Defensive end Nick Bosa said after practice Wednesday there has been a sign that No. 4 Ohio State understands the challenge it is facing Saturday night against No. 15 TCU.

“Just energy,” Bosa said. “Practices have been a little more intense.”

Then he smiled at his next thought.

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“There were a few fights today outside,” he said. “But just more energy (has been the difference). We’ve played in big games, and we know that they’re going to take their best shot at us. So we’ve got to be ready.”

Perhaps sensing things had reached a good pitch, coach Urban Meyer called the practice short after 14 periods. Usually a practice goes 18 or more of the five-minute periods.

“We cut it short, but we got plenty of work in, trust me,” Bosa said.

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What’s piqued Bosa’s interest is the quality of the opponent, which means he might be on the field more. He has pretty much taken a seat by halftime in blowout wins over Oregon State and Rutgers, yet he still leads the Buckeyes in tackle participations (nine), tackles for loss (five) and sacks (three).

“I’m excited to play a full game,” he said. “But we’ll see.”

Perception game

For both teams, their nationally televised game at the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium will provide an early season barometer and likely set some thoughts in the minds of the College Football Playoff committee members, even though serious discussions by that group won’t start until October. The trick is to make it memorable for them.

“If you can win it, you’re going to be part of that conversation” for the playoffs, TCU coach Gary Patterson said. “If you don’t win it, you don’t. But we’ve got Texas next week, start of Big 12 conference play, then Iowa State before we get a break.”

The emphasis Saturday “has just got to be game three,” Patterson said, though he knows it’s more than that.

“It’s a big game. Everybody is excited about it, but for us as a program what you have to do is keep everything in perspective and understand that you still have a long season. You can’t ruin your season because you make it an ‘all-or-nothing’ situation.”

Day likes depth

Ryan Day is about to wrap up his swing as Ohio State acting head coach. Meyer, suspended from being on the sideline the first three games, returns next week for Tulane. Day was asked what has impressed him most about the OSU offense.

“Probably our depth and just talent overall,” said Day, who will revert to offensive coordinator. “You know, you look all across the board, we're pretty deep. A lot of playmakers. So when you get the ball to those guys in space and you can stretch the ball vertically and horizontally, you can really be explosive. That matched with the tempo and our ability to protect (the quarterback) right now is good.”

tmay@dispatch.com

@TIM_MAYsports