A trip to Evanston to face the Wildcats brings us another night game and brings another week of our experts’ wishes.
The #4/3 Buckeyes (5-0, 1-0) move their Prime Time show from Columbus, OH to Evanston, IL for another 8:00 PM kickoff. The opponents, the undefeated (4-0, 0-0) #16/15 Northwestern Wildcats. Yes, another night game against another ranked B1G team.
When I saw this game on the schedule, I was only mildly concerned about the outcome. And that was based on the 2004 night game debacle in Evanston, not on this year’s talent/performance. Northwestern will be a different challenge from Wisconsin, in that, despite what we saw on Saturday, the Wildcats bring a legitimate balanced offense into this game.
Northwestern has two legitimate quarterbacks in Kain Colter (27-35, 264 yds, 4TD, 2INT)/Trevor Siemian (47-70, 671, 3,2), two quality running backs in Venric Mark (if healthy)/Treyvon Green (101 YPG)and two quality receivers in Tony Jones/Christian Jones (39 Rec, 15 YPR, 5TD). Their offense is also a bit different from Wiscy’s in that rather than relying on raw power, Northwestern brings more speed and elusiveness to the field.
Last year’s all-everything running back Venric Mark appears to be healthy enough to be listed on the Wildcats depth chart as the starting running back for Saturday. This could be a Carlos Hyde situation where a player comes back to play in a big game after a 2-3 game layoff. Whether Venric Mark gets the every down workload remains to be seen, but I expect him to see spot duty in the backfield and to line up as kick/punt returner. Last year, Venric was 2nd team all-conference as a running back, and All-American as a punt returner, so look for Pat Fitzgerald and his staff to put him in positions to handle the ball, particularly in the open field.
In today’s edition, we celebrate number 20, an Ohio State victory over Northwestern on September 27th, 2009, 20-0. We’re coming down the homestretch with our countdown, so I’m going to mix in some games where the days remaining will equal an Ohio State score.
The 4th ranked Buckeyes won their 19th consecutive game when they hosted and shut down the Wildcats. It was a woeful performance by the Ohio State offense who played without QB Craig Krenzel (elbow) and RB Maurice Clarett (year-long suspension). OSU alternated TD’s with FG’s as Lydell Ross scored on a 12-yard run, followed by a Mike Nugent FG, Ryan Hamby TD reception and another Nugent FG. Northwestern’s
John Shurma Jason Wright was the game’s leading scorer rusher with 55 yards, so no, not much on offense. Consequently, not much in highlights.
In today’s episode of tBBC’s Kickoff Countdown, we feature #65, which was the total score of Ohio State’s September 7th, 2007 beat down of Northwestern, 58-7.
Not to put too fine a point on this game, but it was effectively over with 5:26 left in the 1st Quarter when Vern Gholston returned a fumble to put the Buckeyes up 28-0.
The OSU defense clamped down on the Northwestern offense, holding them to zero, zip, zilch net rushing yards. Thirty-three rushing attempts, with nothing to show for them. Their lone score was a 99-yd kickoff return. However, it was not all bad news for the Wildcats, since they easily won the time of possession battle, 32:50 – 27:10. This may be explained by Ohio State’s first four scoring drive consuming: 1:10, 0:52, 1:33 and 0:48, respectively. A fine example of Jim Tressel’s QSO (Quick Strike Offense).
If you don’t believe me, here’s video proof: Read More
In today’s episode of tBBC’s Kickoff to Countdown series, we come to #66, celebrating Ohio State’s 45-21 win over Northwestern on October 19th, 1968. The Buckeyes had come off a so-so year in 1967 (6-3), and 1968 was the debut season of the Super-Sophomores.
Ohio State entered the game 3-0, have previously beaten #1 ranked Purdue 13-0 in one of the most inspired performances I’ve ever seen. Theoretically, the stage was set for a “letdown” game hosting Northwestern. Except, not really. N’Western entered the game 0-4, did not improve their lot against OSU and ended the season 1-9.
This win moved the Buckeyes to 4-0 and gave them another “W” in what would end up being an undefeated season.
In today’s episode of the tBBC’s Countdown to Kickoff series, we are at #79, which can only mean the point total of the November 4th, 1989 beat-down that Ohio State put on Northwestern, 52-27.
Coach Cooper had the running game going in Evanston, with three Buckeyes hitting 100 yards. They were Dante Lee (157 yds, 3 TD’s), Scottie Graham (102, 1) and Carlos Snow (100, 1).
Our friend Vico talked about this matchup over at OHD (even had video of it before it got taken down), and points out a couple of other tidbits-
Northwestern has always been an interesting matchup for Ohio State; from the “doormat” status they held early on, through the Gary Barnett successes and the 2004 upset of Coach Tressel’s team, to the great things that Pat Fitzgerald is doing now. I’m among many who believe that the game in Evanston may be one of OSU’s toughest this coming season… although I’d prefer to relive the 1989 events.
10:15 PM – Make sure to stop back tomorrow for more live coverage from Indianapolis from WVaBuckeye and Gary Russell! A preview of tomorrow’s games will be up shortly to get you ready for all four excellent matchups.
10:00 PM – Gary Russell here from Indy finishing out today’s action. The second half started off with a flurry but Purdue really flexed its muscles in pulling away and beating Nebraska in the Husker’s first trip to the tourney by a score of 79-61. Today’s action reminded me of what the Big Ten is all about. While Minnesota’s overtime thriller was the best game of the day, the other games still showed us that the Big Ten has tremendous heart, determination, and class. Here’s to a great first day and an awesome second day.
9:00 PM – Gary Russell from Indy and Purdue is leading Nebraska 39-31 at halftime. Upset minded Nebraska kept it close early but they didn’t seem to have an answer for Purdue on the boards. The Boilermakers cashed in on their second chance points going up by 15 at one point. Bo Spencer hits a three and a lay up at the 2:03 mark shrinking the lead to 8. The teams trade baskets to close out the half putting us where we are at halftime.
7:40 PM – Northwestern’s dreams came to an end here in OT. A hot shooting Gopher squad made their free throws and some timely threes to post a 75-68 win. Shurna and Cobb combined for 45 of Northwestern’s points, while Andre Hollins lead Minnesota and all scorers with 25. Minnesota moves on to face TTUN tomorrow in game three of day 2.
Sometimes you just have to submit to the fact that Nerds got it going on. Despite losing to it’s only two ranked opponents in non-conference play, the Wildcats enter the Big Ten season at a sizzling 10-2. In the pre-season, we took a closer look at the Wildcats with the belief that they could contend in the Big Ten just one year after arguably their best season in the last decade.
Hope and aspiration turns into reality tomorrow night, as the Wildcats meet the Ohio State Buckeyes to open up B1G play in Columbus.
|Head Coach:||Bill Carmody|