Head coach Jim Tressel met local reporters Thursday afternoon for about 15 minutes to talk more about the Buckeyes' game at Wisconsin Saturday night in Madison (8 p.m. ET/ABC). October 2, 2008 Source: OSU Official Site
* J.B. Shugarts might have to be scratched from the potential offensive line rotation. The freshman saw time at right tackle in the second half last week, but Tressel said Shugarts hurt his shoulder in practice this week and may not be able to play Saturday. They'll find out more at practice this afternoon.
* Steve Rehring is still on track to play somewhere on the offensive line after missing two weeks with injury. Tressel wouldn't commit to a position, guard or tackle, or a number of plays, saying it could be 24 snaps or 64 snaps or any number depending how the games goes.
* Tressel talked about whether the Buckeyes are at all limited in their offense with Terrelle Pryor at quarterback. Familiar question, interesting answer.
"I'm not looking to have the biggest package in the world," Tressel said. "I'm looking to have the most effective one. Give enough so you apply pressure to the preparation of the defense, but do it well enough so that you're really applying pressure."
* A reminder that tight end Rory Nicol is out this week, as is backup middle linebacker Austin Spitler. Jake Ballard has basically been a co-starter with Nicol at tight end, and Pryor has shown an interest in going to his tight ends. I've always liked Ballard's skills, but the Buckeyes just haven't thrown there a lot.
No. 14 Ohio State Faces No. 18 Wisconsin in Madison September 29, 2008 Source: OSU Official Site - "Ohio State travels to Camp Randall Stadium for the first time since the 2003 season; Game to be televised on ABC ...Ohio State in 6-3 in Big Ten night games on the road under Jim Tressel...Tressel In Big Ten Road Openers (4-3)...The Buckeyes lead the Big Ten in total defense, pass defense and punt return average..."
Ohio State Game Notes (PDF)
Buckeyes Face Tough Assignment At Wisconsin September 29, 2008 Source: Bucknuts - "No. 14 Ohio State visits No. 18 Wisconsin for a prime-time game Saturday (8 p.m., ABC split-national telecast). OSU players say they know Camp Randall Stadium is one of the game's toughest places to play. Click for more..."
Buckeyes prepare for rowdy Randall on Saturday night October 1, 2008 Source: Associated Press - "Of all the hostile venues for teams to visit in the Big Ten, none has quite the rep of Wisconsin's Camp Randall Stadium, Ohio State's next destination. The denizens of the 91-year-old structure have been known to pelt opposing players with batteries or even nickel-stuffed marshmallows. So while the band is rocking to the "Bud Song" or the crowd is pogoing to "Jump Around" (Listen: Jump Around by House of Pain) between the third and fourth quarters, visiting teams become acutely aware of the fans sitting almost on top of the field. Ohio State safety Anderson Russell said he has been schooled on the Camp Randall fans by ex-teammate Brandon Mitchell. 'I'm expecting a wild, crazy atmosphere and then on top of that the game's going to be at night and that amplifies it even more,' Russell said. The Buckeyes don't exactly have history on their side when it comes to road games in Madison..."
Check out a typical day in the Camp Randall stands September 30, 2008 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer
Personnel Update September 30, 2008 Source: The Ozone - "Jim Tressel updated the injury status of several players and also reported the Players of the Week for the Minnesota game at his weekly press luncheon..."
The series between the Buckeyes and the Badgers, which dates back to 1913, shows Ohio State with a 51-17-5 lead. In games played in Madison, the Buckeyes lead 23-10-2. Ohio State has a slight 6-5-1 advantage over the last 12 meetings (back through 1980).
TALE OF THE TAPE: 2008 Totals
Time of Possession
OHIO STATETHREE AND OUT
The Buckeye defense recorded seven three and- outs versus Youngstown State, fi ve in the wins over Ohio University, Troy and Minnesota, and three against Southern Cal, an average of fi ve per game to start the 2008 season. In 2007, the Buckeye defense held the opponent to three-and-out on 48.5% of all possessions (66-136). Turnovers ended 18 of those other opponent drives.
BEST HOME WINNING %- LAST 6 YRS
#4. Ohio State 36-3 .923
#6. Wisconsin 31-4 .885
Last Time Out... September 30, 2008 Source: Buckeye Sports - "Ohio State faces a still test this weekend when the Buckeyes travel to Madison to face Wisconsin. Check out how OSU fared in its last meeting with the Badgers in this edition of “Last Time Out"..."
Wells trumpets Pryor’s talents October 3, 2008 Source: Toledo Blade - "Ohio State has a multidimensional individual lining up at tailback. There is Chris “Beanie” Wells the draft horse who can erode the starch right out of a defense...there’s Beanie the cheerleader, who can rah rah and root with the best of them when injury keeps him off the field. And Beanie the philosopher, who sees the game through his own customized prism...Now there’s Beanie the big brother, who has orchestrated a pseudo adoption of freshman quarterback Terrelle Pryor. After Pryor spent a few hours over at Beanie’s house the other night, Wells came away from that visit talking like a proud surrogate something or other..."
