Penn State: Open Thread

In what has become a tradition for both Ohio State and Penn State fans, some of this series more iconic images are those of the sad panda QBs of the losing team. We all remember Terrelle Pryor, as a freshman, fumbling away a victory against Penn State and then sitting dejected, hands on helmet as the game ticked to a close. I’m sure some knuckle-dragging Penn State fans will point you in the direction of that image. But we can dish out as much as we take, and nothing makes us happier than seeing a Penn State QB sitting dejected on the sideline as the game slips away. So don’t be surprised if you see a few peppered through this open thread. clark_sadface

Oh, so soon? Hello there, Sad Panda Daryll Clark.

In the wake of last year’s throttling, Penn State fans have all the reason to be scared this Saturday. A night game, in Happy Valley, with the whole nation watching as Urban Meyer continues to build a case as to why his Ohio State Buckeyes should be included in the College Football Playoff discussion. It could get ugly for the home team.

Our resident Penn State Curmudgeon, YNBA, has put together his annual airing of grievances in the form of a game preview, and he doesn’t see things working out too well for Penn State. When you put the safeties of the defense on high alert, it can’t be good:

The two starting safeties for Penn State will be on full alert as Jalin Marshall and Dontre Wilson will add a playmaker element at the H-Back position that Penn State has not seen so far this year. Ohio State will do everything to get these guys into space and safety play will be imperative in keeping these guys from going crazy.

Like YNBA, Chip doesn’t put too much stock in the respective successes of Ohio State’s Offense and Penn State’s Defense. So what will Chip be keying in on?

Penn State’s defense has been keeping the team in games, ranking 6th in the country at points allowed (average 15 points a game). The strength of the Penn State defense is the run defense, while Ohio State prides itself on a powerful running game. With those statistics in mind, keep in mind that these are the opponents Penn State has played up until this point – Central Florida, Akron, Rutgers, Massachusetts, Northwestern, and Michigan. Penn State defeated Rutgers 13-10, largely behind five interceptions of Rutgers quarterback Gary Nova; Ohio State just thrashed Rutgers 56-17.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say Chip thinks OSU’s numbers are a little more realistic and the outcome will prove that out.

As usual, Shannon goes in deep with a Penn State blogger to get the feel for the fans of the other side. Optimism doesn’t seem to be one of the things they’re feeling:

Prediction? Pain. As I said on your podcast, I have Ohio State winning this weekend’s match-up in Beaver Stadium, 35-17 (which if you bet the over at 51.5 is just fine with you). I think Penn State’s defense keeps this game from getting out of hand as it did last season, but I can’t see Penn State ever making much of a game of this with their concerns on offense. I see Ohio State maybe jumping out to an early lead and cruising into the second half before Penn State gets a junk touchdown to make this closer than the score would actually indicate.

So let’s look forward to taking another sad panda to the taxidermist this Saturday. It will look nice next to Moxie McGritty

Sad Panda

I say
Ohio State 52
Penn State 20

What say you?

By The Numbers: Penn State

As always, presented without comment.

Statistically Speaking
Ohio State
Value (Rank)
Value (Rank)
Penn State
Rushing Offense (ypg) 259.8 (17) 60.8 (1) Rushing Defense (ypg) Push
Passing Offense (ypg) 274.0 (34) 222.5 (55) Passing Defense (ypg) Push
Pass Efficiency 179.9 (2) 109.3 (22) Pass Efficiency Defense Push
Total Offense (ypg) 533.8 (9) 283.3 (6) Total Defense (ypg) Push
Scoring Offense (ppg) 46.5 (4) 15.2 (6) Scoring Defense (ppg) Push
Rushing Defense (ypg) 137.8 (41) 93.2 (121) Rushing Offense (ypg) Ohio State++
Passing Defense (ypg) 181.7 (16) 282.3 (32) Passing Offense (ypg) Push
Pass Efficiency Defense 112.3 (29) 120.5 (89) Pass Efficiency Offense Ohio State+
Total Defense (ypg) 319.5 (15) 375.5 (92) Total Offense (ypg) Ohio State++
Scoring Defense (ppg) 20.2 (24) 21.2 (111) Scoring Offense (ppg) Ohio State++
Turnover margin +0.83 (22) -0.17 (85) Turnover margin Ohio State+
Penalty Yards/game 46.5 (34) 44.2 (25) Penalty Yards/game Push
Sacks (/game) 2.67 (35) 3.33 (119) Sacks Allowed (/game) Ohio State++
Sacks Allowed (/game) 2.17 (79) 2.67 (35) Sacks (/game) Penn State
3rd Down Conv. (%) 49.3 (9) 34.8 (36) 3rd Down Conv. Def (%) Ohio State
3rd Down Conv. Def (%) 33.3 (29) 42.2 (55) 3rd Down Conv. (%) Ohio State
4th Down Conv. (%) 50.0 (57) 16.7 (4) 4th Down Conv. Def (%) Penn State++
4th Down Conv. Def (%) 75.0 (120) 30.0 (114) 4th Down Conv. (%) Push
Redzone Offense (%) 82.3 (74) 63.2 (3) Redzone Defense (%) Penn State+
Redzone Defense (%) 86.7 (86) 82.6 (73) Redzone Offense (%) Push
  Difference <25 in National Rank = Push
  Difference >25 in National Rank = Ohio State
  Difference >50 in National Rank = Ohio State+
  Difference >75 in National Rank = Ohio State++
  Differences >100 in National Rank = Ohio State+++

