Archives for October 2006

Happy Halloween

The boys over at the M-Zone bring the funny with their “Coaches’ Halloween Costumes“. Excellent stuff. Behold:

Charlie Weis – Notre Dame
Costume: Ballerina

Charlie proved you can dance around the fact that you haven’t beaten a top team yet still get a $40M contract extention.

OSU/Minnesota – Semi-live update

OSU FootballAs we were worried about yesterday, the weather looks to be terrible for this game. The rain that has been steadily falling for the past 48 hours has stopped, but the damage has probably been done on the Shoe’s terrible “grass” (otherwise known to football players as “dirt painted green”). It looks more and more like OSU is moving to field turf at the end of the season.

It’s an odd afternoon. Many places in Ohio are under a high-wind warning. Sustained winds in Columbus are 29 mph, with gusts to 50. The Sun comes out for 20 minutes, then a hard five minute rainshower follows. November weather, without the cold or snow (it’s pretty warm at ~50 degrees).

I’m expecting short punts, a rough passing game, and problems with FGs. Still, OSU should own Minnesota’s defense today… so I don’t think the weather will affect anything other than the final score (might be a bit lower than usual).

End of First Half
Score: 17-0
OSU is dominant, even through a pretty sloppy effort offensively. Six drives, three scores, no punts. Two drives stopped by sloppy fumbles, one by an offensive penalty when OSU was preparing for another score right before the half.

Pittman is an animal – I don’t have his stats right now, but he’s got near 100 rushing already, plus about another couple of dozen receiving.

Disgusting how the broacasters “blamed” Ray Small for being on the bad side of the helmet-to-helmet hit. “Yes, it was helmet-to-helmet, but Ray has to get his head out of the way.” WTH?!?! If that wasn’t the worst logic of the century, the analyst went further by blaming Troy Smith for it! “Smith should have been the eyes for Ray Small.” Vomitous. It’s been years since I’ve seen Tressel so angry at the officials.

Defense dominant as always. I doubt Minnesota has any positive rushing yards. Getting it done in the middle, on the ends, and in the secondary.

End of Game
Final Score: 44-0

Wow. The past four games or so, the OSU defense has come within one play or so of a shutout, and it was great to see it finally happen today.

Five rushing TDs today. Troy Smith, Pittman (2), Wells, and Zwick. Those who “complain” about the lack of Troy Smith’s passing numbers should consider that today’s game plan was all about the rush. Still, Smith had another “Heisman highlight-reel” moment when scrambling for his TD rush. He totalled 226 yards & 2 TDs (one pass, one rush).

The best moment of the second half was the elation on Smith’s face when backup Justin Zwick rushed for a TD. He cheered & hollered for Zwick, who, after leading a flawless, long (mostly on the ground) drive using only second/third stringers, dived across the line for the last TD.

Still, I feel the Bucks were a little sloppy on offense overall, but it’s hard to tell how much of that was due to the weather.

Seeing the Golden Bear “dotting the i” with tears in his eyes is a historic Buckeye moment. I was hoping he would take a golf club & make a few practice swings, but his simple wave & tip of the hat was unbelievably classy. Not many outside of Columbus know this, but it was Woody Hayes who told Jack Nicklaus to stick to golf, and supported him by attending when Nicklaus played his US Opens. Hayes even served as a sports reporter for Jack when he played competitively, since papers weren’t sending reporters to follow OSU’s best golfer! Hayes served as Jack’s journalist, sending reports and updates to the local papers.

Back to OSU, it’s great to see another Tressel defense peaking toward the end of the year. This team keeps getting better every week, and it’s refreshing.

Now Burgess?

FootballColumbus television stations are reporting that Prescott Burgess, linebacker for UM, may be wanted by Columbus Police.

As of this post, no specific details are available. Internet threads, however, are lighting up with a story about Burgess burglarizing a now-defunct electronics store in Columbus several years ago.

