"Ohio State's 11-1 record has pushed Urban Meyer up two spots to ninth all-time in winning percentage for college football coaches at any division level. Separately, among coaches at the major college level - currently defined by the NCAA as FBS schools - Meyer has the best record of any coach in the last 60 years."
- Rich Exner, Northeast Ohio Media Group
There's no question that when it comes to Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer, you're looking at one of the best college coaches in the past decade. With two national championships and leading multiple teams where he's coached to great heights, coach Meyer is well respected in the coaching community and beyond.
Coach Meyer has compiled a 139-26 record at Ohio State, Florida, Utah and Bowling Green. Including this season, Meyer moved ahead of former Oklahoma coach Barry Switzer and Wittenberg's Maurer. Meyer in the major-college category ranks behind only Knute Rockne (Notre Dame), Frank Leahy (Boston College and Notre Dame) and George Woodruff (Penn, Illinois and Carlisle). The most recent of these, Leahy, last coached in 1953. Check out the full list to see where coach Meyer stands among some of the greatest coaches.
"Here's where things might get tricky for Jones: There's a lot going on with Wisconsin's defense. The Badgers run out of 3-4 base, but they use it in different ways. Wisconsin showed Minnesota three different fronts on the first three plays of the game, and continued switching things up."
- Bill Landis, Northeast Ohio Media Group
Bill Landis of the Northeast Ohio Media Group watched the Wisconsin-Minnesota game last Saturday and broke down some key points about the Badgers to show what Ohio State can expect when the Buckeyes go head-to-head with Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship game. Going through all three categories on the field with offense, defense, and special teams, Landis highlights certain aspects that you may not have known about the Badgers beforehand.
Based off his findings, Wisconsin uses quarterback Joel Stave as a game manager and essentially nothing else. The interesting part is when Trevor McEvoy gets involved. Landis says that when McEvoy is in the game, expect nothing else but running plays, considering he hasn't thrown the ball in the past three games. Still, you can expect Wisconsin to throw the kitchen sink at Ohio State and will bring everything they can throw at the Buckeyes.
"This is about to sound stupid -- we shut down the run, but [Coleman] is a really good back and he made some big plays. That last play, he had that 90-yarder, I don't even know what happened there. I mean, I really feel like people aren't going to understand this, but I feel like our defense is a complete defense. The only thing that kills us are these big plays and mental mistakes."
- Michael Bennett, via Austin Ward, ESPN
Many fans and pundits of Ohio State have been concerned about the potent running game that Wisconsin brings to the table with Heisman candidate Melvin Gordon. The Buckeyes defense has improved in the secondary since last season, but regressed when it comes to defending the run. If Ohio State wants to beat the Badgers, they're going to have to play much better than what we've seen during the course of this season.
That being said, many of the players are doing their best to quell any fears about Gordon going against Ohio State. As in the quote above, you can see that the players strongly believe in their defense and are out to prove a point. They acknowledge the fact that Gordon is on another level, but point to shutting down most running backs sans a few big plays. Whether they stay true to their word or not, this will be the toughest test for Ohio State's defense this season.
"The fact that we're a group of young, eager guys who want to prove people wrong has made us really resilient. It we're down, we know we can do better. We're a very calm team. This team is very unique in the sense that everyone is very good friends with each other. We are so bonded."
- Wisconsin linebacker Marcus Trotter, via Todd Porter, The Columbus Dispatch
Ohio State has gone through quite a bit of adversity since the beginning of the season. Losing Braxton Miller just days before the season opener, Noah Spence being suspended indefinitely, and now J.T. Barrett being lost for the season as well. Wisconsin, though, has gone through some adversity themselves. For example, back on Aug. 30, when Wisconsin blew a 24-7 lead in the third quarter and lost 28-24 to LSU.
Then, the loss to Northwestern came and went. Things looked sort of dim for the Badgers, but they fought through it and were able to make it to the Big Ten championship as the Big Ten West division winners. Overcoming back-to-back games against Nebraska and Minnesota helped seal their spot in the championship game to face Ohio State. Now, the two teams meet for the first time this season having gone through plenty of adversity on each side. It should be a good game regardless of the outcome, that's for sure.
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