Archives for February 2013

Minnesota Live In Game Chat

A look back at the 2013 recruiting class: QB and RB

With every recruiting cycle there are lots of players for fans to gush over and for them to declare as the next great player for insert school name here. Mostly though the QBs and RBs are given the biggest virtual parade to welcome them to the class and school. Ohio State and its fans are no different. The 2013 class brought us only 1 QB and officially 1 RB and both are super stars in waiting and perfect for the system that OSU has in place now and will utilize in the future. So here to remind you and update you are the guys from the 2013 class who will be the future of the program for the next 5 years or so.


J.T. Barrett

J.T. Barrett is a 6’2″ 205 lb 4 star Dual-Threat QB from Wichita Falls, Texas. According to 247sports Barrett is the no. 3 ranked Dual-Threat QB and the no. 100 overall best recruit in the nation. Rivals has him listed as the 152nd best prospect and Scouts has him as the 13th best QB in the country. Unfortunately for Barrett he suffered a severe knee injury in his SR year and dropped in the rankings because he was out of sight and out of mind but the reality is if he heals well he has the tools to succeed big time. JT being a dual-threat QB will fit in perfectly in the Coach Meyer spread offense. He is the perfect combination of thrower and runner. He has the accuracy and the speed to confuse defenses. At the same time he is a natural leader who will command the offense and make everyone around him better. This is a huge pick up for Coach Meyer and his staff. You can see his highlight reel below. It is from his JR year….


Ezekiel Elliott


Ezekiel Elliott is a 6’1″ 210 lbs RB from St. Loui, Missouri. Big Zeke is a scat back at heart. He isnt small by any sense of the word but has elusiveness and shiftyness that will fit so well in Urbans system. He has great hands and will be a threat to catch the ball a lot and make plays out wide. Rivals ranks him a 4 star and 84th best prospect in the country. ESPN ranks him a 4 star and 109th best recruit in the country. Scout ranks him a 4 star and 9th best RB in the nation. 247sports ranks him a 4 star and 70th best recruit in the country. Below you can view his highlight reel.


Both of these guys are the future of Ohio State football. JT Barrett will surely red shirt his freshman year as he is still recovering from his knee injury. Ezekiel Elliott on the other hand will see some time on STs and most likely on offense in the jet sweeps and pistol formation. The future is very bright with this duo of offensive stars.

In Case You Missed It

OSU LogoIn case you missed it is Men of the Scarlet and Gray’s semi-weekly look at items that would interest the casual and hard-core Ohio State fan, be they news items, interesting blog posts or funny memes you probably saw on Reddit last week. It’s all here and it’s all for you. Have a tip that should be included in the next ICYMI? Send it our way!

I fell into a funk this past week, so I must atone for this lapse in activity by bringing you one of the best ICYMIs of all time. I hope I can do it.

A CALL FOR HELP: I received an email recently from Kiya Sabet and they asked if I could reach out to you, our smart and attractive readers to see if you could help. Here is what they sent me (and yes, I’m leaving that butt-kissing first line in there):

I am writing you today to express first what an excellent site you have and second to let you know that myself and a couple of partners are in the process of developing a documentary commemorating the 2002 season and National championship of OSU. What we are looking for and hope to work with, is we need non-standard footage OSU figures particularly Clarett and Tressel. By non-standard I mean anything shot from fan perspective, coach’s box, in and around Columbus of players and anything you feel would be fitting to this sort of project including still photos. Thank you for your time and I hope to hear back from you. If you have any questions I can be reached at or 813-995-3467.

If you have anything that could support these guys in their endeavors, please contact them directly.

UNC TO THE BIG sixTEeN? Retweeted by pretty much everyone yesterday, Jeff Ermann of InsideMDSports tweeted:

MotSaG’s own Kade has been emailing me for months saying this is going to happen, with me usually replying that I only want UNC if they bring Georgia Tech and the triple option with them. I don’t know if this will happen and I don’t even know if I care at this point, but it’s clear that Jim Delany is out there, manipulating the rest of the college sports world into doing his bidding.

