tBBC Preview: The Game

Written November 28th, 2013 by Ken

helmets

The #3 Ohio State Buckeyes (11-0, 7-0) head north for their home-away-from-home game against the TTUN Gulo gulo’s ¹ (7-4, 3-4). The Buckeyes look to continue their habit of winning, 23 in a row (impressive, no?) while the Whatevers look to regain respectability (hahaha).  This will be the 110th time The Game will be contested, so we’ve been doing this for a while. Playing football, not blogging.. Since the beginning of this century (2001) Ohio State holds a 10-2 edge. Now for this year’s edition:

¹ Gulo is Latin for ‘glutton’. Surprised?

Ohio State on Offense

Carlos Hyde... grown man.

Could see a lot of this…

Ohio State brings the top scoring team in the conference (48.7 ppg and 531 ypg), which is 12 points and 100 yards per game better than last year’s undefeated team. The tempo is a bit higher, running 75 plays per game this year, compared to 70 last year.

This offensive touchstone for this season was accomplished last week with Carlos Hyde achieving the 1,000 yard mark. As you’re aware, this was Coach Meyer’s first 1,000 yard rusher and validation for Hyde for his patience and dedication. And a testament to the OSU offensive line.

In contrast, TTUN brings a so-so defense to The Game, (25 ppg, 353 ypg), ranking a meh 7th and 5th in the Conference, respectively. TTUN gives up 116 YPG rushing but with Ohio State averaging 315 YPG rushing, that wall will be breached by halftime. With OSU averaging 216 YPG and TTUN allowing 237 YPG, average performance by both units will work out well for the Buckeyes.

Ohio State on Defense Read More

tBBC Game Preview: Indiana Hoosiers

Written November 21st, 2013 by Ken
iuhelmet

Candy cane for the Holidays

The #3 Ohio State Buckeyes (10-0, 6-0) host the Indiana Hoosiers (4-6, 2-4) for a 3:30 PM EST kickoff at the Horseshoe. The Buckeyes, the Rodney Dangerfield of BCS-Land comes off a 60-35 “squeaker” over Illinois while Indiana’s high-flying offense got badgered by Wisconsin in a 51-3 loss. Oof. Ohio State is on a 22 game winning streak, which ties the school record. The next win, this one, will establish a school record.

Ohio State on Offense

1103-hyde-td-ill-ea

Millenium Man

Ohio State brings in a high-powered offense (49.4 ppg and 536 ypg), which is 12 points and 100 yards per game better than last year’s undefeated team. The tempo is a bit higher, running 75 plays per game this year, compared to 70 last year.

This offensive touchstone for this game will be Carlos Hyde’s’ quest for 1,000 yards. As you’re aware, this will be Coach Meyer’s first 1,000 yard rusher and will be a validation for Hyde for his patience and dedication.

Indiana brings a defensive unit that is last in the B1G in rushing defense (251 YPG) and total defense (535 YPG). So, I guess in that sense, it’s a well-balanced defense. At this point, Indiana’s rushing defense is a bit better than Illinois, but after OSU drops 250 – 300 yards on them, they won’t be.

Ohio State on Defense

noahspenceosu_display_image

Coming to a QB near you

If you were uncomfortable/annoyed with OSU’s defense performance against Illinois last week, get ready for more of the same this week. Indiana’s offense ranks only a spot or two below OSU’s in most categories, 39 PPG, and 497 YPG. In fact Indiana leads the Conference in passing offense. If Scheelhaase made you uncomfortable last week, keep the Maalox handy Saturday.

The Hoosiers run a dual quarterback system of sorts, similar to Northwestern. Nate Sudfeld plays the part of Trevor Siemian while Tre Roberson is the Kain Colter. Although Sudfeld is a top-notch passer (224 YPG 144 QBR), when he is in the game you either play the pass or key on RB Tevin Coleman (106 YPG). With Roberson, we can get anything. Hopefully, the Buckeye defense can get close to full strength for this game.

Wrap Up

So, how’s it going to shake out? The line has OSU -33 with the over/under at 76, which comes out to around a 56-20 score. The weather forecast for Saturday is 40 degrees, possibility of snow and windy. If so, this may take the air out of the ball, since we have a great offensive line and Carlos Hyde, and Indiana doesn’t. I see a comfortable win, in terms of margin of victory, but not necessarily a relaxing one.

