Let Me Fix Your Team: Florida

I look around college football and I see a lot of disgruntled fan bases. They aren’t happy with their team whether it’s the coaching, the play on the field, all of the losing or a combination of these three. When I see these problems I start to think of a solution for these teams, but I never put them on paper. But in you’re luck now downtrodden schools! Now I’ve decided to use my expertise to help you through your issues. With my help you’ll be a winner in no time. Just call me Doctor Josh.
After I successfully advised Illinois last week, I’ve decided to take on a bigger challenge this week. They just got embarrassed at home…

Patient: Florida Gators
Status: 3-3 (2-3 in the SEC)
Current Fan Base Mood: Cranky, on the verge of eating bath salts and tearing Will Muschamp’s face off. Also still blaming Urban Meyer for all of their problems.
Most Embarrassing Moment of the Season: Losing to Missouri at home during homecoming 42-13. Also the entire offense has been a dumpster fire.

Dr. Josh’s Advice: Well up until the Missouri game I thought head coach Will Muschamp was doing a fantastic job. They had big wins over Eastern Michigan and Kentucky. The Gators also only lost by three touchdowns to Alabama. That’s pretty impressive. Muschamp also led them to a Sugar Bowl a few years ago. In the SEC! I think they won that game, but I’m not quite sure.

But after that game against Missouri it became obvious it was time for the Muschamp era to sadly come to an end for Florida. So many great moments! I look forward to the day they build his statue outside the Swamp. What was sauce for the goose is now for the gander though. Or in this case the Illini. Now you don’t have to lure him away from Gainesville, Illinois!

After Florida fires Muschamp, I have some advice for you Gator fans. You need to make sure you go through each of the 12 steps in the grieving process. I know you’ll feel traumatized after this transpires and I just want you to know it’s not your fault. You tried to work out your differences with Muschamp, but you both wanted different things in life. He has a gypsy soul and likes to travel, while you’re more of homebody (which explains why Florida never leaves the state for non-conference games). Muschamp listens to Lady Gaga and you’re more of a Taylor Swift fan. This is completely normal. The main thing is you tried. Remember that there’s plenty of fish in the sea. Speaking of that…

Prescription: You need an offensive mastermind. A guy who can really light a fire under the program and get people talking. You need someone that’s brash, cocky and isn’t afraid of commitment. A real man’s man! That is why I highly recommend you hire Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin. First and foremost by hiring Kiffin you immediately bring swag to your program and you stick it to Nick Saban by hiring him away. Remember Kiffin also has head coaching experiencing in the SEC. His 7 wins that season are the most wins Tennessee has had in a season the last five years. He led them to their last bowl game too. Are you not impressed?

Kiffin

To top it all off, by hiring Kiffin that guarantees comedian Daniel Tosh will make jokes about your program. Remember we’re not laughing at you, but with you. I think Florida could use some humor right now. Kiffin is the total package and I don’t see another coach out there that fits the Florida mold as well as Kiffin. Congratulations Florida! You’re not only going to be a successful program again, but also the coolest in college football.

Another satisfied patient! You’re welcome Florida. What lucky team will I help next week? Stay tuned…

Q&A with an Opponents Blogger: Penn State

This week I had the freat pleasure of sitting down with Kevin Mcguire to discuss the Penn Sate/Ohio State match-up tomorrow. Kevin who was nice enough to join our podcast this week is a contributor to NBC College Football Talk and has a site no2minutewarning.com. You can also follow Kevin on twitter @KevinOnCFB and he is a worthwhile and good follow for college football fans. Without further ado onto the PSU/OSU discussion.

MotSaG: Penn State’s run defense is only giving up an average of 60.8 yards a game but have given up over 100 to Northwestern and Rutgers. Do you feel they can contain Ohio State’s rushing attack?

KM: It should go without saying that the strength of this Penn State team to this point in the season has been the defense as a whole, and it starts up front with what has been a decent defensive line. Can they contain Ohio State’s running game? Probably, at least for a while. I wouldn’t expect Ohio State to break many big plays on the ground, although I think the Buckeyes could be able to wear down Penn State’s defense over four quarters

MotSaG: Do the Nittany Lions have the talent and depth to contain or keep up with the Buckeyes explosive offense?

