The #3 Ohio State Buckeyes (11-0, 7-0) head north for their home-away-from-home game against the TTUN Gulo gulo’s ¹ (7-4, 3-4). The Buckeyes look to continue their habit of winning, 23 in a row (impressive, no?) while the Whatevers look to regain respectability (hahaha). This will be the 110th time The Game will be contested, so we’ve been doing this for a while. Playing football, not blogging.. Since the beginning of this century (2001) Ohio State holds a 10-2 edge. Now for this year’s edition:
¹ Gulo is Latin for ‘glutton’. Surprised?
Ohio State on Offense
Ohio State brings the top scoring team in the conference (48.7 ppg and 531 ypg), which is 12 points and 100 yards per game better than last year’s undefeated team. The tempo is a bit higher, running 75 plays per game this year, compared to 70 last year.
This offensive touchstone for this season was accomplished last week with Carlos Hyde achieving the 1,000 yard mark. As you’re aware, this was Coach Meyer’s first 1,000 yard rusher and validation for Hyde for his patience and dedication. And a testament to the OSU offensive line.
In contrast, TTUN brings a so-so defense to The Game, (25 ppg, 353 ypg), ranking a meh 7th and 5th in the Conference, respectively. TTUN gives up 116 YPG rushing but with Ohio State averaging 315 YPG rushing, that wall will be breached by halftime. With OSU averaging 216 YPG and TTUN allowing 237 YPG, average performance by both units will work out well for the Buckeyes.
Ohio State on Defense Read More
Against our better judgement, we invited Yost from MZone back to our clubhouse for a little give and take. We also provided a translator so he could understand the big words we asked him, and still can’t figure out how he managed to write to us in crayon and nail polish in an email.
Thanks for having me on this week to talk about The Game – although I was cursing you with the intensity of a thousand suns as I stayed up until the wee hours finishing this after being doped up on turkey and eating whatever-the-hell the ass-awful side dish was that my Aunt Karen made for Thanksgiving (don’t worry, it’s cool: I don’t think she reads The BBC or really gets the Internet. Hopefully, if she is online, she’s on a f*cking cooking site).
Anyway, due to the late hour and my above-mentioned turkey coma, please excuse any typos or general “what the hell is he talking about?” stuff.
Here we go:
Topic Du Jour- Expansion. If you had five minutes with Jim Delany what would you tell him about the additions of Maryland and Rutgers? Any thoughts on future additions to the conference?
If I had 5 minutes, I’d probably spend the first four smacking the crap out of him. For Delany and the others involved (I’m looking at you, Dave Brandon and Gene Smith) to say this has anything to do with academics, or that Maryland and Rutgers are a good “football fit,” is shameful. This is about adding BTN to the basic cable package in the major markets of Baltimore/D.C. and New York. Period. It’s a horrendous, stupid, asinine, dumb, idiotic, whore-ish, awful, terrible, dreadful, atrocious, abominable move by Delany and the conference.
And to announce this during the week of The Game is mind boggling. Bo and Woody must be rolling over in their graves. I wish they were still around and had 5 minutes with Delany. This would never have happened on their watch.
As for future additions, after the clusterf*ck this week, it really doesn’t matter. Because it has nothing to do with football anymore. Hell, if Delany thought cable systems in England and France would add the BTN, he’d consider colleges in London and Paris then worry about teaching them American football. Yes, I do believe what he did this week was that crass.
But other than those minor qualms, I think it was an absolutely awesome move.
Continuing that theme: It’s been speculated that the recent moves would also mean a recalibration of the divisions. Any preferences there? What if a divisional shift meant moving The Game away from the last Saturday in November… thoughts?
If you want The Game to continue to be The Game, you have to have M*chigan and Ohio State in the same division and it must always be the last Saturday in November. Must, must, must. The mere chance that, due to being in different divisions, Michigan and Ohio State could play twice a season should appall both our fan bases as it dilutes the rivalry.
During the last realignment, our AD, Dave Brandon said that if M*chigan vs Ohio State once a year was great, twice would be even better.
He’s out of his mind.
There should never, ever be a chance for a mulligan when M*chigan and Ohio State play. You either win and celebrate for a year, or lose and have to wait a year for your shot at redemption. That is what makes The Game…The Game! It’s not The GameS, fergodssake! You think The Ten Year War would have been the same if it was just the The Ten Year Warm-Up Act or The Ten Year Practice Run? Read More
Midweek look at news and notes from around Ohio State and the nation… getting ready for what’s been predicted to be a very wet weekend.
