Should auld acquaintance be forgot and never blah blah blah… it’s the second B1G/SEC tilt of the day, and should be airing right about the time that you find your keys in the bottom of the guacamole.
The History: This is one of the oldest games in the country, and was formerly the “Tangerine Bowl”. Because of it’s location, African American players were not allowed to participate, causing Hillsdale to decline their team’s offer to the game in 1955, and Buffalo choosing to do the same in 1958. In 1966, Morgan State (a historically black college) won the game and finished their season undefeated.
The “gifts that you can’t sell at all” for the student athletes in this game include yet another Fossil Watch and a $420 shopping trip to a local Best Buy. 420. Seriously. While this is awesome in and of itself… if I was participating, I’d really want something a bit more connected with the game’s sponsor, like, say “cash” or medieval weaponry.
Ohio State is 1-3 in this game, with their only win coming against BYU in 1985. The last B1G team to win this game was… wait for it… TTUN, giving Urban Meyer his only loss in Llllloyd Carr’s final game. Alec Baldwin was not involved in any way.
Georgia Scouting Report – At the beginning of the season, the Bulldogs’ head coach found himself on a short list of coaches that might be replaced in January. A brilliant campaign that led to a three way tie in the SEC East and a berth in the SEC Championship Game has certainly stopped those whispers. The Dawgs’ best win was the “upset” of Florida in the Swamp, where they held the Gators to nine points; their most heartbreaking loss was against Alabama in the SECCG- a game that was decided by really poor clock management at the end of the contest. Georgia’s offense is led by the aerial attack of Aaron Murray and Tavarres King, while Todd Gurley’s 1260 yards on the ground help balance the Bulldogs’ game plan. However, it’s linebacker Jarvis Jones who gets the headlines most often, his numbers are among the tops in the nation and certainly better than a certain Heisman candidate.
Buckeye Connection- The Buckeyes are 1-o against Georgia, although any chance for a more current assessment went by the wayside when the proposed series against the Bulldogs was cancelled to set up the B1G/PAC challenge… which was then cancelled. If it helps, Urban Meyer owns Mark Richt. Read More
Bert Blathers- Also in Tuesday’s B1G Conference Call, Coach Bielema talked about how impressed he is with Ohio State’s improvement as the season has progressed. He mentioned the offensive line in particular, and said that they are playing really well at this point in the year. He also addressed speculation that his team would be satisfied after last week’s win, which put them into the Conference Championship Game for the second straight year; and said that his team would not see a let down against the Buckeyes, especially given last year’s game. Added to the fact that it’s “Senior Day”, and it’s sure to be a high intensity game.
Uniform Updates Read More
Oh, college football… How I love you!!
Well, that happened.
While a lot of people were saying that Alabama was ripe for a loss against a Texas A&M team that’s been playing really well over the past few weeks, most of this felt like lip service. You know, the kind of things that ESPN makes one person say on the Gameday set in order to appear unbiased.
And then- “Johnny Football”.
There are a lot of reasons why Alabama lost- coming off of an emotional win on the road in Death Valley, LSU’s offense showed a lot of people the issues that the Tide have in their secondary, Saban’s fear of the high speed offense is based on his knowledge of his team’s weaknesses; but the fact of the matter is that the Aggies outplayed Alabama, in Tuscaloosa, in several key areas of the game.
The Crimson Tide defensive front was stifled, for the most part, by the aTm offensive tackles. Combined with concerns about a quarterback’s mobility, the Tide were not able to mount the type of disruptive pressure that they are so used to.
Alabama’s offense made key mistakes and turnovers, and seemed out of rhythm all night long. The three turnovers didn’t help, particularly when the Tide defense couldn’t get any of their own… and the mental errors were even more egregious. On the final interception, it seems to me that the receiver on the end of the line of scrimmage did a poor job getting depth in the end zone, making it easy for defenders to cover both him and the primary target. In addition, with Bama’s defense stiffening and forcing a punt, to have a member of their punt return/block team create a neutral zone infraction for an automatic first down is an aggressive penalty, but one that is terrible to have happen in that circumstance. Again, the intensity was there for the student in question, but the lack of focus eventually cost them a final chance at victory.
But we can’t miss the point here- this game was won by Johnny Manziel’s continual ability to make plays and put the Tide defense on their heels.
