Breaking Down the Gator Bowl

Written January 2nd, 2012 by WVaBuckeye

The Basics: Tuesday, January 2, 2012, 1:00 PM EST on ESPN2, from Jacksonville. Ohio State (6-6, 3-5 B1G) and Florida (6-6, 3-5 SEC).

It’s really hard to believe that in the history of both programs that the 2006 National Championship game was the first ever match-up between these two teams. This one hardly qualifies as a rematch and it is getting plenty of press about being the Urban Meyer Bowl. Both teams are 6-6 headed into the game and have some similarities after the record but very few. Let’s start with the men in charge.


All smiles now... just you wait

Will Muschamp took over the reigns from Coach Meyer last December after his retirement from coaching. He grew up in Gainesville and appears to be the leader of the future even after a very sub par season that had National Title expectations.  Muschamp has a great pedigree of coaching and more recently was the head coach in waiting at Texas but just couldn’t pass up the Gator opportunity. In his 17th year of coaching he has a defensive background and has had great success as a coordinator posting several top 10 defenses and this years squad is NO different coming in at #9. He has a bright future in Florida and has been left with some great talent as a result of Coach Meyers recruiting efforts.

Luke Fickell is admired by many for what he has done in leading these Buckeyes this season. Tabbed originally as the interim head coach to stand in while Coach Tressel took a five game suspension, he was eventually given the title for the entire season when Coach Tressel resigned. Fickell played for Ohio State on one of the best lines to ever play there and lived in the trenches with Mike Vrabel and Matt Finkes. He has spent all of his time coaching at Ohio State save for two years at Akron. He recently turned down an opportunity to coach the Zip so he could return to his alma mater under Coach Meyer. He was the only person for the job this year and has done an admirable job at holding things together and giving the team a good reason to win this game and finish on a high note before Coach Meyer takes over the next day. Read More

Silver Bullet Points Hand Out Hardware

Written December 18th, 2011 by MaliBuckeye

Prizes for everyone!!

Today was the football team banquet; here’s who was honored:

  • Boom Herron was named Team MVP, in spite of his being suspended for a good portion of the year. My guess is that this gives us insight into the role that he played behind the scenes as an integral part of the team.
  • Captain, My Captain- As promised these were named at the end of the season, and are as follows: Michael Brewster, Boom Herron, Andrew Sweat, and John Simon.
  • Braxton Miller was named Archie Griffin Outstanding Offensive Player.
  • Bill Willis award for Outstanding Defensive Player was John Simon.
  • Freshman Ryan Shazier won the Rick Meyer Award for his play against Penn STate
  • Most Inspirational Player (Bo Rein Award) was Nate Ebner
  • First Year Defensive Award winner: Bradly Roby
  • The Jim Marshall “Warrior” Award was given to Tyler Moeller.

Congratulations to these Buckeyes and all who were acknowledged during the season ending event!

You Are Not Entertained: The Game

Written November 28th, 2011 by MaliBuckeye

Well, let’s try to put a bow on this, shall we? Silk purse, sow’s ear and all that… Actually, there’s a lot to be positive about looking back at the team’s efforts against TTUN- and some things that definitely need attention.


Defensive Heart. Depends on who you’re looking at- Shazier played his heart out, and Simon/Hankins were fighting on every play (funny how that happens when you get held). The secondary, though… wow, we’re going to need a tune up before next season.

Courtesy, CPD

A worthy offensive gameplan. Throwing the ball on first down? Sweet sassy molassy… what was that?  My only frustration is that this type of game plan would have won against Michigan State, Penn State, and Purdue… What took Bollman so long?

A Jake Stoneburner touchdown. Nope- but he was targeted. And we had Fragel sightings again!

Weeping M*ch*g*n fans. Sigh.

