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Senator Jim Tressel: Buckeye Jekyll and Hyde? October 14, 2009 Source: The Ozone - "The the sweater vest, the suit, the American flag lapel pin, the even, almost monotone voice, the calm demeanor in the face of both victory and defeat; if you follow Ohio State football, you know that description applies to OSU Head Football Coach Jim Tressel. He is The Senator.
Tressel fans see that all as a gigantic plus. To them, those outward traits reflect Tressel's personal philosophy of consistency and conservative midwest values to which they can relate...Solid values and consistency, particularly in the area of winning football games, are really what matter, and nothing else. We don't need no stinking loud-mouth Pete Carroll. We like our nice, quiet, calm Jim Tressel.
If Jim Tressel is not exactly your cup of tea, you see him differently...To his detractors, Tressel's dorky, dry, public persona make him a walking, droning gob of boredom. His lone redeeming value is that he (and his offense) have single handedly reduced your need for valium to zero...Mr. Excitement he ain't.
Here is what doesn't make sense. Football is an emotional game...Teams also tend to reflect their head coach... If you are a Buckeye fan, that combination of givens should give you pause, but the indisputable facts of his record say that Mr. Bland Sweater Vest fields team after team that plays with determination and passion, and that translates into winning a lot of football games.
So OK, one of two things have to be true. Either football teams do not reflect their head coach (otherwise OSU's teams would play like zombies) or deep down in the hidden recesses of The Vest there exists a different Jim Tressel that comes out at dark and shadowy times and inspires his teams...His players say..."Yeah, he does, he gets fired up before games, he'll get fired up at half time," agreed senior cornerback Chimdi Chekwa."Sometimes he gets loud, sometimes he just has that stern voice and he's always kicking his feet. You just know when he's serious and when he's fired up," Chekwa said...
It was a revelation to say the least, but as we explored it further, we found a bit of the Tressel methodology in his madness. Tressel's normal calm and flat emotions serve as a stark and effective background for his occasional outburst that make them all the more effective when they happen...Tressel picks his spots, and the spot he picks most often is that last game of the regular season. His players say that is one time of year you can count on Emotional Tressel to be around. "Every once in a while, (but) especially when we play Michigan, that's probably when he gets the most fired up," said Chekwa.
So what did Coach Fire and Brimstone say before that game? "I can't really say what he said, but it was moving and I felt it," said Coleman. "As you can see, we kind of took the field in a different manner." Coleman was careful with his words. He didn't say he couldn't remember what Tressel said, only that he couldn't repeat it. A non-repeatable outburst? Jim Tressel?..."
Checking in with Ohio State's Nick Siciliano October 14, 2009 Source: ESPN - "...Buckeyes quarterbacks coach Nick Siciliano spends more time with Pryor than anybody else, and like the quarterback, Siciliano has drawn his share of criticism. I caught up with Siciliano last week -- before the Wisconsin game -- to discuss Pryor's progress...Where is Terrelle in terms of where you thought he'd be at this point in the season? Ahead of expectations? Behind them?...Is there ever a concern that a guy could lose those instincts because he's so focused on the game plan?...You've mentioned that his footwork has been a big area of improvement. How do you see that play out in a game?...Do you have to remind him that he's still a young player so he doesn't get too down?...What areas do you want to see him improve to take the next step in his development?...Is it important to him not to only be a runner?..."
Buckeyes downplay offensive problems October 14, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Ohio State failed to adequately adjust to a change-up thrown at them by Wisconsin last week, players and coaches said yesterday. Yes, they want to do better Saturday at Purdue, and they will miss tailback Daniel Herron, who has an ankle injury and won't play, but their demeanor reflects these two points: They beat Wisconsin 31-13, and that's the bottom line. They have had plenty of practice answering these types of questions. Under Tressel, the Buckeyes have made a habit of winning with strong defense, superior special teams and a mediocre offense..."I don't feel like it was a step back (offensively)," receiver Ray Small said. "Football games can be weird at times, and some people win defensively, some people win (with) special teams, and we just happened to have a slow start on offense and won at other positions of the game. "The whole point is to win games, so regardless if our offense only has 100-something yards, a 'W' is always the goal."...
In the end, it's debatable whether the offensive struggles really matter. The Buckeyes dropped two spots in the polls after the offense scored 38 points in a win over Toledo, then climbed two spots after producing 10 offensive points last week. Florida and Alabama won games last week in which their offenses, like OSU, scored just one touchdown. Nobody seems too down on those teams. And even though the Buckeyes rank 108th nationally in pass offense and 86th in total offense, they are scoring 29.7 points per game, which is more than the 29.3 scored in one of Tressel's previous seasons, a year that didn't turn out too bad for Ohio State: 2002..."
Buckeyes admit offense must get better at changing gears October 14, 2009 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "Practicing last week for Wisconsin's defense didn't help the Ohio State offense much on Saturday. "They did nothing we expected," Buckeyes' center Mike Brewster said Tuesday. "Everything we prepared for, they didn't do." That's part of the explanation for the struggles for the OSU offense...The Badgers pulled a safety down almost like a fourth linebacker, daring Ohio State to throw with a look that wasn't expected, but shouldn't have been a shock.
"The past couple weeks, we've been rushing the ball real well and I expected eventually some teams to start loading up the box," Brewster said. "That's fine. We'll start throwing behind the safeties when they walk up. We'll make adjustments." But with a sophomore quarterback in Terrelle Pryor and three sophomore offensive linemen, the adjustments Saturday weren't immediate...