The mighty Prescott Burgess, getting knocked on his tuckus for the bajillionth time by Stan White, Jr, allowing Pittman to score the winning TD

We’ll reserve an opinion on Burgess until all the details are revealed.

It’s disturbing, though, how a lot of UM blogs and fans in these threads are already complaining about the C-bus police, generally taking the position that even if Burgess is guilty, it was a long time ago and the store no longer exists, so it shouldn’t matter. That’s kind of a dangerous way to think, but the story is young.

I say this honestly: I hope it turns out to be nothing. Like most true OSU and UM fans, I want all players on both sides to be there and healthy when the game comes around. UM’s best vs. OSU’s best – the best spectacle in the sports universe.

Week #9 – Minnesota – Open Thread

Ohio State is ready to take on the Golden Gophers in the “Prepare-for-Michigan” part of their schedule. Minnesota comes in the Horseshoe heavy underdogs, arriving for Homecoming and right onto the tracks of the incoming bullet-train that is the Ohio State offense. Troy Smith will continue his assualt on the Big Ten, going up against one of the worst defenses in college this year (Minnesota is currently ranked 97th in total defense). Minnesota can’t stop the run, which should bode well for Pittman, looking to rack up some serious yards in game where Tressel will lean heavily on the run once Troy puts the Bucks up by a few touchdowns in the middle of the second quarter. Look for a heavy dose of Pittman, Wells, and Wells. Should be a good day for the OSU Offense.

You want previews? As always, Buckeye Planet and The O-Zone deliver the goods. We usually take a look around the blogosphere for some additional commentary, but there’s not a lot for the Minnesota game. Bloggers are already ramping up their Michigan previews and prognostications, so it’s rather quiet on the Minnesota front.

That’s not to say this week will be interesting. Aside from the fact that this will be a statsheet-stuffer for the offense, there will be some really cool festivities at halftime as Jack Nicklaus get’s to dot the I in script Ohio. (Ironic that the Golden Bear dots the I when his alma mater is playing the Golden Gophers, innit?) Homecoming is also this week, which means the introduction of this year’s homecoming King and Queen. Much to the dismay of the females all around campus, el Kaiser is not one of the nominees for Homecoming King. Sorry ladies, he’s taken.

Hopefully you’ve seen sportsMonkey’s post about the possibility of a streak of winning nine games by a margin of victory of 17 or more points. The line is currently 27 points. What say you?

Minnesota usually sports a potent running game, and this year they’re averaging over 160 yards a game. They gained 108 vs. the vaunted Michigan defense. Can OSU’s defense (who replaced nine starters) hold them under an hundred yards?
Little Animal (Lauranitais) hails from Minnesota. How many tackles does he account for? (o/u: 12)
Antonio Smith was a beast last week. Does he outdo himself and take a pick to the house?

Add your predictions in the comments!

el Kaiser’s predictions:
Final Score: OSU: 47 Minnesota: 10
Minnesota’s rushing: over, 129 yards.
Little Animal: over, 16 tackles
Antonio Smith: as much as I’d like to see it, no endzone for Smith. (Antonio, that is)

Sylvester Yon-Rambo’s predictions:
Final Score: OSU: 56 Minnesota: 3
Minnesota’s rushing: under, 68 yards.
Little Animal: under, 7 tackles
Antonio Smith: 1 int and 2 TFLs and 0 TDs
Comments: I know the buckeyes are going to put up 50 points eventually this year…..I hope it is against that stupid idiotic team up north. Minnesota will try to pass the ball on saturday a lot and wont be able to run while trailing so much. Little Animal wont get enough def plays to get more than 12 tackles as they will have a lot of 3 and outs. Smith will of course earn a reputation as a ball hawk and will be everywhere on Sat.