KM: Penn State probably has the talent to keep up at the skill positions, but the offensive line is quite another story. Penn State’s o-line has been a complete mess this season for a number of reasons, most notably the two years of recruiting sanctions against the program. Because the line has been an extreme work-in-progress, Christian Hackenberg has been forced to try and make some things happen when they just are not there, and the running game has lacked a chance to get on track. So because of that, Penn State’s offense will have a tough time going point-for-point with Ohio State, and it may be up to the defense to come up with some big plays, and perhaps even some points.

MotSaG: Who are the key players on Penn States defense Buckeye fans should be aware of?

KM: Pay attention to a couple of players up front on the defensive line. Deion Barnes at defensive end is a form Big Ten Freshman of the Year and right by his side is Anthony Zettel. Both have been playing well this season and Zettel has come up with a number of key plays in the backfield. It will be up to these two to bring pressure on Barrett and maybe disrupt the running game before it can get going, but they will be up against their stiffest test of the season against this Ohio State line.

MotSaG: With Penn State coming off a bye do you think an extra week of preparation would help PSU fix some of the major problems on their offensive line?

KM: Well, it certainly can’t hurt. Penn State has now had two bye weeks out of the last three, so you would hope the stability of the offensive line would be a major focus. I am sure it has been, but ultimately I just do not think enough work can be done with what is available to them. Fixing Penn State’s offensive line is going to have to come through recruiting with a full set of scholarships to offer. This is not a line that can be repaired with some duct tape. It needs a complete overhaul.

MotSaG: Word is offensive guard Miles Dieffenbach has been practicing any status on him playing Saturday and being able to help that line out?

KM: It does sound as though Dieffenbach is close to returning, and the way things have ben sounding I would not be shocked if he makes a return this weekend. He is supposed to be the veteran anchor of this young line, but he is still week-to-week as he recovers from an ACL injury in the spring. The bye weeks were supposed to be big for him, and perhaps that will be the case. If Penn State can get him on the field, expect them to do so, but not if it comes at a risk in losing him before he is physically and mentally ready for jumping right in against Ohio State

MotSaG: I know the sanctions really hurt Penn State’s depth, how big of a factor will that play in the game Saturday and possibly for rest of season and possibly getting bowl eligible?

KM: This season was supposed to be the toughest in terms of depth on this roster, and that is exactly how things are playing out. I don’t think that will change the rest of the way, and it will show in some games more than others. This game in particular is one that could turn ugly in the flash of an eye given the talent differential overall. The Michigan State game could as well, but the depth concerns may actually be put more to the test in games like Temple and Indiana. These are games Penn State will never lose when fully equipped, but could easily see slip away if not careful right now. I still think Penn State has enough to get two more wins the rest of the way, and those extra practices in the postseason could help in the long-term, but Penn State should probably feel fortunate to get to six or seven wins at this point

MotSaG: How nice is it to finally get the sanctions lifted and being allowed to be able to compete for a B1G Championship and Bowl games and get a full roster together?

KM: From a purely football perspective, it is fantastic. How can it not? Penn State went into the season with two years of a postseason ban and some scholarship restrictions still to play through, but early in the season the NCAA lifted those terms. This, in effect, gave the players and coaches something else to play for and that is great for them. In theory, the team can now compete for a Big Ten championship and make plans for a bowl trip. There is still work to do, of course, but being able to focus on something positive is a bit of fresh air for the program, its fans and alums. Moving forward, the program appears to be heading in a good direction and things will certainly get better on the field as long as James Franklin and his staff prove they can develop talent as well as they can generate excitement in recruiting.

I would have loved to see what Bill O’Brien would have done with a full recruiting class, but now that falls on Franklin and his crew.

MotSaG: What are Penn State’s fans biggest concerns for the game Saturday?

KM: I think most fans are probably realistic in expecting Penn State to lose this weekend, so I think the biggest fear would be getting tanks in front of the home crowd. Last year’s 63-14 loss showed how far away Penn State is from the top of the Big Ten, so there is a bit of pride on the line here as well. If Penn State is going to lose, keeping it at least somewhat respectable would at least be something moving forward. I know moral victories are for losers, but nobody wants to get blown out at home. The biggest fear may be seeing Hackenberg laying face first in the ground like the famous (infamous) image of Anthony Morelli against Michigan (Google it, you’ll find it).

MotSaG: Do you feel that the Paterno statue should be returned or should everyone just finally close the chapter and move on?

