Ohio State Buckeyes 2020 Schedule

Revised BIG Ten schedule 2020. Credit: @BIGfootball (Twitter)

I know we are a week late, but with under a month away from the start of the Big Ten season, I have returned with a preview of the 2020 season. Although the Big Ten will start much later than the ACC, Big 12, and the SEC. October 24th will be the beginning of an odd 2020 season, and if you are like me, I would rather have Buckeye football as opposed to not having none of it in the fall.

In an eight game slate, the schedule as a whole is balanced. Yes, it is an easier than expected path with no prime time games (at Oregon), but as I said earlier, I’d rather have football over having none of it. With the schedule, the Buckeyes should have an easy path to an undefeated regular season, but on the side of caution, I would take it game by game.

I am not casting doubt on the team and I believe they are one of the best teams in the nation, but only they could trip themselves up this season. They have a plethora of weapons on offense and an experienced defensive unit in tow. The icing on the cake? They managed to convince Shaun Wade and Wyatt Davis to return for one last ride for another Championship run. Here is a breakdown of the upcoming season.

Home Games: Nebraska, Rutgers, Indiana and TTUN

The home game slate is highly favorable with the Buckeyes facing a perennial bottom feeder in Rutgers, who brought back Greg Schiano to accelerate the rebuilding process. They also have brought Brendon White in to help as well. He was a star in the making that got lost in the shuffle due to his size and lack of speed, but I feel he fits Schiano’s scheme and will excel in the defense.

They also face two mid-tier teams in Indiana and Nebraska, which should be interesting to watch. Indiana always seems to be game for contests with the Buckeyes, against their former Head Coach Kevin Wilson. For some odd reason, they always give the Buckeyes fits, but this year could be different with the Buckeyes vying for another dominant season.

Nebraska on the other hand has beaten the Buckeyes once in their time in the Big Ten. The last loss was in 2011 and I see an improved offense showing up, but the talent gap is still too large to win the game. The conference big wigs may have gotten the last laugh after Nebraska made some waves by suing and threatening to leave the conference. Let us just say they got the last laugh by giving them the Buckeyes for their first game. Allies turned into enemies for at least the first week of the upcoming season.

To finish the home slate, the TTUN comes to Columbus for another installment of The Game. This one game is always interesting and this year will be no different. In the typical TTUN style, they are already licking their chops and after the “100-point” rumor starting spiraling out of control, certain team captains are trying to turn in around to end the skid. They have suffered some major losses with COVID opt-outs and NFL draft declarations. I am not saying that they don’t have a shot, but to me, if it comes down to getting into the Playoffs with style points? I am putting my trust into Day and Fields to racking the points up in every game and if they need to–they will get it done to ensure their place in the Top-4.

Away Games: Penn State, Maryand, Illinois and Michigan State

For the away games, the first game is at Penn State and without a full-blown White Out–I really think this game won’t be as close. With Micah Parsons still debating a return, the defense will be missing their best player. Their offense that is normally good has talent, but they are unproven. This might be a good one, but with so many questions and the talent on the Buckeyes roster, I expect a close game that’ll turn ugly once the Buckeyes begin to click together. I could be wrong, but my gut feeling is that of a blowout.

Maryland is an up-and-comer team and there is no denying their talent. It is just a matter of getting them to gel together. There is talent in true freshman Rakin Jarrett and he could be a problem. The Buckeyes always seem to struggle against teams like this and I remember the point-filled contest against the Terrapins a few years ago. We will see how much change has occurred, but they are projected to do better than usual.

Illinois, the Battle for Illibuck is one of those contests that have been one-sided over the years. I remember the last loss to this team after Juice Williams took over and willed his team to victory. Lovie Smith has been developing his players and it is evident that they love playing for him, but again, the talent gap is as wide as it is tall. They’ll make it a contest, but they won’t be able to sustain it.

Lastly, at Michigan State is a game that I am afraid of. Sparty always finds a way to be that roadblock late in the season and I still have the image of the kick-air guitar loss burned into my brain. I hope that doesn’t happen and they have lacked an offense that could compete. Defensively, they’ve suffered some losses to the draft and COVID opt outs, but that is hardly an excuse. This game will be gritty and it’ll be close until Fields has his Heisman moments.

