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.
And The Chase Continues…
The Buckeyes and Wolverines met for their annual rivalry tilt in The Game today in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In a game that was a severe departure from the historical battles in this series, the Bucks and Wolverines fought to a 42-41 game that ended with an OSU victory and their 24th straight. Braxton Miller ended the game throwing 6/15 passes for 133 yards, 2 touchdowns and an interception, while running for 153 yards and 3 touchdowns on 16 carries. His counterpart, Devin Gardner, threw 32/45 for 451 yards and 4 touchdowns, while running 9 carries for 10 yards and a touchdown.
Carlos Hyde had another history-making day today. His 226 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries counts as the most yards against Michigan of any back in Ohio State history – which puts him above some very prestigious company. This also made for the first time OSU had a pair of 100 yard rushers against Michigan since 1967. On a day with little to no passing for the Buckeyes, Jeff Heuerman led all receivers with 2 catches for 59 yards and a touchdown. De’Veon Smith led Michigan in yards gained on the ground with 57 on 7 carries, while Jeremy Gallon picked up 175 yards and a touchdown on 9 receptions.
This year’s version of the game started with the ball in the hands of the good guys. Things looked good for OSU running the ball with Carlos Hyde up the middle, and the offense was able to work itself into Michigan territory. Unfortunately, a pass thrown behind the receiver, and a sack on first down, helped to stymie the drive. With the Buckeyes punting, it was the first opening drive that Ohio State had failed to score on all season – a quick reminder to throw out the season records when these two teams meet.
Michigan came back with a vengance. Pinned on their own one yard line, it required only 2 plays to put them inside two yards of scoring. Receiver Jeremey Gallon, on second and long, took the screen on the left side, and had enough blockers to find an opening. He was only barely tripped up shy of the endzone by Bradley Roby. On the fourth play of the drive, Devin Gardner ran the option keeper into the endzone for the first points of the game.
Things were looking a little dicey for the Bucks offensively. Miller was struggling to find his targets in the passing game, even though the Buckeyes weren’t throwing much. Carlos Hyde was having little difficulty gaining yardage, but Miller’s running was being reasonably well defended. On another 3rd and long from near mid-field, Miller again went to the long pass. Devin Smith found himself a couple steps ahead of his two defenders, and hauled in the long pass that was a hair overthrown. He managed to maintain his balance enough to fall into the endzone to finally put the Bucks on the board.
The #3 Ohio State Buckeyes (11-0, 7-0) head north for their home-away-from-home game against the TTUN Gulo gulo’s ¹ (7-4, 3-4). The Buckeyes look to continue their habit of winning, 23 in a row (impressive, no?) while the Whatevers look to regain respectability (hahaha). This will be the 110th time The Game will be contested, so we’ve been doing this for a while. Playing football, not blogging.. Since the beginning of this century (2001) Ohio State holds a 10-2 edge. Now for this year’s edition:
¹ Gulo is Latin for ‘glutton’. Surprised?
Ohio State on Offense
Ohio State brings the top scoring team in the conference (48.7 ppg and 531 ypg), which is 12 points and 100 yards per game better than last year’s undefeated team. The tempo is a bit higher, running 75 plays per game this year, compared to 70 last year.
This offensive touchstone for this season was accomplished last week with Carlos Hyde achieving the 1,000 yard mark. As you’re aware, this was Coach Meyer’s first 1,000 yard rusher and validation for Hyde for his patience and dedication. And a testament to the OSU offensive line.
In contrast, TTUN brings a so-so defense to The Game, (25 ppg, 353 ypg), ranking a meh 7th and 5th in the Conference, respectively. TTUN gives up 116 YPG rushing but with Ohio State averaging 315 YPG rushing, that wall will be breached by halftime. With OSU averaging 216 YPG and TTUN allowing 237 YPG, average performance by both units will work out well for the Buckeyes.
Ohio State on Defense Read More
The Buckeyes sit at 11-0 and Hate Week is here. Last night students participated in the annual Mirror Lake jump and tomorrow we settle in for Thanksgiving before the weekends fun begins. It’s Wednesday, let’s rumble!
