Inside the Beat: Was 'Michigan State Massacre' a sign of things to come?
October 20, 2008 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "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...GORDON: The defense seems to finally be playing with some attitude. The front line is giving great effort, even though it lacks stars, it has really picked up its hustle...MAY: That said, this will be the best defense Penn State has faced this year. And it's a defense that learned about its vulnerabilities in the 35-3 loss at Southern California in Week 3...MAY: What we know for sure is Penn State and Ohio State each face their toughest test of the season on Saturday night. A win could be a springboard for the Nittany Lions, who are one back of on-again, off-again Alabama in the major polls. And a win could be a major re-launch for the Buckeyes, who now appear to be eager to show the college football world they were worthy of the glowing preseason predictions and expectations..."
Michigan State Game 10/18/08:
Offensive Player of the Week: Beanie Wells , RB
Defensive Player of the Week: James Laurinaitis, LB
Attack Force Award: Ross Homan, LB
Jim Parker Lineman Award: Alex Boone, OT
Special Units Player of the Week: Austin Spitler , LB
Jack Tatum Hit of the Week Award: Not awarded
Scout Team Champions: Offense: Ricky Crawford; Defense: Solomon Thomas; Special Units: Joe Gantz
October 20, 2008 Source: Associated Press - "In the BCS: Penn State is No. 3 and Ohio State No. 9 in the first Bowl Championship Series ratings of the season, released last night...Back to drawing board: It's no major criticism, but fans have to understand that when a defense rushes five and drops six into coverage, often the soft underbelly is going to be exposed for quick drag routes that net 5 to 15 yards. Meanwhile, one of the major improvements defensively has been more consistent pressure from the front four. The defense has gotten its act together at just the right time...Catch that?: The Buckeyes lined up many times in a five-wideout formation that featured the bunch -- a wishbone grouping of three receivers -- split well wide instead of hugging one end of the offensive line. Coach Jim Tressel referred to it as mere "window dressing," but the fact he pulled back the shades on it showed that the offense continues its makeover phase...This week's challenge: For Ohio State, a team seeking renewed national respect, it can't get much more tailor-made than this. Improvement will be the watchword from the coaches all week, but playing with unbridled zeal in the brightly lit Horseshoe is what it's going to take. In other words, it's going to take the best effort of the year to date..."
Wells: Born To Run, Especially In Big Games
October 20, 2008 Source: Bucknuts - "Beanie Wells loves playing in big games and this Saturday against Penn State certainly qualifies. Ohio State will welcome the Nittany Lions to Ohio Stadium for a rare night game and Wells is anxious to get going. He usually performs well in big games and part of that might be the mindset he takes with him into such contests..."
Tressel should take his cue from Pryor
October 20, 2008 Source: Mansfield News Journal - "It sounds like freshman quarterback Terrelle Pryor was channeling his inner LeBron and showing a different layer of his fiercely-competitive personality by offering Friday to bench himself if Ohio State's offense didn't start clicking. It would have been nicer to hear OSU's de facto offensive coordinator walked into Jim Tressel's office and struck the same deal with the Buckeyes' head coach. But that would mean Tressel admitting he talks to himself. If no such conversation took place between stodgy Jim and stodgier Jim after the punchless performance against Purdue, Tressel appeared to have at least looked in the mirror before designing his game plan for Michigan State. Was that a first-down, play-action pass, to a tight end no less? It went for a 20-yard gain by Brandon Smith to set up a touchdown..."
A couple of teams looked championship ready -- and one was Ohio State
October 19, 2008 Source: ESPN - "OSU #9 in first BCS...The fear that the Buckeyes have rewritten their name on the short list of BCS Championship Game contenders is based, not only on their back-to-back losses in the past two of these games, but also on the 35-3 beatdown Ohio State suffered against USC last month. Your fears may be valid. But consider: First of all, Ohio State beat a very good Michigan State team 45-7 in East Lansing. As much as it may hurt to say it, the Buckeyes on Saturday looked like one of the best teams in the country. Second of all, Ohio State next plays Penn State. The winner of their game in Columbus on Saturday night will be one of the best teams in the country, even if it's leading the Big Ten. And third, with Missouri and BYU eliminated from the national championship race, there is that much more room for an Ohio State to re-enter the discussion..."
