Wednesday Night Rumble: Christmas Edition

Written December 25th, 2013 by Jason

Merry Christmas! I hope everyone has had a great day and is settling in for a great evening. I’d ask what you’re doing reading this, but hey, everybody needs a break from in-laws. Without and further ado or fanfare, it’s Wednesday, let’s rumble!

The seriousness of Clemson and the Orange Bowl 

Christmas lights at Mirror Lake

Christmas lights at Mirror Lake

Before we have some fun, I want to try and drive home the point on just how important this Orange Bowl and beating Clemson next Friday is. The nation will be watching and the Buckeyes need to make a statement.

I won’t take anything away from Clemson. It’s a good school that seems to follow the rules and does things the right way. They have a young coach that has brought them some recent success and talent all over the field. That being said, they cannot be allowed to beat the Ohio State University at football in a major bowl game to close a season in which said Buckeye team had realistic national championship dreams.

I say “realistic” national championship dreams because this is the chance to prove that all the talk coming out of Columbus was legitimate. Beating Clemson (and if it happens by a lot, the better) and their high powered offense sends a message that the Buckeye program under Urban Meyer is ready to compete on a national stage again and expects to win. A loss would be devastating on so many levels: National perception, recruits, senior send-offs, building for 2014. Read More

Wednesday Night Rumble: Youngstown Boys?

Written December 18th, 2013 by Jason

The Clemson Tigers await the Buckeyes in Miami to do battle in the Discover Orange Bowl on January 3rd. Meanwhile a little farther north in Georgia the Silver Bullets picked up what could be a centerpiece to the future. We’ll discuss “Youngstown Boys” and attack with quick hitters. It’s Wednesday, let’s rumble!

Orange decisions and Clemson (who also wears orange) 

Clemson QB Tajh Boyd

Clemson QB Tajh Boyd

While it was unthinkable prior to, after the final gun sounded on the Big Ten Championship Game it became obvious to everyone where the Buckeye football team would be bowling this January. Outside of Dade County and the walls of the Orange Bowl committee, nobody wanted to think about or even consider the possiblity of the team being anywhere except Pasadena either on New Years Day or, more likely, the following Monday in the BCS National Championship Game. Meanwhile, all along it was a foregone conclusion that if eliminated from the games being played in the Rose Bowl the Buckeyes were going to be South Beach bound.

And while it seems like a consolation prize, and to a large extent it is, that’s something as fans we should take great pride in. With their first pick of the at-large schools (after Alabama was scooped up by the Sugar Bowl, which is an SEC tradition) the Orange quickly hopped on the Buckeyes because they know that it will get a high rating on television and there will be butts in the seats. Buckeye Nation travels and likes to spend money. Read More

Wednesday Night Rumble: We Will Endure

Written December 11th, 2013 by Jason

We have a lot to discuss. No sense in wasting time with a long introduction, let’s get right down to it. It’s Wednesday, let’s rumble!

Big Ten Championship game

Ryan Shazier and Adolphus Washington after the Big Ten Championship game

Ryan Shazier and Adolphus Washington after the Big Ten Championship game

I’m sitting here putting this together and still can’t belive the Buckeyes lost and the way in which it happened. I knew the Spartan defense was good, I just didn’t realize how physical they were. I knew the Silver Bullet defense was much maligned, essentially, all season but they’ve held on long enough to claim wins. Maybe the biggest shocker was that I didn’t think the Spartan offense was good enough to wear them out the Buckeye defense like they did.

Charles Davis pointed out in the late stages of the third quarter that the Buckeye defense, most notably the front four, were giving away all the tell-tale signs of a team getting gassed and worn out. I tried to deny it and hope Davis was wrong, but by the middle portions of the fourth quarter it was apparent that Joey Bosa, Noah Spence, Adolphus Washington and Michael Bennett were clearly running on fumes. As a result, Spartan quarterback Connor Cook suddenly had plenty of time to find his receivers and make solid throws.

Even when the Buckeyes brought a linebacker or defensive back on a blitz it was to no avail as the Spartans didn’t have to double team anyone up front and could dedicate a guard or tackle to taking on the blitzer. It was frustrating and discouraging. If there is a strength on the Buckeye defense it is the front four. They got beat on Saturday night. Read More

Michigan State Secure 34-24 Upset Over Ohio State

Written December 8th, 2013 by Eric

The Buckeyes and Spartans met in a head to head clash for the Big Ten Championship. In a battle that swung back and forth all night, the Spartans got the upper hand on the Buckeyes, securing the first B1G Championship for the Legends division with the 34-24 win. Braxton Miller was ok today against the stout Spartan defense, throwing 8/21 for 101 yards and a touchdown, while running 21 times for 142 yards and 2 touchdowns. Connor Cook was much more impressive, connecting on 24/40 passes for 304 yards, 3 touchdowns and an interception.

