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Buckeye Football Notebook: 'Dude, are you having fun?'
By Tony Gerdeman

COLUMBUS — The Ohio State offense closed out the 2015 season running an up-tempo offense that kept the Michigan and Notre Dame defenses on their heels. They began the season in a similar fashion, scoring at least 45 points in each of their first four games.

Since that point, however, the offense has seemingly slowed their pace and the Buckeyes have scored more than 30 points just once in their last four games. People will point to the lack of tempo as one reason for a lack of scoring, but when asked on Saturday if he wants the Buckeyes to run more hurry-up, offensive coordinator Ed Warinner said that they only have one goal on offense.

"The number one objective is totally to win the game," he said. "What do we need to do to win the game? How do we manage the game? That comes through the head coach. If we need to grind out six or seven or eight-minute drives, we think we can do that. If we want to be a fast and score in a couple of minutes, we have ways that we think we can do that at times. Can we do that anytime we want? No, because defenses are good and they take away your stuff."

If playing sports wasn't fun, they'd call it "studying." Granted, not every part of playing a sport is fun, but for the most part it's a pretty good time or else players wouldn't willingly go through what they go through. Fun can still be a fleeting thing, however. The faces on the Buckeyes after the win at Wisconsin said it all, just as they did in the loss at Penn State.

The Buckeyes left their most recent game saying they were going to enjoy their 24-20 win over Northwestern because no win should be taken for granted. It is also important to simply enjoy the experience.

"When you’re losing it’s not fun," said junior guard Billy Price. "When you’re behind it’s not fun, but when you go out and dominate, you push guys around and you have your way on the offense, you execute at a high level, that’s fun. In the fourth quarter we scored in the North end zone and that’s fun. You have fun when you push people around and take advantage of it. That’s something that at times we were lacking, but now we’re finding that again.

"That’s what makes it fun. I look at Mike Jordan and he has that freshman look on his face and I ask him ‘Dude, are you having fun?’ and he says ‘Yeah’, that’s what makes it fun. That’s what’s awesome. You go to the sideline and everybody is smiling because you scored a touchdown and that goes back to being fun. As that receiver from the Giants said, ‘If I’m done having fun, I’m done playing.’ You’ve got to have fun. That’s what makes football enjoyable."

Page 2 — Does Mike Weber want the ball more? How did Clayton Thorson get free? How did J.T. Barrett do the same?

Player profiles relevant to story:
16 - Barrett, J.T. | 25 - Weber, Mike | 54 - Price, Billy
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