To paraphrase a popular song, I really don’t care much about the entire state of Michigan.
To paraphrase a popular song, I really don’t care much about the entire state of Michigan.
Choo choo! All aboard the Pittman Express! Now boarding for the State up North!
Nothing like a warm-up a week before the Buckeyes roll into Ann Arbor to play the team-that-shall-not-be-named. OSU played its last game at home against the Northwestern Wildcats. They looked like Wildcats for about the first 3 minutes of the game and looked liked something else the other 57. OSU never looked out of it, of course, but watching Basanez drive 80 yards for the first score was a little disconcerting. Of course, NW does have a top ranked offense but still! This is the Buckeyes! No one comes into our house and does that. And they paid the price.
I have been impressed with how much Troy Smith has improved. I’ve mentioned before that his throwing motion has always looked awkward to me. I’m not sure what it is but it’s never looked fluid to me. But he has really been making strides and I think he’s made a lot of progress. This offense is still relatively young so I’m pretty excited about not just this year but next year as well. Running for 300 yards is pretty impressive. Things are looking good for the Buckeyes as they prepare for you-know-who.
I mentioned to a guy at work how quickly this season has flown by. Buckeye fans (as well as other college football fans, I’m sure) go through phases of anticipation, thinking about football season. There’s thoughts of the next season right after whatever bowl game we’ve played in. Then there’s a big burst of activity during the high school all-star games and the OSU Spring Game. Interest wanes a bit during the summer, but about the beginning of August comes around, our minds quickly turn to the inevitable season. This year there was, more than most, a feeling that it could be The Year. While those hopes were dimmed after the Texas game, there was still hope. The flame burned out in Happy Valley and here we are now. Time has flown. Here’s to hoping we go out with a bang and end up in a BCS bowl. The season may not have gone how we hoped but it has still been exciting and the future looks bright.
#10 and climbing! The lastest rankings are out and OSU sits at a solid #10 in both. I wanted the BCS to be in shambles again this year, but that being said, I’m glad Miami beat Va. Tech. I’ve been saying for a long time that they’re overrated and they got embarrassed last night. So the disaster the BCS was headed for looks less likely to happen, now that there are only 3 unbeaten teams. There’s still a chance that both USC and Alabama go down and then they’ll really have probems. Those problems don’t include OSU, unfortunately, but that didn’t stop from OSU putting a hurt on yet another Big Ten team.
Illinois really never posed a threat but it sure took OSU 2 quarters to put the heat on. In the end, OSU’s defense dominated and their offense threw up another 40 points. Ginn and Holmes have finally started living up to their billing. They look solid and Smith has been consistent since the Penn State game. OSU no longer resides in the basement of the Big Ten offensive leaders.
So what’s left for OSU? For one, it’s pay-back time for Northwestern. Their win last year has definitely left a bad taste in OSU’s collective mouth last year. Look for the defense to bring the hammer down on Northwestern’s vaunted offense. I’d like to see us rack up 4 or 5 TDs and just punish Brett Basanez and his team of pretenders. And no need to mention the game on November 19th. That goes without saying. OSU. Michigan. The Big House.
It’s gotta be tough to be a Golden Gophers fan. Every year they start off hot but every year they cool down. Most of the time, it’s Michigan throwing cold water on the flames but this year Minnesota got the monkey off their back and beat Michigan to regain the Little Brown Jug. Minnesota has a great running game and a mediocre passing game but they’ve played well this season. They were having a rather “Minnesota-like” season. Meaning someone had to lay the smackdown on them.
That someone, of course, was OSU. In a 45-31 tail-whipping, OSU was firing on all cylinders. The highly-touted running back Maroney was held to a paltry 13 yards in the second half. While OSU’s stout defense gave up a smack-ton of yards, the first teamers held Minnesota to one touchdown in the second half. OSU has been making great second-half adjustments.
