Buckeyes Prepare for *King* of the Big Ten

By Kyle Rowland on September 23, 2013 at 5:00p
32 Comments
Home of the Badgers and three-time defending Big Ten champs.

The 2012 Big Ten standings indicate Ohio State finished with a perfect conference and overall record. 8-0. 12-0. But atop the roll call is Wisconsin, a team that won only eight games on the season and lost four conference games, six overall.

The Badgers finished third in the Leaders Division, behind the Buckeyes and Penn State. NCAA sanctions to the first- and second-place schools sent Wisconsin to Indianapolis for the second straight season. And for the third consecutive year, it won the Big Ten title.

“We have a lot of respect for Wisconsin,” Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer said. “In my opinion, they are the king of the Big Ten.”

Many would disagree with that notion, Ohio State players included. Bradley Roby and Corey Linsley each admitted they have a sour taste that lingers because the Badgers were able to take advantage of the circumstances.

Wisconsin could catch another break this season, facing a Buckeye team using their backup quarterback. Some would scoff at that belief, however, considering Kenny Guiton’s three-game stretch. Guiton was once again named the Big Ten’s offensive player of the week, as well as taking the weekly Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award winner, given to a Texas high school or college player.

In a now tri-weekly occurrence, Meyer was asked continuously about Miller’s status. After a three-game absence, Miller has been tabbed at 90 percent healthy, with 100 percent on the horizon.

“He had a very good day yesterday,” Meyer said. “I know Braxton, if he has a good week of practice, he will start. I’m much more confident. I’m saying he’s around 90 [percent] right now, and he could be 100 by next week – I'm hoping."

Said Linsley: “I don’t mean to talk too much, but he looked phenomenal. I could tell Braxton is back.”

Following Saturday’s 76-0 beatdown of Florida A&M, Meyer said Miller held himself out because he didn’t feel healthy enough to play. That story changed on Monday, though, with Meyer saying it was a mutual decision between Miller and the staff. Meyer wanted to shake some of the rust off his quarterback, but the sprained MCL wasn’t stable enough to allow it. 

Miller’s status suddenly leaves Guiton in limbo. Guiton leads the nation in touchdown passes and set two prominent school records in as many weeks. One theory mentioned is having them on the field together. But Meyer shied away from that possibly when asked Monday.

“I don’t know if that’s reality,” he said. “I just love both those players. I think they are good players, but I don’t know what that gives you. If Kenny was a better wide receiver than one of our receivers, he would be playing receiver. If Braxton was a better running back, he’d be a running back. But they’re not.

“So someone has to come off the field. I haven’t decided how we are going to do it. We’ll see how practice goes this week.”

Regardless of who’s taking the snaps, Meyer is “comfortable with both quarterbacks.” Ask defensive coordinator Luke Fickell about the game and he’s quick to point out the outcome will be decided on the lines, not the guy the offensive line is protecting.

“I don’t care whether it’s Cal and they are throwing the ball 75 percent of the time, the game is won up front,” he said. “It will be evident this week, whether it’s their offensive line or our defensive line, or our offensive line or their defensive line. That’s where the game is going to be won.”

Ohio State’s rebuilt defensive line will face its first stiff test of the season. The entire front seven is new, minus linebacker Ryan Shazier. Michael Bennett will be back, while the status if Adolphus Washington is probable.

The Silver Bullets have held up well with so many new faces. They’re ranked 13th nationally in total defense. Wisconsin is not Buffalo, San Diego State, Cal or FAMU. The Badgers rank third in rushing with 350 yards per game. Melvin Gordon leads the conference with 156 yards per game with seven touchdowns.

Meyer and Fickell each acknowledged the head coach at Wisconsin is irrelevant. Whether it’s Gary Andersen or Bret Bielema, a power-run game is present.

“They have not received a challenge like this one,” said Meyer, referencing the Buckeyes’ front seven. “You have two backs averaging 150 each. This will be the biggest challenge to this point, and maybe the rest of the year.”

If Meyer proves right, the 8 p.m. kick on ABC will be must-see TV.

“I think this will be a classic game,” he said. 

32 Comments

Comments

AndyVance's picture

Prior to the season we were all slating the trip to Evanston as the big challenge this season, but as the first four weeks have unfolded, I'm with Coach Meyer that this could well be the game that defines the season, The Game notwithstanding, of course.

