35) and total offense (3,772 yards).
• Joey Bosa, a Lombardi and Bednarik finalist, leads the B1G with 20.0 TFL & 13.5 sacks.
• Head coach Urban Meyer is 2-2 in his career in conference championship games and 14-5 all-time in neutral site games.
• The Buckeyes, 35-3 (.921) overall under Meyer, have the second-highest winning percentage among FBS teams since the start of 2012.
SEEKING 35TH BIG TEN CROWN
Ohio State will be seeking to win its 35th Big Ten Conference championship on Saturday. Ohio State ranks second (University of Michigan; 42) in number of Big Ten crowns with the last championship coming in 2009 to cap a Big Ten-record tying six consecutive championships for the Buckeyes.
OHIO STATE INDOORS
The Buckeyes have an official, all-time record of 14-6 in games played indoors. Prior to last year's B1G championship game, Ohio State had not played indoors since the 2011 Sugar Bowl game vs. Arkansas at the Superdome, a win for Ohio State that was later vacated. The most recent indoor game prior to that was the 2009 Fiesta Bowl against Texas at the University of Phoenix Stadium.
OHIO STATE AT NIGHT
Saturday will be Ohio State's sixth of an Ohio State season-high six night games. Ohio State is officially 43-23 in night games (those starting after 5 p.m. local time). The Buckeyes are 12-4 all-time in night games at Ohio Stadium and 31-19 in road (22-10) or neutral field (9-9) night games.
10 CONSECUTIVE WINS
Ohio State is one of the nation's hottest teams. The team is riding a 10-game winning streak that is currently the second-longest streak in the nation to Florida State (28).
GAME No. 7 vs. A FORMER ASSISTANT
Urban Meyer has had 11 of his assistant coaches move on to head coaching positions with 10 of them still a head coach. Saturday's game will mark the seventh time Meyer has coached opposite one of them and the second time against Andersen. Meyer's teams are 5-1 in the previous games
• Meyer's Florida Gators defeated Dan Mullen's Mississippi State Bulldogs in 2009, 29-19, in Starkville, Miss.;
• Mullen's Bulldogs topped Florida in Gainesville in 2010, 10-7;
• Meyer's Buckeyes defeated Beckman's Illini, 52-22, in 2012 at Ohio Stadium;
• Ohio State defeated Gary Andersen's Badgers, 31-24, at Ohio Stadium on Sept. 28;
• Ohio State defeated Beckman's Illini, 60-35, last year at Ohio Stadium; and
• Ohio State defeated Beckman's Illini, 55-14, this year at Ohio Stadium.
More at #6 Ohio State 2014 B1G Championship Game Notes
Two-Minute Drill: Urban Meyer Updates from the Nov. 30 Big Ten Championship Teleconference
November 30, 2014 Source: The Ozone - Urban Meyer met with the media on the Big Ten Teleconference call Sunday. Here are the highlights.
+ Meyer said Cardale Jones' week of preparation will be 'much different' after the injury to J.T. Barrett: "It's his show, he's already got the keys to the car."
+ Meyer said Jones showed a lot of talent in the spring from the quarterback.
+ Meyer said Barrett's surgery was successful this morning and he plans to stay in the hospital overnight. He has not seen him yet, though.
+ Meyer said the rush defense "has given up too many hits" even though it has played good running backs in the Big Ten. He said that has to get cleaned up though: "This is as good a rushing team as there is in the country."
+ Meyer said the start to Jones' career was "a mess." He said he has noticed a big change in his maturity though not only on the field but in the classroom and during practice.
+ Meyer said when he doesn't believe in a player, he lets the media know. He believes in Cardale Jones.
+ "The positive about Braxton's injury, is these two guys have gotten a lot of reps." - Meyer on Jones and Barrett.
+ Meyer again says both Barrett and Jones have similar skill sets: "It's really not that much different other than size."
+ Meyer said "it is" a blessing that with the injuries Ohio State has gotten game reps with guys like Barrett, Jones and Jalin Marshall in the wildcat: "Plan C happens to be an all-state quarterback named Jalin Marshall."
