Archives for August 2010

State of the Blog, 2010 version

So I’ve never really done one of these before, but here we are at the beginning of the fifth season that has been chronicled here at Men of the Scarlet and Gray. I figured I would take a second to step back see what’s gone on and what we’ve got on tap going in to this season.

First of all, if you’re new to the site, Welcome! Drop a note in the comments how you found the site and what you think. Whether it was following a link from another site, from a Facebook or Twitter link or Google search, we salute you. You can learn a little more about the site, including our commenting policy (updated!) and our writers (hint: some of the writers need to update their blurbs). If you’ve been around for the last few years we thank you. We have the best readers in world.

As for the next few months, content here will take on a consistent schedule. We won’t be deviating from the format during the season we’ve had in the past. We’ll have game previews and reviews, we’ll have open threads and prognosticating contests and we’ll be reporting and commenting on most comings and goings in Buckeyeland. I’m not sure what we’ll be doing for the actual games each week. Last year we participated in the Live chats that a handful of sites participated in and had quite a good time. For now, we’ll probably continue that trend unless something else presents itself.

We’re also social. We love social networks! They provide so much, especially when you get essentially unfettered, uncensored access to people (athletes) we watch every Saturday. So that’s why I’ve got a Twittering Buckeyes page so you can see what current and former Buckeyes are on Twitter and what interesting or inane things they’re saying. You can catch some of us on Twitter (I’m i_aint_yer_pa, sportsMonkey is monkeyPi and YNBA is teamyzerman). Follow us! We also have a Facebook Page, because it’s 2010 and your dog has a Facebook page. For the love of all that is holy, Like us!

Another thing I wanted to mention was the increase in new OSU blogs that have entered (and promptly left) the Ohio State Blogoshoe in the past few months. I’m sure you’re aware of the new Sports Nation blog, Along the Olentangy (I would have went with “On the banks of the Olentangy” but that would be a rather unwieldy URL). Other new sites that have appeared on the Blogroll recently include Inside The Shoe, The Ohio Sports Journal (which is edited by a good friend of mine) and The Duane Long Report (I know Duane’s been around for a while but I just recently started following his blog). And we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention our good friends over at uber OSU blog Eleven Warriors just went through a major overhaul of their site.

So where does that leave us? I don’t know if it came through the past year or two, but the monkey and I got pretty burned out blogging about the Buckeyes. As anyone will tell you, it ain’t easy to do this week in week out. We have real jobs (and are doing EVERYTHING we can to keep said jobs). That’s why I brought on three new bloggers in the last year or so. We needed an infusion of new blood and excitement and I think we’ve accomplished that goal. I also think the monkey and I are getting back into the groove. At least we hope we are.

So that’s where we are on College Football Eve’s eve. Is it Thursday yet?

(Also: Don’t forget to vote for your favorite preview video! The polls close tomorrow!)

Awesome players days left

Question For The Masses

Wow. Three days from this very moment I’ll be on my basement couch, having rocked Hey Buckeyes! on the stereo all day with my Block O flag hanging off the front porch of my house. I don’t know about anyone else, but I plan on tearing through the bulk of a 24-pack of some inexpensive domestic brew and yelling at my projector screen for a good three hours Thursday night.

In short, I’m so excited about the opening of college football season I could crap my pants.

Which leads me – if a bit graphically – to something that occurred to me the other day. My kids got their OSU jerseys for this season via UPS – a white #2 for my daughter and a red #1 for my son*. I have watched College Gameday probably every Saturday since its inception and one thing that always sticks out to me watching games in Columbus vs. other places is the sheer number of people rocking the Buckeyes’ jerseys on game day. And I’m one of the worst, with a personal collection that has included the following:

  • #11 (Antoine Winfield)
  • #8 (Steve Bellisari – err… Drew Carter)
  • #16 (Dr. Krenzel) – although this one wasn’t a Nike jersey and it used to piss me off because the stripes on the sleeves were wrong, so I only had this jersey for about 3 weeks.
  • #7 (Teddy Ginn, Joe Germaine, Joey Galloway)
  • #10 (St. Troy)
  • #28 (Beanie)
  • #2 (Cris Carter, Mike Doss, TP)

So I guess I have a bit of a personal stake in thinking the jersey-as-gameday-uniform is one of the unique little twists that OSU has.

