The polls are changing. A win at Illinois that left Buckeye Nation questioning everything. Saturday night brought us the end of the Stanford story. We’ll round up all the mass hysteria and make sense of it. It’s Wednesday, let’s rumble!
Bye week hangover
Despite racking up 60 points and Carlos Hyde having a career day on the ground, the general consensus nationally was that the Buckeyes somehow “escaped” in their battle with the Illini. I’ll be the first to admit that this was clearly not the best performance we have seen from the Buckeyes in 2013, but it was hardly if ever in doubt. Oh, and they put up 60 points.
There were a lot of factors in play working against the good guys on Saturday.
Out due to injury, Joshua Perry and Curtis Grant left a gaping hole in the linebacker group. Joey Bosa’s injury took another starter off the field for the Silver Bullets.
Offensively things never seemed to click as timing was off and Braxton Miller seemed to get out of sorts in the middle stages of the game. He was also getting hit hard by the Illini defense, once illegally. Jack Mewhort missed some time during those same middle portions of the game while they looked at a tweak in his knee.
You can’t discount the mood in general, either. The stadium was half full, giving it an almost sleepy feel from the start. I hear you, that shouldn’t matter. But add in that they were near 30 point favorites who are still kids that read their own hype, mix in a week layoff and it is a ripe situation for a letdown. I think it became obvious when they went up 28-0 early that the foot came directly off the gas pedal and the machine was switched into cruise control. Read More
We’ve reached the second bye week and the Buckeyes are on a roll. Coming off a 56-0 win at Purdue on Saturday, the Buckeyes are now closing in on the Leaders division championship and a spot in the Big Ten title game as well as keeping pace at the top of the BCS standings. We’ll look into all of it, play out some scenarios and laugh at TTUN. It’s Wednesday, let’s rumble!
Exorcising the demons
Ross-Ade Stadium in West Lafayette on the campus of Purdue University has been somewhat of a house of horrors for the Buckeye football program over the last decade. Losses in 2000, 2004, 2009 and 2011 have made winning at Ross-Ade tougher for the Buckeyes than winning in Ann Arbor.
Those losses certainly did not go unnoticed by the players and especially Urban Meyer and his coaching staff. When warm-ups weren’t looking crisp on Saturday morning, Meyer told reporters he had strength coach Micky Maroti show some fire in the locker-room to wind the guys up just to be sure nobody was taking the day lightly or sleep walking.
When Doran Grant stepped in front of Boilermaker quarterback Danny Etling’s pass on the second play of the opening series of the game and returned it for a touchdown, the rout was officially on and all thoughts of an ambush or even a tight finish went out the door.
The Buckeyes were dominant racking up 640 total yards. We could see this building since around the mid point of the third quarter at Northwestern and it has blossomed into a point scoring machine that is multifaceted and hits you from all angles. Jeff Heurmann had a breakout performance while Nick Vannett also hit pay-dirt in the best day Ohio State tight ends have had since the mid 90′s. Carlos Hyde did what Carlos Hyde does, he ran over around and through people. Braxton Miller was great hitting on 19 of 23 attempts and four touchdowns. And to think: They didn’t even really try to get the ball deep down the field to Devin Smith, Evan Spencer or Philly Brown.
Brax is back and you’re gonna be in trouble
I said last week after his performance against Penn State that I felt Braxton Miller was finally officially all the way back to his normal self. Against Purdue he left no doubt I was correct in that assertion. He kept plays alive with his feet despite only being credited for one carry. He was masterful in deciding where to go with the ball and several of those passes were balls that are typically described as “lasers” or “ropes”. And when you thought you’d seen it all, he scrambled to the left, avoided some defenders and flipped a touchdown toss to Philly Brown all in a space about the size of a phone booth. All in the first half. Read More
The bye week is over and the Buckeyes now await a home matchup on Saturday against the Iowa Hawkeyes. The second half of the season is about to begin and we’ll look ahead to what needs to happen for the Buckeyes to make a trip to Pasadena to play for the National Championship. It’s Wednesday, let’s rumble!
The Hawkeyes come into the Shoe on Saturday well rested having sat through their own bye this past weekend. The last time they saw action was a 26-14 loss to Michigan State in Iowa City. Overall they come in at 4-2 and, to be honest, nothing really impresses you or stands out about Kirk Ferentz 2013 Hawkeye team.
The Hawkeyes not being anything special means the Buckeyes lose a shot at a quality win. Quality wins and strength of schedule are what goes into those BCS numbers that will determine if an undefeated Ohio State team gets to play for the crystal ball. I realize this is a foreign concept to a lot of people, but it is a real possibility that the Bucks could wind up 13-0 and on the outside looking in. At this point it actually seems like the likely scenario after the conference championship games are played and the bowls are selected.
For the Buckeyes to be invited to Pasadena to play in the Rose Bowl National Championship presented by Orange Juice, LED Televisions and God knows what else, they must obviously finish unbeaten. Another thing that Buckeye fans seem to dislike is winning with style points i.e. running up big point totals. And the Buckeyes would definitely be well advised to take advantage of any opportunity whereby that is an option.
Breaking it down, how I see it
Ok, so if the Buckeyes going undefeated and being left out of the championship game is looking more and more like a likely scenario then who are the teams that will be holding them out? I decided I’d break it into some groups… Read More
We did it! We made it! We trudged through the winter, hammered through the spring and waded our way through the majority of summer and we have finally come to it: Football is upon us. While we yearn for the cool fall nights and big time matchups that come with October, November and now December games, we’re more than happy to welcome in 80+ degree temps for a few weeks and sweat through the opening weekends of college football. Despite the worthiness of opponents, these are meaningful games that count in the standings and they begin on Saturday. But for now it’s Wednesday, let’s rumble!
Customs and traditions
Are you ready? No, I mean are you really ready for it? Did you spend last weekend or the early part of this week getting the necessities for your opening weekend prepped, planned and bought? Or are you one of those “last minute” folks that will wait until Thursday or (good Lord!) Friday evening to have the ship ready to sail?
What am I talking about? Well, I have a checklist that is broken down into two separate checklists.
Checklist 1: The week before
This list contains mostly paraphernalia and the like. It includes making sure that not only is the Buckeye flag that fly’s year round on the porch standing with perfection but adding the “in season” flag. The week before checklist reminds me that I have to make sure and dig out any gear that has been stored away for superstition purposes that can only be wore on game days and make sure that it is properly cleaned (or in some cases it is blasphemous to even consider cleaning it) and ready for use.
It reminds me to make sure all Buckeye blankets are properly placed throughout the house. It’s my list not yours.
Checklist 1 also brings attention to travel needs for road trips whether they be to the Olentangy River Road parking lots or to some venomous away stadium. Is the portable grille’s propane tank full and is there a backup? Are the drink and food coolers cleaned? You don’t want to have to deal with this stuff during game week. Get it done early, ergo checklist 1. Read More
Basketball season is officially over. Depending on your perspective on how you look at the season’s overall content, this year was either a huge overachieving success or a flaming disaster. It’s Wednesday night, let’s rumble!
There really is no better word for the majority of Buckeye Nation’s overriding feeling on Saturday night after the final horn sounded. They were shocked, me included.
How could Wichita State seemingly blow the doors off of our beloved Buckeyes for the better part of 30 minutes and hang on to eliminate the West region’s number 2 seed? How could a Buckeye team that only two weeks ago in Chicago appeared to be finally hitting its stride look so terrible in a regional final with a trip to the Final Four on the line?