Extra Points: Wisconsin vs. OSU
In Madison, Wisconsin, the average annual temperature is a brisk 45.2 degrees. In 2004, Men's Journal named Madison the healthiest city in America. And the football stadium, Camp Randall, is named after the military hospital/prison camp that once occupied the grounds.
So what do cold, healthy men and women with somewhat warlike tendencies do in their spare time? They watch football. And their team plays a style that makes the locals proud.
The Wisconsin Badgers have a big running back and a bruising offensive line that answers the age-old question, "Where's the beef?"
Flashy, fast wideouts are the Corvettes of college football. Wisconsin relies on pickup trucks. For the past three years, a tight end has led the squad in receptions. Guess who leads the Badgers right now? It's not a trick question.
Their QB fought his way from the back of the pack to surprise starter, to an even bigger surprise star.
None of the preseason magazines predicted Scott Tolzien would win the quarterback job for Wisconsin, let alone lead the Big Ten in passing efficiency, as he does now.
All this adds up to the highest-scoring offense in the conference. It has drained the life out of opposing defenses the way a bad movie drains away an afternoon, eating up valuable time and leaving you wondering what the heck just happened.
Meanwhile, Ohio State's offense is in transition.
QB Terrelle Pryor has been starting plays in the shotgun formation more and more.
Running back Daniel "Boom" Herron has not lived up to the name, only because he's best when using his speed and avoiding collisions. Brandon "Zoom" Saine likewise zips from place to place like one of those bugs that skips across the surface of pond water.
"Three yards and a cloud of dust" has been replaced by "30 points and a victory."
In four of the five games they've played this year, the Buckeyes have scored 30 or more, and they're undefeated this decade when they break 30.
The old way of doing things will never die here. The ghost of Woody Hayes would haunt us all if it did, stalking the Buckeye sidelines and pulling the sweater vest over Jim Tressel's head.
But OSU is embracing some other ways of getting the job done, and they are getting the job done.
So the stage is set for two teams undefeated in conference play to meet at Ohio Stadium, where OSU is hoping to make it a little hotter than is comfortable for the folks from Madison.
OSU Fast Fact
Number of times Wisconsin and Ohio State have met on the gridiron. The Buckeyes lead the series 52-17-5.
Wisconsin is 5-0 with wins over Northern Illinois, Fresno State, Wofford, Michigan State and Minnesota. Yet they're unranked in the AP poll.
Naturally, Badger fans feel the team hasn't received the respect it deserves. After all, they lead the Big Ten in rushing offense, scoring offense, turnover margin and pass efficiency, and they've allowed fewer sacks than any other conference team.
Plus, last year Wisconsin lost to Ohio State when Terrelle Pryor ran 11 yards for a touchdown with just 1:08 to play.
That's why the Buckeyes should expect to face a Badger team with a very large chip on its shoulder.
What: Wisconsin vs. OSU
When: 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 10
Where: Ohio Stadium, Campus
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