Wednesday Night Rumble: Dynamic Duo

Written April 17th, 2013 by Jason

The Scarlet and Grey game for 2013 is in the books. Who stood out? Who can change the game? It’s Wednesday, let’s rumble!

Scarlet and Grey 2013

Remember back around the last week of December and on through New Year’s when everyone was upset and moaning about the Buckeyes not being bowl eligible? Seems like a long time ago, doesn’t it? I told you time would fly by, and here we are with summer camp and the 2013 season opener as the next events on the Ohio State football schedule. Game-of-Thrones

Like a lot of you I wasn’t able to logon to the Big Ten Network’s live stream of the game or listen to the radio play-by-play online. I followed along on twitter for some of the pregame and a little bit of the first quarter and decided to wait it out and stay away from it until the BTN broadcast at 7 on Saturday night. Then I didn’t even have a chance to see it at 7. Good thing for DVR’s. Read More

What Do You Want To See On Saturday?: Spring Game 2013

Written April 12th, 2013 by MaliBuckeye

A bit of a different version of WDYWTSOS, since we all want to see the same thing- Awesomeness and no injuries.

So, we’ve polled our staff of experts for their predictions on the following aspects for “Getting Down At Paul Brown”- let’s see how much everyone’s been paying attention to the Spring Practice Updates:

Bombs Away

What player scores the first points of the game?

WVa: Braxton Miller will score first and it will be on a long run. 

Ken: Devin Smith on a long pass play from The Brax

Jason: Rod Smith. My bet is they limit Hyde and with Brax wearing the black shirt his running is cut out.

Janelle: Devin Smith on a deep ball from Braxton

Eric: Might as well ask what your favorite color of M&M is based on the taste.  I’ll go with Michael Thomas on a nice Brax pass.

Dexter: I’m going to go with Evan Spencer on a Bomb downfield from Braxton Miller. That is my favorite color M&M.

Charles: To be a bit different, I’ll go with Drew Basil

Mali: The obvious answer is Drew Basil.

Who’s the offensive MVP? Read More

Illustrating Sports With Silver Bullet Points

Written February 27th, 2013 by MaliBuckeye

Sexier than the swimsuit issue

Today’s soundtrack is brought to you by 70 degrees and sunny skies in Los Angeles. Oh, and a little bit of EW&F.

Buckeye 411

  • Buck And Cover- That thing over there is this week’s Sports Illustrated cover, well everywhere but the southeast. I think that the expectations and so forth for this team are pretty high…
  • In Case You Were Wondering- Here’s the other cover… which may explain why Braxton looks so terrified on his “Breakout” photo.
  • Healing Nicely- At the Combine last week, we learned that John Simon was recovering from shoulder surgery. It sounds as if it was pretty routine, if you call “requiring diamond tipped instruments to cut through his muscle tissue” routine.
  • Nice Gig- Brandon Castel has a great article from the Buckeye Cruise for Cancer (unfortunately named, but it sounds like there are plans to change it). Who do I need to talk to to get assigned to the “Ohio State Cruise” beat?
  • Updates- From Brandon: Jordan Hall is no longer a running back, but will be a “pivot”; Christian Bryant is the emotional leader of the defense (more later); and Urban didn’t really ‘call out’ the other coaches but challenged the conference to raise it’s standards.
  • Gene’s Scene- We’ve talked before about the expansion landscape; Gene Smith this week said that the conferences is not looking to grow until they see how Maryland and Rutgers fit in. So- the B1G is totally annexing the entire B12 on Thursday.
  • So Dreamy- Aaron Craft doing Aaron Craft things, on the radio this time.
  • But… He only gets that interview because he’s a rosy cheeked white guy.
  • Great Read- MoC’s new book is out, part of his Redemption Tour. Check it out here...
  • This Week In Sammy Silv- Seriously, this needs to be a regular feature: Read More

Ohio State Survives in Madison, 21-14

Written November 17th, 2012 by Tim Shoemaker

After it was unclear if he would return after a brutal collision with Wisconsin running back Montee Ball in the fourth quarter, Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier made announced his return in the biggest way possible.

With the Buckeyes leading 14-7 and just over three minutes remaining in the game, Wisconsin had the ball 4th-and-1 from the OSU 2-yard line. We all knew who was getting the football, and Shazier knocked the ball out of Montee Ball’s hands and Christian Bryant recovered, giving the Buckeyes possession and the ability to hold on and get a 14-7 victory in Madison.

Ballgame, right?

Far from it. The Badgers got the ball back and drove 41 yards in 1:25 and quarterback Curt Phillips found Jacob Pederson for a 5-yard touchdown to tie the game at 14 and send it to overtime.

In overtime, the Buckeyes scored first on just four plays as Carlos Hyde carried the ball in from two yards out.

