football Edit

Camp Randall never easy

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With Jim Tressel securing win No. 100 at Ohio State over the weekend, he is beginning to update the school's record books one victory at a time. Even with everything he has accomplished in his career, there is one record that he would like to continue to improve on. Since taking the head coaching position in 2001, he is 2-1 against Wisconsin in Camp Randall Stadium.
Sure, any winning record is a good one but how easily could the coach be 0-3 in the Badgers' home turf?
Tressel's first visit to Madison came during the national title run of 2002, where a late Ben Hartsock touchdown reception secured the 19-14 win.
The Ohio State/Wisconsin matchup is widely known to be a knock'em sock'em, physical battle and for the Buckeyes' head coach, this was one of the many important wins he gathered early in his tenure in Columbus.
The win over Wisconsin in 2002 was arguably the game that jump-started their title run, giving the Buckeyes a quality, hard-nosed victory before entering their showdown with Penn State a week later. Maurice Clarett's 133 yard rushing performance and Craig Krenzel's efficiency gave the Ohio State offense the edge over the Badgers.
The most memorable matchup in Camp Randall, unfortunately came in 2003 when Lee Evans broke the hearts of all Buckeye fans and an 19 game winning streak. Known as one of Barry Alverez's "most gratifying wins", Wisconsin stunned Ohio State 17-10, dropping the third ranked Buckeyes to 5-1 on the season.
Unlike the first game in Madison, Tressel did not have the luxury of a Clarett-type running back and at the time starter Lydell Ross finished with only 28 rushing yards. This game also sparked some controversy when Robert Reynolds shoved his fingers into the throat of Wisconsin quarterback Jim Sorgi, thus taking the QB out of the game.
Even this cheap shot did not keep the 79,000 in attendance, including one streaker, rush the field when the final whistle blew.
The last time these two teams met in Wisconsin was another close victory for the Buckeyes, who were in danger at the time of letting a championship caliber season slip away.
A close victory against a MAC school and a blowout loss to USC led Tressel to replace senior quarterback Todd Boeckman with highly recruited freshman Terrelle Pryor weeks before the game in Madison.
When the Badgers took a 17-13 lead with a little over six minutes left in the fourth quarter, it was clear that we were about to witness how game ready Pryor was. His 12 play, 80 yard drive was as impressive as they come and his 11-yard touchdown run sealed the Buckeye victory.
Now entering Madison for a fourth time as head coach, Tressel and the number one ranked Buckeyes have a lot to prove. It is never easy to carry that No. 1 ranking around with you and if there was one game that worried Ohio State fans this year, it was the trip to Madison.
Can Pryor rise up again, leading his team to another win or will Badger fans and streakers run onto the field again?
Andy McLachlan is a staff writer for BuckeyeGrove.com. He can be reached at mail@buckeyegrove.com.