To summarize, this schedule is favorable and it should be fun to watch them pack on the points. There are some tough tests ahead, but it is completely doable. I expect an undefeated season with a few heart-racing conclusions to games. I hope you enjoyed the schedule preview and I am happy to be back to doing what I love to do. #GoBucks

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.

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.

Dancing By Theirselves: Gonzaga Wins It All!

With the Final Four matchups set, a memorable run is pitting two NCAA Basketball powerhouses against two teams vying for their first title since piecing together their respective teams. One side of the coin has the #1 seed Dayton Flyers from the East Region going up against the #1 Kansas Jayhawks from the Midwest Region. From the West the #1 Gonzaga Bulldogs will face-off against the South Regions #3 Michigan State Spartans. At stake is a spot in the NCAA Basketball Championship Game.

In the first matchup Dayton goes up against Kansas for all the marbles. Coming into this matchup, Dayton has never gotten this close to the title game since 1967, where they defeated North Carolina to reach the big game where they fell to UCLA. Recently, the closest they’ve sniffed was this game, but since falling to #1 Florida in 2014 in the Elite Eight, it has been nothing but a string of first and second round exits.

For Kansas, their last title was won in 2008. There has been mixed results and in 2016 and 2017, they fell in the regional finals and haven’t been as consistent as past teams. The consistency was not there, but this year they gutted through with the talent on the roster. You can never discount their ability to get into the ears of any prospect in the nation and year after year, they flex the ability to do just that.

On the opening tip, it gets a little chippy. Trash-talk central as the bigger dog begins to chat it up and bark before the initial tip-off. Dayton comes in focused and ready for a fight and they basically punch Kansas in the mouth from the get-go. Despite Kansas controlling the opening tip and scoring on the opening possession, the Flyers never wavered. Devon Dotson controls the flow of the game throughout as his teams builds a near insurmountable lead at the half. Dayton goes into the half down 14–56-70. They surely looked dead in the water and the buckets weren’t there for them, but they persisted on.

To open the second half, Obi Toppin and Jalen Crutcher take the Jayhawks to school. Three after three, a heat check was inevitable, but they kept hitting when they needed it the most. There were perfect sequences throughout from the Jayhawks, but they were shut down by stifling defense and double-teams from the reinvigorated Flyers team. Eventually momentum began to swing in Kansas’ favor as they get key blocks from Azubuike that turned into a quick 5-point swing. Two driving layups and a free throw tie the game at 81 each with just under two minutes remaining. Dayton makes a stop on the defensive side of the ball and converts it into three points. Kansas attempts to answer with a few precious seconds remaining, but Toppin flies in to swat a desperation heave to help Dayton advance. 87-84 Dayton.

For the second contest, it pitted #1 Gonzaga against #3 Michigan State. Like the other side of the bracket, it is for a spot in the championship game. Both teams have has memorable runs, but the underdog was the higher seeded team Gonzaga. Since their formation in 1907, they have been big dance 22 times with one trip to the big dance that ended up not being meant to be as they fell to North Carolina. For Michigan State they ended up getting into the Final Four but they fell to Texas Tech in 2019. From a talent standpoint, the Spartans have the slight edge. Winston is a monster and a playmaker and Gonzaga has to be ready to combat their talent and depth.

Upon the opening tipoff, Michigan State controls the ball and gets a quick shot up to take the lead. This game was back and fourth with Petrusev kept them in the game for the half. This game felt like it was all Michigan State up until the Bulldogs came storming back just before the half, effectively seizing the momentum for them and the lead. To open the second half Gonzaga leads 51-50, but the Spartans open up on a 11-0 run to rattle their opponent. The combination of guards, bigs and depth really exposed Gonzaga as the began to wear down. Time out Gonzaga. After a fiery speech during the time out, the Bulldog players embrace the challenge of defeating Goliath. David drew out his stone and began working.

