So you’re saying there’s a chance. Ohio State enters tonight’s showdown against Wisconsin with an opportunity to climb back into the race for whatever division we’re in. (I know it starts with an ‘L’ but really can’t be bothered learning which teams are in which ridiculously-named division.) An improbable win over the Badgers would put the Buckeyes in contention, although the road would still be long and difficult and help would be needed in toppling Penn State. That said, the Buckeyes need to prove they can put an entire 60-minute game together. If they can play for four quarters the way they did for two and a half at Nebraska, there’s a shot at avenging last year’s debacle in Madison. If not, well…let’s just say it could be a long night. Charles has your game preview here.
My gut says success early is crucial. Ohio State is young, fragile and not a come-from-behind squad. Let’s hope we can avoid the sluggish post-bye-week start that we’ve seen in past years. The players should be emotional. They’ll be in front of a huge prime-time crowd for Homecoming, with ridiculous Nike Pro Combat uniforms on and armed with the knowledge that this is the game that can turn this mediocre season into a potential B1G championship run. Watch John Simon early to gauge this game. Last year, Wisconsin held handled Cameron Heyward and ran basically at will. Linebacker play will be important for Ohio State and pressure on #ALLRUSSELLWILSONEVERYTHING is essential on passing downs. I believe the defense needs to force third-and-long situations for optimal success. On offense, Ohio State needs to have success on the ground even when Wisconsin knows it’s coming, but must also mix in some pass plays and keep the Badger defense off balance. In other words, something other than Walrusball would be nice. I’m approaching this game with guarded optimism. As a bitter man who couldn’t afford to attend this game with Vico and Margie (hopefully they’ll havearealgoodtime tonight), I’ll have your game recap later tonight. Your live blog is below.