Archives for December 2013

Ohio State defeats Purdue 78-69

Ohio State(14-0) remained unbeaten on the year and got the B1G off to a good start in defeating Purdue(10-4) 78-69 in front of a rowdy crown at Mackey Arena. This game showed you both the blueprint for a run at the B1G title and a deep tourney run as well as the manner in which the season could end earlier than expected. LaQuinton Ross led the Buckeyes with 25 points and 12 rebounds while Shannon Scott added 18 points and Lenzelle Smith 14. In addition to that, Marc Loving provided a much needed spark off the bench with 8 points. While the balanced attack is what will provide Ohio State what is needed to meet expectations this year, the lack of depth at the Center spot will almost certainly be the Achilles heel the rest of the season. Ohio State had no answer for A.J. Hammonds down low as he kept Amir Williams in foul trouble and rendered Trey McDonald a non-factor off the bench. The 7-0, 251 pound Sophmore scored a team 18 points for the Boilermakers using his raw skills to create space and rebound the basketball. He also added 5 blocks and 4 assists. Purdue also had a balanced effort with Ronnie Johnson, Terone Johnson and Basil Smotherman adding 16, 13 and 9 points respectively. The big difference between Ohio State and Purdue is the Buckeyes have Aaron Craft and Purdue doesn’t.

If the Ohio State Buckeyes are a mint 1969 Camaro SS, then Aaron Craft is the 396 cu in V8 engine. While he only scored 7 points, he had 10 assists, 8 rebounds, 4 steals and didn’t turn the ball over once. But most of what Craft does not show up on the stat line. From blocking passing lanes on defense to making sure his teammates are in position on offense, Craft is the clear quarterback for this team. During one stretch in the first half, with the game tightly contested, Craft raced to get a piece of Ronnie Johnson 3 point attempt as well as hustle down the rebound after it hit off the side of the backboard and finish the play with a layup. Craft’s play is infectious for his teammates as they try to hustle as hard as their team leader. While Thad Matta is certainly lucky to have Craft, it will be as equally as tough to replace the Senior next season.

US Army All American Bowl Preview

With two High School All-Star bowl games this week there is a lot of Buckeye recruiting news. There are current commits playing in both games with the US Army game having the vast majority of OSU commits. There are several targets in both games as well. Again the US Army game probably has the majority of the most likely to become a Buckeye target list. So myself and @RonnieGlickman will take a look at both games in separate posts. Here is the link to go see Ronnie’s post on the Under Armour bowl game.


Dante Booker Jr.- Dante is a 6’4″ 220 lbs 4 star LineBacker from Akron, Ohio. Booker is one of the top LB prospects in the country and was chased by schools like Notre Dame, TTUN, Penn State, and Nebraska. Dante brings a real nastiness to the outside LB spot combined with his top notch speed and power he could move to a hybrid of DE/LB at OSU depending on his body growth. Rivals ranks him a 4 star and the 65th best prospect in the country. Scout ranks him a 4 star and the no. 6 OLB ion the country. 247sports ranks him a 5 star and the no. 13 prospect in the country. ESPN ranks him a 4 star and the no 7 OLB in the country.

Johnnie Dixon- Johnnie is a 6’0 200 lbs 4 star WR from West Palm Beach, Florida. Johnnie is a big time recruit from the South Florida hotbed known for producing NFL caliber WRs. Johnnie is a burner with great hands but will out muscle you for a ball when he needs to. He has decent size but is already hulked out as you can see in his picture above. I hate to be cliche but he does remind me of Percy Harvin… a strong and physical WR who can take the Jet Sweep and scoot a ton of yards for TDs. 247Sports ranks him a 4 star and the 106th best recruit in the country. Scout ranks him a 4 star and the 39th best WR in the country. ESPN ranks him a 4 star and the 39th best recruit in the country. Rivals ranks him a 4 star and the 109th best recruit in the country.

