Preview: #3 Michigan (10-1, 7-1 Big Ten) vs #2 Ohio State (10-1, 7-1 Big Ten)

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Hate week is upon us and after narrowly escaping East Lansing with a win against a struggling Spartan team, the Ohio State Buckeyes are on a collision course against TTUN.  This game is the definition of what a rivalry is and what it should be.  High stakes, high reward, high pressure to secure another win in this series.  Rivalry week is the best week in College Football.  Hands down.  This years installment of The Game will feature two Top-3 teams in the nation.  This will be the second time in the series, where both teams are ranked, and in the Top-3.  The last time?  The last time this happened was ten years ago when The Game featured the #1 Ohio State Buckeyes at home against the #2 ranked Team Up North.  This game was played in high stakes fashion as the 42-39 win helped the Buckeyes stay undefeated and into the BCS National Championship Game, coincidentally against an Urban Meyer coached Florida Gators team.  Flash forward ten years later, we have another high stakes game with huge College Football Playoff implications. #2 Ohio State will be wearing the LeBron Soldier cleats against the newly minted, #3, Jordan Branded Team Up North.

imgres-5Last week, we saw a Buckeye team that barely walked out of East Lansing with a win.  A one point win.  I am a strong believer in “a win is a win”, and no matter how ugly it was, it is still added into the win column.  The Buckeyes gave up huge chunk plays, early and often, only to stiffen up in the red zone. The coaching staff leaned on J.T. Barrett to move the sticks and with help from Mike Weber and Curtis Samuel, they won the game.  On TTUN’s side of things, they also won, but not as big as some thought they would win.  They played at home and beat Indiana by 10, with a final score of 20-10.  Yes, it is a double-digit lead and win, but TTUN could have scored more.  I mean for what its worth, Ohio State faced the same team and beat them 38-17 after struggling in the first half.  Indiana is a tougher team, and they tend to improve year after year.  We cannot judge it accurately based on both teams’ performance against a 5-7 team, so we will just have to wait and see.

unnamed-9I cannot emphasize how great this rivalry has been to me as a die hard fan.  I think back at it, I lived in Guam for most of my life and I was introduced to College Football in 2005 when I joined the USAF, and I have been a fan ever since.  Now?  You would think that I was from Ohio.  The passion and the affinity I have for the Buckeyes is very hard and too difficult to explain in simple words. This rivalry has ruined holidays for me and it stresses me out. This week has killed my soul a little bit because I do not want to lose to TTUN.  This year will break the record for Number of Times Major Rivals met ranked in the Top 5 (11), edging the Red River Rivalry between Oklahoma and Texas (10).  This game, The Game, is usually a high-pressure game, with both teams clawing, fighting and scrapping the entire game for bragging rights.  As long as I have been a fan, I have seen great games that add to the tradition for both schools.  Seasons are made or ruined in an instant and during this weeks game, the emotion of the game will be electric because so much is on the line.  I can’t undersell the importance of this game.

unnamed-6The Ohio State Big-3 on offense, J.T. Barrett, Mike Weber and Curtis Samuel will be leaned on heavily.  I cannot emphasize this enough as Coach Meyer often shrinks down his playbook to do enough to win.  During The Game, with the crew from College Gameday and with a laundry list of highly ranked and touted recruits, and a ton of talented blue-chip prospects, I would hope that the offense starts off strong and continues it until the end.  A lot of eyes will be on this game and the stakes are the highest that it has been in a long time.  J.T. Barrett will need to move the stick early and often against a team led by upperclassmen.  Jabrill Pepper and Jourdan Lewis will look to shut Barrett down by pressuring him early and consistently.  The Slobs need to almost play a perfect, penalty free football game, and this is where it gets interesting.  Ohio State has two experienced Slobs in Senior Pat Elflein and Junior Billy Price. After those two, you have a Junior in Jamarco Jones, a Sophomore in Isaiah Prince and True Freshman Michael Jordan, who played High School Football up north in Plymouth.  Jones and Prince are prone to penalties, often holding on to defenders to keep Barrett upright.  Elflein and Price also tend to earn flags, so we will see if they could work as a cohesive unit to control the line of scrimmage and to protect Barrett.  Mike Weber will also be leaned on and he is one of three starters for the Buckeyes, who played up north in high school.  He needs to be fed like Zeke and Hyde to control the clock.  I will say that Curtis Samuel will also need more than the 8 touches he had during the Spartans because things looked bleak for a little while before they went for two.  Noah Brown and Dontre Wilson, and the rest of the Zone 6 will also need to get separation against the opposing Defensive Backs.  The team cannot be one dimensional as TTUN ranks in the Top-5 in just about every defensive statistic in the nation.  Ohio State is in the Top-5 in most rushing statistics this season.  Hopefully, they play with passion because this game is really important.  Maybe Coach Meyer and his staff have some bulletin board material because I saw an excerpt from an interview with Peppers with him saying that “Ohio State does not do anything over the top that they cannot handle” and that “it is nothing that we cannot handle.”. I hope they have some plays  that they have stashed away, that will unleash havoc on those Wolverines.

imagesThe Basic Ohio State Defense needs to show up this week. Last week, the Buckeyes faced a pro-style offensive scheme, that is similar to or close to what TTUN runs.  Two Tight End sets with a steady dose old school, big boy football.  L.J. Scott nearly beat the Buckeyes by himself and the team needs to focus on wrapping up the ball carrier and not overpursuing or overshooting plays.  We saw that a ton against the Spartans and they will need to play a flawless game like the offense to get the win.  Jake Butt, Amara Darboh and Jehu Chesson will be the trio of receivers that the Silver Bullets and the Scarlet Curtain will have to stop.  The Rushmen will have to stop De’veon Smith and the Running Back platoon that TTUN has.  This will be a test as the TTUN’s Offensive Line is pretty good.  There are a lot of variables that could change with injuries, fights, and ejections.  The biggest question would be which Quarterback will they face.  John O’Korn played last week and he did good enough to win.  Wilton Speight, the starter for the majority of the season, was injured during the loss at Iowa, and his status is unclear at this point.  There are reports that he is out for the season with a broken collarbone, but his head coach refutes those stories.  Mind games or not, we cannot take this team lightly, and I doubt that they would, but it wouldn’t hurt to know.  Until we do, we will have to prepare for both.  It will be interesting to see if Malik Hooker matches up against Peppers, since he plays both ways.  I am sure that the jet sweep will be used a lot, stretching the defense to open up holes.  You truly never know and hopefully a Buckeye legend or Senior Captain will inspire each unit to maintain the dominance.

Prediction:  Buckeyes over Wolverines 24-21.

