Archives for August 2014

Ohio State 34 Navy 17 Quick Recap

The Buckeyes started off the 2014 season with a 17 point victory vs. The Navy Midshipmen that felt more like a last second 4th quarter comeback win. Ohio State took control in the 2nd half, scoring 28 points after falling behind the Midshipmen 7-6 at the end of the 1st half.

Ohio State got a huge boost from linebacker Darron Lee who scooped up a Navy fumble and raced 61 yards for a go ahead TD. Navy answered a couple minutes later with a 1 yard touchdown by Keenan Reynolds. After tha Ohio State took complete control of the game, scoring 3 touchdowns to Navy’s 1 field goal.

The first half was dominated by bad offensive line play that resulted in stalled drives, penalties and constant pressure on J.T. Barrett who threw a costly interception in the red zone after getting pressure up the middle, avoiding it and carelessly throwing a bad ball.

The offensive line settled down in the second half and that allowed OSU’s offense to get back on track Barrett, in his first OSU start played well, throwing for 226 yards, 2 touchdowns and leading the Buckeyes in rushing with 50 yards. Braxton Miller, he is not, but he can clearly throw the football well when given time.

The jury is still out on the defense, who gave up 370 yards rushing to a Navy team who runs the option better than anyone. While they gave up tons of yards on the ground, they only gave up 17 points to a powerful offense and all world quarterback in Keenan Reynolds. The defensive line was outstanding, getting a few key stops in the 2nd half. Next week will be a better gauge for how far the defense has come along when they play Virginia Tech, a team that runs a normal offense.

This team is very young and very talented. They will make you want to tear out your hair one minute and make you jump out of your seat with excitement.

Buckle up Buckeye fans. It’s gonna be a fun year.

More game detail to follow.

Navy Game: Open Thread

Here is your post for saying anything you want about how the game is going. Enjoy and Go Buckeyes!!!

Why Scheduling Navy is a Huge Mistake

osuHelmetI am not what you would call an honorable man. Sad to admit, but it is true. My apple tree in the backyard hangs over my neighbor’s fence (He’s a jerk so I’m not cutting it). If I leave my toothbrush downstairs I will use my wife’s instead. I don’t wash my hands after relieving myself, unless there is another person in the restroom. Yes, I am basically a little league version of a sociopath and I’m ok with that. Despite my genuine lack of decorum, I still respect people who do have integrity. Especially the kids who choose to serve for our country while receiving an education. The Ohio State Buckeyes will open up the 2014 season against an entire team full of these honorable men on August 30th, and I think this is a huge mistake.

Playing a triple option team such as Navy, Ohio State’s first opponent, brings many unnecessary headaches to a coach. Only 4 of the near 120 FBS teams run this old fashioned system in today’s flashy times. No defensive players on Ohio States 2014 roster have ever played a snap against a triple option squad in college. This means that during Ohio States few weeks of training camp, plenty of time will be spent preparing a young defense for a game plan that will be used once all season. The 2009 squad had a helluva time of playing the Midshipmen week 1. That year the Bucks squeaked away with a 4 point win after looking very confused on defense, only to go on and win the Rose Bowl in January. How much will this game help the young secondary’s progression in coverage? How much will this game help anybody on the roster? With a new look back seven, this game week one is nothing but a major annoyance at best. And let’s not even talk about the worst case scenario. This year just seems to be really bad timing to be playing a team such as Navy. After last year’s defensive issues and now with the loss of Miller this game is downright scary. With that said, I believe there never is a good time to play a triple option team such as Navy, Army or Air Force.

Navy is not your regular mid -tier school. They may have similar talent to the Akron, FIU or Michigan (had to) programs, but they have much more heart and discipline. They annually give big time programs scares and have some upsets on their resume recently. After the 09 nail biter against the Buckeyes, they beat Notre Dame two years in a row; in fact they doubled them up 35-17 in 2010. Navy nearly knocked off South Carolina in 2011, falling 3 points short. Add in a few wins the next few years against Indiana, Pittsburgh and almost another defeat of Notre Dame last year, it is clear to see Navy is one mid major who won’t lay down for the power 5 (or wherever Notre Dame decides they are at). The issue is Navy is thought of as a MAC-like football team. A close win or Woody help us, a loss to the Midshipmen would be devastating to a program such as Ohio State. I remember laughing my arse off after Notre Dame got waxed by them a few years ago. Karma could bite me this weekend.