sportsMonkey’s predictions:
Final Score: OSU: 45 Minnesota: 7
Minnesota’s rushing: over, 101 yards.
Little Animal: even, 12 tackles
Antonio Smith: 1 INT
Comments: I really think the Bucks want a shutout, and this could be the game. Field conditions should be the worst all year, though; Columbus is getting about 36 hours of straight, steady rain from Thursday night to Saturday morning. The field will be muddy and slippery, so that might keep the Bucks out of the 50s in scoring (unless the defense &/or special teams pitches in a TD or two). Minnesota really only has two weapons – the pounding rush and their wideout Payne, who had a field day with the Michigan secondary earlier this year. The Little Animal and his friends should be able to control the former, Antonio Smith the latter.

To me, the most interesting thing about this week’s game is that OSU will finally get to see a rushing attack that’s similar to Michigan’s. Not as good, of course, but similar. Nothing fancy, just a big junior RB pounding away down after down, with an occasional pass to a talented WR. It’ll be a good learning experience for the OSU defense, as they begin to prepare for UM and Hart.

Zeke’s predictions:
Final Score: OSU: 38 Minnesota: 6
Minnesota’s rushing: under, 95 yards.
Little Animal: under, 10 tackles
Antonio Smith: No pick six for Antonio

Random BuckNotes

OSU Football

noteIcon If OSU beats Minnesota by by 17 points this weekend, it will be the first time since 1973 that a Buckeye team has won its first nine games by 17 points or more.
noteIcon The Bucks have never won their first ten games by 17 points or more. With Minnesota at home this weekend and Illinois on the schedule next week, it could happen.
noteIcon The Bucks’ lowest margin of victory for the season (17 pts) was against #2 Texas — other than the ‘Horns, no team has gotten within three touchdowns of OSU.
noteIcon The Bucks’ margin of victory is averaging a whopping four touchowns per game. Compare that to the #2 Wolverines, whose margin of victory averages 17 points.
noteIcon Speaking of the Minnesota game, the legendary Jack Nicklaus will “dotting the i” this weekend. Only five people in history have been given this honor. Keith over at Buckeye Commentary provides more details on the event.
noteIcon With the shutdown of Indiana last weekend, OSU took back its first place spot in scoring defense (tied with LSU at 8.3 ppg).
noteIcon For all the (well-deserved) talk about UM’s great defense, it’s worth noting that OSU’s defense is statistically similar. For example, UM’s defense is only giving up 241 yards per game, but the Bucks’ D is only giving up thirty more than that (271).
noteIcon Continuing with some interesting OSU/UM comparisons: OSU and UM both have 12 rushing touchdowns on the season. Antonio Pittman and Mike Hart both have 8 rushing touchowns on the season. This latter stat is amazing, considering that Hart has 214 carries on the year to Pittman’s 142. (In short, Pittman only gets two-thirds of the carries that Hart does, but scores the same number of TDs. Pittman also has a much higher YPC, even though Hart plays four quarters a game.)
noteIcon OSU is one of only six teams in the country with a double-digit turnover margin (the others are Western Mich., Texas, BYU, Alabama, and Cal). Three of the six (including OSU) are tied for second place with a +11. Texas leads the country with a +12.

Blogpoll Ballot, Week #9

Rank Team Delta
1 Ohio State
2 Michigan
3 West Virginia
4 Southern Cal
5 Texas
6 Louisville
7 Auburn
8 Clemson 5
9 California
10 Tennessee 2
11 Florida 1
12 Arkansas
13 Boise State 1
14 Rutgers 3
15 Notre Dame 4
16 Wisconsin 4
17 LSU 1
18 Boston College 3
19 Texas A&M 3
20 Nebraska 1
21 Wake Forest 2
22 Missouri 2
23 Oklahoma 3
24 Georgia Tech 9
25 Brigham Young

Dropped Out: Oregon (#16).