 

Recap: #2 Ohio State (9-1, 6-1 Big Ten) vs Michigan State (3-7, 1-6 Big Ten)

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Ohio State faces a Michigan State team that is having a rare down year, but that won’t mean that the Buckeyes won’t take them lightly.  As I mentioned in the preview, Coach Meyer versus Coach Dantonio duel and they both play for keeps.  They have won two games a piece and they are both sitting tied at 2-2 during their stay at their respective schools.  This game will be another battle in the trenches as both teams look to get a win.  Both the Buckeyes and the Spartans are locked-in and ready, but the weather could prove to be a hurdle for both teams.  For now, during the pregame festivities, the snow did not come, but it could make an appearance later in the day during the game.  Coach Meyer has a tendency to get uber conservative with playcalling if that happens.  Hopefully, he can buck the trend and go for broke because TTUN comes into Columbus, so any momentum would be positive.  The team as a whole needs to gain some confidence and momentum and if they have to run through the Spartans to gain it?  Then so be it.

imagesWell this is certainly not the start that Buckeye fans would like to see.  A two-play drive that the Spartans effortlessly executed to go up 7-0 early in the game.  They caught the defense off guard as they did the Wisconsin end around by R.J. Shelton that gained 11-yards and then they executed a well-timed double screen pass to earn the touchdown that went for 64-yards.  Definitely, not a good start, but I will stay positive.  The Buckeyes first drive ended in a sack and then a punt that pinned the Spartans on their 4-yard line. The Buckeyes stiffened up and forced a punt.  This will be another heavyweight fight, another brawl until the bitter end.  This looks to be a good one.

imgresThe Buckeyes started rolling as they were getting more settled in.  The next drive was in the hands, or should I say the legs of J.T. Barrett.  He noticed that the Spartans were spread too thin, trying to contain Zone 6 members, and he took the run every time they called that defensive play. To finish the drive, Barrett hit Samuel on a post route for 24-yards where he beat the double downfield.  It is starting to heat up.  The Silver Bullets forced another punt and Barrett goes back to work on another Quarterback run for another first down.  Sadly, the Buckeyes ended up punting as well.  When the second quarter started, Michigan State kicked a field goal and the Buckeyes chipped in one as well.  The defenses are playing with the passion and fire that you would expect both teams to play with.  On Michigan State’s next drive, Ohio State secured their 16th interception of this season.  It goes to show that they are athletic at every level and a Linebacker in Chris Worley surely proved in once again. The play was sorely needed, but after the play ended, Jaylin Holmes was on the floor and was injured during the play.  Hopefully, it isn’t a bad one, he is one of the emerging stars on this young Buckeyes Defensive Line and a key piece for Coach Johnson’s Rushmen package.  On Ohio State’s possession, the Spartans forced only the second red zone turnover of the season.  Of course, they do!  I dread playing the Spartan’s because of games like these, but I will continue to stay positive.  The Buckeyes forced a punt, but trouble almost hit as Samuel muffed the punt in the Buckeyes own 3-yard line.  This game is surely filled with suspense and drama, and I am hoping for a score to ease my tensions a bit.  At the half, it is 10-10 and the Buckeyes get the ball to start the second half.

imgres-3The second half began with consecutive punts.  Strong defensive play on both sides was evident as the struggle to hold the line rages on, but eventually, someone had to make a play.  Someone had to break a big one.  Mike Weber broke through for a 52-yard run that put him over 1,000 rushing yards for the season.  Weber is the third Ohio State Freshman, at the Running Back position, who broke the 1,000-yard barrier and he joins Robert Smith and Maurice Clarett as the only ones to accomplish that task. Hopefully, Meyer continues to feed the beast.  You would think that coach would emphasize the potential fake punt play.  Well, he did not think they would go to that so early in the 4th, but it worked as a defender took it 25-yards for the first down.  The moral victory was short lived though, as the Buckeyes forced a punt on 3rd and long by gathering their first sack of the game, courtesy of Sam Hubbard.  Michigan State came right back at Ohio State as L.J. Scott racked up huge chunks of yardage before scoring on a 1-yard touchdown run.  Coach Dantonio then decided to go for two, for their first lead in a while, but it failed and was intercepted by Erick Smith.  The defense has been slacking, but the young Buckeyes make big plays during big moments, and this was needed.  The defense ended the game in a big way, as Tyquan Lewis pressuered O’Connor on their last possession in the game and it forced him to underthrow the ball into the waiting arms of Gareon Conley for Ohio State’s 17th interception.  This is why I love College Football.  Although, we all wanted a blowout, I understand that we can’t win it all.  The Spartans came to play today and they showed it.  We will need to shore up the defense and play better as a team.  There were a lot of overpursued plays and missed tackles.  We are now entering the final week of the regular season, and you know what that means.  I know that it is early and I will not start until we officially begin the week.  So, for now, enjoy the hard earned win and Go Bucks!!!

 

 

Preview: #2 Ohio State (9-1, 6-1) vs Michigan State (3-7, 1-6)

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Ever since Coach Meyer began his coaching career at Ohio State, Coach Dantonio was always that thorn in his side.  Year after year, the Spartans find a way to be uber competitive against the Buckeyes, and they have certainly played spoiler in contests against the Meyer and company.  Head to head?  Meyer and Dantonio are tied with two wins each.  An even 2-2 record that has created a rivalry against the entire state that sits up north.  This rivalry has decided the BIG 10 East representative the last couple of seasons and even if the Spartans are 3-7, don’t expect them to lie down and take a beating.  For some reason, they almost always are motivated by their Head Coach, a former Ohio State Assistant Coach.  He will look to once again, ruin the Buckeyes hopes and dreams as the Buckeyes travel to East Lansing to face a struggling Michigan State team on their own home turf.

imgres-5This was Coach Meyer’s first taste of defeat at the hands of Michigan State in the BIG 10 Championship Game and it still hurts. This was the beginning of the rivalry as Michigan State went on to play in the Rose Bowl representing the conference at the end of the year.  The Buckeyes didn’t miss out that much because they went on to face a potent Clemson offense to end the season, but caught a loss as Braxton Miller injured his shoulder during the game.  Coach Meyer’s only two game losing streak.  Think about that for a second.  The losses to Michigan State and then Clemson was his first consecutive game loses in his now five-year tenure at Ohio State.  Since then Meyer has not lost two consecutive games or two games in a season (KNOCK ON WOOD!).  Coach Meyer is 59-5 over his coaching stint at Ohio State.  He has a National Championship and has fielded highly competitive teams.

images-1Here was another loss at the hands of Michigan State.  As the Spartans knocked in a last-minute field goal to upset the Buckeyes who had championship aspirations.  This time they fell to a kicker and a team filled with Ohioan outcasts that resented the fact that they were overlooked by the Scarlet and Gray when they were high school prospects.  This game is fueled by pure emotion as the Buckeyes can’t sign every Ohio prospect.  They are delighted to play spoiler every time these two teams play each other.  This has lead to the Ohio State coaching staff fabricating a code word that aggravates the Buckeyes because they heard it constantly.  “GO GREEN” constantly being said, day in and day out would become a nuisance and it would make me angry too.  This game will be about getting the win.  The Buckeyes are focused on Michigan State.  This will be another classic, but with a variety of new players on both ends.