THE CUPCAKES SERVED THEIR PURPOSE. I think for most Ohio State fans in general, this was a long time coming:

“The nonconference schedule in our league is ridiculous,” Alvarez said during his monthly radio show on Madison’s WIBA-AM. “It’s not very appealing …

“So we’ve made an agreement that our future games will all be Division I schools. It will not be FCS schools.”

WOODY HAYES. The Woody Hayes statue has been reverently erected outside the Woody Hayes Athletic center, proud of what he sees.

Speaking of Woody Hayes, here’s the Woody Show after beating Michigan in 1975. Amazing.

And more Woody Hayes.

THE LONG ROAD BACK.They posted this last week, but Chris Holloway’s interview with Quinn Pitcock over at the Buckeye Empire is worth a read

BASKETBALL RECRUITING. Brandon Castel over at the O-Zone has a round-up of how Thad Matta’s 2014 class is shaping up and it has the potential to be a strong one, something Matta definitely needs.

HE’S OURS. ALL OURS. Tom Herman was named the Big Ten’s best recruiter by

The job that Herman, Ohio State’s offensive coordinator, did by going to Texas and grabbing three of the state’s top 20-ranked prospects, including five-star linebacker Mike Mitchell — Texas’ No. 1 ranked prospect — gets the nod as this year’s most impressive feat.

ETC: Ryan DAMN Shazier… UGH even when he’s describing The Rivalry, he calls us “Ohio”. That’s Dirty Pool, Denard.

Basketball Week Preview

The Buckeyes enter this week with two important games at home. Let’s hope the blow out loss at Wisconsin is a distant memory.

The loss at Wisconsin is a microcosm of the entire season. Teams have stuck to the formula of allowing Thomas to get his 20-25 points (which he has had to work for) and making the “supporting cast” beat them. The problem is the “supporting cast” has been wildly inconsistent offensively. We have been asking for weeks who is going to step up and be the consistent 2nd and 3rd scorers. I believe we have our answer for this year, no one, consistently. Sunday’s game at Wisconsin was the first time I really questioned the team’s future (specifically next year). It will basically be the same team minus Thomas. I am not one to have a doomsday outlook or focus on the negative, but there are questions that will abound about next year’s team. In my opinion, it is too late in the season to get those questions answered this year, but hopefully I will be proven wrong.

The questions about next season will have to wait for another post for another day. The Buckeyes still have a chance to capitalize on a good seed in this year’s NCAA tournament. In order for that to happen, we need some W’s starting with the two games this week.

2/20/2013 @ 7 PM (BTN) Minnesota (6-7 Big Ten) vs Ohio State (8-5 Big Ten)

As with many teams in conference this year, the Gopher’s season has been up and down. They beat Wisconsin and got blown out by Iowa last week. That being said, no game should be taken lightly this year in conference. This is the only meeting between the Buckeyes and Gophers this regular season. I look for Minnesota to be hungry after getting embarrassed by Iowa. The Buckeyes will need to need to match the intensity, which by all accounts has been questionable over the last few weeks. The main question I want answered in this game is where is the fire and passion. Will the buckeyes be ready to play? I anticipate Matta will have the team ready after the debacle in Madison. I see the Buckeyes winning by 10.

2/24/2013 @ 4 PM (CBS) Michigan State (11-3 Big Ten) vs Ohio State (8-5 Big Ten)

The Buckeyes will be facing another strong test on Sunday. The Buckeyes are 2-4 against the top 4 teams in conference. The Spartans will enter the game coming off an emotional tight loss to Indiana. This seems to be happening over and over where the Buckeyes are facing a hungry team coming off a loss. Provided that the effort is there, I think the Buckeyes can edge out a very close win against the Spartans. A second win this week will go a long way in boosting the confidence of this team.

