It appears many of you appreciated the round-up from last week’s match-up, so I figured I’d give it another go. Certainly there are fewer detractors this week, as many were convinced the Buckeyes are at least worthy of a top 5 spot if not #1.
Todd McShay wrote a quite favorable piece on Todd Boeckman and the O-line, but I see that it is an insider piece, so linking to it won’t help. I’ll give you a snippet of the piece here-
“Size can be an overrated characteristic, but it definitely plays a role in Boeckman’s success. He has no trouble seeing over his massive offensive linemen, and his passing windows often are unobstructed. Boeckman shows no fear of taking a hit while his body is exposed during delivery, and he is sturdy enough to throw while defenders dangle from his legs.”
And about the line-
“The lesson learned is that Ohio State has very little trouble dealing with perimeter pass-rushers. First off, OTs Alex Boone and Kirk Barton are borderline impenetrable — just ask Penn State DE Maurice Evans.”
Bruce Hooley breaks down the Badgers and what they will have to do to beat the Bucks. When asked what the plan was to stop Ohio State, head coach Bret Bielema offered this-
“We’re going to try to play with 12 guys”
That might work coach.
Scouts Inc. gave the Buckeyes the edge in every possible category, and predicted a 34-17 Buckeye victory. The key match-up as they saw it was Alex Boone vs Matt Shaughnessy.
Shaughnessy has an explosive first step and plays with a non-stop motor but Boone is one of the best in the country. Boone is 66 pounds heavier than Shaughnessy and he moves well for his size. He should be able to get into position and engulf Shaughnessy when Ohio State runs behind him accordingly. Shaughnessy shouldn’t make much noise rushing the passer either. Boone gets into his pass set quickly and has the long arms to ride Shaughnessy past the pocket. He also has enough lateral mobility to redirect if Shaughnessy tries to set him up to the outside before shooting back inside.
Fox Sports teamed up with What if Sports to bring you this piece. They simulated games against the top teams in the BCS, and discovered that the Buckeyes came out on top against each opponent.
CBS Sportsline has the typical game preview, but has that Accuscore game forecast which gave Ohio State an 82% chance to beat Wisconsin.
Fox Sports also offered this article, which posed the question “Who would win OSU or LSU in a title game?” The four experts who chimed in were split.
Even The Big Lead picked the Buckeyes this week, despite Tressel’s record against the Badgers.
What does this mean? Not much. And to be fair, I hate when nobody gives us a chance, or even respect, but I hate when people look past opponents too. Wisconsin is a physical football team that always, always plays us tough. I expect this game to be closer than the Penn State game ended up. And if we do win this week, we better not sleep on Illinois. They will bring it next week just as hard.
I think the Buckeyes will come out on top this week, here’s hoping that they stay injury free in the process.