The Buckeyes finished off a hard fought win at Northwestern late Saturday night and then the bye week began. As the warm nights come to a close, let’s look back a bit on the first half, ahead at the potential BCS standings, and put a sock in the mouth of the people STILL complaining about Luke Fickell. It’s Wednesday, let’s rumble!
Northwestern And The First 6
I still can’t believe that we are six weeks into the 2013 football season. Time fly’s when you’re having fun is more than just a saying.
We come to the midpoint off a road win on national television in Evanston against the Northwestern Wildcats. And let there be no question about it, the Wildcats were game to fight and did just that. I still saw a lot of opportunity to put this game to bed early, but the Wildcats heart and the Buckeyes willingness to miss tackles, blow coverage, commit turnovers and penalties would hear nothing of it.
And here we were at halftime, Buckeye Nation all abuzz with comments about how Braxton Miller should be replaced by Kenny Guiton and Luke Fickell should be fired like Lane Kiffin. I was born and raised in Northeast Ohio and love my Cleveland sports teams, but I have to ask: When did Buckeye Nation start becoming like Cleveland sports fans in the sense that nobody gets a fair argument, everyone is an expert and players need to be replaced at the first sign of not looking like Peyton Manning, Clay Mathews or Bill Belichik? One of the things I have always loved about the Columbus sports scene and especially Ohio State fans in their strong footing in reality. More on this later… Read More
And now, things get B1G
The Buckeyes took their show out west and came away with a convincing win over the California Golden Bears. Kenny Guiton had a whale of a game through the air along with he and the Buckeye running backs chewing up big gain after big gain on the ground. The Silver Bullets played reasonably well considering the attack that Cal brings offensively. We’ll talk about it all and look ahead to the Florida A&M Rattlers. It’s Wednesday, let’s rumble!
What can I honestly say about Kenny Guiton that hasn’t already been said? We learned about an hour before kickoff that he would start the game and that Braxton Miller was a scratch, dressing in street clothes. The week long starter question had been answered and now we were about to see how Guiton would respond. When you add in that it is on the road against a PAC-12 opponent, we were looking at really good barometer on where we stand should Miller need to come out of a game later in the season or have to miss one. Kenny didn’t disappoint.
What I am happiest about is that after the fact there really are no questions to be asked. Saturday brought about a rather simple conclusion: Yes, Kenny Guiton can play and can be counted on if needed in a pinch, which we knew, and now we know he can pick up the reigns and lead the troops if called on to start. It makes me happy because let’s be honest, the worst thing that could have happened would have been to wake up Sunday morning still not sure if Guiton can fill the role of starter. Ok, so it would have been worse to wake up Sunday and know undoubtedly that he couldn’t do the job, but you get my point.
How about the actual play?
I like Guiton’s game, and we finally now know what his game is: Braxton Miller Lite. I loved his touch the early touchdown throws. His decision making on whether to keep the ball or take it from the back was excellent all night. He seems to have pretty good vision in picking lanes and watching the defense react to his movements then capitalizing off them. He runs hard, too. Charles Davis brought that up a few times during the television broadcast and I thought he was spot-on. Guiton is no pushover at the point of collision.
Maybe the only real question about his performance that I have is his accuracy. Now, I mentioned above how he was putting great touch on the ball early. He was leading his receivers almost perfectly. But as the game wore on, that came and went. Maybe it was just mental fatigue from the overwhelming nature of the situation and some throws just got away from him. Maybe he got lucky on the early throws. The only way to really know is to have him start more games.
Who gets the call this week? Read More
In today’s edition, we celebrate number 4, the Ohio State’s margin of victory over Wisconsin on October 29th, 2011, 33-29. Ohio State entered the game with a 4-3 record, as the OSU program was dealing was significant changes in staff and players.
The 1st half was a tight, low-scoring affair with Wisconsin holding a 7-3 lead. Then all hell broke loose in the 2nd half. In the 3rd quarter the Buckeyes scored two short yardage TD’s (Miller, Hall) and the Badgers one (Ball, of course) to take the lead into the 4th quarter, 17-14.
