When the 2014 football schedule was released, 90% of Ohio State fans circled that last November Saturday and TTUN……….and then there’s the other game they circled.
It’s still a team that starts with an M but this team has State behind it and caused the most heartache of any team from 2013. I, as many of the other Buckeye fans I walked out with, left Lucas Oil Stadium last December and had one thing on my mind…..November 8th, 2014. There’s a wound that can never heal from the loss in the B1G championship game but a win in 2014 will more than likely give the Buckeyes a trip to Indianapolis for a second consecutive year.
Gone from Sparty is the heart and soul of not only their defense, but their team. Dennard, Bullough, and Allen are all gone. Connor Cook, the same qb who torched the OSU secondary is back and will look to take advantage of the Bucks D once again. The Bucks will be coming off a home game with Illinois before heading to East Lansing and Sparty will be coming off back to back bye weeks. (ok, ok……they play TTUN and THEN have a real bye week)
Looking at last year’s Spartans team, the defense was with out a doubt their strength. Coach Mark Dantonio was recently quoted as saying, “our 2013 Spartans had a defense who could’ve won a 4 team playoff”. The Spartans lost six starters off a defense that ranked in the top three in the nation in all four major statistical categories, but coordinator Pat Narduzzi insists that the losses don’t mean his unit will drop off. “It’s called opportunity,” Narduzzi says. “We’ve got players.”
Michigan State possesses one of the top defensive end duos in the nation in reigning Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year Shilique Calhoun and fourth-year starter Marcus Rush. The Spartans have plugged the departures at defensive tackle adequately, and that’s before one of the top-ranked defensive line classes — headlined by Malik McDowell and Craig Evans — reports to camp.
The secondary appears sound, led by captain-in-waiting Kurtis Drummond at free safety and returning junior cornerback Trae Waynes. Sophomore corner Darian Hicks and strong safety RJ Williamson enter fall camp the other projected starters.
The biggest question mark is at linebacker, where Michigan State could have an entirely new look. Senior Taiwan Jones is the only returning starter, and he spent spring trying to transition from outside to middle linebacker. Darien Harris and Ed Davis will likely be the other starters, regardless of how the position shakes out. Read More
For the last TWTW of the season, I was digging deep for musical inspiration. While I’ve been playing the new Black Keys album non-stop, I wanted to find something that encapsulated the anticipation and pleading that so many are involved in these day- all looking toward a special event at the first of the year. So, here you go.
For what was supposed to be the pinnacle of the college football regular season, this week’s games were incredibly disappointing. Not for the action on the field- there were a lot of spectacular plays and performances, but the behind the controversies that impacted the games overshadowed the work of coaches and players.
Let’s start with Friday Night’s clash in Eugene. While the Fighting Neuheisels went out guns blazing (or pop guns popping) and managed to keep the game under the 30 point spread, the subtext for the entire matchup was that this game was not the “legitimate” Pac-12 title game: The Southern Cal Trojans, who had beaten both of these teams, sat idle due to the Reggie Bush situation and the NCAA’s response. So, after all of the realignment and festivities, even Oregon’s big win has a dented trophy as for the case in Phil Knight’s house.
That’s not to say that there weren’t fireworks in the game- check out Friday’s “Catch Of The Day” from UCLA’s Nelson Rosario: