Archives for May 2020

MOTSAG Pretend College Playoffs: #1 Ohio State vs. #8 Memphis

A couple seasons ago the pretend college football playoff matchup between top-seeded Ohio State and No. 8 Memphis would have scared the Michigan out of Buckeye fans.
But this isn’t a couple years ago. This is now.
And now does not belong to the Memphis Tigers. The Buckeyes scored on their first play of the game and rolled to a devilish 66-6 win over the AAC champs.

Memphis came in averaging 40 points and 485 yards of offense per game and a stingy defense that allowed less than 200 yards passing per game. All week the Tigers talked about how they felt they could slow down Ohio State’s high-octane offense. They were so confident that after winning the coin toss the deferred and sent their defense on the field first.


Following a 25-yard kick return by Garrett Wilson, JK Dobbins took a pitch from Justin Fields and motored 75 yards for a touchdown. Coach Ryan Day felt that was so easy, he called for a surprising onside kick, which was recovered by Chris Olave near midfield.

Since he made such a nice play on the kick, Day called his number again on the first play of the possession — a slant play that totally burnt the Memphis defense for a long and easy pitch and catch from Fields.

Memphis managed two yards on its next possession and was forced to punt. The Buckeyes took over on their own 35 and methodically marched down the field, covering the 65 yards on 10 plays, using some short runs and passes to physically wear down the Memphis defense.

Both teams punted on their next possessions, ending the first quarter at 21-0 Buckeyes.

With the ball on its own 30, Memphis tried some trickeration as QB Brady White pitched to Kenneth Gainwell, who then attempted a pass back to White.

OSU’s Jordan Fuller had other ideas and picked off the pass at the OSU 30, returning it 70 yards for the score.

Memphis was actually able to move the ball a little on the ensuing drive, partly because OSU had some backups in and partly because the officials were apparently backups as well, calling several bogus penalties.

But the Tigers had a drive stall and settled for a field goal to make it 28-3.

On their next drive, the Buckeyes went 70 yards on five plays, highlighted by a 50-yard from from Dobbins. Fields called his own number to score on a 15-yard run to make it 35-3.

Memphis got another field goal shortly before halftime to make the score 35-6 Buckeyes at halftime.

On the first play of the second half, Gainwell fumbled on the OSU 35.

Two plays later it was 42-6 after Wilson turned a crossing route into a 30-yard score.

That was it for both team’s starters as Day wanted to give some younger guys a chance, while making sure the starters stayed healthy. Memphis Coach Ryan Silverfield waved the provebial white flag as well.

OSU got three TD runs from Master Teague and a field goal to account for the final points.

OSU finished with 710 yards of offense, tons on the ground in the second half, and limited Memphis to 120 total yards.

MOTSAG Pretend College Football Playoffs: #6 Utah vs. #3 Clemson

Great defense vs a great offense always makes for an intriguing matchup.  Do the heralded units cancel each other out, which of the unsung, or at least less-sung, units steps up to make the difference?  This quarterfinal game will provide an answer as the powerful defense of 6th seeded Utah faces off against the high-powered offense of 3rd seeded Clemson.  Clemson enjoyed a first round bye while Utah pulled off a close win against Florida Atlantic in the opening round.

Clemson got the ball to start the game and was promptly shut down by the Utah defense, going three and out.  Clemson got off a good punt but Utah broke a nice 25-yard return to give their offense the ball near midfield.  An efficient mix of run and pass plays followed, capped off with Tyler Hunting find Jaylen Dixon open in the endzone for a touchdown to put Utah up 7-0.  Clemson’s quick strike ability was on display on the next drive as two plays gained them over 50 yards but Utah’s defense stiffened and held the Tigers to a field goal. 

The two teams traded punts for the next several possessions with Clemson slowly winning the field position battle.  Midway through the second quarter, the Tigers capitalized, getting the ball near midfield and going on a quick 5 play drive capped by Trevor Lawrence scampering into the endzone to put Clemson up 10-7.  That would mark all of the scoring in the first half as the defenses held sway.

Utah opened the third quarter with the ball and found a bit of offensive success, moving the ball into Clemson territory before being forced to punt.  A big stop by the Utah defense on 3rd and 3 led to a short Clemson punt, giving the Utes great field position.  They once again capitalized as star running back Zack Moss ran over Clemson’s defense, ultimately finding the endzone to put Utah back on top 14-10.  The Utah defense snuffed the next two Tiger drives and suddenly all the momentum seemed to be with the Ute’s who once again found themselves with good field position to start a drive.  Unfortunately, quarterback Tyler Huntley’s first down pass was intercepted and the Tigers wasted no time, taking advantage of the short field to retake the lead, 17-14 thanks to a Travis Etienne touchdown run.  Huntley, clearly rattled, threw another interception on Utah’s next drive and Clemson looked positioned to take complete control.  However, the Utah defense held, forcing a field goal to keep it a one score game, 20-14.

Clemson had another scoring opportunity early in the fourth quarter but missed a 44-yard field goal.  The Utes took advantage, using a big pass from Huntley to Brant Kuithe to get them deep into Clemson territory.  Three successive runs were stuffed and Utah had to settle for a field goal to pull within three, 20-17.  The momentum swung again as a promising Clemson drive fizzled out, ending in another missed field goal and Utah responded with a run dominated drive that ended in a 36-yard field goal to tie the game at 20.  Another defensive stop gave Utah the ball with a chance to take the lead late in the fourth quarter but they couldn’t capitalize, giving the ball back to Clemson with two minutes to go.  We were set with the ultimate showdown, tied game, clock running down, and a great offense with the ball facing a great defense.  The Utah defense had been stellar for most of the game, coming up with key stops to keep the Utes in the game but the battle had worn them down and the Clemson offense moved quickly and easily as Lawrence completed four straight passes, the last one to Justyn Ross in the back corner of the endzone.  Clemson led 27-20 but there was still 30 seconds left on the clock, giving Utah one more chance.  All season the Utah offense had hung its hat on being well balanced and using the run to set up the pass; something they couldn’t take advantage of with so little time on the clock.  The Utes hit a couple short passes but couldn’t get find anything open downfield as time ran out, giving Clemson the win, 27-20.

MOTSAG Pretend College Football Playoffs: #5 Georgia vs. #4 Oklahoma

In a battle for conference supremacy this round pits #4 Oklahoma up against #5 Georgia. Oklahoma got some much needed rest as Georgia ran managed to stave off Miami (OH) with a clutch field goal and a crucial defensive stop to end their dreams of advancing.

These two teams have explosive offenses and the last time both of these teams met was in the Rose Bowl the 2017-2018 season. That very game was a barn burner and it ended in a 54-48, double overtime thriller. This years hypothetical matchup would future a familiar foe for Georgia in Jalen Hurts, the former Alabama quarterback. Jake Fromm versus Jalen Hurts vie for a shot to advance.

During the coin toss, the calm before the storm was evident. Both teams stand tall, calm and stoic and Georgia calls the toss and defers giving Hurts the balls first. After a touchback in the opening kickoff Hurts approaches the huddle and calls the play out. Georgia, who had struggled against inferior opponents finds themselves with their pants down on the opening snap. Boom! Hurts finds Lamb on a slant and he takes it to the house for six. On the ensuing kickoff, Swift nearly provides an immediate answer as he takes it to the 50 yard line. Georgia takes their times during the drive, but is stopped in the red zone. Blankenship puts the Bulldogs on the board.

Hurts starts at the 30 on this drive and he leans on Sermon and Brooks and they drive to the 30 before adding three to their lead. Fromm begins the drive and he finds George Pickens on a streak to tie the contest at 10-10. Georgia usually struggles with the quick scoring game, but the cheating safety misjudged Pickens’ speed and got burnt for six.

Hurts controls the current drive late into the first quarter with a balance of QB option runs and timing routes and they are knocking at the door before the quarter came to a close. To open the second quarter, Brooks finds the seam and he barges in for a touchdown. Georgia’s defense was just bloodied in the last drive and the Bulldog’s got them some well deserved rest as they use up the majority of the second quarter before Swift plunges it into the end zone with a little over two minutes left in the half.

In a 17 all game, Hurts runs the two minute drill to perfection. Finding his running backs on swing passes before finding Lamb once again for a touchdown, Hurts puts his teams back up 24-17 before Fromm took a knee to send it into the half. To open the second half, Georgia came out firing. Fromm finds Cager in the seams at will, but in the red zone, Fromm forces a errant pass over the middle that ended up becoming a pick-six–Oklahoma extends their lead to 31-17.

On Fromm’s next possession, the timing and the momentum was all in the Sooners’ favor as they end up punting in the next three possessions. Both teams are struggling to find a rhythm on offense but the defenses are playing lights out. Hurts’ team has the ball late into the third quarter and he loses the exchange with Brooks and Georgia recovers. Three players later, Swift breaks through for a 20 yard dash to the end zone to cut the lead to 24-31.

The Sooners respond with a strike to Charleston Rambo to put them back up by double-digits early in the fourth quarter. Georgia tried to respond, but after back-to-back drive ending interceptions by Kenneth Murray and Brendan Radley-Hines, the Bulldogs fall 38-24. The same turnover-prone quarterback play resurfaced and Fromm just couldn’t put it all together. The Sooners get their revenge and advance.

MOTSAG Pretend CFP Playoffs: Quarter finals; #2 LSU versus #7 Oregon

This should be a match-up for the ages as far as playoff games go in this first ever quarter final, but #7 Oregon hasn’t had much of a break after winning the PAC12 championship game and coming right back and playing a very game Appalachian State the following week in a play-in game.

Justin Herbert had to lead the ducks down the field on the final drive to defeat the Mountaineers 35-28.

These two teams met in 2011 and it was mostly the Tigers as they won 40-27.

Joe Burrow and his on fire Tigers of the Bayou have had a nice rest since rolling over Jake Fromm and the Georgia Bulldogs 37-10 in the Mercedes-Benz Dome in Atlanta, Georgia and appear perched for a run to possibly meet his former Buckeyes in the final.

First Quarter – The Tigers wasted little time scoring and Joe Burrow had nothing to do with it. On the first play from scrimmage for the Ducks, Derek Stingley Jr. stepped in front of an Justin Herbert quick out and took it to the house 27 yards later. The next drive by the Ducks stalled at their own 43 and after a 45 yard punt, Joe burrow and the guys took over at their 17.

The expected winner of the Heisman Trophy completed a 12 play 83 yard drive eating most of the first quarter clock and made the score 14-0 at the end of one.

Second Quarter – Justin Herbert, Oregon’s all-time leader in pass completions (827) and pass attempts (1,293), took a golden opportunity after a great kick-off return by Mykael Wright for 65 yards to LSU’s 35 yard line and then connected with Johnny Johnson III on a 35 yard scoring strike and pulled within 7 at 14-7.

That lasted for all of 15 seconds as Edwards-Helaire return the kick-off for a 100 yard score and put the Tigers back up two scores 21-7. That’s would be the score at the half and neither team had much offensive statistics to boast. Herbert finished 4-9 for 57 yards, one pick-six and one score. Joe Burrow wasn’t much better but was enjoying a perfect day throwing the ball, 8 of 8 for 75 yards and one score.

Third Quarter – Joe Burrow and the tigers got the second half kick-off and did what they have been doing all season. Continuing to be perfect in the passing category, he lead the team down the field and finished the drive with a 7 yard TD toss to a wide open Thaddeus Moss all but sealing the Duck’s fate. 35 – 7

Fourth Quarter – Justin Herbert tried to make things better for his draft prospects but finished he day with two pick-sixes and two scored himself finishing with stats he’d probably like to forget. Joe burrow finally had an incompletion but did what he has been doing to defenses all season. The former Buckeye finished the day 15 of 18 for 234 yards and three scores. Final Score from the Bayou, Tigers 42 the Ducks 14.

Georgia escapes from Miami

We are still sportless. COVID-19 has taken over our lives, but we here at the Men of the Scarlet and Gray present the strictly hypothetical “Expanded College Football Playoffs.” We have all dreamed of expansion, but here we have a cool little set-up that was created by our colleague Chris. Twelve teams with one goal, to make it to the championship game, have been selected. We have done it the right way, taking most of the conference bias away. All power five champions along with the group of five champions and a pair of at-large bids have given us a football version of the “Big Dance.”

And if you don’t like the at-large teams selected, get your own blog and do it your way.

One of the first-round games features No. 5 Georgia, an at-large selection from the eSpnEC, taking on No. 12 Miami University (not The U, the one in Ohio).

