Thursday Night Rumble: Anesthesia

Written December 13th, 2012 by Jason

The Heisman trophy has been awarded. The Buckeyes are gaining recruits. Buckeye basketball players are shooting hoops. It’s almost Christmas time. Let’s rumble!

Hei-sham

We're just as surprised as you are

On Saturday the Heisman trophy was awarded to Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel. Why did people outside the SEC region vote for Manziel? Yes, he accumulated 4600 total yards on the season. Sure, he won at Alabama. So, let me get this straight: The requirements to be the “most outstanding player in college football” is to have the most yards and beat an SEC “super power”? Being a leader no longer matters. Neither does keeping your nose clean off the field. Leading a team with the hardest schedule in college football to an undefeated season and spearheading a defense that allows ten (10!) touchdowns for an entire season doesn’t matter either apparently.

I should be ecstatic. Apparently having the name Notre Dame attached to yours no longer guarantees trophy’s the way it has in the past. We all remember when Troy Smith won the Heisman in 2006 and being worried that Brady Quinn might edge him out simply because of the name Notre Dame. After Saturday’s Heisman vote, that is clearly a thing of the past. Unfortunately, it’s been replaced by another stigma or fallacy, and that is simply being associated with the mighty SEC. Why do I say that? Let’s be honest: If Manziel plays for Texas A&M of the Big 12 and has his “Heisman moment” Thanksgiving night against the Texas Longhorns, I don’t care how many yards Manziel accumulated, Manti Te’o would be the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner. But because Manziel plays in the SEC and beat Alabama, well, that’s Herculean and should obviously be rewarded.

If you don’t believe me, look at the voting. The southern region of the country ie SEC-land voted overwhelmingly for Manziel. Not really that surprising. The shocker was the amount of folks in the Midwest and East that voted for Manziel. Some surely voted for “Johnny Football” because they dislike the Irish, while others I can guarantee voted for him “because he did what he did in the SEC”. And that’s rubbish.

Manziel was not “the most outstanding player in college football” in 2012, stats be damned. The Heisman has always been an accumulation of stats, team achievement, off the field success, highlight moments and their personal story. With the exception of stats, Manti Te’o trumps “Johnny Football” in every category. But he didn’t win it. He lost to the stigma of the SEC.

How far is this going to go and when is it going to end?
Read More

Ohio State 31, UCF 16: Urban Meyer Remarks

Written September 9th, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

Coach Meyer’s comments following the win over the Central Florida Knights, courtesy of Fox Sports Ohio: (transcription provided by the Ohio State Athletic Department)

As always, I like to give credit to a very good team we faced in Central Florida.  We knew going in they would try to run downhill on us.

I think this is the second week in a row we held a team under 100 yards rushing.  However, pass defense, we have a long way to go.  Getting pressure on the quarterback.

Offensively, we’re down to our third tailback, and it looked like it.  We have to get better.  The guys carrying the ball are talented, just terrible mistakes.  Penalties and turnovers are not ‑‑ in the first game, very minimal penalties and zero turnovers.

And then this week was not good.  So just gotta fix it.  We’re going to have to really ID who is going to touch the ball.  We have to go back to the drawing board and make some decisions on who is going to physically touch that ball and they have to take care of it, obviously.

So I would also like to thank our fans and our student body.  Tremendous.  And also the weatherman did a nice job for us.  So appreciate his effort.  And got a big one next week, but we’re going to enjoy the win.  Winning major college football games is a tough duty, especially when you face a quality opponent.  Read More

Shots From the Shoe

Written September 3rd, 2012 by WVaBuckeye

I have just begun my fifteenth season of being an usher for the home football games at THE Ohio State University. I have seen a lot of football over the years and it all began with the number one team in the land in ’98 losing to MSU. Coach Coopers last chance at glory in Scarlet and Gray probably was the beginning of the end for his time in Columbus. I have seen some great games and some wonderful wins during my tenure there and am looking forward to giving you my perspective from the cheap seats.

View of the walk from the cheap seats with my IPhone

As an usher, we have to be in our locations no later than 9:30, but for the most part I have always been there three hours before hand. My best friend and writer for tBBC, Gary Russell, has been doing it now for 5 seasons and is only two portals away. We have a chance to see some things that most fans do not see – and honestly maybe few reporters. The skull session takes place at St. Johns at 9:45 now(10:00 before) and then the players enjoy that walk. Fans get a kick out of it because they are a part of a neat tradition.

What they haven’t seen over the years are the teams walking through the stadium after coming down the ramp. They usually come into the stadium to music and in years past it’s been various songs. The best part about Saturdays walk was how they did it. In Coach Tressel’s years they always avoided the field itself and walked up the visitors side of the field off the turf. When the players were initially getting to the bottom of the ramp and moving past the flag pole, they were heading that way. Not Coach Meyer, he continued straight forward and across the middle of the field from goal post to goal post and the players followed.

