It seems that no matter how Ohio State performs, and no matter the outcome, many media outlets will create a negative spin on the Buckeyes. That's why I'm here.
I could say that the Badgers dominated the total yards. In fact, they doubled Ohio State in total yards 368 to 184. Another anomaly worth mentioning would be the Badgers 42:47/17:13 edge in time of possession. Wisconsin took the first 26 offensive snaps of the second half. All proof of only one thing - Stats are overrated.
If we're going to look at stats; look at these. Wisconsin ran 90 plays. They had 14 drives. Only 1 of those 14 drives was over 50 yards, 6 of those were 6 plays or less, and 5 of the 14 were three and out. Ohio State has given up 4 offensive touchdowns in the last 19 quarters of play. 6 of Wisconsin's' 13 points came on a fake field goal aided by a very good hold from Badger TE Garrett Graham, and another ugly interception by Terrelle Pryor. The Bucks accumulated 6 sacks, 10 tackles for loss, and had enough knockdowns to complete 3 games of Mike Tyson's' Punchout on the old Nintendo NES game console.
I'm not sure which scale you use to measure how much pressure a defense gets on the quarterback, but wherever that scale is, it's BROKEN after measuring Ohio State's defensive line performance this past Saturday. Ohio State(5-1) cruised to a 31-13 victory against an undefeated Wisconsin(5-1) team in the only stat that mattered - points! Thadeous Gibson, Cameron Heyward, Robert Rose, John Simon, Lawrence Wilson, Todd Denlinger, and Nathan Williams physically dominated one the better offensive lines in the country. The Badger OL had only given up 2 sacks coming into the game. OLB Ross Homan garnered honors for The Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week after the best performance of his Buckeye' career. He finished with 15 tackles(9 solo) and 2 sacks.
Big plays dominated the day. Kurt Coleman turned away a long Badger drive when he returned an interception 88 yards for a touchdown to open the scoring. Jermale Hines joined the party 2 quarters later with a pick-6 of his own. The lone spotlight on offense came when Terrelle Pryor hit Devier Posey for a 32 yard TD strike just before halftime. Appearantly, Devier took the coaching advice that I mentioned in last weeks' 'B' Deck Report. Great Catch! Ray Small broke the chain connected to his doghouse with a 96 yard kick-off return. 'Good Ray'.
Ohio State was held in check early by a game Wisconsin defense, but Pryor and Co's numbers were also hindered by the sheer lack of opportunities. By the time the fourth quarter rolled around- the results were not in question, and there was no reason whatsoever to keep Jim Tressel from making his vanilla-ice-cream-offense all the more vanilla(soft-serve none-the-less). It typified the value of Tressel's appoach, so while the naysayers and haters may spin this victory into the most unimpressive display of the year, Tressel-ball worked to perfection on Saturday.
There will be many detractors who opted NOT to watch the game - especially after they realized that Wisconsin's effort was futile. The fact remains that Ohio State's defense is incredible. According to Pryor it is, "one of the best in the country- if not the best".
Ohio State has regained momentum after the crushing loss to USC in week 2. The Buckeye's have re-entered the top-ten and thier 1-loss is one of the 'prettiest' amongst the 1-loss team's. There is still an outside chance for this team to get into the BCS National Championship game. That's not something the team often refers to, or something the detractors would like to admit, but Ohio State's improving defense could pose problems for anyone.
Next Saturday the Bucks travel to Purdue. My suggestion is for Joey Elliot to fake the flu, or call a running play in the huddle. The Buckeye defense is getting better each week, and Joey Elliot is the next Bullseye on the BigTen dartboard. Scott Tolziens' picture looks like a piece of Baby Swiss.
Bring on the werewolves - we're packing silver-bullets.
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