On offense, the Buckeyes threw up 40+ points for the second game in a row. They were firing on all cylinders. Pittman gashed the defense all day for 186 yards (Maroney who?), Smith and Holmes connected for three scores and TGJ took one 100 yards to the house. It was, in a word, pretty.
The Buckeyes have a game this week against Illinois before it’s revenge time against Northwestern and the big dance in the Big House with Michigan. Things are looking good for the men of the Scarlet and Gray.
Poor Indiana. They’ve been the Big Ten’s doormat in football for a long time. OSU hasn’t lost to them in (now) the last thirteen attempts. That’s not an Indiana slump, it’s futility. Nevertheless, under first year coach Terry Hoeppner, they’re playing very un-Indiana-like. They were 4-2 going into Saturday’s game and were playing decent football. Honestly, though, no one gave them a snowball’s chance.
OSU was heavily favored and pretty much dominated the whole game. Sure, there were flashes of good play by Indiana (the stripping of Ted Ginn Jr. comes to mine), but they were just overmatched. The defense flexed its considerable muscles, holding IU to a paltry 113 yards offense. The Buckeyes offense had a usual Indiana-effort, racking up 464 yards. Not too shabby. Everyone looked good on both sides of the ball and the game was pretty ho-hum. The game was never in question.
But the officiating?! Holy crap on a stick, this is one of the worst officiated games I’ve witnessed in years. It’s unbelievable how many bad calls were made and how many obvious calls were missed. The aforementioned Ginn fumble was a bad no-call. His forward progress had obviously been stopped but the whistle was never blown. Bad mistake. On IU’s kick-off, D’Andrea called for a fair-catch and then muffed the kick-off, the whistle was blown entirely too early and IU was robbed of a turnover. Even when they went to instant-replay, Indiana was hosed on a nice shoe-string catch that was overturned. Huh? And the most egregious call? After Ted Ginn took a kick-off 95+ yards to the house a flag was thrown. The call? A personal foul, a hit to a “defenseless player”. That is the biggest joke of a call I’ve ever heard. If you are on the playing field and you are wearing PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT, you are not defenseless. And what are you doing to qualify being “defenseless”? Tieing your shoes? Picking up the tee? What a joke.
In the end, OSU wasn’t perfect but still laid the wood to an overmatched Indiana. Go Bucks!
Wow! What a Saturday to be a college football fan. The Luck of the Irish falls short as USC wins at South Bend, Meatchicken pulls off the improbable 1-second-left-in-the-game upset of Penn State, and of course the Buckeyes rolled to a 35-24 win over the Spartans of Michigan State.
I was at the Horsehoe again today and the first 40 minutes or so of the game were gut wrenching. It looked like OSU was going to give another game away with turnovers and bad plays. When Troy Smith fumbled the ball and MSU had a chance to go ahead big on us, I started getting really nervous. Sick-to-my-stomach nervous. But, oh, our Defense! Sure they gave up a lot of yards to the second best offense in the country but they clamped down when they were put in bad situations. After MSU missed their second field goal, things started looking better. And easier on my stomach.
Tedd Ginn and Santonio Holmes both had big games (finally!) and both did their best to drop everything that was kicked their way. Talk about heart-stopping moments. With 4 lost fumbles, we had a lot to worry about, but in the end, the good guys prevailed.
A cool thing happened while we were at the game. My wife was sitting next to an older gentleman who was wearing a 2002 National Championship ring. The thing was fricking huge. In passing, she mentioned what a nice ring he was wearing. Turns out, he was Michael Stafford’s (who was a senior OL, #50, who played on the 2002 OSU National Championship team) dad. It was pretty cool to see something like that up close. They don’t skimp on the jewelry for the winners. It was cool to see a piece of history like that.
Not much to talk about this week. The Buckeye went into Beaver Stadium favored by 3 points and came out with a hard-to-accept loss. Both defenses played well but I thought OSU’s defense dominated this game. If Troy Smith doesn’t throw the interception that was returned to the 1-yard line, OSU has a pretty good chance to win this game. The loss to Texas was a heartbreaker. This loss was frustrating.
