Leading up to a primetime, top-10 showdown in Madison, ESPN got a behind-the-scenes look at the preparation of Wisconsin’s secondary.
The No. 8 Badgers are hoping to slow down J.T. Barrett, Curtis Samuel, Noah Brown and more – something no opponent of the No. 2 Buckeyes has been able to do in 2016.
Jim Leonhard – the first-year Wisconsin secondary coach – told his group that the Buckeyes are “simple but effective” with the football.
Leonhard stood in the front, wearing a red Wisconsin crewneck shirt and gray Badgers sweatpants. He informed his players that Ohio State’s run and pass game are simple in concept but effective on the field. The Buckeyes rank third nationally in points per game (53.2). He encouraged players that if they lock in, they will have an opportunity to win.
Leonhard also broke down some individual Buckeyes players. He said of Barrett, “we have to make him pay when he runs the ball.”
As for Brown, who leads Ohio State with five receiving touchdowns, Leonhard said he hasn’t seen a corner “play good technique in press on him.”
“He is very good. If he gets you a step behind, he is damn good at trapping the ball, going and attacking it, making plays over the top of corners,” Leonhard said. “But I have yet to see a corner play it from a good position. So the way you play in press, he is not going to run past you. Same thing when you watch that on tape. He is never more than this far away from a guy. Haven’t seen it yet. So you can challenge him.”