Jalyn Holmes- Jalyn is a 6’5″ 235 lbs 4 star DE from Norfolk, Virginia. Jalyn is a freak of an athlete ranking high on both weak side Def End and Tight End. As a Sophomore Holmes had 60 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, and five sacks. He made all-district and all-region as a sophomore. During his junior season, Holmes had 75 Tackles, 40 tackles for loss, and 12 sacks. He also caught 24 passes for 352 yards and seven touchdowns on offense. He projects to be a Def End at OSU and will play on the weak side. 247sports ranks him a 4 star and the 92nd best prospect in the country and the 5th best WDE. Rivals ranks him a 4 star and the 57th best in the country and the 4th best DE. Scout ranks him a 4 star and the 98th best prospect in the country and 13th best DE. ESPN ranks him a 4 star and the 160th best in the country.

Marcelys Jones- Marcelys is a 6’5″ 325 lbs 4 star OT from Cleveland, Ohio. Marcelys is a giant recruit who will bring strength and power along with a nasty side that OLmen need to be successful. He will need to work on his foot movement and speed and turn some of his “baby fat” into muscle but with the help of Coach Marotti and his S&C program he will get in shape very quickly. I am not sure he will stay a OT or move inside to OG depends how much he grows height wise in the next year to fit the type of body Coach Meyer wants in his OTs.

Demetrius Knox- Demetrius is a 6’4″ 290 lbs 4 star Offensive Lineman from Fort Worth, Texas. Knox brings to the OL a lot of speed and athleticism. He was once committed to Texas but decommitted months ago and right away he became a target for OSU and the fans. He has proven to be a guy who can be a leader and will help recruit for OSU.

Curtis Samuel- Curtis is a 6’0″ 185 lbs 5 star RB/WR/Safety/Athlete from Brooklyn, New York. Curtis is a blazer of a football player running a 4.36 40 yard dash. He projects to play WR at Ohio State but has the versatility to move all over the place he could play RB or WR depending on how his body develops. He also could play defense but he is a playmaker so expect to see him on the offensive side in the Percy Harvin type position. Where Coach Meyer will do everything he can to get the ball in his hands to let him make plays.

Damon Webb- Damon Webb is a 6’0″ 180 lbs 4 star DB from Detroit, Michigan. Damon is a shutdown corner who isn’t afraid to hit a guy and help on run defense. He comes from a school that has had a lot of success in Michigan. Damon had offers from the likes of LSU, Michigan, Michigan St., and a host of other schools.


Solomon Thomas- Solonon is a 6’3″ 260 lbs 5 star DE from Coppel, Texas. Thomas brings a great motor along with good speed and strength. He would be icing on the cake for Coach Herman who has been dominating the Texas HS scene the last 3 years.

Erick Smith- Erick is a 6’1″ 190 bs 4 star Safety from Cleveland, Ohio. Erick has long been considered an OSU lock and the safety should be committing to OSU during the game. The safety has become a better prospect as time goes on. He will be a great addition to the 2014 class.

Marshon Lattimore- Marshon is a high 4 star recruit best recruit in the country kind of recruit. He is a game changer and can play either side of the ball. He projects to play CB at OSU but could move around a lot from offense to defense to special teams. He also like his HS teammate Erick Smith will commit to OSU during the game.

Myles Autry- Myles is a 5’9″ 175 lbs 4 star Athlete from Norcross, Ga. Myles brings a lot of speed and athleticism to the table. Unfortunately he was injured most of his SR. year but has come back with a strong showing in the state playoffs and is impressing early on at this bowl game practices. He can play both offense and defense exceptionally well and would most likely end up at the Slot if he goes to OSU.

Derrick Nnadi- Derrick is a 6’2″ 305 lbs 4 star DT from Virginia Beach, VA. Nnadi is a behemoth of a kid who will eat up blockers in the middle. He has enough speed to rush the passer but he is a run stopping DT at its truest example. Derrick is a Va Tech lean but grew up a Buckeye fan so if OSU wants him they can probably land him when he visits.

Malik McDowell- Malik is a 6’7″ 290 lbs 5 star DE from Detroit, TSUN. This kid is a giant and has the skills to be a dominant player for years to come. He was considered a TTUN lean by its fans for a long time but he has never really shown that to be the case. In the end I think it will come down to MSU vs OSU for his services. I will never doubt Coach Meyer’s ability to close so look for the full court press down the stretch.

As you can see by this long list of commits and targets the Buckeyes are well represented and Coach Meyer and his staff have put a premium on getting players from all over the country who are the best at their positions. Coach Meyer is building a dynasty at OSU and it starts with recruiting. Needless to say the cornerstone has been placed and the rest of the building will be built very soon.

