This past weekend in East Lansing the Buckeyes put on a gutsy performance and came away with a narrow win over the Michigan State Spartans, 17-16. This week Ohio State returns home to the friendly confines of Ohio Stadium for a nightcap with the Nebraska Cornhuskers on national television (ABC 8:00 EST). It also marks the return of Bo Pelini, a captain on John Cooper’s 1990 Ohio State team. Saturday night also brings the opportunity for another shot at a goal achieved in East Lansing: Payback.
Wanna hear a dirty joke? A pig rolled in the mud. Want to see a dirty play? Watch this video of MSU’s Jack Allen (number 66) trying to gouge out the eyes of Jonathan Hankins at the end of a run caught beautifully by the ABC/ESPN camera crew.
I know what you’re thinking: Doesn’t this happen at the bottom of those dog piles for fumbles and after tackles all the time? Well, actually, no it doesn’t. See, despite what old school commentators or that guy at the bar who was all-league in high school and is now “in between jobs, but somethin’ll come up!” may want you to believe, sportsmanship does exist on a football field. Not everyone is trying to literally poke someone’s eyes out when they think nobody is looking. What drives me really insane about this is the thought of how often must it have been happening for Allen to pull it so blatantly?
The video has been turned in to the Big Ten offices for review. Anything less than a one game suspension for Allen is unacceptable. Remember Robert Reynolds choking Jim Sorgi in 2003 at Wisconsin? Reynolds was on the phone with Barry Alvarez the next day apologizing to both him and Sorgi for the incident. He then received a suspension and sat for a week. While Allen’s actions didn’t take Hankins out of the game like Reynolds with Sorgi, it is just as heinous and deserves an equal punishment.
By the way, if you recall, as an aside, Sorgi really played up that throat thing for all it was worth too, didn’t he? I mean come on man, you could have gone back in the game… I have to let things go.
After Further Review
Two other interesting tidbits came out of Spartan Stadium on Saturday, one was blown way out of proportion and the other has largely been ignored. Read More
If you think the “Final Verdict” segments of College Gameday are amazing places for rhetoric and logic, you’re probably excited for the beginning of the Presidential Debates tonight. Me? I’d rather argue about college sports… compared to politics, the BCS makes sense.
Monday’s melange of morning mayhem looks back at an amazing weekend of college football… Just promise to wait until the end of the article to rush the field, OK? Given the news on Campus from Sunday Night, here’s your soundtrack for our special time together.
It was a great weekend to be an Angry Bird, particularly if you were a Cardinal. Let’s start in Palo Alto.
In what’s become an annual tradition, a highly ranked Southern Cal team derped a game that many expected them to win. While it seemed to have always been the Beavers of Oregon State under the previous administration, the past four years have found a Cardinal thorn in the Trojans’ armor… as unbelievable as it is, September Heisman candidate Matt Barkley has never beaten Stanford in his career. The nice thing, though, is that Chad Henne and Mike Hart have a great support group that will welcome him with open arms.
Saturday we saw the real “teeth” of the NCAA’s sanctions for all things Reggie Bush-esque: While the Bowl Ban was significant in terms of financial benefits and being able to compete for make believe championships and other post-season swag, the real kick of what the folks in Indianapolis handed to Southern Cal as a parting gift is the inability to field a full squad of 85 for the coming several seasons- which creates issues at depth when the offensive line gets banged up (as it did in Palo Alto). Granted, Barkley still is incredibly talented and has amazing weapons- however, without the time to find them it’s essentially a moot point. And once he’s gone, well… we may just get to see how good of a coach the man is, as a number of folks could be successful with the talent depth that they experienced over the past decade. Read More
Again, as is becoming typical for these posts, I’m certain the answer is no. At least this time we had an entertaining first half.
An offense. For the first half, and the first OSU drive of the second half, we saw an offense that was more than up to the task of moving the Buckeyes down the field. They scored 27 points and gained more than 300 yards, including 250 on the ground. And then Braxton got hurt, and Bauserman came into the game, and that was that.
Me not jinxing the OSU offense by asking for silly passing numbers. Success! I think. We got a touchdown to Jake Stoneburner, and had a competent passing game – again, until Bauserman came in.
A pick six. Orhian Johnson got a pick, but he wasn’t able to turn it into six. Surprisingly, Martinez passed the ball much more effectively against our secondary than he was able to do against Wisconsin. Credit Nebraska for sticking with the running game to make the passing game effective.
Taylor Martinez – Wisconsin Version. Yea, we definitely didn’t get the Wisconsin version of Taylor. We got a much nastier, much more effective variety.
