Quotebook: Wisconsin

By Kyle Rowland on November 18, 2012 at 10:30a

Comparisons to the 2002 season are being made to this year’s campaign, and why not? It’s the 10-year anniversary, the Buckeyes are undefeated heading into Michigan Week and they’ve done so by winning in dramatic fashion. 

New merchandise. 

Late against California, late against Michigan State, holding on for dear life at Indiana, rallying with a backup quarterback versus Purdue and reversing momentum in an overtime victory at Camp Randall.

Not only is Ohio State champions of the Leaders Division, the Buckeyes’ hopes at winning the Associated Press national title became a whole lot more realistic on Saturday when No. 1 and No. 2 lost minutes apart.

They say a win is a win, but that doesn’t mean you don’t learn from wins. Ohio State must do that after allowing 191 yards to Wisconsin running back Montee Ball. This week the defense must contain Denard Robinson and Devin Gardner.

“Our defense is really playing well,” Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer said. “You think about how far they’ve come and that’s a credit to a bunch of good people working as a coaching staff on defense and a bunch of players listening because that’s a good team.

“Great effort.”

So how did Ohio State win on Saturday when all hope seemed lost?

“We have a saying, ‘A team that refuses to be beat won't be beat,’” Meyer said. “Somehow, someway.”

It’s been talked about by fans all season: an undefeated season. But the coaching staff and team didn’t dare touch the subject this year. With one game to go now, though, the topic will be brought up.

“We can talk about it now,” Meyer said. “We’ve kind of put a muzzle on it. They’re going to get a ring. They’re champions of their side. If you’re going to keep score, you want to be a champion. Our guys did that.”

In the second half, there was surprise from many when Ohio State’s offense sputtered, yet running back Carlos Hyde didn’t see many carries. Meyer explained what the thinking was, but he also admitted the bruising running back should have seen the ball more often.

“(Wisconsin was) No. 1 in the Big Ten versus the rush and we couldn’t get that going,” he said. “We’re certainly not a finished product on offense and it showed. I think we need to give (Hyde) the ball a little bit more. Usually we are a team that when we block someone, we have a chance to win and I don’t feel like we blocked them like we have in past and we have to get back to that, especially for this week coming up.”

Hyde may have seen his carries fall as the game progressed, but he was certainly lobbying on the sideline to get more touches.

“I was trying to tell my coach, ‘Come on, let me run some power or something, let me get this going, let me get this spark going for this offense.' I just felt like if they would have given me the ball more, I could have gotten the momentum going.”

Whereas Hyde was effective but wasn’t touching the ball, quarterback Braxton Miller was ineffective and had the ball on every play.

“I have no idea what they did, but they did a good job at it,” Miller said. “I couldn’t get to the edge. Whenever I tried to cut back there was somebody shooting the gaps. They had a good game plan. It was frustrating.”

The buildup to the Wisconsin game was big and magnified by Ohio State’s bye week. The celebration was equally as big, but Meyer made it apparent what the thinking was in the locker room.

“This was a great game against a very good team that’s been to the Rose Bowl a bunch,” he said. “This is not our rival. The next one is. So when you use that ‘R-word,’ we’re talking about this week, we’re going to dive into it as soon as we get back.”

Fans complain about stagnant offenses, but don’t think it doesn’t bother coaches.

“I can’t stand watching it, and I’m sure people can’t stand watching it,” Meyer said about Saturday’s season-worst performance.

But linebacker and captain Zach Boren had a message regarding the close win.

“You can go out there and play the ugliest game, but if you get the win, it’s a win,” he said. “We celebrate after every win, and this is a great win. We got shirts and stuff, which is pretty cool. But we still have so much to finish this next week.”

The play that jumpstarted the Buckeyes on Saturday was Corey Brown’s first-quarter punt return. Special teams is often the source of momentum-swinging plays in evenly matched games, and it was no different at Wisconsin.

