When the Buckeyes take to the field in week 3, they’ll do it against a familiar state of Ohio foe in the Kent State Golden Flashes. It will mark the first time since ’02 that the Buckeyes and Flashes have battled. Ohio State trounced Josh Cribbs and the Flashes that day 51-17 despite giving up over a 100 yards on the ground that day to Cribbs. Ohio State hasn’t lost to an instate opponent since 1921 when the mighty Yoemen of Oberlin College defeated OSU.
The Buckeyes will be coming off of a night battle versus Virginia Tech whereas the Golden Flashes will make their first trip on the road in 2014 after home games versus Ohio and the South Alabama Jaguars.
This will also mark the return of Paul Haynes back to Ohio Stadium. Paul Haynes led Kent State to a disappointing 4-8 record in his first season as head coach in 2013, but he’s hoping to get his alma mater back on track starting in 2014.
The Golden Flashes will be without their do everything running back Dri Archer, who’s moved on to the NFL. The offense will only work under four conditions: one, the running game rediscovers the big play; two, the running game succeeds on first down; three, the line continues to excel in protection; and four, the passing game finds success on non-traditional downs. Becoming a touch more untraditional will help this offense move the football even as it undergoes a slight transition in personnel.
One returnee will dictate the tempo, if he gets help on the ground: Colin Reardon (1,957 yards and 12 touchdowns) enters his second season as the Flashes’ quarterback with the potential for noticeable improvement should the offense keep his back away from the wall – meaning Reardon can produce, but only if the opposition can’t key into the passing game. For this offense as a whole, putting Reardon into more manageable situations is of the highest priority; the only way to ensure his production is with a healthy running game.
Reardon’s totals when KSU rushed for 200 yards on the ground: 67-of-107 – 62.6% clip – with five touchdowns against two picks. When the Flashes averaged less than four yards per carry against the FBS, on the other hand: 52-of-89 with one score against three interceptions. Simplified, yes, but an adequate way to gauge how Reardon can succeed when combined with the Flashes’ hot-and-cold running game. And when he’s on – and put into good down and distances – Reardon can absolutely find holes in the secondary both in the pocket and out, giving this offense a solid foundation at the position. Having said that, let’s not forget: KSU has a really nice redshirt freshman in Nathan Strock, who showed during the spring that he’s ready to take on a role should Reardon not build on his rookie season.
Reardon has identified his favorite targets in the passing game. One is senior Chris Humphrey (51 receptions for 613 yards), the sophomore’s go-to option on first and second down. The second is tight end Casey Pierce (33 for 364), the Flashes’ best weapon in the red zone. The offense also returns junior Josh Boyle (19 for 210) and sophomores William Woods and Ernest Calhoun while breaking into the mix a quintet of second-year players with the athleticism to change the dynamics of the passing game. Kent State has surrounded Reardon with a nice array of choices. Read More
The 9th ranked Buckeyes return to the mat Thursday night as they travel to NE Ohio to take on the Golden Flashes. This will be the first time back on the mat since the Bucks were destroyed by Penn State on Sunday.
The Buckeyes enter the match at 4-1 (0-1 B1G) and the Golden Flashes come in at 5-3 (2-0 MAC). The Buckeyes lead the overall series versus Kent State, 13-6, including the last four in a row.
Ohio State (4-1; 0-1 B1G)
Kent State (5-3; 2-0 MAC) Read More
In today’s episode of the tBBC’s Countdown to Kickoff series, we come to #68; the September 7th, 2002 win over Kent State, 51-17.
Ohio State opened up a 38-14 halftime lead, then cruised from there. The 5 1st half TD’s comprised of 1 receiving (Clarett), 2 rushing (Clarett, Hall) and 2 inerception returns (Doss, Hawk).
Welcome to another Monday Musings episode, I’m glad that you stopped in. Grab your beverage of choice and let’s get to this.
A Bit of Context
This past Saturday marked the 43rd anniversary of one of the more horrific events in war/policy protest, free speech exercises, 1st Amendment type of stuff. May 4th 1970 was a sobering, tragic day at Kent State University; the day of the Kent State Shootings when 4 students were killed and nine injured. May 1970 was spring of my freshman year at Muskingum, which is just less than two hours south of KSU.
The period of late 60’s/early 70’s was a turbulent period; really the first that I can remember of an “us vs. them” mentality. Somehow the fact that we were all Americans escaped a lot of people. As a nation, we’ve seen much worse, and managed to work our way through it. There is currently divisiveness in various political/social topics. Frankly, the “us vs. them” mindset is a false dichotomy. My father had a saying that’s appropriate here; “folks are the same as people”. Indeed. So my advice is to relax, we’ll get through this.
Getting ready for the next phase of college fandom, that wonderful world filled with gifts of college hoops and bowl catastophies. As such, here’s the soundtrack for this week’s look back.
