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OSU vs MSU   Game Preview


 Brutus Go Bucks! Sparty

VideoCoach Tressel Meets with the media
October 16, 2008 Source: The Ozone - "Head Coach Jim Tressel met with the media today to discuss the upcoming game at Michigan State. Tressel spoke about the challenges that they will face vs. MSU, he gave an update on the injury status of several player, and he discussed a number of other interesting topics.

Ten Pressing Questions: Ohio State at Michigan State
October 18, 2008 Source: Bucknuts - "We have some areas of concern to look at as No. 12 Ohio State visits No. 20 Michigan State Saturday in East Lansing (3:30 p.m., ABC). At least a share of first place in the Big Ten will be on the line as the Buckeyes and Spartans collide...1. How will Terrelle Pryor play at quarterback?...2. Can Beanie Wells duplicate his strong play at tailback against MSU from a year ago?...4. Will the Ohio State offensive line protect Pryor and create holes for Wells?... 6. Will Ohio State be able to contain MSU’s prolific Javon Ringer?...7. Can the Buckeyes exert any pressure on MSU quarterback Brian Hoyer?..."

Criticism revs up linemen
October 17, 2008 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "No matter how poorly Ohio State's offensive linemen might have played last week, they regard their meeting room as macho territory. Yet it was there that tight end Rory Nicol laid it out in no uncertain terms as they began preparing for the game Saturday at Michigan State. 'He said, 'I didn't get to play (the past two weeks because of an ankle sprain), but I'm still (mad). You guys, you look like a bunch of girls out there, and that's the truth,' ' senior left tackle Alex Boone recalled...Not that it was a secret. Bashing the offense, and the line in particular, has been a growing sport. Not mean enough, not quick enough, not physical enough, not together enough -- name the not, and it probably has been tied to the offense..."

OSU offensive line searching for some answers
October 17, 2008 Source: Mansfield News Journal - "In coffee shops, on city buses, at the kitchen table and around the water cooler, Ohio State fans are becoming increasingly familiar with the guys on the offensive line. This is not a good thing. What is being said about the anonymous guys on the front wall is not fit for young ears. Sure, the Buckeyes are No. 12 in the nation and share the Big Ten lead with marks of 6-1 overall and 3-0 in the conference. But that offensive line stinks! Or so everyone says. The linemen had a summit meeting Sunday night -- and, amazingly, they agree with that assessment..."

Buckeyes falling short in the red zone
October 17, 2008 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "Ohio State has ventured inside the 20-yard 20 times this season. That alone is a terrible number - ranking the Buckeyes 95th in the nation in trips inside the red zone. Once there, the Buckeyes have scored 90 percent of the time - 18 of 20 - which ties them for 16th in the nation in red zone percentage. In their last four games, Ohio State is perfect on 10 trips to the red zone - three passing touchdowns, two running touchdowns and five field goals. If that fits your definition of perfect. To have 10 of those red zone scores this season be for 3 points? No other team in the country has had half of its red zone trips end in field goals. That leaves the Buckeyes ranked 101st in average red zone points per game..."

Offensive Notes: OSU Looks To Right Ship In East Lansing
October 17, 2008 Source: Bucknuts - "Ohio State will face off with Michigan State in East Lansing on Saturday and there are a few surprises. One is that it is such a big game between the No. 12 Buckeyes and No. 20 Spartans. Another is that Ohio State has the second-worst offense in the Big Ten, in front of only Michigan. And yet another is that MSU has the ninth-ranked defense in the Big Ten. Will OSU go with a two-quarterback system this week to shake things up?..."

James Laurinaitis: One-on-One Source: Big Ten Network

Listen to the audioCoach Tressel's Thursday Press Conference
October 16, 2008 Source: OSU Official Site - "Head coach Jim Tressel held his weekly Thursday afternoon press conference today at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center after his radio show. Tressel addressed several topics, including his relationship with Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio..."

Listen to the audioOffensive Coordinator Jim Bollman & Safties Coach Paul Haynes
October 15, 2008 Source: OSU Official Site - "Offensive coordinator Jim Bollman and safties coach Paul Haynes met with reporters Wednesday at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center to talk about their areas of the team and to preview Saturday's game at Michigan State ..."

Listen to the audio
OSU TE Jake Ballard
Players Talk About Upcoming Game at Michigan State
October 15, 2008 Source: OSU Official Site - "Jake Ballard, Maurice Wells, Malcolm Jenkins, Alex Boone & James Laurinaitis talk about the season and the upcoming game at Michigan State..."

VideoPlayer Comments on QB Situation
October 16, 2008 Source: The Ozone - "Earlier this week, several players commented on the current quarterback situation. Some outlets interpreted these comments as a possible division in the locker room. We these comments on video Jake Ballard, Steve Rehring, Alex Boone, James Laurinaitis, Marcus Freeman, Rory Nicol and Todd Boeckman himself..."