Nick's picture

I think this is all hype which is good for a big night game. Don't think Wisconsin is on our level and will have another big win. Won't expect the huge margin but a 2 TD victory is what I am thinking. 42-28. 

BeijingBucks's picture

I don't think it will be that close even.  Wisconsin has proven one dimensional with a very suspect passing game.  Pretty confident with our DBs playing man should cancel out their only WR (abbre...) with one safety, leaving our LBs to play to stopping the run which is their strength.
May be wrong and seeing this through homer glasses but Fick has always been able to gameplan for a rush attack.  So yes they will score some just by wearing us down but can't see them ringing up 300 yards rushing with two backs and busting out huge plays without a deep ball threat.
The bigger question in my mind is if our Offense is really as explosive as we have seen and can actually score at will against anyone.  Another big first quarter like we've seen of late out of the Bucks and there is no rushing attack in the country which can keep up with that kind of prolific scoring.
Besides with Hyde back to smashmouth a bit for the second half clock control becomes easier.
So am I confident? Yes.  tOSU>ASU  and it ain't even close.

 

 

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

gravey's picture

Don't hex us.  A few years back their QB was apparently terrible - but played out of his mind throwing all over the place when they found they couldn't run on us.  They run because they can.  Let's hope their QB doesn't have a career night.
 

Doc's picture

The King has no clothes!  Go Bucks!

"Say my name."

buckeyenut10's picture

Ugh. Thank god Bert left then. I wouldn't blame our team if they ran away from that sight.

81Alum's picture

My thoughts exactly, Go Bucks

Deadly Nuts's picture

Haha... The king floated into another Rose Bowl and lost.

LEBRON

Ethos's picture

I'm worried about the rushing attack keeping our offense off the field. Will be a close game. I'd say I still think norrthwestern will be our toUghest challenge of octoBEr

"What do you need water for, Sunshine?!" - Coach Coombs, if you don't love this man, you have no soul.

igo43's picture

I agree with the first sentence, unsure about the rest.

"The minute I think I'm getting mellow, I'm retiring. Who ever heard of a mellow winner?" - WWH

Oldschoolbuck's picture

Agree, too many offensive weapons & too much speed for Bucky to handle. But, yeah, we aren't gonna put up 70 either.
On D, I think Bucky plays more to our strength than a lot of the spread teams we face. It's hard to tell, cuz it was FAMU, but the D-line looks like it may be stuffing the run better than earlier, and the tackling was lots better (yeah, I know, again it WAS FAMU!).
I love night games at the 'Shoe! What a great atmosphere for recruits to experience!

cal3713's picture

I will be very interested in seeing how our O does against a non-terrible defense.

Bucksfan's picture

King of the Big Ten MY ASS!

fanatibuck's picture

Exactly!!!! That was some good ole school "coach speak". No way does Meyer really believe Wisky is King of the B1G. Thanks to The Vest OSU has dominated the conference since 2002, in other words an entire decade. The Urbanator is now carrying the torch. I understand the media and coaches are hyping this game for high ratings, but this game won't be close. 51-17Bucks. The Shoe will be a madhouse and Braxton, Hyde and company will rip Wisky's D to shreds.

Simply put The Cheeseheads had a much better team in 2011 and our 6-7 team beat them. Obviously the Bucks have much more talent and a vast upgrade in the coaching staff than two years ago. I will be there. Its going to be fun.

THE URBANATOR AND HIS BOYS' JOURNEY HAS JUST BEGUN; 26-0 IS COMING BABY!!

Haybucks's picture

Agreed!  Coach Meyer is revving up the team by calling the Badgers "King".  I get irritated that Wiscy is technically the B1G champs, but finished 3rd in the Leaders division.  I can only imagine what the players' feel.  
Well, every dog has it's day and King has already had his.  Sit King, sit.  Stay.  Good dog.

The time to stop talking is when the other person nods his head affirmatively, but says nothing. - Henry S. Haskins

 

45has2's picture

I concur with your post and thumbed you up. Urb's degree is in psychology and he uses it to great success. Bucky isn't scaring me at all. We know how to load the box as well or better than 90% of the FBS schools. Wiscy also has not faced an offense as talented as The Buckeyes. One minor point that most people forget: JT was 3-4 against the Badgers. Luke and Urb combined are off to a much better record against the curdled milk enthusiasts.