Wisconsin’s possession ended on an incomplete pass on fourth down as Christian Bryant broke up a pass, giving the Buckeyes the 21-14 victory.

The Buckeyes led the Badgers 14-7 at halftime. After getting down 14-0, Wisconsin was able to respond with an eight play, 82-yard drive to pull within a touchdown heading into the intermission.

Statistically, the Badgers somewhat dominated in the first half–and the game. It was no secret Wisconsin wanted to run the ball, and the Badgers totaled 140 yards on the ground in that first half, 206 for the game.

Several things stood out from the game, both good and bad.

The good:

1. Philly Brown’s growth is somewhat astounding. I wasn’t expecting much of anything from Brown at the beginning of the season, but he’s really blossomed into a nice player. His 68-yard punt return for a touchdown to open the scoring was a thing of beauty.

2. The offensive line’s play is really fun to watch. This has to be the best group that OSU has had in recent memory. Some of it may be that Jim Bollman is no longer the coach, but I really enjoy watching these guys pave the way for Braxton and company.

3. John Simon was named as a Lott semifinalist earlier this week–an award given to the nation’s top defensive player. He played like it today, recording four sacks.

4. Carlos Hyde continues to impress me. He didn’t get the ball nearly enough, but he finished with 87 yards on 15 carries and two touchdowns.

The bad:

1. The play-calling today was atrocious. No creativity whatsoever and the offensive game plan was extremely predictable. Not very Urban Meyer-like at all.

2. I hit on this earlier, but the run defense was less than stellar today. Ohio State was second in the Big Ten in rushing defense coming into today’s game, but the Buckeyes gave up 206 yards on the ground. Granted, Montee Ball is one of the best backs in the country, but that is just not good enough.

3. Braxton Miller didn’t play his best game today. He was just 10 for 18 passing for 97 yards and was held to just 48 yards on 23 carries. He needs to learn to throw the football away, though. With that said, he’s still one of the top quarterbacks in the country and I’m glad he’s a Buckeye.

We all got what we wanted, though. Ohio State is 11-0 heading into “The Game” next Saturday.

It’s going to be epic.

2012 Ohio State Midseason Awards

Written October 11th, 2012 by Tim Shoemaker

Major Award

At times it hasn’t been pretty, but the bottom line is that Ohio State is still unbeaten on the 2012 season–Urban Meyer’s first as head coach.

Through just six games, the Buckeyes have had less than impressive victories over Cal and UAB. But they also had a hard-earned victory on the road against Michigan State and had an offensive outburst in a win over Nebraska.

There’s no denying Meyer’s impact on the Ohio State offense. The Buckeyes rank second in the Big Tne behind the Cornhuskers in total offense (431.5 ypg) and scoring offense (38.5 ppg).

The defense, though? Not so good. OSU ranks sixth in scoring defense at 20.5 points per game and tenth in total defense, giving up 386.5 yards per game. Both numbers will need to improve as the season goes on.

But one thing most Buckeye fans will say is that it is exciting to watch Ohio State football again.

Through six games, though, there have been ups and downs, surprises and disappointments. With that, I present to you my 2012 midseason awards on both offense and defense.

Offensive MVP: Braxton Miller (QB)
Probably the easiest choice of the group. Ohio State would not be undefeated if it didn’t have Miller. The OSU quarterback has thrown for 1,060 yards, run for 763 and accumulated 17 total touchdowns. Simply put, Miller is everything to the OSU offense.

Most Improved Player: Corey “Philly” Brown (WR)
I must admit, I didn’t see much out of Philly Brown in his first two seasons at OSU. But this year, under Meyer, Brown has improved greatly as a legitimate threat at wide receiver for the Buckeyes. Brown has 35 catches so far this season (he had just 14 last year) for 352 yards and one touchdown. Going forward, Brown will be a big part of the offense’s success.

Biggest Surprise: Offensive Line
There are no stats to back me up here as I’m just going with what my eyes see. But this year’s offensive line is the playing at the highest level we’ve seen in quite some time. With most of the same guys back from last year, and Reid Fragel moving into the starting right tackle spot, the offensive line has been extremely consistent.

Biggest Disappointment: Jordan Hall (RB) Read More

Scripted Takes: Ohio State -vs- Cal

Written September 16th, 2012 by Jason

Jason joins us again with another review of the roller coaster that was this week’s game:

Make The Great State Of Ohio Proud

Have you caught your breath? Did you wake up this morning feeling a little better about yesterday’s Buckeye win? I hope so, because despite a myriad of defensive issues and an offense that at times was stuck in the mud, the boys are 3-0 and looking ahead now to Alabama-Birmingham at The Shoe this Saturday. For as angry as some aspects of the Buckeyes performance made you, you have to admit this one was pretty exciting as a spectator!

