What do you Want to see on Saturday? Michigan State Edition

Written September 30th, 2011 by Eric

Big Ten season is finally upon us with the Spartans of Michigan State visiting Columbus this Saturday. What do the guys want to see this weekend? Don’t forget to tell us what you want to see in the comments!


Jake Stoneburner has been missing the last couple of games.

Return Of The Burn. Jake Stoneburner has been quieted down since the Akron game, mostly due to defensive attention but also due in part to some of the instability at Quarterback. While Braxton has proven he’s got the ability to go deep, let’s not forget the “new” weapon that wears number eleven.

Hungry Hankins. A Michigan native, Jonathan has been playing lights out as of late (when he hasn’t been dinged up). With the injuries on the Spartan offensive line, and motivation that comes with playing one of the home teams, it’s time for a phenomenal game.

Defensive Score. I really can’t believe that Ohio State has gone this long without one. If it’s a blocked punt or a pick six, it’s time for the Silver Bullets to get on the scoreboard

Special Teams Savvy. Mark Dantonio is not afraid to try a little trickeration in the kicking game- “Little Giants” beat Notre Dame last year, and a PI during a fake punt led to a come from behind win against Northwestern. While the Special Teams battle will be a Tressel Family chess match, it will take more than just brilliance on the sidelines to get a “plus” in this category. Can we just clone Ebner ten times?

Need I Say More?. No False Starts. Pretty please??? We’re in conference now… focus should be easier to maintain.

Joe L

20 Completions. I asked last week, and I will ask again. I don’t think it is out of the question. I do want to see us establish the run, but we are going to need to throw the ball some to win.

Better LB play. The Lb’s are getting caught in the wash and If MSU’s line can block well they will gash us with some big runs.

Big Plays. I would like to see at least 4 plays of 25+ yds.

Continue the special teams play. It has been great two weeks of ST play in a row. It will take continued good special teams to win this game.


Continued excellence from the running game. The running and run blocking have been superb the last couple of games. It is imperative for the Buckeyes to keep that up for us to have a chance in this one.

Three receptions from the TEs or RBs. Last week I asked for receptions from the receivers, and got my wish. Since the receivers are starting to show signs of life, it’s time to start looking for the underneath routes to the TEs and RBs again.

Sacks, sacks and more sacks. I don’t care how many, but I want to see Kirk Cousins on his butt in the backfield with his hands on the football – or at least with the football in the vicinity. Fumbles are perfectly okay too, after all.

Solid linebacker coverage play. I’m beginning to get a little concerned about the OSU defense when we switch into a zone depending on the Linebackers to do a solid job in coverage over the middle. Colorado and Miami both victimized us on it, and it’s going to need to get better, particularly against an MSU team that will depend on short passes to make up for their weakened offensive line.


Braxton Miller's ability to run is a critical dimension to this offense.

Field position domination… again. With the offense still coming together behind a freshman QB, nothing helps like starting close to the 50 on every possession. Against Colorado, Jordan Hall and the special teams were a major plus for the offense. A repeat performance and more domination in the field position battle will be a huge boost for the Buckeyes once again this week.

Young defenders making plays. Ryan Shazier, Christian Bryant, Bradley Roby, Michael Bennett: they have all seen the field plenty so far this season, now it is time for the next group of Buckeye defensive stars to start making some big plays on the big stage.

100 yard rusher. Jordan Hall, Carlos Hyde, Braxton Miller: if any of these players break 100 yards on the ground it will be a nice indication for the offense and the Buckeyes chances in this game.

Braxton Miller to Devin Smith. Smith is quickly developing into Braxton Miller’s go to target, the more chemistry that develops here the better for the passing game this season and for a long time into the future (it will also take some pressure off of Stoneburner and allow him to make some plays again).

Joe D

Shut Down the Three Headed Backfield. Le’Veon Bell, Edwin Baker, and Larry Caper are three backs that could make your Saturday miserable. With a depleted offensive line, and a solid OSU defensive front, it shouldn’t be a problem shutting down the run. It should just be expected.

Win the Turnover Battle. Michigan State leads the conference in turnover margin, but have been known to turn over the football this season. The buckeyes have to take care of the football and take advantage of turnovers to win their conference opener.

Contain Cunningham. BJ Cunningham is one of the most underrated players in the country in terms of value to his team. He has caught a pass in 38 consecutive games, and that’s not going to change.The Ohio State secondary though can contain him and keep him from scoring.

Control the Football Game. There is no excuse for being confused with personel or the Michigan State Gameplan. Nearly all of this staff worked with Mark Dantonio as a part of Jim Tressel’s staff. Get the job done, control the game, and run the system better than your opponent.


Rush the Passer. Putting pressure on Kirk Cousins will more than likely mean a successful day for the Silver Bullets. Cousins will turn the football over if he has Big Hank in his face all day.

Improvement in the passing game. I am not expecting 350 yards passing by any means, but something in the range of 7-10 completions and 100+ yards will do just fine.

Get off to a good start. Last time the Buckeyes played in a big game they came out flat and found themselves in a 14-0 hole early against the Canes. Michigan State can’t take a sizable early lead.

A few big plays. We haven’t seen any big gains from the line of scrimmage so far this season. Seeing a “home run” play or two will go a long way in helping the Buckeyes win the ball game.


  1. RodNo Gravatar
    September 30th, 2011 at 11:45 am

    Great stuff, guys. I’d love to see us come out throwing it almost exclusively out of that no-huddle set, just like the first series in the Rose Bowl. Knocked Oregon off balance, no reason to suspect it won’t do the same to Michigan St. One can hope, right? Go Bucks!


  2. KenNo Gravatar
    September 30th, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    Win, full throttle effort, no injuries. How this happens, I don’t care.


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