So here’s the thing.
The story of the day yesterday was the first episode of All Access, a behind the scenes look at the Buckeye program under the new regime.
But… in a moment of weakness, I DVR’d it And watched it.
And loved ever second.
How can you hate quotes like “Abso-smurfly”, “Bozo the freakin’ clown”, “I’m glad you’re a Buckeye, bro…”, “I like coaching you…” and other admonitions to play “hungry” and “angry”.
And the precision of the offensive staff’s work, the pride that Coach Mariotti puts into his time with the team, and the focus and plan that Coach Meyer is instilling into the team… it’s a really good piece. If you missed it and don’t mind the spoilers, the gang at LGHL have a really good review with picture pages and everything.
I’d be really excited about this, to be honest, if all things were equal. Given the bad PR that my favorite program received over the past few years for numerous self inflicted wounds, it’s great to get excited about OSU football again- and to see a national response (including Southern Cal and Clemson recruits commenting on it) that was pretty positive.
But, I’ll be honest- It’s still hard for me to not be wary about this series. You kick a dog and reach to pet him, he’ll wince and cower even if he lets you stroke his head again. Given what we know about ESPN’s agenda (Entertainment Sports Programming Network), it safe to see that they are interested in a narrative of redemption up until the point that they bang the drums marking a fall from grace.
Just watch the history- 2002 upset their narrative, and then the 2003 Clarett story was a bottom. The 2006 season’s coverage was the apex of good vibes, and then this past year seems to be yet another trough in their coverage- again, a story that Ohio State wrote for itself, but one that got presented over and over and over again on the largest stage while others were way way off Broadway in Coral Gables and Columbia and Chapel Hill.
So- we’ll watch (yup) and see. And, if nothing else, this will give us the chance to celebrate the splendor and power of an Ohio State team on a very particular mission.
Buckle Buckeye up.
For our last blogger chat of the season, we approached several writers for TTUN to see if they could manage to actually string a few one syllable words together… but unfortunately, most of them were in jail. Then we remembered that the great MZone had re-opened their shop, and were happily cranking out photoshop coping mechanisms. We emailed Yost about joining us, and once he’d sobered up he sent us what you see below. Be sure to follow their stuff on twitter, and also on an upcoming edition of “COPS”.
Do you ever feel dirty rooting for the Maize and Blue? Do you ever get one of those shudders like pure evil has settled into your soul?
Never dirty, just horribly dazed watching what passed for our beloved Wolverines the last three years. And if you’ve been following the Maize and Blue this season, as you know, the only evil emanating out of A2 is of the Pop Evil variety. While, as the world knows, the evil that spews forth from Columbus is more of a Mordor strain.
What’s your favorite memory of The Game? On the other end of the spectrum, what play or game gives you nightmares?
Near the top of the “good” list are ’95 and ’96 when Michigan wasn’t given a chance and Ohio State was undefeated and, I believe, #2 in the country both times. Of the two, I think I enjoyed ’96 a tad more just because it was in Columbus. That was the 13-9 Michigan win that swung U-M’s way when Shawn Springs slipped and fell allowing Tai Streets to score on a 69 yard slant. OSU had been up 9-0 at halftime and you could almost hear the dread as it settled over the stadium. My god, I’m getting weepy just thinking about it again. But I digress.
Actually, at the top of my fave list has to be ’97 when #1 Michigan faced off against #4 OSU with everything on the line. The Game initially looked to be a Wolverine rout with Charles Woodson returning a punt for a TD (you seen that replay once or twice, right?). But when OSU cut U-M’s 20-0 lead to 20-14, you could hear a car key jingle pin drop in The Big House. Thankfully, Michigan held on and then won the Rose Bowl to claim a National Championship.
It was the stakes of ’97 and what a victory meant that made it so meaningful and memorable. Conversely, that’s precisely why 2006 still gives me nightmares. For the first time in history, Michigan and Ohio State were #1 and #2 at the time of The Game. OSU had the big lead at halftime but Michigan fought back. With 6:49 left, Michigan had cut the lead to 35-31. OSU had the ball on the Michigan 38 yard line, 3rd and 15. Troy Smith rolled out and threw an incomplete pass. Michigan was gonna get the ball back with a chance to drive down for the winning score. But… Read More