Possession after possession, they slowly begin to claw back into the game, forcing Izzo to a timeout to attempt to stop the bleeding while clinging onto a 77-73 lead. The time was right and Petrusev seized the moment as he ripped Winston and took it straight to the rack. On the ensuing drive, he forced a bad pass from Winston again and he found Woolridge on the wing for a corner three to take the lead 78-77. Winston answered back with a dunk from the baseline, but the damage was done. Petrusev hit another open player for another three and they never looked back. The firepower was enough and the Spartans could not overcome it as they fall 86-81.

In the Championship Game #1 Gonzaga will face #1 Dayton. Overmatched with talent, the big stage once again was too big for the Flyers. The Bulldogs controlled the game from the beginning and the Flyers never came close to getting back in the game. By halftime the game was very much over with Gonzaga shutting down the offense by holding them to 29% shooting from three and 33% as a whole. The whole team rebounded from that sluggish start against Michigan State and put on the performance worthy of a title run.

The second half was much more of the same. Timely buckets coupled with suffocating defense. Dayton was still very much dead in the water. In the waning minutes, they successfully create havoc as they try to storm back with a 10-0 run to make the final score look pretty. They showed heart stopping Gonzaga as the game clock hits zeroes as they fall 91-67. Gonzaga finally gets over the hump and they secure their first title!

MOTSAG Pretend March Madness: Elite Eight (West Region)

With all but eight teams remaining in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, the top two seeded teams out west remain in the fight. This has been a long hard road and with both teams overcoming two scrappy teams, do they still have gas remaining in the tank?

In a duel of two great programs, it is just mere minutes away from tip-off. The #1 Gonzaga Bulldogs and the #2 San Diego State Aztecs have locked onto each other in what could shape up to be a heated contest with the last two teams in the west.

Just moments before the tip-off, you can feel the tension and the anticipation in the air. With a trip to the Final Four at stake both teams cautiously approach this contest and we are off! The Aztecs gain control of the opening tip-off and the game gets underway. Malachi Flynn wastes no time and gets the initial bucket off of a hard screen from Wetzell. Not to be outdone, Petrusev penetrates the paint and kicks it out to Woolridge at the top of the key for two.

The opening half said a lot about both teams. Both started on fire until about 8 minutes before the half. After that it was all Gonzaga before going into halftime. At the half the Bulldogs are up 54-47. They rode a 7-0 run before the halftime buzzer and they kept control with pesky defense and well-timed buckets to keep the Aztecs at bay.

During the half, the Aztec coach is livid and gives out one of the most fiery speeches of the tournament and his team responded. Coming out of the locker room, the Aztec’s went 5-6 from three and they gained the lead after some stellar defense of their own. Aztecs lead 66-68 before the Bulldogs call a timeout. The well-timed break led to crucial adjustments on Gonzaga’s end that focused on shutting down and doubling Flynn to get the ball out of his hands.

Initially, it had worked out and it forced the Aztecs into a couple of turnovers and eventually a key backcourt violation. Flynn, visibly flustered called a timeout with 3 minutes left in regulation being down 77-70. In clutch fashion, his coaching staff drew some plays up and they executed it resulting in a 7-0 run to tie the game at 77 a piece. Shell-shocked, Gonzaga calls their last timeout with a little over a minute remaining in the game.

The coach drew up an isolation play to send the Aztecs packing in the waning minutes of the game. With 25 seconds left, Woolridge takes it down to under 10 seconds. He takes a pick from Petrusev, he loses his defender in the process and shoots a two at the top of the key… clang… in and out of the basket. Overtime ball for all the marbles!

From the initial portions of overtime, both teams are exhausted and it shows. Hunched over and visibly tired, both teams set-up for the additional minutes. This time Gonzaga controls the ball first. Petrusev wastes no time and knocks down a three in the face of Flynn to put the Bulldogs up 80-77. Flynn responds with a barrage of buckets–a layup and a three of his own to put the Aztecs up 82-80. Back-and-fourth both teams try to start a run, but focused defense is played on both sides.

The last two minute stretch was crucial and neither team was pulling away. With the game tied, yet again at 91 a piece. Neither team has buckled so far. Both a playing fierce defense and their offensive firepower hasn’t shied away. In the highest scoring game of the tournament, Petrusev takes the ball away from Flynn in the waning seconds and with 5 seconds remaining, he chucks it from half court with a prayer. It comes clean off his hands and it looks like it has a chance. The prayer was answered and he connects with the half-court heave to advance 94-92. Bulldogs advance in a thriller.

