Urban Meyer Postgame OSU MSU
Buckeyes Roll Over MSU, Take Command In B1G East Source: Bucknuts ...
Barrett Adds Top-10 Road Win To His Resume Source: Bucknuts ...
Two-Minute Drill: Postgame Updates from the Victorious Buckeye Coaches and Players
November 9, 2014 Source: The Ozone -
Urban Meyer Updates
+ Meyer said that he was very proud of his team. "A young team grew up tonight."
+Meyer said his team did a great job of answering the Michigan State scores throughout the night. "We had to answer each one of their hits, and we did."
+ Meyer said this was Devin Smith's best game as a Buckeye.
+ The offensive line play was "terrific". Meyer was worried early, but they OL pulled through. Tom Herman credited them with the win in the locker room.
+ They felt like they had good matchups against the MSU defense coming into this game. Last year they missed on those matchups, tonight they hit them.
+ Asked if this was a playoff team, Meyer said, "I think it is."
+ On the VT loss: "That darn loss. If that hurts us, then I'll take the hit for that." OSU is a much different team than the one that lost to VT.
+ "This is one for the ages." "We played our best on the road." "The future is pretty bright."
+ Meyer said he was glad this was a prime time game and people got to see who the Buckeyes were. "We're a much different team."
Ed Warinner, Ezekiel Elliott Taylor Decker Tyvis Powell Michael Bennett Updates & MSU DC Pat Narduzzi ("I felt like we (MSU coaching staff) were a step behind them (OSU coaching staff) all night." ...
Barrett's big night carries Buckeyes to statement win over Spartans
November 9, 2014 Source: OSU Official Site - J.T. Barrett accounts for 5 touchdowns
Now it's Ohio State's turn to lobby for a berth in the college football playoff -- a thought that seemed pretty far-fetched when the Buckeyes lost their quarterback and struggled through the first couple weeks of the season.
With J.T. Barrett performing brilliantly in place of an injured Braxton Miller, there's no longer any doubt who the Big Ten's top contender is in the national title race.
Barrett threw for three touchdowns and ran for two more in a sensational performance, and No. 14 Ohio State scored almost at will against Michigan State's vaunted defense, beating the eighth-ranked Spartans 49-37 on Saturday night.
With one overwhelming offensive display, the Buckeyes re-established themselves as the Big Ten's dominant team under coach Urban Meyer, avenged their loss to Michigan State in last year's conference title game, and boosted their case for a berth in the sport's new four-team playoff.
"This is one for the ages," said Meyer, in his third year as Ohio State's coach. "That's how much respect we had for our opponent going into it. We saw what they did. They had one loss and they were actually winning that one game until it kind of got away from them somehow at Oregon. We played a top-10 team and really played our best on the road."
Ohio State (8-1, 5-0) came into the game ranked No. 14 by the playoff committee. The Spartans (7-2, 4-1) were No. 8 and looked like the conference's best hope to reach the playoff, but now they'll almost surely drop out of consideration.
"The bottom line is we didn't stop `em," Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio said. "Disappointing. We had big hopes. At the end of the day, we didn't get what we wanted. That's the way life is. We'll regroup and move on."
Barrett became the starting quarterback for the Buckeyes before the season because Miller needed shoulder surgery, and Ohio State lost at home to Virginia Tech in early September. The Buckeyes have won seven straight since, and Meyer was asked after Saturday's victory if he believes Ohio State is a playoff team.
"I think it is, because I love my team and I don't know enough," Meyer said. "I haven't studied the other teams really. If I have to go fight for this team, what they've done -- very impressive. That darn loss the second game, if that hurts us, I'll take the hit for that."
Barrett went 16-of-26 for 300 yards against the Spartans. Ohio State's first drive of the game ended in a missed field goal, and another early possession fell apart because of penalties. Aside from that, the Buckeyes scored a touchdown every time they had the ball until they punted in the final minute of the game.
Ohio State rolled up 568 yards of offense against a Michigan State defense that was one of the nation's best a year ago and had been plenty good this season as well.
"We definitely had something to prove," running back Ezekiel Elliott said. "People were questioning our ability to come out and play on the big stage. Just coming into this game, no one believed in us."
It was by any measure one of the biggest home games in Michigan State history, but Barrett and the Buckeyes turned it into a scarlet-and-gray party, overcoming a pair of first-half turnovers on special teams and taking a 28-21 lead into halftime.
When the Spartans had to settle for a field goal to start the third quarter, that was the opening Ohio State needed. Michigan State simply couldn't stop the Buckeyes from scoring touchdowns, and now Ohio State is in control atop the Big Ten's East Division.
Ohio State is 21-0 in Big Ten regular-season games under Meyer. Last year's loss to Michigan State in the league title game was a blemish, but the Buckeyes certainly did what they could to make up for that, handing the Spartans their first loss to a conference opponent since 2012.
Michigan State led 21-14 when Ohio State's Dontre Wilson fumbled a kickoff, giving the Spartans a chance to extend their lead in the second quarter. But a holding penalty wiped out a Michigan State touchdown, and the Spartans eventually missed a field goal.
On Ohio State's next offensive play, Barrett found Michael Thomas for a 79-yard catch-and-run touchdown that tied it at 21. Then Barrett threw a 44-yard TD pass to Devin Smith to put the Buckeyes ahead with 56 seconds left in the half.
After a Michigan State field goal to start the third quarter, Ohio State marched 67 yards in 13 plays, and Elliott's 1-yard touchdown run made it 35-24. Barrett found Wilson for a 7-yard TD early in the fourth to give the Buckeyes an 18-point lead.
Jeremy Langford ran for 137 yards and three touchdowns for Michigan State, and Connor Cook threw for 358 yards and two TDs. The Spartans gained 536 yards and did not have a turnover but still couldn't keep up.
Ohio State vs Michigan State (Nov 08, 2014) Source: OSU Official Site
Scoring Summary, Team Statistics, Individual Statistics, Drive Chart, Defensive Statistics, Game Participation,
Box Score, Play-by-Play, Play breakdown
It was over when... Michigan State closed a once wide gap to 12 midway through the fourth quarter, but a long drive by Ohio State shut down any hope of a comeback.
Gameball goes to... J.T. Barrett guided the Buckeyes admirably and completed 16 of 26 passes for 300 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran for two scores.
Stat of the game... 500 yards. Ohio State had a 300-yard passer (Barrett), 100-yard rusher (Ezekiel Elliott) and 100-yard receiver (Devin Smith) in the same game.
Ohio State had a 300-yd passer (J.T. Barrett), a 100-yd rusher (Ezekiel Elliott), and a 100-yd receiver (Devin Smith) on Saturday against Michigan State... It's the 1st time the Buckeyes have had all 3 in the same game since Nov. 18, 2006 against Michigan (Troy Smith, Antonio Pittman, and Ted Ginn Jr., respectively).
Ohio State gained 284 yards on designed runs Saturday, the most against Michigan State in the last two seasons. Ezekiel Elliott and J.T. Barrett each ran for more than 100 yards on designed runs; the Spartans had allowed one player to gain 100 yards coming into Saturday (Tevin Coleman, Indiana).
This is the first time Michigan State has given up four or more rushing touchdowns since the 2011 Capital One Bowl against Alabama.
Connor Cook completed 4-of-11 passes against five or more pass rushers Saturday, including 0-of-6 in the first half.
Connor Cook failed to throw a touchdown pass to Tony Lippett, the Big Ten's leading receiver, in a game for the second time this season. Cook was 1-of-5 targeting Lippett in the first half.