KM: I may be foolish in thinking there will be a time in the future when the statue is returned to sitting somewhere outside Beaver Stadium. While I think people should move on and no longer worry about something as trivial as a statue, I do believe there will come a time when we can reflect on everything Joe Paterno did for the university and football program and community and properly place his good deeds side-by-side with his shortcomings. I think a statue can help paint a full scope and offer a chance to reflect on both positive and negative, but the time is just not right at this moment and it may not be for quite a while.

MotSaG: Final prediction for the game?

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

What I am curious to see, for better or worse, is how Barrett handles this environment. As was suggested on your podcast, this should be different compared to playing at Navy or Maryland, but I think at this point he is as prepared as can be to handle it.

I agree with what Kevin is saying it will be interesting on seeing how Barrett and company will handle the environment seeing how this is going to be the loudest and craziest they have played in front of this season. I do however believe that Urban and company will have this team prepared for this and the Nittany Lions. They are on a historic run and J.T. has really grasped the offense well and has to many weapons for Penn State to handle in my opinion. Penn State’s depth is still a major concern and that’s a huge advantage for the Buckeyes hence the reason i said on the podcast I called for OSU to win 56-3.

Once again I would like to thank Kevin McGuire for his help this week and you should honestly check his stuff out, very knowledgeable on college football and informative. Have any questions? Feel free to drop me a line at AskMotSaG@gmail.com.

Predicting Every Single FBS College Football Game: Week Nine

I had a big bounce back with my picks this past weekend. And I finally got one of my big upset picks right. Thank you couch burning West Virginia Mountaineers! My record for week eight: 38-15 (71.69% of games predicted correctly). To see my picks for week eight, click here. My overall record for the season: 366-125. The MAC and Conference USA (not the ghost of the Big East, which is the American Conference) burned me the most in week eight. Really when it comes to picking the bottom conferences they all sort of blend together to me. Conference USA, the American Conference and the Sunbelt just need to form one mega conference so when I’m flipping through my Phil Steele magazine it’s easier to find the teams. Other than Marshall and East Carolina there isn’t any other teams that stand out this season. Northern Illinois is losing to MAC teams again, half of BYU is injured and Boise State has lost its blue magic. Thanks to conference realignment we’ve lost lovable underdogs in the non-power five to root for to disrupt the status quo. I’m blaming the SEC. Anyway let’s look at what we have in store in week nine…

(Note on Tuesday games: This post obviously comes out every Wednesday, therefore coming out after the Tuesday games. I will be posting the winner of the Tuesday games on my Twitter profile before those games so you can check my honesty. But I know you guys trust me.)

Tuesday Oct. 21
Arkansas State @ Louisiana-Lafayette – Pick: Arkansas State

Thursday Oct. 23
Connecticut @ #18 East Carolina – Pick: East Carolina
Miami (FL) @ Virginia Tech – Pick: Miami (FL)

Friday Oct. 24
South Florida @ Cincinnati – Pick: Cincinnati
Troy @ South Alabama – Pick: South Alabama
BYU @ Boise State – Pick: Boise State
#6 Oregon @ California – Pick: Oregon

