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OSU vs MSU   Game Preview


 Brutus Go Bucks! NW Wildcats

Buckeyes unsure what ails offense
November 8, 2008 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "No discoveries come to light in bye week...If the Ohio State offense were a school-menu item, it would be listed as mystery meat. From one week to the next, nobody knows what OSU will serve up: Will it be the unit capable of scoring four touchdowns against Minnesota and Michigan State, or the one that didn't score a TD three times, including against Purdue? That makes it impossible to predict how 12th-ranked Ohio State (7-2, 4-1) will look today when it takes on Northwestern (7-2, 3-2) in Ryan Field. By now, the numbers are as familiar as they are sordid:
• The Buckeyes rank 10th in the Big Ten in total offense and 97th nationally.
• Four times in nine games, they have failed to surpass 300 yards.
• They have nearly as many field goals (18) as offensive touchdowns (20).

But what's more maddening for the coaches and players is that in the midst of a season of struggles, there have been flashes of firepower -- like the 414 yards and 34 points against Minnesota and the 31 points the offense scored at Michigan State. Why can't it be duplicated more often? The Buckeyes are as puzzled as anyone. 'That's the hardest thing about it -- we might have a great practice, like (Tuesday) I think we had a pretty solid practice,' tight end Rory Nicol said. 'Tomorrow, we could be lights out, we could torch our defense all Wednesday afternoon, and then on Saturday, if we're not clicking on all cylinders, it doesn't matter.'..."

5 key factors
November 8, 2008 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "1. Beware of Wildcats' pressure...2. Back to the basics...3. Where is Pryor's head?...4. Play 'in your face'...5. Who is less predictable?..."

Head Coach Jim Tressel cut his conference short when the discussion turned to Ray Small and not Northwestern
Tressel Cuts Short Press Conference
November 6, 2008 Source: The Ozone - "Head Coach Jim Tressel cut his Thursday press conference off short when reporters continued to ask him about the Ray Small situation. Tressel stated "I thought we were going to talk about Northwestern. Thanks." Then walked away."

Brian Robiskie Talks Northwestern Source: Big Ten Network

Tressel, Fitzgerald Address Upcoming Showdown
November 4, 2008 Source: Bucknuts - "Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel and Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald fielded questions during today's Big Ten coaches teleconference about the upcoming matchup between the Buckeyes and Wildcats. Here is a recap..."

No. 12 Ohio State Takes on No. 25 Northwestern in Evanston
November 3, 2008 Source: OSU Official Site - "The Buckeyes look to rebound at Northwestern Saturday and keep their Big Ten championship and Rose Bowl hopes alive...The Buckeyes are ranked 12th this week in the USA Today/AFCA coaches’ poll, 12th in the Associated Press media poll and 11th in the Harris Poll. Northwestern is ranked 25th in this week’s coaches’ poll. In the latest installment of the BCS standings released Sunday, Ohio State is 11th and Northwestern is 24th..."
Ohio State Game Notes (PDF)

OSU Cumulative Season Statistics

Listen to the audioCoach Peterson and Coach Haynes Discuss This Weekend's Game vs. Northwestern
November 6, 2008 Source: OSU Official Site - "Tight Ends coach John Peterson and Safties coach Paul Haynes met with reporters Wednesday at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center to talk about Saturday's contest with Northwestern.

Personnel Report
November 5, 2008 Source: The Ozone - "OSU Head Coach Jim Tressel said on Tuesday that offensive lineman Ben Person is likely to miss the game against Northwestern this weekend. Person did not dress for the Penn State game due to an injury. The news was much better on another offensive lineman however. Freshman offensive tackle J. B. Shugarts has practiced this week and will be available to the Buckeyes this weekend, at least on a limited basis..."

Kurt Coleman intercepts a pass agains the Michigan State Spartans in East Lansing (Photo: The Ozone)spacerInterceptions are proof Coleman has picked it up
November 6, 2008 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "...Kurt Coleman hides his true identity well. Underneath that investment-banker shell lies a newly confident, ball-hawking defensive back, one who's tied for the Ohio State lead in interceptions and who might also be a team leader in trash-talking. The Dayton native has blossomed in his junior year, from a steady but unspectacular free safety to a force, one who brings skill and attitude in equal doses. 'Watching a lot of film (in the offseason), a lot of teams kind of went after me and I didn't really know how to react to it,' Coleman said. 'And I think this year, when they have gone after me, I've made the play and I've kind of just told them that, 'If you're going to keep doing it, it's going to happen over and over again.' '..."

