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QUOTE OF THE DAY: Tressel, on telling Pryor he needed to run out wide more: "We always talk about going north and south. And then we always scream if he doesn't — until he gets 18 yards. Then we say, well ..." (Source: dayton Daily News)
TRESSEL BOUNCES BACK: ...The groundswell of attacks from an upset fan base had never been higher in Tressel’s tenure in Columbus following the disappointing loss to USC but a guy who seemed hell bent on never changing his ways might have finally gotten the message that you can change here and there without jeopardizing your overall core principals...Even more astounding than the results from various changes, from my perspective, is the fact Tressel considered doing such things based on his track record of sticking with the static approach at all costs despite constant media reminders that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results..." (Source: Eleven Warriors)
FOLLOWING TRESSEL ON TWITTER?: If you are following Coach Tressel on Twitter or Facebook: "You're following the wrong guy," Tressel joked. "If someone's representing me on Facebook or Twitter, I hope they're doing a good job because it's not me. I don't even know how to spell it."
BUSING IT: Yep, even though Ohio State's campus is only 212 miles from Indiana's campus, the Buckeyes are staying in Indianapolis — 75 miles away from Memorial Stadium — before Saturday's 7 p.m. game. "It's a little bit different travel in that there's really nowhere to stay in Bloomington so, therefore, we're staying in Indianapolis," Tressel said. "And it's quite a journey into the game and it's at night." Count K Aaron Pettrey among those who don't care where the team stays. "Most of us haven't done that since high school," he said of the lengthy bus trip to the game. "It'll be fun. Hopefully I'll get my own seat. It would be nice to stretch out a little bit." (Source: Dayton Daily News)
REDSHIRT FOR BERRY: Tressel has said in the past that he doesn’t want to redshirt (Jaamal Berry). However, it might be getting close to the point where the coach will have to re-consider his stance. "I think if you got into the back-half of the season and you were very healthy with all the others (then you might consider it)," Tressel said. "But, you know, what we always say about redshirting is that it’s about what the team needs. We’ve taken redshirts off guys in game nine before because we had to have them. Today is what’s important. So, our intentions are to not redshirt him." (Source: Bucknuts)
LEAPING LINEMAN: Doug Worthington recorded a sack last week by leaping over Illinois lineman Jeff Allen and landing next to quarterback Juice Williams. "I don't know what happened, it was a little instinctive move," Worthington said. "We watched X - M en (Friday), and Sabertooth and the X-Men, in their fight, it was all jumping around, so I just wanted to jump and get to him." (Source: Columbus Dispatch) & Ohio State DE has rebounded from DUI arrest(Source: Mansfield News Journal)
BIG TEN SEPTEMBER SUPERLATIVES: Defensive MVP -- Ohio State S Kurt Coleman - Several good candidates here, but Coleman has been huge for a Buckeyes defense that posted back-to-back shutouts for the first time since 1996. The senior co-captain leads the league with three forced fumbles and has recorded 10 more solo tackles than any Ohio State player. He also has an interception. Iowa's Tyler Sash and Pat Angerer, Wisconsin's O'Brien Schofield and Indiana's Jammie Kirlew also merit mentions. (Source: ESPN)
SUSPENSION GIVES RUSSELL A REPRIEVE: Stay sharp, stay ready, Ohio State safeties coach Paul Haynes kept telling Anderson Russell the past few weeks. You never know when your chance will come. Haynes' words of advice will come in handy for Russell this week. With strong safety Kurt Coleman suspended for a game Saturday at Indiana, Russell is expected to step back into a starting role. A fifth-year senior, Russell started the 2007 and 2008 seasons and the first game this season, but he was benched after being involved in giving up two second-half touchdown passes to Navy. "It was a little tough" on Russell at first, Haynes said. "But the bottom line is the team comes first, and I think guys understand that. And you've got to handle it, you've got to move on, but there's a lot of football to be played and you never know. (Source: Columbus Dispatch)
SAFETY CITY: Safeties coach Paul Haynes said the battle to determine the fifth defensive back on Saturday night is still wide open and could be won in practice today. With senior Kurt Coleman suspended for the game, Jermale Hines and Anderson Russell should start at safety, but Haynes said in the nickel situation anyone from safeties Orhian Johnson, Nate Oliver, C.J. Barnett and Zach Domicone to cornerbacks Andre Amos and Travis Howard could be out there. What the Buckeyes won't do is play more base defense, keeping three starting linebackers on the field in passing downs, just because the safety situation is muddled. (Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer)
FRESHMEN DISPLAY UNUSUAL MATURITY: "There was something encouraging about John Simon from the first time he showed up at Ohio State. Duron Carter showed it, too. Maturity, toughness -- each had that secret something it takes to earn playing time as a true freshman. "You have to be tough no matter what position you play, and you can see that pretty quickly, who's a tough guy and who's not," receivers coach Darrell Hazell said...Co-coordinator Luke Fickell said a freshman must first show he knows what he is doing and that he can stand up to the physical rigors of the faster, more physical college game. Then there is the confidence and trust the coaches have to acquire in the player. "That comes from guys going to class, guys doing things right (off the field), so that you just have the confidence in their maturity," Fickell said. "You know they can play. All of the guys here can play; it's why we recruited them."..." (Source: Columbus Dispatch)
QUOTE OF THE DAY: Doug Worthington being asked about Cameron Heyward and Thad Gibson's chances of leaving for the draft after this season: "They're great athletes and great guys. Just playing with those guys brings up your level of intensity and level of play in practice. So I definitely think they can but i know both of them want to stay here, graduate and be senior captains of next season." (Source: BuckeyeGrove.com)
BY ANY NAME: TB Brandon Saine is called "Zoom" by Tressel. Just about everybody on the team calls him BSaine. So what does he prefer? "Call me whatever you like," he said with a laugh. "They call me Brandon. They usually call me BSaine. That's about it." He said when his mother is angry she also includes his middle name. "Brandon Croft!" he cracked. (Source: Dayton Daily News)
GAME TIMES: Noon starts will at Purdue on Oct. 17, Minnesota on Oct. 24 and New Mexico State on Oct. 31. Wisconsin on Oct. 10 is a 3:30PM start. No times yet announced for @Penn State, Iowa and @TSUN.