After a Miller 44 yard TD run to extend OSU’s lead, UW’s Jared Abbrederis had two TD receptions to regain the lead for the Badgers, 29-26 with 1:18 remaining. Not a problem; Braxton and Devin then made this happen to get the win.
In today’s edition of Kickoff Countdown we celebrate the number 28, the combined score of Ohio State’s win over TTUN on November 19th, 1994, 22-6.
A pretty typical beat-down by The Good Guys, but this was notable on two accounts. The game sealing touchdown drive was set up by a nice interception by one time Buckeye head coach, Luke Fickell. Well done, sir. The more noteworthy fact is that this game was OSU Coach Cooper’s first win over Michigan. Good for him
Our friend Clair participated in Saturday’s fantastic event at the WHAC; I guess when they put you on the poster, it’s kinda’ a required thing. She’s been gracious to jot down her perspective on the experience- she’s more than just your average fan, as you’ll see. Be sure to give her a follow on twitter and “like” her professional page on Facebook.
The second annual OSU Women’s Football Clinic proved to be a success yet again. Almost 300 additional women attended this year’s clinic, and with a shortened itinerary, it was a day stuffed full of Buckeye fun for a great cause, the James Cancer Research Hospital. The den of champions that is the Woody Hayes athletic facility housed the enthusiastic campers and truly is every Buckeye fantasy manifested into real life.
My story, however, started long before I attended the clinic. So many layers of my psyche were melded together to form my experience at the OSU Women’s Clinic on Saturday. I consider myself to be a football connoisseur. I know football. I play football and have for over ten years. I watch the sport with laser focus, follow recruiting, drafts, and believe NFL Sunday Ticket might just be the greatest invention ever. All this being said, I have a special love for The Ohio State Buckeyes. I’ll tangle with anyone on Buckeye Trivia past and present. I was born and raised a Buckeye, in the epicenter of Buckeye Mecca, Columbus, Ohio. The history, the pageantry, the tradition and the domination is unmatched at The Ohio State University.
Being an athlete I have great appreciation for the dedication, mental strength and God given talent it takes to be part of such an elite program. As an NPC competitor, our diets are restrictive, our training is time consuming, andStab our sport is very expensive. We often miss out on family functions and are alienated by loved ones. And I don’t have the NCAA, coaches, parents and boosters breathing down my neck and scanning my every move. The coaching staff at the clinic gave all the campers a miniscule peek into the reality that is the life of a student athlete.
And the last layer to form my experience was my connection to breast cancer research. My beautiful, talented and spunky grandmother Kathleen R. Jones was taken much too early from this earth from complications from breast cancer. Until the day the cure is found, I will continue to donate, to research and participate in these events that highlight the drive for the cure for breast cancer. The James Cancer Research Hospital was the beneficiary of the proceeds for this year’s clinic. The Buckeye Cruise for Cancer also had a strong presence at the camp with an ocean view room donated, then auctioned off live for over four thousand dollars. A silent auction was also very successful with the help of the Clinic’s sponsors. Read More
Vince Lombardi used to tell his teams that they would strive for perfection while knowing full well they’d never reach it. However, he knew that somewhere along the way in the pursuit of perfection they would end up being pretty good. By defeating (we can say the M word again) Michigan on Saturday, the Buckeyes achieved perfection. Along the way they faced adversity and doubters but still wound up being pretty good!
The Reckoning: Mission Accomplished
The 109th rendition of The Game was more than an opportunity to finish a season unbeaten (only the 6th in school history) it was a chance to right a wrong. Heading into Saturday, the sting from last years game in Ann Arbor was still there. When Denard Robinson broke tackles for a 67 yard touchdown run in the second quarter all the emotions from 2011 came roaring back. It all finally subsided after seeing Carlos Hyde look to the Ohio State sideline and give Urban Meyer and his staff the “feed me” hand motion of spooning food into his mouth with around three minutes to play indicating he was more than prepared to finish off the game and that there wasn’t a thing the Wolverine defense could do to stop him.
