So much has happened since the last time we ventured down the RSB path that I really had to put forth some thought into what I was going to talk about. There are a lot of things to discuss before tomorrow title match-up with Sparty that I want to briefly hit them before Rumblin.
As much as it hurts me to say this, I applaud the TTUN coaching staff for their game plan last Saturday. What’s funny about the plan is that everyone in #BuckeyeNation saw it coming, they just weren’t too worried because it was TTUN and their struggling offense. What most were saying was how easily the Buckeyes were going to roll and those fans couldn’t have been further from the truth. The Game or The Rivalry, whatever you choose to call it, has rarely disappointed in regards to level of competition. As Buckeye fans know all too painfully, the underdog has had the sun shine on its back side quite a few times in this series.
What their coaching staff did, and it’s why most people in TSUN love Hoke, is keep their focus on the prize and that was destroy the Buckeyes season. They came into the game ignored by many, including the Buckeyes defense, and just about put it to them. If not for the gutsy, putting it all on one play, decision by Hoke to go for two, the Buckeyes may have lost in OT and be settling for the Outback Bowl, again. I tipped my hat to a couple TTUN twitter friends after the game, they could feel a little bit of pride for the way their team performed.
As I have said before, I could go on and on every week about Carlos Hyde and what he has done in his abbreviated season. One of the relationships on twitter that I have enjoyed this season has been with Corey Linsley, who last week was named First Team All B1G Center. He is the anchor to that offensive line who has been destroying the opposition this season. Read More
The regular season is over and the Buckeyes are 12-0 for the second year in a row. Their school record winning streak now sits at 24 straight games. After a thriller in Ann Arbor, the scarlet and grey now travel to Indianapolis for the Big Ten Championship game and a date with the Michigan State Spartans. We’ll look back, ahead and farther forward. It’s Wednesday, let’s rumble!
The Game blues
As much as we all tried to say we expected a tough game, it didn’t seem like many of us actually believed it could possibly happen. I’m no different. After seeing Michigan the past couple of weeks and reading their stat-lines, I felt a blowout was imminent. We were reminded by the Wolverines just what rivalry is all about.
I certainly don’t mean to talk them up or give them much time in this column at all, but credit goes where it is deserved. Brady Hoke had his team ready to play and they performed for him. The Wolverines were not intimidated, they kept the Buckeye coaching staff guessing and turned the Silver Bullets greatest strength against them by keeping the Buckeye defensive line in check for the majority of the game.
The team up north reminded us of several things on Saturday: 1. Never count out your rivals and 2. Anything can happen, that’s why they play the game. Read More
Well, TTUN threw all their best “punches” at the Buckeyes but still couldn’t put a blemish on the Buckeyes resume. Let’s see if our wishes were able to roll with the “punches”!
If the pounds of fried turkey and sweet potato pie that you ate on Thursday didn’t give you a heart attack, this week’s college football games certainly were going to do their damnedest to finish the job.
Rivalries, by nature, raise the blood pressure of those involved… if they didn’t it would be called a “friendly tiff” or an “untimely spat”. Add the magnitude of what was on the line for some teams, and you’ve surely got the makings for one of the most memorable weekends of the year, if not all times.
We’ve already discussed the awesomeness that was the victory in The Game, and join the rest of Buckeye Nation in sending Tyvis Powell the kinds of “thank you” that would be approved by the NCAA. TWTW doesn’t often spend time rehashing Buckeye wins, but man… that’s one to savor. Right, Eddie?
Kudos to Coach Hoke and his team in their preparation and gameplan, and for the decision to go for it all at the end. It didn’t work out, but it was a great call. Kudos to Devin Gardner as well- after a rough year, and on a bad wheel, he really put it all on the line for his team. I’m not gloating, but that’s how the game is meant to be played… win or lose, you leave everything on the field.
While I’m here, I can’t figure out how only one of these guys was ejected from the game, and that it wasn’t the first one to throw a punch (#34). The Buckeye reaction was understandable, but inappropriate given the program and the magnitude of the game. That being said, if you’re looking for Christmas gifts for me…
But this amazing weekend started well before kickoff in Ann Arbor. Thursday’s rivalry action in the Egg Bowl saw an injured quarterback enter into Mississippi State legend status, leading his team to an overtime win with a touchdown run on fourth and 1 from near the goal-line. Sometimes, gutsy calls work out for the home team. Also on Thursday, Texas fans saw another big win… one big enough to celebrate with a shirt and a Mack Brown contract extension? Yeah, probably not.
Friday’s game that should be called “Farmageddon” but isn’t saw the start of the Christmas season in Lincoln Nebraska. At least that had to be what the Huskers thought, since One Weisman was enough to do a ton of damage to the Blackshirt defense. That Nebraska lost was surprising enough, but for me the really interesting part of the game was the media response during and after. Coach Pelini has been on a hot seat, and you could sense his frustration even during the typical halftime “let’s chat on your way to the locker room” interview.