FINALLY HITTING THE ROAD: TSUN, Wisconsin and Penn State hit the road for the first time this season after enjoying varied degrees of success on their home fields.
Latwan Anderson Cleveland Glenville
Catching Up with Latwan Anderson September 30, 2009 Source: Eleven Warriors - "...Anderson, ranked as the 17th best player in the nation by Rivals.com, is being recruited by Ohio State, West Virginia, Georgia, Miami, Cincinnati, and others. He transferred to Glenville from St. Edward in Lakewood, Ohio before the 2009 season and leads what is arguably the state’s best secondary along with fellow Buckeye recruit Christian Bryant. While there have been questions regarding his academics, there have been no questions regarding his talent and he is certainly a player Buckeye fans will want in Scarlet and Gray if all works out in the classroom.
We caught up with Anderson to find out the latest on his recruitment, how playing at Glenville is going, when he will announce his decision, and more...Do you have an idea of when you would like to announce?: I will be announcing October 10th, my birthday, the day I turn 18.
What is your current situation with Ohio State?: The current status is OSU has offered me and they are on the list I prefer not to say where but they are on it.
Would you like to play college ball with any of your teammates?: Yeah, I definitely would. I’m hoping at least one or two of us are all going to the same place..."
Catches dwindling, tight end enjoys role as run blocker September 30, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Jake Ballard would rather catch passes than throw blocks, but that's usually not the fate of an Ohio State tight end. It certainly wasn't Saturday, when heavy rain caused the Buckeyes to turn to their running game in a 30-0 win over Illinois. But Ballard wasn't complaining yesterday as the Buckeyes switched their attention to a game Saturday at Indiana. He rejoiced in his role of an H back leading the way for running backs Daniel Herron and Brandon Saine and quarterback Terrelle Pryor. Ballard was good at it, too, being named the team's Jim Parker offensive lineman of the week... "Our game plan was to run the ball, and whenever I was pulling it was fun," Ballard said. "It was fun leading up through the hole, seeing the backs make cuts off my blocks, and seeing them get a lot of yards. It was a very exciting game."..."
QUOTE OF THE DAY: Tressel, on playing this Saturday at Indiana, whose school colors are cream and crimson: "I just tell our guys, 'All that red is for you.'"
Ohio State wary of improved Indiana: How do the Buckeyes get up for Indiana, a team that has lost 62 games in the same amount of time Jim Tressel has won 86 at Ohio State? The Hoosiers — not Who-siers — haven’t beaten Ohio State in more than 20 years...the Hoosiers are no longer a punch line. If Tressel needs to prove it to his players, all he has to do is show them last week’s film. Indiana nearly beat undefeated Michigan — and might have if not for a controversial call — before losing 36-33. "Obviously, they watch TV. They watch the highlights," Tressel said of his players. "They see the facts and figures, and they saw that Indiana had every opportunity to win their Big Ten opener and put up a lot of yards."...OSU hasn’t lost on the road in the conference since 2005 at Penn State. An upset in Bloomington would put Lynch’s rebuilding process back on the map. But the Hoosiers are facing a Buckeye defense that hasn’t allowed a touchdown in two games. (Source: Canton Repository)
TD or no TD?: A photo (View the photo HERE in our archive) circulating on the Internet from Southern California's 18-15 win over Ohio State on Sept. 12 apparently shows that running back Stafon Johnson's knee was down before the ball crossed the goal line on USC's first touchdown. Ohio State defensive tackle Dexter Larimore had hold of Johnson's leg with one arm and had his other hand on the ball, which was short of the goal line.
"That's the game and that's just how it works out," Larimore said of the fourth-down play from the 1-yard line. "It would have been great if it had happened, not just for me but for the rest of the team. If we would have stopped them there, I think we would have had a lot of momentum.
"Things happen, and they didn't catch it, and I didn't really put up a fight or say that we had him down. I knew I kind of had the ball in my hands, so I knew he probably didn't get it across the end zone."
Why didn't he protest it? "It's just you're in a game, it's going crazy and they score a touchdown and you're like, 'The next play is the most important,' " Larimore said. "We don't really focus on what happened the previous play."..." (Source: Columbus Dispatch)
Tressel not concerned about Terrelle Pryor throwing an interception with a wet football: REPORTER: But, Jim, no second thoughts about having Terrelle on the field and passing for a touchdown with a minute and a half left? TRESSEL: No, not at all. We only had Terrelle on the field passing 12 times up to that point. REPORTER: You said after the game that you were concerned about (Illinois) blocking a kick or whatever, but with a wet ball and passing the ball ...TRESSEL: You mean as far as an interception? I'd have tackled him. No, I wasn't concerned one bit. (Source: Dayton Daily News)
Buckeyes balancing aggression and caution: Ohio State defensive lineman Doug Worthington knew safety Kurt Coleman had made a mistake last Satur day as soon as Coleman came off the field, as sessed a 15-yard penalty for a late helmet-to-hel met hit on Illinois quar terback Eddie McGee. "He knew it was late. He kind of felt bad about the situation," Worthington said. "I was like, 'Kurt, you can't do that.' He said, 'I know. It was kind of in the moment.' " OSU junior defensive tackle Dexter Larimore said: "I personally thought it was just a guy being aggressive, playing the game like it should be played. It was a bad hit, but I think as a player, it's hard to be able to say my head needs to be here or there while you're flying around at 100 mph." Anderson Russell and Jermale Hines are expected to start at safety in Coleman's absence, but the Buckeyes will need another defensive back when they play their nickel defense. Redshirt freshman Orhian Johnson was the player mentioned most frequently Tuesday as the next option. (Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer)
According to Tressel: Center Michael Brewster had his best week as a Buckeye calling blocking schemes Saturday against Illinois.