Michigan State hasn't defeated the Buckeyes in East Lansing since 1999 (0-4 since)... Excluding Maryland and Rutgers who each joined the conference this season, Ohio State is the only Big Ten team the Spartans haven't defeated at home since the beginning of the 21st century.
Michigan State linebacker Taiwan Jones called Ohio State's J.T. Barrett a "much better quarterback" than Braxton Miller. He may have a point. Barrett has better passing numbers than Miller in completion percentage, yards per attempt and yards per game. However, Miller was more effective on the ground, a big reason why he gets the edge in Total QBR.
Star of the game: Quarterback J.T. Barrett got his friends involved, but he was the focal point. He passed for 300 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 86 yards, including a 55-yard gain that set up a touchdown that gave Ohio State a 49-31 lead with 7:12 left.
Turning point: Long touchdown passes to Michael Thomas and Devin Smith on consecutive possessions in the second quarter turned the tide. Thomas’ went for 79 yards to tie the score, and Smith’s, on a 44-yard pass play, gave the Buckeyes the lead for good at 28-21.
Turning point: Long touchdown passes to Michael Thomas and Devin Smith on consecutive possessions in the second quarter turned the tide. Thomas’ went for 79 yards to tie the score, and Smith’s, on a 44-yard pass play, gave the Buckeyes the lead for good at 28-21.
Just wondering: Are we beginning to see Urban’s SEC-ization of the OSU program, as far as team speed? It became clear pretty early that Michigan State could not keep up with the Buckeyes’ offense, and OSU’s defense closed quickly after a few early hiccups. If speed kills, Meyer’s recruiting is the felony.
Overheard in men’s restroom: “No matter who wins, we both have to compete against ESPN and their SEC.”
Numbers for dummies
Nov. 10, 1990: The last time Ohio State defeated a top-10 Big Ten team on the road (No. 6 Iowa, 27-26)
21-0: Urban Meyer’s regular-season Big Ten record
20-0: Buckeyes’ record when Devin Smith catches a touchdown pass
Tom Herman’s offense had the look of a Transformer that faced a challenge and didn’t change back into a 1985 Buick.
Tweethearts: @markfroelich: JT = Just Touchdowns
• Ohio State's win moves the Buckeyes into sole possession of first place in the Big Ten East Division at 5-0.
• The win also sets a new Big Ten record with 21-consecutive Big Ten regular season victories.
• Ohio State's offense racked up 568 total yards, nearly 300 more than MSU had allowed per game coming into Saturday (279.4). It is the sixth game this season with at least 500 yards of total offense.
• Ohio State has outscored its last seven opponents 214-59 in the first half.
• QB J.T. Barrett finished the game 16 of 26 for 300 yards passing and three TDs, his third 300-yard passing game of the season. He also rushed for 86 yards and two scores.
• Barrett has now thrown 22 TD passes with only three INTs in the last seven games.
• Barrett was responsible for five TDs Saturday. He has now been responsible for 34 touchdowns on the season and needs three more to break Braxton Miller's school record of 36 set last season.
• Barrett has been responsible for at least four touchdowns in five of nine games this season.
• Michigan State had not allowed a player to account for four touchdowns since Taylor Martinez scored four in Nebraska's win in East Lansing on Nov. 3, 2012.
• WR Devin Smith caught six passes for a season-high 129 yards. The Buckeyes are now 20-0 when Smith catches a TD pass.
• Smith's TD catch was the 26th of his career, moving him into sole possession of third place on Ohio State's all-time list.
• RB Ezekiel Elliott rushed 23 times for 152 yards and two TD, marking his fourth 100-yard game this season and the fifth of his career.
• Urban Meyer is now 36-3 in the month of November since the start of the 2003 season.
• The Buckeyes improve to 32-3 (.914) under Meyer and have the second-highest winning percentage among FBS teams since the start of the 2012 season.
• Meyer is now 27-12 in his career against Top 25 teams and 12-5 against the Top 10. He is 6-2 against Top 25 teams at Ohio State.
• Ohio State and Michigan State met for the 43rd time Saturday. Ohio State leads the all-time series, 29-14, and has now won nine of the last 11 meetings.
• Ohio State is now 44-23 all-time in night games (games starting after 5 p.m. local time).
• Ohio State has not lost at Spartan Stadium since 1999 and has a 15-5 edge all-time in East Lansing.
• Ohio State has now won 12 consecutive games on the road, the longest active streak in the FBS.
Sources: ESPN, Columbus Dispatch, OSU Official Site
Ohio State senior cornerback Doran Grant Postgame
On what the Buckeyes took back tonight...
A victory, plain and simple. The taste they left in our mouths after that loss (in the 2013 Big Ten Championship game) was terrible, so I feel pretty great right now.
On being the underdog...
I'm kind of used to it because it seems like everyone always has something to say about the Buckeyes regardless of what happens. We just go out there and worry about what we have to do and play ball.
On what enabled the success against Connor Cook...
Film study, trusting one another, and just doing your job. If you do your job, a lot of things will come easy, especially when you have trust in the ones around you.
On what was said to Eli Apple...
We just told him to keep his head up. Of course, he's a great ballplayer. That's why he's here. That's why he's on the ball field. I don't doubt him at all. We're going to hug him up and he's going to get better.
On what the victory means moving forward...
We're about one another. That's what's going to take us forward. We're all about each other.
On whether Ohio State is a playoff team...
Yes. The way we prepare and the way we practice, we have the coaching staff to put it all together and be a pretty good team, in my opinion.
On this season's progression...
Like I said in previous interviews, we're just that ticking time bomb that's getting closer and closer to going off. I still think we haven't made it there yet, but we're going to continue to get better as a team.
|03:19 in 2nd qtr, Ohio State WR Michael Thomas, 79 yd pass from J.T. Barrett; tied the game at 21-21. It was the longest play the Spartans have surrendered this season.|
|Buckeyes bring home good grade card from MSU|
November 9, 2014 Source: Mansfield News Journal -
OFFENSIVE LINE GRADE: A
The fear was that the front five had regressed two weeks ago against Penn State, but this unit acquitted itself on Saturday night against the Big Ten sack leaders. The Buckeyes did a nice job of protecting J.T. Barrett and opening holes as the offense racked up 332 yards by halftime. That's more than all but two of MSU's opponents mustered for an entire game. Just 1-of-12 on third- and fourth-down conversions in last year's B1G championship game, OSU converted on fourth-and-goal for a TD, and thanks to better success on third down (10-14) the Buckeyes finished with nearly 600 yards total offense.
RUNNING GAME GRADE: A
The Buckeyes came out throwing on every down, but eventually sprinkled Ezekiel Elliott into the mix and he was effective, along with Jalin Marshall in the Wildcat, at setting a tone and keeping the defense on its heels. Elliott went over 100 yards again and scored two touchdowns. (Why, again, did Curtis Samuel start last week?) J.T. Barrett scored twice, once on fourth-and-goal from the 1, and his 55-yard keeper set up the clinching touchdown after MSU had pulled within 42-31. Barrett had nearly 400 yards total offense as the Buckeyes were able to move up and down the field on one of the nation's best run defenses.
PASSING GAME GRADE: A
This was the breakout game OSU has long expected from Devin Smith. He was catching everything and not just on 'go' routes, although his over-the-shoulder grab for 42 yards on third-and-23 might have been a season-saver. That led to a game-tying touchdown and then he made the 44-yard scoring grab on a perfect pass from J.T. Barrett to give OSU a 28-21 lead at halftime. Smith almost made it easy to forget the grab-and-dash by Michael Thomas for a 79-yard score in the first half. Barrett allayed all fears about being gun-shy in the wake of throwing two picks against Penn State. He outplayed Connor Cook, something Braxton Miller couldn't do last year.
