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: #2 Ohio State (6-0) vs Penn State (4-2)

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The Ohio State Buckeyes face another tough road test against a rejuvenated Penn State team that regained traction with their threatening run offense.  A rivalry game with rabid and ruthless fans, decked in white causing another White Out against Ohio State.  This will be another hard-hitting rivalry game and Ohio State is yet again, the target for Penn State’s best effort or best shot.  Ohio State has its work cut out for them and this will be another stressful night for Buckeye fans.  For the second straight week the Buckeyes are on the road against a raucous crowd that is looking to give their home team an edge against the competition.

Ohio State

img_3627Coach Meyer and his staff will look to extend their road winning streak against the dreadful White Out conditions that will be in full effect upon their arrival to Happy Valley.  Urban Meyer as the Head Coach is currently 20-0 on the road and it has been that way for a couple of years now.   He now has his sights set on besting his record against a scrappy Penn State team that has won its last two games after a loss to TTUN.  This will not be an easy game and a cake walk is not expected in this contest.  The last two games against the Nittany Lions were two different types of games.  Last year was in Columbus and that was a snoozer of a game, the Buckeyes won handily by a 28-point margin 38-10.  Ezekiel Elliot ran wild during that game and racked up the yardage on the ground.  The year before that?  Ohio State escaped a White Out after the extra period on a walk-off sack by now San Diego Charger Joey Bosa 31-24.  This year looks to be the same after Saquon Barkley regained his confidence.  He will look to soften up the Silver Bullets and attempt to wear them out.  This, of course, would not be as easy because Dante Booker will return and he will look to reestablish himself into the lineup.

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The Rushmen will be a key factor during the game.  With Booker reinserted into the lineup and with the players such as Jerome Baker waiting in the wings, the Silver Bullets will more than likely keep a rotation to where no one is tired and fresh bodies will come into and out of the lineup.  The BIA Crew will look to shut down the opposing Wide Receivers to help the front seven wreak havoc on the Penn State Offensive Line for the entirety of the contest.  BIA or Best In America is cool and all, but I would like to put my two cents in and I would like to add my personal touch to it by finding a nickname for the unit.  Most of the units on the team have awesome nicknames, The Slobs for the O-Line, The Rushmen for the D-Line, Zone 6 for the Wide Receivers, Tote Nation for the Running Backs and that leaves the Linebackers and Defensive Backs without a nickname.  For the Linebackers and the Defensive Backs, jointly, they work well with each other and I will go ahead and call them the Scarlet Curtain, a tribute to the Pittsburg Steelers suffocating defense.  Look for the Scarlet Curtain to blanket the offense and pepper them with unexpected blitzes from all angles.  The Linebackers and the Defensive Backs will look to continue this years trend of causing turnovers and making plays in the backfield.

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The Offense along with J.T. Barrett will be looking to rebound from another porous first half performance.  Barrett and company turned it on in the second half against Wisconsin and even the 4th Quarter Jump Around session was no match for General Barrett and his second-half magic.  Almost the whole Buckeye seemed to be dazed, but when Coach Meyer needed them the most, they all showed some fight and they eventually turned the tide.  This week the Buckeyes will go up against another stout BIG 10 Defense that is going to give the Buckeyes their best shot.  White Outs are a pain and it shouldn’t be taken lightly.  With the way the offense hasn’t been automatic, it should worry some folks, but we will have to see.  The Slobs will look to establish the line of scrimmage and the run.  Mike Weber should be able to find some holes, but again Penn State will look to take it away and force them to pass the ball.  Samuel and Wilson will be used throughout the game as well.  We never know and we will just have to see what they will do tomorrow.

Penn State:
imgresDuring the last White Out game in Happy Valley, Ohio State barely escaped with a win.  It took an extra period in Overtime on a walk-off sack to beat Penn State.  If I remember correctly, Saquon Barkley was a huge factor in that very game and he is back again for another contest against the Buckeyes.  He recently reestablished his presence in the run game and he is as confident as ever.  He will look to gain huge chunks of yardage against the just as Corey Clement did when Wisconsin nearly upset the Buckeyes on their home field.  I fully expect Trace McSorley to utilize his receivers on jet sweeps to confuse the Silver Bullets to open up the runs down the middle.  McSorley is a scrambler and a passer and that could also be a factor in their strategy to defeat the Buckeyes.  McSorley has 1436 passing yards and 8 touchdowns with 3 interceptions.  Barkley has 582 rushing yards on 117 carries and 8 touchdowns.  The leading receiver is DeAndre Thompkins and he has 328 receiving yards and a touchdown.  The three will try to take down the Buckeyes and there is also a ton of intrigue behind the scenes as well.  Receiver Chris Godwin, Quarterback Tommy Stevens and Tight End Mike Gesicki were all huge Buckeye targets that went elsewhere.  Gesicki was the more outspoken out of the bunch and he will look to make an impact during the game.

Prediction:  Buckeyes 41-21  

All in all, the Penn State team as a whole is just a dangerous as Wisconsin is because they are a rival and it is a BIG 10 contest.  They will give it their best and they will put forth their best effort.  I think they will play their best game and that will keep them within striking distance.  The Buckeyes will struggle again through the air, but they will make up for it by wearing down the defense with their ground attack.  I was to say this will be a blowout, but my predictions are always way off when the final score is recorded.  I will predict another gutty performance by J.T. Barrett with help from Weber and Samuel.

