First posted by Brady, at Inside The Shoe
I really don’t think that our young coach has any shot of hanging on past this season despite the news he finally is coaching under a legit contract until the end of 2012. It’s true that Fickell was dropped into an impossible situation with all of the suspensions and the turmoil surrounding the program but most fans still believe he is in way over his head. Ohio St. is one of the few jobs in America that other coaches pine for and the school should be able to hit a home run once this season comes to an end.
However, if Luke wants to put a HUGE notch under his belt and make the brass at Ohio St. second-guess their impending coaching search, this weekend certainly presents the opportunity. Wisconsin will be a great challenge for this team and its’ coaching staff moving forward.
Will the Buckeye’s be able to throw or even move the ball against a stout Wisconsin defense? Can Braxton escape this Saturday with body intact and all wits about him? Will Bollman dial up some plays that don’t remind us of leather helmets? I don’t really have the answers to these questions but I am dying to find out the answers in person this weekend at the 'Shoe!
Wisconsin will be pissed coming off that dramatic loss at the hands of Sparty on Saturday night. I have been racking my brain trying to figure out if that loss will be a good thing or a really bad thing for the Buckeyes. One could argue the Badgers will be hungry to atone for that last-second loss and OSU may be in trouble because of it. Wisconsin was beat up for most of the game against MSU but still managed to climb back in during the 4th quarter with some great plays by Russell Wilson. Besides the two-headed running attack and massive offensive line, Wilson is the guy that scares me the most.
Actually, after looking at that last sentence, the whole freakin’ Wisky offense is what scares me the most. I always have faith in a Buckeye defense but remain unconvinced that OSU has the horses to bang heads all night and stop that rushing attack. The loss of Nathan Williams will be felt during this game. He was excellent at getting pressure on the quarterback along with shutting down the running game. I hope that Hankins and Simon are up to the task but it won’t be easy pushing those giants around up front.
The Badger offense is good. No football fan in their right mind would argue that point. For the Bucks to have a shot they will have to move the ball and put up a bunch of points. Those two basic football concepts have been hard to come by this year. Part of the problem is starting a Freshman quarterback but Braxton has shown flashes of the talent that had fans drooling over his arrival last spring. Bollman and Fickell MUST open up the playbook for this one. Besides the Michigan game, this will be the marquee match up of the season for our young team. We still don’t know what the NCAA will decide later this month so a bowl game can’t be counted on either. This is Homecoming against a national power! Pull out all the stop’s coaches. I beg of you!
After watching that MSU-UW game on Saturday night I don’t think the Badgers are as invincible as I once thought. The Spartan defense had a great game and forced Wisconsin to throw more than they wanted to. I believe the OSU defense has just as much talent which gives me hope that the Buck’s can stay in this thing until the end. The D line will have to find a way to get pressure on Wilson and get his ass on the ground a few times early. They can’t let him get comfortable and pick our young secondary apart . If Wilson can couple that with a bruising running attack the game could be over before half time. Ohio St. is capable of a good defensive showing so let’s hope Heacock has some tricks up his sleeve for this one.
This game will be an opportunity for Fickell to wash the bad taste from all of our mouths. Most folks understand that it isn’t entirely his fault but it’s hard not to lay some of the blame with him. Our fans are a fickle bunch (pun sort of intended) and we expect to be in the race every year. That dream is long dead but there is still an outside shot to get back in the Big Ten race. A lot of dominos must fall in our favor but stranger things have happened. I want to remember Fickell for the great nose tackle he was, not the overwhelmed coach with a thousand-yard stare. This Saturday the healing can begin.