Saturday Oct. 25
Texas @ #11 Kansas State – Pick: Kansas State
Rutgers @ #16 Nebraska – Pick: Nebraska
Minnesota @ Illinois – Pick: Minnesota
Maryland @ Wisconsin – Pick: Wisconsin
#4 Alabama @ Tennessee – Pick: Alabama
UAB @ Arkansas – Pick: Arkansas
North Texas @ Rice – Pick: Rice
Memphis @ SMU – Pick: Memphis
North Carolina @ Virginia – Pick: North Carolina
Northern Illinois @ Eastern Michigan – Pick: Northern Illinois
South Carolina @ #5 Auburn – Pick: Auburn
#3 Ole Miss @ #24 LSU – Pick: LSU (Upset)
San Jose State @ Navy – Pick: San Jose State
#25 UCLA @ Colorado – Pick: UCLA
Akron @ Ball State – Pick: Akron
UMass @ Toledo – Pick: Toledo
Ohio @ Western Michigan – Pick: Ohio
Georgia Southern @ Georgia State – Pick: Georgia Southern
Kent State @ Miami (OH) – Pick: Miami (OH)
Boston College @ Wake Forest – Pick: Boston College
Georgia Tech @ Pittsburgh – Pick: Pittsburgh
#22 West Virginia @ Oklahoma State – Pick: Oklahoma State (Upset)
Michigan @ #8 Michigan State – Pick: Michigan State
Oregon State @ Stanford – Pick: Stanford
#1 Mississippi State @ Kentucky – Pick: Mississippi State
Texas Tech @ #10 TCU – Pick: TCU
Louisiana Tech @ Southern Miss – Pick: Louisiana Tech
Florida Atlantic @ #23 Marshall – Pick: Marshall
Central Michigan @ Buffalo – Pick: Central Michigan
Vanderbilt @ Missouri – Pick: Missouri
UNLV @ Utah State – Pick: Utah State
Old Dominion @ Western Kentucky – Pick: Old Dominion
Temple @ UCF – Pick: UCF
#15 Arizona @ Washington State – Pick: Arizona
Syracuse @ #21 Clemson – Pick: Clemson
Wyoming @ Colorado State – Pick: Colorado State
Texas State @ LA Monroe – Pick: LA Monroe
UTEP @ UTSA – Pick: UTSA
#13 Ohio State @ Penn State – Pick: Ohio State
#20 USC @ #19 Utah – Pick: USC
#14 Arizona State @ Washington – Pick: Arizona State
Nevada @ Hawaii – Pick: Nevada

I’ll let you know how I did with my predictions on next week’s post. Let me know in the comments what you think of my picks and feel free to ask me why I picked the way I did. Also you can follow me on Twitter @SchottJosh.

Coaching Class: Stan Drayton

I realize it’s been a while since the most recent coaching class update. That’s for a few reasons. First, between classes, group work, homework, and looking for a job (anyone hiring a soon-to-be-graduate in marketing?!), I’ve been busier than a bee. Second, the lectures had lacked much to write about that would really be interesting. That was, until Running Backs Coach Stan Drayton gave his lecture.

Coach Drayton’s lecture was by far the most informative I’ve had all semester. He broke down a handful of techniques he teaches, such as how to carry the ball. You may have noticed that OSU running backs carry the ball almost vertically, rather than at an angle. This is the technique taught here. It begins by “clawing” the nose of the ball between the index and middle finger. Then, hold the ball against the arm and chest, keeping the wrist directly above the elbow. Finally, lock the elbow against the body. This makes it difficult to punch the ball out from behind, as well as making it near impossible for the ball carrier to fumble when hit head on: the force of the other player hitting the ball carrier presses the ball back into the body of the ball carrier, making it difficult to drop the ball.

The play that Coach Drayton broke down for us was the inside zone play. If you’re not familiar with the zone read play, here’s a quick breakdown.

  1. At the snap, the quarterback looks to the unlocked defensive end
  2. If the defensive end comes more upfield, as to cut off the outside run, the quarterback gives the ball to the running back
  3. If the defensive end comes more inside, the quarterback keeps the ball and runs outside

So, let’s go through a play together, shall we?

Here, we have a zone read from this year’s game versus Cincy. Watch #5, Tight End Jeff Heuerman on the far side of the offensive line. He fakes a block on the end, and gets downfield to block, and lets the end run free. The end runs upfield, and JT hands the ball off to Ezekiel Elliot. Elliot’s target point is the back hip of the center. Which hip depends on the side on which Elliot lines up. The backs always go opposite where they line up. In this instance, Elliot’s target is the back right hip, because he lines up on the left. The line gets a great push and opens a hole so wide a truck could have gone for 7 yards, too.

Now, what if that hole isn’t open? That’s where the cutback comes in. If the play side A Gap is closed, then the running back cuts back to the backside A Gap. If that is closed, he cuts back to the backside B Gap, and so on, until a running lane is found. Watch this run by Carlos Hyde in the Orange Bowl last season.

The play side A Gap closes, so he cutsback horizontally to find the backside A Gap, wide open, for a nice gain.

 

Coach Drayton answered one of the questions I had always had about the zone read play, as well. The running back does not look at the unblocked player, rather, he focuses on his target. I had always wondered how the RB knew he was getting the ball. Turns out, the quarterback simply applies a small amount of pressure to the gut of the running back to indicate that the running back should take the ball. When the running back does not feel that pressure, he knows he isn’t getting the ball.

Now you’re equipped to watch the game this weekend and impress your friends by telling them where the play will go before the snap even occurs! Go Bucks.