B1G and Purdue Preview

B1G Preview for the Ohio State Buckeyes’ basketball team

OSU LogoCurrently, the B1G has three teams in the Top 5 in the country in Ohio State, Wisconsin and Michigan State at 3, 4 and 5 respectively. Despite those three schools being the only three schools ranked in the current AP Top 25 poll, there is still strong consensus that the B1G is the deepest and toughest conference in college basketball. Though CBSSports’ Jerry Palm has the B1G as the second best conference, behind the Big 12, in his conference rankings systems, the B1G has the best win percentage among all major conferences. With conference play getting under way for all schools in the coming days, it is sure to be a heated race for the title. Look for a team with no less than four losses to take the crown as the schedule for each school is brutal. Ohio State, Wisconsin and Michigan State are the favorites but a resurgent Iowa squad, along with Illinois and Michigan look to contend as well. With Minnesota sporting a new coach in Richard Pitino, Jr. and Northwestern installing Chris Collins as their coach, the B1G adds to their coaching lineage with both coaches coming from much respected coaching trees. Penn State is returning All-B1G player in Tim Frazier after missing most of last season with injuries.

Ohio State vs. Purdue Preview

As the 2013-14 non-conference schedule came to an end on Friday night with a 71-31 thrashing of Louisiana Monroe, Ohio State capped off a rare, perfect non- conference schedule. The Buckeyes take their spotless 13-0 record into Mackey arena today to take on the Purdue Boilermakers as the start of B1G begins for both schools. Purdue, picked to finish 6th in the B1G by ESPN, boasts a 10-3 record so far on the year and coming off their most impressive non-conference win, a 73-70 win at West Virginia, are looking to keep their perfect record at home intact.

The Boilermakers are led in scoring by Terrone Johnson at 14.0 points a game, followed by Ronnie Johnson at 10.8 per game. In all, Purdue has ten players averaging 4.5 points or high per game while the team is averaging 78.4 points per game. Meanwhile, the Buckeyes are third in the nation in both scoring defense and field goal percentage defense at 54.0 and 36.4% respectively. They are also tops in the nation in 3-point fg defense at 24.3%. This should be where the game is decided. If the Buckeyes can continue their trend of stifling defense, it’ll be tough for Purdue to overcome. However, Purdue’s balance could pose serious problems for the Buckeye defense as it makes all of the Buckeye defenders responsible for a scoring threat.

Add in the home field advantage for Purdue and you have the recipe for a close, 68-63 Buckeye win

Buckeyes Top Plays of 2013

The 2013 Ohio State Buckeyes provided Buckeye Nation with several memorable moments. On this final day of 2013, I provide you with the top 5 plays of 2013. Leave a comment below with your top 5 plays of 2013.

5. Smooth Jazz to Mr. Smith
Buckeye Nation took over California Memorial Stadium on the Buckeyes first road trip of 2013. Shortly after kickoff, Smooth Jazz Kenny Guiton hooked up with Devin Smith, for a 90 yard bomb, to begin the full take over of the Golden Bears home field.

4. Braxton’s Return
Braxton Miller’s return from injury came with a bang, as he lit up Wisconsin’s defense for four touchdown passes. The most brilliant and exceptional of those passes was Miller’s 40 yard touchdown pass to Philly Brown, at the end of the first half. That throw was a showcase of Miller’s natural arm strength and his improvement as a passer. It also sent a message to the rest of the Big Ten, Braxton Miller is back.

3. Guiton to Miller
Almost every Buckeye, including Coach Meyer, had thought of some way to get Braxton Miller and Kenny Guiton on the field at the same time. The opportunity came against the Hoosiers and neither Guiton nor Miller disappointed. Miller added another highlight to his already deep and abundant highlight reel.

2. Run and Hyde
Carlos Hyde ran like a grown man this season. Nobody was able to stop Hyde, his power, and also his new and improved agility and speed. Hyde showed off all three of these tools on this electric run against the Iowa Hawkeyes. A run that was worthy of a Heisman moment.

