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OHIO STATE SENIORS For Four Great Years
Adams, Mike OL Dublin, Ohio (Dublin Coffman)
Allen, Dionte DB Detroit, Mich. (St. Mary's)
Bain, Dan LB Virginia Beach, Va. (Cape Henry)
Bauserman, Joe QB Strasburg, Va. (Lincoln)
Blankenship, Evan DL Monaca, Pa. (Center Area)
Brewster, Michael OL Orlando, Fla. (Edgewater)
DeLande, Bo RB Hilliard, Ohio (Davidson)
Dornbrook, Garrett Medina, Ohio (Medina)
Ebner, Nate Dublin, Ohio (Hilliard Davidson)
Erwin, Derek P Tiro, Ohio (Buckeye Central)
Evege, Donnie DB Huber Heights, Ohio (Wayne)
Herron, Dan RB Warren, Ohio (Harding)
Jackson, Tony LB Columbus, Ohio (Westland)
Matheney, Don DL Lancaster, Ohio (Lancaster)
Maxwell, Chris DB Maineville, Ohio (Kings)
Moeller, Tyler LB Cincinnati, Ohio (Colerain)
Oliver, Nate DB 72 Cleveland, Ohio (St. Edward)
Posey, DeVier WR Cincinnati, Ohio (LaSalle)
Roark, Chris WR Kettering, Ohio (Alter)
Shugarts, J.B. OL Klein, Texas (Klein)
Smith, Spencer TE Cincinnati, Ohio (Colerain)
Sweat, Andrew LB Washington, Pa. (Trin)
Thomas, Solomon DE West Chester, Ohio (Lakota West)
Williams, Nathan DL Washington C.H., Ohio (Miami Trace)
OSU Insider November 28, 2011 Source: Columbus Dispatch
What's hot? The prospects for freshman quarterback Braxton Miller under the direction of Meyer. Against Michigan, Ohio State rolled out its full air force for the first time this season, and if Miller had been sharper, who knows what heights it would have achieved. He did complete 14 passes for 235 yards, and he ran for 100. But there was so much more left on the table despite the Buckeyes’ 34 points.
What's not hot? The Buckeyes’ tackling, once again. Trying to gain a bead on Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson was going to be a chore to begin with, and he made the banged-up Buckeyes look foolish at times. Then throw in the fact the scatter-armed passer completed 14 of 17 attempts, and it made the task of throttling the Wolverines so much tougher. Wisconsin’s Russell Wilson probably will be first-team all-Big Ten, but Robinson would be first-team all-Most Feared.
What went right? The OSU offensive game plan. Instead of butting their heads against a metal door, coordinator Jim Bollman and staff were intent on throwing over and around it. There were passes to the wide receivers, the tight ends, the backs — there even was a well-run screen to Jordan Hall for all those folks screaming this year that screens would be the salvation of the offense. And, on a third-down play that wound up being a sack before the Buckeyes’ second field goal, the pass-run option was a good call; it just was covered. Too bad it wasn’t called on second down.
Drawing board If coordinator Jim Heacock and the defense had it to do over again, they likely wouldn’t have dropped off into a safe, middle zone to try to corral Robinson on the TD pass to Martavious Odoms over the middle in the third quarter. Robinson had all day, and when he did fire, two Buckeyes defenders collided, taking themselves out of coverage. It just wasn’t meant to be for the defense down the stretch.
Catch that? After missing his first two field-goal attempts in September, Drew Basil went 15 of 16 the rest of the season, hitting two on Saturday. Yet he and the Buckeyes will be haunted by the point-after that was blocked at Purdue, setting the stage for overtime and the three-game losing streak to end the season, the longest OSU skid in Big Ten play since 2004...
Braxton Miller 2011 Highlights of his freshman year at Ohio State
OSU Insider November 21, 2011 Source: Columbus Dispatch
Who's hot? Freshman quarterback Braxton Miller, who deserved more than he got in the loss to Penn State. For example, he put a deep pass to Corey Brown right on the receiver’s hands in the fourth quarter, but Brown again couldn’t pull one in. And he had the Buckeyes coming off the goal line with some steam late in the third quarter before Carlos Hyde’s fumble. Yet Miller has completed better than 50 percent of his passes in just two of seven Big Ten games.
What's not hot? Ohio State’s starts. The Buckeyes have found themselves trailing by double figures in five games this season, winning just one (against Indiana). In fact, the Buckeyes have fallen behind 10-0 in each of the past three games, which denotes a less-than-urgent offensive approach and less-than-crisp tackling on defense. That’s about what you would expect from a 6-5 team.
