October 25, 2013
Winning is the objective
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COLUMBUS, Ohio - Lost in all the talk of style points and impressing the voters is the simple task of winning all of your games. A "perfect season" is not an easy task, in fact the Buckeyes only have recorded six seasons where the record has been unblemished (1916, 1944, 1954, 1968, 2002, 2012).
The Buckeyes are ranked No. 4 in the initial release of the BCS and while it is fun for fans and radio hosts to debate if the "nuclear option" is going to happen at the end of the year with more than two BCS (Automatic Qualifier) undefeated teams on the board and the potential of a team like Ohio State not getting a shot to compete for the National Championship, the team on the other hand is just focused on one goal
winning the next game.
"We want to win every game impressively but we are going to get everyone's best shot so we have to come out swinging too and a win is a win so we are going to go out there and just try to beat everybody the same way we do every week," linebacker Ryan Shazier said.
The two most recent recruiting classes for the Buckeyes don't know what it feels like to lose a college game with Ohio State riding high on a 19-game winning streak. The streak is tied for the second longest in school history (2005-06 and 2002-03) and is only three games off of the 22-game winning streak that ran from 1967-69. A win on Saturday against Penn State would get the Buckeyes to the 20-win plateau for the second time ever and for those looking at the schedule, the home finale against Indiana would be the chance to break the record with 23 if things go according to Ohio State's plans.
However the road to staying perfect has not been an easy one for Ohio State with the last two games being decided by 10 points and the Wisconsin game only decided by a touchdown. Winning streaks of this length don't happen all the time and since 2000 there have only been 5 winning streaks of 21 games or longer.
"I just want people to understand that we are just going to keep going and keep playing tough, hard-nosed Big Ten football," Shazier said. "I know we are really getting underestimated right now because of how we have been playing how some of the teams in the Big Ten have been playing but we are just going to keep playing the way that we have been playing, hard-nosed and keep trying to win all the games that we can."
The members of the Ohio State defense have taken it upon themselves to step up here as the pass defense has been much maligned. Shazier and his teammates have not been happy with the way the defense has been performing and they want to take ownership of getting the issues fixed, this week.
"We really focused on intensity, a lot of guy were not playing at the level they should have been playing at, especially me and some of the defensive linemen," Shazier added on Wednesday. "We have all of that under control now and we had a tough two practices and we are just ready to go."
Next up will be Penn State and its true freshman quarterback Christian Hackenberg, but the PSU signal caller has not played like a true freshman at home. Saturday will be his second ever start on the road in league play and with no offense to Indiana, will be his first time in a truly hostile environment. The Buckeyes know that they need to get to the young player and not let him have time to scan the field.
"I know he is a freshman, to me he does look like he is pretty poised in the pocket, but like every freshman if you get to him they are going to get rattled so we are just going to have to try to get to him," Shazier said.
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