Ohio State-Northwestern | Rob Oller’s Second Thoughts
• I checked my phone at least twice Friday afternoon to see what was happening in Top 25 games, forgetting — twice; the gray matter is graying further — that Ohio State was the only game going. Sorry, but playing college football games on Fridays feels funny. And wrong. I know it’s about the TV money. I also know high schools suffer at the gate because the Big Ten wants to squeeze every penny out of anything it can. Just once I’d like to see the conference put its mouth where its money is and tell the networks, oops, I mean “television partners,” that not everything is for sale.
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• Playing cornerback is tough enough without having to work on your Odell Beckham Jr. (OBJ) catches during practice, so a shout-out to Damon Arnette Jr. (DAR), who has played the entire season with a cast on his right hand and wrist. The senior even traded in his old cast for a bigger one against the Wildcats after having another medical procedure performed during the off week. Arnette said his wrist and forearm were more sore because of the recent procedure, but it didn’t stop him from thinking about snagging his second interception of the season — it didn’t happen, but why don’t you try making a pick with one hand. “I practice catching with the cast,” he said. “But my thumb is a little bit limited.”
• The deck gets shuffled next week when Wisconsin comes to the Horseshoe. I, for one, am looking forward to some old-fashioned smash-mouth football. For one thing, a run-oriented game (yes, I know, both teams pass the ball pretty well, too) will show how tough the Buckeyes really are. All year Ryan Day has bragged about OSU’s toughness. There is no reason not to believe it is true, but the Badgers will bring it — on both sides of the ball. They lead the nation in both rushing and scoring defense and rank 11th in rushing offense. Not to be outdone, Ohio State entered Friday’s game ranked third in rushing offense, fourth in scoring defense and eighth in rushing defense. Buckle the chin strap, boys.