No. 11/12 Buckeyes Face No. 17/20 Spartans in East Lansing
October 13, 2008 Source: OSU Official Site - "Ohio State looking for its fifth consecutive win and its seventh in a row against Michigan State..."
Ohio State Game Notes (PDF)

OSU Cumulative Season Statistics

Personnel Report
October 15, 2008 Source: The Ozone - "There have been a number of personnel developments this week. Check out the-Ozone Personnel report..."
Late-week Personnel Report: No. 2 running back Dan Herron will miss his second straight game after suffering a concussion against Wisconsin.

Head Coaches: OSU's Jim Tressel and MSU's Mark DantonioTressel, Dantonio Ready For Another Reunion
October 14, 2008 Source: Bucknuts - "The coaching paths of Jim Tressel and Mark Dantonio always seem to cross. The two coaches have spent years on the same sidelines and will be facing off against each other as head coaches for the third time this weekend when Ohio State travels to Michigan State. The two coaches gave their thoughts on the relationship and game during Tuesday's Big Ten teleconference..."

Ohio Ties Bind Buckeyes, Spartans
October 15, 2008 Source: Buckeye Sports - "While much has been made of Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio's ties to the Ohio State staff, there's more adding local flavor to the upcoming game between the teams than meets the eye. Because of MSU's large contingent of Ohioans, many of the players in the game knew each other in high school. As a result, this weekend brings to life some old friendships -- and rivalries..."

Spartan, Buckeye QBs could outshine star runners
October 14, 2008 Source: Associated Press  - "Terrelle Pryor and Brian Hoyer have one thing in common. It doesn't matter that Pryor, a freshman with tremendous hype and ability, left Pennsylvania to become a starter at Ohio State or that Hoyer, a fifth-year senior who waited his turn, left Ohio to come to Michigan State. Each will have to deliver on the field for his first-place team (6-1, 3-0 Big Ten) to prevail when the 12th-ranked Buckeyes visit the No. 20 Spartans on Saturday. 'I think the key to the game will be execution and attention to detail,' Spartan coach Mark Dantonio said Tuesday at his weekly news conference. 'We need to play mistake-free. And it's very important that we play with excitement. If you're coming to this game, you need to bring that with you.'..."

OSU defensive linemen Thaddeus Gibson (90) and Nader Abdallah were among the Buckeyes who enjoyed a stronger performance last Saturday against Purdue. (Marvin Fong/The Plain Dealer)Buckeyes relying on quantity to improve defensive line's quality
October 15, 2008 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "...they scan the field for the head tap, knowing it may be their greatest weapon. That's the signal -- a hand patting the helmet -- that one of the defensive linemen for Ohio State is gassed and ready to come out of the game. ...The part of the defense that, deservedly, has taken the most criticism, the defensive line played its best game of the season against Purdue and maybe has found something, just in time. If the line is the weak link Saturday, Michigan State running back Javon Ringer may ring up 200 yards..."

The sack numbers - not pretty
"Last year, in 12 regular season games, when he attempted 273 passes, Todd Boeckman was sacked 13 times. This year, in his four starts, when he has attempted 41 passes, Terrelle Pryor has been sacked 10 times. That's 273 passes, 13 sacks. And that's 41 passes, 10 sacks..."

The interception stats that the OSU coaches love
October 16, 2008 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Jim Bollman didn't much like our sack stat...He didn't find it to be a particularly valuable assessment of the offensive line play...On now to the stat that Jim Tressel on Tuesday and then Bollman on Wednesday did want to talk about. Interceptions. 'The first primary thing that you've got to remember is no turnovers,' Bollman said, talking about the offense. 'It's an interesting aspect of coaching an offense. You can say you've got to do this and got to do that, but really the most important thing is to eliminate errors. If you don't turn the ball over, if you minimize mistakes, if you minimize your mental erros, you've got a chance of being OK.'..."

Chekwa's rise gives Buckeyes an edge
October 16, 2008 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Corner's coverage ability frees defense to bring pressure...'He's starting to become a student of the game,' Jenkins said of Chekwa. 'A lot of times last year, he'd be a step off or an inch away from the ball. This year, he's making all the plays.'...Chekwa's continued improvement has given OSU coaches the confidence to start playing more man-to-man coverage. It was noticeable against Purdue, and effective. Painter completed only 23 of 51 passes, and the Buckeyes knocked down eight passes and intercepted one (by Jenkins). 'When you've got three good corners that can (play man), then it gives us the ability to do that a little bit more,' safeties coach Paul Haynes said..."

The line on Ohio State? It's offensive at best
October 16, 2008 Source: Dayton Daily News - "...Meager offensive outputs have become the norm at OSU this season. In the Big Ten, the Buckeyes are a dismal 10th in total offense, while Michigan is 11th...In fact, offensive problems have surfaced frequently during Jim Tressel's tenure. In his seven previous seasons, the Buckeyes have finished sixth or worse in the league in total offense six times. The lone exception was a second-place showing in 2006 when Troy Smith won the Heisman. How can a program that consistently pulls in one of the top two recruiting classes in the conference be so feeble on offense? Some point to Tressel's play-calling, labeling it predictable, and others cite a lack of second-half adjustments. I'm no expert, but I believe the pillow-soft offensive line is to blame..."


Series Record: The Buckeyes lead the series with Michigan State 26-12, and Ohio State has a 12-5 lead in all games played in East Lansing. Ohio State has won the last six games in the series, including a hard-fought 24-17 victory last year in Columbus.

