Slight variation in schedule… think of this as TWTW meets Wednesday’s regular SBP. Here’s the tunes behind the guy behind the guy.
2013 started almost the same way that every other year has started since I can remember… with a slate of B1G Ten games, highlighting how many people who live in the midwest want to flee to warmer climes for some semblance of a vacation. I still haven’t figured out how the scheduling geniuses who have an entire slate of games and “bowl week” to work with decide to run four of them at semi-simultaneous time times, though.
You’ll note that I said “almost”… one of the major differences this year was the lack of Buckeye football; in case you hadn’t heard, they had a one year vacation from the post-season. What’s intriguing about that fact is that we seemingly had it shoved down our throats throughout the regular season by the good folks at the four letter network, and yet I can count on one hand the times I heard the words “Ohio State” or “Buckeyes” thus far in the bowl season. Penn State, too, although you’d think that one of the things that would be covered would be how teams playing got their losses this year; the Rose Bowl’s discussion included the review of their overtime losses, but didn’t mention by name two of the teams that handed those to them.
I guess I shouldn’t be all that surprised, though… you want the games to be celebrations of the teams that are playing, and it’d be a shame to see anything hamper the narrative of next Monday’s “Championship” game; reminding folks of another undefeated team might cast a pall on that sacred moment. However, I don’t seem to remember Southern Cal being erased from the post season even when they were ineligible- their 10-2 record last year was certainly a topic of commentary.
Anywho… Ohio State hasn’t lost a game in over a year, and that can’t be taken away from them or their fans.
So let’s dive into the spectacle that was B1G Tuesday, taking a look at all of the outcomes and then reflecting on what this might “mean” for the conference and college football as a whole. Remember, the results you witnessed might have been different should the two outsider programs be in the mix this season… B1G fans, how are those “you’ve got no bowl game” taunts holding up for you these days?
This week’s soundtrack takes you back to 1978, well before vampires were sparkly and werewolves were dreamy. Happy All Hallows Eve, folks…
That may have been the most satisfying win of the season.
The Buckeyes went into insanely hostile Beaver Stadium and shook off a tough first half to knock off the Penn State Nittany Lions 35-23 to take sole possession of first place in the Leaders Division. The 9-0 Buckeyes were led by Braxton Miller’s legs as he went 124 yards for 2 touchdowns on 24 carries. He also threw the ball 19 times for 7 receptions netting 143 yards and a touchdown. Carlos Hyde was relatively bottled up for the game, and only picked up 54 yards on his 20 carries, but he did pick up an important touchdown at the end of the first half. For his part, Matt McGloin had a good game throwing the football, picking up 327 yards and 2 touchdowns on 27/45 throwing.
It seems like this team is making baby steps in the right direction. They still struggle at times early in ballgames, but they did an excellent job continuing to chip away at the Nittany Lions defense. While things weren’t easy in the first half, they managed to go into the locker rooms tied at 7. Braxton and company then ran away with the game and did enough to hold off the inevitable Penn State 4th quarter comeback attempt. A great throw to Jake Stoneburner over the middle in single coverage with only 6 minutes left in the game basically sealed the deal as Stoneburner went 72 yards for the longest touchdown of his career.
I can’t say enough about how good the defense looked in this game. While they still gave up a few big plays, and they still struggle in coverage, they made good plays all over the field. Penn State had a very hard time running the football, collecting only 32 yards on 28 attempts for the game. It makes you wonder if the defense doesn’t sometimes “play down” to their opponents, and blow off games they expect will be easy at times. It could also simply be that Penn State’s offense plays better to our defensive strengths, but it’s hard to ignore that the two best defensive efforts this year have come against Michigan State and Penn State.
Kenny G. We talk about this a lot; implying that Ohio State should be ahead enough to get the backup some time. However, after Saturday’s performance, the “old right-hander” has deserved a series or two… mmmm, smooth jazz.