While Wisconsin defensive end O'Brien Schofield attacked the run game, the Badgers kept a tight leash on Pryor's running ability, devoting not just two, but two and a half players to Pryor, according to Tressel. "They were not going to allow the quarterback to get outside and hurt them," Tressel said. Again, that's not going to be a unique strategy for defenses. The Buckeyes perhaps enhanced that run threat by moving more to the shotgun in the last month, but now defenses have adjusted, and will continue to do so.
"They knew if they could shut down our run then it would really mess things up for us," running back Brandon Saine said. "I guess we weren't prepared for that..."..."
Long play list might be shortcoming: The past several weeks, Small said they've been loaded. "We've had 107 plays on the play-call (sheet), which I've never seen since I've been here," said the senior, who added a normal list last year had about 60 plays. "But that's just opportunities. We've got Terrelle. We can do a lot of things." In the past couple of years, they might have had the same number, Saine said, it's just that now they're all "on the wristband, so they're easier to use." The problem has been the execution. "We go all the way back to consistency," Small said. "That's what we try to do in practice. We try to be more consistent with our offense."...
As for the play list, there's a little bit on it for a lot of people, Small said. "We've got so many athletes," he said. "This team is very athletic. It hasn't shown at this point, but at any given moment it can be exposed because we've got so many players who are elusive." But are there too many plays? "Week in and week out, you get used to it, because that's what Ohio State does: They prepare you for any situation," Small said. "We've been three weeks in (now) with 100-something plays, so we're kind of getting used to it."..." (Source: Columbus Dispatch)
Ross Homan One-on-One Homan was honored as the Big Ten's defensive player of the week for his part in the win over Wisconsin.
"I don't know if I have more or less concerns or whatever. I have less data."
- Coach Tressel, when asked if he had more concerns about the offense after the Wisconsin game, during which the Badgers ran 89 plays to the Buckeyes' 40.
Wisconsin seemed to play a defense that gave the Buckeyes some problems, their first real struggles since moving to a predominantly shotgun offense. The Badgers added extra defenders near the line of scrimmage and accounted for quarterback Terrelle Pryor even more than most teams do. The result, as Ohio State struggled to adjust early in the game, was three quick punts on the first three offensive series. Tressel explained:
"They played a lot more people up in the box and played us a little bit different in the secondary, which allowed them to shift their linebackers, when you drop a guy in the box, shift their linebackers and they did a good job," Tressel said. "You could see that their plan was, most people are going to have two people on the quarterback when you're doing some of the things we do. They had about two and a half. They were not going to allow the quarterback to get outside and hurt him and so forth. And they did a good job, I thought, of allowing their ends to freelance a little bit because they had an extra guy in the box if he would lose contain, there was always a guy behind him. So it really made it - if you didn't kick, set, and square as an offensive tackle, you were going to have a chance to get beat inside, which sometimes you don't worry about if there's no one out there to contain because the quarterback can then hurt him by breaking contain. So there were some good lessons of someone who just said, hey, look, we're not going to let you beat us this way."
Ohio State has to beat that kind of defense another way then. For instance, throwing the ball.
"When you talk about beating someone in the air, you have to talk about the whole picture," Tressel said. "You have to talk about the protection, the routes, the quarterback play and so forth, and so when you have more people in the box, there's a few more protection issues and so that's what you work against when people are bringing extra folks. And we probably would have thrown the ball down the field a great deal more had the game been a little bit different, but each time we got the ball back after the long lull, the last thing in your mind was, hey, why don't we go three and out in 42 seconds. You know, you weren't going to think that way. And even though they might have had eight guys up there, we had to figure out a way to see if we could move the chains."(Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer)
Ohio State Offense: A Thousand Years in the Making - No doubt the quote of the day, however, and the one Buckeye fans will be racking their brain over for days and weeks to come, came from Tressel's opinion over what the main goal of the offense should be each week. "I think the primary responsibility of an offense is to never put their defense in poor position.
"You know I've felt that for a thousand years," said Tressel, who is well-known for his insistence on playing the field position game while limiting turnovers. "And also to make sure that you take opportunities to score points."
That fact that scoring points was an afterthought could have a lot to do with Ohio State's struggles on offense this season. (Source: The Ozone)
Buckeyes struggle to go with flow October 13, 2009 Source: Associated Press - "Almost everyone thinks Ohio State's offense has the components to produce a lot of points. For some reason, it isn't happening. "One minute you're doing great, you put up 400 yards and everybody thinks we're the best offense in the world," wide receiver/kick returner Ray Small said Tuesday. "The next minute you only put up 120 yards and now we're struggling."...
"I hope the defense doesn't have to keep carrying us like this," Pryor said after the game. Pryor led the Big Ten in pass efficiency (146.50) a year ago. This season he's at 140.3 and seventh-best in the conference. That's not to say Pryor is the problem -- the offensive line has been erratic, there have been dropped passes and bad routes by the receivers and the backs have been solid but not great. On top of that, many believe coach Jim Tressel -- who runs the offense even though Jim Bollman has the title of coordinator -- relies too heavily on conservative playcalling that stifles a gifted athlete such as Pryor...
When the Buckeyes were bogged down and not moving the ball against Wisconsin, he said a frustrated Pryor tried to shake things up by making a big play. "He wanted to go deep every play," Small said with a grin. "He was hollering at the coaches, 'Let's go deep! Let's go deep!' Terrelle is an emotional guy." Small said the offense has 107 plays in its repertoire, almost twice as many as in his three previous years at Ohio State, and that younger players might be having trouble learning all the sets and plays. The Buckeyes sure didn't have to dig too deeply into the playbook against Wisconsin: Ohio State ran 40 offensive plays to the Badgers' 89...
The time is dwindling for the Buckeyes to figure out what's wrong when they have the ball. "There's only about 40 days or 30-some days left," Tressel said. "That's going to really decide what kind of football team we have."..."