It wasn’t easy. In fact, the Bulldogs almost had an early exit, trailing the entire game until a pick-six tied the game, and then a 42-yard field goal with a minute left gave them a 27-24 win.

From the time they first showed up on the field, the Bulldogs had a swagger that went beyond arrogance. They acted like they shouldn’t have been in a first-round game and were goofing off and horsing around during pre-game warmups. Meanwhile, Miami was all business and appeared focused.

The RedHawks won the toss and took the ball, not wanting to waste any time.

QB Brett Gabbert led Miami on a masterful 12-play, 80 yard drive to take a 7-0 lead. The drive culminated with a 10-yard TD run by Jaylon Bester.

Georgia tried to get cute on its first possession, trying a halfback pass that was nearly intercepted. From there, D’Andre Swift took over, running five times for 65 yards. The drive stalled on the RedHawks 30 and Rodrigo Blankenship hit a 47-yard field goal to make it 7-3.

The defenses took over from there forcing punts on the next few possessions as the first quarter ended 7-3 Miami, which had the ball at its own 40.

Gabbert again worked his magic, unleashing a 60-yard TD pass to James Maye to make it 14-3.

Georgia appeared rattled at that point and could do nothing offensively as Miami was determined to shut down Swift and take its chances with Jake Fromm throwing the ball.

It worked and Fromm showed why he wasn’t a high draft pick, overthrowing and underthrowing wide-open receivers. The only thing saving the Bulldogs was Miami being equally ineffective on offense in the second quarter as the halftime score remained 14-3 Miami.

Georgia regrouped at halftime and took the opening kickoff to the Miami 49. From there, Fromm was able to dink and dunk the Bulldogs to the goal line, where Swift plunged in to make it 14-10.

The RedHawks answered with a 30-yard field goal from Sam Sloman to mae it 17-10 after a drive stalled.

Again the defenses stepped up.

The teams exchanged punts and then the Bulldogs made field goals on back-to-back drives to make it 17-16 going into the fourth quarter.

Momentum was on Georgia’s side, but the lights nearly went out when Miami chewed up eight minutes of precious time, using short passes and four-yard runs to keep the chains, and clock moving.

The drive finished when Gabbert scored on a 10-yard keeper to make it 24-16.

Georgia drove down to the Miami 30 but the drive stalled there and Blankenship missed a 47-yard field goal with 5:30 left.

Miami was content to run the ball and chew up more clock. But facing a third and nine from its own 35, disaster struck as a Gabbert pass was picked off at the 50 and returned for a touchdown. Georgia went for two and tied it with 2:30 left after a Swift scamper.

Miami again tried to be conservative and went three and out. Georgia used its timeouts to save clock and after a nice punt return from Swift, started from its own 49 with 1:50 left.

Fromm dropped back to pass on first down, was forced from the pocket, and scrambled all the way to the Miami 25. The Bulldogs tried to run three times and were stuffed at the line. Miami used its timeouts and forced the Bulldogs to attempt a 42-yard field goal with 1:07 on the clock.

Blankenship nailed the kick with a minute left to give Georgia its first lead, 27-24.

The RedHawks went three and out on their next possession, shattering their dreams of a monumental upset.

Somehow Georgia managed to advance.

OSU Women’s Basketball String Ting with Special Guest Madison Greene

Charles, Scott and Chris hang out with Ohio State women’s star point guard Madison Greene. Have a great conversation about the rivalry and how the season went. Charles, Scott and Chris express their feelings once again of how this team would have finished!

Came on strong halfway through the season and started 21 games at PG for the Buckeyes

From Played in all 33 games and started the final 21 at point guard; Averaged 7.7 points and 2.5 assists per game; Was fourth among Big Ten freshmen with 82 assists; Earned Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors on Feb. 17; Had three games of 20+ plus points including back-to-back efforts that led to her FOW honor; Led the team in free throws made and attempted (76-of-96); Scored 23 points on 8-of-10 shooting and carried the team to a win over rival Michigan on Jan. 9; Was 8-of-11 from the floor and 9-of-11 from the free throw line to finish with a season-high 25 points vs. Minnesota on Feb. 13. Also dished-out a season-high seven assists with no turnovers in the win; Followed that with a 22-point effort in the upset win at No. 20 Indiana on Feb. 16. She was 4-of-4 from the floor and 4-of-4 at the line for 14 points in the final eight minutes to help the Buckeyes erase a 10-point deficit; Had a solid Big Ten Tournament, averaging 10.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists and shooting 13-of-14 from the free throw line in the four games.