The return of the aggressive, angry offensive line. They certainly looked that way in the first half. The run blocking was fantastic, and the pass protection was run to perfection. Not surprisingly, the line was unable to effectively block for Bauserman, probably given how long Bauserman likes to hold on to the football.
The Buckeye offense under Miller looked much improved in this game. While the Buckeyes focused primarily on the running game, they used smart passing plays, including delayed outlet passes to the flat, and even a screen play, to counter the Nebraska defense. In fact, OSU ran a beautiful screen pass to Jake Stoneburner for their only passing touchdown of the game – a 32 yard scamper that saw Stoneburner get touched only when he reached the endzone. OSU also used a combination of other nice run counters to force the defense to the wrong places and open up huge holes.
Unfortunately, after taking a 27-6 lead in the game, OSU began to face a stiffer Nebraska defense. Either the offense failed to make appropriate adjustments at halftime, or the Cornhusker defense simply made better ones. In fact, it’s possible that OSU went to a more conservative approach that allowed Nebraska to more easily anticipate the OSU offense. Either way, the Bucks began to struggle to move the football. On a scamper play that would have resulted in a first down Braxton Miller, who continues to not protect the football on running plays, fumbled the ball on his own 23. Nebraska went on to score a quick touchdown and the comeback was on.
Welcome to this week’s LiveBlog!
The Buckeyes are taking on the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska today. We’ll be joined, as usual, by Our Honor Defend, Men of the Scarlet and Gray, and Fox Sports Ohio. Make sure to stop by and chat with all of your favorite Buckeye Bloggers!
It’s been a hectic couple week’s here at the BBC, but not hectic enough to keep us from jotting down a couple of wishes for this weekend.
An offense. Let’s just start this out with the obvious. I would give anything to see a functional OSU offense take the field against this tough Blackshirt’s defense. The lack of Herron and Posey will make that more difficult than originally expected for this point in the season, but you have to be able to perform even when you’re missing guys. That’s one of the key differences between “good” teams and “great” ones.
Me not jinxing the OSU offense by asking for silly passing numbers. This one says it all, I think. I won’t be asking for that crap until next season. Maybe.
A pick six. We have been awfully close to a few big pick sixes in both of our losses. We’re going to need them if this team is ever going to win some of these tough games. This is a lot like 2002 – except for the fact that we got those interceptions when we needed them back then (cough cough Penn State).
Taylor Martinez – Wisconsin Version. He threw three picks to the Badgers. Can he be equally accommodating to us? That would be awfully generous of him. Heck, if he plays his cards right he could be the best Ohio State quarterback in the game!
The return of the aggressive, angry offensive line. They looked like deer in headlights against Michigan State – no thanks to the play calling and some wonderful defensive strategy from Dantonio’s crew. It would be nice to see these guys plowing the road for Jordan Hall again.
We’re continuing our give and take with “enemy” writers, and though our first conversation with Cornhusker faithful deserved something special. As such, we’ve eschewed the usual conversation with folks who blog and instead turned to the some of the geniuses behind the best Nebraska board on the intertubes.
Formerly anchors for Huskerpedia, HuskerDan and Tad Stryker are thriving at HuskerMax, which should be a required stop for anyone who cares about B1G sports (not just Nebraska). Here we go!
Husker fans seem to be experiencing “A Tale Of Two Taylors”- last season he started well, but struggled at the end of the year, and we saw similar issues in the two halves against Wisconsin. What are your thoughts about his occasional inconsistency and how does Big Red adjust moving forward? Are Nebraska fans excited to have option football return to Memorial Stadium?
Husker Dan- I don’t think there is any nostalgia about option football. Frank Solich ran it and got fired. Husker fans want to win and they don’t much care what kind of offense Nebraska runs, just as long as it consistently wins games. Last year, Taylor Martinez’s problems midway through the season dealt primarily with his foot and ankle injuries. And Saturday night, it was poor play calling (among other things) during the middle of the second quarter and beginning of the third that force third that forced Martinez to try to be Tom Brady. Passing is not one of Taylor’s strongest points. Three of his passes were intercepted and all led to Badger TDs. Game over.
Tad Stryker- Husker fans are in favor of option football; they would like to see the coaching staff commit to using the running game more, since it’s the strength of the team. I am puzzled why Husker offensive coordinator Tim Beck had Martinez throwing the ball so much when NU led 14-13 late in the first half. Martinez has started 17 games now but is still very erratic at times. That is not a good sign. He still does not seem to realize that he has limitations throwing the ball. Nebraska needs Martinez to gain some maturity.
Quick word association- What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear “ESPN”?
HD- Game Day.
Mali- I’m sorry, those are the wrong answers, although Tad was close. We would have accepted “Biased”, “SEC”, or “Selective Journalism”… moving on. Read More