BBN Basketball Liveblog: Michigan State

Written January 7th, 2014 by Eric

The Buckeye Shooty Hoopers get their toughest test of the season tonight playing in the frozen arctic tundra of East Lansing, MI. OSU will have their hands full with a very talented and game Sparty team.

Come join us as we chat away the battle of the heavyweights, tipping off at 9pm tonight on ESPN! Go Bucks!

tBBC Preview: Rose Bowl – Michigan State vs. Stanford

Written December 31st, 2013 by Jason

Yeah… we’re wistful. But still, here’s the rundown

TOR_2014_100TH_RBG_LOGO_CMYK_COLOR_PRINTMichigan State (11-1, 9-0 B1G) vs Stanford (11-2, 7-2 PAC12)

January 1st, 2014  5:00 PM EST ESPN

It’s the 100th Rose Bowl game and this years rendition of the classic features two similar teams that play an old fashioned “defense and run” style of game. Can the Cardinal move the ball on the ground as they like to do against the Spartan defense? Will the Spartans be able to move the ball at all against the Cardinal defense? We’ll find out in what should be a classic.

Oh, and you can’t have a Rose Bowl without Buckeyes- Orlando Pace will be enshrined in the Rose Hall Of Fame on Wednesday, and Archie Griffin was named Rose Bowl “All Century” player for his successes in four straight games.

Michigan State: The Spartans roll into Pasadena for the first time since 1988 when they defeated USC 20-17. Head coach Mark Dantonio has his team believing after knocking off second ranked Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship Game. However, beating Stanford will be no easy task and an off-field issue has made it even more daunting.

Max Bullough is undoubtedly defensive heart and soul. Due to an off-field issue that we won’t speculate on, he has violated team rules and will not be participating in the game. To put in perspective, though he’s not as good of a player, this would be like the Buckeyes losing Ryan Shazier for the Orange Bowl.

The Spartan defense does still has Darqueze Dennard and he is looking to go out with a bang in his last game in Spartan green. I also am a believer in teams, especially when it’s a key player on an already outstanding defense, being able to rise above the loss of a star player. Sparty may be just fine when the Cardinal have the ball. Read More

You Are Not Entertained: B1G Championship

Written December 10th, 2013 by Gary Russell II

Sparty shocked Buckeye Nation by sending the Buckeyes to the Orange Bowl.  Let’s see what they did to our wishes:

Ken

  1. Offense – Mistake-free (turnovers/penalties) game. MSU brings as good a defense as you’ll find; points will be hard to come by.  No turnovers but 5 penalties for 62 yards.
  2. Offense (again) - An efficient passing day from Brax & his receivers. If OSU is forced to go one dimensional against MSU, trouble looms.  8 for 23 iis hardly efficient.
  3. Defense – Please, no missed tackles.  Too many for the offense to overcome this time!
  4. Defense (again) -  Pressure MSU’s QB; sacks, hits, pressure, I don’t care, just get to him.  Only 2 sacks.
  5. No injuries  You and the injury request!
  6. A WIN!  Sorry Ken……not on this day!
Scott
  1. A win  Sorry Scott…….getting Oranges instead of Roses this New Year’s!
  2. No turnovers – Don’t help them.  They accomplished this!
  3. Solid defense - Spartan offense is inconsistent. Good defense will be sufficient.  No where close to solid and it cost the Buckeyes big this time!
WvaBuckeye
  1. CARLOS CARLOS CARLOS - I know I know. I’m a broken record but is anybody really paying attention to what he’s doing in an abbreviated season? This is HIS team. He’s taken it. Let him and the line prove it against the best rushing D. 100+ a game continues.  Carlos had 118 but he can’t play defense too!
  2. DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS??? It’s not high powered but the D cannot make their QB better than he is. I want to see a swarming D like we saw Saturday for a short while.  This defense surely can’t win championships!
  3. OFFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS!!!!  This offense is obliterating the records of the former best two from ’98 and ’95 and needs to expose the lack of talent on the Sparty D. Might have to actually go away from the power running game up the gut to do so. That’s where Sparty is VERY good.  The offense had to on this day but came up a little short!
  4. SPECIAL TEAMS - They’ve been quiet for a few weeks save for the leg of the Aussie punter. Need a huge play by someone. Jordan Hall is due.  Nothing special on this day! Read More

The Week That Were: 2013 Championship Weekend

Written December 9th, 2013 by MaliBuckeye

Look, I know it’s the holiday season and all that, but I’m not feeling it just yet. Here’s some Ella if you’re in a similar mood this Monday.