Beat M*ch*g*n. Double Sigh. Read More

Scarlet and Gray Q&A – Week Nine

Written November 2nd, 2011 by Chris

Every player has that defining moment in their career. It is that moment where a player seizes the moment and changes the course of a game, a season, or even a career. Whether it was Joe Germaine’s last minute drive in the Rose Bowl, Eddie George against Notre Dame in the ‘Shoe, or Troy Smith against Michigan in 2004, Buckeye fans have plenty of defining moments to tie heroes of yesterday to that first time greatness was observed.

It doesn’t matter how many times I watch the play, I am still amazed by the touchdown pass that might have salvaged 2011 for the Ohio State Buckeyes.  In an era when freshman are counted on more and more, it was two in Braxton Miller to Devin Smith, that created a moment fans and pundits will talk about for years to come.  It may have been the uniforms, the night game, or Homecoming festivities, but whatever it was, the Buckeyes have changed the landscape in the B1G. With that let’s get to Scarlet and Gray Q&A.

Breaking Away

Does Braxton Miller’s performance against the Badgers mean that he has arrived?

It is clear that the bye week may have had no greater impact on anyone other than Braxton Miller. The confidence that was evident from the true freshman was obvious just a few plays into the ball game.  Sure, Miller’s pass intended for Corey Brown went as a long incompletion, but it was obvious that the pass was an indication that the reservations, present just a few weeks ago, may be a thing of the past. I know Braxton didn’t throw 35-40 passes. He didn’t even throw 15, but it was clear that each week, the coaching staff trusts the young quarterback a bit more.

The pass to Devin Smith provides a glimpse into the playmaking ability of possibly the next quarterback in college football. A friend remarked to me that a freshman doesn’t make that throw. The play is something that transcends years, film study, and playbooks. It is an ability that can’t be taught.  Being a playmaker is an art form that is so organic in a career that coaches know just one thing about: when you see a playmaker, you play him.

There will undoubtedly be some more growing pains for Braxton Miller, but after watching the Wisconsin game, it just makes the choice of playing Joe Bauserman to start the year that much more perplexing. Read More

Silver Bullet Points Heads To Brown County

Written November 2nd, 2011 by MaliBuckeye

Time for the wrap up of college football news, updates from Coach Fickell’s Tuesday press conference and other notes from college football

Southern Indiana Is Beautiful This Time Of Year

Buckeye 411

  • Captain, My Captain- Since it’s been a year of mystery in this department, why not make things even more interesting by not naming captains thus far in the week. As far as we’re concerned, we’re going with Brewster and Boom, Simon and Sweat.
  • Fickell Speaks- Coach opened up by discussing the atmosphere at the ‘Shoe, and gave credit where credit was due,

I wasn’t sure if it was my heart that was pounding or the screams from the crowd, but it was an unbelievable atmosphere, unbelievable experience, just to be a part of something obviously a game like that. But that’s what Ohio State football’s all about.

And I just want to say thank you to all the fans, the students, everybody that made that such a special night.

  • Injury Update- No news is good news, as was the news today that Philly Brown is doing much better and continues to rehab his ankle.
  • Youth Movement- Coach Fickell discussed playing so many freshman, and said that it didn’t make sense to try to “save” student athletes for the future, and pointed to this week’s pregame speaker as someone who had redshirted and left after their junior year.
  • Learning Opportunity- There was discussion of the possibility of looking past Indiana, and of wanting to rest on the successes of the win against Wisconsin. Coach Fickell was very honest that there were still a lot of mistakes, particularly in the last minutes of the game on the defensive side of the ball.
  • For Instance- Philly Brown mentioned after practice that there was confusion about the play call during Braxton’s TD toss, and that they were running “playground routes”.
  • Spring In Their Step- We discovered the message and tenor of Buckeye alum Shawn Springs’ message to the team prior to the game- “You’re Ohio State, it’s time to start acting like it… bring back the swagger.” Read More

Football Midseason Report Card

Written October 19th, 2011 by Chris

Well Buckeye fans, we are halfway home to the end of the 2011 season. Standing at 4-3 overall and 1-2 in the B1G, this year has been some dizzying highs (winning the Sugar Bowl) and far too many lowest of lows. The real question is where the Ohio State Buckeyes grade out for the first half of the season and keys to improvement. Players and coaches will be broken down and evaluated on their performance so far.  So, listen up scarlet and gray clad coaches and players. Professor Schmidbauer is here to hand out some first half grades.