Tressel: Offense Must Adjust More Quickly October 13, 2009 Source: BuckeyeSports.com - "Jim Tressel led right into the question himself with the conclusion of his opening statement at the Jack Nicklaus Museum in Columbus. "Offensively, I think our guys have done a good job of preparing," the Ohio State head coach said. "Where I really think we need to get better preparing from an offensive standpoint is understanding that what we study and prepare for all week long may not be what you're going to get and then adjusting in the midst of the flow, and that's why it's disappointing when you only get 30-some snaps, to make those adjustments and learn those lessons and so forth, but it is what it is, and we've got to improve from that standpoint in my opinion."
Asked who specifically needed to improve, he said everyone involved, including players and the coaching staff. Making needed adjustments was hindered by the sheer level of lack of success the Buckeyes were able to manage to start the game..."
Tressel knows what he'd like to see from Pryor October 13, 2009 Source: Lima News - "Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel and the critics of his quarterback, Terrelle Pryor, can agree on at least one thing. They all can see eye to eye on what would constitute a good game by Pryor. Talking about his sophomore quarterback at his weekly press conference on Tuesday, Tressel said, "Here's what would interest all of us (from Pryor): run for 110, throw for 250 and be 6-0. That's what the second half of the season goal is and we'll see if we can go after it."
In the first six games for the No. 7 Buckeyes (5-1, 3-0 Big Ten), Pryor has hit that target only once, rushing for 126 yards and throwing for 262 in a 38-0 win over Toledo the third game of the season. Pryor's 56 percent completion percentage and his average of 158 yards a game both rank 10th in the Big Ten, behind every starting quarterback in the conference except Illinois' Juice Williams. In two of Ohio State's last three games, Pryor has thrown for fewer than 100 yards and his completion percentage was below 50 percent for the second game this season when he hit only 5 of 13 for 87 yards in a 31-13 win over Wisconsin last Saturday.
Tressel indicated he thought Ohio State's lack of offense (164 total yards) against Wisconsin was an overall offensive problem, not just a quarterback problem, and said Pryor shouldn't shoulder an excessive amount of the blame. "I think the thing you do is understand that when things go just right, I probably didn't do it by myself and when things don't go the way you'd like, it probably didn't have everything to do with me," he said..."
Ross Homan, Kurt Coleman and Ray Small sat down with reporters at the weekly media luncheon. Homan reveals what happened on the personal foul following Jermale Hines' touchdown.
Expanding the Playbook: While they didn't show many of them Saturday against Wisconsin, senior wideout Ray Small says the Buckeyes have significantly expanded the playbook for quarterback Terrelle Pryor."This year we have 100 or some plays (in the playbook), which is something I've never see since I've been here," he said Tuesday."We've got Terrelle, we can do a lot of things."
One thing they can't do much of, apparently, is change plays at the line of scrimmage."I've never really seen Terrelle change the play unless it's an option play. Like if they're in cover three cover two, you check to a run. That's probably the only time he would ever change (the play)," Small said. (Source: The Ozone)
Bucknuts TV: Small Sets Record Straight: Ray Small talks about his breakthrough return as well as his past off-the-field issues.
'Dispatch' reporters offer their take on team October 13, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "...Headed toward a game at Purdue on Saturday, the OSU title float appears to be rolling. But does the engine have an annoying knock? Are the tires fully inflated? Beat reporters Ken Gordon and Tim May discuss their likes and concerns at this juncture:...
Gordon: I have no concerns with this defense. None. I have been writing this for weeks now, but they play with a rare passion and under-control intensity -- save for Coleman's helmet-first hit that drew a one-game suspension. The defensive line clearly is the strength, and credit the players for individually improving, as it's basically the same group as last year. Homan and Brian Rolle have been as advertised at linebacker, and the secondary rarely gets seriously tested because quarterbacks are under so much duress. If OSU's offense were as dominant as its defense, the Buckeyes would be a lock pick for a national title...
May: A lock pick? I don't know, that's what folks were saying about the 2006 team, and that lock got picked by Florida. But I see where you're going. The inconsistency of the offense is perplexing. The Buckeyes appeared to find something that quarterback Terrelle Pryor and his buddies were comfortable with against Illinois: the shotgun read option. But three games later, Wisconsin jumped all over that. As Pryor said after the game, though, the difference in that 88-yard touchdown drive just before halftime was the offense got downright aggressive, from the play-calling to the execution. Confounding for the coaches, the fans and probably even Pryor is the way he can throw such a marvelous pass as the one to DeVier Posey for the TD and then miss on easier throws.
Gordon: Pryor hinted Saturday at frustration with the play-calling, but until he learns to consistently hit receivers on those 8- to 15-yard patterns, he really can't complain, in my book. He's often high or low on those simple throws, sometimes because he doesn't get his feet set properly. I also think when he pops a couple of early runs, his juices get flowing and his overall game improves. So if I were an opposing defensive coach, I would take away Pryor's run lanes, particularly to the outside, as USC did, and take my chances against his arm. He is less accurate and is throwing more interceptions than he did as a freshman. After 15 starts, I thought he would be further along..."
Time to Start Thinking Differently with this OSU Defense October 13, 2009 Source: The Ozone - "Coming into the 2009 season the conjecture was that the OSU defensive line could be pretty good. Half way through the season, that is no longer conjecture...This is not the first time Ohio State's defense has looked like an elite unit midway through the season, but that hasn't always translated into dominant performances in bowl games. Buckeye fans have been burned before for thinking too highly of their team's defense, so it's understandable why some would be hesitant to buy the hype surrounding this 2009 group, even after the way they have performed through six games...