Saturday at Ohio Stadium was both bitter sweet and bitter cold. Bitter sweet in that we said goodbye to the seniors (and Bradley Roby) and bitter cold because, well, it was cold and snowed like crazy for parts of the game with Indiana.
It’s truly incredible to think of where this senior class has been, or should I say been through. This is a group that was part of the Sugar Bowl winning team against Arkansas in January of 2011, went through the turmoil of “tat-gate”, lost their head coach, lost the Gator Bowl in January of 2012 and now sits on a 23 game school record breaking win streak.
I don’t know that there is a senor class that has gone through those type of massive ups and downs in their careers at Ohio State. You’d be very hard pressed to find one. It is a tribute to the character of them all that they stayed the course through the hard times and are now riding an unprecedented win streak into The Game and the upcoming bowl season where they will hopefully get a chance to play for the national championship.
They could have left, transferred to the schools of their choice. But they didn’t. It’s ironic that during Hate Week a quote by Bo Schembechler would be fitting: Those who stay will be champions. Read More
And so, we draw closer to another season in Ohio Stadium. Senior Day is always special, but this one even more so… and there’s more work yet to be done. Aw, heck… I’m getting all choked up just thinking about it. Here, listen to the soundtrack and enjoy your Thursday.
Playing in Urbana Champaign, the Buckeyes secured their record-tying 22nd straight win over the Illinois Fighting Illini. Playing a game that was a lot more competitive than anyone anticipated, the Buckeyes held off Illinois by a final of 60-35. Braxton Miller struggled a little today throwing the football, connecting on 13 of 29 passes for 150 yards and two touchdowns. He also added 184 yards a touchdown and a fumble on 16 carries. Nathan Scheelhaase had a better day hitting 32/49 for 283 yards, 2 touchdowns, but also 2 interceptions. He picked up an additional 48 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries.
Carlos Hyde was again the star of the game for the Buckeyes. Carlos put together an impressive running day with 24 carries for 246 yards and 4 touchdowns on the ground, along with 2 receptions for 26 yards and a touchdown. While not a 300 yard game, it was strongly reminiscent of Eddie George’s huge game against Illinois in 1995. Corey “Philly” Brown added 7 catches for 49 yards and a touchdown, while Chris Fields picked up 2 catches for 58 yards. On the other side Josh Ferguson carried the ball 15 times for 69 yards and a touchdown, while Steve Hull had 8 receptions for 105 yards and a touchdown.
The Buckeyes started the game with the ball and put the exclaimation point up early. Starting with a strategy that was very similar to the previous two games, Miller began throwing the little dump pass to the outside, once to Dontre Wilson on a short wheel route that he missed, and once to Corey “Philly” Brown on a WR screen. But it was the third play that broke it all open. Miller faked one defender out with the play action, then blew through two defenders that had no idea what was going on. By time the Illinois defense had recovered, Miller was 10 yards past them with a full head of steam on the way to a 70 yard score.
The passing game for the Illini is one of the best in the conference, with Nathan Scheelhaase leading the conference in passing yards. Not surprisingly, Illinois went to it early and found some success moving the ball. On his third pass, Scheelhaase tossed it over the middle into a crowd of Buckeyes that connected squarely with CJ Barnett for a pick. Unfortunately, the Buckeyes screwed up the center to quarterback exchange on first down, and were forced into a 3rd and 19 that they couldn’t convert.
After trading punts that put each team deep in their own territory, the Buckeyes offense got moving again. It was apparent that the wind in the stadium was having a major effect on things. Not only was Miller struggling a little to hit targets down field in the passing game, both under-throwing and over-throwing Devin Smith on long passes, but the entire offensive strategy seemed a little more constrained. Using the short passing game, and taking advantage of the power in the running game, Miller was eventually able to connect on short pass to Hyde in the flat that the runningback was able to put into the endzone from 18 yards out.
We’ve been meeting up with our friends from Champaign a hundred times now; it certainly seems like today’s soundtrack is more than appropriate.
Injury Update- Coach Meyer reported that the team is (finally) healthy, and will be ready for the stretch run. Jordan Hall in particular was pointed out as being active in practice; he’d been struggling with “a knee thing”.