Quotebook: Wisconsin

By Kyle Rowland on September 29, 2013 at 9:00a
15 Comments
Ohio State held Gordon in check Saturday night.

Saturday night in Ohio Stadium may have been a matchup of the Big Ten’s two best teams. That will play out as the season progresses, but what is known now is that Ohio State is the class of the conference and in command of the Leaders Division after just one game.

Northwestern, Michigan and a possible to-be-determined opponent in the Big Ten Championship Game is all that stands between the Buckeyes and an undefeated season. Suddenly, though, the trip to Evanston became more difficult with the loss of senior safety and captain Christian Bryant.

He’s the total package – a leader, an experienced player and someone who gets results on the field. Bryant is the most vocal player on the team and someone who commands respect in the locker room and in the huddle.

You know how profound Bryant’s impact is when the head coach becomes emotional upon learning he’ll be lost for the season.

“Just tough news,” Urban Meyer said. “That’s the hardest part of this whole job, to see that happen. My goodness. I just love that kid. That darn kid has done so much or our program, come so far. Incredible leadership skills, and he’s going to be even more valuable outside of football. I love that guy. Doggone it. Hard part of the game.”

“Everyone’s hurt about it, especially me because he’s my cousin,” wide receiver Devin Smith said. “I’m very tight with him. He’s worked his tail off and just wanted to have a great season.”

“That’s a big loss,” linebacker Joshua Perry said. “He’s a leader for us, a guy you can trust and count on. We’re going to have to work to fill his void. I feel we have enough depth to be able to do that.”

“I’m not worried about the playing aspect,” senior safety C.J. Barnett said. “I’m worried about the leadership aspect. It's going to take all of our leaders to do more. I’ve got to do more.”

Bryant’s injury became a black cloud on a day that feature picture-perfect blue skies in Columbus. The win is not to be taken lightly. Its importance in the conference race can’t be overstated.

“It’s a great win,” Perry said. “It gives us a lot of momentum going in to next week. We have another ranked opponent, it’s on the road and we have a week to prepare. Having a win like this is a great way to enter a week of preparation.”

“I don't know if we made a statement,” Barnett said. “We know we had our doubters. Hopefully, we proved them wrong. But if not, it doesn't matter. We're just going to keep working.”

“I really think we showed to the country that we can stop the run and that we're not anybody to be messing around with,” linebacker Ryan Shazier said. “They have a great offensive line, and I feel like our D-line is going to be great also.”

Wisconsin wide receiver Jared Abbrederis had a career day. He abused Bradley Roby throughout the game, finished with over 200 yards receiving and a touchdown. Still, the final result left a sour taste in his mouth. In his career, Abbrederis only beat Ohio State once.

“I’m not enjoying anything,” Abbrederis said. “Individual stuff doesn’t really matter at all. It’s about the team.”

Consider Meyer one of his biggest fans.

“He’s got my vote for All-Big Ten,” Meyer said. “He did an incredible job.”

Saturday night’s game was the 12th straight loss by seven points or loss for Wisconsin. Oct. 2, 2010 was the last time the Badgers lost by more than a touchdown.

“Just frustrating,” Abbrederis said. “Being in close games and not being able to come up on the winning side is just frustrating. It doesn’t matter how good you play or whatever, you’ve got to be able to win the game.”

Arguably the biggest play of the game was Ohio State’s touchdown with one second remaining in the first half. It came on 4th-and-2 from the 40-yard line. A breakdown in the Wisconsin defensive secondary allowed the Buckeyes’ to convert.

“[Braxton Miller] doesn’t really get discouraged during the game,” wide receive Devin Smith said. “He’s a strong kid, but I think the touchdown before the half was cool. For us though, it was important to make sure we came out in the second half strong.”

“The end of the first half honestly wasn’t deflating at all,” Wisconsin safety Dezmen Southward said. “We do not allow ourselves to get down as a team. We are going to continue to fight regardless of the score.”