What went right? At least when the OSU defense figured how to contain the wildcat, it stopped giving up big plays, shutting out the Nittany Lions in the second half. But it had already given up 20 points to a mediocre offense that had come in barely averaging that many. This is the season OSU is paying a price for the changing of the guard: 10 new starters on Saturday compared to the defense of a year ago.
Back to the Drawing board Too late now. The Buckeyes’ passing offense is what it is for 2011, a combination of the occasional snap, look and throw — you know, a real play, like the touchdown pass to Jake Stoneburner on Saturday — and the scrambling, derring-do of Miller. The protection hasn’t always been good, the decisions by Miller haven’t always been quick and the routes run by a new set of receivers haven’t always been tight. Maybe what’s needed is a new drawing board.
Dinged up Safety Christian Bryant and Brown apparently suffered shoulder injuries and had to leave Saturday’s game, but they are expected to be available against Michigan. The situation with linebacker Andrew Sweat, meanwhile, remains day to day as he tries to recover from a concussion suffered at Purdue.
Catch that? Despite having a quarterback who is an exceptional scrambler, the Buckeyes are 116th in the country in sacks allowed (3.27 per game). But then, what do you expect from an offense that is 118th in passing (114-yard average) and 108th in total yards (315-yard average)?
Eleven Warriors' Ramzy Nasrallah Breaks Down Urban Meyer To Ohio State-AUDIO November 30, 2011 Source: Aaron Torres Sports - Amongst the topics Ramzy and I discussed, included the following: - The roster that Urban Meyer inherits, and why offensive line play could be key in year one. - How good is the Big Ten that Urban Meyer is walking into? Significantly better than 3-4 years ago? - Who will fill out Urban Meyer’s staff? Luke Fickell is an obvious, but who beyond that do we know? Who do we expect? - What role will Gene Smith play in the program going forward? Also, why Ramzy believes that the worst of NCAA sanctions are probably behind the school. - Finally, what are realistic expectations of year one of the Meyer era? What is the ceiling of his potential?...
Meyer has strong compliance record November 30, 2011 Source: Columbus Dispatch - As Gene Smith did his due diligence before offering Urban Meyer the Ohio State coaching job, Meyer’s record on the field was only part of the criteria. Considering that NCAA compliance failures were the undoing of Jim Tressel and that proper player conduct off the field has been a long-stated priority, those were important areas to examine. Compliance proved not to be much of an issue, but a spate of player arrests at Florida was. According to The Orlando Sentinel, 25 Gators players were arrested a total of 31 times during Meyer’s six years at Florida. Most of the charges were minor, such as underage drinking, and were dismissed or reduced. But a few were serious, including a felony burglary charge against quarterback Cam Newton. Meyer suspended Newton for the 2008 season. Newton left Florida and resurfaced at Auburn, where he won the 2010 Heisman Trophy and led the Tigers to the national title...
Braxton Miller named Big Ten freshman of year November 30, 2011 Source: Columbus Dispatch - Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller today was named the Big Ten’s Thompson-Randle El freshman of the year award winner by the conference. Miller, from Huber Heights (Wayne), Ohio, was elevated to No.1 quarterback the fourth week of the season and started the last nine games. His stats weren’t gaudy – 1,692 total yards, with 11 touchdown pass and seven rushing TDs – but his ability to make plays, especially with his feet, was eye-catching. "Probably the sky is the limit for him," OSU quarterbacks coach Nick Siciliano said. "The kid pretty much can do any and everything you ask of him, at least that’s within reason." Miller capped his first regular season with his best overall performance, too, 335 yards of total offense (235 passing) in the 40-34 loss at Michigan Saturday...
Tressel looks for 'great things' from Meyer November 30, 2011 Source: 610 WTVN - New Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer is getting high praise from the man who guided the Buckeye program for 10 years. In an exclusive interview on 610 WTVN legend Bob Conners' final show, Jim Tressel said he expects Meyer to do "great things" at Ohio State. "Urban has done a great job wherever he's been," Tressel said. "He'll come in and do a good job with a great group of kids."...
Expect Ohio State’s style to be ‘relentless’ November 30, 2011 Source: Columbus Dispatch - As Urban Meyer works the next nine months to shape Ohio State football to fit his vision, it might be smart to make sure the sprinkler system is in working order at the Les Wexner Football Complex. When the newly named OSU coach was asked to describe the style he wants in a team, he said, "I think ‘Go hard.’ I mean, like relentless. I want a bunch of coaches that coach like their hair’s on fire, and I want a football team that goes for four to six seconds (per play) with relentless effort. "You do that, you have a chance to win in every game you play." That’s the kind of talk that fires up Chris Spielman. Having worked with Meyer as an ESPN analyst, the former Ohio State All-American described what the new coach will bring to the program: "Two national championships, organization, toughness." In other words, Meyer has a resume, a recipe and a resolve...
