After rolling the overmatched FAMU Rattlers last week, things get a bit tougher this Saturday night as Ohio State hosts B1G/Leaders leader Wisconsin in an 8:00 PM game. The Buckeyes (4-0, 0-0) look to move into 1st place in the Leaders Division by shutting down the Badgers (3-1, 1-0).
First year Badgers Head Coach Gary Andersen was defensive line coach at Utah in 2004, Urban Meyer’s last year as Utah head coach, so there is familiarity between the two gentlemen. After a 4 year stint as Utah State’s head coach, Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez hired Andersen to replace the departed Bret Bielema, who was banished to coach at Arkansas.
I’m going to gloss over most of the season-to-date statistics for both teams because I don’t think those numbers are relevant for this game. Wisconsin’s wins and “numbers’ were racked up against University of Massachusetts (MAC) who has won 1 of its last 16 games, FCS school Tennessee Tech (2-2) and a not very good Purdue team. Unfortunately, Ohio State’s schedule is pretty similar.
Here are two tables that summarize both teams’ offensive and defensive performances so far this season. As I mentioned above, with both teams having sketchy schedules, use these numbers more for a general indication of performance. The first table, is relative offensive performances comparison between Wisconsin and Ohio State.
Yep, a lot of yards and points against so-so competition.
Here’s the defensive comparison; it’s looks similar.
Now that we really know that Wisconsin and Ohio State took care of their early season opponents, we move on to the game at hand.
On Homecoming 2012 in Ohio Stadium before a record crowd of 106,102 fans on national television in prime time the Ohio State Buckeyes left no doubt they are beginning to arrive in new head coach Urban Meyer’s system. What was being billed as a “Showdown in The Shoe” turned out to be a “Blowout in The Shoe” as the men of scarlet and grey plowed their way to an impressive 63-38 victory.
Fire and Ice
The Ohio State offense wasn’t exactly on fire to start the game. Coming out of the locker room the Buckeye offense went four straight series of three and out, the last included a fake punt attempt. I’d like to say that Bradley Roby’s 41 yard interception return for a touchdown at the 8:29 mark of the first quarter was the spark that got the team rolling, but the truth is Ohio State found themselves down 17-7 at the end of the first quarter. Starting slow is a first quarter trend that started back in game one against Miami, Ohio and continues through week six.
So what got the proverbial ball rolling? What kicked the offense and the team itself into gear and got them on a torrid scoring pace that ended up with a 63 spot on the board for the good guys? The answer: Braxton Miller. A 72 yard burst from “XBrax360” juking defenders out of their shoes and racing to the three yard line put the stadium and the Ohio State sideline into a frenzy. Two plays later Carlos Hyde busted into the endzone (more on Hyde later) and the onslaught of scoring had begun.
After his 72 yard sprint, Miller limped to the sidelines and could not finish the series. It’s the second week in a row that Braxton has given the Buckeye faithful a near heart attack. It’s also the second week in a row he shook off a bump and got back in the game. The question of course has to be asked: Can he keep taking hits and carrying the ball at this pace for an entire season?
With spring practice well underway and the spring game quickly approaching, it is time to move from “way too early looks” at each position into some more informed analysis based on practice reports.
[Note: I apologize for not getting to the defensive backs in my “way too early looks”.]
This offseason has been a tumultuous one to say the least. The tattoo revelations leading up to the Sugar Bowl and the resulting suspensions guaranteed a shadow over the off season. The additional news concerning Jim Tressel didn’t exactly make that shadow go away.
Fortunately, time heals all wounds, and cracking pads on the field helps to speed up that process- at least for me. After some time off from writing following the Tressel news conference (which is part of the reason why I didn’t get to the DBs), my enthusiasm for football is back in full swing.
So what follows will not only be a look at the DBs for the first time, but also a review of all of the position groups with some updated thoughts based on news from practice. I apologize ahead of time if this ends up being lengthy.
My rebuttal: FOOTBALL!
My attitude this offseason has always been that no matter what happens, when the Buckeyes take care of business on the field everything else will fade into the background.
Redemption through wins.
Off field BS be damned.
Here is a look at how each position is looking heading into the spring game.
Checking in with a preview of the Offense / Defense Bowl being played Dec. 31 @ 4. Will be held in Myrtle Beach South Carolina. TV will only be Comcast in the South.
Practices have been delayed because of players not arriving on time, due to the weather on the east coast. We could see a very sloppy game because of the lack of practice, even moreso than usual in these all-star games.
“All Eyes on OSU” is one of the storylines for this game. With 7 committs playing in the game and 6 of them on East team:
On the West will be Florida safety Jeremy Cash. The game looks to have a heavy Buckeye flavor.
The game itself has a large Ohio flavor. In addition to the 6 Buckeye commits from Ohio, Cleveland Glenville standouts Shane Wynn and Cardale Jones will suit up for the West team. They were once talked about as being in the running or having offers from Ohio State, but that talk has really died in the past month or so.