Postgame, someone asked him about his job status and… well, listen to his response here.
Essentially, he says “look, you’re making a story out of something that I have no control over, and your decision to do so is hurting our players and our team. If the people in charge want to fire me, they can.”
The storyline from the game? “If they want to fire me, go ahead“, as if he was calling his AD and the University leadership out. Of course they didn’t talk about his comments ripping the media for impacting the program… it’s like they say. Read More
Finally, it’s time for The Game.
Ohio State versus “that school up North.”
In this exclusive from the team at Campus Insiders, Urban Meyer discusses his strategy to beat the Wolverines, go 12-0, and put the Buckeyes in position to secure a spot in the BCS Championship.
And if you’re not sufficiently excited for The Game yet, check out this amazing video from the Ohio State Athletic Department: Read More
If it’s Thanksgiving week, it’s time for our yearly check in with That Blogger Up North, Yost from the often hilarious and occasionally comprehensible MZone. Before I got started writing, Yost’s was the only “enemy” site that I visited regularly; my “career” is mostly “Hell, if he can do it, anyone can…”. We were able to pull him out from under his barstool for this year’s visit, and made sure to use small words in our questions.
In spite of his obvious deficiency, he’s a great guy who’s mostly on the twitter these days, and worth a follow.
Lots of speculation that Devin Gardner has a significant injury. Do you believe that he’ll be able to play, or will Shane Morris get his first taste of The Game? If it’s Morris, what does he bring to the table that’s different than Gardner?
I think rather than a singular injury, Devin is suffering from the effects of 11 games of playing behind an O-line providing him with all the protection of jello pudding. Couple that with a schizophrenic offensive strategy at the coaching level and it’s hard to tell where player injuries merge with play calling incoherence.
There’s no question Devin will play and I’ll think he’ll play the entire game barring any new injuries in the OSU game. Good, bad or otherwise, I think we’re long past the point of Morris coming into the game and expecting any significant improvement. He hasn’t had any real meaningful game experience all season.
Unfortunately, all the “easy” games he was supposed to get experience in (Akron, UConn, etc.), Michigan ended up in dogfights so he sat on the bench. To put him in Saturday unless it’s an emergency would just be pointless.
Long term, I think U-M is going to be fine, although I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed at the regression this season compared to Hoke’s initial campaign. I thought – and still think – Hoke can lead Michigan to great things. However, I’d be surprised if the head-scratchingly bad 2013 season hasn’t instilled a wisp of doubt in even the most ardent Brady Hoke supporters.
After the way this fall’s campaign has disintegrated before my maize and blue eyes, next year is crucial for Hoke. Because if 2014 is another substandard year like 2013, I think you’ll see the bottom drop out of Hoke’s support. And if he doesn’t make needed changes to his staff (yeah, you know who), then he’s turning the heat up another 20 degrees before next September even rolls around. Because if Hoke doesn’t realize something isn’t working on his staff at a coaching level, then much more of the blame will shift to him and not just on coordinators or position coaches.
Word Association- Al Borges. Read More
This week is THE GAME and and the game we have all been waiting for. I’m sure this article also has the wishes you have all been waiting for. Let’s see ‘em guys and gal:
The #3 Ohio State Buckeyes (11-0, 7-0) head north for their home-away-from-home game against the TTUN Gulo gulo’s ¹ (7-4, 3-4). The Buckeyes look to continue their habit of winning, 23 in a row (impressive, no?) while the Whatevers look to regain respectability (hahaha). This will be the 110th time The Game will be contested, so we’ve been doing this for a while. Playing football, not blogging.. Since the beginning of this century (2001) Ohio State holds a 10-2 edge. Now for this year’s edition:
¹ Gulo is Latin for ‘glutton’. Surprised?
Ohio State on Offense
Ohio State brings the top scoring team in the conference (48.7 ppg and 531 ypg), which is 12 points and 100 yards per game better than last year’s undefeated team. The tempo is a bit higher, running 75 plays per game this year, compared to 70 last year.
This offensive touchstone for this season was accomplished last week with Carlos Hyde achieving the 1,000 yard mark. As you’re aware, this was Coach Meyer’s first 1,000 yard rusher and validation for Hyde for his patience and dedication. And a testament to the OSU offensive line.
In contrast, TTUN brings a so-so defense to The Game, (25 ppg, 353 ypg), ranking a meh 7th and 5th in the Conference, respectively. TTUN gives up 116 YPG rushing but with Ohio State averaging 315 YPG rushing, that wall will be breached by halftime. With OSU averaging 216 YPG and TTUN allowing 237 YPG, average performance by both units will work out well for the Buckeyes.
Ohio State on Defense Read More