MOTSAG Pretend March Madness: West Region, Third Round

With the Sweet 16 completed only the Elite 8 remain. This is the part of the tournament where teams ride the momentum that they have built up in order to advance to the Final Four. In the West Region, only Gonzaga, Yale, BYU and San Diego State remain.

The top two seeds in the bracket remain on a collision course to advance and the lone double-digit seed Yale at #12 continues their storybook run into history. Can they upset the #1 Gonzaga Bulldogs? Or will they fall to a more talented and superior team? In the second matchup #2 San Diego State will face #6 BYU in order to advance further. Both teams are geared up and ready for the upcoming challenges.

First up, #1 Gonzaga versus #12 Yale. This contest was a surprising one as Yale comes out with their hair on fire. Eric Monroe leads the team in assists as he continues to find his shooters as they stay hot in the first half. Petrusev and Wooolridge weather the storm as they fight their way back just before halftime. With solid defense they go into the half down by six points with a little bit of momentum.

Going into the second half Gonzaga caught fire and never looked back. Yale did all they could to keep it close, but a barrage of three’s later, the other Bulldogs found themselves on the ropes. Monroe led a valiant charge, but the defense clamped on him and forced him into turnover after turnover. Atkinson was also wiped out of the game plan whenever he touched the ball, a second defender would double him and force a pass under duress. Gonzaga advances 71-64.

Next up, #2 San Diego State faces off against BYU and this was a game of the back and fourth variety! Jake Toolson led the charge with TJ Haws feeding him in both, space and in traffic. Turning great defense into offense, they got a little bit ahead of the slow starting Aztec team. In a game of runs, Malachi Flynn and Yanni Wetzell ignited the offense with a little defense to offense to ease make it a contest. In a barrage of well-timed blocks and timely three pointers they overtake the lead momentarily. Haws playing the role of the spoiler broke the 10-0 run with a feed to Toolson in the paint for an and-one play.

Momentum began to swell in BYU’s favor until a misplaced pass came on the heels of BYU’s 7-0 run where Flynn took it coast-to-coast for a layup the other way. Another crucial possession for BYU ended up becoming another key error on a charging call that went against them with the game being close at 56-57 with them having the lead. Wetzell inbounded the ball during the waning minutes of the contest. The clock is in the final 24 seconds of the game and Flynn brings it down. 5…4…3…a well timed pick on Haws and a clutch three from Flynn… San Diego State advances 59-57 in a heartbreaker for BYU.

Spring Game 2020: Defensive Depth Chart

With the all of the firepower and potential of the offense, the defensive side of the ball is looking to flex their depth and talent as well. With losses of a few key cogs on the defense, the Buckeyes are re-loading once again as they look to not taking a step back in production. Laden with high four stars and many more five stars, the talent in this room is unmistakable. Most have been biding their time and most finally have their shot. Lets take a deep dive into this pretend depth chart for the Silver Bullets.

Defensive End: Zach Harrison, Tyreke Smith, Javonte Jean-Baptiste, Jonathan Cooper, Tyler Friday, Noah Potter, Darrion Henry-Young, Cormontae Hamilton, Jacolbe Cowan, Ty Hamilton and Aaron Young.

Coach Johnson’s room have lost a few key players over the previous few NFL Drafts, but he always finds a way to keep it stocked full of talented players. With the departure of Chase Young, Jonathan Cooper is the unquestioned leader and he has Zach Harrison and Tyreke Smith to make up a trio of experienced players. The talent of the younger players is also an added benefit as they prepare to wreak havoc on opposing defenses in 2020.

Scarlet Team: Jonathan Cooper, Javonte Jean-Baptiste, Cormontae Hamilton, Jacolbe Cowan and Tyler Friday

Gray Team: Tyreke Smith, Zach Harrison, Darrion Henry-Young, Aaron Young and Noah Potter

Reserves: Ty Hamilton (summer enrollee)

Defensive Tackle: Taron Vincent, Antwuan Jackson, Jerron Cage, Tommy Togiai, Jaden McKenzie and Haskell Garrett.