And so it ends… not with a bang, but a whimper. Not for everyone, but for fanbases who entered Saturday with significant postseason aspirations, the doors gently shut on both those dreams and on their season.

ku-xlarge

We Know The Feeling

While TWTW is usually reserved for Saturday’s festivities, we’d be remiss if we didn’t point out that Northern Illinois started the slide on Friday; poised for a shot at another possible BCS bid, the Huskies fell for the first time all season in the MAC championship. And not just “fell”, but were beaten by 2o points by Bowling Green in a game that cost the Falcons (and the other non-qualifying schools) some pretty major cash.

Saturday’s early slate started with some Bedlam, a game where anything can happen and often does- this year in the form of an earthquake during a field goal attempt.

As a rivalry game, you throw the records and season results out the window, as any Ohio State or Michigan fan can tell you. And while TBPU looked to be the easy favorite, icy conditions and the passion of their cross state rivals kept this from being an easy match.

While both teams struggled to score early on, Oklahoma tied things up in the third following a fake field goal that may or may not have happened before the play clock expired. No call, though, so on we went.

Much like last week’s game in Ann Arbor, OkSU drove down the field with relative ease at the end of the game, and scored with time left on the clock in spite of our warnings. And, you can guess what happened- Oklahoma managed a length of the field drive to score which left only enough time for the Northwestern-esque “throw the ball around and hope for the best” play, and like NU, Oklahoma State’s efforts were interrupted and scored upon.

Nice Aim

Nice Aim

Check out the gif on the left there; this is after the spread-covering score, and you can see both a Cowboy cheerleader attempt to trip a jubilant Sooner and also notice that some happy fan has decided to huck a snowball at the field toward the end of the clip.

That’s what it means to be in a rivalry game… it’s bigger than just a regular loss, particularly when you fall at home and fall out of the BCS.  I’m sure that excitement and emotion were behind the Sooner player’s decision to go full Marcus Hall on the Cowboy fan, and am certainly looking forward to them being benched for the entirety of their next game, the way that Hall was. And, media folks, feel free to spend hours discussing how classless this play was and what Stoops should do.  You’ve obviously got nothing else to talk about.

With the Cowboys’ falling in Stillwater, the late afternoon game between Texas and Baylor became the defacto Big12-2 Championship matchup. Let that roll around in your head for a minute- Mack Brown, who may be on his way out after yet another disappointing season, was one game away from a Conference Title and a BCS bid.

WEIRD-BAYLOR-FAN

Filled With The Spirit?

And yet, it was not to be… after a close first half, Baylor made the plays that it’s executed so well all season and pulled away from Texas to win their first conference title in forever. Given that they’re opening a new stadium next year and just signed their coach to a sizable extension, it’s quite possible that we haven’t heard the end of celebrations in Waco.

And their reward? A trip to Phoenix to face the University of Central Florida in the Fiesta Bowl… the same UCF that held off SMU to win on Saturday. That game ain’t going to be pretty, folks.

By now, Buckeye fans know all to well that Auburn will be playing in the National Title game against Florida State. Poised in the computers to leap Ohio State with a blowout win against Missouri, the resurgent Tigers (no, the other ones) handled the B12-2′s SEC East’s finest handily in Atlanta on Saturday, in a game that seemed to be played with an understanding that each team was required to ration their tackles (perhaps the same memo OSU got?).

Best Tackle All Day. Seriously.