Stats are grabbed from

Friday Open Thread: Rutgers

Ohio State gets back into action this Saturday, against the other new member of the Big Ten, welcoming Rutgers to the ‘Shoe.

To the surprise of a lot of people, the newest additions to the Big Ten, Maryland and Rutgers, have been more than competent thus far. While Ohio State handled Maryland with relative ease, Rutgers will still pose a viable threat come Saturday afternoon.

Statistically, Ohio State has an edge of Rutgers in most categories, but it’s closer than I had expected. Rutgers has a good pass rush and solid red zone offense.

Ronnie mentioned that pass rush in his Players to Watch post. I think Ohio State’s line should be able to establish the run but should be on the look out for Rutgers pass rush.

Shannon previewed the game here at MotSaG and he sees it as a pretty open-and-shut case, with a Buckeye victory. I think most would agree with that assessment. Ken at the Buckeye Battle Cry is equally optimistic.

I’ll join the chorus of prognosticators calling this one for Ohio State. I say:

Ohio State: 45
Rutgers: 20

What say you?

By The Numbers: Rutgers

As always, presented without comment.

Statistically Speaking
Ohio State
Value (Rank)
Value (Rank)
Rushing Offense (ypg) 247.0 (18) 135.0 (44) Rushing Defense (ypg) Ohio State
Passing Offense (ypg) 276.6 (35) 261.7 (100) Passing Defense (ypg) Ohio State+
Pass Efficiency 183.5 (2) 131.5 (79) Pass Efficiency Defense Ohio State++
Total Offense (ypg) 523.6 (12) 396.7 (70) Total Defense (ypg) Ohio State+
Scoring Offense (ppg) 44.6 (5) 21.7 (43) Scoring Defense (ppg) Ohio State
Rushing Defense (ypg) 135.6 (45) 159.2 (75) Rushing Offense (ypg) Ohio State
Passing Defense (ypg) 178.8 (13) 267.5 (36) Passing Offense (ypg) Push
Pass Efficiency Defense 112.4 (28) 166.9 (4) Pass Efficiency Offense Push
Total Defense (ypg) 314.4 (14) 426.7 (57) Total Offense (ypg) Ohio State
Scoring Defense (ppg) 20.8 (31) 29.5 (71) Scoring Offense (ppg) Ohio State
Turnover margin +0.60 (28) -0.33 (90) Turnover margin Ohio State+
Penalty Yards/game 50.2 (52) 55.5 (64) Penalty Yards/game Push
Sacks (/game) 2.40 (68) 1.33 (28) Sacks Allowed (/game) Rutgers
Sacks Allowed (/game) 2.60 (74) 4.00 (3) Sacks (/game) Rutgers+
3rd Down Conv. (%) 48.4 (14) 42.1 (85) 3rd Down Conv. Def (%) Ohio State+
3rd Down Conv. Def (%) 35.8 (44) 42.3 (60) 3rd Down Conv. (%) Push
4th Down Conv. (%) 44.4 (83) 28.6 (16) 4th Down Conv. Def (%) Rutgers+
4th Down Conv. Def (%) 100.0 (127) 50.0 (55) 4th Down Conv. (%) Rutgers+
Redzone Offense (%) 82.1 (72) 75.0 (26) Redzone Defense (%) Rutgers
Redzone Defense (%) 91.7 (109) 90.5 (26) Redzone Offense (%) Rutgers++
  Difference <25 in National Rank = Push
  Difference >25 in National Rank = Ohio State
  Difference >50 in National Rank = Ohio State+
  Difference >75 in National Rank = Ohio State++
  Differences >100 in National Rank = Ohio State+++

Stats are grabbed from

Instant Analysis: Ohio State beats Cincinnati 50-28

osuHelmetDon’t lie — when you saw Gunner Kiel go deep to Chris Moore you thought to yourself “oh no, here we go again.”

