Reports out of Columbus indicate that the flu bug has been making its way through the Ohio State football team. With defensive tackle Dexter Larimore already ruled out of this week's showdown with the Badgers due to a knee injury, don't be surprised if the Buckeyes' short-handedness presents some challenges for them Saturday. Andrew Miller and Mike Adams, the two players who have started at left tackle for Ohio State this season, both have the flu and could be out. Head coach Jim Tressel said there were "at least five or six names" on the flu report.
But if Tressel is following the same approach Bret Bielema took when the Badgers went through their own saga with the ailment a few weeks ago, that number could be much higher in reality. Following their 34-31 double-overtime win over Fresno State, Bielema confirmed what was first reported here on Bucky's 5th Quarter, that over 40 players were affected by the flu in the week leading up to the game. During the week, Athletic Department officials were tight-lipped about the actual number of sick Badgers and wouldn't confirm that any more than ten were ill.
It doesn't sound like the outbreak in Ohio is nearly as serious as the one in Madison in September. Still, expect Tressel to continue to give conservative estimates as to the number of players impacted so that Wisconsin will not be able to plan on attacking the weakened personnel. If, indeed, two starting left tackles are held out of this game, the defensive end trio of O'Brien Schofield, J.J. Watt and Louis Nzegwu could have a big day.
Here are your Badger Bits for Thursday:UWBadgers.com - First & Goal: Oct. 8