Robert Frost once said, “Nothing Gold can stay”; and so, another leaf turns and this college football season comes to a close. Before we jump into Championship Weekend, let me take a second to say “Thank You” to a great Ohio State blog and BBN member who hung up their keyboards this week- Dave and Drew, Godspeed on the next adventure.
Well, the crapocalypse is surely upon us- we’ve now got the choice to pull for Notre Dame or for Alabama in the Mythical National Title game come January; although I’m still holding out hope that the Mayans were right.
Alabama punched their ticket to yet another dance via a dominant second half performance against a very game Georgia team. Throughout the first half and into the third quarter, it looked as if the Bulldogs had figured out a way to neutralize the Bama defense, a blocked field goal returned for a touchdown only extended the sense of dread that Alabama fans must have been feeling throughout the sold-out Georgia Dome.
And then Nick Saban remembered that he had a running game. From that moment on, the Crimson Tide’s offensive line and stable of running backs managed to decimate the Georgia defense, churning clock and yardage. After running all over the Black and Red, it only made sense that Alabama’s last score would come on a beautifully executed play action pass- everyone, including the cameramen and your humble correspondent bit on the fake, and McCarron’s ball was perfectly targeted for the score.
Again, kudos to the Georgia team; they refused to give up even under dire circumstances and dwindling clock. They managed to drive to the red zone in a short amount of time, but then made decisions that I’m still trying to figure out.
After passing for the first down on the Alabama 8 yard line, Georgia chose to run a play and not spike the ball for clock stoppage goodness- they had used their last time outs forcing the Tide to punt on the previous series. The process of setting the play up itself cost them a good 5 seconds or so, and then they chose to run the following attempt:
There’s a lot of things that went wrong here- the pass was tipped at the line, and the receiver should have intentionally dropped it (although that’s a hard thing to do, as it goes against years of practice). But the decision to not control the clock a bit better at the end send Nick Saban to Miami to defend his team’s national title, and ended up pushing Georgia to game against the B1G Championship Runner Up (more later). Read More
In spite of the huge win in Happy Valley on Saturday, I’m feeling a bit of the blues are in order for this week’s recap. So, enjoy some Collins, Cray, and Copeland.
It’d be easy to say that this week was “spook-tacular”, and “scary” for a lot of top teams, but that would be way to easy. So, let’s just admit that Saturday once again proved that we’re fans of the greatest sport in the world; because anything can happen once the ball is kicked.
As a promise to a “friend” that’s a Notre Dame fan who I’ve been justifiably ripping for the last ten years, we’re leading off this week with the Irish’s huge win in Norman over the Sooners. Like most of America who pays attention to the sport, I imagined that Oklahoma would stomp a mud hole into Brian Kelley’s team- Stoop’s defense, high powered offense… not exactly playing Air Force here. So, because the Irish emerged victorious, undefeated, and “relevant” enough to bump up to the third ranking spot in the BCS, I tip my journalistic cap to them- particularly their defense, which is playing lights out this season. Although they gave up their first* (non-official assisted) rushing touchdown to Oklahoma, they were able to keep Sooner QB Landry Jones guessing all night long. That’s not to say that we’re not without some controversy, as the “luck of the Irish” continued when Heisman Candidate Manti Te’o intercepted the Sooners late in the game to seal away the victory. Your perspective of the play will depend on your hopes prior to the game- Irish fans were elated, others thought that the initial play was a case of pass interference resulting in a ball that clearly touched the ground. At any rate, complaining about the officiating is better left to other fan bases; the Irish are undefeated, and have overcome all but one of the games that had people pointing to theirs as the toughest schedule in college football. Congrats indeed.
Although… How much of this gets pinned on Bob Stoops? “Big Game Bob”, as we’ve discussed before, has built a reputation on an early BCS championship and his ability to beat his rival. However, given the state of his rival over the past few years, is it really fair to continue to give him a pass for his team’s coming up short in these types of games? The loss to Notre Dame is the second at home this year… although, to be fair, both teams are undefeated currently. So, Sooner fans- enjoy that BCS win over Connecticut a few years back, and hope that things can get turned around in the B12 for your squadron in the near future.
Since we alluded to them, let’s talk Texas, shall we? It took some late game heroics by a McCoy (no, not that one) to keep from being beaten by Kansas. You read that correctly… the Jayhawks and their “Coach by weight” strategy were within seconds of beating the Longhorns and turning the heat even higher up on coach Mack Brown. I’m not one to jump on a dead bandwagon- check out the great “post a picture of our defense” thread on Shaggy Bevo- but I still can’t figure out how the flagship school in one of the most talent rich states in the nation continues to struggle on the field. Granted, it may be the competition in the conference and adjacent conferences, but you’ve got to think they’d be able to be successful whether or not there’s a prodigy at quarterback.
Also in the B12, Kansas State, the new #3 in the BCS continues to roll, playing even with Texas Tech for a half and then making the adjustment necessary to blow out the Raiders in Lubbock. Read More
First, a couple of quick announcements….
