Ohio State travels to East Lansing to take on the surprisingly good Michigan State Spartans this Saturday, 3:30 PM. The game will be on ABC, barring any brain farts from the ABC operators.
For all the attention MSU and Ringer are getting for their good ground attack, they’re actually averaging a yard less than Ohio State is per game (177 to 176). A yard is nothing. But our running game has been without Beanie for over half the season. Let’s not forget who has the best running back in the league (when healthy). (That would be Beanie)
Injuries are hurting OSU right now. It’s a total shame that to see DE Lawrence Wilson go down again. It’s almost unfair. Losing Adams and Shugarts isn’t devastating, but losing the chance at redshirting them hurts nonetheless.
Stay healthy, please!
And now it’s broken record time: We have been begging, pleading for the coaches to Unleash the Beast! Isn’t Ohio State’s motto still “Do Something Great®”? How about the coaches motto being “Do Something Different®”? We are just asking to give the Beast a chance. And yet our cries go unheeded. Will this be the game? Will Michigan State come into this game, ready to take it to the Buckeyes and smack them in the mouth, forcing a change? Will a gut punch get the coaches to turn to page 2 of the playbook? IS THERE A PAGE 2? Someone please help me understand.
So if we’re looking at the status quo come tomorrow at 3:30, we could be in for a long game. Ohio State handled Ringer last year. He’s not a big dude. We can and will have to stop him. But we also have to respond. Pryor needs to relax and let the game come to him. Players need to get along and trust each other. Pessism cannot rule the day. So much to do!
There’s no contest this week, but don’t let that stop you from giving us your predictions on the final score. And who wins the battle on the ground? Beanie or Javon? Let us know.
el Kaiser’s predictions:
OSU: 24 MSU: 20 – It’s going to be a close one, but I think OSU’s defense holds strong and only gives up 2 TDs.
Beanie: 180 yds, Ringer: 149 yds.
The situation sets itself up for a very bad day for Sparty. While OSU fans have been a little insecure over the offensive performance over past week or two (myself included), we have to remember that this team is actually underachieving. Conversely, MSU has ridden a one-dimensional scheme into a respectable record, has been overachieving, and overconfidence is brewing as a result.
Both situations will have to balance out sometime, and this weekend is the likely opportunity for it to happen. Sparty is overconfident, not only because of their success under Ringer, but also because of OSU’s struggle last week against Purdue.
I think it’s dangerous to look at OSU’s struggles and underestimate them. Beanie Wells had the flu last week – he did not practice or do drills all week, and was wheezing and gasping on the sidelines – and still put up just shy of 100 yards. MSU’s rushing defense is ranked 8th in the Big10, and that stat includes giving up 140 yards to Sutton last week.
And their quarterback? Hoyer has played for three more full games than Pryor has, yet Pryor has two more TDs on the season (9 touchdowns to Hoyer’s 7). MSU has not shown the ability to win games with their QB yet.
Therefore, that leaves Ringer. Ringer is good, yes, and will give MSU the best chance it has to win the game. But if there is one very, very nice thing about OSU this season, it’s the dependable and consistent play of the defense. This defense – this starting class of the past few years – has not yet failed a challenge against a one-dimensional team (e.g, a team known either for a great back, or a great QB). OSU handled Ringer last year, and a more experienced, veteran defense will probably do the same thing again this Saturday. No question whatsoever – OSU will absolutely keep Sparty to a reasonable amount of points.
That means – shocker! – that OSU will have to depend on its offense to win this one. Who knows which Buckeye team will show up? They seem to be rudderless. I know it’s cliche to say this, but it almost appears as if OSU’s offense (under Pryor) has been playing to the level of its opponent.
With all those factors in mind, I think MSU’s intensity ratchets up the Bucks’ own performance and (if OSU plays like it has been the past month or so) OSU will struggle at times but still win convincingly 20-13. However, if the “balancing” I mentioned above happens, they could easily win this game 41-10.
Either way, Beanie may almost double up Ringer, 160 yds to 90.