I love this because the ushers are the only people in the stadium cheering for the players and their coach. There may be concessionaires and security and those types, but it’s mostly just us who got to enjoy it. You could see Coach Meyer taking it in, realizing this was his first real walk up the middle of the field. It sent a message to those of us witnessing it. This is their field and they are going to be the first ones on it on game day and no one else.

The greatest part about the end of the walk was the heartfelt moments that he had with every single player prior to heading up the ramp to get ready. Fans have been going over and over how they’ll miss the hive and weren’t sure the Quick Cals would be fun. I can tell you that he has found a way to have a new tradition for him and his guys that he didn’t necessarily want or need the whole world to see.

He took the time to shake hands with and hug every player. Stopped them and said some encouraging words and gave them a huge bro hug and sent them on their way. This gave me chills. To see him showing a moment to some of us that lets the players know just how important that day was to him. It was a sight to behold and I am glad I witnessed it.

I am not entirely sure where the Quick Cals will end up in the tradition area, but it had a few hiccups for the rest of us. The new stadium system was blaring AC/DC while they were doing it and it was difficult to hear up in D-Deck. However; from what I read and heard after the game, it appears the students love it and a lot of them were sorry they weren’t in the stadium early enough to get it. Remember students, you are the heart of the fans to the Buckeyes and we need you in the seats about a half hour before kickoff to be sure!

Boren guns a blaze during Quick Cals, thank you Josh Winslow!

What started out as in inauspicious first quarter, ended with some very encouraging sights. Gary and I had been texting each other about the talent in Coach Meyer’s system. About needing Jordan Hall to be able to pull some things off with what he wants to do. To be honest, my exact words to him were “we don’t have the talent for Coach Meyer to run his offense”. I wasn’t knocking any player specifically, just the offense as a whole.

The funny thing about my statement and the timing of it is that on the previous three possessions you could tell the stadium was on the verge of giving Coach Meyer his first boo. As fate would have it, just as I was walking to talk to Gary some more about our texts they hit a long run and as I stepped around the corner and said something unimportant to Gary, it happened. THE catch of the year. One of the best throws and catches I have witnessed in Ohio Stadium.

ESPY worthy for sure. One of the best catches I have ever seen in person, thank you Josh Winslow!

Braxton Miller threw the ball in the only place Devin Smith could catch it. It even appeared as though he was overthrowing Smith on purpose because of the good coverage by the Miami defender. When Smith went up the defender lost track of him because he was up there flying, grabbing the ball with one hand, pulling it in and landing and rolling. I believe Smith sent a message loud and clear with the catch. The rest of the team better step up their game!

The rest as they say was history. The Buckeyes put up a quarter in scoring and yardage that topped several total yardage of games last season and almost several others. The first Saturday as an usher was in the books and there was plenty to be excited about. The next game against UCF has everyone wondering what’s next and I for one believe that while we may be disappointed for a quarter here and there? We will not be disappointed in the effort that these players put forth.

Until Next Saturday! Have a great week! Go Bucks!

Gameday Recap: Ohio State 56, Miami 10

Written September 1st, 2012 by Tim Shoemaker

Welcome Home

The debut of the Urban Meyer offense everyone was hoping to see took a little longer than most would have liked.

After trailing the Miami University 3-0 after one quarter, Ohio State cruised to a 56-10 victory today at  Ohio Stadium.

The offense struggled in the first quarter, out gained 172 yards to 48 by the Redhawks, but thanks to the tough running of Carlos Hyde and a highlight catch by wide receiver Devin Smith, the Buckeyes found their rhythm in the second quarter.

Several things caught my eye from the game today, both good and bad. I will start with the good, though:

  1. It was great to see Nathan Williams back on the field for the Buckeyes. He showed so much promise early in his OSU career, and has dealt with injuries the past couple of seasons. Today, though, he got back out there and was all over the field. In the first quarter, Williams pressured Miami quarterback Zac Dysert, causing him to throw the ball low and incomplete, on what would have been a touchdown for the Redhawks. On the next play, Miami missed a 24-yard field goal.
  2. When give his opportunities, Carlos Hyde was very impressive. Hyde finished with 84 yards on 17 carries and two touchdowns. When he’s able to square his pads and run downhill, he really is a load to bring down. He also is a lot faster than people give him credit for.

    Just... wow.