Who Will Fill Out Meyer’s Staff: Defense November 29, 2011 Source: The Ozone - He said he wants assistant coaches who coach with their hair on fire, which certainly eliminates some candidates. One person it didn’t eliminate was Luke Fickell, who accepted Meyer’s offer to remain on staff at Ohio State after his one season as the interim head coach. Fickell’s expertise will obviously be on the defensive side of the ball, but we don’t yet know exactly what his role will be. Here is a look at Fickell and other potential candidates who could fill out Meyer’s staff on defense at Ohio State...
Who Will Fill Out Meyer’s Staff: Offense November 29, 2011 Source: The Ozone - One of his first tasks will be to assemble a team of what he calls "the best assistant coaches in the country." Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith said the University will give him the resources he needs, which could put the Buckeyes on the same playing field as SEC powers like Alabama and LSU when it comes to paying assistant coaches. Many of Meyer’s former top assistants will not be available to join him in Columbus because they have already become head coaches elsewhere...We put together a list of candidates who could reasonably join Meyer in Columbus, starting with the offense. Most of these names have either been linked to Ohio State or would be natural choices for Meyer when filling out his coaching staff...
Football recruit switches to Buckeyes November 29, 2011 Source: Columbus Dispatch - After initially issuing an oral commitment to the University of Miami, wide receiver Ricquan Southward of Lakeland, Fla., pledged to the Buckeyes a day before Meyer was introduced to the public. Although OSU had yet to confirm its impending hiring of the former Florida coach, Southward said his decision had nothing to do with his new coach. "No, it didn’t," Southward told The Dispatch. "I like him as a coach, though. I have been a Gator fan forever, but he didn’t affect my decision (to switch to OSU) at all." At his inaugural news conference, Meyer and athletic director Gene Smith made reference to how important it will be for Meyer to immediately hit the recruiting trail. Meyer said he would be making recruiting phone calls shortly after the news conference... Ohio State gets oral commitment from Cincinnati defensive end Adolphus Washington, ranked as Ohio's top recruit November 22, 2011 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - Defensive end Adolphus Washington, ranked as the No. 15 player in the Class of 2012 by Scout.com and the No. 74 player by Rivals.com, announced this morning that he will attend Ohio State... (Washington, 6'6"240lbs is also the #1 ranked player in the state of Ohio)...
Cincinnati recruit picks Ohio State, expects to play for Meyer November 22, 2011 Source: Columbus Dispatch - Blue chip defensive end prospect Adolphus Washington committed this morning to sign a national letter of intent with Ohio State in February -- and then forecast who he thinks he’ll be playing for when he arrives in Columbus. "I believe Urban Meyer," the Cincinnati Taft standout said. "I hope so." He wasn’t slamming current head coach Luke Fickell. Washington was just reading the tea leaves that tell him that Meyer, who won two national championships at Florida and grew up for a while in Cincinnati, is going to be the next OSU head coach when the dust settles in the next couple of weeks...
AD: Buckeyes won’t turn down bowl November 22, 2011 Source: Associated Press - If the NCAA allows Ohio State to go to a bowl game, the Buckeyes will pack their bags. Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said Tuesday that Ohio State would not penalize itself by keeping the football team from making a postseason trip as a way of mitigating potential NCAA sanctions. In an exchange of text messages with The Associated Press, Smith said, "Cannot speculate on what they (the NCAA) may do. No, we do not intend to self impose a post season sanction." There has been speculation that the NCAA might hand Ohio State a bowl ban in addition to its other penalties. College sports’ ruling body is still deciding Ohio State’s sanctions for several instances of players accepting improper benefits and coach Jim Tressel not revealing knowledge of violations and playing ineligible players. Tressel was forced out on May 30...
Some Adjustments to Future Football Schedules November 22, 2011 Source: OSU Official Site - Gene Smith, The Ohio State University Director of Athletics, announced today a number of future football schedule adjustments, including the addition of games against the University of North Carolina and Florida A&M University and the cancelling of a home-and-home series with the University of Tennessee. The scheduling news, in order of occurrence:...
