Chills were running down my spine as TBDBITL marched into St. John Arena on Friday night for our Celebration of Perfection. As I looked around at my Buckeye family decked out in their scarlet & gray while singing “Across the Field” at the top of their lungs, all I could think was, “I am so proud to be an Ohio State Buckeye.”
Because I am a member of Block “O,” I had the luxury of sitting in the first row behind the stage and therefore, had a great view of all the evening’s festivities. And lucky for us, Coach Meyer and the team walked right past us to get to their seats, giving us high-fives and smiling at us as we cheered.
It was in that moment, when the team was standing in front of us, when the entire arena was giving them a standing ovation, that I realized it really doesn’t get any better than this…being among my friends, cheering on this team once again, as we did for all 12 games this season. I love being a student here. Transferring to Ohio State was honestly the best decision I ever made. Getting to see this team go 12-0 this year will be something I will never forget. And celebrating their success tonight is also something I won’t forget.
Over the past couple of years, Ohio State football has sent Buckeye Nation on somewhat of a roller coaster of emotions, but Coach Meyer and this team, in particular, the seniors, have turned the tide, and it has been a pleasure to watch. Seeing them hoist their Leaders Division Championship trophy tonight was a great moment.
No, they didn’t get to go to the Big Ten Championship Game. No, they don’t get to go to a bowl. No, they don’t get the chance to play for a national championship. But you know what? It’s okay. They’re 12-0. They made the great state of Ohio proud. And as Coach Meyer says, this team will be remembered. They’ll be remembered in our minds as champions. As leaders. As legends.* And legends are forever.
It is truly a great day to be a Buckeye. 12-OH!
*no pun intended with the division names*
After it was unclear if he would return after a brutal collision with Wisconsin running back Montee Ball in the fourth quarter, Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier made announced his return in the biggest way possible.
With the Buckeyes leading 14-7 and just over three minutes remaining in the game, Wisconsin had the ball 4th-and-1 from the OSU 2-yard line. We all knew who was getting the football, and Shazier knocked the ball out of Montee Ball’s hands and Christian Bryant recovered, giving the Buckeyes possession and the ability to hold on and get a 14-7 victory in Madison.
Far from it. The Badgers got the ball back and drove 41 yards in 1:25 and quarterback Curt Phillips found Jacob Pederson for a 5-yard touchdown to tie the game at 14 and send it to overtime.
In overtime, the Buckeyes scored first on just four plays as Carlos Hyde carried the ball in from two yards out.
Wisconsin’s possession ended on an incomplete pass on fourth down as Christian Bryant broke up a pass, giving the Buckeyes the 21-14 victory.
The Buckeyes led the Badgers 14-7 at halftime. After getting down 14-0, Wisconsin was able to respond with an eight play, 82-yard drive to pull within a touchdown heading into the intermission.
Statistically, the Badgers somewhat dominated in the first half–and the game. It was no secret Wisconsin wanted to run the ball, and the Badgers totaled 140 yards on the ground in that first half, 206 for the game.
Several things stood out from the game, both good and bad.
1. Philly Brown’s growth is somewhat astounding. I wasn’t expecting much of anything from Brown at the beginning of the season, but he’s really blossomed into a nice player. His 68-yard punt return for a touchdown to open the scoring was a thing of beauty.
2. The offensive line’s play is really fun to watch. This has to be the best group that OSU has had in recent memory. Some of it may be that Jim Bollman is no longer the coach, but I really enjoy watching these guys pave the way for Braxton and company.
3. John Simon was named as a Lott semifinalist earlier this week–an award given to the nation’s top defensive player. He played like it today, recording four sacks.
4. Carlos Hyde continues to impress me. He didn’t get the ball nearly enough, but he finished with 87 yards on 15 carries and two touchdowns.
1. The play-calling today was atrocious. No creativity whatsoever and the offensive game plan was extremely predictable. Not very Urban Meyer-like at all.
2. I hit on this earlier, but the run defense was less than stellar today. Ohio State was second in the Big Ten in rushing defense coming into today’s game, but the Buckeyes gave up 206 yards on the ground. Granted, Montee Ball is one of the best backs in the country, but that is just not good enough.
3. Braxton Miller didn’t play his best game today. He was just 10 for 18 passing for 97 yards and was held to just 48 yards on 23 carries. He needs to learn to throw the football away, though. With that said, he’s still one of the top quarterbacks in the country and I’m glad he’s a Buckeye.
We all got what we wanted, though. Ohio State is 11-0 heading into “The Game” next Saturday.
It’s going to be epic.
Last week I had the pleasure of traveling to Happy Valley to see the Buckeyes play on the road. If you read my previous article about Penn State, you know I don’t exactly have warm, fuzzy feelings for the Nittany Lions and their fans, so when I decided to travel to State College, I was wary of what foolishness I might encounter while there.
I am happy to report that for the most part, everyone we encountered last Saturday was very pleasant and welcoming. In fact, we even got “welcome to Happy Valley,” “enjoy the game,” “good luck tonight,” etc. from various fans in blue and white. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t shocked when people were being warm and welcoming toward us. It was astounding after how they have treated other OSU fans and myself in the past. Could I really have a trip to Penn State without encountering anybody acting completely out of line towards myself and other OSU fans? Could it be that for once, we all just focused on the game and had fun? It all seemed too good to be true. And it was. Once kickoff drew near, all bets were off.
We started walking down to the stadium around 4, and things went down hill from there (side note: The walk from where we were tailgating to our gate at the stadium had to be about a half hour. I’ve never appreciated how relatively close together everything is at Ohio State until last weekend). Anyways, the friend that attended the game with my parents and I got flipped off as we walked towards the stadium. Then, once we got to our gate, we started hearing the foul language and seeing some of the offensive shirts. I wasn’t even really upset at any of that because those saying those things and wearing those shirts were the exception, not the rule for the most part.
What really set me off was the man who was sitting in front of us who had clearly had entirely too much to drink. From the time we sat down, every time we would cheer for the Buckeyes, he would turn his head to the left and belt out boos to drown out our cheers. Then, when the game started, he was literally screaming his lungs out to the rest of the fans in our section trying to get them to stand up on each play (oh yeah, unless you’re a student, they sit during the entire game at Beaver Stadium unless it’s a third down for the other team). The dude was just obnoxious. Then, when the Buckeyes took the lead, he sat down and was whining to his girlfriend next to him. He was going on about how Ohio State fans are the “stupidest fans in the Big Ten” and how Braxton is the “stupidest quarterback in the Big Ten.” Hilarious, right? Go ahead and laugh. Read More