"I don't like nice people. I like tough, honest people." -W.W. Hayes

causeicouldntgo43's picture

Just Urban using reverse psy - Gangum style

fanatibuck's picture

Yup!

THE URBANATOR AND HIS BOYS' JOURNEY HAS JUST BEGUN; 26-0 IS COMING BABY!!

HandsOfSweed's picture

I love this subtle/not-so-subtle motivational ploy. Keep referring to Wisconsin as Big Ten Champs in practice and at the facility all week long! I hope Urb hangs a few 2012 Wisconsin Big Ten Champs pennants/t-shirts, etc right where the guys HAVE to look at them. Agitiate the gang a little bit. Poke at their ego and pride, driving them into a fury. Remind them that Bucky owns what rightfully belongs to them. Drive them and challenge them to prepare with deep film study and perfect practice repetitions this week. Then, right before gametime..GIVE THEM THE MANDATE TO PHYSICALLY TAKE WHAT BELONGS TO THEM.
 
 

fanatibuck's picture

Awesome!!!!

THE URBANATOR AND HIS BOYS' JOURNEY HAS JUST BEGUN; 26-0 IS COMING BABY!!

NorthernOhioBuckeye's picture

Now you have me fired up to put on the pads and go hit some Bastages Badgers.

will0327's picture

Im sorry but this team is going to run through these 2 teams i just believe they are on a mission and these are just teams in the way. You saw what happen to Nebraska last year and they had a offense to keep up i dont see the Badgers moving the ball at all .....Shazier and Grant will shine ...our secondary is too strong also....i just think a night game in the shoe ...first big ten game...first night game this year = Buckeye blow out
 
PS: our offense hasnt even peaked

OUR HONOR DEFENDED .....

Ethos's picture

Lots of cooLaid being drunk if you think that running attack wont move the ball. They have A very Good running back tandem. This is like cal but without all the ppints. They will move the ball but their poor passing game will cost them the game  

"What do you need water for, Sunshine?!" - Coach Coombs, if you don't love this man, you have no soul.

will0327's picture

You see what they did to Montee Ball last year at home with a better offensive line and team in general ....its a wrap bro ....playing right into our hands running it right at us......im more scared of the spread get the ball out quick teams .....Shazier and Grant and the D line is going to EAT

OUR HONOR DEFENDED .....

igo43's picture

I hope you're right, but the D-Line concerns me. They haven't been tested with a real O-Line yet.

"The minute I think I'm getting mellow, I'm retiring. Who ever heard of a mellow winner?" - WWH

headina's picture

I just have this feeling that the buckeyes are going to absolutely obliterate wisky. I think Meyer leads on that he is concerned with certain aspects of the team (understandable, always room for improvement) but I don't think they have scratched the surface of the playbook yet. I think the offense has been toying with people. I will not be surprised if the score is something like 63-20. I don't see anyone stopping, nor containing this o. The team has a swagger never seen before under Tressel. I sure hope I am right....

GO BUCKS

cal3713's picture

Let's not forget that our offensive numbers have come against defenses ranked 114th and lower in all of FBS (and 91st in FCS).  Sure, we had something to do with those numbers, but still, I'm really excited to see how our offense does against a competent D (currently ranked 10th).  I have faith, but this will be a different beast than what we've seen so far...

fanatibuck's picture

Yawn!!!! Nothing like sticking with the company line. LMAO!!!!

THE URBANATOR AND HIS BOYS' JOURNEY HAS JUST BEGUN; 26-0 IS COMING BABY!!

headina's picture

Keep in mind wisconsin's 10th ranked D hasn't played anyone either. They haven't faced the beast that is tOSU offense. 

GO BUCKS

pjtobin's picture

I just hope we win. This will be my first time seeing whiskey in the shoe. I have seen them all but whiskey. And this is only my 2nd night game. I will lose my voice I'm sure. I would love a blowout. I couldn't handle a heart attack. And being in row 37 a is a crap ton of steps for medics. 

Bury me in my away jersey, with my buckeye blanket. A diehard who died young. Rip dad. 

okiebuck's picture

I just wish old Bucky Badger didn't get screwed in the desert at ASU and would be undefeated coming into the Shoe for this game.

"Fate has cards that it don't want to show"

holtzy's picture

Guiton leads the nation in touchdown passes and set two prominent school records in as many weeks.

I still can't get over this.