Then Ohio State ripped off 30 unanswered points and it looked like the rout was on.

But as was pointed out repeatedly by the commentators (inadvertently, mind you), there is no such thing as momentum. Cincinnati would go on a run of their own, outscoring the Buckeyes 21-3, and suddenly it was a game.

A game of runs.

Looking at a 28-33 score, Ohio State would drive down and get a field goal to go up by 8. Then a questionable offensive pass interference call put Cincinnati in a big hole, unable to get another first down. Ohio State would then go on to pound the ball on the way to a couple more scores to put the game out of reach.

There’s plenty more to discuss (there are still some defensive deficiencies) but for now, let’s enjoy the huge offensive explosion.

Offensive player of the game: Ezekiel Elliot. This was easy, this was pure man-ball from Elliot. 233 total yards, a touchdown and just straight up beastmode.

Defensive player of the game: I thought about not awarding anyone this one, seeing how they gave up three HUGE touchdown passes, but I can’t overlook how good Joey Bosa played, especially in the first half. His sack/forced fumble that resulted in a safety looked like it might turn the game ugly. The Big Bear played lights-out.

Dan Fouts foot-in-mouth award: I don’t remember if it was Glen Mason or not (I think it was) who said, speaking of Curtis Samuel, that he “learned a valuable lesson tonight, to hold on to the ball.” Sorry, but I’m pretty sure Curtis learned that “valuable lesson” in the fourth grade, Glen.

After an up and down non-conference run, it’s time for Ohio State’s B1G play to start, beginning with Maryland in a week.

Friday Open Thread: Cincinnati

Did I spell that right? It always looks wrong to me. That’s usually why I refer to the city as Cincy. I kinda don’t like Cincinnati. If they love Kentucky so much down there they can leave. This state is only big enough for one baseball team and one football team, and let’s be honest, when have the Reds or Bengals done anything? (Okay, don’t answer that.)

So it’s back to the gridiron for our Buckeyes, something all us Ohioans can agree on, that the Buckeyes and Ohio State are superior to the University of Cincinnati Bearcats in every way, shape, and form. Maybe someday it will fall off and sink into the Ohio River and do us all a favor.

Things will be a little somber at the Horseshoe, as a moment of silence is observed for UC walk-on running back Chamoda Kennedy-Palmore and his tragic death. Extremely sad and should put things in perspective as to what really matters. You really only need a few seconds to consider it, though. It’s football. Football matters. And family. And friends. And good times and enjoyable memories. Dang it now it’s dusty in here.

As always, we’ve had a plethora of game coverage. Ronnie looked at the players to watch, but let’s be honest: the only player that should give you pause for concern is Gunner Kiel:

He is a towering player at 6-5 200+ pounds, and with his size comes some surprising mobility. He won’t beat you with his feet, but is more than capable of escaping the pocket and gaining meaningful yardage. Kiel’s real talent lies in his big arm and above average accuracy. Head Coach Tommy Tubberville wanted to find out what he had with Kiel in their first two games and he came away impressed. Kiel went 50 for 76 (65.8%) and threw for ten touchdowns and two interceptions. The Bearcats offense is not very balanced and relies heavily upon Kiel to get the ball to their plethora of wide receivers. This will be the most talented receiving core Ohio State will face this year and Kiel loves to spread the wealth. The Buckeyes will have to bother Kiel in the pocket in order to make their more aggressive pass coverage schemes more effective. If not, expect Kiel to put up big big numbers and really push the Buckeyes to the brink of an upset.

Chip looked at three things to consider for the game, the majority of which deals with trenches.

MotSaG Live continues apace, and Josh and the gang are really hitting it out of the park. Give it a listen!

Jacob previewed the game, which you should read.

After you read it, what do you see happening this Saturday? The Buckeyes will win (duh), but which quarterback racks up more yards? Which freshmen sees the field the most? What margin of victory is “acceptable” to start the way back into the CFB Playoff discussion?

I’ll say:

Ohio State: 45
Cincy: 23

Kiel will out-gun JT “Double” Barret in a shootout. (I’m so sorry)

Raekwon McMillan will see the most snaps this Saturday.

Who cares? Just win BABY!