DEFENSIVE LINE GRADE: C
Granted, he was double-teamed by the best offensive line the Buckeyes will see all season, but the Buckeyes still needed more from Joey Bosa. Michael Bennett and Adolphus Washington made their presence felt with all the attention being paid Bosa, but all in all the pass rush was largely non-existent. Even when OSU blitzed, it had trouble getting to Connor Cook, who had been sacked just five times all season going into this game. He finished with 358 yards passing and 2 TDs, another career night against the Buckeyes.
LINEBACKERS GRADE: C
Darron Lee has made a lot of impact plays this season in his first year as a starter, but after this unit had its best collective effort last week against Illinois, it was a rather quiet night for this crew. Curtis Grant, coming off arguably the best game of his career, split time in the middle with Raekwon McMillan as the Buckeyes looked for the right combination to slow the Spartans, particularly running back Jeremy Langford.
DEFENSIVE BACKS GRADE: C
Cornerback Eli Apple was dealing with a hamstring issue, but OSU couldn't afford not to have him on the field after starting replacement Gareon Conley had an atrocious first series. Conley gave up a 44-yard pass to Keith Mumphrey and then Mumphrey went right through Conley's arm tackle for the 15-yard capper. The Buckeyes didn't have an interception, dropping two, after racking them up of late at a nice clip. Apple dropped one right in his mitts on the opening possession of the second half and the Spartans went on to kick a field goal.
SPECIAL TEAMS GRADE: D
A near-disaster here. Dontre Wilson fumbled a kickoff, but MSU wasted that opportunity by missing a field goal after a TD was negated by a holding call. There was also a punt return snafu where the kick hit blocker Jeff Greene with his back turned. The Spartans immediately cashed in on Jeremy Langford's 33-yard touchdown run. And freshman kicker Sean Nuernberger, far from Mr. Automatic, missed short on a 47-yard attempt field goal on the game's opening drive.
COACHING GRADE: A minus
The Buckeyes have some serious mojo going in East Lansing. This was their fifth straight win in Spartan Stadium, the last loss coming in 1999. If the staff deserved darts for a conservative gameplan at Penn State, it earned huge praise for opening things up from the outset, showing faith in the Buckeyes' redshirt freshman quarterback and his arm. Even when things got dicey, Urban Meyer and Tom Herman kept the foot on the gas and the Buckeyes responded with one of the best showings against MSU, and that includes Oregon. Despite progress the last couple of weeks, the defense showed against a high-caliber offense that it is still a work in progress. But, hey, OSU can celebrate its 21st consecutive Big Ten regular-season win, a league record. I'm guessing the Buckeyes are more excited about avenging last year's loss in the league championship game.
• • •
Ohio State vs. Michigan State: The Bottom Line
November 9, 2014 Source: Columbus Dispatch -
Offense (5 leaves)
Except for a couple of drops and a few untimely penalties, everything worked for Ohio State, which wisely used the pass to set up the run. J.T. Barrett turned in the performance of his young career, mixing 300 passing yards with 86 on the ground to pace a robust 568-yard effort. At times it seemed like UC all over again.
Defense (3 leaves)
There were a few obvious issues — a deep ball here, a missed tackle there, the neutralization of sack-master Joey Bosa — but overall it was a solid piece of work. Compared with the late-season meltdown of ’13, in fact, it might have been a five-leaf effort, especially from the corners.
Special teams (2 leaves)
This had the makings of a disaster early, with Sean Nuernberger missing a field-goal try (really, short from 47 yards?) and turnovers on a punt return and a fumbled kickoff by Dontre Wilson. But redemption arrived via a punt pinning MSU inside the 10, and a fine punt return by Jalin Marshall to set up the go-ahead score.
Coaching (4 leaves)
Handing Michigan State a thorough whipping on the road might not make the pundits and playoff committee think any better of that Virginia Tech loss, but it sure beats the alternative. OSU came in confident, yes, but the real victory was keeping the players’ heads above water when the first half could have slipped away.
Opponent (3 leaves)
Connor Cook is one tough dude, a seasoned QB who has the ability to create big plays and the moxie to get it done in the hard areas. But this MSU defense is not up to Dantonio standards, and he seems to know it. Doesn’t mean he likes it.
Officiating (3 leaves)
It seemed for a while as if the yellow flags would have grass stains for how much they were being thrown around. Unspeakably bad calls were avoided, anyway. Best moment: Ref announcing that “Michigan” had committed a foul.
• • •
Ohio State Stock Market Report: Michigan State
November 9, 2014 Source: Land-Grant Holy Land -
Blue Chip Stocks:
J.T. Barrett, QB - I don't think there's any doubt that redshirt freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett has been the most valuable player for this Ohio State team. Filling in for the injured Braxton Miller, Barrett has helped lead the Buckeyes to an 8-1 record and has them contending for a spot in the College Football Playoff. Once again Saturday, Barrett was calm and collected for much of the night in a hostile environment and came away with big plays both through the air and on the ground. Barrett finished 16-26 passing for 300 yards and three touchdowns, and also had 14 carries for 86 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
Devin Smith, WR - How about the play of Devin Smith the past two weekends? After Michael Thomas replaced Smith as the starter earlier this season, it appears there's a new fire under the senior wideout. Against Michigan State, Smith caught six passes for a season-high 129 yards. The Buckeyes are now 20-0 when Smith catches a TD pass. To add to that, Smith's touchdown catch was the 26th of his career, moving him into sole possession of third place on Ohio State's all-time list. Urban Meyer called Saturday Smith's best game as a Buckeye.
Ezekiel Elliott, RB - Ezekiel Elliott was an absolute beast against Michigan State, carrying the ball 23 times for 152 yards and two touchdowns, marking his fourth 100-yard game this season and the fifth of his career. Doing his best Carlos Hyde impersonation, Elliott kept the Spartan's defense honest, and allowed Barrett to make plays all night long. The balanced attack was tough to stop, and the scoreboard showed it.
Secondary play - Just looking at pure numbers, the Ohio State secondary wasn't something to be proud of, since the Spartans gained 358 yards through the air and had two touchdowns on the night, but if you were watching the game, for the most part it didn't really seem like the secondary was giving up big plays. In fact, the lack of bigger plays was probably the biggest thing they did well. Overall, I thought we saw more improvement from this unit as Eli Apple (playing through an injury) and Doran Grant came up big time when it mattered the most.
Playcalling - Credit to head coach Urban Meyer and offensive coordinator Tom Herman. They had a gameplan ready to go against the Spartans and executed it to just about perfection. Keeping the offense extremely balanced and having success no matter what they ran must have been infuriating for the Spartans, especially since Herman called the same quarterback draw on almost every third and short (and even a fourth-and-goal) and ended up converting each time. After a poor showing against Michigan State last year, Herman had his moment for revenge and was able to put up 49 on the Spartan's defense. MSU's Pat Narduzzi said after the game, "They did a good job schematically. It just seemed like they were one step ahead of us all day."
2014 Dontre Wilson - What happened to Dontre Wilson? Look, I know he sort of redeemed himself towards the end of the game, but the scary thing is that Wilson didn't just play like he's capable of against the Spartans. He's been dropping passes left and right and has been streaky at best. As I mentioned, he turned it around towards the end of the game with a nice, tough late touchdown grab, but Wilson has been uneven this season and hasn't been the key player everyone thought he would be up to this point. The good news is that he's just a sophomore and the potential is still very much there.
Run defense - The run defense was pretty much the opposite of what the secondary was. While the secondary might have given up big aggregate yards, they were able to mostly contain the big plays. The run defense, however, allowed Jeremy Langford to keep Michigan State involved in the game for much of the night, as the senior running back had 18 carries for 137 yards and three touchdowns against the Buckeyes. To add salt to the wound, most of the yardage came on big plays. They'll need to tighten up over the next few weeks to get back to form.