+ Meyer said he walked by Billy Price today and he had a huge smile on his face. Said the trust to get the fourth and one play Saturday wasn't there with the offensive line earlier in the season.
+ Meyer again credited Ed Warinner for his development of the offensive line this season after losing what he called "the best offensive line I've ever been around" from last season: "They're better than I thought they would have been by this point in time."
+ Meyer said the difference between what Jones will walk into compared to what Barrett did after Miller's injury is an experienced huddle. Wasn't there with all the new faces after last season.
+ Meyer said Jones is "pretty good" at running the read option. Has shown it in practice.
+ Meyer on if the playoff committee would leave a J.T. Barrett-less Ohio State out: "I heard that ... I saw that, I think that's wrong."
+ Meyer said the staff is still discussing whether or not Ohio State would burn Stephen Collier's redshirt if Jones would get hurt in either the Big Ten Championship or bowl game: "We'll meet about that tonight."
+ Meyer said the only time they would do that to a player out of respect for them is when a championship is on the line, which is where they are right now.
+ Meyer said Ohio State has been good at tackling until the last few weeks. That is keeping it from being a complete defense.
+ Meyer said he has not had time to watch the Wisconsin offense yet, because he's had seven recruits at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center Sunday.
+ Meyer: "It's an opportunity to win a Big Ten Championship ... that's why you come here."
+ Meyer said he cannot liken losing two starting quarterbacks in one season to any other time in his career.
+ J.T. Barrett should be ready to be able to "function" by spring ball, but not run, Meyer said he's been told. Said the injury is the same as the one Evan Spencer had in the Orange Bowl, and he's playing.
+ Meyer said Ohio State must do a better job of putting teams away: "I don't think we take advantage of situations where we can put teams away."
+ Meyer said Ohio State will change its defense to try and control Melvin Gordon, but said it's too early to say how exactly.
+ Meyer credited Tom Herman for getting players like Miller and Barrett into the conversation for the Heisman Trophy, along with how they gain yards on offense: "Our offensive system is quarterback-friendly."
+ Meyer said the defensive secondary is getting better, but nowhere near the vision the coaches have put into place. Said that is because the players back there are still young outside of Doran Grant.
+ Meyer said he has no update on the status of missing defensive lineman Kosta Karageorge.
+ Meyer said he plans to have a team meeting around 3:30 p.m. to mention what Barrett's done for them and then to say that it has to be the "next man up" mentality. Said the team is still in a good state of mind despite the injury.
+ Having assistant coaches on the radar for other schools is not frustrating but a compliment, Meyer said. All he asks is that they keep things professional and talk to him and the rest of the coaching staff if they are getting calls about other jobs.
+ Did Bo Pelini's firing Sunday at Nebraska surprise Urban Meyer? "It sure did. I was like, 'You gotta be kidding me.'"
+ Meyer said Jones does not have to go out and win a game by himself because of how much more of a veteran group the offense is compared to when Barrett took over before the season starter.
+ Meyer said Wisconsin coach Gary Anderson has brought his own little ways to the Badgers compared to what they were a few years ago: "He's a great fit. He's a guy that really can fit anywhere ... I think he's one of the top coaches in the country." Meyer said the biggest difference is what Wisconsin does defensively.
|QB J.T. Barrett & WR Dontre Wilson out.
Indianapolis Weather Forecast
On the edge: Ohio State vs. Wisconsin
December 5, 2014 Source: Columbus Dispatch -
When Buckeyes run . . . Edge – OHIO STATE
This is the slimmest of edges. Ohio State ranks 11th nationally with 257.4 yards per game, but much of that was because of J.T. Barrett’s legs and decision-making. Jones is a capable runner but has to make the right reads. Ezekiel Elliott has proved to be effective running both inside and outside. Wisconsin ranks eighth nationally in run defense, yielding only 103.8 yards per game. But the Badgers haven’t faced a team with as many threats as Ohio State.