  3. The play of the wide receivers looked much improved. Devin Smith’s catch was no doubt the highlight of the game and Evan Spencer made a really nice catch as well, but I was really impressed with Philly Brown. Meyer had talked about how improved Brown was during camp, and I had questions about his hands, but he showed up big time in the first game of the season, finishing with seven catches for 87 yards and a touchdown.
  4. When Braxton Miller is good, he’s really good. He is an outstanding athlete. But to me, the best thing about Miller is his vision. He sees things unlike any other player I’ve watched before. That 65 yard touchdown run was a thing of beauty.

In a 46 point win, it may seem difficult to pick out bad things, but even Meyer described the first quarter as “ugly.” So, here are three things I would like to see OSU address:

  1. The OSU pass defense needs to get significantly better, as there were too many big plays allowed. The secondary gave up plays of 42 and 58 yards in the first quarter, but Miami was only able to come away with three points. In the third quarter, the Redhawks got another big play–a 44-yard touchdown pass from Dysert to Nick Harwell. Pass coverage must improve in the future for the Buckeyes.
  2. The defensive line did not play very well, either. There weren’t a lot of blitzes called, but the defensive line is supposed to be the strongest point of this Buckeye defense. There wasn’t a whole bunch of pressure by the front four, allowing Dysert some time to throw when he needed it. A lot of Miami’s offense were quick passes, but he did have some time to sit back and throw, too. If not for a significant amount of drops by the Miami receivers, this game would have been a lot closer at halftime.
  3. Braxton Miller still has a ways to go. Sure, it’s easy to be blinded by the numbers, 17 of 24 for 205 yards passing and 161 yards on the ground, with three total touchdowns. His ability to change the game with his legs is second to none, but you’ve still got to be a little worried about his arm. A lot of his throws, especially down the field, were ducks. His accuracy must improve for OSU to beat the better teams on its schedule.

Overall, though, Meyer’s debut was a good one. After a shaky start, Buckeye fans were able to see the Urban Meyer offense they were hoping for. Next week will be a bigger test, though, as Central Florida is a much better team than Miami.

We’ve got you covered all week here at The Buckeye Battle Cry.

Monday Morning Commentary – Media Access

Written August 20th, 2012 by WVaBuckeye

There are numerous times in the life of a blogger that you just wish you had the opportunity to cover a football game like the local media in Columbus. Let’s face it, for the most part, those of us who are online entities just do not have the chances that the O-Zone does. They have some of the best writers covering Ohio State sports and do a good job of delivering the facts, and have a legacy of doing so.

If you were paying attention to twitter at all on Saturday, with the help of Brandon Castel and Tony Gerdeman, we got our information through RT’s and a heaping spoon of sarcasm. I have to be honest and admit right up front that I love the OZone and what they do. I frequent their message board and read a lot of their stuff and wouldn’t be honest if I said I didn’t wish I was in their shoes.

What happened Saturday to the local media was very interesting, and seemed to be a slap in their collective faces. It seems, and I am not sure why it happened, only the Big Ten Network and ESPN have been given permission to cover the team during this preseason- at least in comparison to other years. I for one wasn’t very happy about it and can only imagine how the Ozone felt about it. If you’d like to get a good idea of how Gerd felt about it you can read it here.

Online sites seem to almost always be on the outside looking in when it comes to getting first hand information as it is delivered. We do have people writing that have contacts in the recruiting realm, and that can sometimes be a huge plus since other times everyone else is receiving the same info at the same time and from the local guys. We do our best to put it in a great little package and most of the time at the same level as the fans.

I myself will probably never be a writer who works for a site like the Ozone or a local media outlet. I just do not have what it takes to get there. So I will continue to look in from out here and admire the job that those guys do that provides us with a ton of information on a daily basis. I will also continue to side with them and support them when something like this happens. They deserve it and they’ve definitely earned my respect. Read More

And Your 2012 Ohio State Captains Are…

Written August 19th, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

Two Time Captain John Simon

… John Simon, Zach Boren, Etienne Sabino, Garrett Goebel, and Jordan Hall

After a 2011 season of “rotating captains” and other nonsense, coupled with a spring and fall camp that focused on competition and excellence, it’s great to see that the Buckeyes have chosen five of their team who have emerged as leaders for this coming season.

The official press release:

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Five senior leaders have been chosen by their peers on the Ohio State University football team to be team captains in 2012. Coach Urban Meyer announced the captains at a team meeting Sunday night.

“Announcing who are team captains is one of the great honors I get to do as head coach,” Meyer said. “We had a number of guys get votes. This is a really good group of seniors who I am very proud to have leading this team.”

Representing four different states, they are:

§  Defensive lineman John Simon, from Youngstown, Ohio, and Cardinal Mooney High School;

§  Fullback Zach Boren, from Pickerington, Ohio, and Pickerington Central High School;

§  Linebacker Etienne Sabino, from North Miami Beach, Fla., and Dr. Krop High School;

§  Defensive linemen Garrett Goebel, from Villa Park, Ill., and Montini High School; and

§  Running back Jordan Hall, from Jeannette, Pa., and Jeannette High School.