Best Tackle All Game. Seriously.

That’s not to say that there wasn’t any controversy on the way to the SEC crown. One of Missouri’s early scores was on a long pass that clearly was not fully possessed by the receiver- I have no idea how that wasn’t overturned. Later, an Auburn player pushed Missouri’s Josey out of bounds after the running back had another long scamper, and the shove caused Josey to hit a nearby cart and miss the remainder of the game.

Auburn’s win meant that, should one of the top two teams fall, they would be in. Florida State started first in their epic clash against the Duke Blue Devils, and managed to go the entire first quarter without a score.

That was about it, though- the Seminoles managed to roll up a 45-7 win and punch their tickets to Pasadena, while Winston possibly scheduled a trip to New York to pick up some hardware. It’ll be interesting to see if we get a 2006 repeat- an undefeated team with a Heisman Trophy QB against a one-loss SEC program who “backed in” to the title game.  That’s all I remember about the 2006 game… and I’m not listening if you try to give me any further facts.

No Roses For You

Roses? Not so fast…

Which brings us to Indianapolis. As if Ohio State fans didn’t have enough reasons to hate Sports Illustrated, this week’s decision to put Braxton on a regional cover added the Buckeyes to the list of Oregon, Alabama, and Baylor as teams who lost the week following their cover appearance.  Splendid.

Look, my thoughts on the game are probably the same as the rest of Buckeye Nation:

  • Hats off to Michigan State, whose defense played the way that Ohio State defenses used to play. Wonder why that is… What I wouldn’t give to have one of their DBs in the scarlet and gray.
  • Hats off to Sparty, too, for offensively game planning a perfect scheme to attack Ohio State’s weaknesses in the secondary, and to Connor Cook for the poise that he showed in the passing game. Enjoy California, Dino and folks… remember, it’s not too far of a drive for your offensive line coach to visit some family.
  • I’m as confused as the rest of you are about the Ohio State gameplan, particularly when it looked like our bread and butter were working. I understand the idea of getting Carlos into space against MSU’s secondary, but when every empty set led to a QB draw/counter, then it takes away the mystery. And mid-range passing? Does everything have to be a bomb?
  • “Frustrated” only partially covers my thoughts on the secondary’s play this past year… I’m not smart enough to figure out if it’s a scheme thing or a personnel issue or coaching, and I’ve read all three from the “experts” that make up Ohio State bulletin boards. I know that linebacker is something that Urban has identified as a “need”, so I’m just going to trust that this will improve overall in the coming season.

Again, no disrespect to Ben Affleck or to Michigan State, but it feels more like Ohio State let this one get away from them than the Spartans “took” it. While I’d prefer that it was the Buckeyes in Pasadena, I’m still excited to see Michigan State play Stanford in the 100th edition of the Rose Bowl.

Stanford won their rematch with Arizona State in a walk in front of less than stellar crowds. While some blame the “rematch” factor for poor attendance, I believe that it’s due to these being hosted on campus… as nice as that is for the home team, this time of year the trend is to allow fans the chance to travel to somewhere new. I’m conflicted on this, since I believe that any future Championship Expansion should consider home stadiums, but I also understand that there’s a huge money factor involved from tourism and so forth.

RICE1

The “Bowl-Bloat” Culprit

And that’s the heart of the silly season that we’re getting ready to enter- schools will pay lots of money for the “privileged” of making cash for television networks and tax exempt “bowl committees”; and only one game will “matter”, other than the contrived “Bowl Challenge” that the four letter network has created without consideration of even-matchups. When there are so many bowls that more than 50% of FBS teams get to go, is it really an honor?