When Buckeyes pass . . . Edge – WISCONSIN
The Badgers rank second nationally in passing yards allowed (156.6 per game) and eighth in pass efficiency defense. Jones has a strong arm but has struggled at times with accuracy because of shaky footwork. Even with Barrett, the Buckeyes’ passing game hasn’t been consistent lately. Wisconsin has only six interceptions; Peniel Jean leads with two.
When Badgers run . . . Edge – WISCONSIN
There’s no speculation here. Melvin Gordon, the nation’s leading rusher (2,260 yards), the owner of a 408-yard game, and considered the runner-up to Oregon’s Marcus Mariota in the Heisman race, should get the ball early and often. He’s backed up by the capable Corey Clement, and sprung by what once again seems to be the biggest and best offensive line in the Big Ten. The Buckeyes have been vulnerable to the run of late, though more so in gashes, but held Gordon to 74 yards last year.
When Badgers pass . . . Edge – OHIO STATE
In recent weeks, QB Joel Stave has been given a little more leeway to throw the ball as defenses have zeroed in on Gordon. Of course, that usually sets up play-action opportunities, with WR Alex Erickson stepping up. Look for OSU CB Doran Grant to take the hot receiver, while the Buckeyes rely on Big Ten defensive player of the year Joey Bosa and his front-line mates to bring pressure on Stave. OSU leads the Big Ten in interceptions (18).
Special teams . . . Edge – OHIO STATE
Punter Cameron Johnston is a weapon for Ohio State because of his leg strength and touch. Kick returners Jalin Marshall and Curtis Samuel have big-play ability. Field-goal kicker Sean Nuernberger has been inconsistent, missing six kicks. Wisconsin’s punting net ranks 119th, but Drew Meyer has only three touchbacks in 43 kicks. Rafael Gaglianone is 17 for 20 on field goals and has made 13 in a row.
Big Ten Championship Preview: Ohio State vs. Wisconsin
December 6, 2014 Source: The Score
Game Data: Ohio State vs Wisconsin
December 6, 2014 Source: Bucknuts.com - Wisconsin bases its offense around RB Melvin Gordon, who has already rushed for the fourth-most yards in a season in FBS history. He is leading the nation at 185 ypg and Wisconsin is second nationally in rushing offense at 334.3 ypg.
Ohio State is middle-of-the-road in stopping the run, ranking 40th at 145.6 ypg. But over the last four games, OSU opponents have been just shy of 200 yards per game. This is the single biggest concern Ohio State has coming into this game because if Gordon can get a crease, he accelerates and can be gone in a blink. He had 408 yards against Nebraska. Two years ago, he rushed for 221 yards in UW’s 70-31 rout of Nebraska in the Big Ten title game here in Indy.
QB Joel Stave is an efficient manager. He did throw for 295 yards and two TDs against OSU last year and just threw for 215 yards in UW’s win over Minnesota. But he does not have last year’s star, Jared Abbrederis, to throw to. My guess is OSU commits eight players to stopping the run. If you’re an OSU fan, you have to hope that will be enough...
Game Matchup: Ohio State Vs. Wisconsin
December 6, 2014 Source: BuckeyeSports.com
Preview: No. 5 Ohio State vs. No. 13 Wisconsin
December 5, 2014 Source: Eleven Warriors
Ohio State vs. Wisconsin 2014: Preview, odds, predictions
December 5, 2014 Source: Land-Grant Holy Land
tBBC Preview: Wisconsin
December 3, 2014 Source: The Buckeye Battle Cry
Big Ten Championship: Ohio State vs. Wisconsin Game Preview and Vegas Prediction
December 4, 2014 Source: Saturday Blitz
Why Ohio State will win:
Without Braxton Miller, there was supposed to be no way the Buckeyes could get back to the Big Ten title game. They got there anyway, and still wound up with the highest-scoring offense in the league. Without J.T. Barrett, the odds have shifted again against Ohio State. Why write it off now after already proving it could plug in the next quarterback and keep Urban Meyer’s attack rolling right along? Sure, it’s a lot to expect a third-stringer to fill the shoes of not one, but two decorated players at the most important position on the field. But this isn’t the same roster that relied so heavily on Miller to carry the burden over the last couple seasons.
