In today’s edition, we celebrate number 6, the Ohio State’s margin of victory over Penn State on October 26th, 2002, 13-7.
The Buckeyes moved to 9-0 on the season by edging the Nittany Lions in a defensive stalemate. Some of the offensive woes could be attributed to Maurice Clarett being injured in the 1st quarter, necessitating Ross/Hall to run the tailback position. Ohio State survived four turnovers (2 fumbles, 2 interceptions) while Penn State did not survive three interceptions. Despite the fact that Penn State had a 1st quarter 80 yard TD drive, this game was won on the shoulders of Ohio State’s defense and special teams. Will Smith intercepted a pass at the PSU 32 to set up a short Mike Nugent FG to pull the Buckeyes to within 7-3.
Less than two minutes into the 3rd quarter, Chris Gamble made OSU’s 3rd interception of the game and returned it 39 yards for a TD, of course. Later in the period, Nugent capped one of Ohio State’s few sustained drives with a 37 yard FG to seal the deal.
In addition to providing the scoring fireworks for OSU, Gamble had the distinction to be the first two-way starter in nearly 40 years for the Buckeyes. Read More
It’s championship week here at tBBC, and we’ll have all your B1G Tournament coverage coming up until the Buckeyes cut down the nets. So, it only makes sense, then, to have our soundtrack for today be the latest from OSU alum and friend of the site Mekka Don, who’s scored an exclusive deal to provide music for their coverage. From the press release:
The intersection of music and sports is prominently on display during high profile sporting events. Almost every sports arena has a DJ; players submit playlists to be played during warmups; and networks license music to help create excitement for their broadcasting. Mekka Don, an independent hip-hop artist and former NCAA athlete (Ohio State football), has inked a multi-song licensing deal with the Big Ten Network to provide music for the upcoming Big Ten Tournament games and coverage. The Big Ten Tournament begins on March 14th on the Big Ten Network.
And here, in an exclusive for tBBC readers, is the the title track for tournament time:
You can support Mekka Don and download this at his site on iTunes… just in time for March’s Madness.
Welcome Back? Rumors have been swirling all week that former Buckeye Defensive Coordinator Jim Heacock would be returning to the WHAC in a “quality control” capacity; huge tip, it seems, to Nevadabuck from the Scout site for dropping the knowledge first. The position would be similar to what a number of schools (most specifically Alabama) are doing in expanding their staff, and you’ve got to think that it will not only strengthen the Silver Bullets but also maintain the relationships that Heacock had with area high school coaches. In addition, it provides a fallback of sorts should the defensive staff lose a member to another opportunity.
The Buckeye Battle Cry will be counting down the Top 25 players of the past decade all spring/summer. Every Monday and Thursday, Jim will be announcing a new player. Our #1 player will be presented on Monday, August 30th. Three days later, the 2010 season officially begins. To view the previous entries in our Top 25, click here.
Will Smith was a disruptive force at defensive end for the Buckeyes during his three seasons as a starter. His outstanding blend of athleticism and size allowed him to wreak havoc in the opposing backfield as well as to drop back in pass coverage.
Smith was the star and focal point of the dominating defensive lines in 2002 and 2003 that crushed opponent’s souls as Tressel Ball ground their hopes of winning into dust.
Like most starters on the 2002 team, I remember Smith most for his performance in the National Championship game. By sacking Ken Dorsey on the very first play, Smith set the tone for the rest of the game and announced to the world that Ohio State wasn’t going to get shoved around. Happy times ensued.
The attack mentality of the defensive line and the defense in general during the 2002 and 2003 seasons, with Sill Smith at the forefront, were truly a joy to watch. At times it seemed that Ohio State was blitzing every single play, but many times it was just the illusion of a blitz created by Ohio State’s front four smashing through the offensive line so often and so quickly. Read More
The Buckeye Battle Cry will be counting down the Top 25 players of the past decade all spring/summer. Every Monday through May and June, Jim will be announcing a new player. Starting in July, we will be announcing new additions on Monday and Thursday. Our #1 player will be presented on Monday, August 30th. Three days later, the 2010 season officially begins. For a look at the rest of the Top 25, click here.
Bobby Carpenter was a two year starter at strong side linebacker for the Silver Bullets. Along with A.J. Hawk and Anthony Schlegel, he was a part of one of the best linebacking corps in the country in his two years as a starter.
Although Carpenter was overshadowed when it came to national recognition and awards by Hawk, Carpenter’s contributions should not be overlooked. Most importantly, Carpenter revolutionized the LEO position on defense.
Prior to Carpenter, Ohio State had dropped a defensive end into coverage on occasion (most notably with Will Smith), but when Carpenter put his hand in the dirt as a pass rusher in 2005, the way Ohio State utilized its rush ends would never be the same.
You can see Carpenter’s influence in guys like Thaddeus Gibson and Nathan Williams. Both were primarily linebackers in high school and transformed into rush ends/ linebackers at Ohio State. The LEO position at Ohio State is Carpenter’s legacy and that is something to take note of.
Another thing that I remember about Carpenter was The Game in Ann Arbor in 2005. Carpenter was a senior and was clearly looking forward to one last thrashing of arch rival Michigan. Sadly, he broke his leg on the first play of the game. Unable to play, Carpenter was clearly upset, however, he stayed on the sidelines and cheered his team on for the remainder of the game, highly emotional and highly involved the entire time. That act showed what type of person, teammate, and Buckeye Bobby Carpenter is and I will always remember him for that.
The silver lining of Carpenter’s injury was that it allowed a young freshman by the name of James Laurinaitis to see his first significant playing time in a game, and as we all know, good things happened from there.
Carpenter was drafted in the first round by the Dallas Cowboys in the 2006 NFL draft. His time in Dallas was somewhat disappointing, but this off season he was traded to the St. Louis Rams, where he will be joining none other than James Laurinaitis. Small world.
Hopefully this fresh start will allow Carpenter to break out of mediocrity in the NFL, but no matter what happens, Carpenter’s legacy at Ohio State is secure, and for that he is #20 on our countdown.
We’ve got some catching up to do after a holiday weekend that left little time for posting. We are behind on our countdown, so this will be a two-for-one special featuring Mike Vrabel and Will Smith, two of the most dominant defensive ends ever to play in the scarlet and gray.
May the spirit of Vrabel and Smith be channeled by our d line this year.