What Makes Them Great: ...What separates this group from the past three, and what makes it Jim Tressel's best group since 2003 is the play of the defensive front. With a healthy Lawrence Wilson and the emergence of youngsters like Nathan Williams and John Simon, the Buckeyes are deeper and more talented on the defensive line than they have been since the days of Will Smith, Tim Anderson and Darrion Scott...This defense has many outstanding attibutes, but what makes it great is its ability to pressure the quarterback. The Buckeyes have been relentless with their pressure this season, and it showed Saturday as they put Wisconsin quarterback Scott Tolzien on his back for a season-high six sacks. They now have 20 for the season, most in the Big Ten and fourth-most in the country... this year's group has been able to bring pressure from all angles as 12 different players have a recorded a sack for the Buckeyes in 2009...
Where They Can Improve: While most of their defensive numbers are in the top 10-15 in the nation after six games, the one number that jumps off the page is their opponent's third down conversion rate. The Buckeyes have been excellent at forcing three-and-outs this season, but they have also allowed teams to convert 33 of their 92 chances on third down (35.87%). That number happens to be the second best in the Big Ten, but only the 43rd best in the country...the biggest difference between the third quarter and the rest of the game was the Badgers ability to keep its offense on the field. In that quarter, Wisconsin was 3-of-5 on third down. The rest of the game they were just 3-of-14 converting third downs. Part of that was being a little fatigued from playing three quarters of the game, but if this OSU defense wants to take it to the next level, they have to do a better job of getting off the field on third down...
Areas for Concern: The one negative aspect of having a defensive line as dominant as this Ohio State group is that it can be difficult to learn a great deal about the guys playing behind them. Captain Kurt Coleman is obviously a playmaker and middle linebacker Brian Rolle appears to be the real deal, but it's hard to gauge how good the rest of the back seven can be when the front is in complete control of the game. Ross Homan and Austin Spitler looked like world-beaters Saturday against Wisconsin, but how much of that was due to the line's ability to keep blockers from getting to the second level?...one area that still might cause reason for concern is the cornerback position. What do we really know about them after six games?
Chimdi Chekwa, Devon Torrence and Andre Amos have all made some plays in the passing game this season, but none of them have had to cover a receiver very long because of the pressure applied by the defensive front. Amos got beat on a deep route against Wisconsin with no safety help over the top. The end result was an incompletion in the end zone, but it was very close to being a long touchdown for the Badgers.
While the Buckeyes have 10 interceptions as a team, none have come from the corner position..."(Our pressure) contributes to the corners being shutdown corners. Quarterbacks aren't throwing the ball their way really, and when they do its more rollout passes," said Rolle, who had a career-high 14 tackles Saturday...The fact they likely won't be tested, however, could turn out to be a bad thing for the Buckeyes if they run up against high-powered offense like Cincinnati's in a BCS bowl game..."
Dominating effort: defense bailing out Buckeyes October 13, 2009 Source: Toledo Blade - "There are already far too many statistics in football, but maybe they should add one more stat to the post-game ledger to properly credit Ohio State's defense for the way it performed in the 31-13 win over Wisconsin Saturday. That was a save by the Buckeyes' defense, and a more legitimate save than some we see in baseball, where often the work is more housekeeping in nature. What the Ohio State defense did was the preservation of life - the Buckeyes' Big Ten life, and their hopes of winning a fifth straight Big Ten championship. It was the football version of CPR, with multiple applications of the defibrillators.
On an afternoon when the Ohio State offense spent most of its limited time on the field flopping and floundering like a porpoise tossed on the beach at high tide, the Buckeyes' defenders worked doubletime and never wavered...Ohio State coach Jim Tressel credited his defense with putting Tolzien, who entered the game as the Big Ten's most efficient quarterback, under a constant threat of impending impact. "There were some times where he was under amazing duress and he still delivered the ball, and there were also some times where he didn't have a chance, and our guys were relentless," Tressel said...
"I thought we attacked. We didn't sit back and just wait for them, we attacked at the line," Ohio State defensive lineman Cameron Heyward said. "We just kept getting guys to the ball."...OSU middle linebacker Brian Rolle had a career-best 14 tackles..."That's what I like to do - it's physical, downhill and with no trickery - they're going to run the ball at you and you just have to stop them," Rolle said..."Sometimes you're not always going to get the best performance from your offense, so the defense and the special teams have to step up," Heyward said. "When you get that, you're going to have some success."..."
Is Ohio State's Jim Tressel or Terrelle Pryor More at Fault for Sad Offense? October 12, 2009 Source: Bleacher Report - "...the Ohio State Buckeyes took care of the formerly unbeaten Wisconsin Badgers 31-13 with the help of 21 points from returns. What makes Buckeye fans uneasy about the win is the continuing saga of offensive ineptitude. The offense looked dreadful in the first half and failed to sustain drives; don't forget QB Terrelle Pryor looked horrible once again. Now the message board chatter has flared up again as to who is at fault: the coach, Jim Tressel or the triggerman, Terrelle Pryor. Regardless of who is at fault, something clearly needs to be done, as the Buckeyes had only one successful offensive drive all game: the final drive of the first half. So who is really to blame for the struggles infuriating Buckeye Nation? Here's a look at both sides of the issue.
Reason to blame the coach: The scheme and playcalling lacks flow. Ever since Jim Tressel has been the coach at Ohio State, the Buckeyes have never had quite the offensive dominance that some of the powers like Florida and Texas have nowadays...Pundits have never felt Tressel has adopted an offensive game that can be successful in the modern game where the I-formation is an afterthought in most circles. Other arguments are that the problem lies in the offensive line, but that can also be a coaching issue. Tressel controls the offense, and must know that he must call plays to help take pressure off an offensive line...