* – an aside for those of you without kids: Jerseys are expensive and kids grow too fast for one to last more than two seasons, tops. It freaking sucks. But we do what we must to remain true to tradition.

I haven’t done any in-depth research on this – just in case any member of the A-Team feels obligated to jump into the comments and point this out – but it seems to me that this is the case. I know for a fact that at Air Force games very few fans rock the jersey, which isn’t really saying much. Most Air Force fans are like the good natured little league parents, cheering for any big play, no matter which team had it, bringing jello-molds and Rice Krispie Treats to the games, and hoping to go home knowing that darn it, everyone just had a really good time. I drop more f-bombs between my bed and the alarm in the morning than the entire capacity of Falcon Stadium does during a game against Navy or Army. But I digress…

Can anyone else think of a college football team whose supporters wear their team’s jerseys in similar proportion to ours? Does anyone else go along with my “white jerseys are for girls, scarlet jerseys are for guys” mantra? Am I just partially insane or full-blown bat-s#&@ crazy? And is Marshall as good on offense as they are if you’re playing them in NCAA 11 on All-American or Heisman difficulty?

I leave these questions to you.

Player and depth chart updates

This is some tidbits from the ESPN Big Ten Blog with info on updates about the Buckeyes.

Junior defensive end Nathan Williams, a projected starter, will miss the Marshall game with a knee injury. He should be back shortly thereafter. Solomon Thomas will start in Williams’ spot Thursday night.

Starting cornerback Chimdi Chekwa (hamstring) is questionable for the Marshall game, but corner Devon Torrence (hamstring) should be fine.

Sophomore C.J. Barnett’s strong performance in camp lifted him ahead of Orhian Johnson on the Week 1 depth chart. Johnson missed a chunk of camp with an injury.

Start salivating, Buckeyes fans, because running backs Jordan Hall and Jaamal Berry likely will handle kickoff returns against Marshall.

Hopefully this info will help with any questions about injuries and depth chart. Stil waiting to see who is listed as the no. 2 QB and how much Tyler Moeller will play.

Ohio State lands Florida St. transfer?

According to Taurian Washington his former high school teammate Dionte Allen from Orchard Lake (Mich.) St. Marys will become a Buckeye. The cornerback from Florida State was a highly touted recruit and chose FSU over OSU originally but has had a injury riddled past and apparently left the team over playing time this year. He will have one year of eligibility left next year after sitting out this year.

No one from OSU admissions office has confirmed this story as of yet.

Previewing the 2010 Ohio State Buckeyes [Bumped]

With a little more than seven three weeks to go, we are going to do something we haven’t done in a couple years – write season previews. Bringing the majority of the writing will be our newest member, Johnny Utah. For the weeks leading up to the season, we will be looking at the major positions for the 2010 Ohio State football team. This particular post is will serve as a central location for our previews.

Offensive Line
Running Backs
Wide Receivers

Defensive Line
Defensive Backs

Special Teams

Season Preview

The plan is to have a preview for each position go live every Monday when they’re done. Further blogging will continue as sporadic as usual in full force now that the season is nigh upon us.

Quarterbacking [2010 Season Preview]

As Terrelle Pryor drops back to pass he locks onto Devier Posey, Posey is open as he makes his break. Pryor pats the ball 4 times and throws a wobbly pass to a now covered Mr. Posey. The pass is easily broken up and could have been picked.

As Buckeye fans, we’ve all witnessed this before.

Terrible mechanics, bad decision making, locking onto receivers, patting the ball, running toward the sideline instead of straight up the field and saying the most random and ridiculous things during post game interviews…no offense to Michael Vick.

Those are just some of the negatives that have come with Terrelle Pryor being the Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback the past two seasons.

With all that said and with all that is…or was wrong with Pryor, he led the Buckeyes to 2 BCS bowl games, 2 Big Ten Titles, 2 wins over Michigan, 1 Big Ten Freshman of the Year and 1 Rose Bowl MVP. He did all of that because whenever he steps onto the field he is the best athlete on it.


Now…just imagine if he learns how to throw the ball on a more consistent basis? If the Rose Bowl was any indication, he is moving in the right direction. That’s not to say he is Dan Marino with Vince Young’s legs…that would be gross.

Pryor has improved every facet of his game and that is a bad thing for the rest of the Big Ten. Based on what I’ve watched from the Oregon beat down until now, Pryor will be a much better and more complete quarterback.