The game is scheduled for a 3:30 PM EST kickoff with television coverage on ABC/ESPN2. Please join us at tBBC for live in-game chat approximately 30 minutes before kickoff.  We look forward to seeing you.

tBBC Game Preview: Illinois Fighting Illini

Written November 14th, 2013 by Ken
illinois-football-ball-st-757

I don’t know, and I’m afraid to ask..

The #3 Ohio State Buckeyes (9-0, 5-0) visit the Illinois Fighting Illini (3-6, 0-5) for a 12-noon kickoff in Memorial Stadium in Champaign, IL Saturday. Ohio State comes off a much needed bye week while Illinois stumbles into week ten after a 35-52 loss to Indiana. Ohio State has won 21 consecutive games under Urban Meyer while Illinois has lost 5 consecutive games and is suffering a 19 game conference losing streak.

Illinois, under 2nd year coach Tim Beckman has struggled to be competitive on the field. Despite these struggles, he has remained compassionate; for example, offering a home to disaffected PSU players.

Recruiting, man.

Illinois brings a not-too-good defense, allowing 483 yards and 34.7 points per game. In the B1G, only Purdue’s and Indiana’s defense are worse, and not by much. Offensively,  they accumulate 425 yards  and 30 points per game. So, they can put points on the board, just not enough to overcome what they allow.

Read More

tBBC Game Preview: Iowa Hawkeyes

Written October 16th, 2013 by Ken

Iowa-Hawkeyes-Wallpaper

The #4/3 Buckeyes (6-0, 2-0) host the Fightin’ Ferentzs’ of Iowa (4-2, 1-1) for an afternoon game in Columbus on Saturday. Up until a couple years ago, I always considered this a match-up of two teams with similar philosophies.  Now, I see the game as the “new/improved” Ohio State playing a Tressel-ball bound team with less quality athletes, in Iowa.

Iowa under 15th year coach Kirk Ferentz are 104-76 (.578). Other than the team uniform’s similarity to the Pittsburgh Steelers (thanks, Hayden), Iowa is noted for cranking out offensive linemen (Bollman, you listening?) and having a stoic note-taking, gum-chewing head coach.

Coming off an very impressive 11-2 season in 2009, Iowa AD Gary Barta decided to elevate Kirk into the Hayden Fry pantheon with a contract extension through the year 2020 at $3.75 million per year, per HawkCentral.. With this contract, that’s a lot of chewing gum and notepads. Since the impressive contract extension, Iowa has been a less-than-impressive 19-19.

Back to football: Iowa ended their non-con portion at 3-1, then opened their B1G slate with an impressive 23-7 win over Minnesota.  The next week, the Hawkeyes got roughed up, physically and statistically, against Michigan State, 26-14. Since I see OSU having a better offense but worse defense than MSU, things will not improve for Iowa. Read More

tBBC Game Preview: Northwestern Wildcats

Written October 2nd, 2013 by Ken

Introduction

patfitz

PatFitz musing, no doubt

The #4/3 Buckeyes (5-0, 1-0) move their Prime Time show from Columbus, OH to Evanston, IL for another 8:00 PM kickoff. The opponents, the undefeated (4-0, 0-0) #16/15 Northwestern Wildcats. Yes, another night game against another ranked B1G team.

When I saw this game on the schedule, I was only mildly concerned about the outcome. And that was based on the 2004 night game debacle in Evanston, not on this year’s talent/performance. Northwestern will be a different challenge from Wisconsin, in that, despite what we saw on Saturday, the Wildcats bring a legitimate balanced offense into this game.

Northwestern has two legitimate quarterbacks in Kain Colter (27-35, 264 yds, 4TD, 2INT)/Trevor Siemian (47-70, 671, 3,2), two quality running backs in Venric Mark (if healthy)/Treyvon Green (101 YPG)and two quality receivers in Tony Jones/Christian Jones (39 Rec, 15 YPR, 5TD).  Their offense is also a bit different from Wiscy’s in that rather than relying on raw power, Northwestern brings more speed and elusiveness to the field.

