In the world of improvement on a year to year basis, last year should have been Braxton Miller’s last season in Columbus. With that being said he should have left with a Heisman Trophy and National Championship (ok at least a B1G Championship). After battling through all sorts of issues earlier in his career like, offensive line and lack of a supporting cast, everything seemed to jell last year. He shared the backfield with one of the toughest running backs in college (Carlos Hyde), he became a better passer (with the exception of not throwing to the TE enough) and really avoided sacks much better, and he owes some credit to the veteran offensive line he had in front of him. Just because he went forward with his progress in 2013, he need not take a break and work even harder for 2014.
When you evaluate Miller’s tape you will see he no longer takes a sack on one of every five or six attempts, but like so many mobile quarterbacks, he still takes too many. The big questions I would love to have answered is: How will Miller perform with a young offensive line and skill position players? How long did he have his shoulder injury? Where is he at in regards to rehabilitation of that shoulder? Who had the biggest impact on his improvement? I know I will probably never get the answers to those questions, but I’m still curious. It’s so much fun to speculate how well your favorite team/player is going to perform heading into the next season. Read More
I understand that some people are concerned with the lack of commitments in 2015 class. So instead, why not look to the upcoming 2014 season and the potential for The Ohio State Offense. If Braxton Miller can stay healthy and improve just that little bit, opposing defenses on our schedule better look out! I mean we are loaded with talent, talent and then a little more talent! Not to mention Mr. Miller is a Heisman candidate with a very good chance of taking home the trophy.
It’s great to watch the highlights of these kids on this roster and then seeing them doing their thing in Scarlet and Gray. It is going to be a great year for Buckeye fans and me for one, am very proud to be a member of this brotherhood/sisterhood.
QB: Braxton Miller. We all know what he can do, NOW can you throw to the TE? I think this is a key component to our chance at a National Championship.
RB: Ezekiel Elliot, Brionte Dunn and Curtis Samuel. I know there is a name or two left off, but this is going to be a strength for the Buckeyes. Eze is the most complete back who obviously will be the starter but the other two young men are going to be very active in this offense. I believe Dunn will be that short yardage/goal line back for us and Samuel will be a rotational player with the ability to let Eze catch a breather. Our RB situation is a great reason to be excited for this upcoming season!
The #4/3 Buckeyes (6-0, 2-0) host the Fightin’ Ferentzs’ of Iowa (4-2, 1-1) for an afternoon game in Columbus on Saturday. Up until a couple years ago, I always considered this a match-up of two teams with similar philosophies. Now, I see the game as the “new/improved” Ohio State playing a Tressel-ball bound team with less quality athletes, in Iowa.
Iowa under 15th year coach Kirk Ferentz are 104-76 (.578). Other than the team uniform’s similarity to the Pittsburgh Steelers (thanks, Hayden), Iowa is noted for cranking out offensive linemen (Bollman, you listening?) and having a stoic note-taking, gum-chewing head coach.
Coming off an very impressive 11-2 season in 2009, Iowa AD Gary Barta decided to elevate Kirk into the Hayden Fry pantheon with a contract extension through the year 2020 at $3.75 million per year, per HawkCentral.. With this contract, that’s a lot of chewing gum and notepads. Since the impressive contract extension, Iowa has been a less-than-impressive 19-19.
Back to football: Iowa ended their non-con portion at 3-1, then opened their B1G slate with an impressive 23-7 win over Minnesota. The next week, the Hawkeyes got roughed up, physically and statistically, against Michigan State, 26-14. Since I see OSU having a better offense but worse defense than MSU, things will not improve for Iowa. Read More
The #4/3 Buckeyes (5-0, 1-0) move their Prime Time show from Columbus, OH to Evanston, IL for another 8:00 PM kickoff. The opponents, the undefeated (4-0, 0-0) #16/15 Northwestern Wildcats. Yes, another night game against another ranked B1G team.
When I saw this game on the schedule, I was only mildly concerned about the outcome. And that was based on the 2004 night game debacle in Evanston, not on this year’s talent/performance. Northwestern will be a different challenge from Wisconsin, in that, despite what we saw on Saturday, the Wildcats bring a legitimate balanced offense into this game.
Northwestern has two legitimate quarterbacks in Kain Colter (27-35, 264 yds, 4TD, 2INT)/Trevor Siemian (47-70, 671, 3,2), two quality running backs in Venric Mark (if healthy)/Treyvon Green (101 YPG)and two quality receivers in Tony Jones/Christian Jones (39 Rec, 15 YPR, 5TD). Their offense is also a bit different from Wiscy’s in that rather than relying on raw power, Northwestern brings more speed and elusiveness to the field.