That being said, this year should be a pretty good one for the B1G- in looking across the Bowl Landscape, there are only a few games that don’t feel like solid contests.  See what you think:

  • Rose Bowl, Jan. 1 (Big Ten vs. BCS/Pac-12): Michigan State vs. Stanford
  • Orange Bowl, Jan. 3: (ACC vs. BCS): Ohio State vs. Clemson
  • Capital One Bowl, Jan. 1 (Big Ten vs. SEC): Wisconsin vs. South Carolina
  • Outback Bowl, Jan. 1 (Big Ten vs. SEC): Iowa vs. LSU
  • Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, Dec. 28 (Big Ten vs. Big 12): Michigan vs. Kansas State
  • Gator Bowl, Jan. 1 (Big Ten vs. SEC): Nebraska vs. Georgia
  • Texas Bowl, Dec. 27 (Big Ten vs. Big 12): Minnesota vs. Syracuse

The BCS games, then, would be Florida State/Auburn, Michigan State/Stanford, Ohio State/Clemson, Oklahoma/Alabama, and (bleh) Central Florida/Baylor.

All in all, a great set of excuses to gather friends and family for the holidays and then ignore them to watch TV. We’ll have breakdowns of each of these matchups in the coming days, as well as full coverage of Ohio State’s trip to Miami in an attempt to exorcise Charlie Bauman’s specter.

But with that… The Week That Were draws to a close for yet another season. Thanks for playing along with us all fall, and for being a part of tBBC Family. We’ll close with a bit of nostalgia to get you ready for Miami:

Michigan State Secure 34-24 Upset Over Ohio State

Written December 8th, 2013 by Eric

The Buckeyes and Spartans met in a head to head clash for the Big Ten Championship. In a battle that swung back and forth all night, the Spartans got the upper hand on the Buckeyes, securing the first B1G Championship for the Legends division with the 34-24 win. Braxton Miller was ok today against the stout Spartan defense, throwing 8/21 for 101 yards and a touchdown, while running 21 times for 142 yards and 2 touchdowns. Connor Cook was much more impressive, connecting on 24/40 passes for 304 yards, 3 touchdowns and an interception.

Carlos Hyde broke 100 yards again, carrying 18 times for 118 yards. Corey “Philly” Brown led the Buckeyes with 5 receptions for 53 yards. Jeremy Langford of MSU was the first back to carry for more than 100 yards against OSU, running 24 times for 124 yards and a touchdown. Keith Mumphery led the Spartans in receiving with 2 catches for 84 yards.

We got a chance to see the Spartan offense take the field first against the much maligned OSU defense. The Bucks did an excellent job of slowing down the MSU offense early, forcing a third and long on the very first possession. A poor play by Doran Grant kept the drive alive on an overthrown ball, and began to give MSU some confidence. On another third and long, Ryan Shazier made contact with Langford with the ball sailing over his head, again extending the drive. MSU wasn’t able to do much more than that, settling for a field goal deep in OSU territory.

Then it was time to see what the MSU defense could do against the high powered Buckeye offense. Carlos Hyde made himself known on the first play, pounding up the middle for seven yards. Unfortunately, a bad snap from the center on 3rd and 3 destablized the offense enough to throw off the timing of the play. Ohio State was forced to punt after a three and out that was obviously self-inflicted.

Michigan State took over again after the punt on their own twenty yard line. Things were beginning to start clicking for the boys in green. The blocking up front was beginning to open holes in the Buckeyes line that Langford could get a head start in. With Langford getting things going, it seemed like MSU was going to score again. A false start followed by a stuffed run on first down put MSU in a hole deep enough that they couldn’t quite dig themselves out of it.
Read More

BBN Basketball and Football Liveblog

Written December 7th, 2013 by Eric

We’ve got a double header coming up for Buckeye Nation!

First up are the OSU Shooty Hoopers, who are set to take on Central Connecticut at 4:30 PM Eastern Time on the Big Ten Network.

Following that game (and a quick dinner) the Buckeyes will face the Michigan State Spartans in the B1G Championship Game. That game is scheduled to kick at 8:17 PM on FOX.