images-8The Slobs will dictate how the game goes.  They have to establish themselves against a stout, but young Spartan Defensive Line.  Last year, the Slobs were getting manhandled by the Spartans and they pretty much shut down the Buckeyes Offense.  That and the lack of Elliott touches was puzzling as it resulted in a close loss for the Buckeyes.  The whole Offensive Line will be the focus and the key to winning the game.  You have to win in the trenches and as long as I have been watching this series, whoever controls the trenches usually wins the game.  This will be the best time to earn their keep as this line is much younger than the TTUN’s Defensive Line.  So, if they want to continue building the confidence and momentum, they should find a way to dominate or there might be another meme coming for Coach Meyer.  Buckeye target, Josh King anchors the Spartan Defensive Line along with a host of experienced Linebackers like Andrew Dowell, Riley Bullough and Chris Frey.  This will be a tough task to contain them because they are good in both passing defense and they excel at rushing the passer.

imgres-7Mike Weber and Curtis Samuel are a pair of playmakers that Coach Meyer needs for this game.  They need to thrive and make plays to keep the potent offense afloat and dangerous as usual.  Weber needs to win on the ground and on dump-off passes and Samuel needs to find a way to break a big one on the “No Fly Zone” remnants.  Again, this defense is young, but their strength lies in their pass rush.  They have returned more than enough of their Linebackers from last year and they will look to repeat the trend from last year.  Not only do Weber and Samuel have to succeed, Zone 6 members need to find a way to separate from the Defensive Backs to make plays.  They flat out need to get open.  They showed some improvement against Nebraska and Maryland so I hope they show more signs of life to help the Buckeyes’ cause.

imgresThere will be a steady dose of J.T. Barrett during the game.  He will receive a ton of reps to develop himself into a more prolific offensive weapon.  He rarely has to run lately, but if he needs to, I don’t see him hesitating to extend drives and keep the offense humming.  Barrett has been more dependent on his arm and with the season quickly coming to a close, he will look to improve his skills.  Last week, he threw for nearly 253 yards, for 2 touchdowns and ran for 47 for another 2 scores.  Balance, is the name of the game with this young Buckeye team and with youth at just about every position, I feel the need to take a huge step forward or another level, is needed to come close to their or to exceed their true potential.  J.T. Barrett will have to manage the game and play a perfect game.  His Offensive Line would also need to block for their Quarterback for him to succeed.

img_3645Lastly, the Silver Bullets and the Scarlet Curtain need to show up for this contest.  I am hoping the Defensive Line can hold up and dominate the Spartan Offensive Line.  The Linebackers need to clog the run and pass lanes and just flat out wreck havoc and cause chaos.  The Scarlet Curtain need to cover those short drag routes because I have a funny feeling that they will try to use some plays that Wisconsin used against the Buckeyes.  They will need to play a perfect game and Michigan State’s prized recruit and former Buckeye target, Donnie Corley is becoming a rising star in the Spartan passing attack.  Another Buckeye target, LJ Scott is also rising and he has become the workhorse of the running game.  Tyler O’Connor is the starting Quarterback but Damion Terry is still there as well, so expect both Quarterbacks to get some playing time to confuse the defense.  R.J. Shelton also returns as he looks to make plays against the opposing teams’ defense.  We will see if they are up to the task as this will be another good one and another close game.

Prediction:

I want to believe that the Buckeyes come into East Lansing and blow the doors off from the get-go, but I will stick to my conservative roots and predict a close one.

Buckeyes over Spartans 35-24.  

 

 

 

Preview: #5 Ohio State (8-1, 5-1) vs Maryland (5-4, 2-4)

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This weekend will mark just the second time, to where Coach Urban Meyer and Coach D.J. Durkin face off against each other on opposing sidelines.  Last season would be the first official clash between the two, who are quite good friends, both on and off the football field.  Meyer has always showed a shine to Durkin who worked as one of his key assistants, as some form of Defensive Coordinator.  Last season, Durkin was to Defensive Backs Coach for TTUN’s secondary that ended up getting roasted by the Buckeyes.  This year will be completely different.  Durkin is now the Head Coach of the Maryland Terrapins and he is looking for a signature win and what better way to get one by defeating the mighty Buckeyes?  I do not think that would be the case and although plausible, it is highly unlikely as the momentum is in the Buckeyes favor after the 62-3 thrashing of previously #10 overall ranked Nebraska.

imagesJ.T. Barrett comes into the game unscathed.  The Slobs did their part and prevented Barrett from taking unnecessary hits and sacks.  So far, Barrett has shown flashes of his former self and he dominated through the air in last weeks tilt against a good Nebraska Blackshirt Defense.  He finished with 290 passing yards and 4 touchdowns and 8 rushes for 39 yards.  He found his rhythm and hit 8 different receivers throughout the game.  Spreading the ball out to his young crop of receivers and finding them on his second, third or fourth read was effortless.  With the protection of the entire Offensive Line, it made for a highly productive day for everyone.  Mike Weber racked up yardage on the ground and once through the air.  He tallied 87 total yards and a rushing score before aggravating his bum shoulder, and as a precaution, Meyer sat him in favor of true freshman, Demario McCall who showed some speed as he rushed for 73-yards on 16 carries.  Curtis Samuel sparked an offensive onslaught as he touched the ball less than 20 times (13 touches) and he ended the contest with 41 rushing yards and 137 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns.  This week, the offense will look to build momentum for the two teams from up north.  This won’t be super easy, but it will determine a lot and measure their progression.  The date with the Spartans and the Wolverines will be the tougher games, but for now we look toward Maryland.

untitled11The defense looks good.  The Scarlet Curtain and the Silver Bullets have done a wonderful job so far, and that is a testament to the staff and the way they teach their kids.  Last week, the defense pulled out all the stops as they held a Top-10 Nebraska team that is capable of scoring to only a field goal.  They stopped them twice in the red zone on fourth down and asserted themselves throughout.  The Scarlet Curtain also scored twice of interceptions, furthering Nebraska’s demise.  They look to beat up a Maryland team who is searching for a starting Quarterback after their starter suffered an injury last week against TTUN, Durkin’s former boss and team.  We will have to see what they could manage to do once they face this young Terrapins team that in floundering during Durkin’s first year at the helm.  This game will likely feature a ton of young DMV prospects, these elite prospects most likely are considering both Maryland and Ohio State at this point, and I am sure the Buckeyes would want to put on a show for them.  It will be Coach Johnson and his Rushmen against Coach Durkin and his staff.  We will see who wins out on key DMV based recruits.