Frustrating because of all the talent on the OSU football team. We have, arguably, three of the fastest wide-outs in the country and we didn’t start throwing the ball down the field until the third quarter. Frustrating.
So once again our future is in doubt. There’s a chance we can still win the Big Ten, but that’s a long way off. We’ll just sit back and see what happens.
Since this is OSU’s bye week, I decided to wait for the latest Buckeye Blogging until after this week’s rankings came out. As I figured, LSU’s loss (and Florida’s) has caused OSU’s ratings to rise. Ah, the joys of losing early. OSU is the highest ranked team with a loss. They’re currently #6 in both polls.
I did get a chance to watch some of our future foes, namely Penn State and Michigan State. Penn State is suddenly everyone’s darling but I’m not buying it. They’ve beat a bunch of push-overs to get to 5-0. OSU should be able to roll into Happy Valley and roll over the Lions. OSU’s defense is too good to expect anything less.
Michigan State comes to Columbus a week later (a game I’ll be at) and I wasn’t impressed with MSU in their loss to Michigan. The Wolverines just seem to have MSU’s number. MSU’s offense can put up big numbers but I think they’re in for a rude awakening when they meet Hawk & Co. I’m hoping OSU’s offense has a field day against the Spartan’s defense. Things are looking up for the Buckeyes.
Other intriguing match-ups the next couple weeks include Texas and Oklahoma this week and Notre Dame and USC next week. Does OU still own Texas? Will Mack Brown ever beat Stoops? Will USC recover from their defensive injuries? Stay tuned! Same Buckeye time, same Buckeye channel!
I said after OSU’s loss to Texas that the Buckeyes aren’t completely out of the National Championship hunt but the road is tough. Not only do they have to run the table in the Big Ten but other cards have to fall into place, namely we need other teams to lose.
As I write this, Tennessee is in a position to make that first card fall. As much as my brain hurts to say this, here it is: “Go Vols!”
Update: Gerald Riggs Jr. just scored the winning TD in overtime, the Volunteers beat LSU. The cameras scanned the stands after the score and you could see the disbelief in the eyes of the LSU fans.
I know how that feels, man. I know how that feels.
Ohio State seems to have recovered from the “Texas hangover” they were suffering from during the San Diego State game to come to their offensive senses and take the Iowa Hawkeyes behind the woodshed and give them a royal thrashing. Pay back for last year or not, OSU laid the smack down. 530 total yards on offense to Iowa’s 137. Iowa had -9 yards rushing. I hope that isn’t lost on anyone. OSU defense is TUFF. -9 yards? That’s crazy tough. In the last two games, OSU has allowed 4 yards rushing. Teams would be better off passing the ball seventy times and forego the run all together.
I had a chance to attend the game which was a great game to be in the stands for. The only problem I have is that certain OSU “fans” are dumb. They can’t wrap their head around Tressel-ball. For the uninformed, Tressel-ball consists of field position, special teams and no mistakes. Conservative plays and easy scores are also part of TB. When OSU had the ball as the first half was winding down (about a minute left), Tressel-ball kicked in and instead of trying for the endzone, OSU ran up the middle to get into field goal range. They let the clock run down to 4 seconds, called a time out, kicked the field goal and went into the locker room at the half, up 17-0. Ohio State was in control and winning 17-0. A reason to be happy, right? Not for some “fans”. People were booing. That’s just sheer stupidity, people! This is Jim Tressel, not Steve Spurrier. He’s gonna play the way he knows how to play. It isn’t pretty, it isn’t flashy and it isn’t always exciting but it wins games. How quickly people have forgotten the 2002 season. Lighten up, OSU fans, and let Tressel do his job.
Oh, and those of you who hold up four fingers at the beginning of the fourth quarter? Please stop. You’re embarrassing us.