The abundance of skill players that were supposed to help Miller have his best campaign as a senior and did help Barrett set the conference record for touchdowns in his absence will be available for Cardale Jones against the Badgers. They, in theory, should allow for an easy transition. Stopping Melvin Gordon with a rush defense that has had some issues won’t be easy, and the loss of Barrett’s leadership shouldn’t be dismissed. But Meyer is a master of psychology and the spread offense, and he’ll have some underdogs and yet another quarterback ready to go with a title on the line. Ohio State 31, Wisconsin 27. -- Austin Ward
Why Wisconsin will win:
Whenever Ohio State got in trouble this season, whenever it needed a big play on third down, there was no doubt who would have the ball in his hands. Barrett made clutch play after clutch play and showed incredible toughness and poise in key situations. I find it hard to believe that Cardale Jones is going to duplicate that in the first meaningful playing time of his career. He's going up against the Big Ten's best defense, one that brings a variety of well-disguised pressures from different angles that can confound even a veteran quarterback. Ohio State's speed and skill will be a tough matchup for the Badgers, but the Buckeyes won't enjoy as many explosive plays as they have pulled off during much of the season. Oh, and also: Melvin Gordon. Wisconsin gets ahead by 10 points early and holds on for dear life late. Wisconsin 27, Ohio State 24. -- Brian Bennett
Two-Minute Drill: Dec. 5 Updates from Wisconsin Coach Gary Andersen
December 5, 2014 Source: The Ozone - + Andersen said "it was great" to work for Urban Meyer at Utah because they didn't lose a game. Team with 12-0 in 2004. He said the best thing was how much he learned from Meyer in a lot of different ways and he continues to use what he learned today.
+ Andersen said the Badgers will know more about the health of their offensive line tomorrow. He said a couple guys are "dinged up and nicked up," but starting center Dan Voltz is going to try and go. Depends on how he feels Saturday.
+ Andersen said the plan Urban Meyer had when he was head coach at Utah was the thing that most impressive to him. He said his goal now as a head coach is to make sure the players and coaches are "six months ahead" of what is going on at that moment. He said Meyer's emphasis in special teams always impressed him.
+ Andersen said he and his staff looked at every snap Cardale Jones played this season and came to the conclusion that he is very capable of running Ohio State's offense. He said he doesn't expect the offense "to change a bit" with Jones in there instead of Barrett.
+ Andersen said he doesn't believe the success Ohio State's had on offense is cause for it to change drastically without Barrett. He said many of Ohio State's plays force opponents to be in bad positions
+ Andersen said he's very proud of both is quarterbacks in Joel Stave and Tanner McEvoy: "There was never agendas in making a case for themselves ... I feel very comfortable (with them). We would not be here now without them."
+ Andersen said the key is for his team's running game is getting to the second level and using the blocks of tight ends and wide receivers. He said he thinks Ohio State is going to load the box against the Badgers: "It's going to be a very physical game. We're going to be tested, for sure."
+ Andersen said he was "very concerned" about his team mentally and physically as it fought through the month of November, which were essentially all elimination games for the Badgers.
+ "They were very on it today in practice. They're very excited." - Andersen on his team's mindset
+ Andersen said the goal for his team was to get a chance to play for the Big Ten Championship this season. He said every time they broke the huddle in practice this season, his players yelled "Champs on three." "I told them that if they say it, they better mean it and go get it."
+ Andersen said 13 or 14 games are enough games for players in college football in his opinion. If college football did expand to an eight-team playoff though, he would support it because it is such a great game.
+ Establishing an identity as a team "is very important," Andersen said. "The good thing is I think we got here and we were going to show and live up to that identity ... I think they represent college football the right way."
+ Andersen said coaching against Meyer doesn't really feel any different for him after their time spent at Utah. He said he hopes to get to see Meyer's wife, Shelley: "It's about the kids and it's opportunity to be involved in a championship game that they'll remember forever."