VideoKurt Coleman Big Ten Network Interview
November 7, 2008 Source: OSU Official Site - "Buckeye junior spoke with Big Ten Network this week..

Wild-dog tenacity working for OSU
November 7, 2008 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Defensive linemen have responded to challenge...In regards to the upsurge in sic 'em play by the Ohio State defensive line, there's no question who let the dogs out. 'Malcolm Jenkins challenged us a few weeks ago to just let it loose and start playing like dogs, like wild dogs,' defensive tackle Nader Abdallah said. Jenkins...knew the entire defense would benefit from more aggressive play by the men up front. Safety Kurt Coleman said the front four -- really a rotation of seven or eight players -- responded, and not just to Jenkins' urging. 'A lot of people were telling them they couldn't do it, or they weren't good enough, or they needed to get better,' Coleman said. 'I think that got to them.'..."

Defensive Notes: Small Margin Of Error For Buckeyes
November 7, 2008 Source: Bucknuts - "Ohio State's defense is living up to the lofty expectations but isn't getting much help from the offense. However, to their credit, the Buckeyes are not pointing fingers. They will face a Northwestern offense on Saturday that is dealing with a rash of injuries, yet the Wildcats could still be dangerous in Evanston. We caught up with Paul Haynes, Kurt Coleman and Nader Abdallah for more..."

Northwestern might play two quarterbacks
November 6, 2008 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "A hamstring injury derailed Mike Kafka's budding quarterback career at Northwestern two years ago. Now a similar injury to C.J. Bacher has given Kafka an opening for his former job...Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald isn't ready to turn the team over to Kafka, even though the junior set a Big Ten record for quarterbacks by rushing for 217 yards in a game against Minnesota last week. Fitzgerald said Bacher is his starting quarterback. But whether Bacher will start against Ohio State is another matter...He didn't play last week, but would have been available if needed. The word around Evanston is that Kafka is the more likely choice to start against the Buckeyes. Fitzgerald stressed that if he does, it would be only because of questions about Bacher's leg..."

Early scouting of the Cats
November 4, 2008 Source: Buckeye Grove/Rivals - "It has been more than a week since the Buckeyes were on the field and the next game can't come soon enough for a team trying to forget about a heartbreaker against Penn State. The Bucks know that Northwestern isn't a team to take lightly however with C.J. Bacher...


Series Record: The Buckeyes and Wildcats are playing for the 74th time since their fi rst meeting in 1913. Ohio State has a 56-14-1 edge in the series, with a 25-6-1 advantage in Evanston. The Buckeyes have won the last three meetings.
TALE OF THE TAPE: 2008 Totals
OSU  Offense  NU
24.6   Pts/gm  26.2
318.3  Total yds/gm   377.1
168.7   Rush yds/gm  165.1
40.1  Carries/gm  37.4
4.2  Yds/carry   4.4
149.7  Pass yds/gm   212.0
22.2  Pass att/gm  36.2
10.8  Yds/completion  9.8
OSU  Defense Allows  NU
13.3  Pts/gm  18.1
267.1  Total yds/gm  341.8
104.1  Rush yds/gm  109.3
28.7  Carries/gm  32.7
3.6  Yds/carry  3.3
163.0  Pass yds/gm  232.4
32.9  Pass att/gm  37.7
8.8  Yds/completion  10.0

Northwestern Report Card (7-2)
W, 30-10 Syracuse
W, 24-20 at Duke
W, 33-7 Southern Illinois
W, 16-8 Ohio
W, 22-17 at Iowa
L, 20-37 Michigan State
W, 48-26 Purdue
L, 19-21 at Indiana
W, 24-17 at Minnesota

Matchup Edge
OSU   Edge in: NU
Yards Gained
Yards Allowed
Time of Possession

BOUNCING BACK: During the Jim Tressel era at Ohio State, in the games following the Buckeyes’ 17 losses, OSU has a 15-2 record. Eleven of those games were at Ohio Stadium...