Carlos Hyde broke 100 yards again, carrying 18 times for 118 yards. Corey “Philly” Brown led the Buckeyes with 5 receptions for 53 yards. Jeremy Langford of MSU was the first back to carry for more than 100 yards against OSU, running 24 times for 124 yards and a touchdown. Keith Mumphery led the Spartans in receiving with 2 catches for 84 yards.

We got a chance to see the Spartan offense take the field first against the much maligned OSU defense. The Bucks did an excellent job of slowing down the MSU offense early, forcing a third and long on the very first possession. A poor play by Doran Grant kept the drive alive on an overthrown ball, and began to give MSU some confidence. On another third and long, Ryan Shazier made contact with Langford with the ball sailing over his head, again extending the drive. MSU wasn’t able to do much more than that, settling for a field goal deep in OSU territory.

Then it was time to see what the MSU defense could do against the high powered Buckeye offense. Carlos Hyde made himself known on the first play, pounding up the middle for seven yards. Unfortunately, a bad snap from the center on 3rd and 3 destablized the offense enough to throw off the timing of the play. Ohio State was forced to punt after a three and out that was obviously self-inflicted.

Michigan State took over again after the punt on their own twenty yard line. Things were beginning to start clicking for the boys in green. The blocking up front was beginning to open holes in the Buckeyes line that Langford could get a head start in. With Langford getting things going, it seemed like MSU was going to score again. A false start followed by a stuffed run on first down put MSU in a hole deep enough that they couldn’t quite dig themselves out of it.
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Rumblin, Stumblin, Bumblin: B1G Championship Eve

Written December 6th, 2013 by WVaBuckeye

So much has happened since the last time we ventured down the RSB path that I really had to put forth some thought into what I was going to talk about. There are a lot of things to discuss before tomorrow title match-up with Sparty that I want to briefly hit them before Rumblin.

Gardener carried the day, with 450 yards against a depleted secondary

Gardner carried the day, with 450 yards against a depleted secondary

As much as it hurts me to say this, I applaud the TTUN coaching staff for their game plan last Saturday. What’s funny about the plan is that everyone in #BuckeyeNation saw it coming, they just weren’t too worried because it was TTUN and their struggling offense. What most were saying was how easily the Buckeyes were going to roll and those fans couldn’t have been further from the truth. The Game or The Rivalry,  whatever you choose to call it, has rarely disappointed in regards to level of competition. As Buckeye fans know all too painfully, the underdog has had the sun shine on its back side quite a few times in this series.

What their coaching staff did, and it’s why most people in TSUN  love Hoke, is keep their focus on the prize and that was destroy the Buckeyes season. They came into the game ignored by many, including the Buckeyes defense, and just about put it to them. If not for the gutsy, putting it all on one play, decision by Hoke to go for two, the Buckeyes may have lost in OT and be settling for the Outback Bowl, again. I tipped my hat to a couple TTUN twitter friends after the game, they could feel a little bit of pride for the way their team performed.

Rumblin

As I have said before, I could go on and on every week about Carlos Hyde and what he has done in his abbreviated season. One of the relationships on twitter that I have enjoyed this season has been with Corey Linsley, who last week was named First Team All B1G Center. He is the anchor to that offensive line who has been destroying the opposition this season. Read More

Pregame: OSU vs MSU – B1G Championship

Written December 5th, 2013 by Ken

b1glogo Introduction

The #2 Ohio State Buckeyes (12-0, 8-0) head to Indianapolis, IN for the B1G Conference Championship game against the #10/#9 Michigan State Spartans (11-1, 8-0). Aside from the outright conference championship, there are national championship implications. An Ohio State win should maintain their place in the top two BCS positions; a loss and they’re out of the picture, heading for another bowl. A win for MSU gives them the opportunity to represent the B1G as its champion.

Ohio State on Offense

chyde

Off and running

Ohio State brings the top B1G offense (48.2 ppg and 531 ypg), into the game. Their offense runs at a decent tempo of 73 plays per game, good for 5th in the B1G. The Buckeyes lead the league in rushing at 321 yards per game and in total yards per play at 7.33.