Prediction:

I don’t want to go too crazy, but barring Hills being available, I will predict a win for Ohio State 42-10.  If Hills isn’t a starter and Pigram gets the nod, Ohio State will try to contain a different Quarterback and it will give Maryland a bigger chance to put up points.  So my final score prediction will be:  Ohio State def. Maryland 45-16

 

Recap: #10 Nebraska (7-1, 4-1) vs #6 Ohio State (7-1, 4-1)

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During the patented Scarlet Out at The Shoe, this game is indeed another game to that the Buckeye Head Coach and his crew would like to improve their deficiencies offensively and their inability to stay consistent on the defensive side of the ball.  This is another battle of two Top-10 teams that are vying for a spot in this season’s College Football Playoff and even though they are at home, the Buckeyes cannot take this Cornhusker team lightly.  Both the Buckeyes and the Cornhuskers come in with identical records at 7-1 and both are currently 4-1 in conference play.  Both teams suffered one loss, Ohio State suffered their first loss to Penn State at Happy Valley and Nebraska fell to in Madison.  How would things go for both teams during this clash of two teams with rich histories and traditions.
imgres-1The Silver Bullets started out with a bang.  They set the tone with another pick-six courtesy of the Scarlet Curtain member, Damon Webb.  The play began when Raekwon McMillan tipped the pass enough to alter the trajectory, then the Nebraska Wideout attempted to secure the catch, but the mistakenly tipped it straight up into the air into the waiting arms of Damon Webb who showed off some of his sweet juke moves as he took it to the house for another pick-six.  Tommy Armstrong attempted to make the tackle but whiffed on it.  This makes it a team record 5th pick-six of the season and it looks like they are primed to have another defensive showing during primetime.  On the next possession for Nebraska, they took it deep into the Red Zone, but their drive stalled and they ended up taking the points and kicked a field goal.  The Buckeyes gave up some splash plays, but they stifled the Nebraska Offense when they were in a good position to score.

imgresThe Buckeyes Offense looked good in the first half imposing their will on the vaunted Blackshirt Defense of Nebraska.  They looked to be in sync and the Offensive Line play showed improvement ensuring J.T. Barrett remained upright.  J.T. Barrett is a magician, making plays while on the run.  He found Terry McLaurin in the back of the end zone after scrambling for his life.  The Buckeyes are showing signs of returning to form as their skill players on for the offense seem to be gaining some confidence in their abilities.  McLaurin is young and he has had an up and down season so far, but the young man finally made a play that put the Buckeyes ahead of the Cornhuskers.  The Buckeyes finished the first quarter with a 14-3 lead and they look to get the ball into the hands of their playmakers at Wide Receiver as J.T. Barrett has hit four different receivers to build the lead over the Cornhuskers.

images-5In the beginning of the Second Quarter, the Buckeyes opened up the playbook a little more, the Buckeyes are noticeably looking to take deep shots to the end zone.  Zach Smith must have gotten into his Zone 6 members by the lack of offensive productivity beyond Curtis Samuel, Noah Brown and Dontre Wilson.  They are getting open due to the overall balance of the playcalling.  I, for one, am pleased by the amount of consistency and effort that I have seen so far and I hope that they can continue this effort into the rest of the season.  Zone 6 aren’t the only members of the team that has been succeeding because the Offensive Line is doing their job and it is amazing to see them play with this type of intensity.  Mike Weber benefited from The Slobs as he scored on a 23-yard dash to the end zone.  Curtis Samuel isn’t doing so bad either with 36 rushing yards midway through the First Quarter.  True Freshman and prized recruit Binjimen Victor almost made a circus catch on a third and long.  He failed to maintain control for his first score of the season and it would’ve been huge for the Buckeyes.  The crowd would have gone wild, but another missed opportunity–for the Buckeyes to dish out the knockout blow, but I am sure that Coach Meyer and Zone 6 Coach Zach Smith will find a way to put him in a position to make an impact.

imgres-4During football games, it is natural to talk trash and have some fun with it.  The gambler Dontre Wilson muffed another punt as he was looking ahead, trying to find a lane for the return.  Nebraska took advantage of the great field position as Tommy Armstrong Jr converted a 3rd and long and he was hit out of bounds by Malik Hooker.  He was knocked out at the Ohio State 24-yard line, but after landing he laid there motionless and most likely unconscious.  There was a long delay, but the medical staff was being cautious and they tended to the fallen Cornhusker.  He left after all precautions were done and he was packed into the ambulance with his father and they set out to the local hospital to see what had occurred and if he suffered any major injuries.  Hopefully, with some prayers, he will be okay and healthy, but for the time being a backup quarterback will have to take the reigns.

imgres-2After play had resumed, Senior Quarterback Ryker Fyfe comes in on a 4th and 1 play.  They attempted to trick the Buckeyes on a QB scramble, but Tyquan Lewis relentlessly pursued him and got the sack to turn the ball over on downs.  The Silver Bullets are playing with a fire that I haven’t seen in a while and as they turned away the Blackshirts, they drove the ball into Nebraska territory and well into the enemy red zone.  Curtis Samuel has been the playmaker for the Buckeyes as he was the guy that converted most of the first downs for the Scarlet and Gray.  J.T. Barrett and Curtis Samuel capped off the first half with Urban Meyer’s patented jump pass to Curtis Samuel to extend the Buckeyes lead to 28.  The Buckeyes finished off the half with a 31-3 lead and they will receive the ball at the start of the second half.  J.T.

imgres-3The Buckeyes began the second half with a bang, just as they did to open up the game.  On their first play of the game, the Buckeyes devised a plan to get Samuel more yardage and they succeeded on a one-play touchdown drive that is the longest pass downfield of the season.  It was well worth it as he beat the man to man coverage and the safety that was assigned to guard him on a well thought out play action pass that literally froze the defense in place and before they realized what was about to happen, it was too late as Samuel blew past the safety for the easy score.  The Silver Bullets picked up where they left off as they shut down the new quarterback after just three plays, forcing another punt.  Mike Weber came out determined to surpass the 100-yard mark as he ripped off another long run, but he seemed to have sustained an injury after being tackled onto his bum shoulder.  J.T. Barrett finished the drive with another touchdown on a comeback route to Noah Brown.  Tommy Armstrong Jr returned from the hospital during the drive and with some great news and no major injuries.  He came in with some urgency as he looks to return to his teammates to hopefully give them a boost and some sorely needed energy.  The crowd gave Armstrong a warm welcome as he returned to his teammates.  A true showing of respect and sportsmanship.  It seems as if Dontre Wilson’s punt returning duties were revoked as both Curtis Samuel and Demario McCall have taken punts for the Buckeyes.  Dontre Wilson is good at returning punts, but he likes to gamble way too much and I feel like it is a smart move for the coaching staff moving forward because, after this game, they play at Maryland and at East Lansing before playing the last game at home against TTUN.  This game has been fun and unexpected, but it’ll build momentum and confidence in the team as a whole.