Ohio State Dominates Kent State (Let’s Talk About It)

osuHelmetThe remedy. A slump-buster. Just what the doctor ordered. Call it what you want, but Kent State came into Ohio Stadium as the sacrificial offering to appease the masses worshipping at the altar of Ohio State Football. Only a massacre would quell the murmurings. And a 66-0 domination should suffice. For now.

If there was any hope of getting back into the graces of the playoff selection crew, if there was any hope of redeeming a lackluster performance in front of a national audience, Ohio State had to go out and decisively handle business. They would probably need to score two or three touchdowns in the first quarter, and have an insurmountable lead by halftime. The starters shouldn’t be needed after the first series of the third quarter. Lots of younger kids should probably see the field early and often.

These are the strictures the law demands. These were all met.

Of course, it was against Kent State. So what does that mean? Does the team that will take the field the rest of the season look like the team that struggled with new defensive looks and top-notch defensive coaching, or will it be the team that depends on its superior talent and athleticism that simply overwhelms its over-matched opponents? (It will field superior teams in just about every game moving forward, with the exception of Michigan State).

Time will tell.

The first half gives us a pretty good read on how this team could move forward. This much was clear: given time, JT Barrett can find open receivers and he will have people he could get the ball to. He has a couple receivers that look to be reliable. There are two running backs that are talented and fast enough to chew up yards and grind and fly with the best of them.

Michael Thomas is clearly becoming a favorite target of Barrett. I always amused myself with the following thought: Thomas’ Twitter handle is “Cantguardmike” and I thought, “how appropriate. You’re right, no one can guard you, Mike, because you’re on the sideline.” No one can guard you. (I kill me) But now he is coming in to his own and Thomas has been putting those great spring efforts into some serious real fall football. This is promising to see.

The running backs are Ezekiel Elliot and Curtis Samuel and we probably won’t see much Bri’onte Dunn or Warren Ball moving forward. Rod Smith earned some PT for his blocking and effort, but Dunn and Ball did nothing to distinguish themselves and Urban basically said as much. It’s a shame for them, but they had their chances and Urban Meyer is going to start the players he feels are the best and give the team the best chance to win football games.

Raekwon McMillan appears to be the real deal. Everything I say about this game has to be viewed through the lens of “it’s just Kent State”. But it’s still an opportunity for underclassmen to learn to react, to recognize formations, personnel and situations. This experience will serve them down the road. So to see Raekwon making plays and being involved is very encouraging. Curtis Grant still has the seniority at the right to play, but I won’t be surprised to see Raekwon starting before we get to November.

The last thing I’d like to mention: a shut-out is a shut-out. Kent State or not, it’s really hard to keep any team out of the endzone. Kent State had fifteen possessions, a number of those against second third teamers.


Now the Buckeyes will get a break before taking on Cincinnati on the 27th.

Kent State Open Thread

When the negativity of Twitter gets to me, I go to my happy place (thanks for the advice, Chubs). MotSaG is my happy place, and while I don’t anticipate much negativity this week, we still have a safe place here to discuss civilly (and sometimes not, believe me, we get frustrated too) in our Open Thread.

Go Bucks!

Friday Open Thread: Kent State

osuHelmetThe season must go on, even after the bitter disappointment of a horrible showing against Virginia Tech in Primetime last Saturday night. The Buckeyes as a team are moving forward, trying to fix what went wrong and still prepare for a challenging Big Ten season. That road to recovery starts tomorrow against Kent State.

Ronnie, who has been on a tear for us recently not only profiled the players to watch on both sides of the ball, but also brought the preview knowledge that you need to watch this game with eyes wide open. The season is still very much salvageable, and it starts with a convincing win over Kent State. Ronnie predicts we’ll see Ohio State try to establish a running game early:

On offense expect to see a healthy dose of the run early on. This won’t be because Herman wants to play conservative versus a MAC opponent, but because the offense has yet to establish its power inside running style against an opponent. Carries will be divided among several running backs and h-backs, but there will be lots of carries early on to get the offense in a groove. The Buckeyes desperately need a feature back to step up so expect to see Ezekiel Elliott get plenty of touches and opportunities to earn that privilege.

Jacob took a look at the game as well and had a few strident things to say about Corey Smith (can’t disagree there)

Our guys casted a pod that you might find informative, entertaining and funny. You should check it out (and subscribe in iTunes, if you haven’t already).