The five have combined for 185 games played and 74 starts, with four having played in 39 career games apiece, respectively, and a fifth – Jordan Hall – a veteran of 29 games. Boren leads the group with 27 starts with Simon at 26 and Goebel (13), Sabino and Hall (five each) following.

Some thoughts from each:

Boren: “It is a dream come true and a huge honor to be named a captain at The Ohio State University. I am appreciative and thankful, and I look forward to being a leader on this team this season.”

Goebel: “I’m excited. It is an honor that your teammates think that highly of you to name you a captain. I’m going to put everything I have into this responsibility.”

Hall: “This is a dream come true. I was hoping to be named a captain but I was also a little surprised when it happened. I can’t thank my teammates enough for selecting me for this honor.”

Sabino: “I’m really excited. This is such an honor…to get voted by your teammates to be their captain. I am just really honored to be named a captain.”

Simon: “Being named captain means a lot. I appreciate the votes of the players. This is one of the biggest honors a player can receive and I’ll be proud to lead this team along with four other great guys. We’ll have a really good season if we all lead well.”

Simon becomes just the seventh two-time captain in school history and the first since James Laurinaitis was named captain in 2007 and again in 2008.

Ohio State is ranked 18th in the initial Associated Press Top 25 poll, marking the 24th consecutive season and the longest current streak in the country, to be ranked in the AP preseason poll. The team opens its 2012 season Sept. 1 vs. Miami (Ohio).

B1G Media Days, FNL and Odds and Ends

Written July 27th, 2012 by WVaBuckeye

B1G Media Days and Coach Meyer speaking next to the trophy he plans to own for a good while

The Big Ten has not been all glitz and glamour like the SEC was, but then again the B1G is about blue-collar workers taking care of our favorite sport bar none.

Even with this blue-collar attitude setting the stage, yesterday was an interesting one at the luncheon kick-off to say the least.

Of course, there is a veritable throng of people covering the events in great detail that you can check out, but here are a few of the highlights for me personally.

First and foremost, there were reporters who asked Coach Meyer questions about the Penn State situation that made no sense for this event and Coach handled them beautifully.

Secondly, you can tell just from watching some of the video coming out of Chicago that Coach Meyer cannot wait for his players to put the pads on.

Finally with respect to Coach Meyer, I get the feeling that he is very excited for the future of the program but he wants to focus on the now. When asked about his thoughts on the sanctions against his team Meyer had this to say. Read More

Silver Bullet Points Goes High Def

Written April 12th, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

Bumped back a day to cover today’s press access- one more day means even more news, notes, and inanity.

Would look great in the man cave- and Father's Day is coming up...

Buckeye 411

  • You (will be) looking live… at a brand new, super hugemongous, HD capable scoreboard in Ohio Stadium in the fall of 2012. In addition to this addition, the ‘Shoe is getting HDTVs throughout the concourses and a brand new sound system. Pluses: great view of hard hits and controversial plays, as well as being able to enjoy the schadenfreude on the other sideline with more definition. Minuses: they still won’t show the plays you want to see, they’ll probably use most of that space for advertising, and the sound system will encourage them to play stuff rather than letting TBDBITL bring the heat.
  • Meyer’s Musings- Coach Meyer was in front of the media twice today; once with the B1G conference call and then again after practice. And, as surprising as this might be for folks who are used to Ohio State press interviews… he actually answered questions and gave his honest opinion.  Whew, lawdy… almost got a case of the vapors.
  • Topic du jour- Coach was asked about a Sporting News piece regarding his time at Florida (more after the break), and was adamant that any alleged NCAA issues were blatantly not true. His exact quote-

There was no NCAA violation. If you could bold and underline that for me, please.

Done and done, coach.

  • Also, on the phone- Coach Meyer talked a bit about the process that the team was going through in learning the offense, and said that Braxton has been having success with the perimeter running game. While the passing game still behind, he’s seen that Stoneburner and Hall are playmakers and that John Simon is a  “Warhorse”. Hopefully this won’t mean he’ll be snubbed during Oscar season.
  • This Week In Injuries- In the teleconference, Coach Meyer revealed that Jacoby Boren had surgery for a torn labrum suffered during his senior season, and that the surgery was done now to ensure that he would be ready for the fall. He will remain the #2 center, in spite of missed time.  Later, we heard that Se’Von Pittman will also miss the rest of the season with a knee injury. Today in practice, CJ Barnett and Rod Smith were dinged up a bit, and several folks were still recovering from earlier issues and were in limited action. Read More