Ohio State Something Something Wisconsin Basketball Something Something



(More later if I can bust out of this blogging slump)

Wisconsin Live In Game Chat

Weekend FB Recruiting Visitors

Well it is the weekend which means Urban Meyer and company are hosting a list of top tier recruits who are at the very least interested in playing for Ohio State. This weekend is no different with 3 big time visitors on tap that include Lonnie Johnson a 3 star WR from Gary, Indiana and Malik McDowell a 5 star DE from Detroit, TSUN, and Clifton Garrett a high 4 star LB from Plainfield, Illinois.

Lonnie Johnson tried to commit a few months back when OSU offered but the coaching staff and his mentors decided he should wait until he was more knowledgeable about the process. If he still wants to commit this weekend would the staff accept it this time? That is the million dollar question. In his JR season he had 31 catches and 777 yards and 13 TDs. Watch his highlights below….

Malik McDowell is the biggest target this weekend because it would further decimate TTUN and MSU to lose the best player from TSUN and would cause even more uproar from their fan bases which pleases us here at motsag to no end. Malik is a special player for sure and a national prospect that has all of the top schools in the country chasing him. His JR season he had 63 tackles and 15 TFL and 1 FF. Watch his highlights below….

Clifton Garrett is one of 4 LBs from the 2014 class that many OSU fans will hear a lot about over the next year. He is a big time player and a top of the board recruit for OSU. He seems to be as big of fan of OSU as OSU is of him so although he has said he wont commit anytime soon don’t be surprised if he does sooner rather later. His JR seasn stats were 78.5 tackles and 3 TFL and 3 FFs. Watch his highlights below….

Ohio State Struggles, Then Pulls Away From Northwestern, Wins 69-59

OSU LogoWell, was I wrong about how this was going to turn out.

Pretty much like this, for 40 minutes.

Pretty much like this, for 40 minutes.

Most of the time, in college sports, talent wins out out. Penn State’s basketball team is proof of that. Every once and a while, an underdog or a less-talented team has a game where they play beyond their means and suddenly find themselves in a dog fight against a team that should be beating them. The NCAA tournament is proof of this.

But let’s be honest about this. These are still college athletes at schools that still demand a certain amount of physical talent and basketball skill to play on. Northwestern isn’t a community college. These guys can still ball.

Ohio State came into this game coming off two hard fought losses and can’t be completely blamed for coming out less than inspired. But I don’t think they didn’t care or disrespected Northwestern. Northwestern came in focused, executed their offense with some great back cuts and timely three-pointers. Ohio State played lethargically for for the first fifteen plus minutes of the first half.

A baseline dunk by Sam Thompson with about five minutes to go in the first half sparked the Ohio State faithful and players to take a first half lead and playing from behind for most of it. It looked like they would go in at half-time, leading 27-30.

Then Northwestern hit a last second three to tie the game at the half, 30-30.

In the second half, Deshaun Thomas took the responsibility of scoring on his shoulder and was much more aggressive than he was in the first half, scoring 22. Northwestern, however, would not go away and stuck with the Buckeyes, taking the lead more than once.

Eventually, Ohio State would simply wear Northwestern down, force them into foul trouble and pull away late. Two emphatic dunks by Sam Thompson and free throws by Deshaun Thomas would lead to a misleading ten-point lead, which is how it ended, 69-59.

A win is a win. It wasn’t pretty, it was hopefully something this team had to “get out of their system” and they will be ready for their tilt against Wisconsin on Sunday. They won’t get away with playing like that against Wisconsin at their place.

(UPDATE: GAH, I pulled a Hoke and originally titled this post “Ohio Struggles…”. Self, I AM DISAPPOINT.)

Northwestern Live In Game Chat

I wholeheartdedly apologize for the lack of basketball content on the site this week. I have been busier than usual and have not fulfilled my writerly duties as I should have. SYR is going to publicly flog me and make an example of me to the other writers.