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Preview: #2 Ohio State Buckeyes vs. #8 Wisconsin Badgers

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Fresh off of a poor passing performance at home against those pesky Indiana Hoosiers, the Buckeyes face a stiff test, with huge College Football Playoffs implications.  The Buckeyes are traveling on the road, for just the second time this season, but this time, it will be against BIG 10 foe Wisconsin on their home turf in Madison.  The battleground is set, the stakes are at an all-time high (until we play TTUN) and this showdown between two BIG 10 powerhouses will be an epic showdown and possibly one for the ages.  Ohio State is coming off of a 21-point win against a Hoosier team that has exposed them a bit.  They played to their Ohio State is coming off of a 21-point win against a Hoosier team that has exposed them a bit.  They played to their strengths but weren’t fooled by the constant movement by the Buckeye offensive playmakers, essentially shutting off Ohio States ability to pass the football downfield.

img_3773Ohio State is coming off of a 21-point win against a Hoosier team that has exposed them a bit.  They played to their strengths, which is the run to make up for their lack of an effective passing attack.  The Buckeyes used a lot of eye candy to try to fool the Indiana Defense, but the were prepared.  They weren’t fooled by the constant movement by the Buckeye offensive playmakers and the constant shifts along the offensive side of things and it essentially shut off Ohio States ability to pass the football downfield.   Their inability to throw the ball is one of the biggest concerns for the Buckeyes and Coach Meyer and we will have to see if they can succeed against an experienced Badgers Secondary that is looking to further entrench themselves into the College Football Playoffs conversation.  The Buckeyes have a tall task on their hands because this Badger Defense has a ton of talent left over from the 59-0 shellacking that started the run to becoming the Inaugural College Football Playoff Champions.  Most Buckeye sites are claiming that a few still have that bad taste in their mouths and that they believe that it is their turn to embarrass the unbeaten Buckeyes squad that is young in just about every position on offense and on defense.  My biggest concern is that the Buckeyes aren’t an elite passing offense and that they will be one-dimensional.  The  Badgers will do their best to ensure this happens to increase their chances to secure a win, but we will see what Urban Meyer will do because he is a tactician during big games like this.  The Silver Bullets will be ready and luckily, they weren’t called out like the backup Oklahoma Quarterback did.  The bulletin board material was provided by former Badger Defensive Back Jim Leonhard.  He stated that the Buckeyes Receivers, namely Noah Brown “will not run away from you” and that no corner this season has “utlitlized the proper press technique” against him.  Basically saying that they run a “simple offense”.  I don’t know about you, but I see Coach Meyer mentioning this every chance he gets to J.T. Barrett and company.  I would like to see some offensive fireworks just like that BIG 10 Championship Game, but it is easier said than done and we will just have to see it live this Saturday.

imagesWisconsin is coming off a bye week and they had two weeks to prepare for the visiting Buckeyes.  They suffered their first loss of the season to TTUN in what was a hard-hitting affair with TTUN outlasting the Badgers 14-7.  The revamped Badgers Defense looks like a stiff test for the Buckeyes and the crowd will look to get their team into the swing of things.  Their offense looked bleh against TTUN, but that might not be the case against the Buckeyes.  The Buckeyes play similar to TTUN’s Defense and they could go player for player, at just about every position because both teams recruit well enough to stay dominant.  The Quarterback position is the key part and we will have to see if he can withstand the pressure from the Buckeyes Defense, the Silver Bullets.  The pressure will surely be turned up because the starter looked uncomfortable for the majority of the game against our Arch Rival.  The strength of this Badger team is with their Defense.  They match up similarly with the Silver Bullets, but with one major difference, Wisconsin is tied for 22nd in total sacks with 15 total and they average 3 per game.  The Buckeyes Defense leads in Defensive Scores, Interceptions and Turnovers Forced. The Art of Defenses.  This will be a test for both teams and the chip on the remaining BIG 10 Championship Game players shoulders will play an integral role during this game because it is the first time in two years since that beat down and they will look to return the favor.

Prediction:  

One more stiff road test equipped with another hostile crowd and bulletin board material for this resilient Buckeyes team.  This will not be a cakewalk by any means, but the Buckeyes and the Badgers need a win to stay in Playoff contention.  This will be the Buckeyes first Top-10 battle and this is the Badgers’ third.  The Badgers are 1-1 with a win against LSU and a loss to TTUN.  This game is valuable to both teams, but I predict that this game will be another hard-hitting clash between two BIG 10 powerhouses. Both defenses are stout and they will both come out with a vengeance.  The offenses will be in the ground and pound variety and I think that it will be close for the entirety of the contest.  The chess match will be filled with bold moves that will occur throughout the contest until Ohio State makes the key plays to secure the win. J.T. Barrett will lead the Buckeyes toward victory 42-35.

J.T. Barrett:  279 passing yards, 3 touchdowns, and 100 yards rushing, 1 touchdown

Mike Weber:  126 yards rushing, 1 touchdown

Curtis Samuel:  170 all-purpose yards, 1 receiving touchdown, 1 rushing touchdown

Dontre Wilson:  47 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown

Noah Brown:  136 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown

Silver Bullets:  4 sacks, 2 interceptions, 2 forced fumbles/recoveries

They will come out with their heads on fire and they will double their game average for sacks (2.2).  They will add 4 more turnovers to their quest for best defense with 2 interceptions and fumbles recovered, but they will fail to add another defensive score.

Final:  42-21

Recruiting Tidbit:  Buckeye Running Back Antonio Williams is a wanted man in Madison.  Partly because he was once a prized commit for the Badgers and that he spoke up against the future of the team when Joel Stave was the starting Quarterback.  If Williams sees the field, there are a few Badgers that would love to hit him.