+ Andersen said the injury issues on the offensive line at Wisconsin is "a big concern" because of the time of the year and going to be facing off against a good team: "It's a talented defensive front, probably the best defensive front we've faced all season."
+ Andersen said he thinks Cardale Jones will be fine in the position he is in because of the way his coaches prepare him: "This offense will put him in a position to be just fine ... if the offensive coordinator feels like he needs to scale some things back he'll still have an opportunity to be successful because of the talented guys around him."
+ "This team faced so much adversity outside of football this year because of a number of family situations ... this team handled it very well and helped get those guys through." - Gary Andersen
+ Andersen said his team's goal is to wear down the opposing defense with the power offensive scheme running the ball. He said he believes that is what every offense in the country would say they want to do, though: "We do look to have success late in games."
+ Andersen said Ohio State's speed and athleticism reminds him of Wisconsin's game against LSU earlier this season. He said he thinks Ohio State is faster than the Tigers were, but acknowledges that game was a long time ago.
+ Andersen said he does not look at Ohio State like a benchmark for the team: "I think we all look at ourselves like an elite team ... to say that one team is a benchmark in the Big Ten, why would you?"
+ Andersen said Joey Bosa's recognition as the Big Ten's Defensive Player of the Year is fully merited: "He is a very talented young man, and he plays at one speed and that's the speed you want your players to play at ... You gotta have your eye on that guy every snap."
+ Andersen said he doesn't know if the addition of Chris Ash to the Ohio State defensive staff gives Wisconsin an edge because Ash was in Madison before Andersen's staff was.
+ Andersen said his team will special to him for a long time no matter if they win or lose tomorrow because of how they've come together as a team and grown through adversity.
Injuries, shuffling on offensive line are worrisome
December 4, 2014 Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinal - Although Wisconsin center Dan Voltz hopes to return from an ankle injury suffered in the regular-season finale and face Ohio State in the Big Ten title game on Saturday, UW coach Gary Andersen is not ruling out using freshman Michael Deiter.
Deiter, from Curtice, Ohio, has not played this season and was set to redshirt.
"You've got to be able to snap the ball to keep playing," Andersen said after practice Thursday. "So if that means Michael Deiter plays, then Michael Deiter plays.
"It's either that or walk off the field and not finish the championship game....
"Ideally that is not what we want, or we would have played him a long time ago. But Michael is on board. His family is completely on board and excited about the opportunity for him to play, quite frankly.
"His dad was pretty fired up when I talked to him today and said his kid might have a chance to play."
Voltz, a 6-foot-3, 311-pound redshirt sophomore, has started all 11 games this season and has 17 starts overall. Deiter, 6-3 and 317, has practiced with the top two offensive lines all season.
Voltz did not practice Tuesday or Wednesday but did some work Thursday with a heavy tape job on his left ankle.
"He was involved a little bit, and my expectation is that he'll play," Andersen said. "I'm sure that's Danny's at this point. We'll see. There is a little bit of time to go, but I expect him to play."
After Voltz went down against Minnesota, offensive line coach T.J. Woods moved left guard Dallas Lewallen to center and inserted Ray Ball at left guard.
However, Ball missed time during practice this week with an apparent leg injury and his status for the title game is unclear. UW is without reserve guard Trent Denlinger (leg).
"(Deiter) will be ready to go," Andersen said. "Walker Williams will be ready to go. Hopefully, Ray will be ready to go. It's going to be see how the game goes. Hopefully, Dan is ready and we don't have to cross that bridge.
"But if we do at least we prepared ourselves."
Whether Voltz can start and play the entire game or the staff has to turn to Deiter, UW's center will face two talented tackles in Michael Bennett and Adolphus Washington.
Bennett (6-2 and 288), has four sacks and 8½ tackles for loss. Washington (6-4 and 295), has 3½ sacks and eight tackles for loss.
"I've seen them grow through the last year, since we played them," Andersen said. "Those inside kids are very good pass-rushers. They're stout and physical against the run."
