First, a couple of quick announcements….
-No third video this week. I had to make a choice last night on what to do with my evening. I chose playing board games with my daughter (and my friend Janessa), and decided that two videos was enough for the week.
-I actually got a full night’s sleep last night…first time that’s happened on the night before a game in over a year.
-Yet another team from Michigan choked on the big game. Everyone expected the Tigers to roll over the Cardinals. Instead, they just rolled over. Just like last year’s Pistons. And the Pistons the year before that. And the Wolverines in their Bowl game in 2005. And the Wolverines in their Bowl game in 2004. And the Wolverines in their Bowl game in 2003. And the Wolverines against Ohio State in 2005. And the Wolverines against Ohio State in 2004.
By now, everybody knows what to expect in today’s Homecoming game against Minnesota. The Golden Gophers are NOT a good team, and the Buckeyes should dominate again today. I prefer to take a look deeper into teams, rather just just quote how many yards they average and leave it at that. Here’s a few facts that will leave you smiling before the Bucks take the field.
-Minnesota has three wins on the year. One is against a team ranked in the Bottom 10 (0-8 Temple). One is against a Division 1-AA school (ND State, a one-point victory). One is against Kent State.
-In Big Ten play, Minnesota has allowed 32.75 points per game.
-They are ranked #96 in the NCAA in rush defense (Ball State actually has a better run defense at #94)
-They are tied for #86 in the NCAA against the pass. They are tied with Indiana….the team that allowed Troy Smith to throw for 4 TDs in a half last week.
Our offense, provided JT has prepared them properly (I know, I know) will have no trouble at all. The Buckeyes could tag another 40 on the board if they play well.
The defense will need to buckle down. Minnesota has already played 4 of the top 5 Big Ten teams, and they have averaged over 18 points per game. Today they meet the Big Ten’s best team, and we MUST beat them by more than Michigan did.
If we can beat Minny more impressively than Michigan did, then we will have won the “battle of comparisons” over the Blue in all four games. The Blue didn’t put Iowa away until 4 minutes remained. Penn State had the ball, down by 7 with less than 2 minutes to play. And Michigan State, while the respective scores were clearly in favor of Ohio State, take a look at yardage gained….OSU/MSU, 421-198….Michigan/MSU, 351-312.
Go make it four-for-four, Buckeyes.
Ohio State 42
Normally, I’m sleepless on the night before a game. Not tonight!!! I have to leave at 6am to get to Columbus.
Me and Ambien…we’re good friends tonight. See you at the Shoe.
As my loyal readers know, I usually can’t sleep before a Buckeyes game. This will prove to be a problem next week, when my daughter and I will have to wake up at 6am to head to Columbus to see the Indiana game….but that’s next week.
So I’m preparing to be up late tonight. I’ll probably spend some time trying to create a better quality version of “Buckeye Battle Cry”, one of my first YouTube videos. but in the meantime, here’s my thoughts on the Michigan State game tomorrow.
It’ll take a quarter to get rolling, but the Buckeyes will win big in this game. My prediction is that it’s going to be John L. Smith’s final game as the Spartans’ Head Coach. He’s become the John Cooper of the State Up North. And that’s saying A LOT when you consider that Lllloyd Carr has made a habit of losing to his biggest rival this century.
Michigan State’s biggest strength is their offense. And they are hurting there….badly. Nearly half of their rushing yardage will be sitting on the bench, in the form of an injured Javon Ringer. One-fourth of their receptions will be sitting on the bench, in the form of an injured Matt Trannon.
That leaves Drew Stanton as their biggest (and only) weapon. And that’s not going to cut it against the #1 scoring defense in the NCAA.
On the other side of the ball….well, Michigan State’s defense is awful. They give up 26 points per game. As a matter of fact, their BEST game of the year was when they allowed 17 points….to Idaho. Yes, Idaho. By the way, Idaho had the ball near midfield with a chance to tie and only 4 minutes left in the game. Again, that was Michigan State’s BEST game of the year.
So, when you add all this up, you can see that I am now willing to admit that I was overestimating the Spartans when I circled this game on my schedule as a dangerous day. It’s not, and the Buckeyes will romp tomorrow.
Ohio State 38
Mich State 10
It’s the night before a game. Guess what I am having trouble with???
Yep. I can’t sleep.
Oh, well. It’s a night game. I’ll sleep during the Akron/Kent State game….just like all the fans of the Golden Flashes.
The night before a big Ohio State game, I find it difficult to fall asleep. When I do finally drift off, it’s a hard sleep, but it never lasts very long. I often will wake up at 5am and have trouble getting to sleep again. This is my curse, and I am living it again at this very moment.
It’s 6:50 am (and Michigan still sucks), and I have read about everything I can read about the Ohio State/Penn State game that will begin in about 8 and a half hours. So there’s only one thing left to do….create my own Buckeye blog and write my own damn articles.
Welcome to The Buckeye Battle Cry.
A little intro…my name is Jeff, I am 37 years old, I live in Canton, Ohio, and I am an Ohio State football fanatic. For as long as I can remember, I have been a fan of the scarlet and gray. When I was a little boy, my dad and I used to watch games together every Saturday. Back then, the games would be re-broadcast at 1030pm, and I’d stay up late to watch the Bucks all over again. Dad took me to my first game on September 8th, 1984. We beat Oregon State 22-14 that day.
A few years later, I stepped onto campus as a freshman at The Ohio State University. My first game as a student was a 24-3 victory over West Virginia. Later that year, I traveled with Block O to the Michigan game, which turned out to be Earle Bruce’s final game as the Buckeyes Head Coach. Of course, we won 23-20.
I spent the next 10 years going to every Ohio State/Michigan game, whether it was in Ann Arbor or Columbus. I repaid my father by taking him to see the 1989 game up north. We lost 28-18. Yes, I was there when Desmond Howard struck the Heisman pose. I thought my luck was bad when I looked at my record of attending OSU/UM games and saw it at 2-7-1. Now I know it wasn’t my fault. It was John Cooper’s.
My favorite Buckeye player is a man who I never saw play, not even on tape. Quarterback John Borton (1952-1954) was the father of a very special friend of mine. In the early 90s, I wrote an article about him for the Massillon Independent. He invited me into his home and we spoke about every Buckeye detail we could think of. I was enthralled by the stories he had to share, and the article just wrote itself. A few weeks later, Borton asked me to represent him at halftime of the 1994 Purdue game, where the 1954 National Championship team would be honored (along with other NC teams). His health was failing him and he couldn’t make it to Columbus. I happily stood alongside Buckeye legends on the sideline, sending best wishes from Borton to his old teammates, but refused to step on the field with such great men. Despite representing one of the players, I never wore the uniform. Anne Hayes offered me a solution, and she insisted I ride with her in her golf cart to the center of the field. I could have died a happy man that day.
John Borton passed away four years ago, but left behind a loving family who honors his accomplishments to this day. And I firmly believe he had a role from up above, as a few short months after he passed away, the Buckeyes gave us a 14-0 season and their first National Championship in my lifetime.
His ashes have since been spread on the field at Ohio Stadium.
I’ll keep this blog updated as frequently as I can. If nothing else, I know I’ll have time every Saturday morning at 6am to work on it.