RBs: "Jordan Hall has stepped in and said, hey, I'm going to be able to add to this group. Jermil Martin is a little healthier now and showed last week against our defense that he could bang it in there and if you could bang it in against our defense, you could maybe help," Tressel said. Martin is coming off a week in which he was named scout team offensive player of the week, but Tressel also talked about having high hopes for Berry, although it’s unsure whether or not he would burn his redshirt this season. (Source: The Ozone)
Jack Mewhort: Freshman offensive lineman Jack Mewhort may redshirt "Right now, it looks like I'll probably redshirt this year, and I don't have a problem with that," Mewhort said recently. Redshirting allows freshmen players to use their first year to practice and travel with the team, gain strength, and get acclimated to the demands of college life without sacrificing a year of eligibility. Mewhort was one of the most sought-after linemen in the country after an outstanding high school career at Toledo St. John's Jesuit, where he earned first team All-Ohio honors. (Source: Toledo Blade)
Tressel scared of on-side kicks: REPORTER: Did you really think that Illinois could score two or three times in that last couple of minutes? That was your explanation? TRESSEL: Uh-huh. REPORTER: And that's why you went for (it on) fourth and two or three? TRESSEL: Absolutely. We had that discussion. In fact, I even flipped over to the defense. REPORTER: The way they (the Illini) were playing, though ... TRESSEL: Well, hey, easy for you to say, all you do is cover it afterwards. If they'd have been playing all of a sudden the last minute and a half ... REPORTER: That's a lot of on-side kicks. TRESSEL: All you've got to get is two. (Source: Dayton Daily News)
The official word from the football office was that they would answer no more questions concerning the Kurt Coleman suspension, but that didn't stop Doug Worthington from talking about it for 4 or 5 minutes.
The coaches had the briefest of handshakes: In Zook has no hard feelings about OSU loss, ESPN's Adam Rittenberg writes: "I've received several e-mails asking about the end of Saturday's Ohio State-Illinois game and a possible handshake snub between head coaches Ron Zook and Jim Tressel...Asked about the play Tuesday, Zook found no fault with Ohio State's strategy..."It's up to us to stop them," he said. "I don’t have any issues with that at all. We’ve got to bow up and stop them."...Unlike his colleagues in the SEC and Big 12, Tressel hasn't been known to regularly run up the score in his career. He seemed genuinely upset when Dan Herron scored a late touchdown in a blowout against Northwestern last season. (Source: ESPN)
Recruiting OSU @ TSUN: The Michigan-Ohio State game should be the most heavily attended home contest of the year, and that is due to recruits who want to witness the greatest rivalry in the sport. Several prospects have already planned to make their official visit to Michigan the weekend of Nov. 21 when Ohio State is in town, including four-star cornerback Joshua Shaw (6-1, 195) of Palmdakle, Calif. (who has said publicly that OSU leads for his services), three-star cornerback Tony Grimes (5-11, 166) of Hollywood (Fla.) Hills and safety commitment Marvin Robinson of Eagle Lake (Fla.) Lake Region. (Source: Detroit Free Press)
Recruting Part Deux: Not a done deal: The nation's No. 3 rated CB, Pittsburgh Penn Hills CB Cullen Christian, was supposed to be a recruiting lock for TSUN. Not so fast my friend. In addition to plans to visit West Virginia & UCLA, word on the street is if OSU offers he will make an official visit. Christian is planning to visit TSUN November 21 for the OSU/TSUN game..
Herron's sore ankle could mean start for Saine October 1, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "It appears that Brandon Saine will get the start at tailback on Saturday night for Ohio State when the No. 9 Buckeyes play at Indiana. Coach Jim Tressel said at his midday news conference today that Daniel Herron is bothered by an ankle sprain. Herron started the first four games of the season at tailback for the Buckeyes...Tressel also indicated that freshman Jordan Hall would be considered the backup at tailback, though that could change if Herron's condition improves before the 7 p.m. kickoff Saturday..."
From Bucknuts: Tressel: Saine To Get The Start: "...Brandon Saine and Jordan Hall will get the bulk of the work," Tressel said. "Boom’s got a little bit of an ankle and I wouldn’t say he was probably 85 percent and we’d like to have him at 100 percent. He’ll be with us on the trip and will be ready to go and all that. Today is just Thursday. But as far as practice reps, it was Brandon and Jordan getting most of them.
$55 Tickets for Indiana Game Available: Tickets for the 7 p.m. game Saturday between Ohio State and Indiana at Memorial Stadium in Bloomington, Ind. are available for purchase. The cost of each ticket is $55. Fans interested in purchasing tickets can do so online at OhioStateBuckeyes.com. Click on the Athletics heading at the top of the home page and use the drop down menu to access the ticket office page. Once there: Click on "Manage Your Ohio State Buckeyes Account". Login with your Account ID and password (new customers may click on "Create Account" to create a profile); once logged in, click on "Buy Tickets" and select the Indiana away game to purchase your tickets.
Tressel Weekly Press Conference Transcript September 29, 2009 Source: OSU Official Site - "...Obviously our defense sets the tone. Even if the opposing team starts a couple first downs and so forth, they don't panic, they just keep playing, come up to the play. Brian Rolle coming up with the play in the first drive obviously was huge. From a winning performance standpoint, we had maybe five on the defensive side and three or so on the offensive side, so it wasn't a flawless performance by any means..."
Bucknuts TV: Tressel On Coleman, Indiana September 29, 2009 Source: Bucknuts - "Video from OSU coach Jim Tressel's press conference as well as highlights from Tuesday press luncheon. For starters, Tressel refused to elaborate on the statement OSU released on Monday in regards to the one-game suspension of senior safety/captain Kurt Coleman...Injury Report:...Junior linebacker Ross Homan suffered a head or neck injury against Illinois but didn?t want to come out of the game initially. Eventually, he was forced to sit out the rest of the game...?Ross got dinged a little bit there early in the game,? Tressel said. ?He played about 16 plays after the fact, which is a little frightening. But he seemed to be feeling fine. He probably won?t work (Tuesday) but will work (Wednesday). We?re very, very conservative on those.