Ohio State true freshman LB Ryan Shazier (#10) makes his first career start against Penn State. He led the team with 15 tackles and was awarded Big Ten freshman of the week.
Meyer hire now more important than bowl November 21, 2011 Source: Mansfield News Journal - Win or lose at Michigan, putting off a coaching change until after a bowl game would make it tougher to salvage the recruiting season. The 2001 class wasn't impacted when Jim Tressel took over that year in mid-January, but there was no sense that John Cooper would be fired until it happened on Jan. 2, and that class --no one ever questioned Coop's recruiting prowess -- had already taken shape...
Why Ohio State can't follow Miami's lead November 21, 2011 Source: ESPN - When Miami announced Sunday night that it would self-impose a bowl ban in response to an NCAA investigation, many soon turned their eyes to the Buckeyes of Ohio State. Like Miami, Ohio State has been in hot water with the NCAA. And like Miami, Ohio State has a 6-5 record and isn't headed to a marquee bowl game. Miami's self-imposed penalty was widely seen as one that would go over well with the NCAA and its infractions committee. Colleague Arash Markazi pointed out on Twitter that had USC done the same thing in 2009, it would likely be playing in a BCS bowl this year rather than staying home for the postseason. Why shouldn't Ohio State follow Miami's lead? For starters, imposing a bowl ban would be inconsistent with Ohio State's approach to the NCAA violations. The school has been cooperative with the NCAA throughout the process -- a tactic that should help with penalties -- but it has maintained a minimize-until-forced-to-maximize strategy. Athletic director Gene Smith has been adamant that the school's issues are isolated incidents and not a systematic problem. To suddenly announce a bowl ban would be a departure from the strategy. It would come across as a sign of fear and panic. Smith all along has said he doesn't believe the violations will merit a postseason ban. While Ohio State has been respectful and cooperative during the process, it has also placed the burden on the NCAA to prove how significant the violations are...
11W Recruiting Notebook November 16, 2011 Source: Eleven Warriors - In this week's segment, we break out our first B1G Recruiting Rankings, and while you'll be happy with where the Buckeyes sit, you won't be happy with who's at the top...We'll also discuss the latest on the elite Cincinnati Taft duo, Adolphus Washington and Dwayne Stanford, and which players the Buckeyes expect in town for their match-up against the Nittany Lions of Penn State...
Pryor 2008 vs Miller 2011 (YTD) November 14, 2011 Source: Eleven Warriors - I will continue to update this as the season goes on, but it's pretty interesting to take a look at Terrelle Pryor's freshman year in 2008 and Braxton Miller's freshman year in 2011. Keep in mind Miller didn't play in the Akron game, while Pryor played in every game, so we will compare by games played in by the individual, not team games. Here is your chart through 9 games:
As you can see, the numbers are eerily similar. With a better wide receiving corps, rushing attack, and full roster of players during his tenure as starter, the staff let Terrelle Pryor pass the ball a bit more than they have let Miller thus far, leading to more attempts and passing yards. If you take yards per attempt for Miller and bring him up to 115 attempts, he's right around 849 yards total, just short of Pryor's mark. Note TP's better yards/attempt average by a small margin, while Miller's yards/completion is significantly higher. Also, Miller has more TD passes. Miller has been a slightly more effective runner with 13 more attempts
OSU still shooting for title November 15, 2011 Source: Toledo Blade - Buckeyes zero in on final 2 games...Mathematically, Ohio State is not out of the picture, but the Buckeyes are well in the background of any Big Ten title shot, and their image is fading. With Leaders Division front-runner Penn State coming to Ohio Stadium on Saturday and a season-ending trip to face rival Michigan following, the Buckeyes will hang on to that dwindling thread...
The Jerry Sandusky interview: The complete interview Costas conducted with Sandusky
Penn State's troubles are just beginning
Posey's Emotional Return Could Spark Buckeyes on Senior Day November 14, 2011 Source: The Ozone - "He's unbelievable in how he's handled this adversity he's been through," OSU receivers coach Stan Drayton said. "This has been extremely hard on this young man. You close the door and he bleeds on you." After missing the first five games of the season because of his suspension stemming from the memorabilia-for-tattoos scandal that rocked Ohio State last December, Posey was hit with an additional five games for his involvement with now disassociated booster Bobby DiGeronimo...