Check out all of the polls on our Polls, Rankings & BCS page...link below
|Michigan State's Javon Ringer is hit hard by a host of Ohio State defenders, including Kurt Coleman, Doug Worthington, James Laurinaitis & Marcus Freeman, Saturday. "Our D-line did a great job of letting us fly around and make plays," Buckeyes linebacker James Laurinaitis said. Ringer, who rushed for a season-low 67 yards on a season-low 16 attempts, said: "I didn't expect to get beat like that." The Buckeyes defense held the Spartans to season lows in rushing (52 yards) and total offense (240 yards).|
Ringer's boast motivated Buckeyes: On ESPN's "College GameDay" show, the Dayton native reportedly talked about wanting to beat the Buckeyes by four or five touchdowns and showing folks back in Ohio how the Spartans have blossomed. (Source: Dayton Daily News)
Pryor Postgame With the Media Source: FanDome
No. 12 Ohio State Routs No. 20 Michigan State in East Lansing
October 4, 2008 Source: OSU Official Site/Associated Press - "Terrelle Pryor became the first player to tell Ohio State coach Jim Tressel to bench him if he didn’t produce. Then, the Buckeyes’ quarterback made the request moot against Michigan State. Pryor turned some of his potential into production, running for a score and throwing for another in the first quarter to help the 12th-ranked Buckeyes build a four-touchdown lead en route to a 45-7 win Saturday over the 20th-ranked Spartans. 'He stopped in my office right before we left Friday and said, 'If I don’t move the ball down the field, you should bench me,'' Tressel recalled. 'That’s just the way he is.' The freshman finished 7-of-11 for 116 yards and a TD and had 72 yards rushing on 12 carries, including an 18-yarder for a score early in the game. Pryor showed poise and touch when he threw before sitting on the big lead with handoffs..."
Scoring Summary,Team & Individual Statistics, Drive Chart, Defensive Statistics, Game Participation, Play-by-Play
Postgame Notes No. 11/12 Ohio State vs. No. 17/20 Michigan State
Tressel Postgame Press Conference Source: Bucknuts
|OSU looks like a million Bucks: Offense, defense dominate Spartans 45-7|
October 18, 2008 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "...'People asked me all week what my biggest fear was,' Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi said, 'and my biggest fear was that they would click. Everybody has been on them and Coach Tressel did a great job getting them ready.' Freshman quarterback Terrelle Pryor was visibly peeved after the game while discussing his detractors, a young player who hasn't yet learned to ignore the criticism but instead absorbs it to his advantage...'I think the coaches called it aggressively,' Pryor said. 'We had our backs on the wall because the critics were saying offensively we're not as good. And that hit us that we needed to step up.'..."
See Bill Livington's "Irritated by critics and his own play, OSU's Pryor answers critics with steady leadership" in the Op-Ed Blog
'Beanie' Wells Postgame With the Media Source: FanDome
IT WAS OVER WHEN: The Buckeyes decided that it was time to spread their wings and let their offense fly.
THE STAR: Terrelle Pryor, who threw for 116 yards and a TD and ran for 72 yards and another score.
THE STAT: 216 - Ohio State won the battle on the ground with 216 yards rushing to 52 for Michigan State.
THE STAT II: 67 - The Buckeyes' defense held Javon Ringer to a season-low 67 yards and kept him out of the end zone for just the second time this year.
THE STAT III: 161: Yards in fumble returns for the Buckeyes
THE STAT IV: Ohio State scored a season-high 45 points and defeated Michigan State for the 12th time in their last 14 meetings. Ohio State has now won nine of its last 10 games on the road against ranked opponents.
THE STRATEGY: The Buckeyes opened it up offensively, at least early, and the Spartans couldn't cover all the bases. Pryor's 56-yard pass to Brian Hartline in the face of a blitz set up the third TD.