Tough graders: Despite blasting a talented Illinois team 30-0, only eight Ohio State players graded a ?winning performance? (meaning 85 percent or better). Sophomore quarterback Terrelle Pryor was one of many that did not grade a winning performance. In fact, he hasn?t graded 85 percent or above at all this year through four games...
Running up the score: A reporter commented on the fact that other conferences such as the Big 12 often see teams hanging huge point totals on the board, even continuing to push the score up when already blowing out their opponent. Tressel was asked his thoughts on that situation. "In Big Ten play, you're probably not going to have that decision to make because everyone knows everyone, and the ballgames are going to be tight," Tressel said. "I think our biggest thought process if we're ever fortunate enough to get into a situation late in the game where we perhaps have a lead is how quickly can we get some other players in the game more so than 'Hey, let's score some more points' or whatever. Now we would like to score more points with some new players in the game, but our attention really turns more to when it is safe, when is it appropriate to get some experience for the second group and that type of thing."..."
Terrelle Pryor could use more talent at the skill positions: Hey, Doug! September 29, 2009 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "Q: Hey, Doug: Word is that Terrelle Pryor is not the quarterback the fans thought he would be. I disagree. Don't you think he would benefit more if he had a big-time running back that could lighten the load on him? Our backs this year don't have that game-breaking talent. -- Robert Driscoll, Parma
A: Hey, Robert: At the moment, the talent around Pryor at wide receiver and running back doesn't match that of recent Ohio State history. Troy Smith spent his career throwing to three future first-round draft picks at receiver in Ted Ginn Jr., Santonio Holmes and Anthony Gonzalez, and during his Heisman year, he had two NFL running backs with him in Antonio Pittman and Beanie Wells. Dane Sanzenbacher has played well this season, and DeVier Posey might have an NFL future, but there's little doubt the talent at the skill positions as a whole 'does not match that of the Smith years. And yes, that should be considered when evaluating Pryor. But that's what I think was so encouraging for Ohio State about its 30-0 victory over Illinois -- Pryor had so little to do with it. That was the defense and the running game, which bodes well for the next two months.
Kurt Coleman has been suspended for one game by the Big Ten. He will serve the suspension this week when the Buckeyes play Indiana in Bloomington for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Fighting Illini backup quarterback Eddie McGee late in the fourth quarter- there were 37 seconds left when the play occurred-of the 30-0 Buckeyes victory in Columbus. McGee, who did not appear injured, had replaced Juice Williams in the fourth quarter.
Coleman drew a personal foul for the hit but was not ejected by the officials. He was pulled from the game after the play by the coaches. Under a first-year Big Ten policy, the league reviews all questionable calls and can issue suspensions, whether a play was called a penalty or not. After reviewing tape and consulting with the NCAA's national coordinator of officials, Dave Parry, the conference decided to suspend Coleman for the Buckeyes' game Saturday at Indiana.
OSU AD Gene Smith and Tressel agreed that Coleman was wrong. However, he was penalized for the hit, and if the game officials had determined that Coleman's foul was flagrant, they should have ejected him. If that had happened, the Big Ten would not have reviewed the play, and a suspension would not have occurred.
Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel warned his players before the season started that the Big Ten was watching, looking for late or illegal hits more than ever. "Every night we'd remind them, whether you thought you got away with it or not, Monday [the conference is] watching the film," Tressel said last week, before the Buckeyes' 30-0 win over Illinois. "And there are going to be some suspensions. You've got to do what's right, and if you don't, you didn't get away with it."
Jim Tressel and Ohio State accuse Big Ten of 'poor judgment' for suspending Buckeyes' safety Kurt Coleman September 28, 2009 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "...For a coach typically conservative with his words, Jim Tressel's reaction to the one-game suspension of senior safety Kurt Coleman qualifies as outrage. Tressel and OSU athletic director Gene Smith issued a joint statement that calls the Big Ten's decision "poor judgment," a shockingly honest opinion. Think about that - the Ohio State football coach and athletic direction just accused the Big Ten of poor judgment. How often have you heard something like that from Ohio State?
The Buckeyes clearly feel the fact that Coleman was removed by the coaches after the hit was enough of a reaction. And though the Big Ten went by rules that said hits can be reviewed after the game, Smith and Tressel called out the officials for not ejecting Coleman from the game if the hit was really that bad. Ohio State said it won't challenge the decision, but if Tressel and Smith released this statement publicly, you can only imagine how angry they are privately..."
Buckeyes starting safety Coleman suspended; Tressel doesn't agree September 28, 2009 Source: Associated Press - "...Soon after the suspension was announced, Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith and football coach Jim Tressel issued a statement conceding that it was a late hit. But they added that "poor judgment" was used throughout the situation and that Coleman should not have been suspended...
"Obviously, we will abide by the one-game suspension from the Big Ten Conference, but we feel as if there was poor judgment throughout," the statement read. "We concur that Kurt’s hit was late and a result of poor judgment; he was thus penalized and removed from the game by his coaches. We do not agree that it was 'pre-meditated' or that he was ‘targeting a defenseless’ player.
"The decision to suspend points to the Conference office’s feeling as if there was poor judgment by the game officials for their decision not to eject at the time. "In our estimation, the final 'poor judgment' is in levying a one-game suspension in this particular case. We will abide by the decision, learn from it, and move forward." The OSU statement concludes by saying the school will have no further comment regarding this matter...
In announcing the suspension on Monday, the conference cited a new rule for the 2009 season mandating a post-game video review by a conference of any flagrant personal fouls..."
Big Ten Overreacts In Suspending Coleman September 28, 2009 Source: Bucknuts - "I’ve watched the hit Ohio State safety Kurt Coleman laid on Illinois backup quarterback Eddie McGee time and time again. And in my opinion, Coleman being suspended a game is a simple case of the punishment not fitting the crime.
First of all, there is no way that Coleman – the heart and soul of Ohio State’s defense – should have been on the field with the game well in hand. The Buckeyes were leading 30-0 with 37 seconds left in the fourth quarter when the play in question occured. Coleman should have been on the sidelines discussing post-game plans with his teammates...
Should Coleman have been flagged 15 yards for the hit? Yes. And he was. The officials were right on top of it. However, let’s take a closer look at Coleman’s hit and whether it merited a suspension..."