SELL: Penalties and turnovers - The penalties were a killer, but luckily, Michigan State was even worse when it came to them. Ohio State had seven penalties that accounted for 50 yards while the Spartans had 11 for 105 yards. Somehow, the Buckeyes lost the turnover battle (two turnovers in crucial moments while the Spartans had none) but won the game. You won't find too many times that the team with the most turnovers wins, and I'm sure Coach Meyer will do his best to correct that problem immediately.
BUY: Jalin Marshall as a return man - Jalin Marshall provided some sparks on the offensive side of the ball, but also had a few small highlight plays when returning punts. With Wilson struggling as of late, it might not be a terrible idea for Marshall to get some burn returning kickoffs in addition to punts. You wouldn't hear any complaints from me, and honestly, between Marshall and Wilson, even in spite of their troubles (Marshall's lack of communication cost the Buckeyes the ball early), I'm a bit surprised there hasn't been a kick return for a touchdown yet this season. Both seem one cut away so often.
SELL: Poor tackling - It seemed like 2013 all over again for a while there. For the entire season, Ohio State has been excellent at wrapping up and making sure the opposing ball carrier doesn't fall forward for more yardage. But against the Spartans on a big stage, the Buckeyes defense reverted back to old ways with poor tackling attempts. In the first half, Michigan State took advantage and made a few players look just silly (Gareon Conley comes to mind). Expect Luke Fickell and Chris Ash to correct any mistakes, which could just be chalked up to the stage in such an important game.
Post-Game MSU HC Mark Dantonio & Players
November 9, 2014 Source: MSU Official Site -
COACH DANTONIO: I would like to congratulate Ohio State for a great football game. Especially Barrett. I thought he played very, very well. 100 yards plus rushing, 300 yards passing. They played extremely well. So congratulate them.
From our standpoint, I think the game, even with three or four minutes to go in the first half, they fumbled a kick off return after we score. We got a chance. We go in for a touchdown. Get a holding call. Makes it 28 14, but he takes it off the board and we miss the field goal.
So the next play is a 79-yard touchdown. So it goes from 28 14 to 21 21, and all of a sudden momentum just flipped. I thought it was pretty equal back and forth.
So, we got to try and counter that. We came out in the second half, I thought we did. But the bottom line was we didn't stop them, we couldn't stop them. And we got to evaluate that and say, was that physical sometimes? Yeah. Was that structural sometimes? Probably yeah. And was that mental sometimes? Maybe we didn't get the correct adjustment or whatever the cause was.
So, have to play better in that area. Offensively, I thought we played pretty well. Two times on fourth down, we decided to go for it, which I thought it above been a long field goal. We didn't come away with production there.
So when you look at those things, that would be the downfall of that area. But I think our guys kept playing. That was the important thing to me that we keep playing, we keep our head up, and it's a game, it's a disappointment. We had big hopes.
And in this football game, great stage, great environment, great fans, everything you want in a college football game. I thought it was a great game. But at the end of the day we got beat and that's what life is. So we regroup, we move forward, and that's what we have always done. So I'll take questions.
Q. After the holding penalty call after the touchdown, the cameras caught you shaking your head there as if you kind of knew you had just given away a great opportunity. What's going through your mind in a moment like that when you give away points like that?
COACH DANTONIO: Well, I saw - you mean when we missed the field goal? Or after the hold? Yeah. Things are happening very fast out there. So I'm not sure, I didn't see the replay on the hold itself.
But bottom line is they called the hold and we didn't get seven. And it backed us up. And we didn't overcome that and we missed the field goal on the next play. And then I forget really what happened.
They got the ball at the 50 and put number 9 in the slot, didn't recognize it, boom, we're in cover one, and the safeties had to get over to go seam to seam, it was a touchdown, it was a great throw. A great throw, great catch, and speed of the receiver. So, all of a sudden they were up by seven.
I think that was a big part of the game, but I think we came out and responded in the second half. We were right there.
But a 13 play drive, in the third quarter, where they hit it was third-and-23 and they hit the fade. I think Hicks had him covered, had him cut off, ball was thrown over the back shoulder there. Great catch by Smith, great throw by Barrett.
So, yeah, they make the conversion, Third and 23, they were getting off the field, and I think we were still - I can't remember what the score was, but we were right there.
Q. Pat talked about Barrett's accuracy being a bit of a surprise. Anything else they did offensively that caught you off guard?
COACH DANTONIO: Yeah, I think that - I'm not real sure, because we haven't seen film, obviously. But I think they had some different formation things.
Because they ran the ball more effectively and that's positive for them. I'm not dissing them, but I thought they ran the ball more effectively with their tailback runs than we were expecting.
Credit their offense a lot. We had two sacks, but they kept them off of him. They play actioned it and got the ball out really quick. Really, offensively, they didn't have any turnovers. They had a turnover on the punt and the kick off return. So offensively, I thought they played extremely well. So credit them. Good plan by their coaches.
Q. In the Big Ten Championship game there was a period in the third quarter where they had similar momentum and were rolling around and you guys stopped that. Is that something that this defense maybe doesn't quite have the same feel for or is it more just the difference of scheme and talent and situations?
COACH DANTONIO: I don't know about that. We played pretty well. But we gave up some explosive plays, too many big plays. When that happens, it's tough to win. Those plays sometimes are made by inches.
So that's the game we play and, but, it's tough to evaluate all those things until I think you see the film and you study it and see what happened.
Q. Did Barrett play better than you expected, better than you had seen him on film at this point?
COACH DANTONIO: I thought he threw the ball, I thought his arm strength was very, very good out there. I thought he was very accurate. You look at - he throws the ball for 300 yards and rushes for 100 more. And he played very, very well. He threw the ball well.
And I think, again, they're playing this good, they play actioned us and in the pass sets sometimes there was draws and things of that nature. And they played very well as well. They ran the big option play, he goes out gate, and that's uncharacteristic, and then they hit another one, too.
Q. On Ohio State getting to the edge of the field...
COACH DANTONIO: Well, that's the thing that we have to evaluate. For me, especially on the field, it's very hard to see, but there's certain things where they should not have got the edge. They cracked our safeties some, our backers, and we didn't support off that crack and they got the edge on the defense a couple times. But probably have to watch and see. But they outflanked us. One of the times, I know it was structural, we missed a tackle, just had the defense read the other way. But it's tough to see without the film... ...
• • •
Michigan State defense coordinator Pat Narduzzi
They did a great job executing, and we didn't do a great job of executing. I obviously didn't do a great job of coaching them up and getting them prepared and ready to go. We are going to bounce back.
On defensive end depth...
I don't think that hurt us. Shilique (Calhoun) had a good motor. We will go back and look at the tape because I am sitting up a mile away from the field. They did a good job schematically and had a couple of big plays on us. They played with good technique, and it seemed like they were one step ahead of us.
On whether or not he thought about switching to zone coverage in the second half...
Our kids have confidence in what we do. They threw and unbelievable fade and made a catch way out there. We had great coverage on that. On the slant, they went the distance, and that comes down to technique. We play a lot of zone. My thing is man, but we do play a lot of zone. They do a good job and we weren't getting reroutes. They did a nice job. You have also got to get enough guys up there to stop the run. It's a fine line.
On whether he was surprised at what he saw pre-snap...
They had a couple of different routes, but it was nothing we weren't able to adjust too early. We have got to make plays, and that is what it comes down to. They are a talented football team. We weren't playing a slouchy football team. That is a football team with great athletes, and they made plays and we didn't.