1. The Game Winner
The Game this year provided Ohio State fans with every range of emotion from incredible rage to incredible joy. Tyvis Powell helped save the Buckeyes hope of an undefeated season, and also destroyed any hope of the Team Up North having a bright spot in their season. Here is our top play. Enjoy it Buckeye fans.

Under Armour All American Game Preview

While bowl season has begun and is in full swing, the top high school players in the nation prepare to showcase their talents in their respective All American games. In this post I’ll cover the Buckeye recruits and remaining targets participating in the Under Armour All American Game on January 2nd at 4 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN.

Buckeye Commits

Jamarco Jones,OT, De La Salle Institute- Jones is a promising tackle prospect out of Chicago. He already has a good size frame at 6-5, 290 pounds and should be able to add even more mass once Coach Marotti gets his hands on him. Jones is currently better suited as a run blocking tackle in his young progression. He has good lower body strength which helps him drive defenders back, and has that nasty streak to finish off defenders. Jones is not a primary candidate to play early, but he should develop nicely in a couple years.

Jones will to need to improve his pass pro technique in order to deal with faster defenders at the next level. He has nice feet, however he struggles at times to have them in the right place. Once Jones gets in with Ed Warinner, Jones will be able to clean things up in his footwork and punch. That should lead to the Buckeye developing a solid starting tackle by his second or third year.

Raekwon McMillan, MLB, Liberty County High School- I really like McMillan’s game. He is a very fundamentally sound linebacker. He does not necessarily jump out at you on tape, but he is consistently around the football and in proper position. McMillan excels in shedding blockers and closing gaps in run support. He is a strong, consistent tackler who can punish opposing backs in the hole. He already has great size at 6’2, 250 pounds, which make coaches think he can be a day one starter.

In order for McMillan to become a complete three down linebacker he must improve his hip fluidity in space. McMillan functions well in zone schemes, understanding depth and closing on receivers, however he can get too stiff when going one on one with running backs. McMillan should battle Curtis Grant for a starting job at the middle linebacker spot when he gets to campus. He has the makings of another Buckeye great at linebacker. I believe the consistencies in his fundamentals and football IQ will set him apart from


Tony Brown, CB, Ozen High School- Tony Brown is a game changing corner. He has a ball-hawk mentality that encourages coaches to leave him on an island and shut down the oppositions best receiver. He has an incredible mixture of size, speed, and length, three attributes that every program needs in a shutdown corner. With a little more size, and some polishing to his press technique, Brown will become a Richard Sherman type corner.

Ohio State seems to be a bit of a long shot with Brown as LSU seems to be the favorite. However, some rumors out of Texas this week, according to our guy Jeremiah Sharpe, have said Brown has changed his mind to the Buckeyes. I would not count out Meyer until Brown puts on the hat, but again LSU seems to be the leader. If Brown does decide to go with the Buckeyes, expect Brown to play safety at Ohio State. Brown’s size, speed, and ball hawk ability would make him a great fit playing the star or strong safety. If Brown dons the scarlet and grey, expect him to be an early contributor.

John “JuJu” Smith, Safety/Wide Receiver, Long Beach Poly High School- John Smith is one of the best athletes in the country. In my opinion he will be better suited at the next level as a safety. While his vision and deceptiveness running after the catch are some of the best in the country, his natural instincts seem to shine through on the defensive side of the ball at safety. Smith does not shy away from tackling, he can even at times be somewhat of a head hunter. He also is extremely fluid in coverage and will be a tremendous asset to whichever team lands him. Again, he is projected as a long shot to the Buckeyes as Notre Dame and USC seem to be the top two favorites. But with about a month left of recruiting Meyer and company could pull anything off.

Noah Spence Not With Team in Florida

This was posted earlier today by Beau Bishop, and it’s just bad news all around:

The while the Buckeyes have sufficient reserves to absorb a blow like this, the defensive line takes a massive hit losing Spence.

More on this as it develops.

MotSaG Bowl Guide 3-D

Well, we’ve finally made it to the end of the year! We’re almost to the bowls that people actually care about, but first we’ve got to wade through a couple days of games that all sound the same, featuring match-ups we wouldn’t watch if the end of the college football season weren’t so frighteningly imminent.