THEY SAID IT: "We don't give a damn for the whole state of Michigan." -- Laurinaitis, joining singing fans while leaving the field after the game
THEY SAID IT II: ESPN sideline reporter Stacey Dales had a bad day, at one point remarking that MSU players on the sideline "have a dazed look but are eager to get out there." Uh, which one is it. Then again, the Spartans did play like zombies.
NOTABLE: For Michigan State it was their first loss by more than seven points under Mark Dantonio. Dantonio fell to 0-4 in his career against his former boss, Jim Tressel (0-2 with Michigan State, 0-2 with Cincinnati); this was MSU's most lopsided loss at home since Nick Saban's debut in 1995, when they by 40 to Nebraska.
ONE-LINER: With 2:19 left and 31 points behind, Journey's Don't Stop Believing rings through Spartans Stadium speakers. Shoulda been Just Stop the Bleeding.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN: Will the dominant performance over Michigan State be the game that kickstarts Ohio State on a run to yet another national title game? That’s getting way ahead of the game, but for now, it was the sort of game the team had been missing for a while. The offense worked, the defense stuffed Javon Ringer, and everyone was moving around with a better energy and apparent confidence. At least that’s how the team looked compared to the way it played last week against Purdue.
(Sources: ESPN/Columbus Dispatch/CollegeFootballNews.com)
|Laurinaitis sets tone with big whack|
October 19, 2008 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Ohio State's defense is back to shutting teams down and making big plays, and at the heart of this resurgence is -- who else? -- James Laurinaitis. The senior linebacker got off to a good statistical start this season but had not made as many game-changing, impact plays as in the past. Until yesterday in Spartan Stadium. Among his team-high 11 tackles, Laurinaitis had 1 1/2 sacks and another big hit on Michigan State quarterback Brian Hoyer, knocking him woozy in a 45-7 victory...Laurinaitis spearheaded a unit that has given up just 10 points over the past two weeks. Yesterday, the Buckeyes forced five turnovers, two of which they converted into touchdowns..."
OSU arrives where you might have expected
October 19, 2008 Source: Columbus Dispatch - Bob Hunter commentary: "If you look at the forest instead of the trees, all the angst and anger that Ohio State fans have suffered in recent weeks seems almost silly. An inconsistent, underachieving team is suddenly what it was supposed to be, with the record most people thought it was supposed to have, and an opponent that was supposed to be among the strongest on its schedule coming to Columbus next week. The journey to 7-1 has been a tortuous one, to be sure..."
|After threatening to bench self, Pryor buries Michigan State|
October 18, 2008 Source: ESPN - "After a couple of sluggish performances, Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor sought out his head coach Friday at the school's football complex. On the eve of his biggest collegiate start, on the road against No. 20 Michigan State, he didn't want what most freshmen would want in a time of doubt. He didn't want sympathy, stroking or a Lifesaver. Quite the opposite. Pryor's message to Jim Tressel: 'If I don't take us down the field first drive, second drive, third drive, I need to be taken out.' The Vest's response: 'Just relax. Now, if you throw it to them, don't worry [you're coming out].' Tressel said he's never had any player do that before. Much less a 19-year-old true freshman who one month ago supplanted a 24-year-old, fifth-year senior..."
Offensive Notes: OSU Scores Early, Often
October 18, 2008 Source: Bucknuts - "Ohio State's offense was dominant in the first half and the Buckeyes went on to crush host Michigan State 45-7. The offense faced a lot of scrutiny following OSU's shaky win over Purdue last week. However, against a solid Michigan State team, the Buckeyes came to play and the game was basically decided by halftime..."
