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Today is Tuesday, Oct. 18, and this is your Ohio State Wake-Up Call.
‘Now everybody can see what we are made of’
There are many things that could be taken out of Ohio State’s overtime win over Wisconsin. After all, the game was an instant classic.
You could look to Buckeyes quarterback J.T. Barrett. He stepped up in the second half and overtime, leading the Buckeyes to a trio of touchdowns after a dreadful first half. You could look to the red-zone defense, specifically the defensive line that made the key stop in overtime to secure the win.
You could even look to coach Urban Meyer, who is 20-0 in true road games in his career at Ohio State, a mark that hasn’t been reached since the 1880s. Yes, the 1880s. No matter where you look, this Wisconsin win was huge for not only momentum, but team identity.
“It was our first true test,” linebacker Chris Worley said. “Throughout the season, there are ups and downs, but teams that find a way to push through that become victorious in games like that.”
After such a rough first half, the Buckeyes bounced back — and I don’t mean during Wisconsin’s famous, fourth quarter rendition of “Jump Around” — and silenced the crowd of over 80,000 for much of the second half. As they prepare for another big road test at Penn State — a second-straight tough environment — the Buckeyes will be challenged. Barrett thinks that it won’t effect them negatively.
“They are both great college football atmospheres,” Barrett said. “I think Penn State has more people, so at times, I think that could be louder, but on third downs, I think we did a better job (at Wisconsin) than we did at Oklahoma, but it was definitely rowdy.”
With the momentum of an undefeated season going into their matchup against Penn State, another primetime and nationally televised game, the Buckeyes are confident that America will continue to pay attention to this team.
“I feel like they are going to have to outplay us,” Ohio State halfback Dontre Wilson said. “We are going to play the whole four quarters, or even if it takes extra overtime. We are going to play hard, not ever going to give up. Even though we were down early, we came together as a team. Now everybody can see what we are made of.”
Meyer hates sideline interference penalties … and halftime speeches
Ohio State coach Urban Meyer had a lot to say about his team in his Monday news conference. However, two topics reigned over them all.
First, Meyer was smacked in the head by an official in Saturday night’s game. In response, the referee threw the flag up, calling a 15-yard penalty for sideline interference. This turned a second-and-12 into a second-and-27, which led to a punt two downs later.
Urban Meyer hit with a 15 yard flag right here for sideline inference after ref hits him in the face. pic.twitter.com/yav2M3R56S
— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) October 16, 2016
“It was my fault, but it should not have been a penalty,” Meyer said. “It broke my heart to get a 15-yard penalty for that in a big game. Some people would say, ‘Well, that’s just the rule.’ Get rid of the damn rule. That’s not a good rule.”
Second, when his Buckeyes were down 16-6 at halftime against Wisconsin, Meyer was asked what he said to his players to change their attitude for the second half. His response was simple.
“There’s a lot of movies out there where people give great halftime speeches, and that’s not true,” Meyer said. “It doesn’t matter what you say at halftime. It matters what you say and do in January, February, March, April, May, June, July because you train for those moments.”
Ohio State outscored Wisconsin 24-7 in the second half including overtime. Meyer said he doesn’t get any credit for what happened in the locker room at halftime.
“The worst thing I could do is open my big mouth and get in the way of a bunch of people working their tails off and being professional, as they were,” Meyer said.
Michigan game already on everyone’s mind
With six games left in the regular season, there is one game that is on the forefront of every college football fan’s mind. That’s the Nov. 26 Michigan-Ohio State battle in what is shaping up to be a College Football Playoff Invitational.
To say that the Maize and Blue have been impressive this season would be an understatement. Currently ranked No. 3 team in the nation, the Wolverines are the only team not located in Tuscaloosa that owns a first place vote in the AP Poll. Led by their lunatic head coach Jim Harbaugh, who has coached them to a 16-3 record so far in his career at Michigan, the Wolverines boast a Heisman Trophy candidate in Jabrill Peppers, who leads one of the country’s stingiest defenses.
Robert Smith, an analyst for the Big Ten Network and former Ohio State running back, has high praises for his former enemy.
"I still think, right now, Michigan is the best team in the country."
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) October 17, 2016
Whoops! Meant to say conference https://t.co/BwHIeqHOUS
— robert smith (@Robert26Smith) October 17, 2016
After a 78-0 drubbing at Rutgers two weeks ago and with a relatively easy schedule remaining, Michigan has a legitimate chance to be undefeated when it makes its way to Columbus on Nov. 26. Ohio State’s road may be a little tougher. With another tough matchup at Penn State this weekend, the Buckeyes still have to face No. 8 Nebraska at Ohio Stadium in the first weekend in November.
We’re on our way to a historic battle, friends.
Leaving the Bonezone
The Wisconsin fan base had a right to be confident. Going into the game as the No. 8 team in the nation and with a win over a SEC powerhouse under their belt, Badgers fans were confident against No. 2 Ohio State, especially after jumping out to a 10-point lead over the double-digit favorite Buckeyes. In fact, some fans decided that lead was all they’d need in order to start making themselves internet famous.
This is where Kyle Carbone comes in.
— Jacquelyn Marie (@Jacqattack2013) October 16, 2016
If Ohio State ends up taking on Wisconsin again in the Big Ten championship, I think Buckeyes fans should do a Kickstarter to get ol’ Kyle Carbone into Lucas Oil Stadium.
He’s going to need a few beers that night if we want him to start making outrageous claims in Indianapolis, so if you see him, be generous, folks.