Preview: Rutgers vs Ohio State

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This weekend will mark the first time the Buckeyes Head Coach Urban Meyer goes toe to toe with one of his former coaches, Chris Ash who was the Buckeyes Co-Defensive Coordinator/Secondary Coach for the last two seasons.  Ash took a Head Coaching job within the BIG 10 and he is the newly minted coach at Rutgers.  This will be one of those games that could get out of hand quickly, but I look for Urban Meyer to show “some” mercy for his first clash or encounter with a former member of the Urban Meyer coaching tree.

ash1Chris Ash spent two years at Ohio State coaching up the Defensive Backs.  During his tenure, he helped develop players such as Doran Grant, Eli Apple, Tyvis Powell and Vonn Bell.  He helped secure the commitments of some notable players like current players, Defensive End Jashon Cornell, Running Back Antonio Williams and Wideout K.J. Hill.  He brought in Safeties Isaiah Pryor and Brendon White for the 2017 Class.  He has proven that he was one of Ohio State’s best recruiters during his tenure and now that he is the head man at Rutgers, it is just a waiting game until he can stop the TTUN’s pipeline in the talent-rich state of New Jersey.  You can expect to see a lot of rugby-style tackles from the Scarlet Knights’ defense.  A lot of man to man defense.  A lot of press coverage.  I am not going to discredit Ash’s ability to turn a team around and I don’t plan on starting.

imgresWhat if I had told you that sure, we lost Chris Ash to Rutgers, but we gained a former Rutgers Head Coach of 11 years and a former Tampa Bay Buccaneers Head Coach in Greg Schiano?  Well, it happened as quickly as Ash left for the Rutgers job.  Greg Schiano basically built his career up from the dust during his tenure in Piscataway, New Jersey.  He wasn’t known for flashy offenses, but he had a reputation for coaching high-caliber, highly effective defenses.  He mirrors the defensive scheme that Coach Ash left behind.  They both play man coverage and place their corners on islands.  They both preach hard-nosed defense that covers opposing Wideouts for the duration of the play, so the front seven can put additional pressure on the Quarterback.  The only difference?  Coach Ash wanted to minimize big plays by shutting down the opposing offense, forcing punts.  Coach Schiano craves and wants takeaways.  Now seeing how Ohio State’s defense is leading the nation in takeaways and scoring defense, I think they responded accordingly without any dropoff in production.

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J.T. Barrett will go up against a Rutgers defense that is giving up  362 yards per game, 180 through the air and 181 on the ground.  J.T. Barrett and his offense average about 545 yards in total offense, 239 through the air and 306 on the ground.  That is well over the averages that the Rutgers have been giving up after three weeks into the young College Football Season.  Barrett is completing 67% of his passes, averaging 8.90 yards per attempt. He has 650 passing yards with 10 touchdowns against one  interception.  Barrett, being the Dual-Threat that he is, has 159 rushing yards for three scores.  The Slobs are also gelling together and they have given up two sacks in the season.  The Slobs are young, but minus the penalties, they will grow into their roles as the season advances.  They will be prepared to grind out the meaty, more difficult portion of their schedule during the last half of the season.

Chirs Laviano will be the starting Quarterback, opposite of Barrettchris-laviano-2. He has an almost identical numbers compared to Barrett.  He has 647 passing yards with 5 touchdowns against two interceptions. The only difference is Laviano isn’t a Dual-Threat Quarterback. Laviano comes into the game with a 52% completion rating which isn’t good by any Head Coaches standards.  Add that to the fact that he has been sacked 8 times, let’s just say that he might not like what the Silver Bullets have in store for him once he visits during Homecoming.  He will look to take care of the ball and feed Robert Martin the rock to soften up the Buckeye Defense.  It is easier said than done, but you never know in College Football.  Things don’t always go according to plan and they MIGHT come in with a massive chip on their shoulders after they opened up as 38 point underdogs to start the new week.

imgres-2The “Basic” Defense comes into the game after a convincing and satisfying win in Norman against a Sooners team that began the season as the #3 team in the nation.  The Silver Bullets are back and they are feeding off of the mindset of Greg Schiano.  They are looking for the takeaways and they sit at +11 and the #1 in the Nation In Takeaways.  They will be going against a Rutgers offense that has struggled, so the results will vary, but I am feeling like since it is Homecoming at Ohio State, all bets are off.  The Silver Bullets will look to put the pressure on early and often, forcing Laviano and his offense to struggle mightily.  With no dependable Offensive Lineman on the roster, the Scarlet Knights might endure another long game.  For what it’s worth, the Buckeyes are giving up 278 yards per game, 176 through the air and 102 on the ground so we will see if the Rutgers can get something going against a stout and loaded Ohio State Defense.

julian-pinnix-odrickThe Rutgers Defense is the polar opposite of the Ohio State Defense.  They were lit up at Washington to open up the season and they currently are sitting at 2-2 coming into the game.  The defense surrendered a total of 42 points combined to Howard University and New Mexico which doesn’t bode well for the Scarlet Knights because Ohio State is averaging 56.7 points per game through 3 games.  They have a few sacks and interceptions, but they came during garbage time and against sub-par teams. The Rutgers will be tested early and often.  I expect J.T. Barrett and company to run in down their throats until they find passing lanes, then before you know it the Buckeye reserves will gain some valuable playing after the game gets out of hand.

Prediction:

J.T. Barrett:  245 yards with 3 touchdowns, 7 rushes for 1 touchdown

Mike Weber:  104 yards with 1 touchdown

Curtis Samuel:  120 yards receiving with 1 touchdown, 10 rushes for 70 yards and 1 touchdown

Noah Brown:  4 catches for 62 yards and 2 touchdowns

Buckeyes Defense:  4 QB Sacks, 1 Forced Fumble, 2 Interceptions with 1 going for six

Although this will be a game early, the Buckeyes will blow the doors off and at least approach their season average for points per game.  J.T. Barrett lights up the Rutgers Secondary, Mike Weber grinds out the clock and gets his second score of the season, Curtis Samuel acts as the Swiss Army Knife once again and Noah Brown puts another helpless Defensive Back on a poster.  The Silver Bullets swarm and engulf Laviano forcing pressure from start to beginning.  Forcing him to make costly turnovers early and often.  The Defensive Unit surrendered two offensive touchdowns last week to the Sooners and they will be looking for redemption against the Rutgers.  The Rutgers line flounders once again and Baby Bosa garners another sack to make big brother proud.  The knockout blow will be a near deathblow and let’s just say Coach Meyer’s Special Teams Unit makes a play this week.  I don’t know who it’ll be, but I am calling for a blocked kick or punt or even a kickoff or punt return.  Maybe I am expecting too much, but it has been a while.