Indy as far away as the moon for Buckeyes November 14, 2011 Source: Lancaster Eagle Gazette - It's only 65 miles from West Lafayette to Indianapolis, site of the inaugural Big Ten Championship Game. After Ohio State dug its latest grave in Ross-Ade Stadium, which has become one big burial plot for the Buckeyes, it might as well be 65 light years. Had they taken care of business against Purdue, they'd be in the driver's seat of the Leaders Division, two wins away from playing for the conference title. But they didn't. And now they're going to need a miracle, something akin to Miller's touchdown heave against Wisconsin or offensive coordinator Jim Bollman suddenly turning into Bill Walsh...
NCAA decision won't beat bowl-bid deadline: Buckeye Leaves November 13, 2011 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - The NCAA Committee on Infractions has a meeting scheduled for Dec. 10, but Ohio State asked for an earlier teleconference to be held the week on Nov. 28. Even if that occurs, the logistics behind the final writing and reviewing of a decision means rulings always take at least 10 days to two weeks to complete after the hearing. So even an ideal situation means Ohio State won't know until the second week of December, and maybe several weeks after that. Once bowl bids are accepted, there's no way if a bowl ban is applied -- in a worst-case scenario for Ohio State -- that it could be applied to this season...
As center Mike Brewster said, the absence of Corey "Philly" Brown with an ankle injury hurt Saturday. But junior tight end Jake Stoneburner was still there. Yet his only action in the passing game occurred when he juggled and nearly caught Miller's first pass, which had tipped off the hands of intended receiver T.Y. Williams. It appears the Buckeyes don't trust Miller throwing into the middle of the field. Still, ignoring Stoneburner as a weapon is hard to understand...
Blown Coverage Costs Buckeyes in Overtime November 13, 2011 Source: The Ozone - "The communication was a problem," Barnett said after the game. "Just guys talking to guys that aren't paying attention. Guys not paying attention. I don't know. We've just got to play better and get focused in. We can't take anything for granted. Every play is the most important." It looked like Barnett and fellow safety Christian Bryant had gotten mixed up on the play and things broke down when Marve scrambled out of the pocket to his right. Bryant was late getting back and Barnett couldn't get there fast enough to make a play on Bush.
"I'm going to have to see what happened in film," Bryant said. "I think it was a communication issue to be honest with you but I'm not really sure what happened with that play." If it was a communication issue, this would be the second time in three games that a breakdown has cost the Buckeyes a lead late in the fourth quarter. It happened two weeks ago against Wisconsin, when Ohio State allowed two fourth-quarter touchdown passes from Russell Wilson to wideout Jared Abbrederis...
Some Things I Think on Sunday Afternoon November 13, 2011 Source: The Ozone - 1. Mewhort's future should probably be at tackle...; 2. It might be time for a change in the secondary...; 3. Ryan Shazier has to stay on the field...; 4. Nathan Williams injury may have been the difference for this team...; ...
OSU Insider November 14, 2011 Source: Columbus Dispatch
Who's hot? Braxton Miller, at least as the miracle man. His planned running, his scrambling and finally his ridiculous fourth-down touchdown pass to Jordan Hall almost pulled the Buckeyes out of the fire at Purdue. Who knew they couldn't block well enough to convert a simple point-after kick? And who knew the 2011 OSU offense would dissolve into letting a freshman quarterback just sort of do his thing when things get tight?
What's not hot? Geez, there have been enough hints dropped already — the passing game, duh! That is, if that's what the Buckeyes still call it. For some reason on a windy day, they decided the prudent approach to pass plays was winging it deep instead of chipping away — like Purdue did — at the edges, underneath and in the intermediate middle zone where OSU apparently is afraid to throw. With the Boilermakers unashamedly stuffing the tackle box with eight or nine defenders, they had to be laughing at OSU's inability to exploit it.
What went right? Nothing for OSU, at least on a full-game basis. The Buckeyes came out predictable on offense, thinking they could shove the heretofore pliable Purdue run defense out of the way. But by the time OSU gained a first down — in the second quarter — Purdue was up 10-0. The OSU defense evidently put on its Teflon-coated gloves instead of the tackling ones. How else to explain all of the misses early? The defense gained a grip, limiting Purdue to a field goal in the second half, but in overtime lost it again, especially on the Robert Marve third-down scramble that kept the winning TD drive alive. But yes, it was another flat start for the Buckeyes — something that coach Luke Fickell might hear about from athletic director Gene Smith in a few weeks during his job review.
Back to the Drawing board The wildcat offense has possibilities, but not unless the Buckeyes introduce more elements and threats than just the growl of the running back after taking the direct snap. As Daniel Herron has said many times, he can throw it. But on Saturday, the Buckeyes lined up in the wildcat seven times, the first being a 25-yard run by Jordan Hall that put in motion the TD drive on their first possession of the second half. One problem: The other five official carries by Herron or Hall netted 17 yards (another 7-yard gain by Herron was negated by penalty). Another problem: The wildcat takes the ball out of the hands of OSU's most dangerous weapon — Miller.