With all of Pryor’s physical gifts, this transformation didn’t start with his athletic ability. It started between his ears. He was dedicated himself to becoming a better leader. Just ask Tyler Moeller.

"Terrelle is a great player," Moeller said, responding to a question about Pryor’s claim that he’ll return to Ohio State as a senior in 2011. "It’s a huge difference from when he first got here to now, his maturity and how he became a leader.

"I think when he first got here, I don’t think too many people liked him, really. He was kind of a punk. But now I have the utmost respect for him. He’s a great player and a great leader and I’d follow him into battle any day."

“I’d follow him into battle any day.”

Because of Pryor’s growth this year, Jim Tressel will trust him far more with the offense. Leading up to the Rose Bowl, Pryor had an outstanding couple weeks of practice and showed Tressel that Pryor could be trusted with a more diversified offense. We all saw what #2 did against the best team in the Pac 10 and by all accounts he is even better now.

Trust is a big thing with Jim Tressel when it comes to his quarterbacks. Troy Smith wasn’t always a Heisman front runner. As a sophomore Smith split time at the QB position and was held back by Jim Tressel until the trust was there. Smith struggled until the Michigan game where he lit it up. He was then suspended for the bowl game for being an idiot but that season and Pryor’s sophomore season did have parallels.

Both played very average most of the time with flashes of brilliance. But after good practices, both were given a change to show what they could do and both delivered.

Quarterback Comparison
Player Passing Yards Rushing Yards Total Yards Total TDs
Smith vs. UM 241 145 386 3
Pryor vs. Oregon 266 72 338 2

Smith went on to have an outstanding junior season, catapulting him into a Heisman his senior year. Pryor is not the natural passer Smith was, but he is a far better athlete. I do look for Pryor to have a big junior year on a team loaded at just about every position.

Look for Ohio State to throw the ball much more this year. Quicker decision making and the ability to read defenses will open up other facets of the Ohio State passing game. Jake Stoneburner and Brandon Saine should benefit from this more wide open offense. Devier Posey should be the #1 target again with Dane Sanzenbacher being Mr. Dependable.

This could be the year the Pryor cuffs finally do come off for good. In my mind, Pryor should throw for between 180-220 yards every game and run for another 50-120 yards a game. What Pryor does best is run the ball and that part of his game shouldn’t be taken away.

He is the key to Ohio States success this year and it is his time to silence his never ending sea of doubters and haters.

The Backups:


Joe Bauserman



Kenny Guiton

It’s Bauserman vs. Guiton. I’ll make this short and sweet. Joe Bauserman cannot be trusted. He is a ginger and therefore evil to his core. Kenny Guiton has been impressive this offseason and could take away the backup job. But in Tressels world, it’s all about trust, and The Magic Ginger has been around a long time. One of these two may have to squeak out a win at some point this year as Terrelle Pryor has a bad knee and is a physical runner. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that because the Buckeyes are thin at the backup QB position.

But enough about the backups, we all know the season will come down to Terrelle Pryor. Like it or not, he will be given most of the credit and most of the blame for the success of the Buckeyes. Pryor is 6’6 240lbs, the best athlete on the field, has a cannon for an arm and by all accounts has finally learned how to play the position of quarterback. He is a defensive coordinators worst nightmare and will wreak havoc on every team he faces this fall.

Brandon “BAM” Childress days left

Wide Open [2010 Season Preview]

This isn’t my wheelhouse, these wide receivers. It’s no secret I’m more of a defensive minded kind of fan. Punting on third down is never a bad option in my book. But some of you fans seem to like the idea of hurling the football in the air when it really should be safely cradled in the nook of a fullback’s bent arm. It’s a gameplan I’m not really comfortable with. I’m an adherent to the adage of, “three things can happen when you throw the football and two of them are bad.”

But I will begrudgingly admit that there is a certain benefit to quickly working the ball down the field in such a way that the defender can’t do a thing until the ball is caught. And if the Buckeye coaches are serious about doing this 25-35 times a game, I guess I better get on board. So how’s the receiving end of the passing game going to work out? (we’ll get to the passing end soon).

Contrary to popular belief, Terrelle Pryor actually has more than one target within the wide receiving corps. Having watched every play last year, it was clear with whom Pryor has built a rapport. Baby-faced DeVier Posey is clearly the number one receiver in the passing attack and Pryor isn’t afraid to communicate that unequivocally to everyone on the field (that’s a joke, people). Posey has established himself as a home run hitter with deceptive speed and soft hands.