MOSTAG Pretend CFB Playoffs: #6 Utah vs. #11 FAU

In a time where we remain sportless, in a time where COVID-19 rules the skies, we here at the Men of the Scarlet and Gray present the strictly hypothetical “Expanded College Football Playoffs”. We have all dreamed of expansion, but here we have a cool little set-up that was created by my colleague Chris. 12 teams with one goal, to make it to the Championship Game. All the Power Five champions along with the Group of Five Champions and sprinkle in a pair of at large bids and we have our football version of the “Big Dance”.

For the play-in we have an at large team from the PAC 12 going up against the Conference USA Champion FAU. In this matchup, Utah takes a stellar defense and they go up against a decent, quick scoring passing attack.

As the contest begins, Utah demonstrates their defensive prowess and for a quick 3-and-out, forcing Kiffin to an early change of possession and stopping them from getting into a grove. Utah gains possession and they impose their will as they run roughshod and beat the Owls senseless through the ground with Moss and Huntley gaining chunk after chunk before Moss takes it in for the score.

Visibly rattled, but while remaining calm, Chris Robison takes a huge chunk out of the first quarter before plunging it into the endzone to tie the score at seven each. Robison engineered quite the drive as he came up clutch for the better of the 8-minute drive and he gained some valuable momentum as he made the Ute defense pay.

As the Utes grabbed the punt, Simpkins takes one back to the house just as the first quarter had expired to push the lead up the 14-7. On the ensuing drive for FAU, lightning almost struck twice as Cousart nearly responded with a return for a touchdown of his own before being tripped up at the 50 yard line. The balanced effort became the focus of the Owls offense as Davidson does the majority of the work on the ground to grind the Utah defense into a pulp. On a 3rd-and-5, Kiffin opts for a trick play and it payed off! On the double-sweep, Antoine took it in for another Owl touchdown.

Utah, forever the puncher responds quickly. They use Moss and Huntley on the ground with jet sweeps from Simpkins to open up the offense, but a mistimed exchange on the QB option derailed a scoring drive that ended in the redzone. Rashad Smith comes out from the pile with the ball in tow with the game still tied at 14.

The Utah defense comes off the sideline angry and they quickly force a turnover courtesy of an interception by Burgess at the 50 yard line. Huntley is hitting open receiver at will before finding Kuithe in the seams for a quick score. The Ute defense held their own the rest of the game up until Coach Kiffin’s squad started making plays just before the half. Not to be outdone, they went on a drive that took the entirety of the second quarter. First down after first down they took the clock down just before kicking it for three to enter the half 21-17.

To open the second quarter the Utes again shoved it down the Owls’ throats. Run after run, the Utah offense opened up the third quarter with an efficient and quick drive for another touchdown. Utah goes up 27-17 on the heels of a missed extra point. The fighting Kiffin’s responded quickly as well with a bomb to Harrison Bryant, who found himself open as he sprinted 45 yards to the endzone. Kiffin trying to seize momentum opted for two and converted. The aggressive play swung momentum as the Owls were now down by two.

Utah failed to respond as they went three and out. FAU went on another drive and Bryant made an appearance in the endzone once against to take the lead 32-27. With another wasted possession that resulted in a punt, Utah forced a fumble in the redzone on the ensuing drive. Before we knew it, Moss plunged it into the endzone and Huntley ran it in for two to retake the lead 35-32. The Utah defense responded by forcing a punt and took the clock down deep into the third quarter before punting it as the quarter expired.

In the 4th quarter, FAU controlled the ball for the majority of the contest to try and slow down the Utah offense. They run and convert the ball before settling for a game-tying FG. Utah regains control of the ball with less than a minute left in the game. Huntley and his heroics shined in the waning minutes as he drove down the field from their 20 yard line before Moss took it to the house with 20 seconds remaining. FAU received the punt and nearly broke it off as a response. The drive ultimately fell short as Bernard and Anae combined for a strip-sack as they regained possession with no time left. Utah advances to face #4 Oklahoma.