TALE OF THE TAPE: 2008 Totals
OSU  Offense  MSU
24.3   Pts/gm  29.7
320.9  Total yds/gm   368.9
177.3  Rush yds/gm  176.6
39.7  Carries/gm   44.7
4.5  Yds/carry   3.9
143.6  Pass yds/gm   192.3
23.0  Pass att/gm  25.0
9.7  Yds/completion  15.1
OSU  Defense Allows  MSU
14.3  Pts/gm  16.7
269.0  Total yds/gm  361.9
103.6  Rush yds/gm  134.9
28.6  Carries/gm   30.3
3.6  Yds/carry  4.5
165.4  Pass yds/gm  227.0
33.8  Pass att/gm   37.5
8.8  Yds/completion  11.5

Michigan State Report Card (6-1)
L, 31-38 at California
W, 42-10 Eastern Michigan
W, 17-0 Florida Atlantic
W, 23-7 Notre Dame
W, 42-29 at Indiana
W, 16-13 Iowa
W, 37-20 at Northwestern

Matchup Edge
OSU   Edge in: MSU
Yards Gained
Yards Allowed
Time of Possession

Ohio State is 125-101-12 all-time when facing a ranked opponent, and 37-40-7 on the road against ranked teams. Under Coach Jim Tressel, the Buckeyes are 31-10 overall and 10-5 on the road against ranked teams.

The Buckeyes rank 19th in the nation this week in turnover margin, averaging +1.0 per game. Ohio State came up with five turnovers against Ohio.

With his 10-tackle performance at Wisconsin, senior linebacker James Laurinaitis passed the 300 career tackle mark, just the 14th Ohio State player ever to reach that standard. He added a team-best 10 tackles with a TFL and two pass breakups against Purdue to give him 312 career tackles to date.

This season in the fi rst quarter, the Buckeyes have outscored the opposition 50-10. The opponents lead in the second quarter, 41-39, and in the third quarter, 27-23. Ohio State has outscored its 2008 opponents 58-22 in fourthquarter play. The Buckeyes are outscoring opponents by 10 points per game (24.3-14.3).


Buckeye Sportsspacer5 Questions: Ohio State at Michigan State
October 16, 2008 Source: Buckeye Sports - "1. Will the Buckeyes contain Javon Ringer?...2. Can Michigan State have success with play action?...3. Which team will win the field position battle?...4. What will the OSU offensive line look like and how will it play?...5. And how about that Ohio State passing game?..."

OSU MSU: Big Ten Stats Offense
TEAM G Pts/G TotYds Yds/G 3rdD% 4th% Pen PenYds TD Plays
OSU 7 24.3 2246 320.9 .391 .400 40 307 16 439
MSU 7 29.7 2582 368.9 .366 .750 36 347 22 488

Stat Watch

Game Data: Ohio State at Michigan State
October 15, 2008 Source: Bucknuts - "We look at the pertinent data, depth charts and a prediction as No. 12 Ohio State visits No. 20 Michigan State Saturday with first place in the Big Ten on the line (3:30 p.m., ABC regional telecast)..."

Crunching the Numbers: Ohio State at MSU
October 14, 2008 Source: Buckeye Sports - "The history of the series, the plethora of Ohioans on the Michigan State roster, turnover margin and family ties are among those things that caught our eye in an examination of the numbers surrounding the upcoming land-grant institution clash..."



This Week's Game Previews

Buckeye ExtraspacerOn the edge
October 18, 2008 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "When Buckeyes run EDGE: OSU - The offensive line rededicated itself this week to playing with more speed and tighter choreography...When Buckeyes pass EDGE: MSU - Pryor had his least effective passing game as a starter last week, partly because Purdue was able to pressure and contain him. Wells wants more effort in getting the ball to the receivers, including Brian Robiskie, Brian Hartline, Ray Small and freshmen DeVier Posey and Lamaar Thomas. ...When Spartans pass EDGE: OSU...On special teams EDGE: OSU..."

Buckeye CommentaryspacerTastes Like Preview: Michigan State
October 17, 2008 Source: Buckeye Commentary - "Ohio State Run Offense v. MSU: I know what you are thinking, “Michigan State’s defense is not very good so the Buckeyes should be able to score this weekend.” Well, that was the same thing you said last weekend...Ohio State Pass Offense v. MSU: It is hard to watch the OSU pass attack right now. I know the Spartans rank 9th in the conference but Purdue’s defense was giving up similar numbers going into last week’s game...Michigan State Run Offense v. OSU: You already know that Ringer leads or is near the top in several categories nationally. He’s good. But you would probably be surprised to learn that MSU has gained 134 First Downs this season (7th in the league) and they are split evenly between the run and pass..."