Last year’s all-everything running back Venric Mark appears to be healthy enough to be listed on the Wildcats depth chart as the starting running back for Saturday. This could be a Carlos Hyde situation where a player comes back to play in a big game after a 2-3 game layoff. Whether Venric Mark gets the every down workload remains to be seen, but I expect him to see spot duty in the backfield and to line up as kick/punt returner. Last year, Venric was 2nd team all-conference as a running back, and All-American as a punt returner, so look for Pat Fitzgerald and his staff to put him in positions to handle the ball, particularly in the open field.
|UPDATE: According to Coach Meyer, Senior Captain Christian Bryant has broken his ankle on the next to last play of the game, and will require surgery. It is likely that his Ohio State career is now finished. More information as it becomes available.|
As has been typical for these teams in recent years, the Buckeyes and Badgers met on the gridiron in a memorable fight. The Badgers struggled to keep up with the OSU offensive attack, falling 31-24 in a vaguely field-position game. Braxton Miller came back from his injury and put together a solid game throwing the football, hitting 17/25 for 198 yards and 4 touchdowns. He also added 83 yards on 22 carries. Joel Stave responded with an excellent day 20/34 for 295 yards, 2 touchdowns and an interception.
On the ground, the Buckeye running corps was led by Carlos Hyde’s 80 yards on 16 carries. He was followed by Dontre Wilson’s 21 yards on 2 carries. Wisconsin went primarily to Melvin Gordon for their ground attack, gaining 15 carries for 74 yards. The story of the day however was Jared Abbrederis and his 207 yards on 10 catches with a touchdown.
There were a couple streaks on the line for the Buckeyes. The first, and most obvious was the 16 game win streak, which was extended to 17. The second was a streak of 4 straight games for the Buckeyes scoring at least 21 points in the first quarter, which did not continue as OSU scored “only” 14. The third was a similar streak for the Bucks scoring over 40 points per game, another that the Buckeyes couldn’t extend.
Braxton Miller got the start for the first time since the first quarter of the San Diego State game. The Bucks started by distributing the football, hitting a strong run in the teeth of the defense from Carlos Hyde, and followed by a great pass to the edge to TE Jeff Heuerman. Ultimately, the Buckeyes only needed four plays to find Evan Spencer over the middle for the perfectly thrown touchdown pass. Interestingly, the Buckeyes employed a play that forced Wisconsin to defend both Evan Spencer and Corey “Philly” Brown with a single defender, allowing Braxton to pick his target and hit Spencer for the TD.
Wisconsin struggled to move the ball early in the game. While they were getting solid blocks on the line, the Corners and Linebackers did a fantastic job stuffing the run in the first two possessions, both of which ended in three-and-outs.
This past weekend as the Buckeyes faced the Bulls, we started a new feature here at tBBC. Each week we will feature some hash-tags on twitter and feature your responses to those in a weekly article. While we are at it, we will feature a former Buckeye each week to give their two-cents worth as well and see how you stack up to their thoughts.
#BufTopPlay Braxton Miller 47 yard TD to Devin Smith. Great throw and great adjustment by Devin.
#BufOMVP Jordan Hall. He ran his butt off today. Big holes but also showed burst and agility.
#BufDMVP Noah Spence
#BufSTMVP Dontre Wilson. Great kick return!
#BufOUnsung Offensive Line. They were creating huge holes and giving Braxton (and Kenny) time to throw for the most part.
#BufDUnsung Ryan Shazier. Despite the injury he was still effective.
#BufMorePT Dontre Wilson, Jalin Marshall, Ezekiel Elliot, Warren Ball. Can’t wait to see what these guys can do!
In today’s edition, we celebrate number 4, the Ohio State’s margin of victory over Wisconsin on October 29th, 2011, 33-29. Ohio State entered the game with a 4-3 record, as the OSU program was dealing was significant changes in staff and players.
The 1st half was a tight, low-scoring affair with Wisconsin holding a 7-3 lead. Then all hell broke loose in the 2nd half. In the 3rd quarter the Buckeyes scored two short yardage TD’s (Miller, Hall) and the Badgers one (Ball, of course) to take the lead into the 4th quarter, 17-14.
After a Miller 44 yard TD run to extend OSU’s lead, UW’s Jared Abbrederis had two TD receptions to regain the lead for the Badgers, 29-26 with 1:18 remaining. Not a problem; Braxton and Devin then made this happen to get the win.
Quick notes from week two of Ohio State’s pre-season practices. Obvious soundtrack is obvious