Reason to blame the quarterback: The plays must be properly executed...When it comes to play calling, there is a flipside to the formula: it doesn't matter how good the plays are if they are not executed. And lately, Terrelle Pryor has been part of a firestorm where he has been unable to read defenses and throw properly, showing poor mechanics. Some have even gone on to say that he was better as a freshman. Now in all honesty, Pryor is still a good player, but his inconsistency is what is driving fans crazy. He makes amazing plays at a good rate, but he makes boneheaded plays just as often. He has not been able to read defenses, and looks slow and indecisive when running out of the pocket. One other thing that has become very apparent is he is afraid of contact and does not run through the middle of the defense when the hole is there. His runs are all to the outside, which make it much easier to defend if the defense strings the play out, which is more and more common from opponents. Even if Pryor never becomes the passer that everyone hoped he would be out of high school, he at least needs to improve his decision-making and run the plays that are called..."
Poll Results - Who is more to blame for Ohio State's offensive issues? Reader's Votes - Jim Tressel: 51.3% Terrelle Pryor: 48.7%..."
Wisconsin Game 10/10/09:
Offensive Player of the Week: Not awarded
Defensive Player of the Week: Kurt Coleman, S
Attack Force Award: Ross Homan, LB
Jim Parker Lineman Award: Not awarded
Special Units Player of the Week: Ray Small, WR/KR
Jack Tatum Hit of the Week Award: Not awarded
Scout Team Champions: Offense: Spencer Smith; Defense: Taylor Rice; Special Units: Ricky Crawford
PLAYitOFF.org The Campaign for a College Football Playoff - is a brand new site that is the headquarters for the campaign for a college football playoff to replace the current BCS national championship system. From the site, you can learn more about the arguments for and against a playoff, look at alternate proposals for a playoff and automatically send a letter lobbying for a playoff to the Presidents, Athletic Directors and Football Head Coaches of any or all of the 66 universities that comprise the six major conferences who make the decisions regarding football post-season! The site also includes information on which presidents, coaches, and athletic directors have previously come out in support of a playoff…and will soon include other features such as news feeds, chat forums, videos, petitions, and more.
Ted Ginn: A Life Greater Than Football October 9, 2009 Source: New York Times - "Spend a few days around Ted Ginn and it quickly becomes apparent how little of his identity revolves around football. Ginn is best known as the legendary Cleveland high school coach who has sent more than 100 students to college on scholarship and has five former players in the N.F.L. But Ginn's identity in Cleveland is that of a successful and innovative educator, as he has parlayed his status as a football and community icon and used it to open a public school in Cleveland for at-risk boys.
For the football coaches who've been around him, Ginn's evolution from his jobs as coach and security guard at Glenville High School to the executive director of Ginn Academy do not come as a surprise. "Oh gosh," Ohio State Coach Jim Tressel said. "You can't even count how many lives he's saved."
Tressel got to know Ginn back when Ginn was an assistant coach at Glenville and Tressel was coming up the ranks at Youngstown State. Tressel clicked with Ginn, who he said always had the players' best interests in mind. Ginn built his connection base around the country by bringing Glenville players on bus tours around the country and raising money to do so. They typically stop at about a dozen colleges and give the Glenville players, most of whom are from urban Cleveland, a window into what college life is like. "He could have left Glenville 100 times for 100 different things, but he's always been about helping kids," Ball State Coach Stan Parrish said. "From the first day I met him, he genuinely wanted to help kids. That's hard to find."
Along with coaching and running a school, Ginn has also taken numerous players in his house over the years..."I'm not going to say it was a rotating door, but we opened up our arms," said Ginn's wife, Jeanette. She added: "It was a lot of cooking, big pots. A lot of laundry and a lot of discipline making sure everyone was doing the right thing." That made for an active environment around the Ginn house, which included Ted Jr., who now plays for the Miami Dolphins. "We took them all in as family," Ginn Jr. said. "We weren't the richest people in the world, but we did what we could do to help people out."..."
"Believe me, of all the plays in football, when we kick off, I'm not sure I breathe until the play's over. Because you never know how that can go." - Coach Tressel
Bucknuts TV: Pryor Answers Questions
October 7, 2009: Terrelle Pryor talked to media members Wednesday evening after practice. "At no time last year or in the first five weeks this year had Pryor been made available to the media in the days leading up to a game. That changed Wednesday night when the sophomore Pryor and quarterbacks coach Nick Siciliano sat down to answer questions from the media who cover the team." Above is Bucknuts' video of the 13-minute interview session, click HERE to read Bucknuts' article on Pryor's progress." (Source: Bucknuts)
Sorry for eye-black: Quarterback Terrelle Pryor apologized to anyone he offended by wearing "Vick" -- a tribute to Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Mike Vick -- on his eye-black in OSU's opener against Navy on Sept. 5. "Maybe it was stupid to get involved in that," Pryor said. "Nothing against dogs, I love dogs and all that, (but Vick) was out of jail, and I looked up to him. He's a big role model, so that's why I did it. It's a learning experience. I didn't mean anything by it to anyone or anything like that. I apologize for it."...Pryor's final comment, when he said that OSU coach Jim Tressel really is too short to see Pryor's eyeblack, which is what Tressel said initially when asked about Pryor wearing Vick's name. The 6-foot-6 Pryor said he has to bend down to talk to Tressel. And he said if Tressel had seen the Vick tribute before he wore it, Tressel would have made him take it off.(Source: Columbus Dispatch/Cleveland Plain Dealer)
Caught in throws October 8, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Pryor knows he has a lot to learn about quarterback position, but he is making progress...Terrelle Pryor is the first to admit he is a work in progress as a passing quarterback. But the Ohio State sophomore said progress is being made. "The best word is, I feel I could hold my own on the quarterback position," Pryor said yesterday. "I'm not saying I'm the greatest; I'm not saying I'm bad. I feel I could hold my own, I could get the receivers the ball, and I feel I could take the team down the field. I feel confident in doing that."