Do the Buckeyes need a passing game? October 1, 2008 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "Jim Tressel wants better production from his passing game. But does he really need it? Through five games, the Buckeyes have thrown almost the same number of passes from a year ago, just nine fewer, and have completed almost the same number, just seven fewer, but look at the yardage...Ohio State has 312 fewer passing yards compared to this point last season, averaging 6 yards per attempt compared to 7.9 yards per attempt a year ago..."
Boeckman's role on Saturday October 1, 2008 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "After Saturday's win against Minnesota...Jim Tressel delivered postgame what I thought might be a cryptic reference to Boeckman's future. 'Just my gut inclination was that we probably didn't click in our passing game as well as we're going to need to become a good team and the thing that Todd does is twofold,' Tressel said...To me, that sounded like, 'We're going to throw it this year, and if means we have to put it Todd Boeckman to do the throwing, then that's what we'll do.'..."
NO. 14 OHIO STATE (4-1, 1-0) vs. NO. 18 WISCONSIN (3-1, 0-1) October 1, 2008 Source: Big Ten Network - "Ohio State hasn't played in Madison in nearly five years, but a nationally televised game at night in front of the Camp Randall faithful shouldn't be anything new to the Buckeyes. They're just hoping for a much different result..."
Ohio St.-Wisconsin Preview October 1, 2008 Source: ESPNU - "Ohio State hasn't played in Madison in nearly five years, but a nationally televised game at night in front of the Camp Randall faithful shouldn't be anything new to the Buckeyes. They're just hoping for a much different result..."
Ohio State vs. Wisconsin Preview October 1, 2008 Source: The Ozone - "Tony Gerdeman's preview of the Wisconsin game ...The Buckeyes will spread the Badger defense out and they will have success running the ball. Terrelle Pryor will rush for around 80 yards and Chris Wells will top the 100 mark for the third time this season...The Buckeyes will get after Allan Evridge and not allow him to get comfortable. Even if they aren’t blitzing him, they’ll make him think they are..."
Preview: #15 Ohio State at #20 Wisconsin October 3, 2008 Source: Eleven Warriors - "...So, despite all of the excitement on our end over Pryor and the return of Beanie and any thoughts of weakness on the side of the Badgers, this is game is likely to be won like most Ohio State-Wisconsin games are won: by the team that comes out and punches the other one in the mouth the longest...."
Game Preview: Wisconsin October 2, 2008 Source: Buckeye Sports - "No. 14 Ohio State continues its 2008 football season Saturday by traveling to Camp Randall Stadium to face Wisconsin Saturday night. BuckeyeSports.com previews the game with notes on the Badgers' home-field advantage, key players to watch and a breakdown of the Golden Gophers' offensive and defensive units..."
2008 Wisconsin Badgers Game Preview October 1, 2008 Source: Buckeye Planet - Analysis and more, including: ...Running Backs...Hill is a battering ram of a runner who is the latest in a long line of powerful Wisconsin backs. He gained over 1200 yards and scored 14 times last season, and he is well on his way to another 1000 yard effort this season...The Badgers have 2 backups they can turn to. The primary one with the most experience is sophomore Zach Brown (#30). Brown gained 568 yards last season as the backup, and is on a similar pace this season, having gained 174 yards and scoring a pair of TDs in 2008...The Badgers can also turn to freshman John Clay (#32). He's another bruiser (6-2, 237)...Wisconsin Badgers Offensive Preview...Defensive Preview..Special Teams Preview..." (more)
Buckeye Extra Gameday October 3, 2008 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "BuckeyeXtra.com delivers all you need to know about the Buckeyes’ upcoming game. Click here for everything from the top story and key factors to player spotlights and game predictions. Features include: Saturday's Game, Five Key Factors, Play of the Week, On The Edge, In The Spotlight, Meet A Buckeye, (more)..."
Wisconsin Looks To Rebound After Michigan Loss October 2, 2008 Source: Bucknuts - "No. 18 Wisconsin puts its 16-game home winning streak on the line in a critical Big Ten showdown with No. 14 Ohio State Saturday night (8 p.m., ABC)...To make matters worse, the game has been set for a 7 p.m. Central time (8 p.m. Eastern) start to accommodate a split-national telecast on ABC. Wisconsin has won its last 11 night games, including a 2003 upset of defending national champion and No. 3-ranked Ohio State. This is the first of back-to-back home night games for Wisconsin, which will host present unbeaten and No. 6-rated Penn State next Saturday..."
Offensive line key for Buckeyes October 1, 2008 Source: Rivals.com - "It is easy for Ohio State fans to get caught up in the fact that freshman quarterback Terrelle Pryor will team with tailback Beanie Wells in the Buckeyes backfield.
