Wisconsin: One Final Look Back

As the Buckeyes turn their attention toward this weekend's final home game of the season, take one look back at the game that was this past Saturday for a few more quick-hitters from the contest.

It was just one of many plays to wind up on the postgame highlight reel, but sophomore wide receiver Brian Hartline had one word for the play.


That is what Hartline said he and his fellow wideouts called junior Brian Robiskie after his one-handed touchdown snag gave the Buckeyes a 31-17 lead with 10:05 left in Saturday's game against Wisconsin.

The pass covered eight yards, but the play that was called was designed for goal-line situations closer to the end zone. In this case, head coach Jim Tressel said the play was chosen to help the Buckeyes convert on their third-and-5 situation.

"(Quarterback) Todd (Boeckman)had to hold the ball a little longer than we'd been practicing it, and when he let it go there was only one open window and that open window was where Robbie had to reach back with one hand to catch it and it was a spectacular catch," Tressel said.

Robiskie described the play as being stretched out for the situation, which meant he had to adjust his route accordingly. Partially as a result, Boeckman's pass was behind Robiskie, who said he had to tip the ball to himself to make the play.

"It was supposed to be a little quick-hitting play," he said. "I think the way I caught it, I think we were a little confused about where we needed to get to the first down marker or get to the goal line. I just ran to the goal line and turned around and Todd put it in there."

Hartline, however, said he used the situation to tease his teammate a little bit about his 10th touchdown catch of the season.

"It was a pretty good snag," Hartline said. "He actually wasn't supposed to go that deep, but he went with it. We were calling him selfish a little bit because we were thinking first down, but he made a great play."

Taking Away The Underneath: Apparently, the Badgers saw something on film they felt they could take away from the OSU offense. While Boeckman finished the day 17 of 28 for 166 yards and 2 touchdowns, he found his customary short-yardage routes tough to complete.

"They saw we ran a lot of underneath routes to our receivers and our tight ends and they took that away," he said. "You've got to give them some credit."

However, in that situation the Buckeyes simply adjusted and started to turn to their rushing attack, which wound up gaining 211 total yards.

According to offensive coordinator Jim Bollman, that is the sign of a well-balanced offense: one that can impact opposing offenses in multiple ways. But it all began with Wisconsin's defensive line.

"I think our passing game was out of sync because of their pass rush, more than anything else," he said. "It was not anything scheme-wise they were doing. We were having trouble because their defensive line was doing a great job. We'd have one guy get beat one time and another guy get beat another time and it was causing Todd to be a little disheveled and the timing was a little bit off."

As a result of that pressure, though, Boeckman was able to pick up yardage on the ground. He carried the ball 7 times for 37 yards, but two of those carries were sacks. Take those away and he averaged 5.4 yards per carry.

None of the rushes were by design.

"I think that was more of an instinct," head coach Jim Tressel said. "If you step up and go, that really disappoints the defense if they think they've got you covered and then there goes the quarterback. He stepped up and did an excellent job and it helped us."

However, the 6-5, 243-pounder said he has learned a lesson for future games.

"I've got to learn how to slide, I guess," he said with a laugh. "I took a few shots out there. No Michael Vick in me."


Bollman on Chris "Beanie" Wells: "He can run where he needs to run. He can run inside or outside or straight ahead. He can do it. We've just got to try to block them and give him somewhere to go and he'll figure it out."

Hartline on Beanie: "He's more like a time bomb, ready to go off. If he doesn't get it in the first couple of quarters or carries, he's going to get it eventually. You can't just go to sleep on him."

Robiskie on a touchdown pass called back due to an illegal formation: "That wasn't a communication thing or anything like that. That was my fault. I wasn't playing a position that I am normally playing, but that was a mistake on my part."

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