AFTER AN OPEN DATE: During the Tressel era, Ohio State is 1-4 in regular season games with an open date the week before (not counting season openers).
UCLA 13, Ohio State 6 (2001)
Ohio State 51, Ken State 17 (2002)
Wisconsin 17, Ohio State 10 (2003)
Northwestern 33, Ohio State 27 (2004)
Penn State 17, Ohio State 10 (2005

Attendance Date Opponent
1. 105,711 10-25-08 Penn State
2. 105,708 11-18-06 Michigan
3. 105,565 9-10-05 Texas
4. 105,539 11-23-02 Michigan
5. 105,456 11-20-04 Michigan

LOTT TROPHY QUARTERFINALISTS: Malcolm Jenkins and James Laurinaitis are two of 20 collegiate defensive players to earn a spot on the Lott Trophy quarterfinalist list.


OSU NU: Big Ten Stats Offense
TEAM G Pts/G TotYds Yds/G 3rdD% 4th% Pen PenYds TD Plays
OSU 9 24.6 2865 318.3 .430 .400 49 400 20 561
NU 9 26.2 3394 377.1 .461 .400 43 397 25 663

Stat Watch

Crunching the Numbers: OSU at Northwestern
November 5, 2008 Source: Buckeye Sports - "Ohio State has dominated few series like it has the one with Northwestern, but not every statistic favors the Buckeyes as they emerge from the first open week in the schedule since 2005..."

Game Data: Northwestern at Ohio State
November 6, 2008 Source: Bucknuts - "With our Game Data feature, we take a look at the pertinent info, depth charts and make a prediction as Ohio State visits Northwestern Saturday (noon, ESPN2)..."



This Week's Game Previews

Buckeye Gameday ExtraspacerBuckeye Extra Gameday
November 7, 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)..."

Eleven WarriorsspacerPreview: #12 Ohio State at #25 Northwestern
November 7, 2008 Source: Eleven Warriors - ...Thankfully, Northwestern has been decimated by injuries the last few weeks. Out is Sutton, as is is backup Conteh. Ditto for defensive end Vince Browne, linebacker Malcolm Arrington and countless other Wildcats. The good news is that quarterback C.J. Bachér should be back from a hamstring injury. Or is that bad news? Despite passing for a school-record 3,656 yards last season, the senior has struggled this year and backup Mike Kafka has such giant stones that he only set the Big Ten rushing record for a quarterback last week in his first start since 2006..."

The OzonespacerOhio State vs. Northwestern
November 5, 2008 Source: The Ozone - "Tony Gerdeman's preview of the OSU vs. Northwestern game...Northwestern has a balanced offense, but it is an offense that is in a state of flux right now. For the season, the Wildcats are averaging 165 yards rushing and 212 yards passing per game, but last week with starting quarterback C.J. Bacher out with an injury, they focused on running the ball..."

Buckeye Planetspacer2008 Northwestern Wildcats Game Preview
November 6, 2008 Source: Buckeye Planet - Analysis and more, including: ...The Wildcat offense has not been nearly as potent this season as it was in previous seasons. They rank just 50th in total yards per game (382.2). The neither run the ball (165.1 YPG, 46th) nor pass the ball (212.0 YPG, 62nd) with particular success, though they are well balanced running and throwing out of the spread...Northwestern Wildcats Offensive Preview...Defensive Preview..Special Teams Preview..." (more)

ESPNUspacerNo. 11 Ohio State (7-2) at No. 24 Northwestern (7-2) Preview
October 22, 2008 Source: ESPNU - "Ohio State looks to get back on the winning track when it visits upstart Northwestern. OSU is coming off a bye after falling to Penn State, while the Wildcats scored a thrilling win over Minnesota. Since Northwestern's 33-27 overtime victory over then-No. 7 Ohio State in 2004, the Buckeyes have outscored the Wildcats 160-24 in three straight wins..."

