Preview and postgame sections for the 2009-10 season here.
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Michigan State Spartans will defeat Ohio State #Buckeyes, and it might not be close & more about the Buckeyes, says PD's Doug Lesmerises September 28, 2011 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer
Bollman likes Millerís methods September 29, 2011 Source: Columbus Dispatch What buoys Ohio State offensive coordinator Jim Bollman about quarterback Braxton Millerís prospects in his second start is that, although not spectacular, at least Miller wasnít sloppy in his first start.
Kicking tires on one player leads Ohio State Buckeyes football team to others September 29, 2011 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer Ohio State went to look at some physical freaks, and along the way, it picked up some football players. Next to high school teammates who had nearly NFL-ready bodies, running back Jordan Hall was a little small and defensive lineman Johnathan Hankins was a little big.
Fickell, Players Liked Millerís Command in Huddle September 28, 2011 Source: The Ozone Braxton Miller has earned a level of confidence from his coach and teammates for not only his athletic ability, but also for an ability to stay calm and be in charge that belies his lack of experience.
Buckeyes at a crossroads in Game 5 September 28, 2011 Source: Associated Press Long before the season started, a lot of people said they would hold off judgment on Ohio State until the Buckeyes had all their personnel back after the first five games. That means a lot is riding on Saturday's Big Ten opener against Michigan State.
Christian Bryant is Right Where He Belongs September 27, 2011 Source: The Ozone One of the changes to the defense against Colorado was the insertion of Christian Bryant into the starting lineup. He started the game at safety, and then moved down to the star position on passing downs.
Weekend rewind: Big Ten September 26, 2011 Source: ESPN Best call: Luke Fickell's mid-week decision to promote freshman Braxton Miller to starting quarterback. Ohio State needed a spark on offense, and while Miller completed only five passes against Colorado, he did throw two touchdowns and run for 83 yards. The Buckeyes probably could have beaten Colorado with Joe Bauserman, but Miller provides them some optimism.
The Buckeyes Too Shall Pass -- Eventually September 26, 2011 Source: The Ozone However, if the passing game isn't eventually part of the Ohio State gameplan, then defending the run becomes easier by the week.
Big Ten provides good gauge for Ohio State September 27, 2011 Source: Columbus Dispatch A week ago, the futures market on Ohio State football was decidedly down after a lopsided loss to the University of Miami. This week, expectations are mixed after a win over Colorado.
CineSport's Brian Clark turns to Doug Lesmerises of the Cleveland Plain Dealer to recap Braxton Miller's first career start in OSU's 37-17 win over Colorado. Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer
Ohio State opened as a 3-point favorite over Michigan State. Ohio State has beaten the Spartans seven straight times and hasn't lost at home to MSU since the stunning 28-24 upset in 1998. ...
Ohio State ranks last in the Big Ten and 91st in the nation in yards per game, averaging only 341 yards. ... Defensively, the Buckeyes are giving up 276 yards per game, which is fourth in the league and 16th in the nation.
MSU has #1 ranked FBS defense; also #1 pass defense & #10 rush defense, which only allows 71.25 yds per game on ground.
Miller gives OSU's stagnant offense hope September 26, 2011 Source: Newark Advocate "Statistically and artistically, Ohio State is right where it doesn't want to be heading into the Big Ten season. Last in the conference in total offense. Ahead of only Michigan in passing offense. (Woody and Bo must be ecstatic.) Totally blanked among top 10 individual conference leaders in rushing yardage, passing yardage, pass receptions, receiving yards, total offense and scoring. Maybe most damning of all, the Buckeyes have left everyone dumbstruck with a dumb-downed offense that largely has sputtered and gagged against what teamrankings.com rates as the 100th-toughest schedule through four games. There are only 120 FBS schools..."
OSU Insider September 26, 2011 Source: Columbus Dispatch
Jordan Hall. The junior running back is skating lively from the two-game penalty box, so much so that each time he touches the ball ó handoff, catch or kick return ó thereís the sense that he can break it. He has 354 all-purpose yards in two weeks, including 171 rushing and 90 alone on a kickoff return on Saturday that almost reached the end zone.