If Ohio State comes out and takes care of business, nobody will understand how difficult the task was. In reality, Navy is an extremely tough team to prepare for and play against. No squad can just show up and beat them, especially with an inexperienced defense. Don’t tell that to the local radio guys or the ignorant fans who expect Ohio State to throttle Navy this Saturday. I sadly feel they could be in for a rude awakening. The situation is all risk and no pay off.

The last reason I hate the idea of playing one of the military academies is personal. I have a lot of hate and anger inside of me that only comes out during Ohio State football and basketball games. I’m not proud of it, my family isn’t proud of it, and there is a good chance my wife will be talking to a divorce lawyer come November. Sad to say, I have to sling insults at the other team’s players and coaches. There is no stopping it. When things are going south in a hurry for the Bucks, the only thing keeping me from making cyanide smoothies is to berate the looks and actions of Ohio State’s opponent. It really calms the nerves.

“Nice tackle but you’re still fat gut-boy.”
“Wow, great punt hairdo, does your girlfriend make you keep the helmet on in bed? You’re ugly as sin.”
“Keep talking trash you worthless thug, you look like you smell terrible.”

These examples are a few of the cleaner comments that will come out when my anger flashes. They’re not funny and usually lack sense or taste (I’m still apologizing to my family for one comment I made during the Fickell year; I shocked myself when it came out). Horrible I know, especially since I’m now 5 to 8 years older than these student athletes. I can’t help it, and I won’t be able to stop it from happening this Saturday, which makes me feel even worse. I will be saying horrible things about young men who are giving up their lives for our country and there is nobody else to blame but Gene Smith. If the Buckeyes were playing Mountain Men Tech or some other Bologna State school on Saturday I would have no problems putting those jabronis in their place from the comfort of my couch. But no, thanks to Gene’s scheduling I will be insulting some amazing men to their faces (well sort of).

Am I making a big deal out of nothing? Always, it’s what I do. Maybe Ohio State will come out and play like they should this weekend; I still don’t see why Ohio State should take the risk against such a tough matchup with Navy. Considering the Midshipmen usually play like Tarzan but get the rep. of Jane, it’s just not worth the hassle. Even with a dominant win, nobody on the playoff committee will blink an eye. A struggle could really put the final four out of reach right out of the gate. The few positives such as getting a game in an NFL stadium (Baltimore) and playing one of the NCAA’s most prestigious programs do not really move the teeter totter at all. I doubt any of our beloved Bucks will be telling their grandbabies about that time they played Navy.

Still, don’t get me wrong, I am very excited. No more time for boo-hooing. This weekend is going to be very interesting and boy oh boy am I ready. Fall is almost here which means my apples are starting to drop into my neighbor’s yard; and come Saturday at noon, I’ll be six pumpkin beers deep, ready to sling heinous insults at some honorable young men. I just wish it was against any other school than Navy.

Friday Open Thread: Navy

This has been the craziest couple of weeks leading up to a season since… well, I guess since Urban Meyer took the helm. Or, maybe that time there was a little scuffle at a night club. Ok, so maybe it’s par for the course that Ohio State deals with some kind of stuff before actual football is played. So this year decided it wasn’t going to be any different, and here we are — starting-quarterback-less, an away game and a season of unknowns. Some have already said participation in the first college football playoff has sailed off into the sunset (or more appropriately, up north, to the newly christened favorite Michigan State). Others have said this wasn’t going to be the year anyway, so let’s see what we have in these young guys. And then you’ve got a group of seniors that have seen some serious highs and some abysmal lows. They don’t want to go out like that.

So we start Week One against a pluck Navy team. We’ve had some good content this week leading up, so a quick recap:

  • Chip wondered what the offense will look like (Guiton-ish?) and which freshmen will see the field (a lot).
  • Ronnie gave us his usual Cliff’s Notes on who to be watching when these two teams collide, including Curtis Grant, who is on a mission of reaching potential and possible meeting expectations:

    Not only will Grant need to lead by example, but his vocal leadership will be valuable on the field Saturday. Grant must be the commanding voice for the Buckeyes defense and keep them disciplined and calm.

  • Finally, Nate gets you set with all the knowledge you need to be prepared for the start of the 2014 season.