No funny stuff this week with the Open thread. Just give us your thoughts on this week’s game and what you think the final score will be:

I say Ohio State works out some frustrations on Kent State and is up by a sizeable lead by halftime:

Ohio State: 52
Kent State: 9

We’ve also got a new poll, as well:

What outcome makes this a "Successful Season" for you?

View Results

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Buckeye Fans Root for the State of Michigan

osuHelmet(This article is brought to you by aspiring blogger (and writer) Jacob Seymour. We hope to hear and read more from Jacob in the very near future! -Ed)

The perception of the Big Ten is down and many believe that the Big Ten winner may get left out in the first FBS College Playoff. While obviously there is no reason for anyone to like that horrible place up north, Buckeye Nation may want to change their mind for at least a week.

Many argue that Ohio State plays no one out of conference, go check out Florida State or Alabama’s non-conference schedule and tell me it is better, the Buckeyes do need the rest of the Big Ten to step up. With Wisconsin blowing a fourth quarter lead and losing to LSU, this week is the most important week for the Big Ten. As Buckeye fans we watch and follow the Big Ten pretty carefully and we all know that the Big Ten is not as bad as people make it out to be, but when you have Illinois struggle against Youngstown State it causes a problem.

As painful as it is to say this, the Big Ten goes as the state of Michigan goes. Michigan State and Michigan are as important to the Big Ten, as Alabama and Auburn are to the SEC. Those two schools, Alabama and Auburn, won four national championships for the SEC. Take those championships away and the SEC only has three national championships during their dominance during the BCS era. If Michigan State and Michigan are able to look like contenders this helps the Buckeyes out tremendously.

For years all we ever is hear is how great Oregon is, how fast they are, and all the great numbers that offense puts up. Quick question for Oregon supporters, how many national championships has that won them? The answer would be Oregon has won as many national championships during the BCS era as Minnesota, Indiana, Purdue, and Illinois. The one team Oregon has struggled with is Stanford, who not only plays the same style as Michigan State but also who Michigan beat in the Rose Bowl just this past year. Yet all we have heard this offseason is how Oregon is a legit playoff contender, they should go undefeated, and how Mariota is the Heisman front runner and a high first round pick in the 2015 NFL draft. Mariota has struggled against teams who do two things. One is when teams play keep away and the other is teams who play physical defense. I bring up all these facts up because I do not want Buckeye fans to feel like Oregon is some juggernaut and that the Spartans have no chance because the Spartans have a great chance. If Michigan State, wins this week and is higher in the polls when Ohio State goes up to East Lansing then that win will look a whole lot better. So with the best interest of Ohio State, GO SPARTY!

While I hate Michigan, I actually root for them every single game, except when they play THE Ohio State University of course. Just hear me out before you burn me at the stake. In 2006 when Ohio State played Michigan and both teams were one and two in the polls. How great was that experience to whoop on your biggest rival and to also beat the second best team in the country? I mean imagine playing an undefeated Michigan the last game of the year, both teams playing to go into the conference championship and as Buckeyes we get to deny them that opportunity. Now I do not sound so crazy to most of you I am sure. While I love to see Ohio State be the best team in the conference, the Big Ten needs Michigan back to prominence. Playing Notre Dame is a must win for Michigan. One reason they need to win is because your biggest win of the year should not be how you got revenge against a FCS opponent. Secondly Brady Choke’s job depends on it, by the way Brady it is OHIO STATE not Ohio. Thirdly the Big Ten needs it. While winning the Big Ten is the goal for every team in this conference, to the country winning the Big Ten is a joke. Michigan has to be better and seems to be getting there. I am very happy Everett Golsten, Notre Dame’s starting quarterback, came back strong in his first game because now there is no room for excuses for Notre Dame when they lose at home. Michigan can win this game and hopefully by a good margin. There is a lot to play for from Michigan outside of what I just listed before. Think about this Michigan fans. Notre Dame is ending this historic series with you because they are pretty much joining the ACC, but while talking about ending the series they schedule a home and home with Ohio State. Could there be a bigger smack in the face? There is tons of motivation for this Michigan team and they should play inspired football. Buckeye Nation we need to put aside a rivalry that we have dominated the past decade and look at the bigger picture. Go Blue!

An Ohio State future unfortunately rests in the hands of that place up north. With the unknown of how the committee votes, it is too hard to tell if Ohio State going undefeated gives them an automatic bid to the playoff. If the strength of schedule is a huge factor, I would not be surprised if Ohio State is ignored. That is why Ohio State fans must root for Michigan State and Michigan. So the state of Michigan I say to you “Just win baby, win”.