The Buckeyes are coming off an impressive home win over the Minnesota Golden Gophers. The question remains, though, if it’s enough to carry them to victory today against the much more game Michigan State Spartans.
Today’s game is scheduled for 4 PM EST on CBS (oh joy…). The LiveBlog is scheduled to start 15 minutes before tip.
The revolving door that is known as the Top 25 continued to revolve this week. 4 of the 5 Top 5 teams all loss, including Kansas who has now lost three in a row. In addition to the top 5 teams laying an egg, 14 of the 25 teams lost at least one game this week, with 5 of them not even picking up a single win. All was not bad though in the Top 25 world. There were several great games and several overtime games, including a stunning 5 overtime in the Big East. The Miami Hurricanes continued to come on like gang-busters and very well could be in the Top 5 when all is said is done with the polls this week. This week doesn’t look like it will let us down as there are quite a few Top 25 matchups and tough games against un-ranked opponents. Only time will tell how this week will end up but in the meantime, I am just going to sit back and enjoy one of the most exciting college basketball seasons that I can remember.
Here’s a look at the Top 25 Week Ahead and Week in Review
1. Indiana (20-3, 8-2) Previous Rank: 3
Past Week: 2/7 @ Illinois, L 72-74
Upcoming: 2/10 @ (10) Ohio State & 2/13 Nebraska & 2/16 Purdue
The Hoosiers were the latest Number One team to fall. A beautifully ran inbounds play by Illinois sunk Indiana. It doesn’t get any easier this week as they travel to Columbus to face the Buckeyes.
2. Florida (19-3, 9-1) Previous Rank: 4
Past Week: 2/5 @ Arkansas, L 69-80 & 2/9 Mississippi State, W 83-58
Upcoming: 2/12 Kentucky & 2/16 @ Auburn
Florida lost its chance to be the top ranked team with a loss to Arkansas earlier this week. A trip to Lexington to face Kentucky could spell out another loss this week. Read More
Two evenly matched teams are squaring off today in East Lansing. We’re hoping, of course, that Sparty can “Sparty No!” themselves a few extra times for good measure.
Today’s game is scheduled for 6:00 PM EST. The LiveBlog is scheduled to start 15 minutes before tip.
The Buckeyes take their first trip to Spartyland since William Buford sank that dagger three to lift the Buckeyes last March. MSU has another solid team this year, so let’s take a look.
|School:||Michigan State University|
|Location:||East Lansing, MI|
|Student Population:||47.954 total, 36,675 undergrad|
|School Type:||Public – Land Grant|
|Head Coach:||Tom Izzo|
|Experience:||Forever (18th year, actually)|
The game has featured a number of difference conferences in the past, including the WAC, Big East, and PAC-10. Starting in 2006, the game has featured a match-up between the Big 10 and Big 12.
I think the answer is quite simply “yes, yes we were”.
Ring the Bell.He wasn’t necessarily worn out, but he was reduced to what will possibly be the least number of yards he’ll gain all year – 17 carries for 45 yards. The Silver Bullets definitely locked down and eliminated him as a viable part of MSU’s gameplan.
Speed it up. They sure did on the first drive. The rest of the game was played a bit slower, probably due to Michigan State’s defense blitzing and disguising what they were doing.
3rd down. Yea, not so much yet. They figured it out at the end of the game, but there’s a reason the recap say “Don’t talk to me about Third and Long”.
XBrax360. Braxton Miller did his thing, but he didn’t take care of the football particularly well. That’s something he needs to work on.
College Gameday. You got your wish, the Buckeyes are now 20-10 when College Gameday visits. (Though, that makes them .667, not .500, just sayin’.)
Under 80. Is 45 yards less than 80? Oh it is? Well then, wish granted!
Hall and Hyde. We saw it early, but unfortunately Hall tweaked his knee. Hopefully we’ll see him back again soon.
Wrap Up. For all but one play, the Buckeye defense did a great job wrapping up. That one play went 29 yards for a touchdown though, so I’m still not happy.
It doesn’t get much closer than that.
The Buckeyes and Spartans opened up the Big Ten regular season with a tough fought classic B1G battle that ended with a 17-16 win for the now 5-0 Buckeyes. Braxton Miller threw 16-23 for 179 yards, a touchdown and an interception, and added 23 carries for 136 yards on the ground but with 2 fumbles. His effort was significant in securing the win against a tough, hard-nosed Dantonio team.
As much as we wanted to believe the Buckeyes the Buckeyes were going to put together a much more impressive offensive performance, the Michigan State defense had other ideas. There are ways to be successful against the Spartans, and they aren’t the mobile QB killers they like to think they are, but they’re still a Dantonio defense. Playing them requires a slog through the mud that takes a level of intestinal fortitude few actually possess.
Carlos Hyde may have been the saving grace for this team today. He ran tough all game long and gave the Buckeyes a first down on a third and four from the 50 late in the 4th quarter. His number may not be explosive, but they seemed to come when we needed them most.
Andrew Maxwell played extremely well for the Spartans today. I can’t tell you how impressed I am about how much he has seemed to have grown in the last couple weeks. He could be a dangerous opponent next year if he can get a few better wide receiver targets. Thankfully his receivers dropped a few catchable balls today at key moments.
The defense obviously still needs work, but they were very close to not giving up any touchdowns again. They blew that by deciding to try to strip the football instead of wrapping up and tackling. They need to change their focus in future weeks, especially against Taylor Martinez of Nebraska, who has improved his passing this year.
It’s time for the start of the B1G Football season! The Buckeyes and Spartans are set to collide at 3:30 PM on ABC.
Looking forward to seeing you there! Go Bucks!