So here’s an open thread to discuss your thoughts, hopes and dreams about the start of the college football season. (The REAL start is on Saturday. This Thursday stuff is for the scrubs).

How about some predictions? What do you think will be the final score? Which running back will carry the ball the most? How many times to they let J.T. throw the ball?

My predictions:
Ohio State 45
Navy 17

Most carries: Ezekiel Elliot

J.T. passes: 18

Q&A with an Opponents Blogger: Navy

Back by popular demand Buckeye Nation the award winning Q&A with the opponents blogger!!

This week I sit down with Michael James (@navybirddog) a blogger for Thebirddog a Navy blog site and a great one to check out.

MotSaG: Who on the Buckeyes are Navy fans looking forward to seeing the most?

NavyBirdDog: The punter.

MotSaG: The Buckeye plan on rotating 9-10 defensive linemen, do you feel that will be an issue for Navy having to deal with fresh guys up front all game?

NavyBirdDog: Not necessarily. I know that when people see long drives from option offenses, they talk about “wearing the defense down,” but that’s not exactly how it works. Navy’s offensive line relies more on technique than physicality, so the question is more about how fundamentally sound Ohio State feels they are 9-10 deep rather than how rested they are. Frankly, if OSU’s coaches want to sub Michael Bennett out of the game, I’m all for it.

MotSaG: How did Navy convince Ohio State to leave the Horseshoe to play in Maryland for this game?

NavyBirdDog: Playing in a 70,000-seat stadium probably makes for a nice guarantee, and DC-Baltimore isn’t the worst place to recruit. Besides, Maryland is Big Ten territory now, right?

MotSaG: Do you expect to see a sea of Scarlet in the stands or will the Midshipmen fans overrun the Buckeye fans?

NavyBirdDog: Considering that there are probably more people currently enrolled at Ohio State than there are living alumni of the Naval Academy, it’s probably safe to assume that there will be a healthy Ohio State contingent at the game. I don’t think it’ll be overwhelming, though. Navy plays Notre Dame in Baltimore all the time and has good fan support. At least it sounds like it; it’s hard to tell when everyone’s wearing blue and gold.

MotSaG: Which Navy players should Buckeye fans keep an eye on besides QB Keenan Reynolds?

NavyBirdDog: It’s always hard to tell who will have a big game in Navy’s offense because it’s so dependent on what the defense does. Navy doesn’t exactly force their will on teams; they take what the defense gives them. That said, the quarterback’s first option is the fullback, and Navy has a pretty good one in Noah Copeland. On defense, safety Parrish Gaines will be in on almost every play, and if Navy is going to have a chance to be in this game late, they’ll need a big day from defensive end Paul Quessenberry.

MotSaG: Is there a disadvantage for Navy not having any film on J.T. Barrett to prepare for?

NavyBirdDog: I don’t think so. Nobody knows how much of the playbook the coaches are comfortable using with Barrett at quarterback, but it’s obviously not going to be more than with Miller. Whatever disadvantage there might be is heavily outweighed by not having to face a Heisman contender.

MotSaG: Do you think the National perception is finally changing when people think of Navy football?

NavyBirdDog: Not really. Maybe a little after the run of success against Notre Dame, but there’s always going to be that element of, “these guys aren’t good but gee they play all four quarters and they’re going to serve our country,” etc. I’m sure the players hate it, but it sort of comes with the territory.

MotSaG: Which rivalry is better Michigan/Ohio State or Army/ Navy?

NavyBirdDog: Army-Navy

MotSaG: Will Navy win the Commander in Chief trophy this year?

NavyBirdDog: Yes

MotSaG: Does Navy make it lucky number 13 against Army this season?

NavyBirdDog: Yes. Jeff Monken was a good hire for Army, but they’ve got a lot of work ahead of them.

I want to thank Michael James for taking the time to join us here this week at MotSaG by joining our podcast and also helping me with this seasons first Q&A.

For my prediction of the game I have to remain nuetral for this is the only team that the Buckeyes play that I can’t root against. Being a former Navy Seabee I can’t root against the Navy although I do feel the Buckeyes will walk out of Maryland with the win.

Have any questions for next week hit us up at

Ohio State at Navy: A Second Look

osuHelmetI had this written out, for the most part, right around Monday evening. Then came the Braxton injury, and my delete button got quite the workout. After exploring all the doomsday situations without Braxton, and watching the rest of Buckeye Nation go through the five stages of grief, I realized this team is still going to be very, very good, and it all starts with the Navy game.

