You’re either reading this from home on a “ice day”, or from work after having dug yourself out of yet another mid-week snow storm. Stupid freaking groundhog… At any rate, here’s today’s soundtrack… for reasons that will hopefully soon be evident.
The Buckeyes and Spartans met in a head to head clash for the Big Ten Championship. In a battle that swung back and forth all night, the Spartans got the upper hand on the Buckeyes, securing the first B1G Championship for the Legends division with the 34-24 win. Braxton Miller was ok today against the stout Spartan defense, throwing 8/21 for 101 yards and a touchdown, while running 21 times for 142 yards and 2 touchdowns. Connor Cook was much more impressive, connecting on 24/40 passes for 304 yards, 3 touchdowns and an interception.
Carlos Hyde broke 100 yards again, carrying 18 times for 118 yards. Corey “Philly” Brown led the Buckeyes with 5 receptions for 53 yards. Jeremy Langford of MSU was the first back to carry for more than 100 yards against OSU, running 24 times for 124 yards and a touchdown. Keith Mumphery led the Spartans in receiving with 2 catches for 84 yards.
We got a chance to see the Spartan offense take the field first against the much maligned OSU defense. The Bucks did an excellent job of slowing down the MSU offense early, forcing a third and long on the very first possession. A poor play by Doran Grant kept the drive alive on an overthrown ball, and began to give MSU some confidence. On another third and long, Ryan Shazier made contact with Langford with the ball sailing over his head, again extending the drive. MSU wasn’t able to do much more than that, settling for a field goal deep in OSU territory.
Then it was time to see what the MSU defense could do against the high powered Buckeye offense. Carlos Hyde made himself known on the first play, pounding up the middle for seven yards. Unfortunately, a bad snap from the center on 3rd and 3 destablized the offense enough to throw off the timing of the play. Ohio State was forced to punt after a three and out that was obviously self-inflicted.
Michigan State took over again after the punt on their own twenty yard line. Things were beginning to start clicking for the boys in green. The blocking up front was beginning to open holes in the Buckeyes line that Langford could get a head start in. With Langford getting things going, it seemed like MSU was going to score again. A false start followed by a stuffed run on first down put MSU in a hole deep enough that they couldn’t quite dig themselves out of it.
The Buckeyes and Wolverines met for their annual rivalry tilt in The Game today in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In a game that was a severe departure from the historical battles in this series, the Bucks and Wolverines fought to a 42-41 game that ended with an OSU victory and their 24th straight. Braxton Miller ended the game throwing 6/15 passes for 133 yards, 2 touchdowns and an interception, while running for 153 yards and 3 touchdowns on 16 carries. His counterpart, Devin Gardner, threw 32/45 for 451 yards and 4 touchdowns, while running 9 carries for 10 yards and a touchdown.
Carlos Hyde had another history-making day today. His 226 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries counts as the most yards against Michigan of any back in Ohio State history – which puts him above some very prestigious company. This also made for the first time OSU had a pair of 100 yard rushers against Michigan since 1967. On a day with little to no passing for the Buckeyes, Jeff Heuerman led all receivers with 2 catches for 59 yards and a touchdown. De’Veon Smith led Michigan in yards gained on the ground with 57 on 7 carries, while Jeremy Gallon picked up 175 yards and a touchdown on 9 receptions.
This year’s version of the game started with the ball in the hands of the good guys. Things looked good for OSU running the ball with Carlos Hyde up the middle, and the offense was able to work itself into Michigan territory. Unfortunately, a pass thrown behind the receiver, and a sack on first down, helped to stymie the drive. With the Buckeyes punting, it was the first opening drive that Ohio State had failed to score on all season – a quick reminder to throw out the season records when these two teams meet.
Michigan came back with a vengance. Pinned on their own one yard line, it required only 2 plays to put them inside two yards of scoring. Receiver Jeremey Gallon, on second and long, took the screen on the left side, and had enough blockers to find an opening. He was only barely tripped up shy of the endzone by Bradley Roby. On the fourth play of the drive, Devin Gardner ran the option keeper into the endzone for the first points of the game.
