When the 2014 football schedule was released, 90% of Ohio State fans circled that last November Saturday and TTUN……….and then there’s the other game they circled.
It’s still a team that starts with an M but this team has State behind it and caused the most heartache of any team from 2013. I, as many of the other Buckeye fans I walked out with, left Lucas Oil Stadium last December and had one thing on my mind…..November 8th, 2014. There’s a wound that can never heal from the loss in the B1G championship game but a win in 2014 will more than likely give the Buckeyes a trip to Indianapolis for a second consecutive year.
Gone from Sparty is the heart and soul of not only their defense, but their team. Dennard, Bullough, and Allen are all gone. Connor Cook, the same qb who torched the OSU secondary is back and will look to take advantage of the Bucks D once again. The Bucks will be coming off a home game with Illinois before heading to East Lansing and Sparty will be coming off back to back bye weeks. (ok, ok……they play TTUN and THEN have a real bye week)
Looking at last year’s Spartans team, the defense was with out a doubt their strength. Coach Mark Dantonio was recently quoted as saying, “our 2013 Spartans had a defense who could’ve won a 4 team playoff”. The Spartans lost six starters off a defense that ranked in the top three in the nation in all four major statistical categories, but coordinator Pat Narduzzi insists that the losses don’t mean his unit will drop off. “It’s called opportunity,” Narduzzi says. “We’ve got players.”
Michigan State possesses one of the top defensive end duos in the nation in reigning Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year Shilique Calhoun and fourth-year starter Marcus Rush. The Spartans have plugged the departures at defensive tackle adequately, and that’s before one of the top-ranked defensive line classes — headlined by Malik McDowell and Craig Evans — reports to camp.
The secondary appears sound, led by captain-in-waiting Kurtis Drummond at free safety and returning junior cornerback Trae Waynes. Sophomore corner Darian Hicks and strong safety RJ Williamson enter fall camp the other projected starters.
The biggest question mark is at linebacker, where Michigan State could have an entirely new look. Senior Taiwan Jones is the only returning starter, and he spent spring trying to transition from outside to middle linebacker. Darien Harris and Ed Davis will likely be the other starters, regardless of how the position shakes out. Read More
In today’s edition, we celebrate number 56, specifically Ohio State’s 33-23 win over Michigan State on November 8th, 2003. The defending national champion Buckeyes were enroute to an 11-2 season when they hosted Michigan State Spartans. This game had ‘Jim Tressel’ written all over it. Two of OSU’s TD’s came via passes to the tight ends (Hartsock, Hamby), Mike Nugent kicked 4 field goals and the defense picked off two Jeff Smoker passes. Good times in Tresselville.
Craig Krenzel had a good day(12-24 for 213 yards, 3 TD’s, 1 Int), as did Lydell Ross (24 carries, 125 yards). For MSU, Jeff Smoker had (statistically) a good day of 35-55 (where’s the liniment?) and 2 TD’s, which was fortunate for them, since the Spartans rushing attack attempts yielded net of 5 yards on 17 carries. In basketball parlance, those would be empty possessions…
In today’s edition, just like The Count, we continue the march to the season opener by celebrating Buckeye victories. No, no, we insist.
Today’s contest is Ohio State’s 35-24 win over Michigan State in 2005. Having incurred their 2nd loss (and last of the season) the previous week at Penn State, the Buckeyes returned home to host the Spartans for Homecoming. There were two things of note in this game. First, Troy Smith had three long TD pass plays (Santonio Holmes 51yd, 46yd, Ted Ginn Jr 57yds). The other was this play, courtesy of Vico and his old haunt at OHD.
I came in from a round of golf and this was on the TV in the grill room. As the half played out, and MSU looked a lot better than OSU, I was ready to order another beer. After the Nate Salley block/Ashton Yobouty return, I figured this game may turn out all right after all. I proceeded home to catch the 2nd half in all its glory, capped off by Troy Smith’s 1 yd TD run with 1:90 to play. The Buckeyes would continue to win every game that season.
The Buckeye basketball teams backs are against the wall. A big time football player is rumored to be contemplating sitting out a season to his protect draft status and financial future. It’s Wednesday night, let’s rumble!
Hoops getting interesting
As you’re reading this, or maybe after you read this or a little before you read this, the Buckeye basketball team will be on the court facing the Minnesota Golden Gophers at The Schottenstein Center. This is a huge week for the Buckeyes after being slapped in the face with a backhand in Wisconsin on Sunday to the tune of a 71-49 beat-down.