Pick Six U. It’s a legacy for the Lions, and even something McGloin has been a part of. PSU loves to work the short passing game, it would be amazing to continue this part of the “curse” that we have on their season.
Silence. OK, you can’t really “see” silence, but taking the crowd out of this game will be important.
Poise. Maybe if I write it this way, the offense will focus enough to not have any you know whats.
Linebacker? You. On the first play Saturday, Ohio State’s LB corps put them in a difficult hole with poor play. The Lions run a no-huddle offense that looks to get a lot of plays on the board- over ninety for the past two weeks. Having the players at this position step up and own it will go a long way to slowing down PSU’s short passing game.
Fast Start. Hit the ground running and do not look back. This team has started slow in virtually every game this year. Let’s put it all together from the beginning.
Silence the Crowd. Nothing more obnoxious than 106,000 PSU fans all dressed in white…and I’ll be right there in Beaver Stadium among them proudly wearing scarlet and gray. Take them out of the game early, please.
Pick Six University. I’d hate to see such a wonderful tradition come to an end, so let’s not let it. Looking at you, secondary. Don’t let me down.
Just win, baby! Most of you know that I have a personal aversion to Penn State, and I’m going to be in Happy Valley for the game this weekend as I said. I don’t care if it’s by one point, by ten, or if it’s a blowout (although I’d really enjoy seeing a blowout), just WIN.
Teams that give up a 100+ yard kickoff return for a touchdown, a safety, give up a huge momentum shifting opening play of the game touchdown and commit four turnovers don’t often win said game. Along with a much better defensive showing, Kenny Guiton’s faith under fire lead what for almost fifty eight minutes was an abysmal performance to a miraculous overtime win in Ohio Stadium to keep the Buckeyes perfect at 8-0. No matter what happens in the remainder of his time at The Ohio State University, Kenny Guiton will always be remembered as the hero of the 29-22 thriller over Purdue in 2012. And it’s well deserved!
The “Smooth Jazz” of Kenny G.
I think it goes without saying that everyone’s heart skipped a beat or two when Braxton Miller went down in the third quarter Saturday just when it seemed the Buckeyes were poised to break out of the offensive funk that had been holding them back all afternoon. Fortunately “coach” (as Urban Meyer’s staff often refers to him) Kenny Guiton was prepared to step up to the plate and shine in his opportunity. He didn’t exactly look pretty, especially the ground shot that Chris Fields had to dig off the turf or the lazy blooper for the two-point conversion to Jeff Heuerman to tie it in the waning seconds of regulation, but after ten years of Tressel-ball we should be pretty accustomed to ugly wins. Guiton’s steady appearance, knowledge of the offense and the faith the staff and his teammates have in him were the steady hand needed to wage an epic comeback and get a win over Purdue, who may have been playing their best defensive game of the season.
The famous question: What happens when preparation meets opportunity? Kenny Guiton showed you on Saturday.
How bad was it?
One of the questions I kept asking myself after the game was just how bad were things this past weekend against what seemed to be a lowly Purdue team on the back end of its season having reached its proverbial peek? Some aspects of it were down right disgusting. Other parts of it left me feeling pretty good about where they’re headed. Read More
Time for Wednesday’s wander through the wonderment of college sports, brought to you by music appropriate for this week
O’Brien The Lion- In today’s B1G conference call, coach O’Brien commented that they are preparing for Braxton to be healthy and leading the Ohio State offense. He spoke highly of his senior quarterback, Matt McGloin, calling him smart and tough and the reason that they’ve been so successful this season. Penn State’s “NASCAR” offense, which has been averaging 90 plays a game in conference play, is reliant on execution and communication, and O’Brien believes that his senior leadership has bought in totally- no “doom and gloom” in what could be a very dour locker-room, considering the off season events and team transfers.
“Oregon has developed into one of the premier football programs in the FBS.We are excited to add them to our future slate of games.”
Unspoken, but inferred- “Plus, we’ve sold our soul to Nike anyway with our ‘one time tribute’ jerseys and such that this move only makes sense.” Read More