Oh, and Penn State likes to call this week #OhioStateHateWeek. It’s so cute.

 

MotSaG Live Podcast #10 – Polls in College Football & Previewing Ohio State-Penn State

Time for episode #10! If you missed last week’s episode of MotSaG Live, you can watch it by clicking here. It airs live every Tuesday at 6 pm ET.

As always I will be hosting the podcast this week and be joined by fellow MotSaG writers. For this show, the following MotSaG writers will join me: Shannon, Andrew, and Chip. On this show we’ll talk about Ohio State’s big win over Rutgers, the Big Ten’s performance from this past weekend, polls in college football and preview the biggest upcoming games around the country along with the slate of Big Ten games this weekend. We’ll also of course preview and predict the outcome of Ohio State’s prime time matchup with Penn State this weekend. Our special guest this week is Kevin McGuire, a writer for nittanylionsden.com and a contributor for NBC Sports College Football Talk.

Now I’m going to list the following ways to view this podcast. Below is the video player to listen to the podcast. You will be able to listen to it here on the site every week. Don’t fret if you can’t listen live. Once the podcast is over with you will be able to view it as many times as you want, just like any YouTube video. If you’re unable to view it here on the site for some reason we also have you covered if this happens. I’ll link to our YouTube channel right above the player every week and you will be guaranteed to be able to view it there. You can also listen through our Google+ page or follow the main @MotSaG account on Twitter. I will also have the link posted on my Twitter page (@SchottJosh).

You can also subscribe to MotSaG Live on iTunes. You can find our page by typing “MotSaG Live” in the iTunes search box or click here. This episode should be on iTunes later tonight.

It’s going to be a fun and informative show as always! Hope you tune in!

To view it on YouTube, click here.

To view the Google+ event page, click here.

MotSaG B1G Power Poll Week 8

The byes just won’t stop!!! Hey I know the kids need a break and get some of those injuries taken care of and we will soon have a full slate of Big Ten games going on. Currently there seems to be a Top 4 (in the B1G) still in the college playoff picture. In reality it might come down to the winner of Michigan State and Ohio State but Nebraska and Minnesota have an outside chance but they still have a chance. Many college football teams watched their chances fall by the wayside this weekend like Iowa, Rutgers, and some non B1G like Oklahoma.

1. Michigan State (6-1,3-0) They didn’t let Indiana feel comfortable in the game for long. Sparty put the Hoosiers away with ironically the same exact score that OSU had against Rutgers.
Last Week: #1
Next Game: Michigan

2. Ohio State (5-1,2-0) The Buckeyes welcomed the two newcomers (Maryland and Rutgers) to the B1G in a big way. After the VT loss OSU is averaging over 50 points a game and look like they are improving week to week. Nov. 8th is getting closer and looming larger as long as both teams stay focused until then.
Last Week: #2
Next Game: @Penn State

3. Nebraska (6-1,2-1) The Cornhuskers showed the Wildcats they still aren’t a top tier team in the conference yet and Abdullah is the man and Tommy Armstrong looked good Saturday.
Last Week: #3
Next Week: Rutgers

4. Minnesota (6-1,3-0) The Gophers squeaked by a much improved Purdue team. Buckeye fans remember even a one point win is a win.
Last Week: #5
Next Week: @Illinois

5. Maryland (5-2,2-1) The Terps bounce back from the Buckeye beating to crush Iowa’s playoff hopes.
Last Week: #9
Next Week: @Wisconsin

6. Wisconsin (4-2,1-1) Coming off a bye to play Maryland hoping they have their QB situation figured out.
Last Week: #8
Next Week: Maryland

7. Iowa (5-2,2-1) The Hawkeyes waved goodbye to their playoff chances with their loss to Maryland Saturday. They seem to be a Jekyll and Hyde team this season.
Last Week: #4
Next Week: Bye

8. Rutgers (5-2,1-2) The Scarlet Knight received a rude introduction to the Horseshoe Saturday and a thumping. The Buckeyes showed no mercy to the newcomers and Rutgers walked out of Columbus no getting a sack, an amazing stat.
Last Week: #6
Next Game: @Nebraska

9. Northwestern (3-4,2-2) After the hot conference start for the Wildcats they have been cooled off with back to back losses.
Last Week: #7
Next Game: Bye

