We have a lot to discuss. No sense in wasting time with a long introduction, let’s get right down to it. It’s Wednesday, let’s rumble!
Big Ten Championship game
I’m sitting here putting this together and still can’t belive the Buckeyes lost and the way in which it happened. I knew the Spartan defense was good, I just didn’t realize how physical they were. I knew the Silver Bullet defense was much maligned, essentially, all season but they’ve held on long enough to claim wins. Maybe the biggest shocker was that I didn’t think the Spartan offense was good enough to wear them out the Buckeye defense like they did.
Charles Davis pointed out in the late stages of the third quarter that the Buckeye defense, most notably the front four, were giving away all the tell-tale signs of a team getting gassed and worn out. I tried to deny it and hope Davis was wrong, but by the middle portions of the fourth quarter it was apparent that Joey Bosa, Noah Spence, Adolphus Washington and Michael Bennett were clearly running on fumes. As a result, Spartan quarterback Connor Cook suddenly had plenty of time to find his receivers and make solid throws.
Even when the Buckeyes brought a linebacker or defensive back on a blitz it was to no avail as the Spartans didn’t have to double team anyone up front and could dedicate a guard or tackle to taking on the blitzer. It was frustrating and discouraging. If there is a strength on the Buckeye defense it is the front four. They got beat on Saturday night. Read More
This week is THE GAME and and the game we have all been waiting for. I’m sure this article also has the wishes you have all been waiting for. Let’s see ‘em guys and gal:
What a show put on by the Buckeyes! We wrap up quite a night in The Shoe as the Buckeyes wallop Penn State and we look forward to the final four games of the regular season. We’ll also take another peak at the BCS and see where the Buckeyes stand nationally and how they can get themselves into the National Championship game. It’s Wednesday, let’s rumble!
You can’t always get what you want
How often do we ask for the Buckeyes to perform to the fullest of their potential and show the world what we all feel they are capable of? We sit and ponder the scenarios of “If this guy can do this and that guy can do that…” in hopes of seeing it all come together. Saturday night was one of those times where it all clicked and the proverbial light bulb turned on.
As a complete unit with Braxton Miller at quarterback and Carlos Hyde at running back, this is only the third game we have seen the Buckeye offense play together. Think about that for a second. After drilling Penn state for 63 points (42 in the first half!) this is an offense that is just now, from a gelling together and games played standpoint, heading into early-mid season form.
The lyrics may say that “you can’t always get what you want”, but I’m here to tell you we are getting what we need. We are getting an offense that is about to hit their high point with four (five including the Big Ten Championship game) games left to play. You couldn’t ask for more.
Anatomy of a force
Braxton Miller is back. I don’t want to hear anything else about it. He is officially the Braxton Miller that was the Heisman frontrunner coming into the season. It took a while and some missed time to get there, but he is here. His feet are back. He looks as tough as ever taking on tacklers. His arm is like a rocket. And the most importantly, he is making great decisions and has his completion percentage is over 70%. Read More
The Buckeyes finished off a hard fought win at Northwestern late Saturday night and then the bye week began. As the warm nights come to a close, let’s look back a bit on the first half, ahead at the potential BCS standings, and put a sock in the mouth of the people STILL complaining about Luke Fickell. It’s Wednesday, let’s rumble!
Northwestern And The First 6
I still can’t believe that we are six weeks into the 2013 football season. Time fly’s when you’re having fun is more than just a saying.
We come to the midpoint off a road win on national television in Evanston against the Northwestern Wildcats. And let there be no question about it, the Wildcats were game to fight and did just that. I still saw a lot of opportunity to put this game to bed early, but the Wildcats heart and the Buckeyes willingness to miss tackles, blow coverage, commit turnovers and penalties would hear nothing of it.
And here we were at halftime, Buckeye Nation all abuzz with comments about how Braxton Miller should be replaced by Kenny Guiton and Luke Fickell should be fired like Lane Kiffin. I was born and raised in Northeast Ohio and love my Cleveland sports teams, but I have to ask: When did Buckeye Nation start becoming like Cleveland sports fans in the sense that nobody gets a fair argument, everyone is an expert and players need to be replaced at the first sign of not looking like Peyton Manning, Clay Mathews or Bill Belichik? One of the things I have always loved about the Columbus sports scene and especially Ohio State fans in their strong footing in reality. More on this later… Read More
Well, that was a somewhat interesting game on Saturday, wasn’t it? I’ve noticed there’s been the usual beefing, complaining and angst about Ohio State scheduling an FCS team like Florida A&M University. These feelings have come in the guise of articles and their comments. I can understand that; demolishing a clearly inferior opponent 76-0 doesn’t prompt me to don my Buckeye garb and proudly puff up my chest.