Like at Defensive End, the Defensive Tackles also suffered a few key losses over the years and with both BB Landers and Davon Hamilton’s eligibility being over, the young bucks will continue the great tradition of interrupting the trenches. Experience is there but not to the level that Landers and Hamilton had, but it is a start. Each player on this list has impacted the game in some form–notably Togiai and Garrett have been players that saw time when the game had been put away. They will be counted on, but do not discount Vincent, Jackson and Cage because they’ve also seen some time with Jackson playing SEC football with Auburn before joining the Buckeyes. Jaden McKenzie is the new guy on the block, but with the strength coaches–he is in good hands just as long as he continues to work.

Scarlet Team: Taron Vincent, Haskell Garrett and Antwuan Jackson

Gray Team: Tommy Togiai, Jerron Cage and Jaden McKenzie

Reserves: N/A

Linebacker: Teradja Mitchell, Baron Browning, Dallas Gant, Pete Werner, Tuf Borland, K’Vaughan Pope, Craig Young, Tommy Eichenberg, Justin Hilliard, Ben Schmiesing, Cade Kacherski, Mitchell Melton and Cody Simon.

Linebacker was one of the few positions where they lost a key cog. Out of all the potential players to depart, only Malik Harrison left after his eligibility ran out. It could’ve been more with Werner, Borland, Browning and Hilliard all coming back into the fold. Like all other position groups, this room is filled with star power and talent that have all been waiting on their chance to shine. This room returns starters and they will attempt to dominate as usual. It is another season of waiting for a few, but you better believe during mop-up duty they’ll get their shot.

Scarlet Team: Tuf Borland, Teradja Mitchell, Dallas Gant and Craig Young

Gray Team: Baron Browning, Pete Werner, K’Vaughan Pope, Tommy Eichenberg and Justin Hilliard

Reserves: Ben Schmiesing, Cade Kacherski, Mitchell Melton (summer enrollee) and Cody Simon (summer enrollee)

Cornerback: Lejond Cavazos, Sevyn Banks, Tyreke Johnson, Ryan Watts, Marcus Williamson, Shaun Wade, Cameron Brown, Lloyd McFarquhar and Darryl Sinclair.

Cornerback saw the biggest loss in talent with Arnette and Okudah leaving for the NFL. At one time, they could’ve had Wade on that list too, but he returned after leaving the Fiesta Bowl on that ejection and wanting a shot at redemption. He comes back and the only two experienced players in Amir Riep and Jahsen Wint are currently facing legal issues. The other players who they will lean on are Banks, Brown, Johnson and Williamson and a pair of highly touted 2020 early enrollees Cavazos and Watts are all vying for playing time to help the Buckeyes for the season.

Scarlet Team: Shaun Wade, Marcus Williamson, Ryan Watts and Lloyd McFarquhar

Gray Team: Sevyn Banks, Cameron Brown, Lejond Cavazos, Tyreke Johnson and Darryl Sinclair

Reserves: N/A

Safety: Josh Proctor, Bryson Shaw, Marcus Hooker, Ronnie Hickman, Kourt Williams, Kevin Dever, Ryan Batsch and Lathan Ransom.

At safety, Jordan Fuller had quite a career but he moved onto the the pros. There isn’t much experience at the position but Proctor got everyones attention after laying the wood on the Jack Coan in the Big Ten Championship Game as the time dwindled down. He is the frontrunner for the robber position, but the talent behind him is unquestioned. He leads a young room that could blossom into something special.

Scarlet Team: Josh Proctor, Bryson Shaw and Kevin Dever

Gray Team: Marcus Hooker, Kourt Williams, Ronnie Hickman and Ryan Batsch

Reserves: Lathan Ransom (summer enrollee)

And there you have it! The defense is the hardest to predict with the amount of losses, but the talent is undeniable. The talent is there to take the Buckeyes back to the big dance, but it is all work from here. The Buckeyes are now two weeks away from the Spring Game as the anticipation steadily builds for the players and the fans.

#GoBucks

MOTSAG Pretend March Madness: West Region, Second Round

Credit: Naperville-lib.org

In the second round of the West Region, eight teams remain standing. With a couple of upsets and hard-fought battles along the way the tournament gets a little more hectic as the games come underway. So far, the top three seeds remain in the fight to advance in the region and the rest of the field consists of lower rated seeds with a couple of cinderella teams still in the tourney. Can they continue their run to the big dance?