As talented as those two are, however, they will only be as good as the offensive line in front of them. Particularly in a game as physical as the one they will play against Wisconsin this week, the line play will be crucial to OSU's success..."
Game Data: Ohio State at Wisconsin September 30, 2008 Source: Bucknuts - "Here is a look at the pertinent info, depth charts and a prediction for Saturday's showdown between No. 14 Ohio State and No. 18 Wisconsin in Madison (8 p.m., ABC split-national telecast)..."
Crunching The Numbers: OSU at Wisconsin October 1, 2008 Source: Buckeye Sports - "Sack totals, defensive rankings and series victories are among the numbers we take a look at this week as the Buckeyes prepare to take on the Badgers in Madison..."
UW band suspended until further notice October 3, 2008 Source: The Badger Herald - "The University of Wisconsin Marching Band has been suspended until further notice and won’t be performing during tomorrow’s game against the Ohio State University. UW officials were not available for comment Friday afternoon but will reveal more details at a press conference this evening. Check back Badgerherald.com for more information when it becomes available..."
Busted plays haunt defense October 2, 2008 Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - "Michigan exploited Badgers’ mistakes...'I knew there was a chance it would gash us,' said Doeren, in his first season as the University of Wisconsin’s defensive coordinator. 'I was hoping we could just get it down and keep playing.'..."
Bielema upset with media for Badger-ing September 30, 2008 Source: Associated Press - "Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema is tired about talking about his team's heartbreaking loss to Michigan on Saturday.
...He's also not too thrilled about his players talking about it either...Bielema used his weekly Monday news conference to chastise the media for asking the team's four captains too much about the loss on Sunday..."
Carrer: His 142 receptions are third on school’s career list behind only wide receivers Brandon Williams (202) and Lee Evans (175) ... currently seventh on school’s career receiving yardage list with 1,953 yards ... seven career 100-yard receiving games... Wisconsin's Beckum like Winslow
October 2, 2008 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer
Career: One of just three players (Ron Dayne and Anthony Davis) in school history to have rushed for 1,000 yards in each of their first two seasons ... ranks seventh on school’s career rushing yardage list with 3,230 yards ... fifth on UW career rushing TDs list with 33 ... his 35 total touchdowns (33 rushing, two receiving) rank fourth in school history ... eighth on school’s list for career rushing attempts with 636 ... averaging 5.07 yards per carry during 27-game career (fourth all-time at UW) ... has rushed for at least 100 yards in a game 16 times (sixth-most in school history)... Buckeyes to get a first look at Hill October 2, 2008 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer
2008: Completed 20-of-37 passes for 226 yards with one TD and two INTs at Michigan on Sept. 27 ... threw for 143 yards and a TD on 12-of-24 passing at Fresno State on Sept. 13 (left game late in fourth quarter due to cramping) ... named UW's offensive MVP of the week after he connected on 65 percent of his passes (17-26) and threw for 308 yards and a TD against Marshall on Sept. 6 ... second-career 300+yard game and first as a Badger ... made first start as a Badger completing 7-of-10 passes for 75 yards and a touchdown against Akron on Aug. 30 ... also had two carries for seven yards...
2008: Five tackles, one for loss, and a fumble recovery at Michigan on Sept. 27 ... led the team with nine tackles, including four TFLs and a 5-yd QB sack ... also had an interception at Fresno State on Sept. 13 ... three tackles against Marshall on Sept. 6 ... six tackles, including one for loss against Akron on Aug. 30 ... named UW's defensive player of the week against the Zips ... named second-team All-Big Ten by Phil Steele ... third-team All-Big Ten by Athlon Sports...
Tressel makes his point clear -- the best will play October 2, 2008 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Since their loss at Southern California, Ohio State's veteran starters have found themselves competing in a version of Fear Factor. They haven't had to eat gobs of worms or swarms of cockroaches, but they have had to swallow their pride. Coach Jim Tressel and his staff have made it clear that they are willing to demote and promote, that the depth chart isn't worth the paper on which it's printed, and that underperformers have good reason to look over their shoulders. The biggest change was putting freshman quarterback Terrelle Pryor ahead of sixth-year senior Todd Boeckman. But that's far from the extent of it. 'Nobody's job is safe,' said Jim Cordle, who should know...At cornerback, junior Donald Washington served a two-game suspension to start the season. He returned at USC, and in his three games back, he has rotated with sophomore Chimdi Chekwa, who remains the starter...Asked if Brewster was OSU's starting center from here on out, Tressel said, 'There's nothing 'from here on out.' We've been through that.'..."
Time to Lighten Up on the Heavyweights October 2, 2008 Source: The Ozone - "It's pretty natural to want to come down hard on somebody when things aren't going quite the way you expected. For at least four games the OSU offense has fallen into that category, and this season's whipping-boy group on the OSU offense has emerged. Could it be that a lot of the criticism of them is more than just a tad overboard?..."