Whatís not hot?
The passing game. The Buckeyes are 110th (out of 120) nationally in passing offense, averaging a mere 156.8 yards. After a decent start with 293 yards against Akron and 189 against Toledo, Ohio State managed an anemic 35 at Miami and 110 against Colorado, which sports a defense begging to be attacked through the air. But Miller, making his first start, really took no chances, and he did throw two touchdown passes to Devin Smith.
What went right?
The running game. OSU rushed for a season-high 226 yards through the Buffaloes, and that was on the heels of the only-thing-that-went-right 174-yard effort at Miami. With Hall, Carlos Hyde and now Miller sharing the carrying, OSU has risen to 39th in the country in rushing (184-yard average), making up somewhat for the 112-yard day against Toledo.
The pecking order among wide receivers is due for changes. Smith, a freshman, should move into the realm of starters. His post cut was crisp as he flew past his defender to haul in Millerís first TD pass. His concentration was keen as he beat another defender on the fade, getting a foot down inbounds at the edge of the end zone for the second TD. And it sure looked like the press-box relay official blew it on the catch Smith seemed to make on the sideline in the fourth quarter. It was ruled incomplete on the field and not overturned.
Former Ohio State football coaches say Fickell has tough choice to make between Bauserman, Miller September 20, 2011 Source: Columbus Dispatch
"..."If things are going well, thereís no decision to make," former Ohio State coach John Cooper said yesterday. "But if things arenít going well, youíve got to make some changes..."I think the decision he has to make is who is going to be the best quarterback two or three games from now," said Cooperís predecessor, Earle Bruce. "He has a shot at home to get two big victories (Colorado and Michigan State the next two weeks), if he picks the right kid to get ready and if that kid has the talent to get the victory..."
Ohio State offense picking up the pieces September 21, 2011 Source: ESPN
"Mike Brewster's vision for his senior season at Ohio State included snapping the ball to Terrelle Pryor and receiving guidance from Jim Tressel. It certainly didn't include games like last Saturday's 24-6 loss at Miami..."
Big Ten Week 4 preview Source: ESPN
Colorado at Ohio State (ABC regional/ESPN2): The 1-2 Buffaloes are coming off a two-touchdown win against rival Colorado State. Which means they're feeling about 1 million times better about themselves right now than the Buckeyes are after that embarrassing showing in Miami. Ohio State looks weird without a number next to its name, doesn't it?
OSU Insider September 19, 2011 Source: Columbus Dispatch
Jordan Hall emerged from his two-game suspension raring to go, maybe too much so. After an 83-yard first half, the running back had just one carry in the second because cramps started taking a toll. But it appears he and Carlos Hyde offer a credible one-two punch.
Whatís not hot?
Joe Bauserman stock, because of not only his personal play but also market forces. With no one to throw to at times and no time to throw other times, his throwaways were epic launches. Such pitchouts werenít what the former minor-league pitcher had in mind when he made his third start, but they have come to be known as what he does best. The clamor now is for Braxton Miller, even with his mistakes.
What went right?
Miamiís intent was to punch the Buckeyes in the mouth at the start, just as Wisconsin did to Ohio State last year in Camp Randall. Sun Life Stadium was a much friendlier arena, but Ohio State had no counterattack when it mattered, falling behind 14-0. It was eerily similar to the Wisconsin game. The Buckeyes had chances to make it a contest in the second half, blew them and then watched as Miami took almost all of the last 9 minutes, 21 seconds off the clock with a touchdown drive.
The quandary at the top of the board: Bauserman or Miller? Just below should be the wide receivers and passing plan. One or the other was responsible for no one being open often, which probably is the price a team pays for having inexperienced receivers and passers. But four completions? None to a wide receiver? Thatís not only appalling, itís inexcusable against any opponent.
This weekís challenge
Luke Fickell said he and his staff will need to make hard personnel choices this week, not the least of which is the starting quarterback. They will sink or swim with that one. The more-mobile Miller appears capable of taking the offense places, at least as long as he takes care of the ball. Thereís the rub.