What Do You Want To See On Saturday?: Spring Game 2013

Written April 12th, 2013 by MaliBuckeye

A bit of a different version of WDYWTSOS, since we all want to see the same thing- Awesomeness and no injuries.

So, we’ve polled our staff of experts for their predictions on the following aspects for “Getting Down At Paul Brown”- let’s see how much everyone’s been paying attention to the Spring Practice Updates:

Bombs Away

What player scores the first points of the game?

WVa: Braxton Miller will score first and it will be on a long run. 

Ken: Devin Smith on a long pass play from The Brax

Jason: Rod Smith. My bet is they limit Hyde and with Brax wearing the black shirt his running is cut out.

Janelle: Devin Smith on a deep ball from Braxton

Eric: Might as well ask what your favorite color of M&M is based on the taste.  I’ll go with Michael Thomas on a nice Brax pass.

Dexter: I’m going to go with Evan Spencer on a Bomb downfield from Braxton Miller. That is my favorite color M&M.

Charles: To be a bit different, I’ll go with Drew Basil

Mali: The obvious answer is Drew Basil.

Who’s the offensive MVP? Read More

Buckeyes Less Than Impressive in 29-15 Win Against UAB

Written September 22nd, 2012 by Tim Shoemaker

Ohio State’s defense has serious problems.

The Buckeyes got off to another slow start against an inferior opponent, but Buckeyes’ quarterback Braxton Miller ignited the offense in the second quarter as OSU narrowly defeated UAB 29-15.

Despite falling behind 9-0 in the first quarter, Miller rallied the Buckeyes’ offense with a couple of electric runs, leading to three Buckeye touchdowns scored in a 5:29 span in the second quarter. Ohio State led 21-12 at halftime.

Like the game against Miami, the first quarter was ugly for the Buckeyes. Ben Buchanan’s punt was blocked by about seven UAB defenders and was picked up by Nick Adams for a touchdown to give the Blazers an early 6-0 lead.

Then, trailing 9-0, Miller led the Buckeyes on a 10 play drive in 4:23 which saw Rod Smith find the end zone. It was good to see Smith get a touchdown. He’s a running back that has a lot of talent, but has had problems in his career with ball security.

Miller was the leader on offense for the Buckeyes. He completed 12 of his 20 pass attempts for 123 yards. Miller also carried the ball 11 times for 64 yards and two touchdowns. Jordan Hall chipped in 105 yards rushing on 17 carries.

Despite the win, the story of the game was the inability of the OSU defense to make any sort of plays against a bad UAB team. According to head coach Urban Meyer, missed tackles were a point of emphasis in practice this week, but I honestly couldn’t tell from watching the game. It seemed like UAB players were breaking tackles left and right. Next week against Michigan State, this needs to be cleaned up or OSU is in trouble.

Four players really stood out to me on defense–three of which play of the defensive line. Jonathan Hankins is my defensive player of the game as he recorded nine tackles and blew a bunch of plays up in the backfield. Nathan Williams finally got to start a football game and he was flying all over the field. He had a few missed tackles (but who didn’t), but overall I felt he played a very solid game for the Buckeyes. And John Simon didn’t have a huge statistical impact on the game, but his constant pressure on UAB quarterbacks Austin Brown and Jonathan Perry was felt.

Doran Grant also earned the start at corner for the injured Bradley Roby. His stat line: 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery, 1 interception and 1 sack. Not too bad for the first start of his career.

The Buckeyes still have a lot of work to do. The defense needs serious work and the offense needs to become much more consistent.

But, at the end of the day, the Buckeyes improved to 4-0 and will travel to East Lansing next week for a date with Michigan State.

If the Buckeyes don’t improve in practice this week, though, they could be in for a long afternoon.