"We fly around and make plays and hit like bullets do. We were hitting every chance we got," Ohio State senior safety Kurt Coleman said. "We are thriving. We always have that 'go get 'em' attitude. I feel like we are the best of the best out there right now, and we have to prove that each and every week." Coleman also said: "The coaches have done a great job of preparing us. We're loose and flying around. We rely on each other."
Illinois Game 9/26/09:
Offensive Player of the Week: Dan Herron and Brandon Saine, RBs
Defensive Player of the Week: Doug Worthington , DT
Attack Force Award: Jermale Hines, S
Jim Parker Lineman Award: Jake Ballard , TE
Special Units Player of the Week: Aaron Pettrey, K
Jack Tatum Hit of the Week Award: Not Awarded
Scout Team Champions: Offense: Jermil Martin; Defense: Adam Bellamy; Special Units: James Georgiades
Up next Indiana (3-1, 0-1), which has added more firepower with its Pistol offense directed by QB Ben Chappell and powered by running back Darius Willis. The Hoosiers took target practice at Michigan on Saturday, and for 3 1/2 quarters appeared poised for the upset before Tate Forcier rallied the Wolverines to a 36-33 win. IU coach Bill Lynch is still looking for a new wad of gum after throwing his previous one in outrage over the officials awarding a simultaneous-catch interception to Michigan in the closing moments.
This week's challenge
Indiana is much better than the last time these two teams played in 2006, a 44-3 win by OSU in Ohio Stadium. While the Hoosiers obviously are scoring points, their defense is ranked 40th in the nation (OSU's is 16th). This is no pushover game, and Memorial Stadium is expected to be jumping with the 7 p.m. kickoff on the Big Ten Network.
Safety Kurt Coleman's helmet-first late hit on defenseless Illinois backup quarterback Eddie McGee in the late moments. No doubt Big Ten officials are reviewing it to determine whether it rises to a major breach of the league policy that prohibits "striking or attempting to strike or otherwise physically abusing an official, opposing coach, spectator or athlete. Any person committing such an act shall be subject to a public reprimand and suspended for up to 50 percent of the scheduled contests in the sport as deemed appropriate for the first offense." The league already has handed down one-game suspensions to Michigan and Purdue players for post-whistle incidents this season.
In the BCS
Ohio State is ninth in both polls, making it the highest-ranked Big Ten team again. Of course, that's because No. 4 Penn State was upset at home by Iowa 21-10. Inexplicably, PSU dropped to 13th in the coaches' poll, while unbeaten Iowa is 17th. Any more questions on why the coaches' ballots should be made public?
The Big Ten picture
Look out for those Hawkeyes. After a slow start, Iowa dominated Penn State. The Hawkeyes' front four manhandled the Nittany Lions' inexperienced offensive line. Those nonleague cupcakes Penn State feasted on left it soft for a rugged team like Iowa. The Hawkeyes' game Nov. 14 in Columbus now looms huge. No other team really distinguished itself Saturday, though Wisconsin looked solid for most of the game against Michigan State. And hey, even those Hoosiers put up a tough fight against Michigan and would have had a chance for an upset if not for a bad call on the Wolverines' clinching interception. Source: Columbus Dispatch
No. 9 Buckeyes defense earning respect September 28, 2009 Source: Associated Press - "This was supposed to be an Ohio State team that needed its offense to carry the burden until the defense was on its feet. That couldn't have been more wrong. In fact, the reverse might be true. The Buckeyes (3-1, 1-0 Big Ten) are playing like they haven't missed seven departing starters...No one in the Buckeyes locker room was getting ahead of themselves. It was only the Big Ten opener; the bulk of the season is still ahead. But with games at Indiana, home with Wisconsin, at Purdue, home with Minnesota and nonconference foe New Mexico State the next five weeks, the Buckeyes have plenty of time to fine-tune their offense if the defense keeps playing like this. Then come games at Penn State, at home against Iowa and the annual season-ender against Michigan, this time in Ann Arbor. "We owe our defense," Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor said. "They're really something."..."
Top 25 Overview WEEK 4 2009 Source: ESPN - Overview of all Top 25 Teams for the fourth week of the season, including Recap, Box Score, Play-by-Play, Drive Chart, Photos
Top 25 Team Rankings of the Harris Interactive College Football Poll: The Florida Gators are tops in the initial Harris Interactive College Football Poll, released Sunday. The poll shows the top 25 results compiled from rankings submitted by the Harris Interactive panel of former coaches, players and administrators and current and former members of the media...Texas was second... Alabama was third. LSU, Boise State, Virginia Tech, USC, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Cincinnati rounded out the top 10. Harris Interactive, Inc.
AP Poll CFB '09 Results for Ohio State -- Week 5: How each of the AP voters voted for Ohio State in week five...Craig James ranked the Buckeyes #6. Israel Gutierrez of the Miami Herald had OSU at #5, the highest of any of the voters. Doug Lesmerises of the Cleveland Plain Dealer & Mark Anderson of the Las Vegas Review-Journal ranked the Buckeyes the lowest of any of the voters, placing them at #16. Source: Pollspeak
Ohio State returns to top 10, Iowa surges: Ohio State is back where it belongs, in the top 10 of the national rankings, while Iowa returned to the AP Poll after its big win at Penn State. The Buckeyes moved up four spots to No. 9 after posting their second consecutive shutout Saturday against Illinois. It still makes no sense to see Ohio State behind Oklahoma, which didn't play Saturday, but at least this time, Ohio State wasn't punished for winning convincingly. Iowa...got rewarded with a No. 13 ranking...Penn State plunged 10 spots in the poll after its loss to Iowa, while Michigan moved up a spot to No. 23 after its scare against Indiana. Source: ESPN
What we learned in the Big Ten: Week 4: 3. Tressel ball still works -- Much like Iowa, Ohio State has gotten better every week of the season despite some lingering issues on offense. Credit quarterback Terrelle Pryor and running backs Brandon Saine and Dan Herron for making key plays against Illinois, but Ohio State won with defense yet again. The Buckeyes haven't allowed a touchdown since Stafon Johnson's run at the end of the USC loss, shutting out consecutive opponents for the first time since 1996. Head coach Jim Tressel's formula continues to click in Big Ten play.