The articles that I’ve read are well thought out and generally have the theme of “Oh, Gene, why did you do this?” or something similar. Good sentiment, but quite a few major programs schedule this way, for various reasons.
The general tone of some commenters was it was a classless example of running up the score on a clearly overmatched opponent. I want to address the comments that I’ve seen that take Urban Meyer, personally, to task for his team’s rout of FAMU.
After a slow start by his standards, Wisconsin running back Montee Ball is running through defenses in the last five games just like he did last year–a season in which he was invited to New York as a Heisman Trophy finalist.
Over the past five games, Ball has rushed for 773 yards and ten touchdowns. Those numbers are a bit eye-opening, considering he ran for just 453 yards and six touchdowns in Wisconsin’s first five games.
So, what has changed in the second half of the season for Ball?
Well, it starts with the team’s offensive strategy. Wisconsin is one of those teams which does not waiver its style of play year after year. You know exactly what to expect when you play the Badgers.
I think Wisconsin got away from that a bit in its first five games, and it was no accident they were just 3-2 to start the year. But of late the Badgers have gotten back to what they do best. Running the football with their best player, Montee Ball.
We have all seen Ohio State’s defense be susceptible to the big play this season, but a lot of those have come through the passing game.
Ohio State’s defense allows the second fewest rushing yards per game in the Big Ten, allowing 107.9 yards per game.
No doubt, the key to this game for OSU will be its ability to stop Wisconsin’s Montee Ball.
This game has all the makings of a low-scoring, slower paced, Big Ten slugfest. Ohio State knows it cannot play for a B1G Championship this season, but they can still win the Leaders Division outright with a win over the Badgers.
We all remember the game last year. When OSU quarterback Braxton Miller found wide receiver Devin Smith in the end zone, it was the highlight of the 2011 season for the Buckeyes. In that game, though, Ohio State’s defense held Ball to his second-lowest rushing total of the season, 85 yards.
If Ohio State can duplicate that success of stopping the star tailback, the Buckeyes will head into the final game of the season against Michigan still undefeated, with a chance to earn a twelfth victory over that team up north.
There are winning games ugly, and then there is what Ohio State’s victory over Illinois was. Four total pass attempts, one completed pass, and plenty of runs made the Buckeyes’ win in Champaign about as unattractive as a win can get.
The bye week provided plenty of retrospect for the team, the fans, and pundits alike. There is plenty to ponder as we barrel towards the end of the regular season. As unlikely as it might seem, Ohio State still has an opportunity to win the Leaders Division if they were to win all of their remaining games.
That task is not without its pitfalls especially starting this week against the Wisconsin Badgers, who are coming off a 37-31 loss at the hands of Michigan State. If there was an opportunity to knock the boys from Madison off, I thought the best case scenario would be off of a tough loss to Sparty. Since this writer turned out to be Nostradamus on the first part, let’s just see if step number two will come to fruition this Saturday. With that, let’s dive into a little Scarlet and Gray Q&A.
What kind of positive momentum does the win at Illinois provide?
In short, it provides a lot. This might seem like a no brainer but there seemed to be plenty of positive ways to look at the game. Rewind to two Saturdays ago, and you might recall the high winds that wreaked havoc on offensive game plans that day. While there is some room to debate how much the elements affected the Buckeyes offensive game plan, it had to have some effect on how few passing plays were called. Read More
“You are never as bad as you look, but you are never as good as you look either. The truth is you are somewhere in the middle.”
It is an old sports adage that has elevated the feelings of a downtrodden team or brought the lofty dreams of a fan base crashing back to reality.
I opened last weekend’s piece saying it would be easy to ignore how bad the Buckeyes looked in South Beach, and it would be easy to dismiss how good the team looked against Colorado.
Reality and perception might be far apart as to how good Ohio State was against Colorado, but the 180 degrees this team turned in a week was an impressive feat.
Sure, Colorado look bewildered the first quarter and half of football. When you play that bad on special teams, it is pretty easy for the opponent to seize momentum and never look back.
As Ohio State rolls towards a showdown with Sparty in the ‘Shoe, it is time to address some of the more pressing questions from Buckeye nation after a solid win.
What should people think of Braxton Miller’s performance against Colorado?
This is one of the more difficult questions that were asked after the game last weekend. The numbers were solid. The freshman sensation had 83 yards rushing and threw for two scores. The touchdowns were some of the few highlights the passing game produced. Miller was 5-13 for just 83 yards passing. In his defense, however, he was victim of a few dropped passes.
On the surface it is clear there are still some issues in the passing game, but at the end of the day the numbers were tolerable, especially when there were no turnovers by Miller. Even Terrelle Pryor threw an interception is his first start at quarterback. Read More