Fundamental issues

Ok, we’ll start with the bad since that’s what everyone wanted to focus on during and at the conclusion of yesterday’s 35-28 win over California. I can’t recall an Ohio State defense that tackles this poorly and takes such horrible routes to the ball carrier on the edges.

It makes my head hurt seeing guys fly to the ball and put a shoulder on someone and expect them to just go down. Football players are taught at a young age to parallel their shoulders, lift their head up, wrap with their arms and drive with their legs. It really is that simple. See what you’re hitting and wrestle it to the ground. Etienne Sabino, Christian Bryant, CJ Barnett and, unfortunately this week, Ryan Shazier I’m talking to you.

And how in the world is it possible that we see these guys chasing running backs from behind just a few yards across the line of scrimmage in the manner that we do? Are they that completely out of position or is it the angle they take to the ball carrier? I have to assume it’s a little bit of both but for the most part it appears to me to be the latter.

A lot of people blew up my twitter account during the second half with comments on how badly Luke Fickell was calling the game. I can’t speak to that, and honestly neither can any of the people claiming his defensive calls were wretched. I can tell you undoubtedly that in the first half he did an excellent job of mixing up his blitzes and keeping the Bears guessing where an attack was coming from. I can agree that, yes in fact it appeared as though they went away from that strategy in the second half. However, it doesn’t in any way indicate that Fickell was calling a bad game. His players were in positions to make plays, the problem is that they were either taking terrible angles to the ball, getting caught in the wash or being blocked.

It’s pretty apparent to me that there are some issues with communication in the back seven. How can a guy like Keenan Allen run free between Etienne Sabino and Chrisitan Bryant while both watch him go by and then chase? This type of communication breakdown has to be cleaned up or it’s going to cost them a game. Read More

Silver Bullet Points Has One Shot Left

Written November 22nd, 2011 by MaliBuckeye

If You're Gonna' Go, Go Big.

Buckeye 411

  • Captain, My Ca… Ah, Screw It- At this point, no captains have been named for this week’s matchup with TTUN.  I’m sure it’s Brewster, Simon, and some other folks.
  • Injury Report- Sweat is a “doctor’s decision”, due to it being a head injury.  Philly Brown is going to be OK, but safety Christian Bryant is “questionable” for the game. No additional information on Bryant, but he’s currently listed as the starter on this week’s depth chart.
  • Fickell Speaks- On “The Game”;

It’s still the Ohio State/M*chigan game, still the greatest rivalry in all sports. We wouldn’t attack it any other way. That’s what is remembered. We understand that. We know that. Our guys have understood that regardless of what the situation has been in the last 10 years that I’ve been here or even the five years I was here as a player.

When you come here, you know what it’s about. That’s why I’d say 70 percent of our guys are from that 250 mile radius, been grown up, born into it, and know more about what this rivalry is all about than most.

  • More From Fickell- This exchange was a great one between Coach Fickell and a member of the press,

Your Michigan counterpart refers to your employer just as “Ohio.” Have you noticed that, first of all?

…Coach Bruce or Coach Hayes used to not refer to the team up north or whatever that is, hopefully that it’s no disrespect to Ohio University, they are Ohio, but it is what it is.

We might refer to M*chigan in different ways, too. Read More

Football Midseason Report Card

Written October 19th, 2011 by Chris

Well Buckeye fans, we are halfway home to the end of the 2011 season. Standing at 4-3 overall and 1-2 in the B1G, this year has been some dizzying highs (winning the Sugar Bowl) and far too many lowest of lows. The real question is where the Ohio State Buckeyes grade out for the first half of the season and keys to improvement. Players and coaches will be broken down and evaluated on their performance so far.  So, listen up scarlet and gray clad coaches and players. Professor Schmidbauer is here to hand out some first half grades.

Quarterback

Breakdown: Anyone wondering what kind of faith the offensive coaches had in Braxton

Still Learning

Miller got a pretty good idea as to how much last Saturday in Champaign. The play as a whole has been pretty poor sans two games for the Buckeye signal callers. Joe Bauserman’s initial start against Akron was a solid debut for the resident geriatric of Ohio State. Braxton Miller’s first start against the Colorado Buffaloes was a nice debut as well. The rest of the performances have been lackluster, and I think we would all agree that is putting it kindly. Now the team is officially Miller’s and it seems like the Buckeyes can ride him as far as the freshman can carry them, well assuming there is not a strong wind anyway.

Area to Improve: If there is one key to the Buckeye season reaching eight or, dare I say, nine wins, it has to be the passing game. Ohio State proved you can win a game by only completing one pass, but it goes without saying we don’t want to see if the team can accomplish that feat again. Braxton Miller has not been able to consistently make throws in big spots in games yet, and opponents know that. You can believe that a serviceable passing will be a necessity to reach a New Year’s Day bowl game. Read More