Big Ten helmet stickers: Week 4: Ohio State's defense -- The ultimate team defense posted its second consecutive shutout for the first time since 1996. Ohio State forced three fumbles and recorded three interceptions against Illinois. Linebacker Brian Rolle continues to sizzle (8 tackles, INT, half a sack), safety Kurt Coleman had nine tackles and a forced fumble and the defensive line dominated for the third straight game as Todd Denlinger and Thad Gibson both recorded two tackles for loss.
Bob Hunter commentary: In BCS era, Big Ten play has lost its luster
September 26, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "The start of the Big Ten season used to be a big deal. Since 1971, the conference opener had marked the first of an eight-game quest to reach the Rose Bowl, the goal of every team in the league. This was when the real season started, when the games truly began to count. Today, everybody still says it's a big deal, but it's not clear just how much they believe it..."
Ohio State to Begin Captioning on Video Boards Saturday September 25, 2009 Source: OSU Official Site - "Fans attending the remaining home football games at Ohio State will notice captioning on the video boards and on televisions throughout the concourse area, Gene Smith, Ohio State associate vice president and director of athletics, said Friday. The captioning will include public address announcements and play descriptions along with the calls made by the on-field officials.
The initiative is designed to enhance the experience for people who are deaf or hearing impaired or any other fan who has difficulty hearing the announcers. "The university is constantly looking for ways to make experiences on the Ohio State campus better," Smith said. "Whether it’s the experience of our students, visitors to the campus or fans at our athletic events, we are looking for opportunities to improve our services. With the advances in technology, captioning our football games is another way to enhance our fan experience."..."
From archive: Update: Deaf fan sues Ohio State to get captions at games: July 24, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "...OSU spokesman Jim Lynch said the university is working with Sabino's attorneys to reach a settlement. Many options, including scoreboard captions, are being examined. Neither he nor Sabino's attorneys would discuss specifics.The first correspondence the university received from Sabino was in a letter requesting action, Lynch said. "The university was in the process of responding to that letter, and we were surprised to see that lawsuit filed prior to the lawyers' getting involved. 'The bottom line is, had the individual called us, we would have taken action.' The letter was mailed and faxed to OSU's Office of Legal Affairs on May 21 and asked the university to respond by June 10, said Laren Knoll, Sabino's Hilliard attorney. The lawsuit was filed on June 30. An NCAA spokesman said schools are not required to report whether they have scoreboard captioning.."
Secondary: Look for senior Anderson Russell to start his second straight game at free safety as the Buckeyes will use their nickel defense as their base against Juice Williams and Illinois. Russell was benched in favor of Jermale Hines after the Navy game, but returned to the lineup last week against Toledo’s spread defense as Hines slid down to play the "star" position. Expect to see the same scenario Saturday with captain Kurt Coleman spending most of the day at strong safety. (Source: The Ozone)
Illinois vs OSU Matchups NFL Scouts will be watching: Matt Littlefield, who spent the past six years as the Midwest area college scout for the Kansas City Chiefs, writes: Illini RG Jon Asamoah against the Buckeyes defensive line: Asamoah may be the best senior NFL prospect for the Illini. How will he do against the likes of Cameron Heyward, Lawrence Wilson, etc.? Illini QB Juice Williams against the Buckeyes experienced secondary: Has Juice matured enough to be able to look off a safety and complete a pass downfield to one of his many dangerous targets? Or will he force the ball into coverage? OSU WRs DeVier Posey and Dane Sanzenbacher vs. Illini CB Dere Hicks and SSDonsay Hardeman?: Can the Bucks’ duo replicate their effort against Toledo? (Source: Bucknuts.com)
September 26: Buckeye Recruiting Week In Review: Bill Kurelic, of Bucknuts and ESPN, reviews the Buckeyes' recruiting week. It was another busy week at Bucknuts.com highlighted by articles on Braxton Miller (The Buckeyes have their sites set on junior quarterback Braxton Miller from Huber Heights (Ohio) Wayne. Miller has over a dozen written scholarship offers including one from Ohio State...), Jordan Hicks, Will Hagerup, Christian Bryant and Trey DePriest. (Source: Bucknuts.com)
No needles!: The fear of the flu hit Ohio State in the past week. Punter Jon Thoma stayed home from the Toledo game after getting sick late last week, although he was not believed to have had the H1N1 (swine flu). Several players missed practice Monday, coach Jim Tressel said, but everyone appears healthy now. Still, the team is scheduled to get flu shots on Sunday as a precaution. Not everyone, though, may get them. Apparently, some have a fear of needles. "There's a few guys who refuse to get them," linebacker Austin Spitler said. He would not reveal who, though. (Source: Columbus Dispatch)
The Drive for Five: Only one time in its 120-year history as a football program has Ohio State strung together five straight Big Ten Conference championships (outright or shared). The Buckeyes joined the Big Ten in 1912, but only one other time in school history have they experienced similar success in conference play to the current streak of four straight Big Ten titles dating back to 2005. Legendary Head Coach Woody Hayes won a school-record six straight Big Ten championships from 1972-77, the first four with the aid of two-time Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin. Current OSU Head Coach Jim Tressel is 52-12 (.812) against conference opponents since taking over back in 2001. The Buckeyes have won the Big Ten in five of his eight seasons in Columbus – including the school’s first outright title (2006) since 1984. A conference championship in 2009 would be the fifth straight for these Buckeyes, but receivers coach/ assistant head coach Darrell Hazell believes winning can never be taken for granted. "Winning is hard. Every single game is hard. We don't think about winning Big Ten championships. We've got to win each week, each week we prepare to win that game, but we don't think about long-term things. We try not to think about that because it's hard (to win)," he said. (Source: The Ozone)