Catch that? T.Y. Williams did. Many people wrote him off after watching him drop pass after pass during preseason practices. But with Corey Brown back home with a high-ankle sprain, Williams was the surprise starter along with Chris Fields at wide receiver. And it was Williams' comeback catch on third-and-16 in overtime that at least gave the Buckeyes a chance. Too bad it was only for 15 yards, causing OSU to settle for a field goal, trumped moments later by Purdue's winning touchdown.
This week's challenge Ohio State and Penn State are two aerodynamically challenged teams. Penn State is ranked 87th nationally in passing offense and OSU is 118th (only triple-option teams Navy and Army are worse). OSU has thrown 13 TD passes, Penn State eight. By contrast, Houston leads the nation with 41. So this game will be like a trip into yesteryear, with two troubled programs led by interim coaches trying to prove their worth before time runs out.
• Ohio State has received a more serious "failure to monitor" charge from the NCAA for its inaction regarding former booster Bobby DiGeronimo.
• Ohio State self-imposed a loss of five football scholarships total over the next three years. That's a total of five, not a total of 15.
• The failure-to-monitor charge does not come with required penalties. A bowl ban is possible, but not assured. More severe scholarship losses imposed by the NCAA may be more possible.
• Ohio State would like the NCAA Committee on Infractions to consider the case during the week of Nov. 28 and would like a final ruling on all of the school's NCAA issues as soon as possible. The committee's next scheduled meeting in person isn't until Dec. 10.
• Ohio State president Dr. Gordon Gee is disappointed with the situation and told athletic director Gene Smith that he did not do enough in the school's handling of DiGeronimo.
• DiGeronimo disputes some of the Ohio State claims and said he received "mixed signals" from the school regarding his actions as a booster...
Ohio State Gives Up Five Football Scholarships November 11, 2011 Source: NYT/Associated Press - The N.C.A.A. accused Ohio State for the first time of a "failure to monitor" for permitting a booster to continue to have contact with players after he was involved in N.C.A.A. problems earlier in the year...
NCAA hits Ohio State with big charge November 11, 2011 Source: Columbus Dispatch - Booster issue prompts school to cut five football scholarships...Ohio State University's football scandal has moved into troubling territory that could lead to tougher penalties, after the NCAA charged the school with failing to monitor a longtime booster. Yesterday's big developments:...
Too good not to watch again! Braxton Miller's 81yd TD run vs IU
The Smartest Guys in the Room November 7, 2011 Source: Eleven Warriors - Ramzy Nasrallah writes:..."There isn't too much mystery about what comprises ESPN's journalistic standards: It's an entertainment company that contains an inappropriately-named news division which operates solely on the premise of delivering the content that will generate the highest traffic...From a college football standpoint, ESPN eschewed journalistic standards the very second it began selectively investing in some of the entities that it participate in its content...Consider its Tatgate coverage: Ohio State is second to Texas..."
What’s hot? The running game. Any time a team has three players rush for more than 100 yards in the same game (running backs Daniel Herron and Carlos Hyde and quarterback Braxton Miller) it’s cause for a pat on the back, no matter the opponent. The Buckeyes gained a season-high 346 yards against Indiana, their fourth straight with 211 or more. Their average is 204.33, fourth best in the Big Ten.
What’s not hot? The passing game. Heck, it’s even eating into the rushing stats. Miller was a mere 5 of 11 against Indiana, for 55 yards and an interception. He also was sacked six times, accounting for most of his 41 yards lost rushing. Look at it this way: In five Big Ten games, the Buckeyes have completed just 31 passes, and 12 of those came in the league-opening loss to Michigan State. OSU is 118th in the nation in passing (115.44-yard average).
What went right? Drew Basil’s field-goal tries. He now has made 12 straight after hitting two Saturday. You think Alabama would try to get him in a trade today if such things went on in college football? Punter Ben Buchanan averaged 42 yards on his two boots. He already has punted 50 times this season, six more than all of last year, and OSU is fourth in the league in net punting (37.84-yard average).
Drawing board The second-half defense. In three of the last four games, the Buckeyes have let the opponent drive to lead-taking or tying scores in the second half. Travis Howard delivered the big interception when needed in the fourth quarter, but how the Hoosiers got a man open down the middle for the tying TD in the third was mind-blowing.
