Are You Not Entertained? Indiana

Written October 16th, 2012 by Eric

WVaBuckeye

Corey Brown had a decent day, but didn't contribute heavily to the freak show.

Stay on the Gas. Part Two. Well, it wasn’t the 100 point game. The offense did their best to keep their end of the bargain up, but the defense decided to sleep on the job.

Young Guns. Part ?. We saw quite a few young guns in the defense, which may have hurt us more than it helped. The offensive side of the ball, however, saw very few young guns doing anything productive – beyond Rod Smith’s 6 carries for 40 yards anyway.

Freak Show Coming together. Just About. We got a blocked punt for a TD thanks to Travis Howard. Rod Smith also did a fair job on the kick-off returns. Balance that with a blocked punt for Indiana and a missed field goal.

End the Misconception.  Well, we did not manage to end any misconceptions, when we needed just about every point we scored to claim the win in the end. We’ll have to step on someone’s throat in a different game.

Westy

Start strong on O, Stay strong on O. The Buckeyes scored the first 10 points, including a touchdown on their first drive. Unfortunately they went into a lull for 10 minutes at the end of the first quarter and beginning of the second before scoring another pair of TDs. There’s still a little on-and-off, hot-and-cold to this offense, though it seems to be improving.

Passing yard practice. We threw a bit more, but only completed 13 of 24 passes. Two of those are special thanks to Devin Smith, who should have had 4 receiving touchdowns on the day. Think of what you could have done by yourself Devin…just think. More practice is clearly called for.

Bring your kids to work day. I couldn’t actually tell you how many of the youngsters on the D-Line made it into the game. Someone else will have to save me on this one.

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After Further Review, Ohio State Holds Off Indiana 52-49

Written October 14th, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

Nate Williams is out, and Zach Boren has been moved to linebacker. And that’s just what we knew about heading into the game; a matchup that Ohio State dominated until mental lapses and a “never say die” Hoosier team made the contest too close for comfort late.

Since Eric is at a wedding and Tim’s got work, you’re stuck with me for the recap.  Buckle up.

First Quarter

Guapo Being Guapo

Braxton was able to get enough of the passing game going over the middle of the field to keep the Hoosiers honest, and found Jake Stoneburner for an early first down catch on a close call.  A pass interference call kept the Ohio State drive alive, and Braxton made a good read on an option pitch to Corey Brown for the first Buckeye score. After a three and out by IU, the Buckeyes took over again and began to feed Carlos Hyde. After one first down, though, the Buckeyes were forced to punt, and IU began on their own seven yard line.  The Hoosiers continued to have the dropsies, and IU punted back to Ohio State. Rod Smith reported for duty for Ohio State on their third drive. After a couple of nice runs, Devin Smith dropped a sure touchdown forcing Braxton to scramble on third down to pick up the long first. A couple of times during the first quarter, Ohio State showed a new wrinkle of a “touch pass”- they were unsuccessful in converting, though, and Drew Basil added his third field goal of the season.

Indiana got their first first down of the game, and began to move up tempo. Indiana ran an off-tackle play to Stephen Houston who ran 53 yards for the score, and the Hoosiers drew within three. Heuerman dropped the first down pass attempt, and Indiana was able to feather the option attempt and stop Braxton from any gain. A false start put OSU at third and 15; Braxton was only able to pick up five yards and the Buckeyes punted… and it was blocked by Indiana. The Hoosiers started at their own 17, and gained two yards prior to the end of the quarter. Read More

Are You Not Entertained? UAB

Written September 25th, 2012 by Eric

Westy

Hall is the first running back to hit the century mark for the Bucks this season.

Offensive Consistency. At times, this offense seemed unstoppable. Other times, they seem miserably poor. Does “Consistent Inconsistency” count?

Receivers that can catch. Not for the most part, no. Plenty of drives were killed by dropped passes. While they hauled in 60% of Miller’s passes, it still took them the better part of a half to focus on the game.

More ground production from halfbacks. Hall picked up the first 100 yard game for the running backs this season, and Rod Smith picked up a healthy 24 yards on 6 carries.

A Defense that tackles. It was an improvement, surprisingly. But, it is still not where it should be.

Linebackers that live up to their legacy. Someday perhaps. Saturday was a tad early to ask for it.

Gary

Consistency. Consistently Inconsistent – tattoo it on this team’s forehead, because it is the perfect descriptor for them.

Less Wounded Ducks. Didn’t see too many, but did see a few poor throws still. The footwork is not quite where it should be – particularly when he gets excited.

Secondary Still. It was an improvement in terms of long plays, but the coverage is not where it should be. 10 yards off the receiver is pathetic pass coverage.