At 18-7 the Buckeyes see their backs against the wall but home turf on their side as they face a must win situation against the Gophers. This would set up a huge showdown/rematch, again at home, against Michigan State. Win both games and watch the swagger return to set up the final push before the tournaments begin. A split has to be what the Buckeyes consider a worst case scenario as losing both would be catastrophic.
Michigan State took on the Indiana Hoosiers last night in a #1 vs #4 matchup. In a tight game that was actually pretty exciting to watch, it was the Hoosiers holding on to win 72-68 and keep their #1 ranking at the Breslin Center in East Lansing. Sparty will now come to Columbus facing the possibility of a two game losing streak and certainly a little grumpy. Tom Izzo will have his team ready for what should be a war at 4pm on Sunday. (CBS tv) Read More
Gritty defense, offensive runs, and a desire to win was the name of the game at the Breslin Center, as the team that controlled their own destiny did everything they could to keep their little brother from a share at the conference title.
Thad Matta and his Buckeye Roundballers had something to say about that in the second half. Down as much as 15, Ohio State had just the spirited effort needed in the second frame needed for a solid tournament run.
It was the often discredited senior William Buford hitting the winning fade from the top of the key with .8 seconds left in the 72-70 victory to end the regular season.
Early, it looked like turnovers, transition basketball and fast break points were going to do the Buckeyes in. Throughout the length of the first half, it was a lack of execution on offense, a breakdown on the wings defensively, and the continued collapsing of the paint defensively by the Michigan State Spartans that was the difference.
The green and white had 5 points off turnovers, 7 fast break points and a 14-7 lead with just five minutes played in the ballgame. But of course, that wasn’t enough.
After the first media timeout, former Valpo guard Brandon Wood went on a 8-0 run on his own. After a coast-to-coast layup off a steal off a beautiful pass from Draymond Green, Wood dialed up long distance off a Derrick Nix rebound pushed up the flor to freshman Travis Trice who found Wood open at the top of the key. A minute later after a pair of Aaron Craft free throws, Trice would get the basketball in mid air on perfectly timed Derrick Nix block that led to another transition three pointer that made it 19-7.
After the 15-2 run, Michigan state sat comfortable at 22-9.
It’s not often that we here at tBBC celebrate great things that happen in East Lansing… well, there’s one regular occurrence, and we give major props to graduate work completed there (Eric- what’s taking so long?).
That being said, today we are excited to announce that Coach Dantonio has added even more Buckeye to his staff, as our favorite ESPN personality and Ohio Dominican coach Rob Harley adds green and white to his wardrobe as a member of the Michigan State Spartan football program.
I’m tempted to list this as the first known “Sparty YES!!” moment in the school’s history.
We alluded to this on Christmas, but wanted to hold off until he’d announced it to the rest of the world- and Rob did so Friday evening. Personally, we were really hoping that he’d get the open gig at Penn State, but I’m sure they know what they’re doing (not really).
Rob will be a graduate assistant with Coach Dantonio, and will have his role developed over the coming months. GA, Coach, whatever- he’ll always be a Buckeye, and we’re excited for this opportunity in his life. Heck, he’s got twice the reason to hate That School Up North now.
Best of luck, Rob- We’ll be cheering for you always even if we might want your team to lose on occasion!
Now that the proverbial dust has settled from the 2010-2011 men’s college basketball season, it’s time to reflect a bit on the season past and pick out of a few of the headlines, highlights, or otherwise newsworthy items that seemed to define this season. Obviously it was a great season for Buckeye fans, and one item of note for college basketball fans in general was the play of our team, and particularly Jared Sullinger, but for now we’ll save the Buckeye-centric comments and take a broader view.
There is always a lot of chatter about the different major conferences, comparing their strengths and weaknesses, arguing for which conference is the toughest, and celebrating wins over teams from other conferences early in the season. This season was no different in terms of the boasting, but in a number of ways this really was the Season of the Big East. This isn’t an argument for the Big East’s superiority – just an observation that week-to-week the Big East was getting a lot of attention due to its number of quality teams. Certainly the Tournament Selection Committee bought into that impression, granting 11 NCAA Tournament berths to teams from the conference, including a #1 seed for regular season Big East champion Pittsburgh. Although three of the four most highly seeded Big East teams lost in only the second round of the tournament (Pitt, Notre Dame, Syracuse), it was Big East Tournament winner UConn that took care of business, claiming the NCAA Tournament title as well. Read More