Games we watched:
Clemson vs Georgia Tech
Iowa Vs Michigan
Alabama vs Tennesee
UCLA vs. Notre Dame
Rutgers vs. Pittsburgh

The consensus from the MotSaG bloggers is that outside of the top 2 or 3, everyone has different opinions. SYR is having problems with the 2-loss teams and sportsMonkey still thinks USC has looked stronger than Michigan so far.

Truth is, we could care less about the other 23 teams and what they do right now. We’re all waiting for November 18th when #2 Michigan comes into OUR HOUSE and is introduced to the Troy Smith Express.

Choo choo!

Arrington 911 transcript

FootballThere’s something interesting about the Adrian Arrington situation that no one has yet seemed to realize.

Arrington’s girlfriend called 911 on the night of October 12th/13th, yet Arrington was not arraigned until the 18th. In between that time, Arrington travelled to State College, Pennsylvania, for the game against Penn State, and returned to Ann Arbor.

It sounded a bit fishy to us here at MotSaG. You’re a famous football player, everyone in the state knows you by name, and you’ve been accused of violence, underage drinking, and auto theft; yet the police decide to wait for over five days before bringing you in?

So we called our sources in that State Up North (they are underground, mind you, for their own safety), and managed to get the following transcript** of the infamous 911 call:

[DISPATCHER]: “Ypsilanti 911. What’s your emergency?”

[FEMALE]: “My boyfriend is drunk, just roughed me up and stole my car, and is driving around.”

[DISPATCHER]: “Could you describe him, ma’am?”

[FEMALE]: “Yes, sir. African American, about 6 foot 3, just under 200 pounds, 20 years old.”

[DISPATCHER]: “You say he’s 20?”

[FEMALE]: “Yes, sir.”

[DISPATCHER]: “And drunk?”

[FEMALE]: “Yes, sir.”

[DISPATCHER]: “And driving around in your car, which he took without permission?”

[FEMALE]: “Yes, sir. He roughed me up pretty good. I tried to keep the keys from him, but he was too strong.”

[DISPATCHER]: “What’s his name, ma’am?”

[FEMALE]: “Adrian Arrington.”

[DISPATCHER]:The Adrian Arrington? Plays for the Wolverines?”

[FEMALE]: “Yes, that’s him.”

[DISPATCHER]: (Pauses) “He’s starting tomorrow, covering for Manningham, right?”

[FEMALE]: “Yes.”

[DISPATCHER]: (Pauses again) “We’ll send a black & white by, say… Wednesday next week. Is that good for you?”

I’m sure the Ypsilanti police don’t have block-M’s hanging in their headquarters, or anything.

** Of course this transcript is fake. But you knew that.


CBJI’ve been waiting to chime in on the recent lethargic performance of the CBJ.

First, I was hoping it was only that the Jackets were having a hard time getting up to speed after the long layoff (2 games in 10 days).

Then, when things weren’t getting better, I started wondering if the team chemistry was out of synch due to the injuries to Fedorov, Berard, et. al. Maybe when Feddy came back, I thought, things would take off (like they did when he reported last December). But no.

Last night’s pathetic performance against the Sharks (3-0) should have been the CBJ’s coming out party. Sergei’s return should have sparked the team (it certainly sparked the fans), and he always plays well against San Jose. Granted, the Sharks look very good this year, but my nephew’s junior league could have played with more effort than the Jackets did last night.

Fedorov: “Look everyone, I’m flying with the Blue Jackets! Huh? What’s that?
The Blue
Angels? Awww, crap.”

It’s hard to pin down the exact reason. Is it the blueliners? Are we missing Denis more than we thought we would? If defense is the problem, then why are we not getting shots on goal during 5 on 3 power plays? Why are almost all the players lumbering after the puck instead of attacking it?

This isn’t a question of the CBJ getting soundly beat by other teams, it’s almost like they’re beating themselves for the other squads. I have some polite requests:

To Sergei Fedorov: Do whatever you did last December, please.

To Adam Foote: This is your team, dude. Set the bar by playing harder yourself.