After the third week in a row with this type of performance (Louisiana Tech, Mississippi State), the redshirt freshman has lifted himself into Heisman candidacy- and for good reason. Given the lack of a clear “star” this year, given Matt Barkley’s struggles, the game this weekend was his “Flutie to Phelan” moment; outstanding performance in high profile opportunity. I’ll leave the debate to others, but will certainly enjoy watching the electricity that all of these candidates provide.
Even if he doesn’t win this year, you’ve got to think that next year’s Heisman race is going to be something spectacular- Braxton Miller, Johnny Manziel, Marcus Mariota, Teddy Bridgewater, Everett Gholston, Tahj Boyd, DeAnthony Thomas… and those are just the ones I’ve got off the top of my head.
(And since I’m on the topic, I think that Marquis Lee needs to be included in this year’s debate. But that’s just me).
Does this loss end the run of SEC titles in the final year of the BCS? Well, not exactly… more on this in a bit.
Contain. Martinez was held to 40 yards on 18 carries. He also ended up throwing 25 times. That’s a good sign, if not for Burkhead’s 119 yards on 14 carries.
Defensive line dominance. Pretty strong statement for the D-Line on Saturday. John Simon was particularly disruptive.
Be smart. The penalties and turnovers were kept to a minimum for the most part. I still think a few of the penalties qualify as “silly” though.
Carpe Diem. Moment seized.
Feed Carlos. Feeding Carlos only got us 140 yards and 4 touchdowns. What were you thinking, unleashing a monster like that on the world?
Shut down the run, again. Not so much. 119 yards for Burkhead that was only stopped because he lost the ability to make a cut due to an injured knee.
Force Martinez into bad decisions. I think Bradley Roby alone forced Martinez into bad decisions. 2 picks for Roby, three total for the defense, and you can say this was definitely done.
Attack the middle of the defense. They started to hit this a bit by tossing to the tight-ends, but the passing game was almost entirely a secondary aspect of the offense this weekend. Use it when you need to, stick it in your back pocket when you don’t!
Less read option runs from Miller. How about more read options, all of which are correctly delivered?
It wasn’t always pretty, but it was certainly fun and exciting.
The Buckeyes and Cornhuskers fought a Shootout in the ‘Shoe to the tune of 14 total touchdowns in the game for a final score of 63-38. Braxton Miller finished the game with 7-14 completions for 127 yards and a touchdown, and added 185 yards on 16 carries for a touchdown. Taylor Martinez couldn’t keep up on the ground with 17 carries for 46 yards, but made up for it through the air on 15-24 completions for 214 yards and a touchdown, but also three picks. Carlos Hyde was a force in this one scoring 4 touchdowns and picking up 138 yards. The 63 points were the most scored by the Buckeyes since a 72-0 victory over Pittsburgh on September 21st 1996.
I’m impressed with the play of the offense tonight. They put in touchdowns on five straight drives, and it could have even been six or seven if not for the unfortunate Carlos Hyde fumble late in the third quarter. That is a testament of what this team can really do on offense. They’re figuring it out slowly but surely. It would be really nice if they could do it starting in the first quarter too, but it’s certainly better late than never. Simply put, these guys are making progress in picking up the system, and they’re making it work.
Despite what many will say about the defense, I want to give props to the unit for doing a fairly solid job all game long. As I’ll mention below, the big plays are still a concern, but the defense on the whole did a good job against a talented offensive team. If not for the offense struggling in the first quarter, Nebraska may never have made it to 30 points in this game. There’s still a long way to go, but I see this defense making progress slowly but surely – and don’t forget, you don’t get to 6-0 without at least some kind of defense.
That’s right, the Buckeyes are now undefeated halfway through the season. I doubt that many of us honestly believed the Buckeyes could find themselves in this position at this point in the season. There’s still a long way to go, but the players on this team have the heart to go the distance. One way or another, it’s going to be a fun ride through the last six games of the season.
The Buckeyes return to Columbus for their first home conference tilt! The Nebraska Cornhuskers are in town for the second straight battle of ranked teams for the Bucks this year!
Looking forward to seeing you there! Go Bucks!