College Football NewsspacerBig Ten Game of the Week: Ohio State at Michigan State
October 8, 2008 Source: College Football News - "Why to watch: Ohio State isn’t playing all that well, but it’s creeping up the polls thanks to a four game winning streak...Why Ohio State might win: The Michigan State run defense has been fine, but nothing special...Why Michigan State might win: Don’t expect much out of Pryor. MSU has kept running quarterbacks in check, keeping Eastern Michigan’s Andy Schmitt to 46 yards and a touchdown and stopping Indiana’s Kellen Lewis for just 26 yards. Ohio State’s defensive line has been hit-or-miss and hasn’t done anything to generate a pass rush...What will happen: Michigan State is seeing this as a statement game, but so is Ohio State. The Buckeyes aren’t going to do anything special, and it’ll have to come up with a few long, sustained drives to control the game, but in the end, the Buckeye secondary will come up with a big game with to key interceptions and Beanie, who ran for 221 yards in last year’s matchup, will outgain Ringer...CFN Prediction: Ohio State 17 … Michigan State 13..."

Buckeye Gameday ExtraspacerBuckeye Extra Gameday
October 17, 2008 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "BuckeyeXtra.com delivers all you need to know about the Buckeyes’ upcoming game. Click here for everything from the top story and key factors to player spotlights and game predictions. Features include: Saturday's Game, Five Key Factors, Play of the Week, On The Edge, In The Spotlight, Meet A Buckeye, (more)..."

Buckeye SportsspacerGame Preview: No. 20 Michigan State
October 16, 2008 Source: Buckeye Sports - "No. 12 Ohio State continues its 2008 football season Saturday by hitting the road to take on No. 20 Michigan State. BuckeyeSports.com previews the game with notes on the Spartans' undefeated Big Ten start as well as key players to watch and a breakdown of the Spartans' offensive and defensive units..."

The OzonespacerOhio State vs. Michigan State Preview
October 16, 2008 Source: The Ozone - "Tony Gerdeman's preview of the Michigan State game...The Spartan offense begins and ends with running back Javon Ringer. Ringer is leading the nation in total rushing yards with 1,112 and is second in yards per game with 158.9. He also leads the nation in carries, with 247, which is 68 more than the next closest player. Ringer is only averaging 4.5 yards per carry, which is very low for an elite running back. It’s also low for Ringer, considering he was a 6.1 yard per carry runner for his career prior to this season. Ringer’s 247 carries are already two more than he had all of last season..."

CBS SportslinespacerMichigan State vs. Ohio State
October 16, 2008 Source: CBS Sportsline - "Before this season began, Ohio State was again predicted to contend for the national title, and win its fourth consecutive Big Ten title. Its still atop the Big Ten, but it hasn't looked like a national power lately. Michigan State, meanwhile, didn't have the same lofty preseason expectations, but it has won six games in a row to also climb to the top of the league standings...Overall, Ohio State has the second-worst offense in the Big 10 (320.9 ypg), but it has another chance to get its offense on track against a Michigan State team that is allowing an average of 413.7 yards in its last three games...(Javon) Ringer was shut down by Ohio State's defense last season, though, as he was limited to 49 yards on 18 attempts in the Buckeyes' 24-17 victory. Wells, meanwhile, ran for 221 yards and a touchdown on 31 carries in that win for Ohio State..."

Eleven WarriorsspacerPreview: #13 Ohio State at #18 Michigan State
October 17, 2008 Source: Eleven Warriors - You’d be hard-pressed to find many 6-1 teams packing the drama and uncertainty that this Buckeye team takes with it to East Lansing this weekend...And here they are, about to take on what most certainly will be the 2nd-best team they’ve played all season, coached by a guy that knows Tressel inside and out in a game that’s billed as perhaps Michigan State’s biggest football game in a decade..."

Buckeye Planetspacer2008 Michigan State Spartans Game Preview
October 15, 2008 Source: Buckeye Planet - Analysis and more, including: ...Defensive Coordinator Pat Narduzzi...aggressiveness he preaches yielded immediate results with the Spartans who increased their sack total to 40, 24 more sacks than acquired in 2006, and third most in Spartan history...Thus far in 2008, Michigan State's defense has been nearly identical to the 2007 version. In 2007 the Spartans afforded opposing offenses 351.3 yards per game and 26.8 points. While the 2008 version has given up 10 more yards per contest (361.9), they have improved the scoring against numbers by giving up just 16.7 points. The rush defense afforded opponents 134.1 yards per game in 2007 and is giving up almost exactly that amount again in 2008 (134.9). The passing defense is where the 10 extra yards come from, with the Spartans giving up 227 per game as opposed to the 217.3 last season. But, along with a reduction in scoring, the Spartans are also on course to record far more INTs in 2008, already having 9 to last seasons 12...MSU Spartans Offensive Preview...Defensive Preview..Special Teams Preview..." (more)

ESPNUspacerBig Ten Leaders Collide: Ohio St.-Michigan St. Preview
October 15, 2008 Source: ESPNU - "In a matchup of conference leaders, the 12th-ranked Buckeyes again look to get their offensive woes straightened out Saturday when they visit the No. 20 Spartans, who are trying to win their seventh straight game for the first time in 30 years...In last Saturday's 16-3 home win over Purdue, the Buckeyes faced the 11th-worst defense in the nation, but gained only 222 yards of offense and scored their only touchdown on a blocked punt return..." (video analysis: Tressel Faces A Ringer That Got Away)