Armed Forces Bowl: Middle Tennessee vs. Navy. The Armed Forces Bowl is different from the Military Bowl, I guess. I mean, it at least has an actual service academy playing in it, even though that’s not a requirement. I’m so confused. (ESPN)


Music City Bowl: Georgia Tech vs. Mississippi. Keep an eye on whoever takes home MVP honors in this game. They’ll most likely end up playing for a terrible NFL team, like former winners Jason Campbell, Zac Stacy, C.J. Spiller, and William Green. (ESPN)


Alamo Bowl: Oregon vs. Texas. The first time these two played was early December, 1941. The Longhorns thrashed the Ducks 71-7. Texas kicked Oregon around a few more times in the mid-twentieth century, before dropping the 2000 Holiday Bowl to the boys from Eugene. Can the ducks keep their mediocre mid-tier magic alive this year? Obligatory Program Cover Art. (ESPN)


Holiday Bowl: Arizona State vs. Texas Tech. Head coaches Todd Graham and Kliff Kingsbury have faced off before. As an offensive assistant at Houston, Kingsbury had a hand in the 70-30 beatdown of Graham’s 2008 Tulsa team. They split the next two meetings (both razor-close) before their coaching paths diverged. Tonight, they meet again. Will Graham finally avenge that humiliating defeat or will he be out-handsomed once more? (ESPN)


Independence Bowl: Arizona vs. Boston College. When the Wildcats and Eagles face off, you know it’s Arizona and Boston College getting together. Or Kentucky and Eastern Michigan. Or Northwestern and Southern Mississippi. Or Kansas State and Eastern Washington. Or Bethune-Cookman and Georgia Southern. Or Villanova and Morehead State. (ESPN)


Sun Bowl: UCLA vs. Virginia Tech. A Bruin is a bear. A Hokie is a made up word, but apparently they’ve decided it’s some kind of turkey. So here you go: Turkey Bear. (CBS)


Liberty Bowl: Mississippi State vs. Rice. No, the Liberty Bowl is not the Independence Bowl. Nor is it the Freedom Bowl, which existed for a little while in the ’90s, before folding into the Holiday Bowl. Nor is it the Emancipation Bowl, the Autonomy Bowl or the Sovereignty Bowl. Seriously, how many bowls are there? (ESPN)


Peach Bowl: Duke vs. Texas A&M. It’s the last hurrah for Johnny Football, who is probably going to put up about a zillion yards on the Blue Devils’ 71st-ranked pass defense in what is essentially his Pro Day. (ESPN)

All I Want For Ohio State Football Schedules? Better Non-Conf Opponents

Belated Merry Christmas wishes to any and all Ohio State fans who may be reading this post. Sincere hopes that all of you have the happiest of holiday seasons.


Turning my attention to Ohio State football, I am naturally anxious to see how Ohio State will do versus Clemson in The Orange Bowl on January 3rd, 2014. After losing to Michigan State in The B1G Championship Game, Ohio State fans will want to see if the Buckeyes will successfully rebound heading into the 2014 season.

The long view of the 2014 season, and the subsequent seasons after that, are of concern to me as an Ohio State fan. The 2014 season will be the first season of the four team college football playoff, and strength of schedule will be a key criteria. How will Ohio State fare under such scrutiny?

Ohio State fans heard all throughout the 2013 season how weak the Buckeyes’ opponents were ~ Buffalo. San Diego State. California. Florida A&M. Yes, I know that Buffalo and San Diego State were bowl teams; ironically, the teams played each other in The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.

Yes, Ohio State and the B1G members are moving to a nine game conference schedule in 2016. But look at Ohio State’s 2015 non-conference schedule opponents ~ at Virginia Tech, which is a solid opponent. Then home versus Hawaii, Northern Illinois, and Western Michigan. Does that sound like an impressive slate of opponents that will impress the college football playoff committee?

What I am proposing, in light of a nine-game conference schedule, is the following:

Target an in-state MAC opponent for the season opener: Akron, Bowling Green, Kent State, Miami University, Ohio University, and Toledo would be ideal openers on a rotating basis. Every team would benefit greatly from the financial boost of having Ohio State contribute to their respective athletic departments. For Ohio State, this would also allow the Buckeyes to work on their opening game challenges against somewhat decent opponents, yet not ruin their national championship hopes right out of the gate…hopefully. For creativity, these teams could even be the “home” team by hosting Ohio State at stadiums like Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, or FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland.