On whether practice this week concerned him about tonight's performance...
Not at all. Our kids practiced well all week. We had three good practices. They were better than our scout team offense, let's put it that way. They played their best. They came in for revenge, and they got it. We didn't step up and meet the challenge.
On keeping kids confident...
Those things are going to happen. The kids are confident in what they are doing. I call a play and the guy runs straight through us and the safety has got to get there. Again, they have some good players too. We have to give our offense a chance. We should win when we score 37 points.
On JT Barrett's accuracy...
That guy made about every pass he could. He threw seven routes on target. He hadn't shown to do that really consistently, but we had a lot of respect for him. He is a great football player. He played big in a big game. He didn't throw off the mark at all and those guys were ready to make the catch. That goes to having a guy who throws the ball where it needs to be thrown. He is a heck of a quarterback.
On lack of pressure...
They got the ball out quick when we did pressure. It was almost like they knew it was coming and got the ball out quickly. We did pressure them; we just didn't make plays and they got the ball out quick. The quarterback did a good job of recognizing it. ...
• • •
Junior quarterback Connor Cook
On Ohio State's offensive performance compared to MSU...
Early on, getting the ball down in the red zone and walking away with no points on that turnover off the kick off hurt us with the momentum. We didn't get things going the way we wanted to, especially in the pass game. In the second half, we came in and put some points up, but just couldn't keep up with the Buckeyes.
On the Ohio State defense...
We saw exactly what we thought we were going to get. We just didn't make the plays. They had a good defensive line in my face a little bit, but maybe I could have had better pocket presence sliding up, maybe getting rid of the ball quicker. I was maybe holding onto the ball a little too long. I thought our O-line still did a great job.
On the passing game...
I'd say that it was just a couple of plays off, me missing some dives and not putting the ball in the right spot when I need to be. It's just unacceptable.
On his message to the team moving forward...
Put it behind you. You can't focus on the negative stuff being a quarterback. You have to put stuff behind you, whether it's a bad play, a bad game, whatever. That's what we need to do as a team - put this behind us. If we keep looking back on it, it will only make things worse. It's a game that we take very seriously like Coach D said, but you have got to have fun with it, whether you win or lose and look at the bright side of things to find the good in the bad. ...
Ohio State Football: OSU vs MSU Trailer
WHAT'S AT STAKE
This might be the most significant game of the season in the Big Ten. The winner has the inside track to the East Division title and remains in the mix for college football's new four-team playoff. The loser becomes an afterthought. For Ohio State, there is extra incentive after the Buckeyes missed a chance to play for the national title last season because of their loss to Michigan State in the Big Ten championship game.
Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett vs. Michigan State's secondary. The Buckeyes were able to run the ball on the Spartans last year, but Ohio State's Braxton Miller completed only eight passes and Michigan State prevailed 34-24. Miller is injured this year, leaving Barrett taking the snaps as a redshirt freshman.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Ohio State: DE Joey Bosa. The 6-foot-6 sophomore leads the Big Ten with 14 1/2 tackles for loss and 10 sacks. He is also tied for the conference lead with three forced fumbles.
Michigan State: QB Connor Cook. In last year's Big Ten title game, Cook threw for 304 yards against Ohio State, the first time he'd surpassed 300. He's done it three more times since then, and Michigan State's offense has taken off.
FACTS & FIGURES
Michigan State has won 14 straight games against Big Ten competition. Ohio State has won 20 of its last 21 against league foes, with the only loss coming in that 2013 title game. ... Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer is 35-3 in November since the start of the 2003 season. ... This will be the first November night game in the history of Spartan Stadium.
Michigan State vs. Ohio State: Who will have the biggest impact?
November 7, 2014 Source: BTN - There are plenty of intriguing matchups in this game, but who are the players to watch in this Big Ten clash? I asked several Michigan State, Ohio State and national writers to tell me who they believe will have the biggest impact in this game...
|Five key factors for OSU victory|
November 7, 2014 Source: Columbus Dispatch -
1. Win the trenches
Both teams have formidable defensive lines. Shilique Calhoun for Michigan State and Joey Bosa for Ohio State are Lombardi Award semifinalists. The Spartans’ offensive line is experienced and solid, while the Buckeyes’ has been inconsistent. If Ohio State’s line can’t protect J.T. Barrett and open holes for the running backs, it will be a long night. Ohio State’s defensive front must clog the Michigan State running game and allow the speedy linebackers the freedom to roam.
2. Hit big plays
Michigan State’s defense dares opponents to beat it with deep passes against man-to-man coverage. Although the schemes are different, that’s what Virginia Tech did in its win over OSU in September. The Buckeyes can’t go to the well too often, but they have to make the Spartans pay for using man coverage.
3. Have Barrett arrive
By any measure, Barrett has exceeded expectations in replacing Braxton Miller. He has lit up inferior defenses. But against the two good ones — Virginia Tech and Penn State — Barrett hasn’t. Five of his seven interceptions came in those games. The Buckeyes believe that the bright lights won’t be too much for the redshirt freshman, but he also must make the plays that a star quarterback is supposed to in a game like this.
4. Convert in red zone/short-yardage
For all the pinball numbers the Buckeyes’ offense has put up, it has struggled inside their opponent’s 20-yard line and particularly in short-yardage situations. Ohio State is tied for 84th nationally in fourth-down conversion percentage (43.8) and 71st in red-zone offense (82.2 percent). The Buckeyes must cash in when they have opportunities.
5. Create turnovers
Ohio State ranks tied for 11th nationally in turnover differential (plus-8), but Michigan State is even better at No. 3 (plus-12). The teams are too evenly matched for either to win if the turnover ledger is lopsided. Ohio State’s defense has become increasingly opportunistic with 13 turnovers in its past four games.
Ohio State football: Who can stop Buckeyes DE Joey Bosa? Michigan State's Jack Conklin is up to the task
November 6, 2014 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - It will be the task of Michigan State's entire offensive line to stop Bosa — the Buckeyes like to move him around — but Conklin is relishing the opportunity for those one-on-one battles.
"Obviously he's a great player, see him this season and last season, he bounces around a lot so the whole line is going to have to be ready to play against him," Conklin said during interviews in East Lansing this week. "Obviously I'm excited to play such a great player."...
Five Keys to a Buckeye Win Over Michigan State
November 6, 2014 Source: The Ozone - 1. Protect J.T. Barrett at all costs.
This, above all else. It is impossible to forget J.T. Barrett's performance against Virginia Tech this season. A game where he had blitzers flashing from every lane, with barely enough time to cap each prayer with an amen. He completed just 9 of 29 passes, throwing three interceptions along the way.
That game feels like a lifetime ago, and in the experienced gained by Barrett, it may as well be. Still, this Michigan State defense gets after the quarterback like a nagging wife with a grudge. They are sacking the quarterback 3.5 times per game, a number good for seventh in the nation.
If the Buckeyes are going to win this game they have to give Barrett enough time to throw the ball downfield, because that's where the plays are to be made against this Michigan State defense. Urban Meyer has said on nearly a weekly basis that he still has concerns about the offensive line, and you can bet he has them this week as well.
The Spartans' weak link may lie in their secondary, and if the Buckeyes are going to be able to take advantage of those weaknesses, they have to give Barrett the time to throw the ball. If he can stay upright, Ohio State can win.
2. Withstand the early Spartan barrage.
Ohio State trailed Michigan State 17-0 with nine minutes to play in the second quarter in last season's Big Ten Championship Game. Yes, the Buckeyes eventually came back to take the lead, but falling behind 17-0 in East Lansing is an entirely different animal...