Sure, DeVier Posey gets the majority of the action down the field, but Pryor also has Dane Sanzenbacher at his disposal. Sanzenbacher continues the tradition (and the now getting really old cliche) of the possession receiver. (It’s not his fault he’s got velcro hands). If there’s someone that’s getting a pass on a crucial third and five, I want the ball going to Dane.

Along with the human tackling dummy, the wide receiver group is also comprised of senior Taurian Washington and freshman Corey Brown. These two will most likely see the field the most this season.

It’s amazing what a case of the dropsies will do for your confidence and playing time. Out of camp last year, Taurian Washington was impressing coaches and observers. Then, after a couple ill-timed drops early in the season, Taurian found himself on the wrong end of the pine. Even to the point of contemplating a transfer. Fortunately, a Rose Bowl victory in which his blocking, not catching, contributed has reenergized the senior.

And then there are the tight ends. Oh, the tight ends. We Buckeye fans have had a somewhat of a tortured relationship with our tight ends lately (FRICKEN RYAN HAMBY [don’t click, it’s too painful]) (ALL HAIL JAKE BALLARD [click, click, clickity click]) so this year brings us to a crossroads. Jake Stoneburner has been ready to explode for a couple years now. This is going to be his year! He’s going to catch a hundred passes! Not so fast, my friend. Let’s not get too excited. As Duane Long rightly put it, “When in all the time Jim Tressel has been here has he thrown the ball to the tight end? It is not what we do here.” But he does go on to say that doesn’t mean Jake can’t have an impact. Stoneburner is the most athletic tight end Jim Tressel has had at his disposal in a long time (if not ever). Even if he doesn’t catch a ton of passes, he’s going to be a match-up nightmare for defenses and will factor in the passing game plan as a probable third option and hopefully as a relief valve for Pryor.

So supposedly Jim Tressel is planning on throwing the ball quite a bit this year. If that’s what you like, bully for you. I guess that means the Buckeyes will be scoring faster.

I’ll be waiting for the defense to get back on the field. Now it will just happen a little faster. Bully for me.

Tressel Ball = Special Teams [2010 Season Preview]

This is where Tressel earns his paychecks as a coach. You can not have Tressel Ball without having good Special Teams. Last year was a mediocre season at best for tOSU in this area. We relied on a guy who couldn’t stay out of the doghouse and dropped balls like hot potatoes. Needless to say, Ray Small, I will not miss you as a PR/KR and will remember you most for getting knocked the crap out against Wisconsin two years ago.

Now onto this years preview of our kickers, punters and return guys.

Place Kickers/Field Goal Kickers

Devin Barclay

This guy is a former MLS player turned college football Kicker. At 5’10” and 204 pounds he has good size and is able to help cover on kickoffs. He is a little shaky on the long FG attempts and has very little experience. He has age on his side at 26 years old and with experience playing professional soccer it should help calm his nerves. If it doesn’t, he will be pushed by the next guy on the list.

His 2009 statistics were: 7-10 on FG with a long of 39 yards. 26 KO’s for an avg of 64.8 yards and 4 touchbacks.

Drew Basil

A true freshman a few months removed from high school, there is one thing this kid isn’t lacking: SIZE. He is 6’2″ and 210 lbs out of Chillicothe, Ohio. Rumors out of camp have him making up ground on Barclay quickly and if Barclay stumbles he will be moved into the starting spot soon. Look for a few more FG contests to decide the starter.


Ben Buchanan

This sophomore has the job locked up and won’t be losing it anytime soon as the depth here is limited this year. He is listed at 6′ 195 lbs out of Westerville, Ohio. He better have a big leg and accuracy to keep Tressel Ball on track this year. Hopefully we will see a lot of kicks downed inside the 20.

His 2009 statistics were: 4 punts with a 42.8 avg and long of 55 yards.

Kick Returners

This area of team is decided and not much info to share as the two return guys are well Boom and Zoom. Brandon Saine and Dan “Boom” Herron are listed as 1 and 2 KR on the depth chart.

Punt Returners

Like the aforementioned KR’s these two guys are well known for being able to catch balls and run fast with them. DeVier Posey and Dane Sanzenbacher are PR 1 and PR 2. Hopefully they will have much more success than last years PR. We need a Ted Ginn Jr. type of guy back there fielding punts and I think Posey fits that nicely.