Ohio State at Michigan State Matchups
QB RB WR OL DL LB DB ST Coach Overall

Key individual matchup:
"Ohio State QB Terrelle Pryor vs. Michigan State SS/OLB Otis Wiley ...Pryor is a unique talent, as he has the arm strength and size of a pocket passer and the mobility and speed of an option quarterback. However, he is still learning to read defenses at the collegiate level and for that reason Wiley is a unique challenge. Wiley is a hybrid safety/linebacker big enough to line up in the box and rangy enough to cover the deep half of the field, making it easier for the Spartans to mask their coverage when he's in the game. As a result, Pryor must locate Wiley before as well as after the snap or risk giving him a chance to make a play on the ball, and he's made the most of those opportunities thus far. On the other hand, Pryor is a long-strider so he actually appears slower on film than he is on the field. Wiley can't make the mistake of underestimating that speed when Pryor takes off because he doesn't have the recovery speed to chase him down from behind."

Big Ten NetworkspacerNO. 12 OHIO STATE (6-1, 3-0) vs. NO. 20 MICHIGAN STATE (6-1, 3-0)
October 15, 2008 Source: Big Ten Network - "Terrelle Pryor and Brian Hoyer have one thing in common. Each will have to deliver on the field for his first-place team (6-1, 3-0 Big Ten) to prevail...Both teams will be bringing one of the nation's best running backs...With both teams determined to stop the run, look for Pryor and Hoyer to have a say in the outcome with passing games that haven't been dominant. The Spartans are No. 8 in the league with 192.3 air yards per game and will face the Big Ten's best pass defense. The Buckeyes are 11th in passing with a 143.6-yard average and will see the No. 1 red-zone defense..."


News from and about the other side

MSU Official Site
Cumulative Season Statistics
MSU Depth Chart For Ohio State

Mark Dantonio, Head Coach
Ass't Coaches & Team Roster
Source: MSU Official Site

Buckeye State-bred Spartans pumped for matchup with OSU
October 17, 2008 Source: Detroit Free Press - MSU leads non-Ohio Big Ten teams with 24 Ohioans on the MSU roster..."MSU has its best opportunity in close to a decade to beat Ohio State, and the Ohio-bred Spartans have an extra sense of motivation to win the game. 'Being from Columbus, you hear a lot about Ohio State,' Kershaw said. 'They have a good program, but I'm a Spartan. ... They are the best team in the Big Ten, and in order to get that championship we have to go through them. I'm excited for this game. This is the biggest game that I think this senior class has played in since we've been here.'...(Javon) Ringer was recruited by Ohio State, but academic issues prevented the Buckeyes from offering a scholarship during the peak recruiting period. He accepted an offer from MSU after turning down Cincinnati..."

Michigan State Gears Up for Ohio State Source: Big Ten Network

VideoMark Dantonio Press Conference October 14, 2008 Source: Big Ten Network

Mark Dantonio Weekly Press Conference Coverage
October 14, 2008 Source: MSU Official Site - "Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio met with the media Tuesday afternoon to preview this week's game against Ohio State. The Spartans (6-1, 3-0 Big Ten), ranked No. 20 in the Associated Press Poll and No. 17 in the USA TODAY Poll, play host to the No. 12/11 Buckeyes (6-1, 3-0) Saturday at 3:30 p.m. on ABC..."

Stakes are high for Spartans, Buckeyes
October 16, 2008 Source: Detroit News - "With so many story lines swirling about Saturday's Ohio State-Michigan State game, Spartans coach Mark Dantonio knows one thing: You never know. 'You learn a little something more every year,' Dantonio said of facing his friend and mentor, the Buckeyes' Jim Tressel. 'Maybe he'll break a tendency and do the same thing he did before to break the tendency.' As long as we're talking tendencies, defensive tackle Justin Kershaw knows something, too: Michigan State belongs. 'We went down there not knowing we could play with them, then the fourth quarter came and we saw we could,' Kershaw said of last season's 24-17 loss at Ohio State..."

Buckeyes shake up lineup after struggles
October 15, 2008 Source: Lansing State Journal - "Offensive line to have new look against Spartans...Coming into the season, one of the many strengths of the Ohio State Buckeyes was its offensive line. However, with the lack of offensive production and protection for true freshman quarterback Terrelle Pryor, that offensive line has underachieved...According to the OSU depth chart released Monday, the offensive line has been shuffled around in time for Saturday's game...'When you look at personnel like we do, we know even before the coaching staff tells us what (the opponent's) got going on,' said Spartan defensive end Trevor Anderson. 'We know what is going on with them, but they got great players along that offensive line and it won't be too different cause it will still be the same kind of scheme.'..."


Know Your Opponent

Javon Ringer#23 Javon Ringer
CLASS: Senior

Explosive runner provides home-run threat in the offensive backfield...nominated for three national awards: the Maxwell Award (Player of the Year), Walter Camp Player of the Year and the Doak Walker Award (nation's top running back)... ...voted one of four captains by his teammates...described as a "complete back" by running backs coach Dan Enos...ranks second in the nation in rushing (158.9 ypg.) and all-purpose yards (201.7 ypg.)...first in the nation in rushing touchdowns (14)...tied for third in the country in scoring (12.0 ppg.)...leads the Big Ten in rushing, rushing touchdowns, scoring and all-purpose yards...has already rushed for 1,112 yards this season, the most by a Spartan running back in the first seven games of the season...