As I said in my guest post, the Navy game is a possible “trip up” game for this team, and my point stands that it will be a huge test for the new Buckeye defense. Navy returns their quarterback, who was their leading rusher with over 1300 yards last season, to a team that was second in rushing yards per game in the country last year. Even with Butkus Award Winner (no, I’m not still bitter…) Ryan Shazier anchoring the linebackers last year, poor tackling was a major problem for this team. With Navy’s Triple Option attack, the defensive line and linbackers will be tested big time. The line will be solid, and it will be up to them to prevent the ball carrier, whoever it may be, from getting to the defensive secondary. Navy will run the ball, and they will run the ball well against Ohio State. There’s no way to sugar coat it; that’s just the way Navy is. They don’t throw often – their starting QB, Keenan Reynolds, only had 128 attempts for the entire season last year, with only 8 touchdown passes. Navy will only throw the ball in necessary positions, i.e. 3rd and 5 or more. Winning first down will be huge for the Buckeye defense. Keep Navy from getting 4 yards on first down, putting them in second and long, and the Navy offense will start to get in tough positions for their scheme to handle. We won’t see Chris Ash’s new secondary tested against Navy from a pass defense perspective. We will likely see them have to make open field tackles, something this team struggled with last year.

The Buckeye offense will be interesting, mainly because of who will be at quarterback. As of writing this, JT Barrett will be the starting quarterback over Cardale “I Ain’t Come Here to Play School” Jones. Given that fact, I will write this as if JT will be starting on Day 1. It’s been said that Barrett was a better pure passer coming out of high school than Braxton was, and now Barrett has had a year and a half to develop and learn the Tom Herman/Urban Meyer system. We saw what Braxton could do after one full year under the system, so I don’t expect Barrett to struggle with the offense. However, JT hasn’t seen real game action since halfway through his senior year of high school, prior to tearing his ACL that season, and redshirting last season. He has been getting reps all offseason, since Braxton sat out to avoid what happened Monday, but the first drive or two might be a tad overwhelming for the young signal caller. I don’t doubt his abilities, but don’t look for the offense to take a lot of big shots early on. Tom Herman will likely look to establish rhythm and to get Barrett to relax. Ezekial Elliot will most likely be Barrett’s partner in the backfield at the running back position, with Dontre Wilson playing the “Harvin” role. Expect these two to get the ball early and often against Navy. I expect we will see screens to Dontre to get him the ball quickly and allow him to make one move and get upfield. The biggest safety valve for a young quarterback is always the tight end position. Jeff Heuerman, one of Braxton’s favorite targets from 2013, is a senior in the position, and will likely see many passes thrown his way. Navy lost both of its leading tacklers in the inside linbacking core, but return their outside linebackers. This will potentially leave the middle of the field open for Heuerman and the TEs for short routes, and when (not if) Elliot, Wilson, Barrett, or other runners get to the second level, they will be able to make moves and get more yardage. Once Barrett is relaxed and into the flow of the game, expect the offense will open up more.


Navy Players To Know

QB Keenan Reynolds

FB Chris Swain

WR DeBrandon Sanders

OLB Chris Johnson



This might be a clencher early on for Buckeye fans to open the season. I fully expect Navy to score, but even with a new QB, I expect Ohio State to score more. I’ll take the Buckeyes.

Ohio State 31

Navy 17

Non-OSU All B1G team (The Intangibles)

Best Fans- (Nebraska) The self-proclaimed nicest fans in the world do an amazing job on gameday of making opposing fans feel welcome and part of the family. I may not have had the same feelings from my interactions with them on the internet but none the less their fans will never boo opposing teams and in fact cheer them as they enter the stadium. You will never here horror stories from visitors about rude or illegal behavior.

Best Stadium- (Iowa) The easy answer for this is to pick one of the huge stadiums in the B1G. Penn State is an erector set of beams with no personality. Michigan is a true bowl but if you are in any of the rows past row 5 you might as well be sitting in Canada. Kinnick Stadium in Iowa may be small in comparison roughly 70k seats. They however have an intimate feeling that puts you right in the action always. Plus when they do sections by colors their fans actually make it happen.