“We knew we'd be able to break one on these guys this week because of the scheme,” Brown said. “Those guys out there, they gave 110 percent. Anybody could have ran through the hole.”

But one of the biggest plays of the game came on defense. Late in the fourth quarter, Montee Ball went up over the Wisconsin line to try to score from the one-yard line. The only problem with that was linebacker Ryan Shazier assumed that was the game plan. They met before the end zone and the ball came loose with Ohio State recovering.

“Once he jumped, I knew I was going to jump,” Shazier said. “Whatever was in my face, I hit it. It could have been him. It could been anyone.

“We knew that he needed two to break the record. We were not going to allow him to break it on us.”

Shazier played outstanding, finishing with a team high-tying 12 tackles. But John Simon was the star on defense, tallying a school record-tying four sacks. Even when records are set, though, Simon deflects all the attention.

“It was great coverage,” Simon said. “That quarterback was holding the ball for an awfully long time. One time he ran into me. Another time, we ran a great stunt where Nathan ran him into me.”

The sadness meter was running high in the Wisconsin locker room, as it should have been. It was Senior Day in Madison and the Badgers wanted to get revenge on the Buckeyes badly.

“It was extremely disappointing,” quarterback Curt Phillips said. “There was no doubt in my mind that we were going to score there. It was the same as a two-minute drive. I thought we left some plays on the field that we definitely should have made.”

“This is a tough one,” fullback Derek Watt said. “We knew we could have won that game. We just missed opportunities. We moved the ball pretty well on offense, and the defense got quick stops. We just have to make a few more plays.”

“It’s pretty disappointing,” defensive lineman Brendan Kelly said. “One of the hardest things is just seeing the looks on the seniors’ faces. As far as I’ve been here, we haven’t lost a Senior Day game and it’s definitely hard to see those guys.”


Comments Show All Comments

iball's picture

Ryan Shazier...comment of the week. It could have been Ball's mother for Pete's sake.

“There’s one thing I have learned through all my adventures and conquests - it’s that some people are just wired for success. I had no choice when it came to being great - I just am great.” – Kenny Powers

brylee's picture

despite Braxton's poor showing yesterday, it sure seems like ESPN is giving him a lot of Heisman love this morning!!!

BeijingBucks's picture

I can only imagine what it felt like in that Wisky locker room. Ha! Thankfully...

Those guys must really really hate the Bucks more than ever! They could almost... Taste... Montee(montay, Mountie, rented mule or Shazier's b%}€£ -- whatever u call him). Be glad to see the backside of him. And yet... That was one of the prettiest denials u ever did see :)

Effing giddy!!

None can love freedom heartily, but good men; the rest love not freedom, but license. ~ John Milton

DaveCHS's picture

This idea that we'll win the AP Championship just seems silly. It's a fantasy that doesn't exist outside of Ohio. Both Alabama and Georgia are ranked ahead of us. Sure one of them will lose, but the other will be in the championship game against another one-loss team or undefeated Notre Dame. Winner of champ game will be #1 across the board. At best we maybe get #2 and a handful of #1 votes from Big10 homers in the Midwest.

Crap. Gotta go. It's 11:10, and Michigan still sucks.

1stYrBuckIClub's picture

I was pretty shocked to see all the Heisman talk about Braxton this morning... Most of us on here were thinking 'Well, it's unlikely Braxton will even get to New York now...' But ESPN has taken the opposite approach. And as much as we hate to admit it, we all know they move the voting meter. Was a little disappointed Buckeye Robert Smith said his number 1 is Johnny Manziel and his number 2 is Manti Te'o (considering Shazier has better numbers in everything except interceptions). Who else is wary that with an overwhelming performance next week against TSUN (say, 300 yards passing, 150 yards rushing, 4 or 5 combined TDs) that he could be the obvious front runner?