College Football NewsspacerOhio State (7-2) at Northwestern (7-2)
November 7, 2008 Source: College Football News - "Why to watch: Could this really be for the No. 2 spot in the Big Ten pecking order? If Ohio State wins, then yes, this could be the gateway game to a possible at-large BCS spot...Why Ohio State might win: Film. Everyone knew Northwestern QB Mike Kafka...but now Ohio State knows what’s coming. James Laurinaitis and the linebackers aren’t going to worry about anything other than spying on Kafka taking off...Why Northwestern might win: The Buckeye defense continues to be fantastic, it shut down Penn State until the critical late drive, but it’s still having major problems getting into the backfield...What will happen: Ohio State’s defense will stop the Northwestern ground game cold. Kafka won’t be bad throwing the ball, but the Wildcats will lose the turnover battle and won’t be able to come back from the adversity... CFN Prediction: Ohio State 23 … Northwestern 10 ... " (more)

CBS SportslinespacerNorthwestern vs. Ohio State
November 4, 2008 Source: CBS Sportsline - "...Ohio State's next test comes against a Northwestern team that's riding high after a thrilling 24-17 road victory over then-No. 20 Minnesota last Saturday. Brendan Smith grabbed a deflected ball and returned the interception 48 yards for a score with 12 seconds remaining to lift the Wildcats (7-2, 3-2). The win was Northwestern's first over a ranked team in nine tries since topping then-No. 22 Michigan State on Oct. 22, 2005. 'We're a disciplined football team. That goes back to the young men we recruit,' coach Pat Fitzgerald said. 'Understand that to win a football game you've got to fight and scratch and claw for 60 minutes, and good things are going to happen for you.'..."


News from and about the other side

Northwestern Official Site
Cumulative Season Statistics
2008 Media Guide

Pat Fitzgerald, Head Coach
Ass't Coaches & Team Roster
Source: Northwestern Official Site

Northwestern not in the mood for another embarrassment vs. OSU
November 7, 2008 Source: Chicago Tribune - "An easy way to motivate Northwestern would be to pick nearly any score from recent games against Ohio State: 58-7 ... 54-10 ... 48-7. None is pretty. All are lopsided. But the most important thing the Wildcats can do, coach Pat Fitzgerald said, is remain panic-free in their preparation and consider revenge an improper thought. 'What revenge?' Fitzgerald said earlier this week. 'They kicked our butts.' Look at it as a test, but not one in history. Forget about 27 losses in 28 tries since 1972, those losses by an average of 33 points..."

Personnel: Injury Report
November 6, 2008 Source: Chicago Tribune - "...Running back Omar Conteh was added to the growing injury report and will not play against Ohio State on Saturday after suffering a knee injury in a non-contact drill at Wednesday's practice. Conteh became the starter after Tyrell Sutton suffered a regular-season ending wrist injury against Indiana. The Wildcats probably will turn to sophomore Stephen Simmons, who had moved into the No. 2 spot behind Conteh. In six games, he has rushed four times for 19 yards...A positive is that quarterback C.J. Bacher was listed as probable for Saturday after sitting out last week against Minnesota with a hamstring injury...On defense, Northwestern is without standouts defensive end Vince Browne and linebacker Malcolm Arrington, who is out for the season. Both have knee injuries...."

Pat Fitzerald Press Conference 11/3/08 Source: Big Ten Network

Transcript from Coach Fitzgerald's Monday News Conference
November 3, 2008 Source: NU Official Site - "...On stopping the run against Ohio State: 'Last week we played most of the game in nickel with Brad Phillips in more often for Quentin Davie. I thought the plan was excellent. I thought we were out of our gaps a few times on quarterback runs and we have to do a better job reading our keys and responding to the quarterback draws. We'll have a good idea of where the quarterback is in the spread offense like against Adam Weber. But against Minnesota we had to expect the pass and react to the run, it'll be a little different mindset this week. Ohio State runs the ball as well as anyone and they have two tremendous athletes in their backfield.'..."

Six Things OSU Fans Should Consider About the Cats
November 5, 2008 Source: Eleven Warriors - "The epicenter of Northwestern sports on the web, Lake the Posts, was kind enough to stop by and educate us on his beloved Wildcats. LTP isn’t optimistic heading into the weekend...First off, why six? Well, in the near century we’ve been playing the Buckeyes (1913 was the first game), we’ve only won six times against Ohio State at home. Six..."