The first matchup pits top-seeded Gonzaga against LSU. Petrusev, Kispert and Tillie goes up against Mays, Watford and Williams in a battle from the get-go. A back-and-fourth game in the first half turned into a more efficient game down the stretch for Bulldogs in the second. In a defense-to-points stretch in the final 4 minutes of the half, Gonzaga puts it away for good with a pair of free-throws, a steal and a layup in the waning minutes to seal it as they advanced 74-70.

In the battle of the cinderella’s, Yale and New Mexico State face-off to continue their dream runs. Yale and Atkinson came ready to play while New Mexico State came out flat and uninspired after their huge win over #4 Oregon. Queen tried to spark a comeback to no avail as the game got out of hand early as Yale closed the game out on a 16-0 run. Yale advances 68-52.

The third matchup has BYU against Seton Hall. Seton Hall took control early with a 10-0 run and the momentum carried into halftime as they led 45-33. A halftime speech for the ages ensued and BYU came out on fire bombing three after three until the waning minutes of the contest as they overcame the halftime deficit and defeated Seton Hall for the only upset of the second round. BYU wins 69-66.

In the last game of the region, Texas Tech faces off against San Diego State as this game became an instant classic. Malachi Flynn and Jahmi’us Ramsey duel until the bitter end. Back-and-fourth, both teams make key defensive stops for the duration of the game. Flynn makes a key play as he ripped the ball from Ramsey and too in all the way to the rack. Ramsey responded with a clutch three to take the lead 54-57. Flynn, not to be outdone hit a three in response to tie the game at 57 each. In the waning seconds Ramsey calls his shot and takes it down to .3 seconds left to try to win it, but it clanks off the rim. Overtime ball! Flynn took control despite Ramsey’s late game heroics. A steal from Ramsey and a clutch basket tied the game once again at 66 each, but Flynn responded by taking the clock down to nothing and setting up a pick-and-pop play where he fed Wetzell in the paint for a game-winning layup. San Diego State advances 68-66 in a thriller.

And there you have it! Round two in the books with a pair of memorable games coupled with a couple of duds. The cinderella of the west, Yale continues their run into history, but they will be tested more throughout. The next round on its way and we have some great matches ahead of us. Gonzaga versus Yale and BYU Versus San Diego State. Someones run has to end, but until next week folks!

Spring Game 2020: Offense Depth Chart

The Horseshoe Wide Shot. Credit: News.osu.edu

Since we here at The Men of the Scarlet and Gray have plunged off the deep end with our Pretend March Madness series, I have succumbed and jumped on the hype train. I have this idea in mind that would do two things: fill the void with Buckeye content and to distract us from the on-going chaos around us. This mini-series not only fills the void in my heart, but it keeps me occupied as well so enjoy!

Quarterbacks: Justin Fields, C.J. Stroud, Jack Miller III, Gunnar Hoak, Danny Vanatsky, J.P. Andrade and Jagger LaRoe.

With Justin Fields returning, he will be the unquestioned starter coming into the spring game. Fields’ spot is his to keep, but the depth behind him was a huge question up until reinforcements from the 2020 recruiting class entered the fray to bring some competition to the room. Chugunov left and Hoak had some in-game experience, but he is not ready to contribute just yet. The Buckeye starter job is set, but the back-up battle has just heated up.

Scarlet Team: Justin Fields and Jack Miller III

Gray Team: Gunnar Hoak and C.J. Stroud

Reserves: Danny Vanatsky, J.P. Andrade and Jagger LaRoe

Running Backs: Master Teague III, Trey Sermon, Demario McCall, Steele Chambers, Marcus Crowley, Miyan Williams, Xavier Johnson, Mitch Rossi and Robert Cope.