Final:  Ohio State over Rutgers 55-12

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Recruiting Tidbit:

Mr. Ohio State Danny Clark has just decommitted from the Buckeyes after finally accepting the fact that he was no longer the future at Ohio State.  Clark had been committed for quite some time and it is truly sad to see him go, but I wish him luck with whichever team he chooses to play for.  Crystal Balls have been in Kentucky’s favor, but we will see.  I wouldn’t be surprised if he ended up in the BIG 10..  Maybe playing for Coach Ash in Piscataway.  That would be crazy, but for now he will re-open it up.  His spot is now up for grabs and there are still a lot of fish in the recruiting ocean for Ohio State to catch.  Maybe Ohio State uses it to add another Playmaking Wideout or another Linebacker or Defensive Lineman.  Who knows and the recruiting world is unpredictable.  It is another interesting thing to follow as the path to National Signing Day appraoches.

 

Game Recap: The Ohio State Buckeyes vs The Oklahoma Sooners

 

 

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Revenge is a dish best served cold.  Coming into the game the Buckeyes lack of experience was the biggest question mark, but most  if not all questions were answered after a 42-21 throttling from Ohio State.  J.T. Barrett and company showed up and did their part for the majority of the game.  The biggest slight came from a Backup Quarterback Kendall Austin, who was once a Buckeye target, who stated that the Buckeye defense played a “basic” defense and that Baker Mayfield would light them up.  He even had the audacity to say that if he had the chance, he would likely do the same.  I guess you should “say less” as most Buckeye defenders had stated.  I hoped that you had the opportunity to showcase your skills against our “basic” defense, but you never got the opportunity.  Even if you did, Raekwon McMillan and the Silver Bullets would’ve feasted on your soul and in the land of the wolves, you cannot stop the pack.

imgres Zone 6 member Noah Brown torched every Defensive Back that attempted to cover him en route to his stellar performance. Brown, who returned after suffering a severe leg injury, came back with authority.  Brown was always a good player, but tonight he took a step toward greatness as he caught 5 passes for 72 yards and 4 highlight reel touchdowns.  He looked unstoppable.  He caught passes over helpless Defensive Backs and around them too.  Literally!  He was destroying the opposing defenders and although he only caught 5 passes, the damage had been done and you could see the dejection in their eyes. The crowd that was once filled with energy lacked the spark that made their home field one of the most intimidating and nasty road environments.

CSThe crowd noise died as J.T. Barrett hit them with the silencer, the hammer to silence their critics.  Curtis Samuel had another good showing.  He racked up 118 offensive yards and a touchdown on a 36-yard scamper on 4th and 1.  That was a bold move that swung the momentum in the Buckeyes favor.  The Buckeyes ground game wore the Sooner defense down as they were pushed around for most of the game, but they would occasionally make a play to halt the Buckeyes offensive attack.  Mike Weber churned out another 100-yard performance rushing for 123 rushing yards.  The Buckeyes were moving the ball at will, but the Sooner defense stood their ground and forced the punt.
iThe Sooner got the ball back and attempted to convert on 4th and 3, but the “basic” defense stiffened up and forced another turnover to take the 14-0 lead courtesy of Jerome Baker who filled in for banged-up Dante Booker.  It is getting fun seeing what forgotten recruit steps up and makes an impact whenever their number is called.  The Buckeye defense lost their most experienced player in Gareon Conley, but his replacement Redshirt Freshman Damon Arnette filled in just fine.  Like I had previously stated, the Buckeyes are deep at just about every position, on both sides of the ball.  The talent is definitely in place and the future looks brighter and brighter as the season goes on as the Buckeyes added two additional forced turnovers for the season, which now stands at +9 and they have gathered their 4th pick-6 of the year.  They held Oklahoma to just 226 yards passing and 178 yards on the ground which is below their average after two games.  “Basic” stuff.

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The first true road test for the young Buckeyes had gone as quickly as it gone and Buckeye Nation is happily sipping their tea.  This comes as a pleasant surprise as I thought it would be much closer than it ended up becoming and for that, I am thankful.  I am glad that the Buckeyes used their visit to Norman as an audition for the College Football Playoff Committee and upstaged and outright embarrassed the home team on their own turf.  I would recommend not throwing stones from your glass house at a sleeping giant.  I hope the Playoff Committee was paying attention because these Buckeyes are the real deal.  They are building great recruiting classes to make up for the players that will leave or that are bound to leave.  Speaking of recruiting #1 Safety Jeffrey Okudah was on deck for an official visit, but he used it to preview both teams and how they run their defenses.  I think it is another resounding win as the defense stifled Oklahoma throughout the game.  Sure the Sooner scored two offensive scores, but the game was already in hand.  Okudah will likely announce around signing day, but I think the Buckeyes helped their cause.

 

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Preview: Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Oklahoma Sooners

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After two weeks of games in the books by both teams, their highly anticipated matchup with enormous College Football Playoff implications, is upon us.  Ohio State and Oklahoma were voted as two of top Blueblood programs in college football.  Both considered as college football royalty and both programs have illustrious and storied histories filled with Hall of Fame coaches, elite players and multiple championships between the two programs.  Both coaches will looks to add to their legacy and they will go out there to secure a win at any cost.  This is an exciting, yet scary matchup for either team considering the circumstances in which both teams are in.  This game will also have a recruiting flare to it because the Buckeyes and the Sooners are vying for the same prospects on the recruiting trail.  This is a high stakes, high pressure game and I am predicting an unforgettable atmosphere for the fans and the players on both sides of the spectrum.