Mike Kafka One-on-One Source: Big Ten Network

Northwestern restores reliability in the clutch

If healthy, Bacher to start against Buckeyes
November 3, 2008 Source: ESPN


Know Your Opponent

C.J. Bachér#18 C.J. Bachér
CLASS: Senior

Team's returning starting quarterback ... Postseason awards candidate ... One of 26 quarterbacks nationally named to Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award Watch List ... Academic All-America candidate ... Tabbed The Sporting News' Big Ten's "Best Player Under Pressure" ... Coming off a season in which he set NU's single-season passing mark with 3,656 yards (seventh-most in Big Ten history) ... Has worked hard in the off-season getting stronger, improving his leadership skills and reducing mistakes...


Mike Kafka#13 Mike Kafka
CLASS: Junior

Last week set the Big Ten record for rushing yards by a quarterback...Tremendous athlete ... A true dual-threat quarterback -- solid runner with a strong throwing arm ... Growing every day as a college QB, on and off the field ... Gives NU a solid one-two punch at quarterback...


Eric Peterman#10 Eric Peterman
CLASS: Senior

Named to preseason All-Big Ten teams...One of NU's starting inside receivers ... Coaching staff says he may be the team's best football "player" ... Reliable, steady receiver who makes plays ... Great football IQ ... Extremely competitive player and outstanding athlete ... Stellar special teams player...


Brad Phillips#17 Brad Phillips
CLASS: Junior

Leads the team in tackles...Excellent athlete who understands the game and is always in the right place ... Starting safety ... Good football IQ ... Possesses strong coverage skills ... Capable of coming up and making a physical play ... Possesses great leadership skills...


National Rankings
Total Offense   Total Defense

Sports Lines For amusement only...

No. 12 Ohio State at No. 25 Northwestern:

Sports Babe Official
covers.com Match-Up Preview - Live Odds - Matchup Edge

bodog.com Matchup & Preview

Vegas Insider Las Vegas Line Movements
Current Line OSU -11.0 11/5/08

pregame.com Point Spread / Total / Money Line

Stat Fox Current Power Ratings: OSU #10


The Weather Channel Evanston Forecast

More coming soon

Youngstown State could keep OSU out of Rose Bowl
November 7, 2008 Source: Lima News - "Would they call it The Curse of Youngstown State? If Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan State all finish the season with 7-1 Big Ten records and none of them reach the BCS national championship game, the Spartans would be the Big Ten representative in the Rose Bowl. And the reason would be that the Buckeyes played NCAA Division I-AA Youngstown State. The first tie-breaker for the Big Ten is head-to-head competition. But if the three teams are 1-1 against each other and Penn State's loss would come against Michigan State on Nov. 22, the Spartans would get the Rose Bowl bid on the second tie-breaker. That tie-breaker is which team played more teams outside NCAA Division I-A. Since Ohio State played I-AA Youngstown State and Penn State played I-AA Coastal Carolina, Michigan State would go to the Rose Bowl because it didn't play any I-AA teams."

Ray Small in action versus Penn State October 25, 2008 (Photo: The Ozone)spacerOhio State Buckeyes suspend receiver Ray Small
November 6, 2008 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "Ohio State junior receiver Ray Small has been suspended from the team indefinitely, and Small's father, Ken, believes the suspension is another instance of coach Jim Tressel unfairly holding his son back...'We see it as a family that they are intentionally blowing his whole career,' Ken Small said Wednesday night. 'Whatever it is, it's personal.' Small, who moved to the Columbus suburbs from Cleveland to support his son this season, said Ray came home Wednesday night and said 'I'm through' after being told of his suspension for what an OSU spokesperson said is repeated violations of team rules..."As of today, I don't think they'll ever put him back on the field," Ken Small said. "I'm pretty sure that they're saying get out' in a polite way.'..."

Small suspended two games, dad says
November 6, 2008 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Receiver and punt returner Ray Small is in trouble again, and the latest incident prompted his father to lash out at the Ohio State coaching staff. Small has been suspended for a violation of team rules, according to an athletic department spokesperson, who said the length of the suspension is undetermined. But Ken Small, Ray's father, said yesterday it is for two games, and the reason is because OSU said his son missed a class, which Ken denies. He said the coaching staff is singling out his son unnecessarily. 'We don't think he's getting a fair shake, and we don't know why,' he said. 'It seems they're trying to intentionally ruin his career.'...Ken Small said the family met with Tressel at that point and asked him to release Small from his scholarship. They thought that entering his junior season, maybe Ray needed to transfer and get a fresh start..."