3. The Buckeyes must pressure Connor Cook.
Against the two Big Ten defenses with a pulse that Michigan State has played this season (Nebraska, Michigan), Connor Cook is completing just 45.1% of his passes. He was only sacked once total in those two games, but the completion percentage shows you that pressure can cost Cook his consistency...
4. Make the plays on defense that make themselves available.
Make plays or die. That's what the kids like to say nowadays. It's a little grim, but it gives a look into the importance of said play making. Through the course of the game, a football will take enough odd bounces that chances for both teams will even out. In an evenly-matched game, however, it is the team that takes advantage of those bounces best that emerges with the victory...
5. Get yards on first down.
The best way to neutralize a defense is for an offense to have its entire playbook available on second down. Predictability is a defense's best friend, but second and four is the kind of friend who drives a defense home after a night of drinking, walks him up to the door, gets him inside, and then takes a leak in his pool on the way out...
November 5, 2014 Source: The Ozone - Head Coach Urban Meyer, Senior TE Jeff Heuerman, Senior CB Doran Grant, Senior WR Evan Spencer and Senior WR Devin Smith met with reporters in the WHAC on Wednesday to talk about the upcoming game at Michigan State.
Two-Minute Drill: Post-Practice Updates from Wednesday Nov 5
November 5, 2014 Source: The Ozone - Urban Meyer and several of his Buckeyes spoke with the media following practice Wednesday evening to preview Saturday's matchup with the Michigan State Spartans. Here are the highlights.
Urban Meyer Updates
+ Meyer said that Armani Reeves has not yet been cleared to play and wasn't likely to be cleared for the game. In his place will likely be Cameron Burrows, though Meyer also mentioned freshman cornerback Damon Webb.
+ Meyer said the MSU and OSU programs are similar. They are driven by their line of scrimmage talent. MSU is rugged up front on defense and the offensive line will need to match that. "It's a line of scrimmage game."
+ In last year's game, the safety play was not a strength for the Buckeyes. There has been a lot of growth there this season for the Buckeyes. Tyvis Powell is the "perfect fit" for what they want their safeties to do.
+ Asked how the team is practicing, Meyer said, "I feel good."
+ J.T. Barrett's knee? "J.T.'s good. I haven't asked him."
+ "This is why we train, for moments like this." Is the team ready for the moment? "Sure."
+ Meyer said Michigan State is a better overall team than they were a year ago because they're more balanced.
Devin Smith, Curtis Grant, Evan Spencer, Doran Grant, Jeff Heuerman Updates ...
|Head coach Urban Meyer, LB Joshua Perry & DT Michael Bennett preview Michigan State|
No Wins Over Top-10 Teams While At OSU? Meyer Feels The Pressure
November 4, 2014 Source: Bucknuts - Here are notable items from Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer’s portion of the Big Ten teleconference on Tuesday:
On whether Meyer feels any pressure regarding the fact he has not defeated a top-10 foe yet at Ohio State:
“Oh, I could give you the coachspeak and say I don’t feel it; I feel it,” Meyer said. “I don’t want to say personal pressure, but Ohio State pressure. And with these players, that’s been brought up a couple of times. We try and compartmentalize everything that we do. We try and lock the door and throw away the key and go prepare and try and win a game, regardless of who we’re playing. What I admire about our players is they have done that.
“And even in games when we’ve failed, my job is to evaluate why we failed, and if it’s strategic errors, get those fixed. If it’s personnel errors, make sure you get those fixed. If it’s lack of effort or some other issue in the locker room or with the team, that’s when you blow it up and start over again. And the good thing is – I guess this is three years we’ve been here now – is the only issues we had effort-wise were that first year. Indiana and I think there was one other game where we just didn’t play hard. And that’s when you try to blow the whole thing up and start over again. Ever since then, our guys – I’d like to think people have the same opinion I do – our guys play really hard.” ...
Buckeyes vs Spartans: Matchups
November 4, 2014 Source: BuckeyeSports.com - Ohio State travels to Michigan State this Saturday for what is basically an elimination game in a lot of ways. The winner marches on toward a possible playoff berth, while the loser heads to a minor bowl in all likelihood. How do these two teams match up?
THE MENTAL EDGE:
Not sure there is a big edge to either squad in this game. For Ohio State, there will be the revenge angle for what the Spartans did to them last year, and that could play a part this Saturday. On the Michigan State side of things, they KNOW they can beat Ohio State and not too many teams in the Little Ten feel that way. Both teams should be sharp.
THE TALENT EDGE:
These teams are very evenly matched across the board, so neither squad has decidedly more talent than the other. There's no obvious edge in talent for either group.
THE OSU RUNNING GAME:
Who can run the football better? This could be the key matchup in the entire game, and when looking for a team that can beat Ohio State I always look first at their ability to stop the inside runs. It was mentioned two weeks ago that Penn State, while not a good team, had two defensive tackles and a middle linebacker that were better than the Buckeye interior offensive line. The Nittany Lions controlled the middle of the field, and forced Ohio State to try to move the ball elsewhere, and it was not successful. Ohio State ran into the same issues with Virginia Tech, who is a bad team. Michigan State has an excellent front-four, and can cause problems for the Buckeyes, just as the other two squads did. I don't see Ohio State trampling the Spartan rush defense, but if they do they will win this game.
THE MSU RUNNING GAME:
I expect much of the same when the Spartans have the football, and I do not see them moving the ball on the ground consistently against Ohio State. Should either team be able to move the ball on the ground with success, that team would have a huge advantage. I do not expect to see either team run the football like both did last year in this matchup. These are different teams, with different players suiting up.
WHO THROWS IT BETTER?
This is going to be where the game is won, in my opinion. Both quarterbacks are going to be under pressure, and they will need to make plays under duress. Cook was able to carve Ohio State up last year, throwing for 300 yards, but this is not the same Buckeye defense under Chris Ash. Ohio State had no chance throwing the football last year, but again, this a different game with different players this year. Michigan State has proven under Connor Cook that they can throw the football in close games, while that has been the Ohio State albatross around their necks for three seasons. Will Ohio State be able to throw it with an injured, red-shirt freshman quarterback? They'd better be able to, or they will not win the game. Throwing for 100 yards on 8-23 won't cut it this year, nor will going 1 for 12 on third and fourth down. Simply put, J.T. Barrett has to match or exceed Cook throwing the football for Ohio State to win.
I really don't see an edge here, and both secondaries have played reasonably well this season, but both have also been torched on occasion. I think there will be holes in both secondaries for Barrett and Cook to attack, but which QB will have the most time to throw? Which QB will be on their game, making the right decisions and throwing it accurately? It's really hard to see a team winning this game with inferior passing stats. Losing the turnover battle, losing the big play battle and losing the sack battle should be instant death, and the first place to look on Sunday morning when reading the box score.
BIG PLAY BATTLE:
It's really hard to see these teams driving up and down the field consistently, and I believe the 80-yard, 14-play, drives will be rare. Someone will need to pop a big play, and score from long distance. Who can do that? Tony Lippett is the best receiver on the field in this game, and he averages over 21-yards per catch. He has scored nine times. Lippett also shows up in big games, with 11 catches for 133 yards against Oregon, 3 catches for 111 yards against Nebraska, and 3 catches for 103 yards against Michigan. Ohio State does not have one player that can match Lippett, but maybe Jalin Marshall, Dontre Wilson, Ezekiel Elliott or Devin Smith can provide that spark with a long touchdown. My guess? Devin Smith has the ability to get behind the Spartan defense and dial long distance for the Buckeyes. And he'd better.
Both Michael Geiger and Sean Nuernberger have strong legs, and both have gacked it up this year in tight spots. Geiger does have the experience, and will be at home, but not sure there's an edge here. One of these guys might be facing a 41-yarder at the buzzer for the win.