Brian Hoyer#7 Brian Hoyer
CLASS: Senior

Fifth-year senior enters his second season as the starting quarterback . . . already ranks among MSU's career leaders in TD passes (No. 7 with 26), pass completions (No. 8 at 320), pass attempts (No. 9 at 543), completion percentage (No. 9 at .589) and passing efficiency rating (No. 10 at 127.7) . . . needs just 82 passing yards to crack MSU's all-time Top 10 in that category . . . the three-year letterman has compiled a 7-7 record in 14 career starts ...


Mark Dell#2 Mark Dell
CLASS: Sophomore

Leads the team in receiving with 20 receptions for 443 yards...Enters preseason camp as one of the top candidates to start at wide receiver after a solid freshman season . . . led all players with 120 receiving yards on six catches in the spring game . . . AS A FRESHMAN: Appeared in all 13 games as a true freshman, including eight starts (seven at split end) . . . finished fifth on the team in receptions with 20 for 220 yards (11.0 avg.) and two touchdowns . . . caught at least one pass in 12 games...


Greg Jones#53 Greg Jones
CLASS: Sophomore

Leads the team in tackles with 52, 32 solo...Sophomore enters season as the starting MIKE linebacker . . . made the transition from SAM to MIKE linebacker in spring practice . . . rated among the nation's top linebackers (No. 40) by Phil Steele's College Football Preview . . . preseason second-team All-Big Ten selection by Phil Steele's College Football Preview...


Otis Wiley#21 Otis Wiley
CLASS: Senior

Leads the team in incerceptions with 4 and is 4th on the team in tackles...Veteran safety anchors the Spartan secondary for the third year in a row . . . after starting the last two years at free safety, made the transition to strong safety during spring practice . . . rated among the nation's top strong safeties (No. 31) by Phil Steele's College Football Preview . . . preseason fourth-team All-Big Ten selection by Phil Steele's College Football Preview . . . three-year letterman has played in 35 career games, including 19 starts . . . has recorded 161 career tackles, five interceptions and 15 pass break-ups...


National Rankings
Total Offense   Total Defense

Sports Lines For amusement only...

No. 11 Ohio State (6-1) at No. 17 Michigan State (6-1):

Sports Babe Official
covers.com Match-Up Preview - Live Odds - Matchup Edge

bodog.com Matchup & Preview

Vegas Insider Las Vegas Line Movements

pregame.com Point Spread / Total / Money Line

Stat Fox Current Power Ratings: OSU T-#14


The Weather Channel East Lansing Forecast

More coming soon


Ohio State
Ohio State's Jim Tressel
Illinois' Ron Zook
Indiana's Bill Lynch
Iowa's Kirk Ferentz
Michigan's Rich Rodriguez
Michigan State
Michigan State's Mark Dantonio
Minnesota's Tim Brewster
Northwestern's Pat Fitzerald
Penn State
Penn State's Joe Paterno
Purdue's Joe Tiller
Wisconsin's Bret Bielema

Big Ten Games This Week 
Saturday October 18, 2008
WISC @ IOWA 12:00p
On TV: Big Ten Network, Live Stats
PUR @ NU 12:00p
On TV: ESPN2, Live Stats
OSU @ MSU 3:30p
On TV: ABC, Live Stats
MICH @ PSU 4:30p
On TV: ESPN, Live Stats
IU @ ILL 8:00p
On TV: Big Ten Network, Live Stats

Standings Big Ten Conference Overall
Penn State 3-0 106 37 7-0 317 77 W7
Michigan State 3-0 95 62 6-1 208 117 W6
Ohio State 3-0 70 41 6-1 170 100 W4
Minnesota 2-1 64 61 6-1 209 131 W2
Northwestern 1-1 42 54 5-1 145 99 L1
Michigan 1-1 47 70 2-4 113 149 L2
Iowa 1-2 75 47 4-3 200 76 W1
Illinois 1-2 89 85 3-3 198 175 L1
Purdue 0-2 9 36 2-4 130 141 L3
Wisconsin 0-3 49 95 3-3 151 136 L3
Indiana 0-3 45 103 2-4 141 161 L4

Breaking News
Injury Update
J.B. Shugarts, left, and Mike Adams, right, are out for the year while Mike Brewster, center, is in the starting lineup for a long while.
Shugarts and Adams both done for the season
October 16, 2008 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "Three five-star freshmen offensive linemen. One starter. Two season-ending injuries...Tuesday, Tressel said both (Shugarts and Adams) were out for this week. Wednesday, offensive line coach Jim Bollman confirmed that both were lost for at least several weeks. Today, Tressel confirmed both are out for the year, and they've both played too much to be eligible for redshirts. The offensive line depth takes a major hit, losing both second-team tackles...'It's really disappointing for us but part of the world we live in,' Tressel said. 'I feel bad because those two young guys spent a year (of eligibility). But the value of them understanding - J.B. has been out there in the Coliseum against Southern Cal, and Mike has been in the Horseshoe against Big Ten teams - is real.'..."