Best Tradition- (Michigan) Touching the Banner is one of the most amazing things in CFB. Watching their players run on the field and jump up to touch the banner gets the otherwise docile crowd excited in Ann Arbor. Plus it has been a part of the the greatest rivalry in sports as witnessed here…

Best Food- (Rutgers) There is a food truck on Rutgers Campus that sells The Fat Darrell a sandwich that has grown into fame by appearing on Man Vs Food. The sandwich which has Chicken Fingers, Fried Mozzarella Sticks, Marinara, and other scrumptious toppings is a behemoth and for $6 it is a bargain as well. On top of that New Jersey is famous for their Disco Fries- Cheese Fries covered in gravy. #Winning

Best Mascot- (Purdue) A Blue Collared man who carries a giant sledge hammer and drives a locomotive while drinking beer…. if that doesn’t describe America in one character I don’t know what does.

Best Tailgate- (Wisconsin) Badgerville as it is affectionately known is just the beginning of the party in Wisconsin. The fans drink beer and eat cheese and chow down on BratBurgers. They get so riled up by the time they get to the actual game they are throwing batteries, rocks, grenades, puppies, babies, or whatever else they can find to hurl at the opposing teams players and fans.

Best Coaches- (Michigan State)- MSU has 2 of the best coaches in the nation in Mark Dantonio and Def Coor. Pat Narducci. These guys have got the Spartans on a roll with their ability to make low ranked recruits high ranked players. They however are not known for their bubbly personalities.

Best Special Teams- (Minnesota) I will let Tom Dienhart of describe why they won this award.

Peter Mortell is back after steadying an inconsistent punting situation. He’s one of the Big Ten’s best. Kicker Ryan Santoso can boom it and arrives with a fat scrapbook. Marcus Jones has proven capable as a kickoff and punt return man. Other return game options include Berkley Edwards, Antonio Johnson and KJ Maye.

Best Uniforms- (Maryland) Most people hate the uniforms that Under Armor has created for the Terrapins. For me though they are truly trying to do something different and that should be celebrated. The uniforms are gaudy for sure. They remind me of Medieval Times or Scottish coat of arms. They have unique patterns and colors and for sure stand out and there are probably 50 different looks.


Best Atmosphere- (Penn State) From Paternoville (Franklinville?) to the team bus ride to the 110k fans to the ice cream to the sticky buns to Thon to Mt Nittany in the background. State College is a college town in its purest form. It is a town built around the school. The pride is everywhere and when there is a football game the population triples. The PSU fans sure do know how to put on a good atmosphere. Just dont wear opposing team gear if they are losing.

Best City- (Northwestern) Sure technically Northwestern is in Evanston but for purposes of this exercise we can pretend like it is basically Chicago because it is. The metropolis is known for its windy weather and midwestern feel for a large city. The food is tremendous and the sites are tourism worthy.

Best Nothing worthy of receiving a best award- (Tie Illinois and Indiana) I tried hard to find something for every team that is worth celebrating. The best I came up for Illinois was worst weather and Indiana most nothingness.



Wayne Woodrow “Woody” Hayes


Change is the theme for the 2014 college football season, so with that in mind, I’m changing up the TV Guide structure, packaging games in groups to help you enjoy the best of the national landscape, follow all our fellow Ohio schools and conference foes, and/or scout our remaining schedule.


Ohio State @ Navy. Noon, CBS Sports Network.

This is the moment of truth. It might have been less stressful to open the season in the Shoe against an Ohio MAC or FCS opponent with Braxton’s injury casting a shadow of doubt over the season, but a road test against a tricky opponent will tell us more about our young QBs heading into a pivotal battle against Virginia Tech next week.

Note that the game is on CBS Sports Network, not regular CBS. This should be DirecTV 221, Dish 158, Time Warner 1322, U-Verse 1643 & Verizon FiOS 594. Check to make sure you get this channel now! (If anyone knows of corrections or additions to this list, leave them in the comments!)



Eastern Illinois @ Minnesota. 7:00p, Big Ten Network.

Rutgers @ Washington State. 10:00p, Fox Sports 1.


Jacksonville State @ Michigan State. 7:30p, Big Ten Network.


Penn State vs. UCF in Ireland. 8:30a, ESPN2.

Appalachian State @ Michigan. Noon, ESPN2.

