Ohio State sets its eyes on Camp Randall

Pit the No. 14 and No. 18 teams in the nation against each other, flick on the lights, add the raucous environment of Camp Randall Stadium, and youâÄôre in for quite a game. Throw in the fact that both teamsâÄô seasons hang in the balance; the lights get a little brighter, the crowd a little rowdier. That will be the stage Saturday night at 7 p.m. in Madison when 14th-ranked Ohio State visits No. 18 Wisconsin in this weekâÄôs marquee Big Ten matchup. Ask any coach and heâÄôll tell you every game is a must-win, but this one is probably getting some extra attention from both teams. The Badgers (3-1 overall, 0-1 Big Ten), just a week removed from a second-half meltdown at Michigan, will be essentially out of the Big Ten championship picture with another loss. The Buckeyes (4-1, 1-0), on the other hand, can lose the game and still have a chance at the conference crown, but a second defeat would guarantee their absence from the national championship game. Their outlook on making a third straight appearance in the national title game is bleak already. Ohio State bounced back in its Big Ten opener last week against Minnesota after an uninspiring run during nonconference play, thanks in large part to the play of true freshman quarterback Terrelle Pryor and the return of star junior running back Chris âÄúBeanieâÄù Wells. Pryor showed no signs of nerves in that game, his first Big Ten start; he showed no nerves the week before in his first career start against Troy; Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema doesnâÄôt expect him to show nerves in his first Big Ten road start either. âÄúThere are players that have the âÄòit,âÄôâÄù Bielema said. âÄúGuys that can walk on the field and act like they belong there. What IâÄôve gathered and what IâÄôve watched in particular the last two ball games, when they nodded and gave [Pryor] the starting vote, heâÄôs taken the attitude, âÄòThis is my offense, this is my team.âÄô âÄù But Pryor is going to have to take his team into Camp Randall, one of the most hostile environments in the country âÄî a stadium where the Badgers have won 16 straight games, the second-longest active home win streak in the country. Buckeyes head coach Jim Tressel said the biggest challenge at Camp Randall âÄî and most Big Ten stadiums âÄî is that players canâÄôt hear each other. He doesnâÄôt see it as much of a problem, however, because he said his offense canâÄôt hear at Ohio Stadium despite being the home team. He even predicts that the buzz of the stadium may help his young quarterback. âÄúI think if [PryorâÄôs] communication can be clear, I think heâÄôs the kind of guy that gets energized by the situation,âÄù Tressel said. âÄúJust like all good competitors.âÄù Tressel is aware of another good competitor taking the field Saturday âÄî Wisconsin. He expects the Badgers to be on a mission to erase the memory of last weekâÄôs loss. âÄúObviously, the Wisconsin-Michigan game was a heartbreaker,âÄù Tressel said. âÄúBut that makes good teams even better and I know with the maturity Wisconsin has âĦ ItâÄôs going to be a tremendous challenge for us.âÄù