imgres-4The Scarlet Curtain has struck again on another tipped pass for a score as Malik Hooker brought it back to the house on pure instincts, avoiding the entire Nebraska Offense and practically untouched.  He took it 48-yards for The Silver Bullets’ sixth defensive score of the season.  The pick-six was the last play for Ohio State after three quarters.  With a 55-3 lead, I Coach Meyer will give the younger players a chance to add to what has been an impressive game for the older players.  Hopefully, we get a glimpse of the future of the next generation of Buckeyes.  The defense made another stop well within their red zone as they stopped Westerkamp from converting a fourth down.  He avoided Craig Fada, a reserve Linebacker, but couldn’t break the tackle of the safeties that had converged on him.

imgres-5As predicted, the reserves went out and it didn’t take long for Joe Burrow to cap off another offensive possession with a score.  Burrow deceived the Nebraska Linebacker as he rushed for 12-yards for another Buckeye touchdown as he put seven more points on the scoreboard.  The playcalling prior to the score was focused on two offensive playmakers, K.J. Hill at Wide Receiver and Demario McCall at Running Back.  They are developing into quite the playmakers and after the close call with Weber, Coach Alford wants to see what the true freshman can do during garbage time.  The Buckeyes finished the game 62-3, a resounding win against another Top-10 team.  Here is a telling statistic, today, the Buckeyes scored on 8 of their 9 offensive possessions. The lone stop was when Burrow and the backups bled the clock.  They had two interceptions for scores which extend their school record to six for the year.  This game was something to revel in, but they will travel to Maryland next week, but for now they will enjoy this victory.  The crowd was into it the entire game and they made so much noise it shook the cameras in the stadium.  Homefield advantage was finally what it should be and hope it shows up again during the clash with TTUN.  Another note worth mentioning, this game had a many blue-chippers present in the game and with this showing, I feel like the Buckeyes took full advantage of it.  The atmosphere was lively and loud, they introduced another alternate uniform combination and both the offense and defense lived up to the expectations for this game, putting up 62 points and holding Nebraska to just 3.  A stellar performance that could seep into the minds of the blue-chip recruits that were present, especially Shaun Wade, who is mentioned as the recruit that might get away from Coach Meyer.  We will have to see what recruiting news unfolds after the recruits take it all in.  Great win.  Go Bucks.

Recruiting Reconnaissance: Scarlet Fever at the Shoe

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The game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers will be another Top-10 battle between two potential participants of the College Football Playoffs, but there is another reason why this game is of such importance.  There have been significant battles on the recruiting front between the Buckeyes and the Cornhuskers.  There is that and the rivalry between Wide Receiving Coaches that has been brewing frequently enough to cause a stir on both fronts.  Zone 6’s own Zach Williams and Nebraska’s Keith Williams have been dueling for star wideouts from various recruiting battlegrounds and this is a battle to keep your eyes on.  The recruits that they are vying for are Donovan Peoples-Jones, Trevon Grimes and Keyshawn Johnson Jr.  They both have one of the previous three named in their respective classes, but Peoples-Jones is still deciding on the two, as he took the time to visit these two schools earlier this season. So far Peoples-Jones is hard to read and he has recently released a Top-5 list that did not include Nebraska, but in recruiting that means nothing.  Wide Receiver isn’t the only position Ohio State and Nebraska are dueling for, they are also going head to head for Calabasas California’s own Darnay Holmes, a highly sought after Defensive Back prospect.  Nebraska and Johnson Jr are both trying to continue the pipeline into Nebraska’s future plans, but I don’t know if he will end up in the Scarlet and Gray due to the limited spots in this years class, but you never know.  There is also another possibility to where Bubba Bolden wants to join the Select 17 as well.  The Buckeyes are trying to get at least two more Defensive Back prospects after National Signing Day, but it will depend on if Ohio State misses out on the bigger names on what is left on their recruiting board.

Here are the current Ohio State Commits:

    • Josh Myers
      Josh Myers Miamisburg (Miamisburg, OH)
      OT 6-6 306 0.9928 10 3 1
    • Commit 1/25/2015
    • Wyatt Davis
      Wyatt Davis St. John Bosco (Bellflower, CA)
      OG 6-5 310 0.9902 15 1 6
    • Commit 6/24/2016
    • Trevon Grimes
      Trevon Grimes St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
      WR 6-3 202 0.9890 17 4 3
    • Commit 8/22/2016
    • Shaun Wade
      Shaun Wade Trinity Christian Academy (Jacksonville, FL)
      CB 6-1 177 0.9886 20 4 5
    • Commit 1/12/2015
    • Chase Young
      Chase Young DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, MD)
      WDE 6-5 225 0.9857 30 2 1
    • Commit 7/22/2016
    • Tyjon Lindsey
      Tyjon Lindsey Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, NV)
      WR 5-9 161 0.9823 36 6 1
    • Commit 8/22/2016
    • J.K. Dobbins
      J.K. Dobbins La Grange (La Grange, TX)
      APB 5-9.5 199 0.9804 39 1 6
    • Commit 3/6/2016
    • Isaiah Pryor
      Isaiah Pryor IMG Academy (Bradenton, FL)
      6-1.5 195 0.9742 46 5 8
    • Commit 7/27/2015
    • Tate Martell
      Tate Martell Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, NV)
      DUAL 5-10.5 203 0.9712 56 2 2
    • Commit 6/12/2016
    • Brendon White
      Brendon White Olentangy Liberty (Powell, OH)
      ATH 6-1.5 200 0.9455 112 3 2
    • Commit 10/2/2015
    • Amir Riep
      Amir Riep Colerain (Cincinnati, OH)
      CB 5-11 185 0.9410 125 14 3
    • Commit 7/23/2016
    • Jerron Cage
      Jerron Cage Winton Woods (Cincinnati, OH)
      DT 6-1.5 275 0.9097 227 14 9
    • Commit 7/21/2015

Here are the remaining targets left on their Big Board:

Here is the list of visitors via 24/7’s Buckeye affiliate:  Bucknuts.com:

Saturday, November 5, 2016 (7)

Other notable players visiting today:

Class of 2018:

  • Jaelen Gill, RB
  • Jermaine Eskridge, WR
  • Jackson Carman, OL
  • Rasheed Walker, OL
  • Dallas Gant, LB
  • Christopher Oats, LB
  • Cameron McGrone, LB
  • Derrik Allen, DB
  • Christian Tutt, DB

Class of 2019:

  • Jaylin Simpson, DB
  • Jashawn Sheffield, WR
  • Stephon Herron, DE

Hopefully the atmostphere and the nifty new uniforms, along with the Scarlet clad Shoe secures a commit or two after the game.  Hopefully it motivates the team enough to make them play angry.  I do not predict a commitment, but it would surely help the cause when it gets closer toward signing day because the Buckeyes coaching staff is starting to build relationships with the players from the 2018 and 2019 classes as they look to get a head start and finish the 2016 class strong.  As always I am hoping for a strong showing and an angry team.  Go Bucks!!!

