Archives for April 2010

You already knew this, but…

The Ohio State Defense has been really good lately. So says Phil Steele:

Ohio St scoring defense has been dominant over the past 5 years allowing just 13.4 ppg which is more than 1 ppg lower than #2 Virginia Tech. TCU has always fielded good defenses under HC Gary Patterson and the Horned Frogs have given up just 14.74 ppg the last 5 years. USC thanks to allowing just 9.0 ppg in 2008 (lowest since Auburn in 1988!) was #6 allowing just 16.56 ppg.

Statistics make me happy.

A Fresh Start for Mount Vernon

It may seem like I spend an inordinate amount of time obsessing over Vernon Gholston’s career but I feel a certain investment in it, especially after prominently (and quite honestly, creepily) featuring his genetically superior physique while he was at Ohio State and possibly over-hyping his performances at any chance. Fans do weird things.

I mentioned a little while ago about the path his current career is taking and the outlook wasn’t particularly rosy.

But maybe now, things are actually looking up for everyone’s favorite gun show. The Jets will be making some changes to their expectations of the 2008 #6 overall draft pick. They could have cut him, effectively labeling him a bust or they could restructure his contract, load it with incentive clauses, and try to make it work.

It looks like that this really will be a make-or-break season for Vernon, who will be moved from outside linebacker to defensive end, a position he should be more comfortable in and as a player, is built for.

Let’s hope it works.

Spring Game

This year I’m trying not to get caught up in the spring time hype and excitement. I know it’s fun to follow the team’s practice and preparation, but there’s only so much that can really be gained from dissecting a handful of practices and half-speed scrimmages. That’s not to say I didn’t watch the spring like a giddy little schoolgirl. I did. But I’m not putting much stock in the entire experience. The only real gauge you can get is what you see based on individual performances.

Some observations:

My Quarterbacks? Let me show you them.

My assertion that we shouldn’t take stock in a lot of what we saw during the spring game holds especially true with the quarterbacks, most specifically the back ups. But, man..

Red shirt freshman Kenny Guiton certainly impressed all game long. Not exactly accurate but he certainly isn’t lacking in the arm strength department. This being a scrimmage with no repercussions, Guiton was certainly more than happy to air it out. He looks a little small to me, but he was looking to turn some heads out there. I’d say he succeeded.

Pryor, not to be outdone by some young buck looked quite good himself during his first quarter scoring drive. Sure, he was wearing the tackling flags, but he looked rather comfortable in the pocket. Clearly Stoneburner and Sanzenbacher will play a large part in the offense this season.

I believe I can fly

Who does Zach Boren think he is, Matt Keller? Certainly he knows that the coaches were just messing with his mind. Throwing to the fullback! Like that’s really ever going to happen. Pshaw. Boren’s little catch and tightrope walk down the sideline had all the grace and beauty of an elephant doing a somersault.

Still, he gave hope to all of us out of shape, big, goofy guys. Thanks, Zach.

Command, we have a Taurian Washington sighting.

Repeat: We have a Taurian Washington sighting.

Not seen since the Navy game last season, military satellites have picked up a thermal signature matching the file on record for one, “Taurian Washington.” Said signature was seen getting wide open with startlingly regularity and using its hands in a manner that has never been seen previously. Intelligence is withholding its final judgment until this happens in in September.

Bigger, Stronger, Faster

It was hard to really to get a read on the running backs during this game. I had hoped to get a better feel for some of the younger guys but that didn’t really happen. We already knew what Boom and Saine were capable of and Jordan Hall wasn’t much of a surprise. It was nice to see Carlos Hyde, but he didn’t show much yet.

It did appear that Jordan Hall looks slimmer and faster. I think he has a break-out season this year.

He’ll find you. He always does.

He has been a favorite of the Buckeye blogosphere for a while now, but soon everyone will know his name. As he proved with his tackle of James Jackson, Donnie Evege will chase you down from behind.

And you will like it.

And finally

Man, the Big Ten Network is rough around the edges with it’s D- and E-team commentators. That was painful.

Hopefully Mike Tomczak will NEVER do a Big Ten Network football game that I want to watch.

What did you think? Did you see what you wanted to? What were your impressions?

NFL Draft/Cavs v. Bulls/Spring Game Open Thread

It’s been a while since we’ve had an open thread around these parts, and with all the sports-related action going on, I thought it would be great to throw up an open thread and hear from you guys.

I know most mock drafts don’t have Thaddues Maximus going very high (read: tonight) but some of us are Browns fans interested in seeing who goes where. I also know you guys are fans of other teams, as well. Who would you like to see your team pick up? Where would you like this year’s crop of Buckeyes to go?

While all of this is going on, the Cleveland Cavs will be busy stomping on the likes of Joakim Noah and the Chicago Bulls tonight and finishing them off Sunday afternoon. Should be smooth sailing for the Cavs until the Eastern Conference Finals. I haven’t mentioned the Cavs a lot this season but it has been a lot of fun watching LeBron all season long, and here’s to hoping it continues.

And let’s not forget about the crowning jewel of this weekend’s sporting extravaganza — the Ohio State Football Spring Game. Teams were drafted yesterday and the showdown begins at 1:30 on Saturday in the ‘Shoe. The Big Ten Network will be airing it live and ninety-thousand plus will be on hand to witness the next step for this year’s crew. Are you going?