To Rick Nash: Take the shot. Just take it. For crying out loud, stop trying to be Zherdev with the finesse, sudden stops, and fancy twists, & just use your speed to outrace everyone and take the shot.

To Nick Zherdev: Take the shot. Just take it. For crying out loud, stop trying to be Nash with the speed and the 500 mph pucks, & just use your finesse to fake everyone out and take the shot.

To (putting on my Jeff Rimer voice) Zhiiilll-beyaar Broo-lay (Gilbert Brule): Keep it up. Stay mad that they had the nerve to put you on the fourth line. It’s helping.

To Shelly and Tollefson: As much as I am against violence, would you please try to intimidate someone by checking them into the Nationwide parking lot? I’ve always liked Shelly – but honestly, I’ve only seen a handful of good shifts from him this season. Tollefson – some good effort here. Keep it up. I just wish he was a teeensy bit faster. Maybe we could build a little ice ramp for him to build up speed, or add some little Wile E. Coyote rockets to his skates or something.

To me, whenever a team has this much talent, and yet doesn’t perform, you’ve gotta look at coaching. Gallant certainly says the right things, but this team has no chemistry or fire. Is that a coaching problem? I think it might be. So far, I’ve had no problem with Gallant, but it’s hard to see where he stops and Doug MacLean starts.

Sigh. Another slow start. I hope it’s an aberration this time.

Mack > Lloyd

LLLLoydIt turns out that UM wide reciever Adrian Arrington’s legal situation is “more severe than originally thought.”

In case you’ve been under a rock, Arrington played on Saturday despite Internet rumors of him having been booked for domestic violence late last week. The initial DFP article that discussed the situation quoted:

I do not think the allegation is supported by the facts,” Carr said. “This is just in the last few days.” Carr went to great effort to say that he was “very careful” when investigating the facts.

So Carr took it upon himself to investigate the situation “very carefully,” and determined that the allegations did not merit disciplinary action.

But today, details of the situation are coming to light. In short, Arrington was supposedly drunk, roughed up his girlfriend, took her keys, and stole her car. This all occurred on the early morning hours of October 13, a day before the Penn State game.

Even though he investigated the situation — very carefully — now Carr is saying something a bit different:

“I was first informed that there was an issue mid-week” last week involving Arrington, Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said Monday through athletic department spokesman Bruce Madej. “This is a new issue and if he was drinking, I have to find that out and it is a team issue. And we handle team issues internally.”

We wouldn’t be a very good OSU blog if we didn’t point out the interesting “coincidences” here:


  • Mario Manningham and Tyler Ecker get injured, are out for the Penn State and Iowa games (at least). As a result, UM is very thin at receivers. Arrington and Breaston will have to step up if UM has a chance to make it to Columbus undefeated.
  • Penn State and Iowa are the two biggest games on the UM schedule leading up to OSU. Penn State in particular is a potential trap, being an away game at night in Beaver Stadium.
  • After PSU & Iowa, UM has three cakewalk games leading up to the big showdown against OSU.

Sequence of events:

  1. The day before the Penn State game, Arrington’s girlfriend calls 911 (Ypsilanti police respond).
  2. Arrington plays at Penn State, getting 83 yards and a TD in a very close game against the Lions.
  3. Arrington is arraigned.
  4. Carr is “first informed” of the situation, during preparations for Iowa.
  5. Carr “very carefully” investigates, determines that “the allegations are not supported by the facts.”
  6. Internet threads and blogs break the news, with people wondering what Arrington was doing driving around drunk the day before the Penn State game, and questioning why Arrington is being allowed to play at all.
  7. Crickets are heard chirping in Ann Arbor.
  8. Arrington plays against Iowa, getting 8 catches for 79 yards in another close game.
  9. 48 hours after the Iowa game, about 10 days after the initial call to 911, Carr says that the details regarding the incident are “a new issue,” and that it “will be handled internally.”
  10. UM takes a breath, begins preparing for the weakest part of their schedule.
  11. Arrington pleads not guilty, court date set for November 1.