Buckeye Beast's picture

I would say that ESPN has heavy influence over the way Heisman voting plays out. Regardless of how he played yesterday, we get Michigan at home this week & The Game has been the reason for a few guys winning the Heisman. With the way ESPN is building up Miller & possibly convincing people that he's the front runner, all eyes should be on him for The Game & it'll be a good thing for us if he shows up Saturday. I would think the 3 goals Saturday are
1) Beat Michigan/Finish 12-0
2) Get Miller a Heisman worthy game, a Buckeye finalist means Ohio State attention
3) Get Carlos Hyde to 1000 yards for RB recruiting purposes
Or atleast this is the way I see it

Even Squirrels hate Michigan

brylee's picture

ESPN has also picked up 11W's Corey Brown nickname of "Philly."  Love it!

buckeyedude's picture

What is kind of surprising is that Shazier, after almost being knocked out on that head to head meeting with Monte Ball earlier, went right after him again on that one and got his helmet right on Ball's ball, to knock it loose to save the game.



petserv's picture

Hey  what about taking a safety iinstead of the punt from inside the goal line,, a free kick from the 20 would put Wisconsiin at least back to there 20 yard line instead of inside the 50..

james c mitchell

Idaho Helga's picture

^^This is what I was screaming at the TV.   With a run dominated offense and 1:43 left the safety would have kept us FROM overtime.  

brylee's picture

good point...but tough to ever justify giving up points.

Idaho Helga's picture

As if we need another reason to hate, despise, detest, Mark May.  And another reason why I love crazy-spittin' Uncle Lou.  Not in the top 15 of best players in the country?  We'd still be 11-0 without XBrax360? 
   Thanks Uncle Lou for continuing to expose that a$$. 

brylee's picture

hard to be shocked by anything mark whathisname says...but that guy is truly an idiot

osubuckeye4life's picture

Lou is great. I loved when he started singing "Across the Field"!
Fat Urkel will never get over his hatred of tOSU. I love it when he has to say something semi positive about tOSU. You can tell he dies a little inside.
Xbrax360 is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination but there is no way this team would be where they are without him.

spqr2008's picture

When I got rid of cable, I let Time Warner and Disney know that most of it was because of eSECpn's incredible bias towards the SEC, as well as Mark May (who wears women's underwear).  I suggested that I would continue to pay them if they fired him.

MediBuck's picture

Oh, he's still butthurt about this:
and this:
I'm pretty sure Dr. Lou sends him those videos during every commercial break.

"There is a force that makes us all brothers, no one goes his way alone." --Woody Hayes

BoFuquel's picture

I'm just glad this whole set of downs didn't affect the outcome of the game. The media would have crucified Us,if The Weasels had not been able to tie the game.GO BUCKS!

I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.

sir rickithda3rd's picture

god i hate fat urkel

mark may wins douchebag of the year... again

German Buckeye's picture

I wonder how much of Mays "act" is directed by his ESPN masters in order to drum up the backlash (which equals web hits and eyeballs on TV)?  Remember most of these talking heads are there to drum up business not necessarily balanced reporting.  Balanced reporting = boredom.

Hovenaut's picture

"Jabba the Hoke"
"Fat Urkel"
"El Guapo"

Along with the fact that I love 11W for all things Buckeye, this is very likely the best damn nickname anointing site in the land.

CowCat's picture

Wisconsin gave it everything they had.  I'm sure they circled this game a year ago, as did Michigan State and Penn State.
We've passed the test in 3 hostile environments, with a patchwork team, with every opponent wanting to knock Urban Meyer down a notch.
I'm so proud of this team!

"We get paid to score touchdowns, not kick field goals"
-- Urban Meyer

buckupnorth's picture

I agree with cowcat, very proud of the team as camp randall is never easy to win at

osubuckeye4life's picture

Camp Randall is normally a house of horrors for an undefeated Buckeye team.
Not this time.
Man, I love this team!!!!

dtanmango's picture

A win is a win, gotta love it :D.
Shazier is CRAZY.


MAVBuck's picture

Next years LBs, Shazier & who cares. I'll take the bucks every week!