Why don’t you make the flogging less painful by joining us in the live chat for the Northwestern Game.

Oh you’ve got plans with your significant other/boyfriend/girlfriend? Oh, don’t worry, you won’t miss much. We should be up by 20 at the half.

B1G Newbies: Gary Andersen

Not long after Wisconsin humiliated Nebraska in last season’s Big Ten Championship Game, head coach Bret Bielema announced he was leaving the school for the same position at Arkansas, a shocking move when you consider how much success Bielema had with the Badgers. But our good buddy Bert was getting his scowl in a bunch over his inability to retain assistant coaches due to, as he tells it, Wisconsin’s tight purse strings. To be fair, his staff had just been raided by Pittsburgh’s Paul Chryst, so maybe he had a point.

Then again, Nick Saban has won three national titles in the past four years. How many assistants from his 2009 staff were still on board in 2012? Three.

So shut up, you big baby.









Uncharacteristically, Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez had the good sense (desperation?) to consult Urban Meyer and replaced the insufferable Bielema with probably way more sufferable Utah State head coach (and former Meyer assistant) Gary Andersen, hot off an 11-2 season that included a WAC championship and a 2-point loss at Camp Randall.

Andersen is undoubtedly Utah State’s best coach ever, leading the team to their first double-digit win season and amassing 26 wins in four years. That doesn’t sound like much to Buckeye fans, but the Aggies had won just 9 in the four seasons prior to Andersen’s arrival. In 2011 and 2012, the team finished above .500 in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1980. They hadn’t even had a single winning season since 1996. In case you can’t fathom how long ago that was, this was the #1 song back then.

It’s tempting to think that Andersen might install some of Meyer’s read option concepts, but don’t bet on it. Alvarez has made it perfectly clear that Badgers coaches are expected to pattern their offensive philosophy after his own and so far, it’s been a successful formula. It’s also worth noting that Andersen is not really primarily from the “Meyer tree” as is generally implied. He spent six years on Utah’s staff under coach Ron McBride before moving on to the head job at Southern Utah when Meyer took over the Utes. Andersen returned to Utah for the magical 2004 season and remained on the staff under Kyle Whittingham after Meyer left for Florida. While he’s certainly not a stranger to the inner workings of Meyer’s offense, he’s not exactly a disciple either.

My biggest question with Andersen is whether he’s ready to lead a top program. While Ohio State and Michigan seemed poised to once again become the Big Two, there is still room at the top for a team like Wisconsin, especially if the rumored geographical division alignment separates the Badgers from both of those teams. (And there’s always the chance that Brady Hoke is as lousy of a coach as I think he is.) Andersen’s resume consists entirely of last season. Three of his five seasons ended with just four wins. Compared to the career trajectories of the most successful coaches in the BCS era, Andersen is severely lacking in the experience department. Even Meyer’s meteoric rise included pushing two programs (quickly) beyond their expectations.

Maybe that’s not what Wisconsin’s looking for. Maybe they don’t need their coach to be Urban Meyer (or Saban, Miles, Carroll, Brown, etc.). But wouldn’t they want that? Bielema–as clownish and douchey as he was–had the Badgers on the doorstep of greatness. And ultimately, it’s his fault that they will now take a step back. His blindside departure left Alvarez scrambling for a suitable replacement. I mean, he called the Ohio State head coach for help. This was not a coaching search that was going smoothly. Regardless of the official word, I would bet a million of these that Boise State’s Chris Petersen was offered this job.

But hey, maybe Andersen will pan out. If Wisconsin doesn’t immediately turn on him for not piling up wins right out of the gate, he could end up being a good fit for the Alvarez Mini-Me System.

Ridiculously Early And Entirely Baseless Prediction for 2013: 6-6 (Losses to Arizona State, Ohio State, Northwestern, BYU, Iowa, Penn State)