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What Do You Want To See On Saturday? UAB Edition

Written September 21st, 2012 by Eric

Westy

Devin Smith asks you to kindly pay attention to his catching this time.

Offensive Consistency.At times this season, and especially last Saturday against Cal, our offense has looked spectacular and unstoppable. At other times it looks as though they’re impersonating themselves from last year. I want to see the offense have more consistency in their production, few or no three and outs.

Receivers that can catch. This goes along with the offensive consistency. The Receivers need to make catches. Sometimes Miller throws the ball too fast or more rarely just in an awful spot… but too many times a good throw has been ruined by the receiver dropping it.

More ground production from halfbacks. Hall had a solid return with 80 or so yards, but never looked particularly flashy. Hardly anyone else even touched the ball. It was nice to see Miller cut back on his carries and give us hope he won’t be injured from pushing himself on the ground, but someone needs to fill those yards he leaves.

A Defense that tackles. I think I’m going to call the defensive seniors from my undefeated-playoff bound home school Northwood Rangers to see if they can teach our defense how to tackle. It’s the most basic of basic fundamental skills, and we seem to have totally forgotten how to do it. Ryan Shazier is the poster boy for it. He seems more keen on going for the highlight reel smashing hit, than just wrapping up and making sure the guy is down.

Linebackers that live up to their legacy. Boy what I would give to have the likes of AJ Hawk, Bobby Carpenter, Andy Katzenmoyer, or James Laurinaitis back for a few games. These line backers have so much talent and so much potential, but just have no lived up to it thus far. The aforementioned Shazier shows tons of promise, but just needs to tackle!!!!

Gary

Consistency. I have yet to see any consistency with this team. They do pull together to get the W but I would love 4 consistent quarters.

Less Wounded Ducks. Braxton has wowed us with his legs. He has hit some timely passes but he needs to cut down on the missed passes and hit the open receivers in stride.

Secondary Still. I’m not giving up on this. There is talent with those D-Backs, now just to show up on game day.
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Will Ohio State Overlook Alabama Birmingham?

Written September 20th, 2012 by Tim Shoemaker

Trust Ackbar

In a week like this, I would usually write something like, “beware of the trap game.”

With a date with Michigan State in East Lansing looming next week, it would be easy to declare Ohio State’s game this weekend against UAB a trap game. The Spartans are a superior team and it will be the first Big Ten game under head coach Urban Meyer.

UAB is not a trap game, though. Breathe easy, Buckeye fans.

The Blazers will come into Ohio Stadium on Saturday and bring a 0-2 record with them, including a 49-6 loss last week to South Carolina. UAB also lost its opening game to Troy, 39-29 at home.

Maybe an opponent like UAB is exactly what the Buckeyes (3-0) need right now.

After blowing out Miami in its opener, Ohio State has struggled a bit in its last two games. The Buckeyes looked less than impressive in their 31-16 win against UCF and were on the ropes late last week against Cal. Braxton Miller found Devin Smith for a 72-yard touchdown to save the day for Ohio State, though, helping the Buckeyes to a 35-28 victory.

This is the type of game that Ohio State needs to work on improving. Last week, the defense did not look like we hoped it would. There were missed tackles all over the field that led to several big plays for the California offense.

Meyer is not satisfied with his team either. He knows exactly how big next week’s game is against the Spartans and he is going to want to issue a statement with the game against UAB.

Michigan State will be trying to make a statement too. The Spartans suffered a loss last week at the hands of Notre Dame and will be taking out all of that frustration on poor Eastern Michigan.

I’m usually cautious around games like the one Ohio State has with UAB. But, UAB isn’t exactly a threatening team. But more importantly, Urban Meyer is the head coach of the Buckeyes and he won’t let his team look ahead to Michigan State.

I am a strong believer in those so-called trap games. But this, my friends, is not one of them. Buckeyes roll.

Silver Bullet Points Braces For Impact

Written September 19th, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

Win/Win Scenario?

Yup, it’s that week again- we find ourselves looking to the skies and hoping for an astronomical event to head toward… let’s see… this year the game is in South Bend, so that will do just fine. Just think, if Notre Dame’s previous coach was still on the sidelines, there just might be enough gravitational pull between the two head men to facilitate this.

