Skull Session: Wisconsin Looking to Bounce Back, Cris Carter and Orlando Pace Discuss Saturday's Game, and J.K. Dobbins and Tony Alford Share a Bond

By Kevin Harrish on October 25, 2019 at 4:59 am
Tony Alford and Chase Young are just hanging out in today's Skull Session.

Dwanye Haskins has struggled a bit in his first NFL action. But reminder, he can still do this:



Word of the Day: Insular.

 IF ILLINOIS GAVE YOU PROBLEMS... Wisconsin shouldn't be needing a bounce-back game this week in the biggest game of the season and the lone game in which it won't be a favorite, and it definitely shouldn't be the defense that needs to do the bouncing back.

And yet, here we are.

From Henry Palattella of the Columbus Dispatch:

The Badgers will try to regroup Saturday at Ohio State, whose offense is predicated on blowing games open with long plays. The Buckeyes are gaining 526.7 yards per game, fifth in the nation.

“They have weapons everywhere, and they spread you out,” Wisconsin linebacker Chris Orr said. “There’s a big misconception that people think that they’re always just trying to run out on the edge, but that’s really not the case. They still want to play big-boy football. You have to defend the whole field.”

Against Illinois, the Badgers allowed a 48-yard touchdown pass and three runs of 20 or more yards, with the biggest coming in the third quarter as Illini running back Reggie Corbin broke free for a 43-yard touchdown to cut the Badgers’ lead to 20-14.


“We need to get them out of their rhythm and make them feel uncomfortable so they have to do stuff they don’t want to do,” Baun said. “It comes down to winning our one-on-one matchups, whether that’s coming off the edge or in space and coverage.

Did you know that according to SP+, Illinois was the best offense Wisconsin has faced this season? And they lost. Makes you think.

I know Wisconsin's defense is good. It's probably still the best Ohio State will face this regular season. I don't love playing the "ain't played nobody!" card, because I think it's sometimes just an easy out, but the defensive numbers they've been putting up are fraudulent as hell given the competition.

Illinois moved the ball with relative ease late in that game against the top defense in the country. This is going to be Ohio State's biggest challenge of the year, but on some level, I think the words of Joey Bosa ring true:

"They just lost to Illinois. What the hell? That's not a game. That's my answer. I'm not worried."

 JUST TWO LEGENDS, CHATTING IT UP. Fox's First Thing's First gave us a little Wisconsin week treat as Buckeye legend Orlando Pace joined fellow Buckeye legend Cris Carter to break down Saturday's matchup with the Badgers.

You'll be shocked to hear this, but The Pancake Man is picking the Bucks.

Pace starts off strong with that "Absolutely not."

Joey Bosa first with the absolute confidence, and now Pace? It seems like something's got the former Buckeyes feeling a little frisky ahead of a big matchup. But maybe it's just because they're right and Ohio State is really damn good.

Of course, we also got to hear Pace's thoughts on Ohio State's newest gigantic son, Dawand Jones, who he says even dwarfs him.

 THERE FOR EACH OTHER. Earlier this year, BTN The Journey gave us a spectacular story on J.K. Dobbins' tumultuous childhood and young adult life that included the loss of his father.

But at the same time, Tony Aflord was dealing with a loss of someone close to him – his brother.

Neither of them were alone in their times of darkness, because they had each other.

Some things are deeper than football. And it's great to see that these two have a bond beyond Tony Alford hitting the shit out of him with his stick to try to make him fumble as he runs through cones.

 “IT SHOWS THEY STILL CARE.” I don't do this often (in fact, I'm not sure I ever have), mostly because I think it would be pretty lame for the Skull Session to turn into just an echo chamber our own work.

But I also know that recruiting features often only appeal to a niche audience, especially in the season, and I thought this bit from Zack's piece on 2022 athlete C.J. Hick was worth highlighting.

From our very own Zack Carpenter of Eleven Warriors:

Another cousin, L’Christian “Blue” Smith, was a four-star receiver from Huber Heights who signed with the Buckeyes and redshirted as a freshman. After one season, though, Smith transferred to Cincinnati and was granted immediate eligibility. 

Smith still has good relationships with the Buckeye coaches, though, and Hicks couldn’t help but notice.

“At the end of the game, he hugged every single Ohio State coach,” Hicks said. “You don’t really see that, especially after they transfer.

“It shows that they still care. Even if you transfer like he did, or if you graduate, they’re still gonna keep in touch. Or if you need anything, they’ll help you. … He said he’s still in contact with the coaches, which is a good sign because even though he left, they still have love for him.”

I don't want to turn everything into a "holier than thou" moment, but I can't help but feel proud when I see this, especially compared to Michigan's offseason transfer debacles that lived in the headlines for what seemed like weeks.

And I fully expect a similar moment when Keandre Jones comes back to town in November.

 LET'S MAKE A DEAL! In one of the more random things to flutter across my timeline, Dawn Elliott and Urica Jones – the mothers of Ezekiel Elliott and Jamarco Jones – were on the game show Let's Make a Deal together.

I love how cryptic they were being about who their sons were. Watching Wayne Brady and the producer gradually piece together that Dawn is Zeke's mom was hilarious.

 NOT STICKING TO SPORTS. Motorists were sent on a 41-mile detour due to a 65-foot stretch of closed road... Japanese hotel chain sorry that hackers may have watched guests through bedside robots... What actually happens in your brain when you can’t sleep... A hunter dies after the deer he shot apparently got up and attacked him...

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