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Preview: #10 Nebraska (7-1, 4-1) vs #6 Ohio State (7-1, 4-1)

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I cannot stress to you, the sheer importance of this game at this stage of the aging College Football Season. I guarantee you that Coach Meyer and his staff are addressing the importance of this game and they are establishing and setting the tone early and often to get their players ready for gameday.  Reestablishing and reawakening that killer instinct that has laid dormant after their visit to Norman Oklahoma.  I want to see this occur once again and I am certain that the Buckeyes would love to reawaken the beast within.  This, by no means, will be another easy win.  This will be a fight!  Both teams will fight tooth and nail until one of the two buckles under the bright lights of The Shoe.  Both Ohio State and Nebraska have identical records so far this season and the loser of the two will surely hurt their College Football Playoffs chances afterward. If I were to choose out of the two, I would say that it would definitely hurt the Buckeyes more so than the Cornhuskers.  Judging by the two-team race in the West Division between Wisconsin and Nebraska, their odds split at 50-50 with Minnesota and Iowa nipping at their heels and jockeying for position.  Ohio State, on the other hand, suffered a loss to a division foe in Penn State and TTUN is currently at the top of the East Division food chain at this point of the season.  The loss certainly doesn’t harm our chances and we cannot be counted out just yet, but if chaos happens (and in College Football, as long as I’ve been watching, it happens frequently a la Penn State!) and tie-breakers and stuff like that need to be used, we need to stay atop our game for the rest of the season.

images-7The Buckeyes will play host once again and they will welcome the Nebraska Cornhuskers into The Shoe and it has been four years since the Buckeyes and the Cornhuskers met on the gridiron and with the stakes being as high as ever, both teams will look for any edge that is out there at this point of this season.  Both teams will look the stay in the Playoff conversation as the first official list was released yesterday and both teams are within striking distance of making the big dance IF they keep improving and flat out, winning. This game will be different and it is almost as exciting as the dark night at the shoe.  This game will feature two things that will look to give the Buckeyes more of an edge, to add to their advantage of being the home team during the game.  This game will dazzle and amaze, and with the first Scarlet Out of the season, the Buckeyes will look to turn the tide and bring the pain.  Not only will the Buckeyes unleash the Scarlet Out, they will also honor a former Buckeye Alum, Chick Harley, with a new alternate uniform and they look to honor the undefeated 1916 Ohio State team of old.  I, for one initially thought that this was a drop off from the black alternates, but the helmet altered my former thoughts and I love them now!

imagesJ.T. Barrett will be faced with another tough, hard-nosed BIG 10 defense and the Nebraska Defense is another stout defense that has been held 5 out of their last 7 opponents to less than 20 points per game which resulted in wins.  The two that scored more than 20 points in a game against Nebraska? They went 1-1 in those games.  A win against Oregon and a loss to Wisconsin, not too bad.  I was stationed in Nebraska for 8 long years and man they love their team.  I hate their team just as much, but not even close to the scorn and hatred to TTUN, but their Blackshirts are pretty good. They always manage to field good, if not great defenses.  Look at the past games against the Buckeyes during their first years in the conference.  The Cornhusker upset the rebuilding Buckeyes after Coach Tressel left that was coached by Luke Fickell.  The Buckeyes lost by a touchdown to the new kids on the block.  34-27 was the final and I hope that Coach Fickell remembers every second of that horrid season. We should thank them though cause it brought Coach Meyer in and five years later, he has only lost one hand worth of games and has a National Championship to add to his repertoire.  His first year he handed the Cornhuskers a 63-38 whooping to extend the series to 3-1 all-time against the Cornhuskers.

images-12This will be a battle of the Blackshirts against the Scarlet Curtain.  Flat out.  Two Top-15 Defenses will go toe to toe in what could be another epic battle and defensive struggle.  The Buckeyes field a team that is ranked #6 in the nation in both playoff standings and in scoring defense surrendering 121 points this season.  The Cornhuskers are ranked #10 in the playoffs standings and 15th in scoring defense giving up 147 points total.  Ohio State is #6 in total defense averaging 295.5 yards per game and Nebraska comes in at #20 with 342.1 yards per game.  Ohio State ranks #4 in the NCAA with a +10 in the turnover margin and Nebraska is #24 with +5 in the turnover margin.  Both defenses are even at #24 with 16 turnovers gained so far this season.  Both teams have stout Defensive Lines, but opposing teams get the ball out quickly as both teams are in the middle of the pack in the sack department with Nebraska at #51 with 19 sacks for the season and the Rushmen are #63 with 17.  The Buckeyes edge the Cornhuskers in the defensive touchdown category.  They are ranked #2 in the nation in defensive touchdowns with 4 and Nebraska is #19 with 2.  This will be a battle and a test of wills and this will likely be the focus of the game.  Ohio State is allowing 15.1 points per game to Nebraska’s 18.4.  This will be a fierce and intense battle.

images-4Both offenses will certainly have their hands full with the defenses that will oppose them.  This will be a battle, but both offenses can create huge splash plays from time to time.  The Buckeyes field a formidable offense with playmakers such as Curtis Samuel, Dontre Wilson, Noah Brown, Mike Weber and J.T. Barrett.  On the other side, the Cornhuskers have Quarterback Tommy Armstrong, Running Back Terrell Newby and Stanley Morgan Jr at Wideout.  Both teams are averaging a ton of points per game.  Ohio State is averaging 42.6 per game, while Nebraska is averaging 32 points per game.  That is #10 and #49 in the nation in scoring offense that will test each the opposing defenses to secure a win.  The edge in offense goes to Nebraska because of their Offensive Line has allowed just 6 sacks total this season which is good for #5 in the nation.  The Buckeyes are #27 in the nation with 12 QB sacks allowed which is telling and a key concern for the Buckeyes moving forward.  Hopefully, they can scheme around the Blackshirts and rebound from the scare against Northwestern and you have to expect that the loss in Happy Valley still remains in the back of their minds, but they won’t outright say it aloud.  I think they will have the added motivation because of the Scarlet Out and the sweet new unis.  It is all about execution and poise during duress.  This will be a battle throughout and with another Top-10 duel, they will look to shake off the cobwebs and dust.