The tradition at the Buckeyes Cadillac position has been great over the years and with J.K. Dobbins departing for the NFL early, the legacy gets passed onto another back ready to prove his worth. Enter Master Teague III. Coming into the offseason, the starting nod was all but his, but the injury bug bit and an injured achilles later–he is shelved for a little while. Marcus Crowley is still shelved too and the depth was lacking, leaving a single scholarship player at a key position for the Buckeyes in Steele Chambers. True Freshman Miyan Williams won’t be on the roster until the summer and news broke today from Birm that former Sooner and former Buckeye target Trey Sermon has chosen the Buckeyes. I have plugged him into the spring game for funsies.

Scarlet Team: Steele Chambers, Demario McCall and Mitch Rossi

Gray Team: Trey Sermon (Grad transfer), Xavier Johnson and Robert Cope

Reserves: Master Teague (injury), Marcus Crowley (injury), Miyan Williams (summer enrollee)

Wide Receivers: Chris Olave, Garrett Wilson, Julian Fleming, Jameson Williams, Kamryn Babb, Mookie Cooper, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Gee Scott Jr, Jaylen Harris, Jaelen Gill, C.J. Saunders, Elijah Gardiner, Sam Wiglusz, Austin Kutscher and Chris Booker.

In a crowded, talent-stocked room the Buckeyes reloaded at the position once again. With the departure of a trio of leaders in Austin Mack, K.J. Hill and Binjimen Victor, the need for leaders is needed to continue the tradition. Enter Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson. Two younger players that have been key parts of a lethal downfield attack are back to wreak havoc once again. The legendary 2020 haul featuring Julian Fleming, Gee Scott Jr, Mookie Cooper and Jaxon Smith-Njigba did nothing but boost the profile of Brian Hartline and increased his stockpile of weapons to unleash for years to come. C.J. Saunders is still awaiting an answer eligibility, but he is another one of the leaders on the team until we get a final answer on him.

Scarlet Team: Chris Olave, Julian Fleming, Kamryn Babb, Jaylen Harris, C.J. Saunders, Jaxon Smith-Njigba (H-Back),

Gray Team: Garrett Wilson, Gee Scott Jr, Jameson Williams, Mookie Cooper, Elijah Gardiner, Jaelen Gill (H-Back),

Reserves: Sam Wiglusz, Austin Kutscher and Chris Booker.

Tight Ends: Luke Farrell, Jeremy Ruckert, Jake Hausmann, Cade Stover, Corey Rau and Joe Royer.

Tight Ends saw an uptick of usage in the Buckeyes offense last season and they will look to build on that momentum. Luke Farrell, Jeremy Ruckert and Jake Hausmann all return and a former defensive standout in Cade Stover joined the fold along with Corey Rau, a grad transfer from SMU joined the team. The depth is fairly stocked, but thin due to all three players being upperclassmen after this season. The Buckeyes are looking to secure two additional players in the 2021 class and they have Sam Hart as the only player at the position. They are still searching for a partner to join him, but that is looking too far ahead.

Scarlet Team: Jeremy Ruckert, Jake Hausmann and Corey Rau

Gray Team: Luke Farrell and Cade Stover

Reserves: Joe Royer (summer enrollee)

Offensive Line: Nicholas Petit-Frere, Nathan Brock, Wyatt Davis, Matthew Jones, Luke Wypler, Zach Stevenson, Ryan Smith, Gavin Cupp, Chris Kuhn, Jack Jamieson, Enokk Vimahi, Ryan Jacoby, Max Wray, Trey LeRoux, Thayer Munford, Harry Miller, Paris Johnson Jr, Dawand Jones, Josh Myers, Grant Toutant, Josh Fryar and Jakob James.

The offensive line is still in great shape following the departures of LG Jonah Jackson and RT Branden Bowen. They managed to retain LT Thayer Munford, C Josh Myers and RG Wyatt Davis in another deep position group for the Buckeyes. Stocked full of ballers the one guarantee is that the best players aside from the aforementioned three will get the nod. This could be another ultra-competitive group and it’ll be another great battle.

Scarlet Team: Thayer Munford, Gavin Cupp, Josh Myers, Ryan Jacoby, Paris Johnson Jr; Luke Wypler, Max Wray, Nathan Brock and Jack Jamieson.