What's still lacking, offensive coordinator Jim Bollman said, "for lack of a better term, and for the offense in general, is consistency. Play after play after play, to make great reads, make great decisions. "But I think you're seeing more and more of that. And I do see a lot of consistency in his play, in how he handles himself on the field, how he's operating the show, a lot of good things." Pryor was asked what being more consistent means to him...
Pryor says turnovers, not touchdowns, are his emphasis each week October 8, 2009 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - " Terrelle Pryor said nothing makes him angrier than an interception. So five times in five games this season, Ohio State's sophomore quarterback hasn't been happy. "All the interceptions I've thrown this year were stupid mistakes," Pryor said Wednesday. "Maybe one or two were high or got tipped, but I take the blame. They were just stupid mistakes, stuff we can't have going on. ... Coach always says take what they give you. It kind of has to come to you. You can't force it, because that's when the interceptions come. We saw the passes I tried to force in."
Fifteen starts into his career, with No. 16 coming against undefeated Wisconsin on Saturday, Pryor continues to search for the balance between his big-play ability and his smart-play instruction. If there was any doubt about the priorities of the Ohio State offense, Buckeyes' offensive coordinator Jim Bollman removed them Wednesday by saying "the number one thing, the number one thing, is no turnovers. No turnovers."..."
Big Ten Network: 100 Yards with Howard - Thaddeus Gibson
Next National championship October 7, 2009 Source: Duane Long Report - "I want to get out in front on this. I want to be the first to say it. The 2010 national champions will be the Ohio State Buckeyes...Change is occurring. Not as fast as some of us would like, but it is happening...Never has JT come under more fire than the firestorm that hit Columbus after another poor performance on offense against USC. Since then we are seeing more involvement from Darrell Hazel. The offense is different. I think we are not done seeing it evolve. It is not like this can happen overnight...I could not be more baffled by the flack Pryor is taking. I am looking at a young quarterback coming along...The bow to tie all this together is Miami, Penn State and Michigan at home. The Ohio State Buckeyes - 2010-2011 national champions..."
Jim Tressel on Cincinnati ranking ahead of Ohio State in the AP poll: Video
UC doesn't deserve higher ranking than Buckeyes October 8, 2009 Source: Dayton Daily News - "Until the Ohio State football team beats a top-5 foe — that surely will happen again in our lifetimes, won't it? — the national perception about the program isn't about to change. The consensus is that the Buckeyes are overrated, that their four straight Big Ten titles have come when the league has been at perhaps an all-time low and that even their 7-1 record against Michigan under Jim Tressel isn't a major achievement because part of it was built while their rival was in a coaching transition. But even the Mark Mays of the world would have to agree OSU has a right to be peeved over its treatment in The Associated Press poll after suddenly getting passed by Cincinnati this week..."
Rob Oller commentary: Upset with AP poll? It's not worth it October 7, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "...The AP poll no more helps determine the BCS national champion than a blind chimpanzee throwing darts at a board...Yet I am stupefied that a large number of fans still consider the AP poll to be more gospel than conversation starter...The AP poll's only real purpose is to stir the pot and perplex fans from one side of the nation to the other. In that regard, it does its job exceedingly well...Ohio State fans know where Adams and Conroy (two who ranked UC ahead of OSU) can go, not to mention Doug Lesmerises of The Plain Dealer in Cleveland. Lesmerises has Ohio State No. 13 and Cincinnati No. 4 while employing a voting system best described as a reflection of what has happened during the season rather than a prediction of who might win the national title...So chill out, Buckeyes fans. The first BCS rankings come out Oct. 18. That's the time to go on the attack. Until then, it's just Monopoly money.
Ohio St fans not happy trailing UC in AP Top 25 October 7, 2009 Source: Associated Press - "...On the Big East coaches call on Monday, UC coach Brian Kelly made light of the question of who would win a Battle for the Buckeye State. "You settle these questions on the field. They're all hypothetical, so who knows?" he said. "Ohio State doesn't play Cincinnati, though my son played (them) in PlayStation the other day, and Cincinnati won 91-0. So maybe we can use that."...
Almost immediately after the poll came out, radio talk shows in Columbus were flooded with outraged fans. On Twitter, blogs and Web sites, proud Ohio Staters called the rankings a travesty. They pointed out that the Buckeyes have met the Bearcats on the field three times this decade and have won all three by an average score of 29-11..."
"If the ball's inside the 20, we're going to take three delay of games."
- Coach Tressel responding to a question about kicker Aaron Pettrey's struggles inside the forty yard line.