Target close geographic teams in other top conferences: Teams such as Louisville, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, West Virginia, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Duke, North Carolina, Boston College, Georgia Tech, Marshall, and Iowa State should be on Gene Smith’s speed dial. Again, several of these teams are on Ohio State’s upcoming schedules, but locking them in can only help with that perceived strength of schedule component. (Yes, I know Notre Dame is close geographically, but with Notre Dame’s new ACC schedule, good luck getting them on the schedule. Plus, why help them, when they repeatedly turned down The B1G’s multiple membership invitations?)

Get some SEC opponents on the schedule: Kentucky, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, and Missouri are all close geographically and would only help to boost the rivalry between The B1G and SEC.

Close your eyes, and think of a schedule that reads like this…“Ohio State opens up on the road in Paul Brown Stadium, kicking off the XXXX season as the guest of the Miami University RedskinsHawks. Ohio State returns home to face ACC member Pittsburgh, then finishes up their non-conference slate against Tennessee, before B1G competition begins the following week…”

Think that wouldn’t be impressive to members of the college football playoff committee, when evaluating Ohio State versus other teams’ records for possible playoff inclusion?

Like many Ohio State fans this holiday season, I have much to be thankful for, heading into 2014. If Santa wants to bring me some more presents, tougher non-conference opponents for the Buckeyes would not be a bad way to start off future college football seasons.

MotSaG Bowl Guide, Part II: For a Few Dollars More

You might notice a common thread in our second batch of post-season offerings: they’re all on ESPN. In fact, all but 2 of the 36 total bowl games are on an ABC/ESPN network and the Worldwide Leader in Conflicts of Interest owns eight bowls outright, with another two on the way next year. It means whatever you think you means.


Little Caesars Bowl: Bowling Green vs. Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh notched a pair of wins over the Falcons in 1999/2000, while Bowling Green won the most recent matchup in 2008. Obligatory Program Cover Art. (ESPN)


Poinsettia Bowl: Northern Illinois vs. Utah State. These two teams played in 1995, with Utah State winning 42-7. Ingesting a poinsettia could cause vomiting and diarr–oh wait, I think this part was for the Little Caesars Bowl. (ESPN)


Military Bowl: Marshall vs. Maryland. MARSHALL! MARYLAND! MILITARY! That’s my pitch for the ad campaign for this game, starring Terry Crews as a turtle and Zach Galifianakis as the buffalo or whatever it’s a herd of that’s thundering. They would both be dressed in fatigues. Give me money. (ESPN)


Texas Bowl: Minnesota vs. Syracuse. Nothing says “Texas” like Minnesota and Syracuse. The Gophers hold the 3-1 all-time edge over the Orange, and this is an orange tie with gophers on it. (ESPN)


Fight Hunger Bowl: BYU vs. Washington. Washington is 65-34 all-time vs. teams named “Cougars,” while BYU is 4-4 against teams named “Huskies,” all eight of those games being against Washington. What does it all mean? NO MORE HUNGER! (ESPN)


Pinstripe Bowl: Notre Dame vs. Rutgers. These two teams have played four times, and Rutgers only scored in one of those games. When I searched for “Irish Knight,” I got this. Someone get Nolan on the phone! (ESPN)


Belk Bowl: Cincinnati vs. North Carolina. The Bearcats haven’t had much luck against the Tarheels, losing by 21 and 35 in their previous two meetings (1979 & 1991). There are no Belk stores in Ohio, but if you like unnecessary z’s, you can buy a pair of these online. They were literally the only product that came up when I searched for “Ohio.” (ESPN)


Russell Athletic Bowl: Louisville vs. Miami. Back in mid-October, you could have made an argument for these two teams to play for the national title. Oh well, lots of teams don’t get to play for the title. Enjoy your lousy bowl, jerks. (ESPN)


Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl: Kansas State vs. Michigan. While it’s unclear whether or not Brady Hoke realizes that his team has not been invited to play in an enormous bowl of actual buffalo wings, we do know that he has expertly executed his five-year plan so far by landing the Wolverines in three consecutive food-related bowls. (ESPN)

Merry Christmas from all of us at MotSaG