Clement fresh: Tailback Corey Clement, who rushed seven times for 89 yards and a touchdown in the victory over Minnesota despite playing with a painful AC joint on his right shoulder, participated in practice all week.
He is expected to be ready to handle any number of carries needed in the title game.
"He should have very fresh legs and be ready to roll," Andersen said. "He looks good. Another week of healing does nothing but help."
HC Gary Andersen Weekly Press Conference 12/01/2014
Wisconsin vs Ohio State Game Notes Source UWOfficial Site
BADGERS SEEK FOURTH TITLE IN FIVE SEASONS
Champion of the West Division, No. 11-ranked Wisconsin (10-2, 7-1 Big Ten) returns to the Big Ten Football Championship Game for the third time in the event’s four-year history to face East Division champion and No. 6-ranked Ohio State (11-1, 8-0).
The Badgers seek their fourth Big Ten championship in five seasons after winning three straight crowns from 2010-12, including the first two Big Ten title games.
KEY NOTES TO CONSIDER
Heisman Trophy candidate Melvin Gordon leads the nation in rushing at 188.3 yards per game after recording his eighth 150-yard effort of the year in leading the Badgers past Minnesota to claim the outright Big Ten West Division title.
Gordon also leads the country in scoring with 29 touchdowns— second-most in Big Ten history — and in rushing average at 8.0 yards per carry.
Gordon broke former Badger Ron Dayne’s single-season Big Ten rushing record and now owns 2,260 yards on the season — the fourth-best total in NCAA history.
Wisconsin’s defense is allowing just 260.3 yards per game to rank No. 2 in the FBS. The Badgers also rank No. 4 in scoring defense (16.8 ppg), No. 8 in rushing defense (103.8 ypg) and No. 2 in passing defense (156.6 ypg) —one of three teams to rank among the nation’s top 10 of all four major categories.
UW won 10 games in the regular season for just the fourth time in school history. The Badgers also did so in 1998, 2006 and 2010. It is the ninth double-digit victory season in school history and sixth in the last 10 seasons.
Wisconsin’s current seven-game win streak is the longest for the Badgers since ending the 2010 regular season with a seven-game streak. It is tied for the third-longest active streak in the country, trailing only Florida State (28 in a row) and Ohio State (10).
Since 2006, Wisconsin is 32-7 (.821) in games played in November and December.
Know Your Foe - No.6 Ohio State
December 2, 2014 Source: BadgerNation - Back in the Big Ten title game after a one year absence, No.11 Wisconsin looks to win its third Big Ten championship game in four years against a sixth-ranked Ohio State team that fell short in the game last year. Badger Nation gets the inside scoop on this week's opponent from Buckeye Sports Bulletin beat writer Jeff Svoboda.
1, Getting the obvious question out of the way, how devastating is J.T. Barrett’s injury to the offense?
Svoboda: Well, it’s not good. It is true that Cardale Jones was ahead of J.T. Barrett for much of the offseason, and Jones brings a lot of skill to the table. But Barrett matured into a dependable, almost-veteran presence despite his relative youth. He had taken basically every important snap for 11 games and three quarters before his injury, so Jones is going to be in a completely different spot. It’s not like OSU is going to be totally hopeless – there’s an offensive line that has become dependable, the best stable of wideouts under Meyer and an excellent back in Ezekiel Elliott – but a QB starting his first game is just not the ideal spot for OSU to be in.
2, What advantages does third-string quarterback Cardale Jones have and what kind of offense do you expect to see with him under center?