|Team Statistics (Final) |
Ohio State vs Michigan State (Oct 018, 2008 at East Lansing, MI)
| Team Totals ||OSU ||MSU |
|FIRST DOWNS ||18 ||14 |
| Rushing ||14 ||4 |
| Passing ||3 ||9 |
| Penalty ||1 ||1 |
|NET YARDS RUSHING ||216 ||52 |
| Rushing Attempts ||52 ||21 |
| Average Per Rush ||4.2 ||2.5 |
| Rushing Touchdowns ||3 ||0 |
| Yards Gained Rushing ||251 ||79 |
| Yards Lost Rushing ||35 ||27 |
|NET YARDS PASSING ||116 ||188 |
| Completions-Attempts-Int ||7-11-0 ||23-39-2 |
| Average Per Attempt ||10.5 ||4.8 |
| Average Per Completion ||16.6 ||8.2 |
| Passing Touchdowns ||1 ||1 |
|TOTAL OFFENSE YARDS ||332 ||240 |
| Total offense plays ||63 ||60 |
| Average Gain Per Play ||5.3 ||4.0 |
|Fumbles: Number-Lost ||3-0 ||3-3 |
|Penalties: Number-Yards ||5-45 ||2-15 |
|PUNTS-YARDS ||5-209 ||6-274 |
| Average Yards Per Punt ||41.8 ||45.7 |
| Net Yards Per Punt ||37.2 ||36.3 |
| Inside 20 ||0 ||1 |
| 50+ Yards ||1 ||3 |
| Touchbacks ||1 ||0 |
| Fair catch ||0 ||0 |
|KICKOFFS-YARDS ||8-460 ||2-126 |
| Average Yards Per Kickoff ||57.5 ||63.0 |
| Net Yards Per Kickoff ||41.1 ||50.0 |
| Touchbacks ||0 ||0 |
|Punt returns: Number-Yards-TD ||5-56-0 ||1-3-0 |
| Average Per Return ||11.2 ||3.0 |
|Kickoff returns: Number-Yds-TD ||2-26-0 ||7-131-0 |
| Average Per Return ||13.0 ||18.7 |
|Interceptions: Number-Yds-TD ||2-7-0 ||0-0-0 |
|Fumble Returns: Number-Yds-TD ||3-161-2 ||0-0-0 |
|Miscellaneous Yards ||0 ||0 |
|Possession Time ||35:17 ||24:43 |
| 1st Quarter || 8:33 || 6:27 |
| 2nd Quarter ||10:58 || 4:02 |
| 3rd Quarter || 6:14 || 8:46 |
| 4th Quarter || 9:32 || 5:28 |
|Third-Down Conversions ||8 of 14 ||3 of 12 |
|Fourth-Down Conversions ||0 of 0 ||1 of 2 |
|Red-Zone Scores-Chances ||5-5 ||1-1 |
|Sacks By: Number-Yards ||3-23 ||2-13 |
|PAT Kicks ||6-6 ||1-1 |
|Field Goals ||1-1 ||0-0 |
Instant Analysis: Ohio State-Michigan State
October 19, 2008 Source: CollegeFootballNews.com - "The Buckeyes played with poise, purpose, and even a little joy as they smothered Sparty in a matchup of two teams with perfect conference records...Instead of seeing their execution suffer, the Bucks played the role of executioner...Tressel ensured that his former colleague, Mark Dantonio, wouldn’t steal his thunder, but while that coaching drama lent a little intrigue to the afternoon’s proceedings, the far more relevant result of this game is that it should silence the nattering nabobs of negativism who have hounded the Ohio State program all season long...This brutally efficient display by the Bucks enabled Ohio State to enter next week’s prizefight against Penn State with an unblemished Big Ten mark. You never would have known as much, however, from the way the two-time defending national runner-up has been treated… in the press, on the internet, and even—to a certain extent—within its own community...Memories have been short, both across the nation and in..."
|On third-and-11 from the OSU 23, MSU backup QB Kirk Cousins dropped to throw and was blitzed by Malcolm Jenkins who knocked the ball loose. Gibson recovered the fumble and rolled 69 yards the other way for a touchdown and a 35-7 lead with 14:41 left in the game. "I was going inside and Malcolm (blitzed) on top of me," Euclid OH's Thad Gibson said. "Once I saw the ball, I just grabbed it and started running for my life. It was the greatest feeling ever.'
|Fans' Report card Columbus Dispatch: What grade do you give the Ohio State football team in its game against Michigan State?: 16% A+ - 62% A - 21% B - 1% C|
The Report Card
October 19, 2008 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "Ohio State's turnover trend: A-...Ohio State's offensive line: B+...Javon Ringer's career against Ohio State: C- ...Michigan State's defense: D-..."