Catch that? True freshman Antonio Underwood took Shugarts’ place and appeared to play well. He helped launch Hyde on a 47-yard run after the Howard interception. Hyde ran for the clinching TD moments later.
Up next Purdue, which was showing signs of viability until getting mauled at Wisconsin on Saturday. The Boilermakers are 83rd nationally in total offense and 74th in total defense, just about right for a 4-5 team. More to the point for this week’s game, Purdue is 10th in the Big Ten in rushing defense and, well, see above in "What’s Hot?"
Injuries, youth help explain plight of Ohio State receivers November 10, 2011 Source: Columbus Dispatch - During training camp, Ohio State’s young receivers were a revelation. New position coach Stan Drayton coaxed and cajoled his players relentlessly. Receivers took turns almost every day making a dazzling catch. But as the Buckeyes season hits the home stretch, those promising days of August seem long ago. Injuries, youth and an extended suspension to their one proven receiver have conspired to make the 2011 receiving corps look like they’ve been plucked, at least statistically, from a Woody Hayes offense of the 1950s...
Ohio State countdown: Buckeyes are keeping turnovers down November 9, 2011 Source: The News Herald - 10. A lot has been made of Ohio State's offense, which has been anything but balanced and has been iffy, if not bad, at times. Lost in the shuffle is an important statistic — the Buckeyes have turned the ball over only 10 times in nine games this season. Six fumbles have been lost, and four interceptions have been thrown.
9. During the Buckeyes' current three-game winning streak, OSU's offense has turned the ball over three times. They didn't turn it over at Illinois and had only one give-away against Wisconsin. QB Braxton Miller threw an interception and fumbled early — which helped Indiana take a 10-0 lead last Saturday — but it didn't end up hurting the Buckeyes in a 34-20 victory.
8. On the flip-side, Ohio State has 14 takeaways this year — 10 interceptions and four fumble recoveries. A plus-four turnover margin is certainly a big reason why Ohio State has a 6-3 record this year. Taking care of the ball and taking it away from other teams are game-changers.
ESPN’s Jay Bilas: The Penn State Scandal Has Been A "Conspiracy Of Cowards" November 9, 2011 Source: Sports Grid - One of the worst things about this is the fact that Penn State officials knew of the accusations against Sandusky (since 1998, actually), and forbade him from bringing kids on campus. Which basically says, "We know there’s strong evidence you’re molesting kids, but if you’re going to do it, don’t do it here." The sheer lunacy of this is also something Bilas discussed...
Buckeye 12-Pack: The Indiana Game November 9, 2011 Source: Waiting For Next Year - Each week after re-watching the Ohio State game I bring you my take-aways from the game in a little something I call the Buckeye 12-Pack...
Ohio State football coach Luke Fickell wants more turnovers from his defense November 9, 2011 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - As for the turnovers, the Buckeyes have created 14 and given up 10 this season. That plus-four margin ranks Ohio State 31st in the country, but after finishing in the top six in turnover margin each of the past three years, is that good enough heading into Saturday's game at Purdue? "My opinion would be that we probably haven't got as many defensively, and we've done a decent job offensively at not turning the football over," Fickell said Tuesday...
Next 3 key for OSU November 8, 2011 Source: Toledo Blade - Left for dead, Buckeyes still alive in hunt for title...
Could the ‘Pistol’ Save Ohio State from Itself? November 8, 2011 Source: The Ozone - There was a blank look on Braxton Miller's face following Ohio State's 10-7 loss to Michigan State. The Buckeyes had just dropped a very winnable game in their own stadium to open Big Ten play and it was all because...
Buckeyes content to be one-dimensional November 7, 2011 Source: Associated Press - Ohio State embraces being one-dimensional. The Buckeyes run, run and run some more — and have found success doing it. Over their last three games, they’ve run the ball 155 times for 825 yards — an average of 275 yards a game — and not so coincidentally have won all three..."People know we’re going to run and we’re going to continue to do it anyway," center Mike Brewster said after Saturday’s 34-20 victory over Indiana...
Buckeyes need to clean some things up November 7, 2011 Source: Mansfield News Journal - Youth is partly responsible for the defensive drop-off, but while junior lineman John Simon is the only fulltime starter back, most of the starting 11 saw significant playing time last season. And there's really no excuse for allowing an IU offense with 15 freshmen or sophomores in the two-deep to convert on 10 of 17 third downs...