Two of my favorite players from Ohio that were not offered by Ohio State are both Notre Dame commitments- Pickerington safety Eilar Hardy and Cincy Colerain LB Jarret Grace, also suiting up for the West side.
The others from Ohio are Westerville OL Ray Ball, who has committed to play at Wisconsin. Strongsville TE Ray Hamilton Brad Carrico has committed to play at Notre Dame. Carrico is the only Ohio player playing for the East team. In total that makes 13 players from the state of Ohio.
Look for a fun and exciting game with a lot of local talent and stay tuned for a post game write up. In the meantime check out this link for updates on practices and any updates on our recruits from our friends at Buckeyeplanet.com.
At 6’6″ and 225 lbs. Vannett has the frame to develop into a dominating blocker (just the way Ohio State likes ‘em at TE). At the same time, he has the athleticism to stretch the field as a legitimate passing threat. We will see what Ohio State does with that.
Regardless, Buckeye Nation should be plenty excited about this commitment.
With offers from Notre Dame, Michigan, Penn State, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Tennessee, Virginia Tech and Oregon among many others, Vannett was one of the top TE prospects in the midwest and the country.
Vannett joins Florida prospect Jeff Heuerman as TEs in the class of 2011.
Here’s the video from Scouting Ohio; they also have Nick’s complete list of offers.
Welcome to the family Nick!
Update: Josh Perry verbally committed to Ohio State today, becoming the first commit in the class of 2012. Welcome to Buckeye Nation Mr. Perry!
When you are on a recruiting roll like Ohio State is, it is never too early to look ahead.
But first a quick look at the 2011 class.
Also, it appears that Ohio OL/DL prospect Donavon Clark may have earned himself an offer at Ohio State’s Senior Advanced Camp this past weekend. If he did in fact receive an offer, he may be another likely candidate to commit sooner rather than later, even though he says he would like to take some official visits before making a decision.
Regardless of what happens with Clark, with Vannett and Tanner in the fold, that brings the 2011 class to 17 players… before fall practice even starts.
With the 2011 class coming together so nicely, and with many more outstanding prospects waiting to fill those last few spots (Doran Grant, Aundrey Walker), it seems like a good time to take a look at 2012.
The 2011 class is going to be outstanding (no matter who fills the last few spots). The 2012 class could be even better.
I know, I know, you are probably saying to yourself that 2012 is way too far away to be making bold predictions like that. You are also probably saying that I am hopelessly optimistic as well. But seriously, the amount of in-state talent in the 2012 class is tremendous, and there are quite a few verbal offers already on the table. Best of all, it appears that almost every single stand out Ohio prospect has Ohio State as their early and overwhelming favorite.
Still don’t believe me? Well, take a look for yourself. Read More
Alternative title for this update: Christmas in June or The Homestretch.
With the commitment of legacy WR Evan Spencer on Saturday, the class of 2011 has grown to 13 players. That means that the magic number for the rest of the class is 9 (or so I have read). What happens with the last 9 scholarships? that is what I am here to talk about.
Breaking News: Joel Hale has committed to the Buckeyes as I put the final touches on this post. I will leave the text the same, mostly so I look smart.
First I’d like to elaborate on some things from my last recruiting update.
Most importantly, I want to retract my position that Trey DePriest is an “absolute must get” for this class. I based that designation mostly on the fact that if Ohio State lost DePriest to Alabama, that would be two years in a row that the top LB in Ohio left the state for college.
Upon further examination, who cares?
First, Ohio State is absolutely loaded at LB and will be for several years to come, making the position less than a priority for this class.
Second, the way this class is shaping up, Ohio State may have its choice of premier players. This means two things. One, players that wait until signing day may not have a scholarship waiting for them, even if their name is DePriest. Two, since LB is not an area of need at the moment, why not give that extra spot to a premiere player at a position that Ohio State is a little thinner at.
Third, I get a generally bad feeling about the recruitment. When a kid wavers this much early on, it does not lead to good things for Ohio State in most cases. I would love to see DePriest in scarlet and gray, but in situations like this it is better to hope for the best and prepare for the worst. DePriest is an absolute wild card in this recruiting class, but from what I can tell things just aren’t looking good for Ohio State here.
The moral of the story is that DePriest is a wild card for this class, and not an ‘absolute must get’ like I said before.
First things first, a big congratulations to Mr. Miller on an excellent college choice.
If he keeps his head on straight, he has the tools to be the next great QB at The Ohio State University. Exciting stuff. For evaluation and video of what he brings to the table, check out our coverage from earlier in the week.
It is a good day because Miller is on board as a Buckeye, but it may be an even better day because of the implications that Miller’s commitment has for the rest of the class.
Bringing one of the top players in the country on board is something that other recruits take notice of, particularly if that player is a QB.
The Miller commitment has the potential to create a domino affect on some other top players around Ohio (maybe around the country), and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few more players become a part of this class sooner rather than later.
The class of 2011 is already in great shape, especially considering how early it is in the recruiting season. With a strong close, aided by some active recruiting by Miller and other Buckeye commits, Ohio State is in line for a top 5 recruiting class. Read More