Last year’s all-everything running back Venric Mark appears to be healthy enough to be listed on the Wildcats depth chart as the starting running back for Saturday. This could be a Carlos Hyde situation where a player comes back to play in a big game after a 2-3 game layoff. Whether Venric Mark gets the every down workload remains to be seen, but I expect him to see spot duty in the backfield and to line up as kick/punt returner. Last year, Venric was 2nd team all-conference as a running back, and All-American as a punt returner, so look for Pat Fitzgerald and his staff to put him in positions to handle the ball, particularly in the open field.

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Monday Musings

Written September 2nd, 2013 by Ken
zevon

We miss you, Warren

Welcome to Monday Musings, glad that you decided to stop in. Grab your beverage of choice and let’s get to this. If you’re at work, I’d suggest something refreshing, but not too stimulating. If you’re at home, it probably won’t matter. And, since this is Labor Day, I’m guessing it’s possibly the latter.

The James/Wexner

I have two short videos for you today; one on Omega-3′s and breast cancer with Dr. Farrar of The James and the other on coffee’s effect in preventing basal cell carcinoma, with Dr. Trotter.

On a related note, I come across these videos, and other information via Twitter. So can you. Do so @TheJamesOSU

I can see why Coach Meyer followed me to Twitter.  OK, look, he actually doesn’t ‘Follow’ me in Twitter sense, he just created his Twitter account after I did.

Read More

tBBC’s Game Preview: University of Buffalo Bulls

Written August 29th, 2013 by Ken
Welcome to tBBC’s inaugural football game preview for the 2013 season. We plan to do these each week right up through the National Championship Game. Yes, we are an optimistic group this season.The format of the series will generally be: “Introduction” (some comments in general to set the context for that week’s opponent), “Ohio State on Offense” (my thoughts on OSU’s match-up against opposing defense), “Ohio State on Defense” (my thoughts on OSU’s match-up against opposing offense) and “Wrap Up” (a catch all for any other thoughts/comments and how I see the game playing out).This week’s comments will be a bit longer than usual, since the Bulls are the “name” NCAA team here in Buffalo. And, my wife and I live 4 miles from their stadium, so that’s pretty local.

ubbulls

Introduction

Ohio State opens up the 2013 season against a Mid-American Conference member by hosting “The State University of New York at Buffalo” Bulls. Evidently their new Athletic Director sees fit, in an effort of rebranding, to come up with this unwieldy name. For the remainder of the article, I‘ll refer to them as either “University of Buffalo”, Bulls or UB.

In 2012, the Bulls, finished 4th in the MAC East (3-4, 4-8). Under 4th year coach Jeff Quinn have made small, incremental improvements in its results since Quinn’s arrival. The Bulls made a late season quarterback change (more below) and finished the season winning 3 of their last 4 games to end the season on a bit of an up note.

Despite the woeful records of previous years, there is a high level of energy and interest in the UB football program this year. Since I’m been in Buffalo, this is the highest level of coverage the team has received from the local newspaper, The Buffalo News. Their sports staff is doing a great job with coverage, and hopefully will generate more community enthusiasm.

Ohio State on Offense

A few days ago, a friend of mine asked if Ohio State’s suspension of their top two RB’s would have any effect on the game. I told him, “Probably not”. The Buckeyes bring a wealth of talent at the skill positions into this game. After averaging 37 points per game last year, I expect it to improve in 2013, and this week’s game is a good place to start.

The Bulls, under Defensive Coordinator Lou Tepper (remember him from Illinois?) finished 2nd in the MAC in total defense in 2012, allowing 364 YPG, utilizing a base 3-3 alignment. They bring an experienced, ball-hawking Secondary (4th in MAC, 13 interceptions) to Columbus, led by DB’s Naija Johnson (1st in MAC, 5 INT’s) and Cortney Lester (2nd in MAC, 4 INTs).

The key to UB’s defense is Senior LB Khalil Mack (6’3”, 248) who is on the watch lists for the Butkus, Chuck Bednarik and Lombardi Awards and the Nagurski Trophy. This young man is the real deal. Here is a highlight clip and interview, from a year ago:

Fortunately for Ohio State, one of the team’s strengths is its offensive line. And depth, both at line and at running back. The Buckeyes are in a position to roll in fresh, talented players as often as needed on Saturday. This will be a game of attrition.

