Should auld acquaintance be forgot and never blah blah blah… it’s the second B1G/SEC tilt of the day, and should be airing right about the time that you find your keys in the bottom of the guacamole.
The History: This is one of the oldest games in the country, and was formerly the “Tangerine Bowl”. Because of it’s location, African American players were not allowed to participate, causing Hillsdale to decline their team’s offer to the game in 1955, and Buffalo choosing to do the same in 1958. In 1966, Morgan State (a historically black college) won the game and finished their season undefeated.
The “gifts that you can’t sell at all” for the student athletes in this game include yet another Fossil Watch and a $420 shopping trip to a local Best Buy. 420. Seriously. While this is awesome in and of itself… if I was participating, I’d really want something a bit more connected with the game’s sponsor, like, say “cash” or medieval weaponry.
Ohio State is 1-3 in this game, with their only win coming against BYU in 1985. The last B1G team to win this game was… wait for it… TTUN, giving Urban Meyer his only loss in Llllloyd Carr’s final game. Alec Baldwin was not involved in any way.
Georgia Scouting Report – At the beginning of the season, the Bulldogs’ head coach found himself on a short list of coaches that might be replaced in January. A brilliant campaign that led to a three way tie in the SEC East and a berth in the SEC Championship Game has certainly stopped those whispers. The Dawgs’ best win was the “upset” of Florida in the Swamp, where they held the Gators to nine points; their most heartbreaking loss was against Alabama in the SECCG- a game that was decided by really poor clock management at the end of the contest. Georgia’s offense is led by the aerial attack of Aaron Murray and Tavarres King, while Todd Gurley’s 1260 yards on the ground help balance the Bulldogs’ game plan. However, it’s linebacker Jarvis Jones who gets the headlines most often, his numbers are among the tops in the nation and certainly better than a certain Heisman candidate.
Buckeye Connection- The Buckeyes are 1-o against Georgia, although any chance for a more current assessment went by the wayside when the proposed series against the Bulldogs was cancelled to set up the B1G/PAC challenge… which was then cancelled. If it helps, Urban Meyer owns Mark Richt. Read More
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?
Last year Nebraska joined the B1G and Ohio State traveled to Lincoln for an exciting game. Last year also introduced us to Tad Stryker, Dan “Husker Dan” McGlynn, and Husker Max.com. They joined us last year for our questions and they graciously decided to put up with us again this year and answer our questions about this year’s game.
1) Watching Nebraska defeat Wisconsin (woot!!) on Saturday, we couldn’t help but have deja vu with the second half comeback. Do you attribute that to great half-time adjustments, players executing the game plan better in the third and fourth quarters, home crowd momentum, or Bert Bielema just being awful? We’ll totally accept a combination of the two.
Tad Stryker: Yeah, that comeback did bring back a memory or two, didn’t it? The home crowd was a big factor, but the players settled down and stopped making critical mistakes. As far as coaching goes, putting Ciante Evans on Abbrederis for the second half was one of the best adjustments the Huskers made all evening. Second-year offensive coordinator Tim Beck stuck with the running game despite being down 17 points, unlike last year in Madison.
Husker Dan: The main cause of the Huskers’ second half resurgence was that they got out of their own way. There were also half-time adjustments to the offensive and defensive line schemes. Better execution, half time adjustments and the fact that Russell Wilson is playing for the Seahawks helped to contribute to the Husker win! Bret Bielema is a good coach, but clearly doesn’t have the talent he’s had the past few years.
2) Taylor Martinez has improved his passing significantly this year, both statistically and in his decision making. However, there seem to be several moments of regression (UCLA game, 1st half against Wisconsin)… what are the coaches doing to help him put together a complete game?
HD: This is a great question. I’m not sure the coaches can do much, other than stay out of his way. Taylor Martinez is light years from where he was a year ago. He played most of 2011 with two bad wheels that limited his ability to throw and run. This year, he’s become much more of a leader. He is definitely in charge of the offense. We’ve seen flashes of brilliance this fall. When he reaches his full potential, look out. He has the potential to be one of the best quarterbacks in the country.
TS: Martinez has improved a lot, but I still don’t think he can beat a high-level opponent with his arm alone. I think the coaches just need to keep reinforcing his confidence and let him run the ball with abandon (no more hook slides). When the Husker run game improves, Martinez improves as a passer, and so on.
3) At the game in the Rose Bowl, the Blackshirts seemed to be out of position in a number of occasions. What adjustments have Nebraska’s defensive personnel and coaches made since UCLA? Read More
This past weekend in East Lansing the Buckeyes put on a gutsy performance and came away with a narrow win over the Michigan State Spartans, 17-16. This week Ohio State returns home to the friendly confines of Ohio Stadium for a nightcap with the Nebraska Cornhuskers on national television (ABC 8:00 EST). It also marks the return of Bo Pelini, a captain on John Cooper’s 1990 Ohio State team. Saturday night also brings the opportunity for another shot at a goal achieved in East Lansing: Payback.
Wanna hear a dirty joke? A pig rolled in the mud. Want to see a dirty play? Watch this video of MSU’s Jack Allen (number 66) trying to gouge out the eyes of Jonathan Hankins at the end of a run caught beautifully by the ABC/ESPN camera crew.
I know what you’re thinking: Doesn’t this happen at the bottom of those dog piles for fumbles and after tackles all the time? Well, actually, no it doesn’t. See, despite what old school commentators or that guy at the bar who was all-league in high school and is now “in between jobs, but somethin’ll come up!” may want you to believe, sportsmanship does exist on a football field. Not everyone is trying to literally poke someone’s eyes out when they think nobody is looking. What drives me really insane about this is the thought of how often must it have been happening for Allen to pull it so blatantly?
The video has been turned in to the Big Ten offices for review. Anything less than a one game suspension for Allen is unacceptable. Remember Robert Reynolds choking Jim Sorgi in 2003 at Wisconsin? Reynolds was on the phone with Barry Alvarez the next day apologizing to both him and Sorgi for the incident. He then received a suspension and sat for a week. While Allen’s actions didn’t take Hankins out of the game like Reynolds with Sorgi, it is just as heinous and deserves an equal punishment.
By the way, if you recall, as an aside, Sorgi really played up that throat thing for all it was worth too, didn’t he? I mean come on man, you could have gone back in the game… I have to let things go.
After Further Review
Two other interesting tidbits came out of Spartan Stadium on Saturday, one was blown way out of proportion and the other has largely been ignored. Read More