Quote of the day: From the Crimson Quarry, an IU site: "My first reaction? Michigan is going to get slaughtered again this year. The Buckeyes are absolutely loaded, and took advantage of the Hoosiers even when IU was nominally making the right decisions. "
Big Ten thumbs up-thumbs down for Week 5: Thumbs up, Anderson Russell -- After losing his starting job to Jermale Hines earlier this season, Russell stepped up big for the suspended Kurt Coleman against Indiana. The senior safety tied for the team lead in tackles with six and recorded an interception and a fumble recovery in the victory. (Source: ESPN)
Offensive line boosted by freshman October 5, 2009 - "As Ohio State prepares to face Wisconsin this week, the Buckeyes know their depth chart on the offensive line grew one player deeper Saturday. Freshman Marcus Hall, considered by Rivals.com to be the sixth-best tackle prospect in the nation last recruiting season, played for the first time in the Buckeyes' 33-14 win at Indiana. He relieved starter J.B. Shugarts at right tackle for extended periods and helped spring Brandon Saine for a couple of big runs. "That was big for him," said junior right guard Bryant Browning, who like Hall is a Cleveland Glenville graduate. "And he was in there on Zach Boren's touchdown, and he was glowing on the sideline. He was talking about how unreal this is, how great this is. "I thought he did a great job. He always plays hard in practice, and he got the chance to show it."..."It was good to show the coaches that (Hall) can perform, that if someone goes down you can place him in there," Browning said. "He proved he can perform at the college level and get the job done."..." (Source: Columbus Dispatch)
Mr. Bucknuts Bucket of Bullets: According to one source very familiar with the Ohio State coaching staff, the OSU coach who is the best teacher on the staff is wide receiver coach Darrell Hazell. The source went on to say Hazell, from a technique and teaching standpoint, is the best coach he has ever been around. He lauded Hazell’s knowledge on the finer points of becoming a great wide receiver, and his ability to get his concepts across to the Buckeyes’ receivers. As to sideline stuff: Hazell isn't just calling some of the plays, he's calling a bunch of them. It was his idea to go almost-exclusively out of the shotgun against Illinois. The changing of the guard? Not really, but Hazell is heavily involved. Some of the grumpy reporters thought Tressel was just saying that to get the media/fans off his back. But we’re hearing Hazell has definitely been handed the keys to some extent. (Source: Bucknuts)
He's coming to Columbus: Big Ten official Players of the Week OFFENSE -- Wisconsin RB John Clay: Clay set career highs with 184 rushing yards and three touchdowns while matching a career best with 32 carries to lead Wisconsin to a road triumph at Minnesota. The sophomore running back surpassed his previous career high of 143 yards set earlier this year against Fresno State and recorded his third career game of 100 yards or more. After the Gophers took a 13-10 lead at halftime, Clay took over in the second half, gaining 159 of his 184 yards with a pair of one-yard scoring runs. The Wisconsin native leads the Big Ten with 116.4 rushing yards per game and earns player of the week accolades for the first time in his career. (Source: ESPN)
Nothing like playing: Orhian Johnson will welcome fellow safety Kurt Coleman back to the active roster this week, but Johnson will miss the role he had during Coleman's one-game suspension. Johnson, used primarily on special teams this season, played extensively for the first time as a safety in the nickel defense...Johnson, a redshirt freshman from St. Petersburg, Fla., said that as he took the field, "I wasn't feeling so much butterflies; it was more about excitement, about getting out there and playing football...I paid attention all week, asked coach (Paul Haynes, the safeties coach) a lot of questions, I came in and watched extra film," Johnson said. "I wanted to be ready just in case I faced those situations." (Source: Columbus Dispatch)
Scouting QB's is like Defusing Bombs... Only Riskier: I have watched several games that Terrelle Pryor has started at the high school and college level and in boot cases he has at times been able to simply seize games by the throat but, Pryor is too often inaccurate in the pocket, his passes lack consistent zip, he lacks hip torque on his throws that even when he's not rushed he tends to throw off his back foot, he lobs the ball and has a tendency to throw what a coaching friend of mine called 'Hospital Balls' because when the receiver drifts back and jumps to get to the ball the free safety will have the opportunity to spin his eyes like a slot machine jackpot... (Source: FanIQ)
Running into the wall: Indiana ran almost as much as it passed in the second half. Strange considering the Hoosiers trailed by two or three touchdowns the entire half. Coach Bill Lynch said his reason was self-preservation. "If you decide that, 'We can't run and we're just going to throw it,' then it can really get away from you with the kind of pass rushers they have," Lynch said. "It looks like you're giving up and you're not trying to win. That's not the case at all. "So we were determined we were going to keep trying to find some semblance of a running game, which was difficult." The Hoosiers netted 18 yards rushing on 26 carries that included three sacks. (Source: Columbus Dispatch)
What will they think of next: Script Ohio using CLUNKERS from "Cash for Clunkers on YouTube. On Bucknuts, they wrote: "one hundred cash for clunkers were lined up behind the Kasper Toyota store in Sandusky and spelled out “Script Ohio” perfectly!...The “Block O” flag you see is on the tallest flagpole in the state and it is the largest “Block O” flag in the world, at thirty feet times sixty feet. (Source: YouTube & Bucknuts)
Defensive hunger: This is where Ohio State is getting it done, and consistently. The shutouts against Toledo and Illinois were statement games coming off the valiant, if futile, effort against USC. Indiana, meanwhile, managed one decent drive against OSU's first string. The Buckeyes are dominating in all phases of the defense -- the line stuffing the run and pressuring the quarterback, the linebackers swarming to the ball, the defensive backs locking down the corners and the safeties are doing mostly well cleaning up. There are plenty of fine defenses around the country, and the Buckeyes merit mention among them. (Source: Columbus Dispatch)