Prediction:

I am certainly way off with my predictions, never coming close to the final in most instances.  Sometimes I hope and pray, but it is one of the things that makes College Football special.  This will be a defensive battle throughout.  The offenses will make key and timely play when they need it and a key defensive stop will fuel the Buckeyes late in the game to secure another Top-10 win to keep them in the College Football Playoff conversation.

Buckeyes over Nebraska 38-27

Recap: Northwestern vs Ohio State

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A week after suffering their first loss of the season, the Buckeyes are back in The Horseshoe and they will be taking on the Northwestern Wildcats.  This game started off with a defensive stand that resulted in a Northwestern punt on their initial possession.  How would the wounded Ohio State Offense as a unit?  The Ohio State Offense has yet to score on their first possession of the game would this be the turning point? The Buckeyes responded and they finally have their first score of the season on their first drive of the game. The play calling was creative and sudden, just the way I like to see it.  J.T. Barrett looks like a different QB and he was quick on his release and he was decisive when involved in the passing game.  He took the ball from the Ohio State 6-yard line and took it 94 yards on 9 plays on the opening drive.  Mike Weber is doing work, he has 63 yards on 9 carries for two scores.  J.T. Barrett finished the half 14 for 21 and 129 yards.  He looks sharp but as the game wore on the playcalling became predictable once again.  Checkdown after checkdown, false start penalties, and another sack allowed by the Offensive Line.  Consistency isn’t what this Buckeye team is known for, but I believe they will improve as the competition rises.  The Silver Bullets and the Scarlet Curtain are doing well.  McMillan tipped a pass and Damon Arnette made a heady play and intercepted the ball and it resulted in a Durbin field goal.  The Rushmen have another sack added to their repertoire and they look to impose their will during the second half.  The Scarlett Curtain nearly had another pick, but it was bobbled by Ward.

The second half came and another batch of questionable and uninspiring playcalling on both the offensive and the defensive side of the ball.  The offense is banking on the speed option at a mind-numbing rate and so far it has been stopped dead in its tracks.  This year, I think both Offensive Coordinators are looking too far ahead than the task at hand.   They are auditioning for Head Coaching gigs elsewhere and it seems like they are just going through the motions this year.  The creativity is gone, the lack of a passing game, the constant swing passes and checkdowns overshadow what would’ve and what could’ve been another great year, but we are stuck in this alternate dimension with poor and predictable playcalling.  At this point, I am willing to try out Joe Burrow because Barrett seems to be disinterested in making an impact through the air.  It is sad to say, but I am about done with this year.  The stress that I feel watching these games, close games, that shouldn’t even be close, it hurts my heart and my soul to see my Buckeyes underachieve and lose themselves in mediocrity and terrible playcalling.  The defense is the same, Jerome Baker gave up on a pass that resulted in a touchdown pass to one of two Wildcats that the Buckeyes man to man defense can’t seem to contain or stop.  The nickel corner keeps getting beat and it is disappointing and a fall from grace from where the Buckeyes were at the beginning of the season.  Oh, in the middle of the 4th quarter, Barrett and Samuel finally become less predictable, well kind of, and score a touchdown on run down the middle. They also managed to pass the ball on a deep ball to K.J. Hill for 30+ yards on a pass play.  Finally, the Buckeyes score in the second half, finally answering the two scores that the Wildcats have earned in the second half.  Label me a pessimist, but it is not looking good.  We are too predictable, not as creative and we are as basic as they come on both sides of the ball.  I would love to see the Buckeyes prove me wrong, but since that Oklahoma game, what the heck happened?  Did we get too cocky?  Did we take the foot off the gas pedal?  I certainly think so, it pains me to see them struggle, but it shows my love for the sport and the teams they field yearly.  I am getting tired of barely surviving and with yet another close win, I still have yet to see the killer instinct that they used to have, the swagger and the sheer intestinal fortitude to take over games.  This 24-20 win is not what I like to see and we Ohio State fans have been too spoiled over the years, but the talent did not take a dive.  They just need to step up and show out.  Hope they fix things on both sides of the ball and open up the playbook.  The creativity needs to return for the whole game, just not on the opening drive.  We will see what the Buckeyes are made of when Nebraska comes into town and it should be another Top-10 matchup IF they go into Camp Randall Stadium and take care of business.  Until next week and hope I have better things to say about our team.

Preview: Northwestern (4-3)[3-1] vs #6 Ohio State (6-1)[3-1]

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After a dreadful and heartbreaking loss at Penn State, the Ohio State Buckeyes are set for back to back home games.  The first of the two will be against a Northwestern Wildcats team that thankfully did not come off a bye week, but they came away from a hard fought battle with those pesky Hoosiers.  Ohio State returns home to right the ship and we will have to see how they respond to the adversity after a loss.  The Buckeyes did not drop out of the Top 10, they fell from #2 in the nation to #6 and it could’ve been much worse.  Sour grapes was the mood of choice after yesterday’s poor performance, but like all Buckeye fans should realize, the season is still not over and we as Buckeye Nation and as a fan base should realize that we still have a pair of games that will help our case to finding our way back into the College Football Playoffs conversation.  We are, by no means out, and our season and our goals are still attainable.  All we need to do is rebound, circle the wagons, improve as a team and just win.  Improve the play on the Offensive Line and reduce the penalties, get more out of the Offensive Playcalling by being far less predictable, be more balanced and just improve the passing game and improve the miscues on Special Teams.  The effort seemed to be gone through the White Out and it sucked whatever determination the Buckeyes possessed within them when things started to go south.  Like Shane Falco’s fear of sinking sand, but in real life, will the Buckeyes be able to rebound and keep their season alive?

imgresIf anyone should be upset, it should be J.T. Barrett.  His play late in the game became reminiscent of the Michigan State games that resulted in losses.  Telegraphed and uber-scripted Quarterback runs and check-down galore.  I am still upset, but the season can be salvaged.  All J.T. Barrett and the Buckeyes need to do is be more balanced and less predictable.  With Tom Herman leaving for Houston, the Buckeyes have depended solely on the run game, but just like when they failed to feed Zeke, Mike Weber should be just as upset as he was.  The Penn State defense was stuffing the run all night, but whoever kept calling the Running Back wheel routes, consistently, the Offensive Coaches better get creative because Northwester, Nebraska, and the TTUN can score and we have them at home.  We got to Maryland and Michigan State on the road and although Maryland is the home team, we should get a win, but a down year for Michigan State was unexpected and they will look to wreck our season once again on their home turf.  J.T. Barrett and the entire team and coaching staff, to include the head honcho Urban Meyer needs to get better, and quick.  The Game will be one for the ages as we look to see Ohio State revert back to their relentless ways on both sides of the ball.