Coach Tressel's Tuesday press conference (42 mins) Source: Big Ten Network

Tressel says OSU's entire offensive plan under review
October 15, 2008 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Any counselor will tell you the first step toward solving a problem is recognizing that there is a problem. Ohio State coach Jim Tressel has done that in regards to his team's lack of consistent offense. 'We know we've got to get better,' Tressel said..."

The indecision which has plagued freshman QB Terrelle Pryor (2) has prompted some Buckeyes to suggest more playing time for former starter Todd Boeckman. But Boeckman isn't particularly supportive of the idea. (Marvin Fong/The Plain Dealer)Don't take any offense: Some Buckeyes admit frustration with impotent attack
October 14, 2008 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "The coaching paths of Jim Tressel and Mark Dantonio always seem to cross. The two coaches have spent years on the same sidelines and will be facing off against each other as head coaches for the third time this weekend when Ohio State travels to Michigan State. The two coaches gave their thoughts on the relationship and game during Tuesday's Big Ten teleconference..."

Pryor isn't in high school anymore
October 15, 2008 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "Terrelle Pryor, in his own words, had a "terrible" game against Purdue on Saturday. Yet the freshman quarterback seemed intent on the idea that this whole college football thing isn't a big deal, sounding like he was convincing himself that the game's not that hard...I saw Pryor play once in high school, and he was faster, stronger and more intuitive than anyone on the field...Now, it sounds like Pryor off the field isn't acting like it's high school. Nicol said he was at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center late the other night, studying film, and when he left Pryor was just leaving then, too. And Tressel has praised Pryor's desire to learn from the start. But here's where the Ohio State offense is trapped right now. Pryor doesn't trust his arm and his eyes enough, and he trusts his legs too much..."

Buckeyes: Time to rotate Boeckman back in
October 15, 2008 Source: Associated Press - "Ohio State coach Jim Tressel has no doubt Terrelle Pryor is the best quarterback to lead the Buckeyes. Not all his players agree. Tight end Jake Ballard said it could help the struggling Buckeyes offense to turn back to former starter Todd Boeckman and have him share the job with Pryor. The freshman has shown flashes of skill, but is still a work in progress. 'The senior leadership that Todd brings to the table and just how he commands the huddle would definitely help us out,' Ballard said. 'And he could make some big throws for us. ... I don't think a two-quarterback system would be a bad idea.'..."

Two quarterbacks not Tressel's style
October 15, 2008 Source: The Morning Journal - "History has proven that Jim Tressel hates two quarterback systems about as much as he hates turnovers. In 2005, two days after Justin Zwick and Troy Smith split time at quarterback in a loss to Texas, Tressel chose Smith as his starting quarterback and never looked back. This season, he divided the practice snaps between Todd Boeckman and Terrelle Pryor, then went with Pryor as his starter against Troy and hasn't looked back. As a result, the Buckeyes have steadily fallen every week in passing. Pryor has thrown for less than 100 yards in two of his four starts, and, as defenses load up more and more to stop the run, Ohio State's flaws in the passing game become more obvious..."

Terrelle Pryor's 'stats' for four starts
Purdue 10-14-0970 3  
Wisconsin 144 04  
Purdue14-50 232701.9
Wisconsin15-57 372011.3
Minnesota8-105 8 972

OSU's Struggling Offense Main Topic At Tressel's Press Luncheon
October 14, 2008 Source: Bucknuts

Video and Transcript from Coach Tressel Weekly Press Conference
October 14, 2008 Source: OSU Official Site - "...REPORTER: With nine starters back on this offensive unit, why are you having so much difficulty scoring touchdowns? COACH TRESSEL: Well, we're not -- I hate to say it, we're not executing. I wish there were something different than that...REPORTER: Are you troubled by the plan at this point the way you try to get things done up front or are you more just by the execution of the actual individual players? COACH TRESSEL: Well, I think you always have to start by being troubled by the plan, because there's got to be some reasons why you're not executing...are we doing too much or are we doing too little? Are we too simple and it's easy for them to read route progressions or whatever or is it too much and we're just playing with a little hesitation and those kinds of things. I think you always start with the plan...REPORTER: Have there been times you've encouraged Terrelle to throw it away, there's times he's running around a lot and gets sacked. COACH TRESSEL: Every week, one of the things we talk about is your best throw of the day might be a throw-away, might be the best decision you've made all day..."

Listen to the audioBucknuts Audio: Todd Boeckman
October 15, 2008 Source: Bucknuts - "We have an interview with OSU co-captain Todd Boeckman on his demotion and the status of the quarterback situation. Also, we have comments from OSU coach Jim Tressel and members of the team on the situation..."

Buckeyes Lose Wilson For Season
October 14, 2008 Source: Buckeye Sports - "Although the Ohio State defense played a key role in keeping the Buckeyes undefeated in Big Ten play this past weekend, it will have to go on without the services of one of its starters. Find out what head coach Jim Tressel had to say about Lawrence Wilson, the team's other players and the struggling offense during his weekly press conference...That means people such as sophomores Cameron Heyward and Thaddeus Gibson will likely see more playing time, as will true freshman Nathan Williams..."