10. Purdue (3-5,1-3) Oh so close Boilermakers!!! Almost pulling off the upset, Purdue is heading in the right direction even though looking at the record it is hard to tell.
Last Week: #10
Next Week: Bye

11. Penn State (4-2,1-2) The Nittnay Lions will be hoping that during their bye week they are able to patch up that horrific offensive line before the Buckeye visit this Saturday.
Last Week: #11
Next Week Ohio State

12. Michigan (3-4,1-2) The good no one has been fired yet and the Wolverines haven’t lost back to back weeks this season (thank god for the bye). The bad they have to visit little sister and one week isn’t enough to fix their offensive line that Sparty will feast on.
Last Week: #12
Next Week: @Michigan State

13. Indiana (3-4,0-3) It’s going to be a long season for the Hoosiers and having to burn a redshirt for a QB didn’t help matters.
Last Week: #13
Next Week: Bye

14. Illinois (3-4,0-3) The Tim Beckman watch is on. I am sure moving companies are calling him offering him their services.
Last Week: #14
Next Week: Minnesota

As always I look forward to hearing from you.

In Depth Recap: Rutgers-Ohio State

Stop me if you have heard this one before. The Buckeyes amassed 585 total yards on offense and score 56 points.

J.T. Barrett and company didn’t miss a beat after the bye week and scored 50 points in four straight games for the first time in its 125 years of existence. During this historic run the Scarlet and Gray are averaging 56 points and 614 yards per game. Kind of ironic that they are averaging that yardage per game am I right (repping the 614). While their defense hasn’t been stellar they are only giving up an average of 17.25 points and 300.75 yards during this same time frame.

Offense

Barrett is inserting himself into the Heisman talk, throwing for 3 touchdowns on 261 yards passing while also rushing for two touchdowns and 107 yards. J.T. did not throw an interception nor was he sacked. Once again Barrett distributed the ball well hitting nine different receivers allowing TE Nick Vannett to catch two touchdown passes and Evan Spencer to grab a beautiful one handed touchdown pass himself. The offensive line and his elusiveness helped keep the Big Ten sack leaders at bay. The offensive line did a great job giving Barrett time to go through his progressions. Ezekiel Elliot had 12 carries for 69 yards and Curtis Samuels only had 4 but he had 59 huge yards. This offense is clicking on all cylinders right now and the scary thing is there are still things that they need to work on.

What are some of those things you ask? Starters catching the ball too many drops , I know I am being critical but you can’t have these against Sparty in a couple of weeks. Also penalties, but they are getting so much better that seriously there so little to criticize.

Defense

Gary Nova and company came into this game averaging 426 yards a game and 268 of that was through the air. Buckeyes defense came in with only 12 sacks and still had question marks with their secondary even though we have seen improvement in their last game against Maryland. You would have thought that with the loss of Paul James and question surrounding Rutgers running game Buckeyes would have an easy time with that but here’s whats weird. Ohio State allowed 147 yards on the ground but limited Nova to 196 yards passing and forced an interception. The Ohio State defense also sacked Nova 4 times and held the Scarlet Knights to a total of 345 offensive yards.

The defense is improving still a ways away from being the Silver Bullets but this team is growing each and every week and the key is that they are truly getting better each and every week. The maturity and growth we are witnessing each week is great to see and honestly kind of scary on how high their ceiling really is.

Final Thoughts

Winning their 18 consecutive Big Ten game it is such a joy to watch this high octane offense run. I know many would like to have a redo at the Virginia Tech game and sure the players would but its not going to happen. The continued growth and experience is making for a extremely dangerous Ohio State team.No matter how many in the national media want to hush out the talk of a possible Big Ten team in the national playoffs, if Buckeyes win out and keep winning big they will be in. You can say Rutgers wasn’t that great of a team but they came into Columbus with a 5-1 record and left with the worse loss in 12 years.

Great Buckeye Football Videos

While we are awaiting the kickoff of the Inaugural Battle of Scarlet vs. Scarlet might as well enjoy some great Buckeye videos released bu the Ohio State football teams youtube channel this week.

During the week of Oct. 2nd across college football there was a visible campaign by the head coaches wearing a Coaches 2 Cure MD patch on there sleeves. During this week Jacob and Noah Studebaker have become close friends of the Buckeye football program and Jacob was an honorary captain for the Cincinnati game. They wore the Scarlet and Gray uniform’s and went to midfield with the other Buckeye captains for the coin flip. After the game he and his brother were awarded the game ball from Captain Jeff Heuerman.