Ohio State on Defense

I’m a bit less concerned about UB’s offensive match up against OSU. The Bulls will start sophomore QB Joe Licata, who engineered the late season surge last year, and behind him are some pretty good RB’s;  Brandon Oliver (5’8”, 208) and Youngstown OH native Devin Campbell (5’11”, 205). Although he missed 5 games last year, Oliver still rushed for over 800 yards, so he knows how to run. Notice his patience and low running style.

One interesting match-up will be the line play. The Bulls return quality experience at C, LG and LT, but the right side is “under construction”. The Buckeyes bring inexperience, in terms of game-time, but impressive talent across their D-line and LB’s. I’m guessing that when UB gets in a “must have” running situation, they run to their experienced, their left side. I’m also guessing that Ryan Shazier will be locked on Brandon Oliver. He’d better be.

The Bulls may find some early success with their passing game. Licata has limited, but big game experience under his belt, and he has three really capable targets in WR Alex Neutz (6’3” 205) and TE’s Jimmy Gordon (6’5”, 255) and Mason Schreck (6’5”, 229). With Schreck, think Jake Stoneburner type of player. Alex Neutz is on the Biletnikoff watch list, so he brings skills and performance to the game. Don’t be surprised if we see some double tight end formations, or some plays with Schreck as a wide out. With this set of receivers, OSU’s red zone defense could be interesting.

Wrap Up

I expect that the Bulls will come out fired up, ready to earn their million dollar payday and possibly make a statement regarding themselves for this season. I expect the Buckeyes to need a couple offensive series to get synchronized to appropriate game speed. I expect this to be well in hand by halftime. As a local, there are really a lot of things to like about this UB team, and I think they’ll do well in the MAC in 2013, but at some point on Saturday the talent differential will show. To be honest, if the Buckeyes were coached by any of several previous coaches, I’d by mildly concerned that the game would be “closer than expected/wanted”. With Meyer at the helm, I don’t have that issue. I think he has OSU playing at a different level of aggressiveness and tempo that what we’re used to seeing.

According to Certain Professionals, for informational purposes only, Ohio State is favored by 36 points and the O/U is 55.5. Thus the CP’s expect this game to end up in the vicinity of 46-10, or so. I hope they’re right. I think OSU will begin to dominate sometime in the 2nd quarter and build momentum from there. The only thing that I see will keep it closer is if Meyer decides to pull the plug early and give 2nd and 3rd teamers substantial game time.

On a related note, the Bulls’ stadium seats 29,000 and last year the attendance averaged 13,246. Yes, you read both of those numbers correctly. Playing in front of over 105,000 fans, most of whom will not be supportive, will be a very different experience for the Bulls.

Bonus Trivia: According to our neighbor, while both were in high school, UB’s quarterback was her younger daughter’s boyfriend. It’s his loss, on both accounts.

One Fan’s Opinion- B1G Media Days

Written July 30th, 2013 by Scott

Another great look at the upcoming season from Scott, formerly from the Dayton Daily News and Beavercreek News-Current.

Wanna show us what you’ve got? You can always hit us up via gmail.

Ahhh, you have to love this time of the year.

It’s almost time for college football and I can picture it all now.

Marching bands.

Packed stadiums.

Tailgating.

Upsets.

Michigan losing.

To help whet your appetite for things to come this fall, I present some notes and quotes from the recently held Big 10 media days.

Optimism abounds ….. sort of

I give you Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald. “I don’t know if you guys or anyone is charting how many times a coach up here says ‘excited’ but I think across the country every coach is really in anticipation for two weeks from now when we get together with our teams … ”

Just for the record, coach, the word was used 51 times based on the transcripts the Big 10 published on its website.  The range went from 11 times by one coach to zero by another. The coach that finished at the bottom used the word the most. But if you are Illinois and Coach Tim Beckman, there is nowhere to go but up, so why not be excited.

The coach who said it zero times? The same coach who lost zero games last season. And if you have to look that up, you don’t belong on this website. Read More