RecruitingspacerShakeup near the top of the Rivals100
October 13, 2008 Source: Rivals - "The new Rivals100 is out and there was plenty of movement with the nation's top prospects...Other movers in this edition of the Rivals100 include Monroeville (Pa.) Gateway cornerback Corey Brown..."Corey Brown (a Buckeye commit) has great ball skills and he has really improved over the past year and become a really dominant defender," said Mike Farrell, another national recruiting analyst for Rivals.com...Sixty-two prospects in the Rivals100 have committed. USC leads the way with eight commitments. Ohio State is No. 2 with seven, LSU and Texas each have five and Alabama has four..."
Rivals.com Rivals100 Prospect Ranking 2009

Braxton Miller
QB Offered for Class of 2011
Braxton Miller has received a scholarship offer to play football for the Buckeyes, according to a number of reports. Miller, who will be in the recruiting Class of 2011, is a dual-threat quarterback from Huber Heights (OH) Wayne. Only a sophomore, he is 6-1 185 lbs and runs a 4.4 forty. A quote from his head coach, Wayne head coach Jay Minton, seemed to confirm the offer when he said: “Ohio State offered Braxton and Braxton is very excited about the offer.” Miller already has an offer from Cincinnati, in addition to interest from Michigan, Michigan State, Illinois and Iowa among others.

Inside the Beat: The good, the bad and the not-so-pretty
October 13, 2008 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Each week during the Ohio State football team's season, Dispatch OSU football writers Tim May and Ken Gordon engage in a give-and-take that brings readers "inside the beat" of Buckeyes football...As for Pryor...He is a freshman who is going to be confused by what he sees at times, and everyone saw that Saturday. But it wasn't like he was standing in a velvet-lined pocket when he was doing it, either. He and the offensive coaches have now seen first-hand how opponents are going to adjust to take into account his running ability. Now they must take the next step in his development, because Mark Dantonio was the first defensive coach I ever heard utter the term "affect the quarterback" as being part of his theme. And Dantonio, head coach at Michigan State, no doubt plans to affect Pryor as much as possible Saturday... If the offensive line rallies, some of this discussion is moot. The potency of a Pryor-led offense is based on the ability to run the option, and Saturday, the line was being pushed back so far that Pryor could not get to the corner. No doubt, Dantonio will bring the heat up front and try and frustrate and disrupt Pryor..."

More offensive line changes
October 13, 2008 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "More changes to the Ohio State offensive line, at least according to the latest depth chart released today...Former right guard Ben Person is listed as the starter at left guard and former left guard Jim Cordle, who was previously the center, is listed as the starter at right guard...Steve Rehring, who played right guard, right tackle and some left tackle on Saturday, is listed only as the backup at left guard, as he was last week. Freshmen J.B. Shugarts and Mike Adams have been removed as backups on the depth chart. Shugarts has missed several games with an injury, while Adams, after playing briefly last week, was seen after the game on crutches and in a walking boot...So what's going on?..."

Ohio State Players of the Week
Wisconsin Game 10/11/08:
Offensive Player of the Week: Not Awarded
Defensive Player of the Week: Malcolm Jenkins, DB
Attack Force Award: James Laurinaitis, LB
Jim Parker Lineman Award: Not Awarded
Special Units Player of the Week: Etienne Sabino, LB
Jack Tatum Hit of the Week Award: TBA
Scout Team Champions: Offense: Justin Boren; Defense: Orhian Johnson; Special Units: Tony Jackson

Top 25 Overview
Top 25 Weekend Review
Coaches Poll
 Source: USA Today

AP Poll
 Source: Associated Press

Top 25 Overview WEEK 7 2008
Source: ESPN - Overview of all Top 25 Teams for the seventh week of the season, including Recap, Box Score, Play-by-Play, Drive Chart, Photos

Check out all of the polls on our Polls, Rankings & BCS page...link below

Buckeyes seeking more offense
October 12, 2008 Source: Associated Press - "This was supposed to be Ohio State's foray into a high-tech spread offense and away from it's staked-to-the-ground past. So far, it's been a dud...The combination of sprinter-quarterback Terrelle Pryor and burly, shifty tailback Chris "Beanie" Wells has had trouble getting off the ground in the three games they've been together. The still-No. 12 Buckeyes have won all three, but not so much because of anything the offense is doing...Still, with both in the lineup the Buckeyes twice failed to score a touchdown after getting a first down inside the Purdue 10. 'It's frustrating in the red zone,' Wells said. 'It's been frustrating all year. It's about not executing.'...Tight end Jake Ballard and Wells both think the Buckeyes need to throw the ball more and more effectively. 'Terrelle needs to have more confidence throwing the ball,' Ballard said. 'He's doing well on his feet, but he has to believe in his arm.'...'We have to pass the ball better,' Wells said. 'We have to use our receivers better.'..."

Captain's CornerCaptain's Corner: Don't Overlook Defensive Victories
October 12, 2008 Source: Bucknuts.com - "There's been a lot of grumbling about OSU's weak offensive output against Purdue, but Jerry Rudzinski says that the win is still a good one. Check it out in this version of the Captain's Corner..."

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