Go Bucks!
Read More

What Do You Want To See On Saturday? B1G Championship

Written December 6th, 2013 by Gary Russell II

Well we move on from THE game to the B1G game.  Let’s see what our staff has in store for us this week:

Ken

  1. Offense - Mistake-free (turnovers/penalties) game. MSU brings as good a defense as you’ll find; points will be hard to come by.
  2. Offense (again) - An efficient passing day from Brax & his receivers. If OSU is forced to go one dimensional against MSU, trouble looms.
  3. Defense - Please, no missed tackles.
  4. Defense (again) -  Pressure MSU’s QB; sacks, hits, pressure, I don’t care, just get to him.
  5. No injuries
  6. A WIN!
Scott
  1. A win
  2. No turnovers - Don’t help them.
  3. Solid defense - Spartan offense is inconsistent. Good defense will be sufficient.
WvaBuckeye
  1. CARLOS CARLOS CARLOS - I know I know. I’m a broken record but is anybody really paying attention to what he’s doing in an abbreviated season? This is HIS team. He’s taken it. Let him and the line prove it against the best rushing D. 100+ a game continues.
  2. DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS??? It’s not high powered but the D cannot make their QB better than he is. I want to see a swarming D like we saw Saturday for a short while.
  3. OFFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS!!!!  This offense is obliterating the records of the former best two from ’98 and ’95 and needs to expose the lack of talent on the Sparty D. Might have to actually go away from the power running game up the gut to do so. That’s where Sparty is VERY good.
  4. SPECIAL TEAMS - They’ve been quiet for a few weeks save for the leg of the Aussie punter. Need a huge play by someone. Jordan Hall is due.

Ohio State News And Notes: Silver Bullet Points 12.3.13

Written December 3rd, 2013 by Clair

And The Chase Continues…

  • Sparty in his Sights-Urban Meyer was very business like in his weekly press conference on Monday. Not wanting to give a flea’s breath of a doubt that his team was focused only on the Big Ten Championship Game ahead, Meyer brushed aside any questions regarding Auburn, the BCS or a possible national title
    game appearance by his Buckeyes
  • Balancing Act- Both Urban Meyer and Tom Herman were asked about concerns with the offense being unbalanced at times. Both coaches mentioned in their own ways that it was not particularly a concern and against certain teams certain offenses work better. I think if we can get that nit picky about a balanced offense when our receivers, quarterback and running backs are efficient when called up on, the Buckeyes must have a pretty balanced offense in the stable.
  • Spartan Reserve- Michigan State will certainly be the toughest defense Ohio State has faced all year. From Urban Meyer and Tom Hermans description of the Spartan scheme it sound like they are a disciplined and talented bunch that is very proficient in disguising coverages. This may be a game where Meyer and Herman just throw off the gloves, say I don’t care what your throw at us, just try and stop it.
  • Tricks Are For Kids- This Ohio State pass defense has resurfaced as a problem as of late. As a fan, it is maddening to see what offenses are doing against a talented, albeit, misguided bunch. Michigan State is notorious for trickery, trickeration and all manner of trickstering. That being said, it will take all of the discipline the Buckeye secondary can muster to stop all the tom foolery and blatant wide open receivers that have been allowed to roam free in their zone!
  • For Crying in the Sunshine- Can a sister get an Amen for some pressure on the quarterback? This rushing three business really grinds my gears when clearly the linebackers have been served most useful in getting to the quarterback when the scheme allows. Get it together Fickell. I love ya buddy but the lack of pressure on Devan Gardener last weekend during one of the most EPIC Buckeye vs. UM games of all times was nothing short of underwhelming.
  • Trophy Time- All Conference teams named on Monday, and to no surprise Ohio State was well represented. Braxton, Carlos, Philly, Mewhort, Lindsley, Norwell were honored for the offense as first or second teamers, while Shazier, Spence, Roby, and Bennett got the nod for the Defense.
  • Yeah, But-  Michigan’s Lewan  was awarded the Offensive Lineman of the Year over Jack Mewhort, while Ryan Shazier lost the B1G Linebacker trophy to Wisconsin’s Borland. I guess we’ll see what the NFL has to say about that… Read More
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