Buckeye 411

  • Injury Update- Not much new on this front this week: We know that Carlos Hyde won’t be participating this Saturday, and there’s been no update on John Simon’s shoulder. That’s not totally true: the best thing to come out of Coach Meyer’s Monday press conference was commentary that Simon’s shoulder was a long way from his heart… meaning that he could work though the pain. Meyer then went on to comment that Michael Bennett was still injured, and that “He’s got to play some time. So I don’t know how far that groin is away from the heart.” If you needed proof that Urban Meyer understands the Ohio State legacy- his paraphrase of Woody Hayes’ famous quote regarding what his ’74 class should use to think with should seal the deal.
  • Bombs Away- One thing that Coach Meyer is concerned with against the Blazers of UAB is the deep ball. Several times over the past week, he’s talked about the strength of quarterback Jonathan Perry’s arm. This has to be a point of emphasis for the Buckeye secondary, who have given up their share of big passing plays during the first two games of the season thus far.
  • Good Hands, People- When the season started, Ohio State was looking for “playmakers”, and it seems that they’ve found a few. Corey Brown has shown flashes as a dependable “pivot” player in the new offense, and receiver Devin Smith continues to shine as a reliable option for the big play.  Wonder how long it is until he earns Cris Carter’s moniker of “only catching touchdowns”.
  • Bloody Tuesday- From what we’re hearing, Tuesday’s emphasis for the defense was… you guessed it… “Tackling”. And not just on the field, but in the weight room and film room as well.  In talking with a couple of folks, and in looking at the game again, the “chicken and egg” argument of “was it poor scheme or poor execution?” on Saturday is answered by “Yes”, although there are a number of clearly missed assignments on the big touchdowns that made everyone’s nightmare list Saturday afternoon. So, in at least the big play categories, it seems to be execution that was at issue.
  • On To The Next One- If you’re not following Samuel Silverman on twitter, you’re missing out on great Ohio State graphics- like this one: Read More

Are You Not Entertained? California Edition

Written September 17th, 2012 by Eric

Jeff

Defensive Pressure you say? Bradley Roby hungry!

Pass the ball!There was definitely some passing, though perhaps not quite as on-target as we may have hoped. 16-30 for 249 yards and 4 touchdowns (with a pick) is certainly nothing to sneeze at.

Run it up. Not as much of a “cakewalk” as you expected, was it? We did pick up more than Cal’s defense was averaging, but only by 4 points.

Bri’onte scoring again. Mr. Dunn did not even touch the ball on Saturday – except on a 22 yard kick return – let alone house it.

Joe L.

Pass rush. Definitely a significant improvement here! The pass rush was much more aggressive than we’ve seen in previous games, and led to more than a few sacks.

Braxton getting less than 15 carries. This is a case of “careful what you wish for”. Braxton got less than 15 carries, but it seemed terribly contrived, and may have caused him to hesitate a bit longer than he should have a couple times.

Secondary issues gone. I think this one speaks for itself. I’ll spare you the hideous laughter…this time.

Down field passing. Ignoring the types of routes, we definitely saw some downfield passing. We even saw a couple completions – one big one to Smith for 72 yards, another to Stoneburner for 40, and one to Philly Brown for 21.

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Shots From the Shoe – Cal

Written September 17th, 2012 by WVaBuckeye

The life of an Ohio Stadium Usher can be interesting to say the least, especially for someone like me who lives two hours away. Due to being a high school football official and working all over the state, I can get home pretty late on Fridays,  only to get up at 5:30am to head to the Shoe. This wasn’t the case this past weekend as I had a very close to home game at my alma mater and was in bed and asleep by 11:30!

I had my reservations about the game but not the day as me, my daughter Kristiana and those with me were going to try to get to the Driven tent on Lane Avenue and meet the man that provides me with daily inspiration. Roy Hall is doing some amazing things with the foundation that he has built with former Buckeye walk-on then starter Antonio Smith. Please click the link to their foundation on our homepage and see what you can do to help.

One of my favorite moments as a Buckeye fan

Roy and former Buckeye Maurice Clarett have forged a friendship that is paying huge dividends for the foundation and for their lives. Maurice was in town shooting the ESPN special 30 in 30 and has been hanging out at the tent and signing autographs with Roy. I could not pass up the chance to meet them both on Saturday and it turned into one of my favorite moments in meeting former Buckeyes. Both were gracious in meeting me and it’s clear that their faith is what carries them now. It was a great time for me meeting them face to face and I am sure to never forget it. There are some great things on the horizon that I am involved in helping Driven and I hope you’ll join me!

Spent a good portion of Saturday’s pregame hanging out with my middle child Kristiana, giver her a follow plz.  She is a huge Ohio State fan and is currently working her bottom off to get to Columbus and go to school. She and I have always had a great sports relationship as she has always been very athletic. She plays basketball and runs track in club sports at her current school of WVU-Parkersburg and need to stay active as I believe it’s what has kept her healthy over the years. If you don’t know me well then you don’t know that she has Cystic Fibrosis and has been amazingly well. God has taken wonderful care of her. That and my son’s conviction has contributed to my faith greatly over the years. Read More