Tressel defends discipline policies while downplaying Small family's criticism
November 6, 2008 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "Jim Tressel grew uncomfortable with continued questions about the suspension of receiver Ray Small before the coach cut short his usual Thursday session with reporters, but not before asserting confidence in the way he treats his players. "I'm sure there are both ends of the spectrum out there in opinions, like there are about what we're doing in football," Tressel said. 'There's one end that feels this way and one end that feels that way and most things lie somewhere in the middle. But I don't feel bad about how we tried to help any of our guys.'..."

Tressel in no mood for Small talk
November 7, 2008 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Two words can describe Ohio State coach Jim Tressel's meeting with reporters yesterday: short and Small. The suspension of receiver Ray Small was the dominant topic before Tressel cut off the interview session because it was not focused on OSU's game Saturday at Northwestern..."

Ohio State Buckeyes suspend receiver Ray Small
November 7, 2008 Source: Associated Press - "...The dad was also irate that he can't get answers from the coaching staff. 'They won't talk to me,' Ken Small said Thursday. 'They won't talk to me about anything. If everything is above board and done right like (Tressel) said, then why won't they answer questions?'..."

Off Topic

What is Lauren-itis Source: Big Ten Network

Buckeye Defense Bright Spot as Season Unfolds
November 5, 2008 Source: The Ozone - "For a week since the loss to Penn State the talk has been about the Buckeye offense, or more specifically, the lack thereof against the Lions. What has totally died down however has been talk about what ails the OSU defense. The OSU defense has come into its own as the season has unfolded, including against the high-powered Penn State HD spread offense. On the season the Lions are averaging 41.8 points per game and 458.9 yards of total offense. The Buckeyes limited them to 13 points and 281 total yards, far below their season averages. After stumbling in the USC game, the Buckeyes defense has gotten better and better against not only spread offenses, but all offenses. 'I think we're playing really well,' said safety Kurt Coleman. 'We're flying around to the ball and we're making teams one-dimensional right now. I think that's the biggest thing we needed to do early in the year,' Coleman said. The improvement has been most apparent up front along the defensive line and in the defensive backfield..."

VideoJim Tressel Nov 4 Weekly Press Conference November 4, 2008 Source: OSU Official Site

Transcript from Coach Tressel Weekly Press Conference

Tressel Talks Northwestern At Luncheon
November 4, 2008 Source: Bucknuts - "At his Tuesday press luncheon, Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel discussed this Saturday's game at Northwestern, what the Buckeyes did during their bye week, Chris Wells' performance against Penn State, the mindset of Terrelle Pryor after his first loss as a starter, injuries on the offensive line and the strong play of sophomore defensive end Thaddeus Gibson. We have all of that and more. (Updated at 4 p.m. with video.)..."


Listen to the audio
Coleman, Robiskie Back from Bye Week and Ready for Wildcats
November 4, 2008 Source: OSU Official Site - "OhioStateBuckeyes.com interviewed both players looking ahead to match up with Northwestern Saturday Kurt Coleman, junior safety, and Brian Robiskie, senior wide receiver, (video and audio links) each took time to speak with Kendra Lee of OhioStateBuckeyes.com as the team readies to get back on the field Saturday at Northwestern. Check back Tuesday evening for more comments from select Buckeyes players after practice. Audio links will be posted for Nader Abdallah, Rory Nicol and A.J. Trapasso.

Rested Buckeyes prep for stretch run
November 4, 2008 Source: Associated Press - "'We haven't done wonderful with byes since we've been here,' Tressel said Tuesday as he reflected on not having a game last week and what's in store this Saturday at Northwestern...They took a few days off last week, rested up and recuperated, and now have returned to a typical week of practice. It's the same procedure they have always followed under Tressel, and which has been far less than successful. The only time they have won after a week off (under Tressel) was in 2002, a 51-17 win over Kent State. That was also the only time they've followed a bye week with a home game. The Buckeyes have not had the luxury of taking a week off in the past two seasons. Wide receiver Brian Robiskie feels the team needed time to heal, both physically from the bumps and bruises of a hard-hitting season, and also to mend its psyche after the loss to Penn State. 'I felt it came at a good time,' he said. 'At this point in the season, guys are obviously hurt, guys are obviously banged up. So any bye week you have is going to be beneficial. To have it this late in the season definitely helped.' The Buckeyes practiced last Tuesday through Friday. That also gave them an opportunity to look at their mistakes and to make corrections..."