Gray Team: Dawand Jones, Enokk Vimahi, Harry Miller, Wyatt Davis, Nicholas Petit-Frere; Trey LeRoux, Matt Jones, Zach Stevenson and Chris Kuhn

Reserves: Grant Toutant (summer enrollee), Josh Fryar (summer enrollee) and Jakob James (summer enrollee)

With the offense set-up for both the Scarlet and the Gray teams, the contest inches closer as we remain three weeks away until game day! The collection of talent at just about every offensive position accompanied by projected gains in the summer make this game more exciting. I hope you enjoyed my little piece of happiness and next week we will bring you the Defensive depth chart. Following that Special Teams and then the game. Thank you to all who have stuck with us and Go Bucks!

MOSTAG Pretend March Madness: West Region

Credit: Channelguidemag.com

In the first game, the top-seeded Gonzaga will take on #16 Prairie View after a successful play-in game against NC Central. Filip Petrusev led his team to a convincing victory against an outmatched Panthers team. Devonte Patterson led the team but fell well short of their goal to advance as the Panthers are the first to exit the tourney with a final score of 67-54.

In the second matchup #8 LSU and #9 Oklahoma clash against one another. Skylar Mays orchestrates the offense and keeps the game interesting as both teams go back and fourth throughout the game. Kristian Doolittle is also doing his part for the Sooners as they chip away at Mays double-digit lead, but they fell short on a last second half-court heave for the win. The Tigers advance 69-67 in a thriller.

The third game of the tourney pitted The #5 Michigan Wolverines against Ivy League representatives #12 Yale. Zavier Simpson and Jon Teske make their presence known and immediately overpower the Yale Bulldogs in the early portions of the contest. At the half, the Bulldogs are down 31-48 and a scorching half-time speech put their minds at ease and the trio of Paul Atkinson, Eric Monroe and Jordan Bruner began to work and chip away at Michigan’s halftime lead. With a team effort, they forced turnovers and played hard defense as Simpson’s brilliance turned into a frenzy of bad shots and turnovers. The lead dwindled the Wolverines found themselves on the bad end of a game-winner from three–the first for the tournament. Atkinson’s three with .2 seconds left sealed the first upset of the West bracket as Yale advances, 77-75.

Next, #4 Oregon faces #13 New Mexico State. Payton Pritchard versus Trevelin Queen. Both teams game out flat, especially Oregon as they felt as if this was not going to be a competitive contest. Queen executes and makes timely play after timely play as the Aggies go into halftime tied at 45. Pritchard goes into the second half and is lights out, but at every step of the game, Queen responded time after time up until the clock hits zeroes. Queen puts the game out of reach with two clutch free-throws to seal the game 71-69.

#6 BYU and #11 Indiana start the next round. Jake Toolson and Trayce Jackson-Davis lead a high-paced attack on offense. Fireworks begin to happen and the game steadily increases the drama on the court with both teams fighting to advance. Jackson-Davis did all he could do as the Cougars built an insurmountable lead with a combination of effective defense and with deadly shooting. BYU advances 70-59 in the first blowout of the tourney in the West Region.

#3 Seton Hall goes up against #14 Eastern Washington. Myles Powell and his team were too much for the Jacob Davidson’s squad. An offensive onslaught accompanied by tough defensive possessions were like a lightning rod of momentum for the Pirates. Seton Hall led from start to finish, in what was a mostly one-sided game. Seton Hall looks like a team that could pull off a deep tourney run en route to a dominant 81-60 victory against Eastern Washington.

#7 Arizona slept walked into the game against #10 Texas Tech and it cost them a chance to advance. Jami’us Ramsey came out motivated and ready to make some noise. Zeke Nnaji tried everything in his power to motivate his teammates, but to no avail. Ramsey came up big time after time, and his play throughout the game snuffed out any chance at leading in the game. Red Raiders advance 60-52.

Lastly, #2 San Diego State and #15 UC Irvine clash for the last game of the first round and it was closer than most people expected. Malachi Flynn and Yanni Wetzel got more than they bargained for as they faced a scrappy Anteater team led by Collin Welp and Brad Greene. Shellshocked, Flynn and Wetzel fire up the team at halftime despite a six-point lead. This translated to a back and fourth second half with San Diego State surviving on a clutch basket from Flynn and a pair of Wetzel free-throws to seal the game 72-68.