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Day, Knowles Not Taking Wisconsin Lightly

By October 25, 2023 (3:00 pm)Football

Ohio State is coming off of its second top 10 win of the season, beating Penn State 20-12 in a game where the Buckeyes defense took complete control, shutting what had been a high-powered Nittany Lions offense down almost completely.

Now The Buckeyes head to Madison to take on Wisconsin, an unranked Big Ten team, a game which seems like it could be a bit of a breather for Ryan Day’s squad. He said this game is anything but, and they are not taking the Badgers lightly in any way.

“It’s that competitive stamina,” he said. “that’s the term that we talked about in the in the preseason, when you look at the schedule, we talk about where we’re going to be. We knew we had to go on the road this year and be road warriors. Notre Dame early on was going to be really difficult environment. We knew this was going to be the same way.”

The defense is coming off of it’s best performance of the season, holding Penn State quarterback Drew Allar to just 18-of-42 (42.8 completion percentage) for 191 yards and a touchdown that didn’t come until there were only 29 seconds left on the clock.

They also held what is a very good running back tandem of Kaytron Allen and Nicholas Singleton to 74 yards on 18 carries. The Buckeyes defense was firing on all cylinders, with each group from the front four to the secondary giving the Nittany Lions a tough time in Columbus.

Defensive coordinator Jim Knowles was very happy with the way they performed but doesn’t want them to get complacent.  He wants the defense to come into the game against the unranked Badgers with the same energy, and he’s making sure of that by staying on them in practice throughout the week.

“It’s really added pressure,” he said. “It becomes my job to get the players to understand that when you start to play well, the expectations become higher, and that we can’t go backwards. The only way to do that is keep practicing at a high level. So, I don’t feel one way or another about it, but I know that our players are young men so it’s my job to keep them keep yelling at them.”

Day said he understand what can happen on the road against a conference opponent after a big win like they are coming off of. He has said that the Buckeyes are never able to take any Big Ten opponent lightly because they can all come out and win any day.

“We talked about it on Sunday, as a team, that we’ve got to bring it this week,” Day said. “(Wisconsin is) playing well. They’re a good football team. They’ve got a really good opportunity to win their side. And we can’t let last week affect this week. Championship teams bring it every week. They don’t have ups and downs and letdowns. We’re not allowed to have a letdown.”

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