Update: – The Cavs game didn’t exactly turn out well, but I’m not too worried at this point. They were down 21 and were one 40 foot shot from winning. On a game where everyone but LeBron had a bad game, this is just fine. It’s good to get everyone’s “bad game” out all at once.

As for the Browns, I think Haden is a solid pick. I would have liked to see them steal Berry, but so far the Browns haven’t screwed this draft up yet. But they still have time.

In case you missed it

You, yes you, can get yourself an Ohio State Wide Receiver for the low-low price of a fifth round draft pick. Here’s to hoping Ted Ginn Jr. can get a new lease on life on the Left Coast while Santonio Holmes joins Braylon Edwards in the unholiest of wide receiver tandems with the Jets. This is some bizarro world we live in. I’m not sure what to make of Santonio.

If you’ve been paying attention, there’s a lot of spring practice info out there (11W being on top of it all). We are still in our mostly hibernation phase, coming out of the cave once and a while to check in on stuff, so we haven’t posted much. We are planning a MotSaG trip to the Spring Game, though, so that should give us the chance to post some Spring Game impressions.

I promised a friend and MotSaG reader that I’d put together a post looking at all the RBs Ohio State will be fielding in the upcoming season. It’s still a work in progress but it should be coming soon. These are exciting times to be a Buckeye Fan.

Also, don’t forget you can “Like” (AKA be a fan of) Men of the Scarlet and Gray on Facebook. We’d appreciate it.

In case you missed it

The Buckeyes had some “extra help” with stopping the Oregon Ducks’ offense when the two teams met in the Rose Bowl. At least some people are convincing themselves that this actually happened.

Of course, this is all being embellished (and possibly taken out of context) by John Hunt, of (h/t Adam Rittenberg):

“There were a couple times last year when we kind of felt like our signals were, maybe, compromised,’’ offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich said.

Now, I’m just saying, if we take Helfrich’s comments at face value (which is all we can do, really) then I’m inclined to say that he isn’t referring to the Buckeyes. He specifically states “a couple times last year,” which would imply games during the regular season. Which logically should eliminate the Buckeyes as suspects, seeing how they played this year, not last.

And, as other have mentioned, stealing signals is one thing. Punting a fumble out of the endzone is another. If LeGarrette “Falcon Punch” Blount and Jeremiah Mac-soli had made a few more plays that fateful New Year’s Day, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

Some writers (I’m looking at you, Dan Le Batard) just can’t let things go.

Good Luck, The Kid ET

Our best wishes go out to Evan Turner as he prepares to make the jump to the next level of basketball competition, declaring himself eligible for the Association.

Turner’s development has been interesting to watch over the years. Coming in as a highly rated recruit, he reportedly butted heads with teammates and coaches and had an oversized chip on his shoulder. To his credit, he matured, did what was asked of him and became the excellent ball player and teammate that we saw all during the ’09-10 season. When it counted the most, Turner came through in thrilling ways. It has been a pleasure to watch him play.

I think it’s a testament to Thad Matta’s coaching skills that if players are willing to give him more than one year, he will provide the opportunities and tools to compete at the next level. Unless you’re a singular physical unit like Oden or a singular talent like Mike Conley Jr., it takes time to to develop into a well-rounded player. It’s a shame to think what could be with players like Koufos or Mullens had they taken the time. (It’s also sad to think what this team would have been with either of those players, but that thought process simply leads to pain)

So our hats off to you, Evan Turner. Anyone willing to break their back (literally and figuratively) will earn our respect and admiration. You have firmly ensconced yourself in the Pantheon of Buckeyes and our hearts forever.

Congrats are in order

Congratulations to Miller (sorry, don’t have a first name) on his 2010 NCAA Tournament Challenge victory. He correctly predicted a championship for the Puke Blue Devilesses. As much as it pains me to say this, good on ya, mate!

Due to poor planning, the only prize this year is our undying respect and admiration. That counts for something, right?

I’d also like a little credit for not picking a single Final Four team. That takes a certain level of suckitude that most mortals struggle to attain. It comes to me quite easily.

Was there any doubt?

Tonight, Evan Turner was crowned King of the World. He announced that he will be back for his senior season. He was also awarded the 2010 Naismith Award after already receiving every other significant Player of the Year Award.

(One of those things is true.)

Taking Socialization to the Next Level

We’ve extolled the virtues of Twittering a lot around these parts, pimping our new Twittering Buckeyes page and our own Twitter feeds for a while now, but I’ve added to new way to socialize with the MotSaG community. It’s all about the Social.

The first and most obvious is Facebook. I use Facebook fairly regularly, but I reserve it for people (with a couple exceptions) that I actually have some kind of relationship with. This includes family, close friends and co-workers. Basically, people I’ve shared air with at one time or another. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to interact with other people on Facebook, especially fellow Buckeye fans. In order to facilitate that interaction, I’ve set up a Men of the Scarlet and Gray Fan page. Become a fan today! For now, I just have the site feed hooked up to the Facebook page but in the future I hope to do a little more with the fan page.

I also have a widget for the Google Friend connect that lets me see what kind of readership we have. It also puts a name with a face, which I appreciate (although you might not).

So get social with us!