The Buckeyes football team didn’t stop there. They presented Jacob and his family a check from the players and Ohio State football for the Coach 2 Cure MD in the amount of 10,000 dollars and also presented Jacob and Noah with a very large picture of that special night of them going out to midfield as captains of The Ohio State football team.

These are the things that are so heart warming and you love seeing coming out of Columbus and any college football program for that matter. Hats off to The Ohio State Football Team and what they have done and what they stand for. Go Bucks.

Speaking of Go Bucks, here’s the trailer for the Rutgers game that they dropped yesterday.

You pumped up yet?

Let Me Fix Your Team: Illinois

I look around college football and I see a lot of disgruntled fan bases. They aren’t happy with their team whether it’s the coaching, the play on the field, all of the losing or a combination of these three. When I see these problems I start to think of a solution for these teams, but I never put them on paper. But in you’re luck now downtrodden schools! Now I’ve decided to use my expertise to help you through your issues. With my help you’ll be a winner in no time. Just call me Doctor Josh.

So who’s my first lucky patient? Fellow Big Ten brother Illinois!

Patient: Illinois
Status: 3-4 (0-3 Big Ten)
Current Fan Base Mood: Depressed and hopeless. Want Tim Beckman’s head on a platter.
Most Embarrassing Moment of the Season: Lost to Purdue at home. Ouch.

Dr. Josh’s Advice: First you need to fire Tim Beckman. That should’ve happened by now. Do you think he’s just going to miraculous turn this season around? Your best player, quarterback Wes Lunt, is done for the season with a broken leg. You lost to freaking Purdue! That’s terrible, even by Illinois standards. You gave Beckman a shot and now it’s time to let him spread his wings and fly back to the MAC.

Second you need to wake up every day with a smile. Just think about the success of the Chicago Cubs, the Chicago Bulls, Jay Cutler, Illinois basketball. On second thought just remind yourselves that at least you’re not Kansas and paying Charlie Weis lots of money to do nothing.

Muschamp

Prescription: Hire Will Muschamp! The last time you hired an ex-Florida coach, things worked out great for you guys. You beat Ohio State and went to the Rose Bowl in the same season! Not even Michigan can say they’ve done both these things in the same season the last 10 years. Nothing can possibly go wrong by hiring another ex-Florida coach. Muschamp even took them to the Sugar Bowl. SEC! That means something. On top of that Muschamp runs a high-octane offense that puts lots of points on the board. Florida fans can’t get enough of his charisma and charming personality. When he leaves Gainesville there’s going to be so many tears running down the faces of Gator fans. He’s the greatest coach they’ve had since Urban Meyer. This is a no-lose hire. It’s a match made in heaven! So it’s settled. You’re hiring Muschamp and going straight to the top, Illinois! I guarantee it.

The first of many satisfied patients! You’re welcome Illinois fans. Let me know what team I should examine the next week in the comments.

Q&A with an Opponents Blogger: Rutgers

Finally we are one day away from the Battle of The Scarlets. The Scarlet Knights of Rutgers try to invade Columbus with hopes of upsetting the Scarlet and Gray of Ohio State. This week I have had the great pleasure of getting to work with one Rutgers blogger and one Rutgers successful podcast host. I know shocking Rutgers has fans right (I kid). It has been a pleasure to work with Sal from salsoothsayer.com who not only is a big Rutgers fan but also a big B1G fan and have had the pleasure of working with him in the past. Also joining the conversation today is Jerry who is host of the R Big Show and in that link you can hear us talk some about the game last night.

Time to grab your favorite beverage and sit back and enjoy what they bring to the table for us today.

MotSaG: What are Rutgers fans thoughts of the Big Ten and becoming a part of the conference?

Sal Rutgers fans literally could not be more excited. There is a tremendous amount of pride that students, alumni and fans of the school feel in the acceptance into the premier athletic and academic conference in the nation. Most supporters of Rutgers realize this goes well beyond the athletic field and they understand how academic programs and research will benefit immensely. For half of a decade now Rutgers has been a team without a home. Fans and supporters feel that has ended now.

Jerry It has been everything we thought it would be. I’ve enjoyed the coverage on the Big Ten network. Rutgers has played Penn State. They have played Michigan. Both of the games were at home and were electric. They play Ohio State this week, with Nebraska next week and Wisconsin and Michigan State still down the road. As a college football fan you could not ask for more!