Off Topic

The Teammate Game Source: Big Ten Network

Big Ten Games This Week 
Saturday November 8, 2008
WISC @ IU 12:00p
On TV: Big Ten Network, Live stats
PUR @ MSU 12:00p
On TV: Big Ten Network, Live stats
ILL @ WestMi 12:00p
On TV: TBA, Live stats
MICH @ MINN 12:00p
On TV: ESPN, Live stats
OSU @ NU 12:00p
On TV: ESPN2, Live stats
PSU @ IOWA 3:30p
On TV: ABC, Live stats

Standings Big TenOverall 
School W-L W-L STRK
Penn St. 5-0 9-0 W9
Michigan St. 5-1 8-2 W2
Ohio St. 4-1 7-2 L1
Minnesota 3-2 7-2 L1
Northwestern 3-2 7-2 W1
Illinois 3-3 5-4 W1
Iowa 2-3 5-4 L1
Indiana 1-4 3-6 L1
Purdue 1-4 3-6 W1
Michigan 1-4 2-7 L5
Wisconsin 1-5 4-5 L1

Inside the Beat: Hitting the homestretch
November 3, 2008 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "As OSU returns to action this week at Northwestern, we take a look at what lies ahead:...GORDON:...If the Buckeyes win out, they will easily be ranked somewhere in the 5-10 range and be looking at a BCS bowl berth...MAY:...The offense played more like cheap hamburger than prime rib against PSU...While everyone wants to rip the play calling or the schemes, etc., the bottom line problem with the 2008 OSU offense has been the inconsistent play of the offensive line...MAY:...The trick is finding consistency, and this week at Northwestern will be a good test. Because while the Wildcats are at or near the top in the Big Ten in sacks per game, the Buckeyes are at or near the bottom in sacks given up per game. Talk about the matchup to watch..."

OSU QB Terrelle Pryor in action vs Penn State October 25, 2008 (Photo: The Ozone)Pryor's progress is right on target
November 2, 2008 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "One of the reasons Jim Tressel likes Terrelle Pryor is because, even as a freshman, Pryor gets it. 'When you turn over the ball, you lose games,' Pryor said. The Ohio State quarterback might as well have been quoting from his coach's 10 commandments. It was senior starter Todd Boeckman's three critical turnovers in a 35-3 loss at Southern California that accelerated Tressel's decision to make Pryor -- just four months out of high school -- the starter. Before the Buckeyes took on third-ranked Penn State, Pryor had not exactly lit up the field statistically, but he had adhered to the turnover commandment. He'd thrown just two interceptions. Then in the last 11 minutes against the Nittany Lions, he looked like a wide-eyed freshman..."

Top 25 Overview
Top 25 Weekend Review
Coaches Poll
 Source: USA Today

AP Poll
 Source: Associated Press

Top 25 Overview WEEK 10 2008
Source: ESPN - Overview of all Top 25 Teams for the tenth week of the season, including Recap, Box Score, Play-by-Play, Drive Chart, Photos

BCS Standings

Check out all of the polls on our Polls, Rankings & BCS page...link below

Season's Grades to dateThe Report Card
November 1, 2008 Source: Columbus Dispatch - Season's Grades to date: "When Buckeyes run: GRADE: C...When Buckeyes pass Grade: DWhen Buckeyes pass: Grade: D...When opponents run: GRADE: A...When opponents pass: Grade: A...On special teams: GRADE: B...Intangibles, other factors: Grade: C..."

5 key factors
November 1, 2008 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "With the Buckeyes on a bye week, a look at what they need to do over their final four games (including a bowl): 1. Discover an identity...2. Stay aggressive on 'D'...3. Find some replacement parts...4. Get leadership from the leaders...5. Beat the bowl opponent..."

In the spotlight: offensive, defensive lines
November 1, 2008 Source: Columbus Dispatch

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