The Bottom Line
October 19, 2008 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Leaves are awarded on a zero-to-five basis, five being the best: Offense (three leaves)...Defense (four leaves) ...Special teams (three leaves)...Coaching (four leaves) ...Opponent (two leaves)..."
Winners and losers: Saturday had plenty
October 19, 2008 Source: Yahoo Sports - "WINNERS: Ohio State: There was considerable doubt about the Buckeyes’ offense with games coming up against Michigan State and Penn State. Well, step one accomplished. The Buckeyes were dominant on both sides of the ball in ripping Michigan State 45-7. That sets up next week’s showdown with the unbeaten Nittany Lions...LOSERS: Michigan State’s quarterbacks: The Spartans’ weak spot hurt them in a big way against Ohio State. Brian Hoyer regressed from his 14-of-20 performance against Northwestern to go 5-of-13 with an interception. He gave way to Kevin Cousins, who completed 10 of his first 11 passes, but lost a fumble for an Ohio State touchdown. Michigan State never had a chance to put the game in Javon Ringer’s hands..."
Today's results cloud forecast for Penn St.-Ohio St.
October 19, 2008 Source: New York Times - Stewart Mandel writes: "No. 12 Ohio State crushed No. 20 Michigan State 45-7 on Saturday. No. 3 Penn State routed Michigan 46-17. The Buckeyes looked like they were clicking on all cylinders...The Nittany Lions looked out of synch for the first time all season. They fell behind 17-7 to a team that lost to Toledo last week and took until late in the third quarter to finally gain the lead, at which point they finally poured it on. The two teams square off next Saturday in Columbus in the Big Ten's Game of the Year. The winner will put itself squarely in the driver's seat for the Rose Bowl (and in Penn State's case, the Nittany Lions can give themselves a shot at a potential undefeated regular season and BCS title berth)...Based on the teams' performances over the course of the season prior to Saturday, Penn State figured to be the prohibitive favorite. Based on the teams' performances Saturday ... who knows? It may well turn out that neither performance was indicative of anything, but it certainly clouds the forecast for next week's showdown in Columbus..."
OSU barrels forward
October 19, 2008 Source: New York Times - "Blowout over Spartans showcases QB's ability, revives title-game talk. The national title game feared by just about every college football fan outside of Ohio is once again a possibility — or should it be called a threat? Riding the precocious freshman quarterback Terrelle Pryor and a defense that held the nation's top rusher, Javon Ringer, to a season-low 66 yards, No. 12 Ohio State dominated 20th-ranked Michigan State 45-7 on Saturday to improve to 7-1 and stay undefeated in the Big Ten. With No. 3 Penn State defeating Michigan, next Saturday's matchup between the Nittany Lions and the Buckeyes in Ohio Stadium looms as a potential Big Ten title showdown, with Ohio State having a shot at its third consecutive appearance in the Bowl Championship Series title game if it wins...Pryor...displayed the jaw-dropping athleticism that attracted scouts from across the country, when he escaped the charging Spartans' defensive end Trevor Anderson for what seemed like a certain 10-yard loss to connect with Robiskie for OSU's second touchdown. Perhaps equally impressive for a player who a year ago was playing high school football, Pryor committed no turnovers and was sacked only twice — raising hopes that this edition of the Buckeyes might be a bit different from the previous two..."
Don't look now, but Buckeyes could be back in title game
October 19, 2008 Source: Sporting News - "Five quick observations after No. 12 Ohio State's 45-7 victory over No. 20 Michigan State, which prompted Spartans fans here to celebrate the start of basketball season...Destination, Miami Gardens: This is college football fans' worst fear realized. Ohio State was cold dead and buried five weeks ago after a 35-3 loss at Southern California. But a funny thing happened on the way to the Outback Bowl: Ohio State got its groove back, and if it beats shaken Penn State at home next weekend, it's a strong bet to waltz to a third straight outright Big Ten title (November schedule: BYE, at Northwestern, at Illinois, Michigan at home). A sweep would put the Bucks in a battle royale of one-loss squads for two spots in the national championship game. And Ohio State at worst would share the longest winning streak of the bunch..."