Recruiting: Dublin (Ohio) Scioto junior lineman Jamare Mills attended the Ohio State-Navy and Ohio State-Toledo games. He will be in the house for the Ohio State-Illinois game on Saturday. The 6-foot-6 and 250-pound Mills played tight end his freshman season. He is playing guard this season, but could play on either side of the ball in college. Mills has had a busy week at the mailbox. He said he received letters from 14 schools on Monday alone. Among the schools that have sent mail this week are Ohio State, Syracuse, South Carolina, Iowa State, Indiana, Colorado, Michigan State, LSU, Michigan, Nebraska, Iowa, Cincinnati, Pitt and Purdue. (Source: Bucknuts.com)
Decker pre-trial set: The felony battery case against Ralph Gray Decker, who punched OSU linebacker Tyler Moeller in a Florida bar in July, is headed for an Oct. 12 pretrial hearing in Pinellas (Fla.) County Court. Decker's punch caused Moeller to fall and hit his head. Moeller later had surgery to relieve pressure on the brain, and he is out for the entire season. Decker has pleaded not guilty. If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. (Source: Columbus Dispatch)
This Date In Buckeye History: Every date in the late summer and fall has its moments in Ohio State football history, and Sept. 26 is no different. The Buckeyes are undefeated in nine games on this date with eight wins a dramatic tie at LSU in 1987. Take a trip back through the Buckeye Sports Bulletin archives (and beyond) in "This Date In Buckeye History."...1987: No. 7 Ohio State 13, No. 4 LSU 13 – In a classic down on the bayou, the Buckeyes and Tigers played to a tie in their first ever meeting. The two different sides had very different opinions on the game...1981: No. 8 Ohio State 24, Stanford 19...1970: No. 1 Ohio State 56, Texas A&M 13...1964: No. 5 Ohio State 27, SMU 8...1959: No. 12 Ohio State 14, Duke 13...1953: No. 7 Ohio State 36, Indiana 12 ...1942: Ohio State 59, Fort Knox 0...1908: Ohio State 18, Otterbein 0...1903: Ohio State 18, Otterbein 0..." (Source: BuckeyeSports.com)
Terrelle Pryor breakdown September 25, 2009 Source: Bucknuts - Matt Littlefield spent the past six years as the Midwest area college scout for the Kansas City Chiefs. Prior to that, he worked three years in the pro personnel department of the Jacksonville Jaguars. He spent the previous three seasons assisting the coaching staff in St. Louis. He writes: "This seems to be among the most consistently popular storylines surrounding the Bucks – the progress of their high-profile quarterback. Let's look at fact vs. fiction. Would you be surprised to learn Pryor has more combined touchdowns, passing yards, and a higher completion percentage than similar talents former Longhorn Vince Young or former Razorback Matt Jones had in their first 13 game starts? Through first 13 starts at quarterback:
Florida QB Tim Tebow belongs in a class all by himself given his production, but I included him on this list due to his size and run/pass ability.
Former Oregon Duck (and current Pittsburgh Steeler) Dennis Dixon had more passing opportunities and yards, but shares a similar TD/INT ratio with Pryor.
I included former Buckeye Troy Smith, because the offense is virtually the same and he has remained at QB at the NFL level, despite not possessing the same physical or athletic attributes as Pryor. As Pryor continues to mature and develop at the position, he will earn more run/pass opportunities.
So let's be fair and reasonable. Pryor engineered a fourth quarter comeback at Wisconsin last season, but made the critical mistake with the fumble against Penn State. He helped lead the Buckeyes down for the go-ahead score against Texas in the bowl game last year, although former Buckeye Todd Boeckman completed two passes for 43 yards on the drive.
And against the Trojans a few weeks ago, he was unable to engineer a scoring drive to add to the lead or win the game (two punts/loss on downs). These are all lessons in the education of a young QB. It is up to him to determine how quickly and successfully he becomes the player he wants to be. Will he be the next Vince Young or Matt Jones?
Yes, Hazell called some plays September 24, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Jim Tressel acted like it was no big deal, but he did admit today that receivers coach Darrell Hazell did both choose and call some plays against Toledo last week. Tressel also indicated that this has happened before, which would be news to everyone but the coaching staff.
I'm not sure how big a deal to make of this, really. Clearly, Tressel is always going to be a major factor in developing a game plan and calling plays. And we don't know how many plays Hazell may have called, or if Tressel gave him a restrictive list to choose from, or anything, really.
But was Tressel really stung by the criticism after the USC game? If so, that would be a first for Tressel to react so quickly to criticism. Is it possible that he "self-scouted" and determined that maybe it would be good to turn over a little control in a game they were likely to win, just to see what happened? It's possible, sure.
Does this mean OSU's offensive philosophy suddenly does a 180-degree spin? Uh, no. But it's interesting, certainly, and something to watch closely as we go forward..."
Giving Up the Reigns? September 24, 2009 Source: The Ozone - "On the eve’s eve of his 300th football game as a head coach, it was Tressel’s role as the Buckeyes’ play-caller that came into question Thursday. Just one week after the play selection was called into question in an 18-15 loss to USC, the Buckeyes seemed to move the ball at will against an, albeit less-talented, Toledo team. This caused some to speculate that wide receivers coach and Assistant Head Coach Darrell Hazell might have had a larger hand in the offense this week. "Darrell’s been with us for quite some time with the guys out wide and with Terrelle (Pryor) and he sees every day what they do best with him," Tressel said.
Although he admitted that Hazell did specifically hand-pick some of the plays that were called against Toledo, he also reiterated that it has been, and will continue to be, a group effort from the offensive staff. And that includes the man in charge. "I’ve always said that it’s a committee decision and I’m part of the committee," Tressel said. "The ones that work, I’ve always said that those are my ideas, and the ones that didn’t…but that’s not true. Our offensive staff is very, very involved and Darrell is very involved."
As for who called the ones that worked against Toledo and who called the ones that didn’t against USC, only the coaching staff truly knows. "When things work well, we’re all part of the wonderment. And when things don’t, we’re probably all part of the disappointment," Tressel said..."