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Ohio State Buckeyes:

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The Buckeyes enter the competition with Oklahoma 2-0 and are looking for another win to solidify their CFB Playoffs resume.  Ohio State returned J.T. Barrett, Pat Elflein and Billy Price from last years team.  They are breaking in three new Offensive Lineman and sometimes their youth and inexperience show along the perimeter.  Couple that with a true freshman Guard in Michael Jordan (not his airness), it will take some time to get use to Barrett and the way he surgically operates the offensive juggernaut that Ohio State possesses.  The lone question I have is can the younger members of the Buckeyes O-Line block the talent of the Sooner defense?  Are they ready for the bright lights and the bump up in talent level?  The Buckeyes are also attempting to find a suitable replacement for now Dallas Cowboy, Ezekiel Elliot in the offensive backfield along with a host of new offensive toys at receiver.  Mike Weber is the new Cadillac Back at Ohio State and after his first two games, most Buckeyes fans cannot help but feel the excitement because he has the potential to be great.  That and with the emergence of Curtis Samuel and Dontre Wilson, the future looks bright as the depth at receiver is something that a hardcore College Football fan cannot deny.  They have reserves that can start at other schools.  Division I schools.  That says a lot and as players are recruited, sure they wait, but they are developed under the close and watchful eyes of the coach staff so their dreams could be realized once they receive their shot.

CS 4Case and point, Dontre Wilson.  He sat behind Braxton “B Button” Miller and was in and out with injury and once he was healthy enough to contribute he hasn’t looked back.  He even performed the patented Buckeye Spin last week against Tulsa.  It shows that the coaches can develop the talent into games and into men.  Even if they want it to happen as soon as they arrive on campus, they need the patience to develop and follow the plan laid out in front of them by their position coaches and often times with help from their parents who have bought-in to the program and to the coaches that represent the university.  Barrett and his array of weapons have amassed 1759 total yards on offense and Barrett accounts for 498 of those yards through the air for six touchdowns and 85 of those yards for 3 total rushes for six.  Samuel isn’t too far behind with 162 yards and a touchdown on the ground and 14 receptions for 239 yards and 2 touchdowns through the air.  Weber pitches in with 36 carries for 228 yards and a touchdown and Wilson went for 66 yards on the ground with a touchdown and 75 yards through the air and 2 touchdowns.  Needless to say, the Buckeyes have a potent offense that could explode at a moments notice.  Just give them the opportunity and the talent on the depth chart will show no matter who is placed in the game.  Like I had mentioned, there is talent at the top and bottom of the offensive two deep and it is just about patience and opportunity.  The next man up mentality reigns supreme in the land of wolves.  With 21 offensive scores in the books, can the high-octane offensive attack keep up their end of the bargain against a tough Sooners defense?

z-osu-d2Ohio State began the season against the Bowling Green Falcons and the Tusla Golden Hurricanes, only returning 3 starters on defense, Middle Linebacker Raekwon McMillan, Defensive End Tyquan Lewis and Cornerback Gareon Conley.  Although they aren’t the big name programs, they both pack experienced and potent offenses that can put points on the scoreboard and do it quickly.  There had been a lot of speculation on how Coach Meyer and his staff would adapt and overcome the mass NFL Draft exodus that occurred after the 2015 season.  With multiple vacated spots on both sides of the ball many discounted Coach Meyers ability to reload stating that the inexperience would cost them greatly.  So far through two games against potent offenses, the young Buckeyes defense proved that they have the talent and depth to succeed.  Sure, it was against Bowling Green and Tulsa, but last season they racked up the points and yardage and finished the season ranked 6th and 21st in the nation in scoring offense and 4th and 13th in total offense a season ago.  The talent between last seasons team and this years is not as dire as most would expect it to be.  The talent that they lost is irreplaceable, but Coach Meyer and company always seem to get the utmost best from their players who are patiently waiting in the wings for their opportunity.  Getting younger isn’t always a bad thing because you will watch them develop, but at Ohio State, if you can play and you show the willingness and determination, you will play for the Scarlet and Gray.

z-osu-mlbThe defense is young and inexperienced, but they have only allowed 1068 total yards in two games.  Sure those aren’t good numbers, but I feel that they will improve upon as the season goes on as they learn to play with each other.   They have held the previous two opponents to a 21.9% 3rd down conversion rate and have only allowed 2 field goals on offense.  They have held opposing signal-callers to a 47.4% completion rating without surrendering a score to the opposing offense.    The run stopping ability shows as the Buckeyes opponents are averaging 2 yards per rushing attempt and a total of 65 yards rushing per game.  The lone touchdown was a pick-six on an errant pass from J.T. Barrett.  The Buckeyes boast a stifling defense that has allowed 216 yards per game and has taken the ball away a total of 9 times and is +7 in turnovers this season.  They gathered 7 interceptions, 3 for scores, forced and recovered 2 fumbles to go along with their 4 sacks.  The Silver Bullets allowed 151 yards through the air and 65 through the ground as they looks ahead to their showdown against the Sooners and their high octane offense.  Safety Malik Hooker, who attempted to leave the program due to insufficient playing time is the newly minted playmaker on defense registering 3 interceptions, one of which was for a score.  Oft-injured Cornerback Marshon Lattimore made the most of his opportunity against Tulsa when he picked Senior Quarterback Dane Evans off twice, one of which went for a touchdown.  Lattimore was hurt for the majority of his Buckeye career and at full health, he showed the coaches that he can be that playmaker that he once was in high school.  Gareon Conley also pitched in with a pick, ripping the ball away from an unsuspecting receiver.  True Freshman Rodjay Burns also made an impact when he took a Bowling Green pass 75 yards back to the house for a score.  Playmakers exist on every level and although they have a lot of new starters, Raekwon McMillan is there to ensure that the new Bullets are up to speed and up to standard.