 

Silver Bullet Points From Ohio State Spring Practice

Written April 1st, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

Moving Forward

Before Buckeye Nation turned it’s eyes to shootyhoops on Saturday, the 2012 football team took to the field for it’s first full-pad practice of the spring. Here’s some of the things we’ve learned after three days under Coach Meyer:

  • Saturday was a chance for the media to meet with the linebackers, and you can find some great footage from Sabino and Shazier after the jump. Coach Meyer has been pretty vocal about Grant needing to fulfill a major role in the defense moving forward, and with Klein dinged up, it’s definitely been his time to shine. Today, in pads, it sounds as if the lights are coming on- some big hits, involved all over the field, and even a pick at one point. For Ohio State to use it’s speed on the outside (Shazier/Sabino), they’ve got to have a runstopper at Mike; Grant looks to be ready to fill that role.
  • Still a lot of questions about the receivers; is there a “playmaker” in this group? While that question is being sorted out, though, it’s great to hear that TY Williams has gotten past his problem with the drops and is catching everything that comes his way. With his size, he could definitely be a great weapon in the passing game. Read More

Silver Bullets Reloaded: Defensive Backs

Written August 25th, 2011 by Jim

Orhian Johnson is the lone returning starter in the secondary.

 

After losing three starters from last season, one would think the secondary would be in rebuilding mode at camp. Like the rest of the defense, that has not been the case at all. The starters (with one small exception) have been set from day one.

Continuity in the secondary is important, and the Buckeyes have had plenty of it so far. Outside of the offensive line, communication and coordination is more important in the secondary than anywhere else on the football field, and having the same players together helps out tremendously.

I have been very impressed by the secondary during practice. Despite three new starters, they all play (and most importantly communicate) like seasoned veterans.

Bold prediction time: despite the attrition, the 2011 defensive backs will be better than a year ago.

Here is a player by player breakdown of the two-deep. Read More

 

It's coming soon.

It has been a long and arduous off season for Buckeye Nation.

The anticipation and anxiety surrounding the August 12th NCAA hearings alone are enough to put someone on edge. How severely will the NCAA ultimately punish Ohio State for its transgressions?

We can only speculate and hope for the best.

Next up was the resignation of all-time great Jim Tressel and the resulting uncertainty surrounding Ohio State’s next head coach. Luke Fickell is a great defensive coach and an even better Buckeye, but will he be the long term answer to Ohio State’s head coaching vacancy?

We can only speculate and hope for the best.

Finally, what initially looked like a 2012 recruiting class for the ages is quickly turning into another source of concern for fans. As I have mentioned previously, it is still much, much too early to give up on the class, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be a source of stress for the next several months. Will Luke Fickell (or the next head coach) be able to salvage the 2012 recruiting class before signing day?

We can only speculate and hope for the best.

Clearly there will be plenty of uncertainty and things to worry about in the coming months. If you are like me, however, you are already so sick and tired of worry and speculation that you have entered a state of comatose. Obviously, being in a state of comatose isn’t very much fun, so I have decided to switch my coping mechanism.

While this off-season has dragged on to the point that it seems like it will never end, the light at the end of the tunnel is coming into view and the season is fast approaching.

Rather than worry about things outside of our collective control, it’s time to refocus our energies on getting excited about the football season that kicks off in 65 days.

Here is a list of some things that I am most excited about for this season and beyond. Read More

Silver Bullet Points is a Son of a Gun

Written June 19th, 2011 by MaliBuckeye
The gift that keeps on giving

Happy “Dad’s Day”, to all the fathers (intentional and accidental), grandfathers, and father figures out there…

Buckeyes

  • Future Buckeyes cleaned house at yesterday’s Big-33 game, won 50-14 by Ohio’s all stars over their compatriots from Pennsylvania.  Standouts were Doran Grant, with a 101 yard pick six, Devin Smith with 3 catches for over a hundred yards and 2 TDs, and Cardale Jones’ stellar day at QB.
  • The star for Ohio was Akise Teague, future Bearcat, who won MVP awards. I think that we’ll be hearing a lot more from Mr. Teague in the future… you can count me among the ones disappointed he didn’t get a Buckeye offer.
  • At the Big 33, Ejuan Price confirmed that he had received his release from Ohio State, and was more than likely headed to Pitt. In spite of speculation that his decision was based on the current “scandal” in Columbus, his comments point to something many of us had thought all along-

