Rob's Buckeye Notebook
By Rob Ogden
A Game After The Game
Luke Fickell knows how mentally and physically draining the Michigan game can be. The Buckeyes' defensive coordinator played in four of them from 1993-to-1996.
Successful in just one of four games against the Wolverines, Fickell said he would've liked to have had the chance to play in a Big Ten title game the week following the Michigan game.
"When I played, I probably wish we would have," Fickell. "There were quite a few very negative feelings after those games. I went into that game undefeated three of my four years."
Photo by Dan Harker
The narrative has always been that players have nothing left after playing in that game, that it takes them days or even weeks to recover.
With the Buckeyes ready to face Michigan State for the Big Ten title Saturday night - just seven days after a thrilling 42-41 win over Michigan - that's not the story this year. At least that's not what they're saying.
"I don't have any concern about getting back up for a game because were playing for championships and you have to go through great teams to get to them," junior linebacker Ryan Shazier said. "I don't feel like we'll have a problem getting ready for this game. This is championship week. We have to do everything we can to prepare for it."
Change is one of the great things about college football, Fickell said.
"I don't think these guys know the difference," he said. "At their age, I don't think they realize it."
Still, this week of preparation is quite a contrast to what the Buckeyes were doing this time a year ago.
"I was sleeping probably," senior center Corey Linsley said. "But I don't think it will be an issue for us, especially with this coaching staff because they've been in championship situations a lot, they've done things the right way before and it's worked. I have faith in our coaching staff that whatever we're doing this week is what we need to be doing."
Elflein Preformed Admirably
The Buckeyes most likely won't need offensive lineman Pat Elflein again this week, but if they do, they know what they're going to get out of the redshirt freshman.
Elflein was thrown into action against Michigan when senior Marcus Hall was ejected from the game for his part in a brawl that broke out between the teams in the second quarter.
(68) jumps for joy as Carlos Hyde scores against Michigan
Photo by Jim Davidson
With Elflein in at right guard, the line didn't miss a beat.
"When Pat came in, he was kinda a little wide-eyed at first. I kept looking over to my right on pass protection just to make sure he was okay and he was fine," Linsley said. "After a couple series in the game I didn't have to think about him anymore. He did a heck of a job. He's gonna be one heck of a player."
Offensive coordinator Tom Herman said Elflein graded out really well, especially considering the circumstances.
"Pat was a lot better than maybe any of us had expected," Herman said. "Not necessarily because we didn't think that he was capable of it, but maybe because of the stage and the limited amount of reps and preparation that your No. 2 offensive line gets. But he did a whale of a job in there."
Akron Buckeye Duo Wins State Championship
Akron St Vincent-St Mary teammates and Buckeyes commits Dante Booker and Parris Campbell won their second-consecutive Division-III state championship Thursday night with a 24-0 win over Trotwood-Madison.
Booker, an outside linebacker and Mr. Football in the state of Ohio, finished the game with 3.5 tackles, one tackle for loss and a fumble recovery. He also had a 44-yard reception on offense.
Campbell rushed 18 times for 58 yards.
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