Oklahoma Sooners:

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The Sooners come into the game 1-1, with their lone loss coming courtesy of former Urban Meyer Offensive Coordinator, Tom Herman and his Houston Cougars.  The Sooners opened the season up as the #3 ranked team and they lost in heartbreaking fashion during the home opener.  They followed up their poor showing with a offensive onslaught on the visiting UL Monroe Warhawks and rebounded with a resounding 59-17 victory to prepare for Ohio State when they come into Norman.  Like all true away games, I fully expect some form of shenanigans from the Sooner faithful and from what I had heard, it will be a Stripped Out Crowd.  I don’t know the exact details, but to each their own I guess.  The Sooners have tallied up 1708 total yards on offense, 160 total yards less than the Buckeyes.  Oklahoma scored 7 touchdowns through the air and 4 on the ground.  Baker Mayfield leads the offense accompanied by his version of smash and dash, Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon.  The account for a combined total of 956 yards and 8 touchdowns of the 1033 and 18 offensive scores.  That is a ton of points and yardage.  The Sooners also have the ability to spread defenses with their spread attack.  They have a big bodies, deep threat in Mark Andrews who stands at 6-5, 250 lbs and at one time while he was in high school, he had high interest in Ohio State prior to committing to the Sooners.  Fate has brought both of these teams together for a showdown of the victor and the loser on the recruiting trial.  Andrews caught 5 passes for 157 yards and 3 scores.  Dede Westbrook is another stellar talent and he has caught 12 passes for 103 yards.  Nick Basquine is also capable of scoring, catching 3 passes for 80 yards and a score.  The only thing in question for the Sooners is can their young Offensive Line keep Baker Mayfield upright?  The Sooner O-Line has given up 8 sacks for -38 yards in two games and with the Ohio State defense that thrives in pressuring the Quarterback, we will just have to see if they can gameplan for the constant pressure that Ohio State is known for.  Oklahoma definitely has weapons and this game will be the true test for Ohio State’s young defense.

z-ou-dOn defense, the Sooners have given up a total of 1651 yards to opposing offenses.  They have held opponents to a 59.7% completion rating and a 2.4 average on the ground.  The Sooners are -1 in the turnover difference with zero interceptions and 2 recovered fumbles.  The Sooners have given up 25 points per game and are looking to right the ship against a dual-threat Quarterback in J.T. Barrett.  Oklahoma has only managed to sack opposing signal-callers four times and that is just as much as the Buckeyes have gotten to the Quarterback, so it evens out in the end.  On third down the Sooners are giving up the conversion 47.8% of the time, which isn’t too shabby.  They have returned few starters after the loss of Eric Striker and they are just as young and inexperienced as the Buckeyes.  Linebacker Jordan Evans, Hybrid Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, Defensive Backs William Johnson and Ahmad Thomas will be leading the charge racking up 50 tackles, 2 sacks and a fumble recovery between the four of them.  Another recruit that was won over by the Sooners is Ricky DeBerry, one of the few recruits that got away from the Buckeyes.  Who will end up making the key stop, the momentum swinging play?  Who steps up to stop the Ohio State offensive attack?  This is as high stakes as you could get and the game is going to be electric.  With the home field advantage, the Sooners defense looks to salvage their season by upsetting the 3rd ranked Buckeyes in from of their home crowd.

Prediction:

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I am truly torn.  I am a homer and I would love Ohio State to beat the snot out of the Sooners, but this feels like an ambush waiting to happen.  I am a humble fan and I want to remain objective and non-biased so I am predicting a close game throughout.  The Quarterback duel will be epic.  J.T. Barrett will dice up the shaky secondary for 300+ yards and 2 scores finding Samuel and Wilson for scores, but Baker Mayfield will match and exceed the passing total with 340 and match him with 2 scores of his own.  Barrett will give the defense fits with the read option burning them for 100 yards and a score.  Mike Weber will eat yardage early and often as he looks to soften up the defense and set them up for a play action deep pass.  Weber will churn out another 100 yard performance with a touchdown.  The Mixon/Perine combination will succeed in the beginning against the Buckeyes and gouge the defense for huge chunks of yardage.  They will combine for 125 yards and 1 scores.  Samuel and Wilson will find ways to make plays and they will combine for 150 yards.  A newcomer will reveal himself to the nation, I am not sure who it will be, but he is coming.  Andrews will be blanketed the entire game but he will overpower the younger DB’s but won’t score.  That will leave opportunities for Basquine and Westbrook to score with one of them finding the endzone for a score.  The Buckeye defense will seal the win with a pick-six or a key stop to end the game.  Hooker will get a pick and the defense will sack Mayfield twice.  The Oklahoma defense picks Barrett off twice and sacks him once.  This will be a good ole’ barnburner (WWE’s J.T. voice), but the suspense will be consistent throughout.   The crowd noise will be a factor early forcing the younger players into false starts, but they will get through it as the game goes on.

Final:  35-28 Ohio State

 

 

 

 

The Dream 17: Urban Meyer’s Stranglehold on the Recruiting Game Part III and IV

URBANSTHE DREAM 17:  Urban Meyer’s Stranglehold on the Recruiting Game, Part III and IV

The Buckeyes are just a mere two weeks away from their first game of the season against the Bowling Green Falcons and although they are currently in constant pursuit of the edge, recruiting will never truly become an afterthought because of all the potential playmakers the Buckeyes have set their sights on.  We cannot just focus solely on the players that they are targeting and a lot of recruiting comes from maintaining a constant level of communication between the coaching staff and the players that have been committed for a long duration of time.  Memories of Bruce Judson should be the most fresh in all of our minds, but the train moves on.  Maintaining the relationships is important and although the staff is flexing their recruiting muscles for the whole nation to see, you could never fully keep the Ohio State staff away and with just 16 players committed out of potentially 20 or 21, I believe that the Buckeyes are just padding their stats and re-loaded at an unprecedented level that is adding toward their momentum.

MORETTI

JAKE MORETTI:

Jake is a mammoth Offensive Tackle at 6-5, 285 lbs.  He was highly regarded and a key piece to Coach Meyer’s Offensive Line, but he suffered a torn ACL at a Buckeyes Camp and has been shelved temporarily.  While still  being in the Buckeyes plans, Moretti is planning to enroll early so that he can get a head start on getting his mind, body and spirit right for his journey as a Buckeye.  He is an elite tackle prospect and although he is shelved, he still garners the respect by being in the Top 100 player in the nation.  Sure we won’t see him in action because he is unable to, but Coach Meyer and company know exactly how to revive a players career and get the utmost best out of them.