Wisconsin abandoned the run fairly early, and instead went to a strong passing game from Joel Stave.

“I think a lot of that had to do with us,” defensive end Adolphus Washington said. “We prepared this week to stop the run and we did. They had to adjust and made the decision to throw the ball more.”

15 Comments

Comments

Seattle Linga's picture

Time to shift our focus on NW and not complain about Wisky. Did we play a great game - NO WAY Did we get beat on a lot of plays ABSOLUTELY! By making a running team pass - they can score quickly and that was tough to swallow. We held them to 250 yards less than their average on the ground this year. Next week aught to be interesting as we face pass happy NW. Go Bucks! 

gwalther's picture

Was it a 4th and 2, or 4th and 7? Regardless, massive play.
I'm disappointed we took the foot off the gas, or didn't continue to pull away, after going up 31-14. The second half felt very Tressel-like in how the game unfolded and was called offensively. On the plus side, the result was the same as many Tressel games too: a win.
Postscript: our secondary looked awful, and Roby looked like a 3rd-4th round pick, not a first round lockdown corner.

Class of 2008

Poison nuts's picture

It's very safe to call the second half Tressel-Ball...

"Death created time to grow the things that it would kill" - Detective Rustin Cohle.

holtzy's picture

I never really understand why coaches do this.  Maybe once they get a lead they are simply trying to avoid any turnovers?

741's picture

I could see Abbrederis in a Patriots uniform next season - and possibly on my fantasy football team as well.

Ethos's picture

I wouldn't put him ona fantasy team just yt but hes good. Now borland, that kid reminds me of little animal. 

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

gutterwaste's picture

I'd put his beard on my fantasy team

Phoenix824's picture

He would be a weapon for a guy like Brady or Manning.    Looked like he aways knew where he needed to get to get just the little separation he needed.

dmurder's picture

3rd downs killed us last night on offense. 2nd half most of all and 4th down getting stopped. OUCH

34-17 if we kick the field goal.

However, I was glad he went for it. But was a little disappointed that we couldn't get two yards.

"We have always had the best damn band in the land, now we have the best damn team in the land"- Jim Tressel 1-03-03

gwalther's picture

Also- Christian Bryant was a champion for his effort in trying to get off the field at the end of the game when he just suffered a season ending injury. Wow man. He was trying.. #Respect

Class of 2008

boojtastic's picture

I have completely lost my voice. Glad to see the shoe was inhospitable as it should be for a primetime bout.

Woody16111's picture

I think the defenses coaches will have to think twice before putting Roby on an island - he got beat pretty bad, twice as I recall. 
As a unit, you have to give the Buckeyes D a lot of credit - they took Wisconsin totally out of their game plan. However, individually, there were some missed plays resulting in 10pts on the board that shouldn't have been on the board.
The game next week is going to be a HUGE  test, this will be Northwestern's biggest home game of the year, if not of the past 20 years. 

unknownmusketeer's picture

It will be very interesting to see if Ohio State fans can turn Northwestern's stadium into a sea of scarlet and gray.

VestedInterest's picture

Foot off the gas up early third was disappointing. Third and longs calling running plays does not bode well in the style points column, shame we need them but that's the reality given the piss poor state of the B1G and a week OOC. This will all be a moot point come next year with the advent of a watered down playoff system but as it stands right now style points matter. The point is...Urban knows this. I'm not sure whether it's playing not to lose and hoping someone else loses or what, but given the chance to impress against one of only a handful of teams on the schedule and taking the foot off the gas was disappointing for me.
Still very happy with the win, don't get me wrong but I think we let an opportunity slip by not pouring it on and going all Tressell Ball in the 3rd and 4th stanzas.

BuckeyeinExile's picture

As much as it seems like Abra Cadabra has been at Wisky forever, it seems like Bryant and Barnett have been here since the we beat Miami in Tempe. I really hope he heals quickly and can continue to motivate the D and whoever fills his position. It is unfortunate it had to happe this way but its time to put another silver bullet into the chamber.