Note that we’re not concluding anything, here. Feel free to make your own conclusions about the sequence of events. There are numerous odd “coincidences,” especially regarding all of this happening when (1) Manningham is out and (2) UM can’t afford to be thin at WR for two tough games. However, it is just as likely that Carr did not know what was going on, or that Carr somehow wasn’t aware that his star WR was driving around drunk the morning they were supposed to travel to PSU. Time will tell how much of the story is true and how much is overblown.

However, MotSaG was able to obtain the following clip of the phone conversation between UM’s athletic director Bill Martin and Carr, and it’s clear he’s not too happy with Carr’s handling of the situation:


Let’s state the obvious: Carr should have benched Arrington for Iowa’s game, at least.

Consider the following: The week of the OSU/Texas game, Tarell Brown, the Horns’ starting CB, was arrested on drug and weapons violations. Just like Lloyd Carr, Mack Brown investigated the situation “very carefully” and determined that the charges against Brown were likely to be dropped.

But he still suspended him.

Coach Brown suspended his starting CB on the eve of the biggest non-conference game of the year — the kid who was supposed to cover Ted Ginn Jr. — even though he was confident that his CB was not going to be charged with a crime.

Mack Brown did that because, even though his player was going to get off the hook legally, he was still behaving in a manner that was unacceptable to the standards of the football program. Even if that meant risking a shot at the national title, it was the right thing to do. Div. I-A football players shouldn’t be out getting drunk, high, (or hanging with people who are getting drunk and high), violating team curfew, rules, etc. To do things like those shows (at the very least) that you do not have your team’s best interests in mind, because any absence that results from your discipline could hurt their chances.

Even if only part of the allegations surrounding Arrington are correct, it’s clear that he didn’t have his team’s best interests in mind, either. In fact, his offense is worse, because he was asked to step up and play for Manningham. His team was depending on him, and he was perfectly willing to put them in a bad spot.

At any rate, how convenient it is that the timing of these events works out just perfect for UM. At least now, if Arrington gets suspended, it’ll only be for Ball State or Indiana. And Manningham & Ecker will probably be back by then, anyway.

OSU/Indiana – Semi-live update

OSU Football

End of first half

Score: 28-3

Complete domination. What else is there to say?

Lewis is a speedy, dangerous QB who looks to be covered in axle grease. Looks like IU has found another Randle El. He’s fun to watch.

The Bucks started a bit flat, they dropped three sure interceptions. Smith missed his first four passes, but has still managed to throw four TDs in the first half, and has about 40 yards rushing himself. One of the TDs was a spinning, hurdling, Heisman-highlight-reel pass to (who else) TGII in the end zone. Another touchdown was to (who else) Gonzo, who was so wide open that he actually told Troy to hold off on throwing the pass for a moment so that he could finish the crossword puzzle he was working on. Another stellar day so far for the G2.

Lots of TFLs and sacks, including one before the half ended that dropped Lewis back over 20 yards, and that was before his intentional-grounding penalty. Troy took over, and got a cleanup TD right before the half, to the 6’7″, 255 lb third-string freshman TE Ballard. The coaches said that they were going to get Ballard into the game this week, and he sure paid off with a fantastic one handed horizontal grab in the end zone.

The Hoosiers are a second-half team this year, with two comeback victories (one against Iowa), so the second half should be even more exciting than the first.

End of game

Final score: 44-3

What to write about? TG II throwing a TD? Smith passing for four TDs in a single half, something not done since Bob Hoying in 1994? The OSU TEs outscoring G2? Antonio Smith’s “antoine winfield”-like day? Two more INTs for the defense? Holding IU to 3 yards rushing, and ~180 total?

Most complete game of the year. Throw your own analysis in the comments.