“It had nothing to do with the allegations. I know what kind of people they are. Everybody makes mistakes, but that’s just not where my heart is. I don’t think that’s where I wanted to go in the first place. They’re still good people whether all of that stuff happened or not. Coach Tressel is still a good guy. They’re still all right with me.”

If anything, the linebacker from Richmond, Va., said, the troubles have served as motivation for not only him but also two of his fellow freshmen, defensive back Doran Grant and quarterback Braxton Miller.

“I talk to Doran all the time, and to Braxton, and our attitude is, ‘Let’s go in and do it, man. Let’s be a big three and go in there and help make it happen,’” Curtis Grant (no relation to Doran) said before arriving on campus this weekend. “I told Braxton he’s got to lead that offense, and that I am going to do my best to come in and try to get a starting spot, and try to lead the defense the best way I can.

Read More

Spring Game Primer

Written April 11th, 2011 by Jim

Excited for football yet?

With spring practice well underway and the spring game quickly approaching, it is time to move from “way too early looks” at each position into some more informed analysis based on practice reports.

[Note: I apologize for not getting to the defensive backs in my “way too early looks”.]

This offseason has been a tumultuous one to say the least. The tattoo revelations leading up to the Sugar Bowl and the resulting suspensions guaranteed a shadow over the off season. The additional news concerning Jim Tressel didn’t exactly make that shadow go away.

Fortunately, time heals all wounds, and cracking pads on the field helps to speed up that process- at least for me. After some time off from writing following the Tressel news conference (which is part of the reason why I didn’t get to the DBs), my enthusiasm for football is back in full swing.

So what follows will not only be a look at the DBs for the first time, but also a review of all of the position groups with some updated thoughts based on news from practice. I apologize ahead of time if this ends up being lengthy.

My rebuttal: FOOTBALL!

My attitude this offseason has always been that no matter what happens, when the Buckeyes take care of business on the field everything else will fade into the background.

Redemption through wins.

Off field BS be damned.

Here is a look at how each position is looking heading into the spring game.

Read More

Doran Grant is a Buckeye!!

Written January 5th, 2011 by Jim

Doran Grant

After an extended wait, Ohio cornerback Doran Grant has announced his decision to attend The Ohio State University at the Under Armour All-American game.

Grant is arguably a top three player in Ohio regardless of position and one of the top defensive backs in the midwest, if not the entire country.

It goes without saying that Grant is a great addition to the 2011 class. On top of being a great player and a great addition for the Buckeyes, with the graduation of starting CBs Chimdi Chekwa and Devon Torrence, Grant has a very real opportunity to make an immediate impact in 2011 (think Christian Bryant this season, minus the season derailing injury).

Some people may consider Grant a bit undersized, but his combination of freakish athleticism (40 inch vertical) and physical style of play makes size a non-factor. He is a play maker, end of discussion.

Beyond the fact that Grant is a top national prospect, the ability of Ohio State lock up another great player from their own back yard makes this commitment all the more sweeter.

Due to family connections, the tale of Grant’s recruitment has largely been a two way battle between Ohio State and Michigan State. The Spartans have been a heavy contender from the start due to Doran’s father, Ted Jones, playing in East Lansing in the early 80′s and subsequently bleeding green and white.

Despite this family connection, most Ohio State insiders have felt Grant would be a Buckeye throughout the process, and luckily enough for Buckeye Nation they were correct.

Landing a top national prospect with the ability to contribute immediately in 2011 is a great way to follow up an outstanding bowl victory yesterday. Yes, the Sugar Bowl victory just got a little bit sweeter.

Highlights after the jump. Read More

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