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By Matt McCoy
Despite Earle's facial expression (he's just got his game face on) it was a fun and spirited Bucksline Thursday night, with Jeff Rapp, Earle and Stan Jackson. If you would like to listen, check out the podcast by clicking here.
Among the highlights, Stan Jackson, as only he can, described what it's like to play in Wisconsin: "It's like going to a bad restaurant. You leave there smelling like cheese and beer. That's what you get there." Stan said. "It's terrible. The fans are out of control...they're really close to you and you have to be focused. A quick start really would work to (Ohio State's) advantage."
Bye the way
Urban Meyer commented this week that there's always some concern as to whether the week off kills a teams momentum and rhythm. During our open mic segment at the Buffalo Wild Wings on Bethel Road, Coach Bruce was asked if he was concerned that the extra week off might take an edge of the Buckeyes.
"I don't think that should be a problem at all....You just have to go do it," Earle said. "You have to approach it like it's another game and you've had a couple days extra to prepare for it. I think our kids now are waiting for the challenge to kick the hell out of them!"
In case you have not heard or seen the stat this week, Urban Meyer is 32-2 when given more than one week to prepare for a game. Of course, if you're a Wisconsin fan, you could spin the numbers in your favor. Badger coach Bret Bielema is 44-4 at home.
Stuff the run
The obvious key for both teams Saturday is to stop the run. Ohio State and Wisconsin, in Big Ten games, have the top two rushing offenses in the league.
The Badgers are coming off a school record 564 yard rushing performance at Indiana. They had so much success that first time starting quarterback Kurt Phillips threw only seven passes.
Both Earle and Stan expect a much different game Saturday, when the Buckeye defense trys to slow down Monte Ball, James White and the Badger ground game.
"I don't think (Wisconsin's run game) is going to be that successful," Earle said. "I think they'll get a little yardage but they're not going to get 560...they're not going to get 300. I think (Ohio State) is going to play an eight man front or a nine man front. You have to stop the run by putting the numbers up there and force them to pass and I don't think they can really make it happen passing wise."
Stan agreed and expects the Ohio State defensive to do everything it can to make Phillips beat them with his arm.
"If you lose this you can't lose this allowing them to run for 300 yards," Stan said. "You have to lose this because this quarterback, who's only started one game, throws for 300 and I just don't see that. (Phillips) strength is running the ball."
In his limited action, Phillips has run for 66 yards on eight carries...8.2 yards a pop.
A programming note regarding next week. Because of Thanksgiving, Bucksline will move from Thursday, to Friday when the Buckeyes get ready for The Game against Michigan. As always, we'll be at the Buffalo Wild Wings on Bethel Road, but we'll be on at a special time and for an extended time. Next Friday's Bucksline will be from 3-7p.m. We had a great crowd this week and if you can come, we'd love to see you for all or part of our Beat Michigan show next week.