It’s unlikely that we’ll see a repeat of the 2007 game, but we can dream, can’t we? Despite being a far worse team now than back then, App State does have one thing going for them: motivation. You think these kids don’t want to do the same thing their predecessors did? You think they haven’t been hearing all about how they won’t be able to? And let’s not forget: Michigan isn’t the team they were back then either.

Indiana State @ Indiana. Noon, ESPN News.

Youngstown State @ Illinois. Noon, Big Ten Network.

James Madison @ Maryland. 3:30p, Big Ten Network.

William & Mary @ Virginia Tech. 4:00p, ESPN News.

Ohio @ Kent State. 6:00p, ESPN3 (online).

Cincinnati: no game.


Northern Iowa @ Iowa. Noon, Big Ten Network.

Western Michigan @ Purdue. Noon, ESPNU.

California @ Northwestern. 3:30p, ABC/ESPN2.

Florida Atlantic @ Nebraska. 3:30p, Big Ten Network.

LSU vs. Wisconsin in Houston. 9:00p, ESPN.

This is the first chance for the Big Ten to make a big statement in 2014. Both teams had solid seasons last year, with only one blowout loss (LSU’s 21-point loss to Alabama) between them. Rumor is that the Badgers will give the athletic Tanner McEvoy the nod at QB over the more experienced (and more predictable) Joel Stave. You may remember McEvoy as a safety, the position he played most of last year after switching from wide receiver due to a wrist injury. Did I mention he’s athletic?



Howard @ Akron. 7:00p, ESPN3 (online).


Bowling Green @ Western Kentucky. 7:30p, CBS Sports Network.


Marshall @ Miami (Ohio). 3:30p, ESPN3 (online).

New Hampshire @ Toledo. 7:00p, ESPN3 (online).



Texas A&M @ South Carolina. 6:00p, SEC Network.


Alabama vs. West Virginia in Atlanta. 3:30p, ABC/ESPN2.

Clemson @ Georgia. 5:30p, ESPN.

Despite the departures of Tahj Boyd and Aaron Murray, this should still be an entertaining and competitive game. Georgia is probably the better team this year, but that’s what most people thought last year too.

Florida State vs. Oklahoma State in Arlington. 8:00p, ABC.


Miami (Florida) @ Louisville. 8:00p, ESPN.

Scouting the Midshipmen and a Look around the country

osuHelmetIt’s Back!!!! College Football is finally upon us and we here in the Buckeye State (and, really, all of America) are ecstatic to get the 2014 season underway. It’s going to be a wild ride. Ohio State comes into this season ranked 5th in the nation and preseason favorites to win the Big Ten and advance to the inaugural College Football Playoff. Those are lofty expectations for a team that lost its leading rusher, 4 offensive linemen, and return most of a secondary that struggled last year. (And now, it’s potential Heisman quarterback, too.) But with new additions and schemes, they are poised to accept the challenge. First on the docket are the Navy Midshipmen. If you remember right, Navy gave us everything we could handle in 2009. It took a Brian Rolle interception on a 2-point conversion with two minutes left to seal the win. Here’s to hoping this year is a much smoother affair.

(As you can tell, this preview was being worked on before that fateful day… Braxton Miller is out for the season and according to the OSU press release he will return for the 2015 season. This obviously changes a few aspects to the Buckeye offense, but it will mostly be business as usual. )

Opponent: Navy Midshipmen (2013 record: 9-4)
Location: M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, Maryland (home of the Ravens)
Kickoff: August 30, 2014. Noon on CBS Sports Network (Check here for your local channel)

Sizing up Navy:

The Navy offense lives and dies by the triple option which is expertly ran by do-it-all QB Keenan Reynolds. Some people have called him Navy’s best QB since Roger Staubach, which should tell you everything you need to know. The kid can play. He ran for 31 touchdowns last season, an FBS record for a QB. But he can also throw the ball; yes Navy does have a passing game. He threw for a little over 1,000 yards in 2013 to go along with 8 touchdowns. If Reynolds and the Midshipmen can go to the air more, they could be in for a great season because of a dangerous offense.

Defensively, they return seven players from last seasons’ team. Teams consistently moved the ball down the field on them but had trouble punching it in the endzone. They will be overmatched athletically in the majority of games they play. Look for Ohio State to exploit that.