We’re beyond kidding ourselves at this point; the offense is driven by Braxton Miller and Carlos Hyde. This is who we are. By “driven”, I mean a soul-crushing running game. Braxton and Carlos combine for 32 carries per game (of 73 plays) and 232 yards rushing per game. Oh, the offensive line is pretty damn good, as well.

The challenge is the Michigan State defense. They lead the conference and the nation in yards allowed per game at 238. Forget that for a moment, since games are determined by points, not yards. The Spartan defense leads the conference and is 4th in the nation in points allowed per game at 11.8 per game. Not exactly reassuring.

Ohio State on Defense Read More

Wednesday Night Rumble: On to Indy!

Written December 4th, 2013 by Jason

The regular season is over and the Buckeyes are 12-0 for the second year in a row. Their school record winning streak now sits at 24 straight games. After a thriller in Ann Arbor, the scarlet and grey now travel to Indianapolis for the Big Ten Championship game and a date with the Michigan State Spartans. We’ll look back, ahead and farther forward. It’s Wednesday, let’s rumble!

The Game blues 

Carlos Hyde on a record setting day

Carlos Hyde on a record setting day

As much as we all tried to say we expected a tough game, it didn’t seem like many of us actually believed it could possibly happen. I’m no different. After seeing Michigan the past couple of weeks and reading their stat-lines, I felt a blowout was imminent. We were reminded by the Wolverines just what rivalry is all about.

I certainly don’t mean to talk them up or give them much time in this column at all, but credit goes where it is deserved. Brady Hoke had his team ready to play and they performed for him. The Wolverines were not intimidated, they kept the Buckeye coaching staff guessing and turned the Silver Bullets greatest strength against them by keeping the Buckeye defensive line in check for the majority of the game.
The team up north reminded us of several things on Saturday: 1. Never count out your rivals and 2. Anything can happen, that’s why they play the game. Read More

Buckeyes and Wolverines Battle in 42-41 OSU Win

Written November 30th, 2013 by Eric
Braxton Miller accounted for four touchdowns against the Wolverines, including 3 on the ground.

Braxton Miller accounted for five touchdowns against the Wolverines, including 3 on the ground.

The Buckeyes and Wolverines met for their annual rivalry tilt in The Game today in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In a game that was a severe departure from the historical battles in this series, the Bucks and Wolverines fought to a 42-41 game that ended with an OSU victory and their 24th straight. Braxton Miller ended the game throwing 6/15 passes for 133 yards, 2 touchdowns and an interception, while running for 153 yards and 3 touchdowns on 16 carries. His counterpart, Devin Gardner, threw 32/45 for 451 yards and 4 touchdowns, while running 9 carries for 10 yards and a touchdown.

Carlos Hyde had another history-making day today. His 226 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries counts as the most yards against Michigan of any back in Ohio State history – which puts him above some very prestigious company. This also made for the first time OSU had a pair of 100 yard rushers against Michigan since 1967. On a day with little to no passing for the Buckeyes, Jeff Heuerman led all receivers with 2 catches for 59 yards and a touchdown. De’Veon Smith led Michigan in yards gained on the ground with 57 on 7 carries, while Jeremy Gallon picked up 175 yards and a touchdown on 9 receptions.

This year’s version of the game started with the ball in the hands of the good guys. Things looked good for OSU running the ball with Carlos Hyde up the middle, and the offense was able to work itself into Michigan territory. Unfortunately, a pass thrown behind the receiver, and a sack on first down, helped to stymie the drive. With the Buckeyes punting, it was the first opening drive that Ohio State had failed to score on all season – a quick reminder to throw out the season records when these two teams meet.

Michigan came back with a vengance. Pinned on their own one yard line, it required only 2 plays to put them inside two yards of scoring. Receiver Jeremey Gallon, on second and long, took the screen on the left side, and had enough blockers to find an opening. He was only barely tripped up shy of the endzone by Bradley Roby. On the fourth play of the drive, Devin Gardner ran the option keeper into the endzone for the first points of the game.

Things were looking a little dicey for the Bucks offensively. Miller was struggling to find his targets in the passing game, even though the Buckeyes weren’t throwing much. Carlos Hyde was having little difficulty gaining yardage, but Miller’s running was being reasonably well defended. On another 3rd and long from near mid-field, Miller again went to the long pass. Devin Smith found himself a couple steps ahead of his two defenders, and hauled in the long pass that was a hair overthrown. He managed to maintain his balance enough to fall into the endzone to finally put the Bucks on the board.
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