Things were looking a little dicey for the Bucks offensively. Miller was struggling to find his targets in the passing game, even though the Buckeyes weren’t throwing much. Carlos Hyde was having little difficulty gaining yardage, but Miller’s running was being reasonably well defended. On another 3rd and long from near mid-field, Miller again went to the long pass. Devin Smith found himself a couple steps ahead of his two defenders, and hauled in the long pass that was a hair overthrown. He managed to maintain his balance enough to fall into the endzone to finally put the Bucks on the board.
In the midst of an intermittent snow fall, the Ohio State Buckeyes took on the Indiana Hoosiers in Columbus, Ohio. After last season’s close battle, people expected something similar this season. The results on the field turned out to be very different with the Bucks securing a 42-14 win over the (surprising!) scoring challenged Hoosiers. With the win, the Buckeyes advanced their win streak to a school record 23 victories. They also claimed at least a share of the Leaders Division, and a spot in the Big Ten Championship Game, possessing the tie-breaker over Wisconsin.
Braxton Miller did not throw much considering the weather, but hit better than last week with 11/17 for 160 yards, 2 touchdowns and an interception. He added 144 yards and 2 touchdowns on 13 carries for the day. Joining him on the ground was Carlos Hyde, who picked up 117 yards and 2 touchdowns on 18 carries, and surpassed 1000 yards rushing for the season for the first time in his career on his senior day. Jeff Heuerman led all receivers with 59 yards on 2 receptions, while Dontre Wilson caught 3 passes for 32 yards and a touchdown. For Indiana, Nate Sudfeld connected on 25 of 41 passes for 224 yards and two touchdowns. Tre Roberson led all rushers with 12 carries for 79 yards, while Kofi Hughes picked up 9 receptions for 120 yards.
With the potential for snowy, windy conditions the Buckeyes planned in advance to bank on the rushing game. They started with a little toss to Dontre Wilson, getting away from the wide receiver screen they had run the last few games. A huge breakout run from Miller for 41 yards put the Buckeyes in great scoring position, which Carlos Hyde was able to take advantage of. Two carries gave Hyde his 14th touchdown of the season, this one from 16 yards out.
Lots of love needs to be given to this very veteren offensive line. They open holes in the running game better than many lines I’ve seen in a long time, which is a huge help to Hyde, Miller and Wilson. Even better is the wide receiver blocking, which I lambasted 2 years ago when the Buckeyes played Colorado and got no blocking from the skill players. That has improved immensely, and takes just a few more defenders out of the play.
Not surprisingly, Indiana was prepared for this game. Possessing the second best offense in the Big Ten (which, honestly, isn’t saying a lot), they blocked well and moved the ball smartly on the ground from the get-go. They earned the first opportunity to move the chains on second down, but were forced into a three and out on their next chance. On third down and one, the Buckeye D-line swallowed up a run up the middle to end the drive.
And so, we draw closer to another season in Ohio Stadium. Senior Day is always special, but this one even more so… and there’s more work yet to be done. Aw, heck… I’m getting all choked up just thinking about it. Here, listen to the soundtrack and enjoy your Thursday.
Well, you’ve got all day to plan your attack for tonight… personally, I’ve got plans to go to “all the candy is on sale” day tomorrow. We’re digging through our country albums for today’s soundtracks; one goofy, one “creepy”. Country not your thing? Well remember, we used to think this and this were OK as well.
As the Buckeyes roll down the stretch and most of America believes they ave the easiest path to go undefeated, the rest believes they wont be in the title game because of the ease of that schedule. The fact still remains that all this team needs to do is win and not pay any attention to those people. They have an opportunity to enjoy back-to-back undefeated seasons and set several other records along the way. Let’s get started with the good and Rumblin from last week.
There can be only one. In spite of the desire to spread the wealth by all who are not coaches on that staff, there can be only one football. No matter how you draw it up, script it, or even second guess the results? This team is led by Carlos Hyde this season. So far we have seen three teams attempt to stop him and only one slowed him. The last two have failed miserably and I can tell you that Mr. Hyde is playing his best football right now. Read More