Offensive GamePlan:

Braxton Miller’s injury is a huge blow to the Buckeye offense. He made so many things look easy. We’ll see how well Urban and Tom Herman have prepared the backups. So it’s next man up for the Buckeyes.

Enter J.T. Barrett, a four-star and one of the top dual threat quarterbacks in the class of 2013. If you watch his highlight tape, his offense in high school was very similar to Ohio State’s. He ran a lot of read options (reading the defensive end then either giving to the RB or pulling it and taking it himself) and was also very successful throwing the ball downfield. Make no mistake, the kid can play.

Our gameplan needs to be getting the ball into our playmakers hands. Expect Zeke Elliot and Rod Smith to get a lot of carries against Navy to take some pressure off Barrett. But he will be expected to air it out a little bit. Our main objective is to get the ball to our athletes on the perimeter. Guys like Dontre Wilson, Evan Spencer, Devin Smith, Michael Thomas and Curtis Samuel will all be targeted plenty. Herman needs to call a lot of quick read passing plays as well. The play will start with the read option, then Barrett will have the option of making a quick throw on the outside (hitch, bubble are main routes for this). And I can also guarantee we will see Jeff Heureman run the TE stick up the hash and be wide open. That could end up being Barrett’s first passing touchdown of his career.

The main focus of this game is number 1, win. Then number 2, Herman needs to get Barrett (and really the entire offense) confidence up so he’s ready to face Virginia Tech next week. It’s also a possibility that we’ll see Cardale Jones thrown into the mix just to get a different look. But Barrett is the guy and all he has to do is facilitate and distribute, which he is very good at.

Craig Krenzel was never a huge statistical Heisman watch player, but he won a national championship. That’s something former Buckeye QB’s Troy Smith, Terrelle Pryor, and even Braxton Miller have failed to bring to Columbus. It will definitely be a fun season to watch.

Defensive Gameplan:

The key to the Navy offensive scheme is to keep defenses off balance by constantly running misdirection plays and by throwing in a pass every once in a while to keep the defense honest. They’ve been running the triple option offense since the Revolutionary War so it’s safe to say they’re good at it.

Navy’s favorite formation is with 5 offensive linemen with a running back/wide receiver on both the right and left tackles hip (off the line). Reynolds will be under center with a fullback 5 yards behind him. Reynolds will take the snap, take a step back and read the defensive end. He will either give or keep the ball. He can also option to the receiver behind him who will sweep around as the pitch man. Many teams get caught with their eyes in the backfield reading the pitch man. But the RB was given the ball up the middle and is untouched heading to the endzone.

It’s key for our defensive line to blow up anything that comes up the middle (which I fully expect them to do). The linebacker corps also has to read their keys. Reynolds likes to take off whenever possible; either by keeping it on a read play or tucking and running instead of passing. It will be interesting to see how new Defensive Coordinator Chris Ash will handle the triple option but I don’t think he’ll disappoint. Look for the safeties to press most of the game along with a number of blitzes and coming up into the box to assist with the running game. Reynolds is a great talent but I have a lot of faith in our defense to keep him contained.


All of Buckeye Nation will tune in to see the future of Ohio State Football, in J.T. Barrett. His first possession could be shaky but once he gets the jitters out, he’ll have a huge game. The defense will be back to being the Silver Bullets by holding the Midshipmen to less than 100 yards rushing. After the game, everyone can take a deep breath and know they’re in good hands with Urban Meyer at the helm.

Ohio State 45
Navy 13

Look Around the Country

Notable Games Last Week: None

Big Matchups This Week:

Thursday, August 28: Texas A&M at South Carolina
Saturday, August 30: Clemson at Georgia, Florida State vs Oklahoma State (Cowboys Classic), Wisconsin vs LSU.

Michigan Update:

They play Appalachian State this week. I’m trying not to laugh. Oh, memories.

Heisman Watch Contenders:

Jameis Winston, FSU
Marcus Mariota, Oregon
Bryce Petty, Baylor
Brett Hundley, UCLA

Rising Star: J.T. Barrett perhaps?

Dropping Fast: Braxton Miller- out for the season (balling my eyes out)

My Playoff if the season ended today:
1. Florida State vs 4. Ohio State (Sugar)
2. Oregon vs 3. Auburn (Rose)
Just Missed the Cut:
5. Oklahoma
6. Alabama
7. Michigan State
9. Baylor
10. South Carolina