Last year Nebraska joined the B1G and Ohio State traveled to Lincoln for an exciting game. Last year also introduced us to Tad Stryker, Dan “Husker Dan” McGlynn, and Husker Max.com. They joined us last year for our questions and they graciously decided to put up with us again this year and answer our questions about this year’s game.
1) Watching Nebraska defeat Wisconsin (woot!!) on Saturday, we couldn’t help but have deja vu with the second half comeback. Do you attribute that to great half-time adjustments, players executing the game plan better in the third and fourth quarters, home crowd momentum, or Bert Bielema just being awful? We’ll totally accept a combination of the two.
Tad Stryker: Yeah, that comeback did bring back a memory or two, didn’t it? The home crowd was a big factor, but the players settled down and stopped making critical mistakes. As far as coaching goes, putting Ciante Evans on Abbrederis for the second half was one of the best adjustments the Huskers made all evening. Second-year offensive coordinator Tim Beck stuck with the running game despite being down 17 points, unlike last year in Madison.
Husker Dan: The main cause of the Huskers’ second half resurgence was that they got out of their own way. There were also half-time adjustments to the offensive and defensive line schemes. Better execution, half time adjustments and the fact that Russell Wilson is playing for the Seahawks helped to contribute to the Husker win! Bret Bielema is a good coach, but clearly doesn’t have the talent he’s had the past few years.
2) Taylor Martinez has improved his passing significantly this year, both statistically and in his decision making. However, there seem to be several moments of regression (UCLA game, 1st half against Wisconsin)… what are the coaches doing to help him put together a complete game?
HD: This is a great question. I’m not sure the coaches can do much, other than stay out of his way. Taylor Martinez is light years from where he was a year ago. He played most of 2011 with two bad wheels that limited his ability to throw and run. This year, he’s become much more of a leader. He is definitely in charge of the offense. We’ve seen flashes of brilliance this fall. When he reaches his full potential, look out. He has the potential to be one of the best quarterbacks in the country.
TS: Martinez has improved a lot, but I still don’t think he can beat a high-level opponent with his arm alone. I think the coaches just need to keep reinforcing his confidence and let him run the ball with abandon (no more hook slides). When the Husker run game improves, Martinez improves as a passer, and so on.
3) At the game in the Rose Bowl, the Blackshirts seemed to be out of position in a number of occasions. What adjustments have Nebraska’s defensive personnel and coaches made since UCLA? Read More
Contain.Keep Taylor Martinez in the pocket and force him to beat them downfield with his arm. He’s much more dangerous with his feet.
Defensive line dominance. Continue moving the line of scrimmage one to two yards into the backfield. Keep the gaps plugged and force Burkhead to bounce his runs outside.
Be smart. No silly turnovers and penalties from the offense. Nebraska is going to give them a lot of different looks, some they haven’t seen this year. Keep your head in the game.
Carpe Diem. While being smart, enjoy the moment and seize the opportunity! “Who’s going to make a big play first? Me!” should be the thought on everyone’s mind. It’s national television in prime time, this is why you came to Ohio State.
Feed Carlos. Carlos Hyde had a pretty decent game vs Nebraska last year. He took the team, with the offensive line, on his shoulders in the closing minutes in East Lansing and won the game by the running the ball right into the teeth of the Spartan defense and keeping the clock moving. Now feed him! Let’s see a good dose of Carlos Hyde bashing into the Nebraska front seven!
Shut down the run, again. We did it last week with great success, but it may be more difficult this time around since Nebraska has more than one weapon on the ground.
Force Martinez into bad decisions. Nebraska’s QB has improved his throwing since last season, but he is still inconsistent at best. If the Buckeyes can get pressure on him and force him to make some mistakes that will severely limit the Husker offense.
Attack the middle of the defense. I don’t know if it is because the coaches don’t trust Miller to make the reads, but I have felt for weeks that the middle of the opposing defense has been extremely vulnerable and we haven’t taken advantage of that. Teams are focusing on stopping the run and the quick passes into the flats, leaving the middle of the field relatively open. I’d like to see the offense attempt to exploit that weakness a bit more this week.
Less read option runs from Miller. He’s still not very good at making those reads and it showed in the first half against the Spartans. Granted, that D was damn good which didn’t help, but I’d like to see us ease off those plays (just like we did in the second half against MSU) until Miller proves he can execute them consistently.