images-6The Slobs struggled mightily as the White Out caused a fair amount of penalties that hurt the Buckeyes throughout the night.  The penalties with their inability to protect the edges and keep J.T. Barrett from feeling the pressure ruined their chance at an undefeated season.  The Slobs will look to rebound against another scrappy Big 10 defense that is tied at #38 in the nation, along with Penn State, with 16 sacks so far in the season.  They are tied for 49th overall in team Tackles For Loss with a total of 38 compared to the Buckeyes who sit higher at #31 for a team total of 42 Tackles For Loss.  The Slobs will look to protect J.T. Barrett, dominate the line of scrimmage and they will look to be more consistent and return back to their strengths for the more difficult part of their schedule.  A huge stat is Ohio State is ranked #2 in the nation in Tackle For Loss Allowed with a whopping 16 given up for 51 yards.  That is alarming and it far from the standards that The Slobs hold themselves to.  Hopefully, they get it together.  The inexperience and youth has been showing and that, as of now is the lone glaring weakness.  Pat Elflein and Billy Price need to get their unit back to the standards because they have been weak as of late.

images-1The Silver Bullets and the Scarlet Curtain have a huge task at hand with these Northwestern Wildcats coming into town on a three-game winning streak.  They have defeated an experienced Iowa team on the road and beat a young Michigan State team that is in the midst of down year.  They also beat the Indiana Hoosiers at home extending their overall record to a modest 4-3 record, 3-1 in conference play.  They put up points, but that has been their forte for quite some time.  On the road, they put 38 points on the table against BIG 10 West winner Iowa and scored 54 points on a young, but experienced Spartan Defense, the BIG 10 East winner from just a season ago.  Obviously, Michigan State represented the BIG 10 in last season’s playoffs and Iowa represented the conference in the Rose Bowl game.  Both were demolished and defeated handily, but those defenses are no slouches.  The Buckeyes tend to struggle against teams that spread them out and make them play from sideline to sideline.  This will be no easy task, but the Buckeyes are should be looking for blood after suffering their 5th loss in five seasons.  The Buckeyes will look to right the ship and maintain sight of their goal of competing in the CFB Playoffs once again, but it won’t be easy.  The road will be tough, but Coach Meyer will guide them through the adversity after suffering a loss.  Word is, after practice and during an interview, Coach Meyer mentioned that he saw an angry Buckeye team during practice and I, for one hope that it carries on for the rest of the season.  The next few games will not be cakewalks.  We have a potent Wildcat Offense at home, a Top-10 Battle at home against Nebraska, they will travel to Maryland and face TTUN’s former coach, then a matchup against MSU and then they will return back home for The Game against TTUN, which is another Top-10 matchup.  This will not be easy, but if the Buckeyes win out and win the conference, they will 100% make it into the CFB Playoffs and it will be pretty difficult to say that they do not deserve to get in based on their performance this season and that is even including the close loss to Penn State.  This will test the mettle of the Buckeyes and let’s hope that they can win and win big to regain the momentum for the hardest portion of their schedule.

Prediction:  38-0 Buckeyes

This will be the turning point of the season.  The Buckeye Offense will depend heavily on the run, pounding the rock relentlessly wearing out the Wildcat Defense.  J.T. Barrett will look to salvage the porous passing attack and the creativity will return.  The Slobs will allow no sacks or pressures because they will be playing for pride.  The Defense will shut down the Wildcats playmakers and deny them any points.  All phases of the game will be controlled and we will see the potent offense return to past form.

Go Bucks!!!

Recap: #2 Ohio State vs Penn State

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The Ohio State Buckeyes are traveling away from the shoe for the second straight week and they look to beat rival Penn State at their house heavily influenced by the White Out conditions.  The Buckeyes are fresh off of an ovetime win against the Wisconsin Badgers while Penn State enjoyed a bye week to prepare for a battle with the Buckeyes.

imgres-1The game started off with the battle of the defenses.  Another slow start and a scoreless first quarter for the Buckeyes.  Special Teams has helped the team and tonight is no exception.  Tyler Durbin has been a godsend for the Buckeyes with Sean Nuernberger being sidelined due to injury.  Durbin has kicked in a pair of field goals, but he missed an extra point due to fellow Special Teamer, Cameron Johnston’s inability to maintain control of the snap.  Cameron Johnston is also contributing to the cause, during the first half he punted the ball 4 times and has 199 yards.  Per punt, Johnston is averaging 49.8 yards per punt.  Crazy.  To think that Special Teams is keeping the Buckeyes afloat until they get some momentum, hopefully the Buckeyes wake up in the second half.

JT 2J.T. Barrett and the offense has struggled through the first half, but prior to halftime, he picked up the team and threw a touchdown strike to Tight End Marcus Baugh.  Barrett finished the first half 13 for 24 for 125 yards and a touchdown.  He has 34 rushing yards on 6 carries and he pulled a Houdini as he used the football to stay upright to scramble for a 19-yard gain.  Curtis Samuel is trying to help out, but the inconsistencies with the playcalling is evident and it is hurting the production of the offense once again.  Mike Weber is also running with a purpose as he looks to become a mainstay in the Buckeyes offensive attack.  Weber has 60-yards total and on 12 carries.  Barrett is looking to share the load, but the Penn State Defense seems to be ready for the Ohio State Offense.

RMThe Silver Bullets are flying around once again and they will look to assert their will and keep the Penn State Offense from making big plays.  The Rushmen are looking as lethal as ever, constantly causing pressure in the pocket.  The Scarlet Curtain has smothered the Penn State Receivers, but prior the halftime, they gave up back to back 20-yard plays that resulted in a touchdown.  Nick Bosa also notched another sack to his season statistics.  This is tough sledding for now, but the Buckeyes will weather the storms like they did against Wisconsin and they will do their job until they slow down the Nittany Lions.  Good news is they struggled early against Saquon Barkley, but they have slowed him down enough to only allow him to gain 56 total yards.

z-osu-qb-rbCurtis Samuel scored on a 74-yard scamper on his first carry of the second half.  This is the longest rushing play the Buckeyes have had this year and it comes during a perfect time to kill the vibe of the White Out.  Ever since the play the crowd is noticeably quiet and they were silenced by the Buckeye Silencer Curtis Samuel.  You think he single-handedly silenced the White Out?  Penn State gave up a Safety to the Buckeyes Defense and they are now up by 14 with the ball after the punt.  That is where the momentum stopped.  The Buckeyes coaches got too cute and J.T. Barrett should just change his name to Captain Checkdown.  Someone needs to go and the Receiver flat out stink.  A nice pass get thrown to you and you lose it?  Sour grapes.  Bad taste in my mouth.  Everything.  I never thought that a Special Teams blunder which led to a touchdown would do the Buckeyes in.  Meyers road streak is over and TTUN will probably wreck the Buckeyes at the end of the season.  I am pessimistic, but this hurts.  I am upset.  Goodbye CFB Playoffs.  Whoever calls the offensive plays…  Please quit…