-No third video this week. I had to make a choice last night on what to do with my evening. I chose playing board games with my daughter (and my friend Janessa), and decided that two videos was enough for the week.
-I actually got a full night’s sleep last night…first time that’s happened on the night before a game in over a year.
-Yet another team from Michigan choked on the big game. Everyone expected the Tigers to roll over the Cardinals. Instead, they just rolled over. Just like last year’s Pistons. And the Pistons the year before that. And the Wolverines in their Bowl game in 2005. And the Wolverines in their Bowl game in 2004. And the Wolverines in their Bowl game in 2003. And the Wolverines against Ohio State in 2005. And the Wolverines against Ohio State in 2004.
By now, everybody knows what to expect in today’s Homecoming game against Minnesota. The Golden Gophers are NOT a good team, and the Buckeyes should dominate again today. I prefer to take a look deeper into teams, rather just just quote how many yards they average and leave it at that. Here’s a few facts that will leave you smiling before the Bucks take the field.
-Minnesota has three wins on the year. One is against a team ranked in the Bottom 10 (0-8 Temple). One is against a Division 1-AA school (ND State, a one-point victory). One is against Kent State.
-In Big Ten play, Minnesota has allowed 32.75 points per game.
-They are ranked #96 in the NCAA in rush defense (Ball State actually has a better run defense at #94)
-They are tied for #86 in the NCAA against the pass. They are tied with Indiana….the team that allowed Troy Smith to throw for 4 TDs in a half last week.
Our offense, provided JT has prepared them properly (I know, I know) will have no trouble at all. The Buckeyes could tag another 40 on the board if they play well.
The defense will need to buckle down. Minnesota has already played 4 of the top 5 Big Ten teams, and they have averaged over 18 points per game. Today they meet the Big Ten’s best team, and we MUST beat them by more than Michigan did.
If we can beat Minny more impressively than Michigan did, then we will have won the “battle of comparisons” over the Blue in all four games. The Blue didn’t put Iowa away until 4 minutes remained. Penn State had the ball, down by 7 with less than 2 minutes to play. And Michigan State, while the respective scores were clearly in favor of Ohio State, take a look at yardage gained….OSU/MSU, 421-198….Michigan/MSU, 351-312.
Go make it four-for-four, Buckeyes.
Ohio State 42
Three weeks ago, I asked the question “Are we 11-0 already?”. At the time, we were actually 5-0, but were facing a string of 6 consecutive weak opponents.
I took criticism and praise for suggesting this. Around The Oval agreed with me immediately, while personal friends claimed I was tempting fate and daring it to strike back in the form of Michigan State’s 1998 defeat of the then-#1 Bucks.
I’d like to look back at that prognostication and see how I fared so far….
- Bowling Green – The Falcons are 3-2, but two of their wins came against teams ESPN had in their “Bottom 10″. And here’s two facts that will allow you to breathe easy this weeks – BG’s defense allows 30 points per game, and they lost to Kent State by a score of 38-3. This one’s going to be a walk in the park.
We blew out BGSU 35-7 to nobody’s surprise. We actually didn’t beat the 35-point spread, but it didn’t take a rocket scientist to call this game.
- Michigan State – OK, now I was a little bit worried about this game, until I saw them collapse against Notre Dame and then actually lose to Illinois. Now they seem like the bottom-half team they usually are. Wins against Idaho and Eastern Michigan now appear to be their backbone to 6 wins and getting into a bowl, and that doesn’t scare me. Drew Stanton is their biggest weapon, and I’m no longer afraid of QBs named Drew. It’ll be a tough game for about a half, if MSU can play on emotion. After that, if they’re still around, John L. Smith will find a way to lose.
Granted, MSU made it easy to predict against them after the ND and Illinois losses, but the prospect of a road game against a team with the capability to win was slightly scary. I expected to win, but I thought MSU would make a game of it. This one was over by halftime, though.
- Indiana – The only drama about this game is whether or not I’ll be able to find 2 tickets, so I can take my daughter to her first game the day before she turns 8. Whatever the point spread is, take the Buckeyes.
Long story short, I found tickets, took my daughter, and she now believes that Ohio State destroys everybody because that is all she has witnessed in her whole life. Oh, and the point spread was 31, so I hope you took it.
A quick statistical look at the previous three games:
-Ohio State has scored 39 points per game.
-Ohio State has allowed 5.7 points per game.
-Ohio State has allowed 249 yards rushing combined (21 less than we rushed for against IU alone)
-Troy Smith has 9 TDs and 0 INTs
-Ohio State has turned the ball over only twice.
Now, you may say that these games are against inferior competition. Well, when you are #1 and you play inferior opponents, THESE are the numbers you SHOULD have. We are doing the things we SHOULD be doing. Beating the good teams and slaughtering the weak ones. We do have strong teams on the schedule and nobody has yet been within 17 points at game’s end.
By the way, we have scored 30+ points in 12 of our last 15 games. Under Jim Tressel, Ohio State has NEVER lost when scoring 30 or more points.