WHITEBRENDON WHITE:

Brendon White is the #2 rated Athlete in the nation due to his ability to make a play on both sides of the ball.  Just like Urban Meyer does, he stockpiles players that fit the mold of a multipurpose playmaker, who could impact either side of the ball game.  White is 6-1.5 and is a stout 200 lbs.  He can play Wide Receiver and Safety and until he makes it through the strength and conditioning program, we will just have to see.  Coach Meyer and his crew develop their players into more than the recruiting sites thought they would be and it’ll be fun to see if he can develop into a Darron Lee on defense or a lethal offensive weapon like Curtis Samuel.  We can only hope, but he provides a sure set of hands and the ability to catch on unsuspecting defenders and he could lay opposing players as a hard hitting, run stuffing safety.  Ah, hybrid players are indeed the best!

RIEPAMIR RIEP:

Amir Riep feels like one of those impact players to be and I am excited for his development as well as the rest of the current Buckeyes and the Buckeyes to be, but there is something about Riep and his rise after good showings at showcase events.  Ohio State received a commitment from a 5-11, 185 lb player who is projected to play cornerback.  Now, I don’t mean to rub it in or anything, but Ohio State has produced a pretty good amount of NFL caliber DB’s so…  You know where I am going with this.  Riep has that fluidity in his hips that will help him smother opposing players and Coach Meyer got a good one who has the potential to be great.  Ever since he blew up on the recruiting trail, the Buckeyes have their man and successfully fended away those pesky Spartans.  This was well worth the wait and we will see how Coach Coombs develops him.

WILLIAMSONMARCUS WILLIAMSON:

Do you notice a trend yet?  Defensive Backs just want to be coached up at Ohio State and the rich get richer!  Marcus Williamson was one of the first few to commit and he has helped the Buckeyes on and off with recruiting while at the IMG Academy, a Buckeye pipeline located in Florida.  Projected at Cornerback, at 5-9, 180 lbs he is a bit undersized, but the talent pretty much speaks for itself.  He may be a work in progress, but the talent is there and it is up the coaching staff to develop him into a NFL Cornerback.  Being undersized isn’t that bad either, Damon Webb is around the same height and weight and look at him after the strength and conditioning program.  Webb is also in the midst of earning some playing time as well so there is nothing remotely wrong with his measurable statistics.  He brings speed and the mirroring ability that Riep brings and he will be another player to watch.

CAGEJERRON CAGE:

Does the last name ring a bell?  His older brother was high on the Buckeyes list in 2014 before he decided to play for the Fighting Irish.  Although he plays the same position as his brother at Defensive Tackle, the younger Cage sits at 6-1.5, 275 lbs and is in fact smaller than his older brother during their Senior years, but John Simon wasn’t a huge guy and that did not stop him from wreaking havoc all around the Defensive Line.  Cage has a quick first step and he can occupy space and make space for Linebackers to get to the Quarterback.  He also has a few nifty go to moves in which he will develop under the tutelage of Coach Johnson and Coach Fickell.  He will be a key cog and will be utilized if he can turn some heads when he arrives on campus and Ohio State needs depth along the D-Line anyway and that is why Cage will be one out of potentially three Interior Defensive Linemen that the Buckeyes will take this cycle.

SIMMONSANTJUAN SIMMONS:

Antjuan Simmons is a blessing in disguise for the Buckeyes.  He comes from That State Up North and right in That Team Up North’s back yard.  Literally!  That is what makes this recruiting victory so sweet.  Living in that territory can be rough, but he will be in good hands with Coach Meyer and company and I look for him to continue the tradition of Linebacker U while at Ohio State.  As the only Linebacker commit, he will be looked at to replace Raekwon McMillan on the interior or Chris Worley or Dante Booker on the outside, but at 6-1, 215 lbs he looks like a rock solid addition to the proud tradition.  Although ranked as the 289th overall player nationally, he will contribute as soon as that black stripe comes off and he looks like a monster.  With Ohio State chasing other Linebackers to come join Simmons, we can only wait and see, but it is so exciting to see playmakers come in droves to want to play for the Buckeyes.

CLARKDANNY CLARK:

Mr. Buckeye, the Prototype himself Danny Clark is Quarterback commit #2 and he isn’t backing down from competition after the commitment of fellow Quarterback prospect, Tate Martell.  I like his tenacity during Friday Night Lights as he competed fiercely the entire night.  I think it is safe to safe, barring any last-minute flips that the Quarterback position is one of the many deep position groups that the Buckeyes have.  Clark will add to the depth and he will looks to surprise some people.  At 6-5, 223 lbs, he is a Pro Style Quarterback, opposite of Martell who is the top Dual Threat Quarterback prospect.  Clark is quick on his feet, but he can throw the ball with velocity and accuracy.  Most of his passes were on the money and he will look to compete at Ohio State with one of the most crowded groups or units.  With time, I think he will develop and potentially become the Cardale Jones or the Kenny Guiton of the team and be that leader from the bench or the one who saves the day after numerous, unplanned injuries.  We will see and I for one am hoping that he stays on board.

HAUBEILBLAKE HAUBEIL:

You know how Coach Meyer loves his Special Teams?  Yeah, he used one of the spots in this years class for a Special Teamer who so happens to be the #1 Kicker in the nation.  It is some serious business and we need it.  Sean Nuernberger is in his Junior season and we need a player to fill in once he departs and it so happens to be Haubeil, at 6-3, 200 lbs.   He is willing to pay for the first semester at Ohio State to add a scholarship to add a key player so he may forgo the grayshirt and just pay until his scholarship is guaranteed.  I love this kid already.  A truly selfless act and he should be a good player in the future.  He has a leg that is capable of routinely nailing 30-45 yarders and who knows, he may be able to hit from downtown too.  All we have to do is wait and see, but I am confident that he will be game ready when the time comes.

fall is herefallfall is coming

GO BUCKS !!!

