Continued thoughts and prayers to our friends in Cowboy and Sooner land… soundtrack should be obvious for today.
Simon’s contract has a total value of $2.545 million, including a $385,652 signing bonus. The deal includes base salaries of $405,000, $495,000, $585,000 and $675,000.
A bit of a different version of WDYWTSOS, since we all want to see the same thing- Awesomeness and no injuries.
So, we’ve polled our staff of experts for their predictions on the following aspects for “Getting Down At Paul Brown”- let’s see how much everyone’s been paying attention to the Spring Practice Updates:
What player scores the first points of the game?
WVa: Braxton Miller will score first and it will be on a long run.
Ken: Devin Smith on a long pass play from The Brax
Jason: Rod Smith. My bet is they limit Hyde and with Brax wearing the black shirt his running is cut out.
Janelle: Devin Smith on a deep ball from Braxton
Eric: Might as well ask what your favorite color of M&M is based on the taste. I’ll go with Michael Thomas on a nice Brax pass.
Dexter: I’m going to go with Evan Spencer on a Bomb downfield from Braxton Miller. That is my favorite color M&M.
Charles: To be a bit different, I’ll go with Drew Basil
Mali: The obvious answer is Drew Basil.
Who’s the offensive MVP? Read More
Basketball’s regular season is in the books. It’s officially time to get serious: Its tournament time. It’s also Wednesday night and you know what that means… Let’s rumble!
Hoops on Hoops
The Buckeyes finished the regular season Sunday with a 13 point home win over Illinois. They finish with a record of 23-7, good for a tie for second place in the Big Ten and the number two overall seed in the Big Ten Tournament. They now await tomorrow’s winner of Purdue vs Nebraska and will play Friday at 6:30 eastern on the Big Ten Network.
Interesting Tuesday in college sports, to say the least. We’ll get to all the movers and shakers, but first a little traveling music.
Most of the frustration was aimed at the inclusion of Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o, who we’ve argued here before is only a finalist due to his team’s success, solid (but not great) numbers, and the great “story” that his season has been- both for him and as a heart of the awakened echoes of the Irish program. Tony Gerdeman from the OZone compared Te’o to AJ Hawk, the last linebacker to be seriously considered for the Heisman, and found that Hawk’s numbers eclipsed the Irish’ star. He, along with the guys at Land Grant Holy Land (check out the infographic) continue to compare his numbers to Ohio State’s Ryan Shazier- Gerd points out that, in the last three games of the season, Shazier outplayed Te’o and almost doubled his statistics, minus the interceptions. Given that Te’o plays in a variation of the Tampa 2 defense which requires more coverage, this might make sense- different roles for both players. But it does highlight the fact that Te’o is a debatable finalist… and as such, might have just as well been left home with Miller and Marquis Lee (who I believe is the best player in the country this season).
With no hope of a national championship, the Buckeyes saw excellence as its own reward—and achieved it. What better example of pure sportsmanship could there be? Next year, Ohio State will once again be jockeying for a high-profile bowl berth and all the cash that flows from it. This year’s team, by contrast, will stand forever as the one that played not for money but for pride.
Staying undefeated in November is a tough task. Just ask the Ohio State Buckeyes, who needed overtime to take care of business in Madison, Wisconsin against the Badgers on Saturday. Credit the Badgers for fighting to the end. Credit the Buckeyes for overcoming adversity and making plays to keep the dream alive.
Bert and the boys
It really seemed early on that the Buckeyes were going to run away with the game against Bert Bielema and his Wisconsin Badger boys. When Cory Brown’s punt return for a touchdown put the Buckeyes up 7 followed by a machine-like high tempo drive early in the second quarter that resulted in a Carlos Hyde touchdown giving the Bucks a 14 point lead, the Camp Randall crowd seemed uninterested and it looked like the good guys were going to have their way. We certainly didn’t see the dramatic ending that put this game in line with the recent history of classic endings in Wisconsin-Ohio State games on the horizon.
Both teams showed great perseverance and battled through the highs and lows of the game. For the Badgers it was facing a 14 point hole. For the Buckeyes, it was a stalling second half offense that couldn’t get things going. For the first time this season, Braxton Miller was contained.
Bielema and his staff devised a great scheme that slowed up Miller: Set the edge and force him to show his hand early on as to where he was going along with spying him with a corner and a safety. It is similar to what we saw Stanford due to Oregon later that night. They are daring the quarterback to stay in the pocket and beat them with his arm. They are also running the risk their spy’s can make a tackle one-on-one with one of the most elusive players in college football. The Badgers I’m sure are aware he hasn’t earned the name “XBrax360” because he lacks shake and spin. Bert’s gamble paid off and Wisconsin held Miller to his lowest yardage totals of the season and kept the Buckeye offense stammering to the end result of (even with overtime) a mere 21 points.
Fortunately in the overtime he offense got on track. Better late than never, I guess. Carlos Hyde’s seemingly easy touchdown gave the Buckeyes the coveted overtime edge of 7 points and put it on the shoulders of their defense. Four plays later, the Buckeyes were 11-0.