Last week I introduced the idea of The Reckoning and wanting payback for the showboat antics, not to mention the loss in general, of the Wolverines in 2011. When Hyde motioned to Meyer and the Blue’s spirit and will had been broken, that indication and only then finally had The Reckoning been achieved. I didn’t want to see the Buckeyes win; I wanted to see Michigan broken and demoralized. It wasn’t until I read the stat sheet that I realized just how broken and demoralized Michigan actually was.
Silver Bullets to the rescue
Much maligned throughout the season, and rightfully so, the Buckeye defense stepped up huge and shut down the Wolverine offense almost completely in the second half. Luke Fickell and Everett Withers made adjustments at halftime that anticipated every move Michigan would make in the second half. They set up the Silver Bullet’s in a position to pin their ears back and fly around. The results were several big plays including sacks, fumbles and the eventual game clinching interception by CJ Barnett.
Early on in the game it’s easy to assume Fickell wasn’t sure exactly the extent of Robinson’s injury. Were they using him exclusively to run or did he have the treat to pass despite the injury to his right hand/wrist? Around the middle of the second quarter the discussions regarding Robinson abilities on this particular afternoon had to be compelling to listen in on. Ultimately the decision was made that in their opinions he wasn’t going to throw it and that they’d live with the consequences if he did. The gamble paid off, they were right, Robinson made zero passing attempts and his runs were completely shut down.
If you asked me before the game, I’d have almost guaranteed you that my vision of The Reckoning would have been realized by the Buckeye offense with an absolute onslaught of points and Braxton Miller dancing all over the Blue defense. I’m glad I would have been wrong as seeing the Silver Bullets intimidate and overpower the Wolverine offense was special and, in a way, much more satisfying. Read More
I wonder what it’s like to play the favorite at home four straight weeks against teams you’re expected to not only beat but beat handily? Does that put pressure on a young football team learning a new system and at some point make them begin to feel confidently complacent yet nervously unsure at the same time?
This is in no way an attempt to make any excuses for the myriad of problems the 2012 Ohio State Buckeyes face nor to defuse the complaints being lobbed at them from its die-hard fan base. It’s just a question of mindset and trying to imagine what goes through the head of a 18-20 year old college athlete playing at the most popular university in the country.
B1G a welcome sight?
For the last 5-6 years we’ve had it shoved in our face weekly just how bad the Big Ten has become. Quite honestly, I’m really tired of hearing about it and beginning to not care. If Michigan can’t beat Notre Dame and Nebraska can’t beat an upstart UCLA team in the Rose Bowl and Wisconsin can’t beat anybody, what’s it matter to us? I’ve said it for a few years now and it needs repeated: Just win the games on your schedule and things will fall out how you deserve. Win them all and If you still can’t get in the BCS title game or upcoming playoff, be honest with yourself, look at your schedule and realize it’s likely you didn’t deserve it anyway. Besides, what is Ohio State going to do, leave the conference? But, more on the B1G overall later…
Coming in to this weeks game against Michigan State in East Lansing (ABC 3:30) all the lingering issues from the games with UAB , California and UCF can be put to rest. It’s time to start fresh. It doesn’t mean those problems don’t still exist (tackling, angles, dropping passes etc) it just puts the focus elsewhere. Instead of pounding it in players heads all week about how poor the tackling was, Coach Meyer’s staff can now use it as a tool to sharpen senses and focus on the task at hand: Beating Sparty. As an example: Instead of spending the week repeating the same fundamental issues over and over until they’re blue in the face, Luke Fickell can simply throw in during practice “And if you think you’re going to tackle Le’Veon Bell the way you tackled Joe Schmo from UAB, we might as well not even get on the plane!” Nothing more needs to be said. The message is clear. Get it together or you will fail. Read More