The Dream 17: Urban Meyer’s Stranglehold on the Recruiting Game Part II

UrbsAnother week closer to the College Football season and Coach Urban Meyer and his band of merry men have been taking the recruiting world by storm.  Their status, whether committed or uncommitted–THEY WILL FIND YOU!  Coach Meyer and his coaches have been building a perennial juggernaut and this class is just the start of the warpath that they have been committed to for the duration of Meyer’s tenure at Ohio State.  It seem as if though there aren’t any boundaries, no limit to this coaching staff’s reach.  They can pull from just about any part of the country for either top tier talents or the Darron Lee’s and Ezekiel Elliott’s of the recruiting world.  You flatly just never know until they immerse themselves and adopt the culture that is in place at Ohio State.  Here is another installment of The Dream 17.  Enjoy!

J.K. Dobbins:

Dobbins

J.K. Dobbins is one of those running backs that remind you of the great ones.  The Zeke’s, the El Guapo’s the Beanie’s and the Boom’s that hold a special place in all Buckeyes fans hearts.  He is the reigning Sparq rating champion and he looks to play the part on when he gets an opportunity to show out in the Scarlet and Gray.  Dobbins hails from La Grange, Texas and stand at a solid 5-9.5, 199 lbs.  Once he enrolls and goes through the rigors of Coach Marotti’s strength and conditioning program, I fully expect him to grow into his frame and pack on a ton of muscle.  He has made some noise about the potential for fellow running back Cam Akers joining him at Ohio State and if Buckeye recruiting vets have been paying attention, it eerily similar to the Four Star, 12th overall Running Back Ezekiel Elliott or Five Star 4th overall Running Back Derrick Green.  Hope that it does not come to that because this kid is going to be a beast for years to come.  He can do it all, just like Zeke so hopefully, he sticks with the Buckeyes regardless of the persistent chatter that he may eventually flip because the depth at running back took a huge hit with the dismissal of Brionte’ Dunn this off-season.  Tote Nation needs you J.K., with or without Cam.

Isaiah Pryor:

Pryor

I don’t care what you say but Ohio State can be called and considered as DBU.  With Buckeye greats ranging from the various era’s, Arnie Chonko, Neal Colzie, Tim Fox, Ray Griffin, Mike Sensibaugh, Shawn Springs, Antoine Winfield, Jack Tatum, Chris Gamble, Malcolm Jenkins, Kurt Coleman, and more recently Vonn Bell and Eli Apple who both left early for the NFL.  Pryor look to continue to uphold the legacy of all the Buckeye greats.  He comes from the IMG Academy and stands at 6-1.5, 195 lbs.  He is a rangy prospect and he is versatile enough to play both cornerback and either safety spot.  He can wreak havoc against the run, being able to shed blocks while still being able to play in coverage.  The sky is the limit with Pryor and seeing that he has been on board for a while now, I feel that he is securely in the plans for the Buckeyes future.  He is talented and is an able learner.  He will take guidance from Coach Schiano upon his arrival.  He will look to secure playing time and he will surely try to vie for time against oft-injured upperclassmen that have been in the program longer.  You never know during the offseason, so it will be an exciting time to see who the next great Buckeye Defensive Back will be or if we will have multiple emerge.

Tate Martell:

Martell

The rich get richer and with Ohio State, they have lost both Braxton Miller and Cardale Jones to the draft and with J.T. Barrett returning along with Stephen Collier (out for season with torn ACL), Joey Burrow, Quarterback turned Wide Receiver Torrance Gibson and incoming Freshman Dwayne Haskins, the Buckeyes add two more, if they stay and one of them is Tate Martell out of Las Vegas, Nevada.  Yes, rumors per another recruit state that one of the two will not be a part of the Dream 17, but until something is confirmed, it is all heresy.  Martell is 5-10.5, 203 lbs and he is often compared to Johnny Manziel, which is flattering when comparing playing styles, but hopefully he hates to party.  Martell is the #1 Dual-Threat Quarterback and if he lives up to the hype, he could be the next Troy Smith.  He is just as accurate while passing the rock as he is when he is making a mad dash for the first down or for the touchdown.  He looks to be a key piece of this class and if Ohio State needed it, he can also recruit.  While at The Opening he was seen regularly with top-tier prospects attempting to get them to join him in this class.  Two of those targets make their decisions at the end of the month and he is not going to stop until the Buckeyes secure the top class for this one and for years to come.

Haskell Garrett:

Garrett

Haskell Garrett is another mammoth, with huge potential and upside that the Buckeyes have plucked away from the West Coast.  Garrett hails from Las Vegas, Nevada and is teammates with Tate Martell.  Garrett is 6-2, 298 and looks like the part and oh, he plays like his head is on fire.  At The Opening, he wrecked some of the top rated offensive linemen prospects and held his own for the duration of the drills.  With Coach Marotti’s program, he will turn into highly sought after high school prospect to the next Adolphus Washington, Michael Bennett or Jonathan Hankins that will wreak havoc for offensive lines in the BIG 10.  This kid is already a wrecking ball and with the correct guidance from Coach Fickell and Coach Johnson, he will develop like all the other prospects who committed and who had embraced the ways at Ohio State.  Look at Sam Hubbard and Tyquan Lewis.  They waited and look at them now.  They developed and forced their way into a starting position.  Garrett will do the same and who knows, he might beat out the upperclassmen placed above him.  He has the tools, the aggression and the potential to shoot up the depth chart.  He just has to work at it and he will be the next Buckeye great on the inside of the defensive line.

Urban

There is a lot to be excited about for this recruiting class and there is a potential for fireworks and possibly another huge run when landing additional prospect to seal the deal and ensure that the Buckeyes dethrone Alabama atop the recruiting ranks.  Although there is still a ton of time left, I will not let myself make hasty notions or statements prior to National Signing Day.  There can be twists and turns (Johnny Townsend, Carlton Davis) and until then, I will continue to dish out on the Dream 17 and beyond.  Hope you enjoyed!  Go Bucks!  O-H!