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Ohio State on a Colorado Buffalo hunt

September 23, 2011
By BETTY POKAS - Buckeye Blitz ( , Times Leader

THE BUCKEYES could follow the lead of Buffalo Bill Cody as they're on the hunt for a win over the Colorado Buffaloes Saturday.

Thankfully, they won't be as extreme as Buffalo Bill, who hunted and shot buffaloes, but they know it's necessary to corral some points Saturday and in the future in order to get back in the saddle among the Top 25 teams.

With the loss delivered last Saturday by the Miami Hurricanes, OSU is no longer in Top 25 for the first time since Nov. 20, 2004, nearly seven years. This ended the nation's longest current streak of appearance in the Top 25 - 103 straight weeks.

OSU'S upcoming difficult schedule was pointed out this week, and head football coach Luke Fickell was asked what he hoped he can do over the next couple weeks.

After noting the Buckeyes hope to get better, Fickell said there's one thing the coaches and team can't do, and that "is worry about what's going to happen in three weeks, three months." Such worry, he pointed out, "will eat you alive.

"To me, we got to focus on every day. We just got done talking about it as a staff. We're going to be around those guys as much as possible, coach them up as hard as we possibly can, make sure we understand we have to get better. It's ultimately where you end and not where you begin.

"We want to see improvement. That's what our focus is going to be."

And the Buckeyes will have to be better Saturday because the Buffaloes have built up momentum as a result of their first win of the season when they defeated Colorado State, 28-14, last week. They're hopeful of keeping up that momentum when they arrive in the Horseshoe.

"The Ohio State game is a big game for us, a couple of guys like Rodney (Stewart), Doug (Rippy) and Ayodeji (Olatoye) really want this next one bad so we are going to fight for them and work our butts off," said Colorado quarterback Tyler Hansen.

Josh Hartigan, junior linebacker for the Buffaloes, said last week's win "gives us a lot of confidence ... a lot of momentum. With confidence, you build momentum. I'm very confident in my team ... We are ready to play Ohio State."

Stewart, Rippy and Olatoye hail from places not far from OSU. Stewart, a senior tailback, is from Westerville and Rippy, a junior linebacker, is from Columbus while Olatoye, a sophomore cornerback, is from Dublin.

Rippy said their goal is to "come back with a win.

A lot of people will want to be with you, hook up with you, see how you've been.

But at the same time, it's a business trip - just like Hawaii when we didn't go to the beach."

OSU junior defensive lineman John Simon said Colorado has a great wide receiver core, great offensive line, good quarterback and running back with "threats all over the field. We're going to have to make sure we're game planning for the run and pass, and we're going to have to stop both."

The Buffaloes, according to Fickell, "have some athletes with ability. They look like a little bit of revived leadership maybe. I don't know what they were like before.

"They definitely are an energetic group. Looks like a confident group. They'll fly around."

OSU is 3-1 against Colorado with wins in the 1977 Orange Bowl, 27-10, and in 1985, 36-13, while the Buffaloes were victorious in 1971 with a 20-14 score.

The last time that the two teams met was in 1986 when OSU won 13-10 on a field goal in the final seconds.

Colorado is 1-2 this season, losing the first two games to Hawaii and California, the latter in overtime.

The Buckeyes are 55-26-2 all-time against current members from the Pac-12 Conference.


COLORADO head football coach Jon Embree and Fickell have things in common - it's their first seasons as head coaches and both are coaching at universities where they played football and earned their educations...

IT CAN'T be said that Ohio State doesn't attract spectators. It played last week's game in front of the second-largest crowd at Sun Life Stadium (66,279)...

SUSPENSIONS of some players apparently are having an effect of jersey sales.

The Columbus Dispatch reports jersey sales have been less than half the number normally sold at this time of year...

THE SUSPENDED Buckeyes, according to Fickell, are doing a great job, have been great leaders and are doing different things such as scouting.

They also "have been very positive. We'll need them to continue that."

FICKELL next week will become the first Ohio State coach to face a defending Big Ten champion in his conference opener since the Buckeyes began Big Ten competition in 1913.

The game, which is with Michigan State, will begin at 3:30 p.m. at the 'Shoe...

SATURDAY'S game with the Buffaloes, slated for 3:30 p.m., will be televised by ABC.

Pokas can be reached at



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