Babb: Ohio State-Michigan State Thoughts
October 18, 2008 Source: Bucknuts - "The Buckeyes took a big step in the right direction with their win over Michigan State. Charles Babb checks in with several observations from Ohio State's big victory...Spreading the Field – Mark Dantonio, and everyone else for that matter, knows Ohio State is not going to pass all that effectively. They came into the game with this in mind. How do you combat this if you are the Buckeyes? You do it the same way they did against Wisconsin and the same way Nebraska used to do it under Tom Osborne. Spread the field horizontally, and you accomplish much the same effect as if you were throwing deep once every set of downs. You force the defense to back off the line of scrimmage or risk watching one missed tackle turn into a 40 yard run or a touchdown..."
|Coaches & Players' Postgame Quotes|
October 18, 2008 Source: MSU Official Site - Coach Dantonio: "...On how falling behind altered the team's game plan...'Well it was 21-0 really very quickly. We didn't play very well defensively. Javon [Ringer] touched the ball 16 times, he didn't have as much success running the football as we've had. Give credit to Ohio State, they played an outstanding game. Give credit where credit is due - they showed up to play. [Terrelle] Pryor played an excellent game, I thought [junior running back Chris] Wells was dominant. You need to be able to tackle a good football player and he was very good, and their offensive line played very well.'..."
October 18, 2008 Source: MSU Official Site - "... Javon Ringer rushed for a season-low 67 yards on a season-low 16 attempts...through eight games, Ringer still is averaging 147.4 yards per game...MSU was held to season lows in rushing (52 yards) and total offense (240 yards)...MSU's defense registered a season-high 10.0 tackles for loss (28 yards)..."
Mistake-prone Spartans get painful lesson from Buckeyes
October 18, 2008 Source: Lansing State Journal - "With every prospective tackler tossed aside by Terrelle Pryor and Beanie Wells, every Michigan State possession snuffed or betrayed by errors, reality loomed larger and clearer on Saturday at Spartan Stadium. This MSU team is not good enough to beat an Ohio State team that plays well..."
Big Ten helmet stickers: Week 8
October 19, 2008 Source: ESPN - "Ohio State's backfield -- Sure, the passing game looked better today, but Ohio State remains at its best with the ball in the hands of Terrelle Pryor and Chris "Beanie" Wells. The freshman quarterback and junior running back combined for 212 rushing yards and three touchdowns in a rout of Michigan State. Pryor also made the throws when he needed to, completing 7 of 11 passes for 116 yards and a touchdown..."
|Coaches cash in|
October 16, 2008 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "Jim Tressel and Athletic Director Gene Smith aren't the only staffers who have been given raises this season. After Smith's news conference Thursday that announced his own four-year contract extension -- with his base salary increasing to $648,000 per year -- he explained the raises that Tressel's assistant coaches received this season. Those moves were not part of the negotiations that over the summer saw Tressel get a $600,000 bump in salary, to $3 million this season, and $1 million raises in later years that will push him to more than $3.5 million a year...Full contracts were not available from the university because they're still being updated, but according to salary figures provided by Ohio State, the biggest raise went to defensive coordinator Jim Heacock, who saw his salary increase $21,510, to $260,510. It was a 9 percent raise...offensive coordinator Jim Bollman remained the highest-paid assistant, at $275,400, after an 8 percent raise. Other coaches earning 8 percent raises included linebackers coach Luke Fickell, to $183,600, and running backs coach Dick Tressel, the lowest-paid assistant, to $162,000...Smith said he wants his assistants to stay in line with other top programs, SEC schools typically pay their assistants -- especially coordinators -- far more...both LSU coordinators in the national title game -- Bo Pelini and Gary Crowton -- earned $400,000..."
Smith Discusses Contract Extension, Football Program, More
October 16, 2008 Source: Bucknuts.com - "Gene Smith Ohio State's athletic director since 2005 was rewarded with a contract extension and raise on Thursday...and was also promoted to assistant vice president of OSU, which will expand his duties past athletics. What does Smith think of his tenure up to this point. And what are his thoughts on OSU football coach Jim Tressel and basketball coach Thad Matta?..."