Svoboda: Jones has some obvious strengths. He’s huge, first of all, at 250 pounds, so he’s hard to tackle. He has very long legs, which makes him a long strider who can chew up a lot of yards very quickly, and he’s not afraid to sky over defenders, either. He has an absolute cannon for an arm, and he throws an excellent deep ball. He’s just not as adept at going through his progressions as Barrett, and he’s not quite as accurate, either. With that in mind, I don’t expect a whole lot of intermediate passes over the middle into a zone. They’ll likely stick with a run-heavy style putting the onus on Elliott and the offensive line, with Jones throwing a lot of screens, rollout passes and deep balls if Wisconsin tries to crowd the box and leaves single coverage out wide. I would also expect Jalin Marshall, a talented receiver/running back hybrid, to take about 10-20 wildcat snaps and he might even throw out of it like he did once vs. Illinois... Land-Grant Holy Land
Wisconsin HC Gary Andersen, LB Marcus Trotter, RB Melvin Gordon, OT Rob Havenstein
Two-Minute Drill: Gary Anderson Updates from the Nov. 30 Big Ten Championship Teleconference
November 30, 2014 Source: The Ozone - Wisconsin coach Gary Anderson met with the Big Ten media Sunday to preview the Big Ten Championship Game. Here are the highlights.
+ Anderson said the only tape he's seen on Cardale Jones is a highlight video his son pulled up of the quarterback from his high school days: "We will not change the way we prepare."
+ Anderson said the overall health of his team is good, even star running back Melvin Gordon who turned an ankle yesterday late in their win over Minnesota.
+ Anderson said that when his son pulled up the highlight video of Jones, he said, "Dad, this guy's really good."
+ Anderson said Gordon's best attribute is his ability to shove off tacklers and consistently get yards, even after getting banged up a bit throughout the year.
+ Anderson said he is excited for every award Gordon is going to get, as is the rest of the Wisconsin team: "We all want Melvin to get his." Said he came back this season specifically to win a championship.
+ Anderson said Wisconsin's shocking loss against Northwestern this season was "definitely a turning point for the positive." Said it helped his team come back and prepare harder and play more like a team and depend on the solid leadership it had in place.
+ Anderson said he was impressed the first time he ever met Urban Meyer, which was when he interviewed to be Meyer's defensive line coach at Utah: "When I first met him, it was obvious Urban Meyer had a plan. He knew what he wanted to do ... he is a player's coach, but he has a plan and he's going to stick to it."
+ Wisconsin's increased success on third down late in the season has a lot to do with quarterback Joel Stave's comfort within the offense. He also said the offensive play calling in throwing to not just wide receivers but to running backs and tight ends have allowed the team's third down conversion rate to improve.
+ Anderson said despite Ohio State's struggles against the stellar running backs in the Big Ten is not indicative of how good they are at stopping the run. Said they are gap sound, very talented and fast. Gordon told his coach after watching Ohio State's defense that it is the fastest he's ever played against.
+ Anderson said the most concerning thing to him in facing Ohio State is "really, really good players. There's talent all over the field."
+ Anderson on his seniors: "They're an unbelievable senior crew and I'm sure they'll give us some guidance as we head into this game."
+ Not only did the Northwestern loss bring his team together, but Anderson said the early season loss to LSU did as well. It was the time the leadership shone through.
+ Anderson said the team was in a "fragile moment" when it lost to Northwestern in trying to figure out who to play quarterback. He said both Stave and Tanner McEvoy have handled it well and with class, with getting the team better the only thing on their minds.
+ Anderson said his team's slow starts recently can be attributed to turnovers and penalties by his team. Fortunately, it has been able to rally and play more consistent because of their fundamentals. He did say though, if that happens against Ohio State it would be "very, very tough" to get the score back even.
+ "When you compete against your buddies, you always want to win, right?" - Anderson on his relationship with Meyer
+ Anderson said he doesn't think he would be sitting there having a conversation on the teleconference before the Big Ten Championship Game if McEvoy and Stave hadn't done what they've done together at quarterback this season.
+ Anderson on his team: "A great group of kids who have gelled together and a young defense overall, but with great leaders."
+ Anderson said he asks his players to succeed socially, academically and then on the football field. He said Gordon is "unbelievable" in all three of those in how he works hard to be a good person in the community and on the football field: "He doesn't have to do that. He could be sitting back there and say, 'Guys I'm going to get mine and run out of here.' But that's not how Melvin ticks."
+ "We'd all like to have a son like Melvin Gordon." - Gary Anderson
+ Anderson said his goal is have every single player on his team feel comfortable enough to go home with another player and spend time with his family while spending the night and their house.