Last week we spotlighted the Wisconsin-Ohio State rivalry and how it was blossoming into a true “second tier” rivalry for the Buckeyes. Saturday’s game added to the burgeoning legacy. It was definitely one for the ages. Read More
After it was unclear if he would return after a brutal collision with Wisconsin running back Montee Ball in the fourth quarter, Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier made announced his return in the biggest way possible.
With the Buckeyes leading 14-7 and just over three minutes remaining in the game, Wisconsin had the ball 4th-and-1 from the OSU 2-yard line. We all knew who was getting the football, and Shazier knocked the ball out of Montee Ball’s hands and Christian Bryant recovered, giving the Buckeyes possession and the ability to hold on and get a 14-7 victory in Madison.
Far from it. The Badgers got the ball back and drove 41 yards in 1:25 and quarterback Curt Phillips found Jacob Pederson for a 5-yard touchdown to tie the game at 14 and send it to overtime.
In overtime, the Buckeyes scored first on just four plays as Carlos Hyde carried the ball in from two yards out.
Wisconsin’s possession ended on an incomplete pass on fourth down as Christian Bryant broke up a pass, giving the Buckeyes the 21-14 victory.
The Buckeyes led the Badgers 14-7 at halftime. After getting down 14-0, Wisconsin was able to respond with an eight play, 82-yard drive to pull within a touchdown heading into the intermission.
Statistically, the Badgers somewhat dominated in the first half–and the game. It was no secret Wisconsin wanted to run the ball, and the Badgers totaled 140 yards on the ground in that first half, 206 for the game.
Several things stood out from the game, both good and bad.
1. Philly Brown’s growth is somewhat astounding. I wasn’t expecting much of anything from Brown at the beginning of the season, but he’s really blossomed into a nice player. His 68-yard punt return for a touchdown to open the scoring was a thing of beauty.
2. The offensive line’s play is really fun to watch. This has to be the best group that OSU has had in recent memory. Some of it may be that Jim Bollman is no longer the coach, but I really enjoy watching these guys pave the way for Braxton and company.
3. John Simon was named as a Lott semifinalist earlier this week–an award given to the nation’s top defensive player. He played like it today, recording four sacks.
4. Carlos Hyde continues to impress me. He didn’t get the ball nearly enough, but he finished with 87 yards on 15 carries and two touchdowns.
1. The play-calling today was atrocious. No creativity whatsoever and the offensive game plan was extremely predictable. Not very Urban Meyer-like at all.
2. I hit on this earlier, but the run defense was less than stellar today. Ohio State was second in the Big Ten in rushing defense coming into today’s game, but the Buckeyes gave up 206 yards on the ground. Granted, Montee Ball is one of the best backs in the country, but that is just not good enough.
3. Braxton Miller didn’t play his best game today. He was just 10 for 18 passing for 97 yards and was held to just 48 yards on 23 carries. He needs to learn to throw the football away, though. With that said, he’s still one of the top quarterbacks in the country and I’m glad he’s a Buckeye.
We all got what we wanted, though. Ohio State is 11-0 heading into “The Game” next Saturday.
It’s going to be epic.
Ohio State finally did to a bad opponent what it should.
The Buckeyes have seemed to play up or down to their level of competition this season, but not today as OSU downed Illinois, 52-22.
Illinois (2-7, 0-4) is a bad team. But, you still have to be encouraged by some things you saw today.
1. Ohio State’s defensive line is really, really special. Every player that is involved in the rotation can make plays against both the run and the pass.
2. Braxton Miller is the most exciting player in college football. He still has a ways to go as a passer, but the plays he makes with his feet. In the first half, Miller completed just five passes, but threw for 152 yards and one touchdown. His final numbers on the day were 12 for 20 passing for 226 yards and two touchdowns. He also carried the ball 18 times for 73 yards and one touchdown.
3. Carlos Hyde is a touchdown machine. Hyde added three more touchdowns today, bringing his season total to 13. Hyde finished the day with 18 carries for 137 yards and the three touchdowns.
4. Ryan Shazier is playing himself into an All-Big Ten linebacker. Over the past three games, he’s been absolutely tremendous for the Buckeyes. Today, he finished the game with 14 tackles.
It’s hard to be picky in such a one-sided game, but my main concern with this OSU team as that it continues to get off to very slow starts. Today, they allowed Illinois to score first as it kicked a field goal on two of its first three drives. The Buckeyes led just 7-6 after the first quarter.
There also were too many penalties for Ohio State that extended Illinois drives. For the game, the Buckeyes had six penalties for 79 yards.
With the blowout victory, the Buckeyes will head into the bye week with a 10-0 record. OSU’s final two games (at Wisconsin and vs. Michigan) are all that stand between a perfect 12-0 record in Urban Meyer’s first season as head coach.
Not too shabby for a team that finished 6-7 a year ago.
This week’s soundtrack takes you back to 1978, well before vampires were sparkly and werewolves were dreamy. Happy All Hallows Eve, folks…