Bruising Buckeyes prove they’ll try to run through November November 6, 2011 Source: Akron Beacon Journal - The Buckeyes made it clear with their 34-20 victory over Indiana that they have no interest in throwing the ball again until the spring game. Why bother? When they put Braxton Miller in the shotgun near the goal line Saturday with five receivers spread sideline to sideline, the Hoosiers simply blitzed six and easily got the sack. Either Miller failed to identify the blitz and find his hot receiver or the hot receiver went cold. Either way, offensive coordinator Jim Bollman made it clear it should’ve been an easy read for somebody. Bollman learned from that mistake, and on the next play went back to the old reliable quarterback draw. Miller scored the touchdown — on third-and-goal from the 20...
Purdue could be boiling mad when it plays OSU November 6, 2011 Source: LimaOhio.com - When Ohio State goes to Purdue this Saturday, it will be the second consecutive week the Buckeyes have faced an opponent still stinging from an epic beating in its most recent game. Purdue lost 62-17 to Wisconsin on Saturday and gave up 605 yards of offense to the Badgers. The 62 points is the most ever scored against the Boilermakers...
"You know what, recruitment at Ohio State is bigger than any person or situation. The brand Ohio State will be here longer than me or any coach. When you're out recruiting, you're honest. You're recruiting the kids who want to come to Ohio State. At the end of the day, that's the kids you're going to get." - TEs Coach & Recruiting Coordinator John Peterson
Inside Buckeye Football Week 8 - Wisconsin by 28Buckeye
Offensive as a blocker, could Ohio State's Zach Boren make an impact as a linebacker? November 4, 2011 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "I feel like mentally I could definitely handle it. Physically I think I can handle it as well," said Boren, who has played about 60 plays each of the last three weeks just at fullback. He thinks he could handle as many as 80 snaps if he played on both sides. Linebacker would be home, the position he had played his whole life...
Defensive linemen badgered Wisconsin November 3, 2011 Source: Columbus Dispatch - John Simon and Johnathan Hankins, arguably the two most valuable players on defense this season, figured to carry their weight against the Badgers, and they did. Simon had two sacks, including one to end a drive. Despite often facing double-teams, Hankins had seven tackles. But Simon and Hankins got plenty of help from their linemates. Adam Bellamy and Garrett Goebel, with help from such players as freshmen Michael Bennett and senior Solomon Thomas, helped stymie the Badgers’ run game. Bellamy was particularly impressive. He contributed a possession-ending sack at the end of the first half. The Badgers managed only 89 yards rushing on 29 carries, and 44 yards came on one play — a third-and-1 draw by Montee Ball that sparked Wisconsin’s late comeback...
The REAL Big Ten Power Rankings, Minus the ESPN Anti-Buckeye Sentiment November 1, 2011 Source: Block O Nation - Here are the real power rankings as they should be, based on how each team is performing on offense, defense, and special teams at this point in the season -- not just on who has beaten who, or overall number of win, as that doesn't reflect each team's strength of schedule -- or lack thereof...
Doug Lesmerises predicts the Buckeyes will win easily over a Hoosier team that is building for the future and also about the impact of running back Dan Herron on the OSU offense and the development of QB Braxton Miller; and what the win over the Badgers means for OSU coach Luke Fickell.
NCAA’s ruling might wipe out shot at title November 2, 2011 Source: Columbus Dispatch - But when the door closed on a spirited party that saw OSU fans rushing the field, you-know-what was still there — those rascally NCAA penalties — refreshing the Buckeyes’ memory of potential trouble ahead...
Boom Herron talks about the Buckeyes win over Wisconsin. Source: Big Ten Network
OSU's Herron redeems himself with fans November 2, 2011 Source: Associated Press - The word rolled down from the top rows and picked up steam in the expensive seats at Ohio Stadium: "Booooom!" Not so long before it might have been an extended boo. Not anymore. Twice suspended by the NCAA this year for accepting improper benefits, Dan "Boom" Herron is now adored by Ohio State fans because the team is winning and he's picking up big yardage...
Ohio State is B1G's most dangerous team November 1, 2011 Source: ESPN - That's the prevailing thought I had walking out of Ohio Stadium early Sunday morning after watching the Buckeyes' dramatic 33-29 win against Wisconsin. Ohio State came through in all three phases to beat what could be the most powerful team on its schedule in what was undoubtedly a make-or-break game. The win makes Ohio State the Big Ten's most dangerous team right now. Here are five reasons why:...
Fickell Presser Notes: Indiana Week November 1, 2011 Source: Eleven Warriors - ... When asked where he's seen the most growth in his team: "The confidence level... they believe in one another."...