Breakdown: Anyone wondering what kind of faith the offensive coaches had in Braxton

Still Learning

Miller got a pretty good idea as to how much last Saturday in Champaign. The play as a whole has been pretty poor sans two games for the Buckeye signal callers. Joe Bauserman’s initial start against Akron was a solid debut for the resident geriatric of Ohio State. Braxton Miller’s first start against the Colorado Buffaloes was a nice debut as well. The rest of the performances have been lackluster, and I think we would all agree that is putting it kindly. Now the team is officially Miller’s and it seems like the Buckeyes can ride him as far as the freshman can carry them, well assuming there is not a strong wind anyway.

Area to Improve: If there is one key to the Buckeye season reaching eight or, dare I say, nine wins, it has to be the passing game. Ohio State proved you can win a game by only completing one pass, but it goes without saying we don’t want to see if the team can accomplish that feat again. Braxton Miller has not been able to consistently make throws in big spots in games yet, and opponents know that. You can believe that a serviceable passing will be a necessity to reach a New Year’s Day bowl game. Read More

Scarlet and Gray Q&A – Week Seven

Written October 12th, 2011 by Chris

If the great Charles Dickens were looking to write a sequel to “A Tale of Two Cities,” Luke Fickell and the Ohio State Buckeyes might want to add “A Tales of Two Halves” to the realm of possibilities.

The Buckeyes reversed their offensive fortunes of a week ago against Michigan State, and the scarlet and gray marched down the field four times in the first half to put 20 points up on the scoreboard.

Unfortunately after scoring a touchdown on their first possession of the second half, the Ohio State defense gave up 28 unanswered points en route to a 34-27 loss at the hands of the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

With another tough road test on the horizon, it’s time once again for a little Scarlet and Gray Q&A.

What was a bigger turning point, Braxton Miller’s injury or Miller’s fumble?

The Turn Of The Tide

I had a caller on the weekday radio show I co-host call Miller’s fumble a Bill Buckner like moment on the football field. It was interesting to hear those two events being compared to one another. While it might seem apt to say that Miller’s fumble had an impact on the game, because it did, I don’t see it in the same light as I do the injury sustained by Braxton in the third quarter.

Was it just me or did anyone else feel like the body language on the field was entirely different with Joe Bauserman directing the offense? It was so clear that there just seemed to be a total lack of confidence by the entire team once number 5 was relegated to the bench with the sprained ankle. Heck, I think even Joe Bauserman was uncomfortable with himself being the quarterback on the team.

Miller’s injury had more than just an effect on the confidence of the team too. It was a rippling effect on down the line. Tons of three and outs meant the defense needed to be on the field a lot more in the second half. Not only that but they were going against one of the fastest offenses in all of college football.

Who do you put this loss on: the offense of the defense? Read More

Silver Bullet Points Protects Honu

Written October 12th, 2011 by MaliBuckeye

Notes from Tuesday’s Ohio State press conference and around the realm of college sports. No soundtrack today, but we’re totally shopping for a El Camino.

More Prestigious?

Buckeye 411

  • Injury update: Braxton practiced, and by all reports looked “fine”, although he took it easy after the initial burst. Coaches will continue to monitor, but according to the depth chart, he’s the starter. Not as good news for Nathan Williams, who will need another surgery for microfracture issues and will miss the season. HOWEVER- there is the possibility that he can take a medical redshirt and be back for 2012. *crossesfingers*
  • Captain, My Captain: Brewster (4th time), Sweat (3rd), and Stoneburner for this week’s tilt against the Illini.
  • Fickell Speak:Lots of talk about disappointment, obviously, and some reflection on the difference between being an assistant and the man in charge (almost sounds like he misses the former): Read More