STYLE OF PLAY:
Ohio State wants a track meet, while Michigan State wants a street fight. Oregon got down early to the Spartans but played Oregon-ball the entire game and wore out Michigan State in 100-degree heat. Last year, Ohio State got stuck 17-0 early in the second quarter, and had to climb that hill the rest of the game. Can Ohio State start fast, and turn the tables on Michigan State this year? The Buckeyes have been lights out early in games this season for the most part. A quick start, and an early lead, takes the crowd out of things and lets the young QB settle in. That could be a huge factor in the outcome. Michigan State will look to bludgeon Ohio State with physical play, and wear them out over the course of four quarters. They are the bully on the block, and they simply out-physical people. Can Ohio State match their physicality? It's not been a real strength of this current team, but this Saturday would be a good time to find it.
Good Things Have Come To OSU-MSU Winner
November 3, 2014 Source: BuckeyeSports.com - The budding rivalry between Ohio State and Michigan State has produced major moments for both programs in recent years. From OSU's win in East Lansing in 2012 helping the Buckeyes post a perfect season to Michigan State's upset win in the 2013 Big Ten title game leading to a victory in the Rose Bowl, much has been on the line when OSU and MSU face off...
|"They're the king of the hill right now because they won the championship, and you have to dethrone them. How do you do that? You outwork them Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday." Urban Meyer on MSU Monday November 3, 2014|
|"I think the most prepared team will win it." |
Buckeyes HC Urban Meyer on the Ohio State MSU game
"I think the most prepared team will win it,'' Urban Meyer said, moments after Ohio State dispatched of Illinois 55-14 in Columbus on Saturday night.
Meyer indicated Ohio State has been aiming at Michigan State since last season's Big Ten championship game, a 34-24 Spartans victory at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
"In the offseason, our strength coach, coach Mick (Marotti), does a little bit of motivational stuff about how that was obviously the dream, was ripped away from us, ripped away by a very good team, and we're going to face a very good team that we have a lot of respect for,'' Meyer said.
"So it's all about the most prepared team,'' he said. "That's what's going to win this game. And I don't think there will be a whole lot of necessary ... we'll do our part about motivation, but this is a motivated team. And I think the most prepared team will win it.''
Two-Minute Drill: Updates from the Nov 3 Media Luncheon
November 3, 2014 Source: The Ozone - Urban Meyer and assistants Tim Hinton and Luke Fickell spoke with the media on Monday. Here are the highlights.
Urban Meyer Updates
+ Champions on defense: Eli Apple, Doran Grant, Josh Perry, Darron Lee, Steve Miller and Joey Bosa. Curtis Grant was the defensive player of the game. His best game as a Buckeye. The CBs were 9 of 9 on chances to make plays.
+ Offensive champions: Evan Spencer, Dontre Wilson, Jeff Heuerman, Ezekiel Elliott, Curtis Samuel, Taylor Decker. Co-players of the game were Jalin Marshall and Jacoby Boren. Erick Smith was the special teams player of the game.
+ "The most prepared team to play will win."
+ "We have one rival here." MSU is a great team. "They stand in the way of a Big Ten Championship." "Does that make them a rival?" "To say that this is a rivalry game would diminish..." the rivalry that has been going on for 100 years with Michigan.
+ "They're the king of the hill right now and you have to dethrone them." Last year's game came down to a couple of plays. They didn't play good pass defense. The offense had a chance to win but didn't execute.
+ There is not a need to be creative in finding motivation. "Everybody knows what's at stake."
+ Playing two night games before this one helps. The game Saturday night will not be a shocker.
+ They have "seen it all" this year in terms of opposing defenses. Michigan State doesn't need to change their defense around because they are too good doing what they do. "They'll have a little wrinkle here and there." They will watch last year's game for those wrinkles.
+ The short-yardage issues come down to two things: last year they had Carlos Hyde, and team's have given them some difficult looks on defense. "That's something we're going to sink a lot of time into."
+ Meyer said MSU's experience is a huge factor compared to the youth of Ohio State. There is nothing you can do about it, however.
+ This game is definitely an opportunity to "get the respect that Ohio State deserves." He will talk to his team about that this week.
+ Meyer said last year the problems MSU gave them came from good players and good scheme. "It's a sledgehammer." "This team can play at any level, any conference, anywhere. And I'd like to think the Ohio State Buckeyes can too."
+ "Mentally, physically, be ready to rock and roll."
Tim Hinton, Luke Fickell Updates...
• • •
How good is Ohio State's Taylor Decker? Blocking Michigan State DE Shilique Calhoun will tell him
November 3, 2014 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - Ohio State offensive tackle Taylor Decker rattled his brain to find someone, anyone who can compare to Michigan State defensive end Shilique Calhoun.
Who did he come up with? Shilique Calhoun.
There is no comparison for the player voted the preseason Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year by a panel of conference writers. At least not anyone Decker has faced this year.
"I've been looking forward to playing against him all year," Decker said Monday as the No. 16 Buckeyes (7-1, 4-0 Big Ten) prepare for Saturday night's game at No. 8 Michigan State (7-1, 4-0).
"For me personally it's gonna be a challenge and a good gauge of where I'm at as a player," Decker said. "We have guys similar in body type, but Joey isn't necessarily like him, Steve (Miller) isn't necessarily like him. To go against a guy like that for a full game is going to be a good gauge for me."
Calhoun, a 6-5, 256 pound junior, was the Big Ten's Defensive Lineman of the Year last year. He has six sacks in 2014. Those sacks have him ranked in the middle of the pack when it comes to the top pass rushers in the country, but he's third in sack yards with 75. That's 12.5 yards per sack...
Urban Meyer knows OSU's clash with Michigan State isn't just another game
November 3, 2014 Source: Yahoo Sports - Meyer admits to thinking ahead. The fourth-quarter clock was still running when he summoned his program's longtime strength coach and right hand man, Mickey Mariotti, to discuss preparation for this week, where an opponent more than capable of matching the Buckeyes awaits up in East Lansing.
"The focus has to be at 8 o'clock [Saturday]," Meyer said he told Mariotti, reiterating the program's commitment to preparation, in this case using the early week for a slow build, via nutrition and physical therapy. "That's when our job is to have them ready. Not Monday at 2 o'clock. Not Tuesday at 3:30."
Meyer is 31-3 overall as Ohio State's coach but one of those defeats, the most painful of those defeats, came at the hands of the Spartans in last year's Big Ten championship game. It ended OSU's 24-game win streak and knocked them out of contention for a chance to play for the BCS title.
It still haunts this place.
"I'd lie to you if I said there's not frustration," Meyer told Yahoo Sports on Monday morning. "We're here to compete for championships … that's one of our jobs. We didn't seal the job last year.
"Got close," he continued. "We were down 17-nothing. Took that darn lead 24-17 and we gave that up."...
No. 16 Ohio State at No. 8 Michigan State Game Notes
November 3, 2014 Source: OSU Official Site - First place on the line in the Big Ten East; game to be televised nationally at 8 p.m. ET on ABC ...
First and 10
• Ohio State enters the game having won 20 consecutive Big Ten regular season games, which is tied for the conference record set by the 2005-07 Ohio State teams. MSU has won 13 in a row.
• As a team, Ohio State ranks second in the NCAA in passing efficiency with a 169.2 rating and is fourth in scoring offense at 45.6 ppg.
• Ohio State has outscored its last six opponents 189-38 in the first half, shutting out the last two.
• The Buckeyes rank eighth in the NCAA in total defense, giving up 300.0 yards per game.
• Ohio State's defense has given up the second-fewest rushing yards per game (75.7) in the FBS since week 2.
