Thanks for popping by on a Wednesday morning, even if the news for today probably won’t be as exciting as it was seven days ago. Thanks, too, for your patience with the website this week… the people responsible for the tech glitches have been appropriately dealt with. Given our lead bullet point today, here’s your Wednesday Musical Distraction.
With our lead story today being what it is, of course there’ll be the obvious tie-ins for the soundtrack of today’s SBP. If 70′s rock ain’t your thing… here’s some 80′s pop and some country instead.
We’re lucky to have several staffers who have either gameday assignments at Ohio Stadium or season tickets. After each home game, we’ll get you some quick thoughts “from the cheap seats”.
As I awoke around 3:30am Saturday morning, my excitement for what the day held overtook my desire and need to go back to sleep. It would be three short hours until I’d begin my two hour journey south to Columbus. As I arrived in Columbus with my family and friends and plotted our route from the Ackerman lots to our traditional stop at Conrads for our game day “beat Buffalo” buttons and then on to the Skull Session, I found myself with a sense of joy and giddiness knowing the 2013 Buckeye season was less than three hours away.
We took our seats at St John’s Arena and begin our annual bet of who’s going to speak before Urban at the Skull Session. The guesses ranged from Jordan Hall to Corey Linsley to Christian Bryant. We were all wrong as Garret Goebel grabbed the mike and began to get the crowd ready. As he handed the mike to Urban after speaking, I thought to myself, will he tie in something regarding “the journey” of which he spoke of many times last year. He didn’t disappoint ending by talking about “a new journey begins today”!
We made our way over to The Shoe, on to Buckeye Grove and back around to enter in the rotunda. The crowd seemed excited and the music was booming from the loud speakers. We made the long winding climb up to C-deck level and then what seemed to be the even longer climb to our row 36 seats in 10C. We were shortly joined by many Buckeye fans and much to our joy, a row of Buffalo fans topped off by a gentleman who claimed to have played for Buffalo donning a Michigan hat. As kickoff grew closer, fans chatted about great expectations and the excitement of seeing players like Dontre Wilson, Ezekiel Elliot, and Joey Bosa as well as the improved passing of Braxton Miller. The Bulls fans joked of cheering for settle things such as getting the play off on time, completed passes, and holding Buckeye plays to under 7 yards an attempt. Little did we know what was about to ensue. As pregame festivities began, we were treated to a double script Ohio by The Best Damn Band In The Land. Read More
Last year Nebraska joined the B1G and Ohio State traveled to Lincoln for an exciting game. Last year also introduced us to Tad Stryker, Dan “Husker Dan” McGlynn, and Husker Max.com. They joined us last year for our questions and they graciously decided to put up with us again this year and answer our questions about this year’s game.
1) Watching Nebraska defeat Wisconsin (woot!!) on Saturday, we couldn’t help but have deja vu with the second half comeback. Do you attribute that to great half-time adjustments, players executing the game plan better in the third and fourth quarters, home crowd momentum, or Bert Bielema just being awful? We’ll totally accept a combination of the two.
Tad Stryker: Yeah, that comeback did bring back a memory or two, didn’t it? The home crowd was a big factor, but the players settled down and stopped making critical mistakes. As far as coaching goes, putting Ciante Evans on Abbrederis for the second half was one of the best adjustments the Huskers made all evening. Second-year offensive coordinator Tim Beck stuck with the running game despite being down 17 points, unlike last year in Madison.
Husker Dan: The main cause of the Huskers’ second half resurgence was that they got out of their own way. There were also half-time adjustments to the offensive and defensive line schemes. Better execution, half time adjustments and the fact that Russell Wilson is playing for the Seahawks helped to contribute to the Husker win! Bret Bielema is a good coach, but clearly doesn’t have the talent he’s had the past few years.
2) Taylor Martinez has improved his passing significantly this year, both statistically and in his decision making. However, there seem to be several moments of regression (UCLA game, 1st half against Wisconsin)… what are the coaches doing to help him put together a complete game?
HD: This is a great question. I’m not sure the coaches can do much, other than stay out of his way. Taylor Martinez is light years from where he was a year ago. He played most of 2011 with two bad wheels that limited his ability to throw and run. This year, he’s become much more of a leader. He is definitely in charge of the offense. We’ve seen flashes of brilliance this fall. When he reaches his full potential, look out. He has the potential to be one of the best quarterbacks in the country.
TS: Martinez has improved a lot, but I still don’t think he can beat a high-level opponent with his arm alone. I think the coaches just need to keep reinforcing his confidence and let him run the ball with abandon (no more hook slides). When the Husker run game improves, Martinez improves as a passer, and so on.
3) At the game in the Rose Bowl, the Blackshirts seemed to be out of position in a number of occasions. What adjustments have Nebraska’s defensive personnel and coaches made since UCLA? Read More
If you think the “Final Verdict” segments of College Gameday are amazing places for rhetoric and logic, you’re probably excited for the beginning of the Presidential Debates tonight. Me? I’d rather argue about college sports… compared to politics, the BCS makes sense.
A couple of quick news stories from the OSU Athletic Department today we wanted to bring to your attention. Think of it as “Silver BBs”.
First, APR Scores are out, and OSU football is number three in the country, behind only Northwestern and Duke/SISU. The 988 score is better than Stanford, Harvard, Princeton, and Vandy.
As for “The Harvard Of The West”- tied for next to last in the B1G (thank you, Minnesota!) with their “little brother” in East Lansing.
Second, there’s a possibility that the 2013 Spring Game might be played in Cincinnati. From the press release:
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State Department of Athletics officials and those from the Cincinnati Bengals and Hamilton County are in discussions regarding the 2013 Ohio State LiFE Sports Spring Game, presented by Nationwide, being played at 65,535-seat Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati. Ohio Stadium will be under renovation next year, prompting the move to another location.
“We are very appreciative to be in discussions with the Cincinnati Bengals,” Director of Athletics Gene Smith said. “We look forward to continuing our discussions and look forward to an opportunity to bring the Buckeyes into Cincinnati and closer to our Southern Ohio fans.”
The work on Ohio Stadium includes stripping and replacing 1922-era coating and concrete off portions of A and C decks. These are areas that were not restored as part of the Ohio Stadium upgrades project between 1998-2001. Sand and water blasting will commence this December with the resurfacing portion of the project scheduled for the warmer spring and summer months next year.
While this is certainly a move due to the logistics of renovation, it should be remembered that the 2oo1 Spring Game stayed in Columbus, and was in Crew Stadium. This possible relocation to Cincinnati may be the start of a larger outreach to that area; I wouldn’t be surprised if future Spring Games would also include Cleveland as a locale, to connect deeper with the state’s fan and recruiting bases.
Rumors- Things to be watching for in the coming days… Huge camp weekend in Columbus; we’ll keep you up to date on that as the events warrant. Also, there’s some buzz regarding B12 Expansion news being released this weekend, including Florida State and Clemson heading to the conference in all sports, with Notre Dame (!) joining for their Olympic events (similar to the agreement they had previously with the Big lEast).