Pryor gets boost from 'Coach J' September 24, 2009 Source: Mansfield News Journal - "Terrelle Pryor spent last Thursday in the principal's office. OK, the former principal's office...The nurturing advice Stan Jefferson gave Ohio State's face-of-the-franchise quarterback wasn't any different than the heart-to-hearts he had with hundreds of athletes and students in his nearly 30 years as a teacher, administrator and Hall of Fame coach in Mansfield. "Coach J and I had a long talk," Pryor revealed after orchestrating last Saturday's 38-0 win over Toledo in Cleveland Browns Stadium. "It was just about 'Don't be so uptight and just play flawless.' It was great." There was a little more substance to their chat than either Pryor or Jefferson would let on. Judging from his 372 yards of total offense against Toledo, it did Pryor a world of good. And it's probably correct to assume it did "Coach J" -- his moniker for nearly four decades -- as much good as it did Pryor.
"I hope I have enough of a connection with these 115 football players here that they know my door is always open and they can always come to me for support," said Jefferson, the team's director of player development. "It's like being back at Mansfield Senior as principal. My last year in Mansfield before coming to Ohio State was the year I was the high school principal. It was a lot of fun because I had a chance to affect a lot of people -- hopefully in a positive way." Jefferson, who joined Jim Tressel's football staff in 2004, now occupies an office in the palace that doubles as the football program's indoor facility. It's directly across from the weight room, making it easy for him to maintain contact with the players...
He didn't use coach-speak on Pryor. "I always use academics as an analogy," Jefferson said. "Once your work, your preparation, is put in, just go out and do your business. Go out and have fun."..."
2003 Fiesta Bowl Voted College Football's "Game of the Decade" by Sporting News September 24, 2009 Source: OSU Official Site - "On Jan. 3, 2003, Ohio State shocked Miami, 31-24, in a double-overtime thriller at the Fiesta Bowl in Tempe, Ariz., to win its first outright national championship since 1968. And today the gamed was dubbed college football's "Game of the Decade" by Sporting News. In addition, Sporting News also unveiled its all-decade team and among the honorees were linebacker James Laurinaitis and wide receiver/kick returner Ted Ginn, Jr..."
Great Debate: Ohio's Best Team? September 24, 2009 Source: Bucknuts.com - "The Bearcats think they're better than the Buckeyes. Well, are they? In this edition of The Great Debate, we've got Ken Broo of NBC 5 Cincinnati saying that they are, with Bucknuts' Dave Biddle saying that they aren't. Who wins? You decide..."
The 9 most lopsided college football rivalries September 24, 2009 Source: ABC2 News - "...Ohio State-Michigan: Some make the argument that this is the greatest rivalry in college football. The reputation grew during the Woody Hayes-Bo Schembechler years when Michigan went 5-4-1 in the 1970s. But, lately, Ohio State has dominated. The Buckeyes have won five in a row and seven of eight. Last year's game was a thorough 42-7 Ohio State victory, and it wouldn't be surprising to see a similar score this November in Ann Arbor..."
Tressel outshines Carroll in college football's location nation September 22, 2009 Source: CBSSports.com - "This story is going to do things you didn't think possible. It will compliment Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel in a way that insults the OSU football program. It will compliment Southern California in a way that insults USC coach Pete Carroll. How is that possible? It just is. Trust me. I know how this story ends...
...Carroll usually gets a pass from critics. He's a great coach. Almost everyone says so. Meanwhile, at Ohio State, Tressel gets no such free pass. His teams mangle the teams they're supposed to mangle, but the Buckeyes have lost six consecutive games to opponents ranked in the top five, and the country laughs while the locals cry...
Use some common sense on the matter, have some perspective, and you'll see the obvious: Jim Tressel is a better coach than Pete Carroll...The numbers say Carroll is better than Tressel, but numbers lie...
When it comes to Tressel and Carroll, this is the absolute truth: At a football goldmine like USC, Carroll is supposed to win 84.9 percent of his games. He's supposed to win two national titles in eight or nine years. And he's supposed to beat Tressel head-to-head. Why? Three reasons: Location, location, location.
Look at the consistently dominant programs -- the national champions, the near-champions -- in today's college football: Florida. Southern Cal. Texas. Oklahoma. LSU. And Ohio State. What school doesn't belong in that group, from a geography standpoint? Ohio State...
Tressel coaches. Tressel maximizes. His teams don't choke or get shocked. Do they lose to the best opponents on the biggest stages? Yeah. They do. All things being equal, the more talented team wins, and Ohio State hasn't been more talented than LSU or Florida or USC or Texas. And Ohio State should never be more talented than LSU or Florida or USC or Texas.
But Tressel does get the most out of his teams. I'm sure of that. Carroll? I'm not so sure about him. The only thing I'm sure of, when it comes to Carroll, is this: He signs guys like Leinart and Bush and White and Sanchez and stud after stud after stud, but it's wrong to say Carroll signs great talent and then just rolls the ball onto the field and lets them play..."
Ohio Stadium Security Reminder: The security and safety procedures for home football games at The Ohio State University will be maintained at their current levels. Bags will continue to be vigilantly checked upon entry into Ohio Stadium for the remainder of the football season. Those entering the stadium are advised to allow additional time to ensure they arrive for the start of the game, Mike Penner, assistant athletics director for event management, said Thursday. The Buckeyes open Big Ten play at 3:30 p.m. Saturday vs. Illinois. government have provided us the opportunity to re-emphasize to our staff and our fans the procedures we already have in place."
Ohio Stadium Policies: Bags larger than 14x14 inches are prohibited in Ohio Stadium. Guests attempting to enter Ohio Stadium with a larger bag will be asked to return it to their vehicle. All bags are subject to search.
The following items are not permitted in Ohio Stadium: Alcohol, baby strollers, bags (larger than 14" x 14"), balls, banners, beverages, bottles, professional cameras with detachable lenses, chair back seats, containers, weapons, drugs, fireworks, flags, food, Frisbees, ice chests, irritants, knives, noisemakers, picnic baskets, televisions or radios without headsets, signs, Thermoses and video recorders.
Entry to the stadium begins two hours prior to kickoff. (Source: OSU Official Site)