• QB J.T. Barrett has thrown 20 TD passes -- with only three INTs -- in the last six games.
• Barrett leads the B1G in total offense with 294.0 yards per game. He also ranks first in the B1G and second in the NCAA in pass efficiency (170.0).
• Barrett leads the FBS in passing TD percentage (23 TDs on 207 attempts; 11.1 percent).
• DL Joey Bosa leads the B1G with 14.5 TFL and 10.0 sacks. He also is tied for the Big Ten lead with three forced fumbles.
• Urban Meyer is 35-3 in the month of November since the start of the 2003 season.
BOTH ON BIG TIME BIG TEN ROLLS
Ohio State enters the game on a record-tying 20-game winning streak in Big Ten regular season games while Michigan State is sporting a 13-game winning streak in the Big Ten. Ohio State's last conference loss - regular season games only - was at Michigan on Nov. 26, 2011, 40-34. Michigan State hasn't lost in the Big Ten since a 23-20 decision to Northwestern on Nov. 17, 2012.
Ohio State and Michigan State are meeting for the 43rd time. Ohio State leads the all-time series, 28-14, and has won eight of the last 10 games, but Michigan State has won two of the last three. Urban Meyer's Buckeyes are 1-1 vs. Mark Dantonio's Spartans.
More at Ohio State vs. Michigan State Game Notes
• • •
J.T. Barrett on getting ready for Michigan State
|DB Armani Reeves likely out|
East Lansing Weather Forecast
On the edge: Ohio State vs. Michigan State
November 7, 2014 Source: Columbus Dispatch -
When Buckeyes run . . . Edge – OHIO STATE
Running the ball is a strength for Ohio State, and stopping it is the same for the Spartans. Ohio State ranks 13th nationally, averaging 259.3 yards a game. Michigan State has been stingy in that department, yielding only 95.4 a game, sixth in the nation. Michigan State doesn’t have any run-stuffing stars on the line and its linebackers aren’t the stars the Spartans had last year, but they are disciplined and play well as a unit. Ohio State’s offensive line has been inconsistent.
When Buckeyes pass . . . Edge – MICHIGAN STATE
Michigan State ranks 15th nationally in passing yards allowed and eighth in pass-defense efficiency. The Spartans rely on press coverage and dare offenses to beat them deep, which hasn’t been the forte of OSU quarterback J.T. Barrett. He has been more successful on short- and medium-range throws. A key will be stopping defensive end Shilique Calhoun’s pass rushes and adjusting to MSU’s blitzes.
When Spartans run . . . Edge – MICHIGAN STATE
With Jeremy Langford leading the way, Michigan State is fifth in the Big Ten in rushing (254.9-yard average). OSU’s rush defense statistics are skewed by the 370 given up to Navy in the opener, but the Buckeyes still are fifth in the Big Ten (118.6 average). In conference games only, they are No. 1 (84.2).
When Spartans pass . . . Edge – OHIO STATE
Connor Cook is No. 2 in the league in passing efficiency. Tony Lippett (42) has more than twice as many catches as the next-closest Spartan, and his production is staggering given that he’s a defensive focus. OSU has improved dramatically in pass defense, sitting second in the league (181.4-yard average). Joey Bosa leads the conference in sacks (10).
Special teams . . . Edge – OHIO STATE
The Buckeyes have been generally sound in this area, except for some inconsistency by placekicker Sean Nuernberger and kickoff specialist Kyle Clinton. Punter Cameron Johnston has been a weapon on the infrequent occasions he has been needed. Jalin Marshall has been a little too risky on punt returns, but he and Dontre Wilson are big-play threats. Michigan State’s kicking game has been mediocre. Michael Geiger has made just 7 of 12 field-goal attempts, and MSU ranks 103rd nationally in net punting (34.8 average).
Game Data: Ohio State at Michigan State
November 5, 2014 Source: Bucknuts.com - Michigan State is looking to defeat Ohio State in consecutive years for the first time since 1998-99.
The Spartans are looking to snap a four-game losing streak to the Buckeyes in Spartan Stadium.
MSU’s last win over Ohio State in East Lansing was in 1999. OSU won its last visit to MSU in 2012 (17-16)...
Preview: No. 14 Ohio State vs. No. 8 Michigan State
November 7, 2014 Source: Eleven Warriors
Ohio State vs. Michigan State 2014: Preview, odds, predictions
November 7, 2014 Source: Land-Grant Holy Land
Michigan State vs. Ohio State: Game Preview With TV Schedule
November 5, 2014 Source: Rant Sports
Michigan State Ohio State Game Notes Source: MSU Official Site
Mark Dantonio agrees: Michigan State and Ohio State not rivals, but game is 'personal'
November 5, 2014 Source: mlive.com - Urban Meyer says Ohio State has one rival: Michigan.
Michigan State has two rivals, according to Mark Dantonio.
But his list doesn't include Ohio State.
"Our rivals right here, right now are Michigan and Notre Dame," Dantonio said Tuesday. "That's how I see our rivals at Michigan State."'...
Ohio State, by the numbers: Shorter passes subtle secret to Buckeyes' success
November 3, 2014 Source: mlive.com - At the beginning of each week, we'll take an early look at Michigan State's upcoming opponent by zeroing in on some interesting numbers.
The average yards per pass attempt for quarterback J.T. Barrett since Week 3. Two weeks ago in the win over Penn State, Barrett didn't complete a single pass of longer than 14 yards, despite the fact that the Nittany Lions' pass defense pales in comparison to their No. 1 rushing defense. Barrett only attempted four passes of 15 or more yards that day, completing none of them...
Mark Dantonio: Michigan State football rivalry with Ohio State is about 'measuring up'
November 3, 2014 Source: mlive.com - Dantonio embraces the Spartans' status as a program on the rise, and he and his players make no attempt to hide the collective chip on their shoulder.
Hence, Dantonio's approach to the border state rivalry with Ohio State that's different than the in-state battle with Michigan.
"It's a little bit different, because in that (Ohio State) game you want to measure up,'' Dantonio said recently. "I think in the other game we want to measure up as well, but I think in this case, it's more about your background, where you are from, you know a lot of people back there and you want to measure up.''...
Hicks "let that dog out," now looking to OSU
November 2, 2014 Source: Spartan Digest - Michigan State sophomore cornerback had big showing against Michigan, now wants to keep proving himself against his home state school when the Buckeyes come to town Saturday...
Michigan State QB Connor Cook embraces facing Ohio State and 'extreme' Buckeyes fans
October 31, 2014 Source: mlive.com - Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook says that Ohio State will be a special game for him Nov. 8, because he is from Hinckley, Ohio.
According to Cook, everyone in Ohio loves the Buckeyes, and the fans are about as extreme as they come.
"Everyone, no matter where you're from in the state -- northeast, northern, southern, middle -- everyone is an Ohio State fan,'' said Cook, explaining how his home state differs from the divided nature of Michigan...
Marcus Rush, one of 10 Michigan State starters from Ohio, says Buckeyes are 'a threat'
October 30, 2014 Source: mlive.com - "We're almost split on our team of Ohio and Michigan guys, and that's a good thing,'' said Rush, a four-year starter who has started 47 of 48 games in his career. "I have all the Michigan guys' backs in this (Michigan) rivalry, and I think I understand where they are coming from with the whole Michigan thing, and the guys understand how our guys from Ohio look at this as our Michigan game, and they'll have our backs, too.''
"Guys understand right off the bat what kind of game we're going to be coming into, because Ohio State's record is a little bit better, and they are more of a threat to us,'' Rush said. "We knew (Michigan) was a rivalry game, and now we know this will be a big game against Ohio State on a big stage.''...