He would have looked good in Scarlet and Gray: Ray Fisher showed his Glenville roots (routes?) by running through the Buckeye coverage teams all night. Fortunately, we had them out-Glenvilled with Rob Rose, Marcus Hall, Jonathan Newsome, Jermale Hines, Bryant Browning and Jermil martin. The best Glenville guys play for the BBC-The Big Boys Club. (Source: Bucknuts)
Big Ten Network Power Rankings: Ohio State bolsters case for top spot...The Good: Terrelle Pryor account for four TDs for the second time in three games and the defense was more impressive. (Source: Big Ten Network)
Big Ten Power Rankings: 1. Ohio State - It wasn't the prettiest game for the Buckeyes - particularly when it came to execution on special teams - but Ohio State's mediocre effort was still enough to dispose of Indiana with ease. Ohio State's defense has been nothing short of fantastic the entire season and the Buckeyes will surely be tough to beat down the stretch of the season. As of now, it looks like Ohio State has found its place as one of the best, if not the best, teams in the Big Ten. Last week ranking: 1 (Source: Buckeye Grove)
Game on road had feel of home: The Hoosiers attracted a respectable crowd of 51,500 to a rare night home game. But as usual, about half the crowd was wearing OSU scarlet rather than Indiana crimson. Call it the Buckeyes' own personal Red Roof Inn. And by the beginning of the fourth quarter, a chant of "O-H" "I-O" was making the rounds. "That was nice," coach Jim Tressel said. "You couldn't really tell (how many OSU fans were present) because of all the red as the game started, but you could tell as the game progressed that we had a good group out there." (Source: Columbus Dispatch)
Ohio State looking up at Cincinnati: Doug Lesmerises, who covers OSU for the Plain Dealer, and whose stuff I usually like, wrote: "Cincinnati is ranked ahead of Ohio State in the Associated Press poll, and deserves to be: The No. 8 Bearcats moved past the No. 9 Buckeyes this week in the AP poll for the first time since Nov. 21, 1951, when the 4-2-2 Buckeyes lost major style points coming off a 0-0 tie against Illinois...Of the 60 AP voters, 34 actually ranked Ohio State ahead of Cincinnati. And Ohio State still holds the edge where it matters, in the two polls that are part of the BCS. The coaches poll ranks Ohio State No. 8 and Cincinnati No. 10, and the Harris poll puts Ohio State No. 8 and Cincinnati No. 9. On my AP ballot, I had Cincinnati No. 4 and Ohio State No. 13; Ohio State is three spots higher for me this week, up from No. 16. Doug Lesmerises top 25 AP ballot. (Webmaster Note: "Doug, you had Cincinnati ranked 4th in the nation?") Let Doug know how you feel Comments. Here's one reader's comments: "Helen Keller is Doug Lesmerises's translator. Did Houston drop from #2 to #4 on your ballot this week, right below Cincinnati at #3?? The AP Poll has no respect to me anymore after seeing this clown's ballot week-in and week-out." (Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer)
Cincinnati better than Ohio State? One poll one Kelly think so: Rankings don't mean a whole lot this time of year, but Cincinnati fans are embracing the new poll results..."From my standpoint, you settle that on the field, just as Ohio State has settled it on the field," Cincinnati coach Brian Kelly said today when asked whether his team was the best in Ohio. "These are all just hypotheticals now, so who knows?" The point is moot for the time being. The odds against the two meeting in a bowl game are astronomical, and the Ohio State doesn't come back on Cincinnati's schedule until 2012. "By that time, hopefully we've continued to accelerate our program so Ohio State has something to gain by playing us," Kelly said. "In years past, it's been such that Ohio State has everything to lose, because they're supposed to beat Cincinnati. If we continue to win and play at a high level, I think that makes it an exciting matchup. Before, this wasn't much of a matchup."..." (Source: ESPN)
Was it actually a pick?: Remember the controversey at the end of the IU/TSUN game? MGoBlog.com had this: I don't know, man. I've seen the stills at Maize 'n' Brew, A Picture Story... Donovan Warren's Game Sealing Pick, and here are a couple high quality ones from UMGoBlog, Close-Up Pictures of Donovan Warren’s Late Game INT, and they seem to make a case, but nothing I saw in the video was particularly conclusive either way. My initial reaction live was "that's too bad, simultaneous possession" and my initial reaction when they reviewed it was "that's too bad, they'll overturn it if they can," which they could not. The only thing I can offer is that the referee who made the call had an angle no one else did, as he was running right at the play from the most advantageous viewpoint, so there's a possibility he saw what the stills suggest: Warren had possession first, at which point Belcher came in to grab the ball but only after Warren had established possession. If you ask me, though: Bill Lynch was right to toss his gum. I'd be livid if that happened to Michigan. (Source: MGoBlog.com)
Oregon strong-armed into reinstatement?: "Within days of Oregon announcing that LeGarrette Blount was suspended for the season last month, the senior running back's parents and a lawyer representing Blount spoke with Ducks athletic director Mike Bellotti to discuss possible reinstatement. (There is a video of Joe Schad and Robert Smith weighing in regarding the possible reinstatement of the Oregon RB and it includes the now "infamous punch" thrown by Blount at the end of the Bosie State game. (Source: ESPN)
SEC supervisor says 'our bad' for flag on UGA's Green: "Today, the SEC supervisor of officials admitted the official erred in throwing the flag. The penalty on Green came with 1:09 left in the game and after the UGA receiver had scored the go-ahead touchdown. Based on the replays shown at the time, there was no evidence whatsoever that Green celebrated excessively. However, the penalty resulted in the Bulldogs being forced to kick off from the 15-yard line. A 40-yard kickoff return by LSU's Trindon Holliday compounded the penalty, and then poor tackling/defense on Charles Scott's game-winning 33-yard touchdown run compounded the penalty situation even further..." Read the comments: Horrible, horrible penalty on A.J. Green(Source: collegefootballtalk.com/NBCSports)
Indiana Game 10/3/09:
Offensive Player of the Week: Brandon Saine, RB
Defensive Player of the Week: Anderson Russell, S
Attack Force Award: Austin Spitler, LB
Jim Parker Lineman Award: Bryant Browning, OG
Special Units Player of the Week: Jon Thoma, P
Jack Tatum Hit of the Week Award: TBA
Scout Team Champions: Offense: James Georgiades; Defense: Jamie Wood; Special Units: Ryan Schucks