MotSaG: Whats more surprising that you didn’t think you would have heard in the preseason, Rutgers starts season 5-1 or Gary Nova first ever player to win Player of the Week award in three different conferences?

Sal I think that most would feel that one would have to come with the other. The only way that Rutgers could be 5-1 is with great quarterback play and the team has had great quarterback play this season. Including Nova’s forgettable game against Penn State he has completed 93 of 150 passes (62.0%) for 1601 yards and 13 touchdowns against 7 interceptions. He has thrown for over 280 yards in four or Rutgers six games. Nova also became Rutgers career leader in passing touchdowns this season. Most fans would have been excited by a 4-2 start so 5-1 has Rutgers fans very optimistic going into the second half of the season.

Jerry Gary Nova garnering POW is not the least bit surprising. He has always had very good games – he is the school’s all-time touchdown leader – it is the consistency against quality defenses that we are looking for. Many felt the Scarlet Knights could pull off a win against Penn State or Michigan. However, to do so and not stumble along the way with a tough road opener at Washington State and a gritty Navy team in the middle of the first part of the schedule has been a testament to the toughness of this team and the preparation of the staff.

MotSaG: Do you expect the Scarlet Knight players being lost in awe of playing in the Horseshoe?

Sal I think excited is more the correct term than awe. Certainly the players are recognize this opportunity. It will clearly be the biggest venue that the players have played in but two years ago the team went to Fayetteville, Arkansas in front of 70,000 plus and left with a 35-26 victory. At 5-1 this game on ABC at 3:30 is kind of like playing with house money.

Jerry They should be. It is one of the truly amazing venues in college football. Who could not take a moment, to imagine yourself as a kid on the Pee Wee fields and watching games Ohio State games on TV and then coming to the realization that here you are in front of 107,000 fans at Horseshoe! It is culmination of years of hard work and dedication that each player has put in over his career. However, don’t take awe as being shell-shocked. In fact, it is a great motivation factor to play in such an environment. Who wouldn’t want to star or put together their best effort on this stage?

MotSaG: Key players on defense Buckeye fans should keep an eye on?

Sal Well Rutgers defensive line has received a lot of credit this year and deservedly so. Redshirt freshman, athletic freak and pass-rushing specialist 6’6 235 Kemoko Turay leads the Big Ten with 5.5 sacks (and leads the nation with 3 blocked field goals). But the DL starts in the middle with the play of New Jersey native junior Darius Hamilton. Hamilton plays the 3-technique at 265 lbs so he will be undersized but he has been undersized all season and has still contributed 6 TFL and 3.5 sacks. Hamilton moves inside to nose on passing downs. Sophomore Steve Longa led the team in tackles last year from MLB but switched to play WILL this year. He has 41 tackles so far this season but has not put together a breakout game. That could come this week.

Jerry If they haven’t already, they should learn the name Kemoko Turay. Turay is already building his own legend with 5.5 sacks and three blocked field goals as a raw red-shirt freshman. A former basketball player, he is still very green and may be somewhat mitigated by the read-zone offense of Ohio State. But if it is 3rd and long, zero in on number 58 and you will see one of the most athletic players to ever don the Scarlet for Rutgers.

MotSaG: What concerns do the Scarlet knight fans have about Buckeyes offense?

Sal When a team averages 45 points a game the obvious answer is “a lot”. The biggest concern I have is the quarterback play of J.T. Barrett. Barrett seems to be getting better by the week. Certainly the first priority for Rutgers will be stopping the run but Barrett could really make Rutgers pay with his arm and his legs if Rutgers sells out to stop the running backs.

Jerry What is there not to be concerned about? Of late, QB J.T Barrett has been brilliant and RB Ezekiel Elliot has replaced Carlos Hyde quite famously. Rutgers will need to generate pressure from its front four and when the opportunities to take down Barrett are there they must tackle and tackle well. Keeping Ohio State’s offense off the field will be the best defense.

MotSaG: With the loss of RB Paul James for the year and Rutgers having a bye week was there a lot of focus on trying to improve run game?

Sal There needs to be. The teams running game is improved from last year but not by leaps and bounds. Rutgers struggled to run the ball against Penn State and Michigan. Against Michigan Gary Nova made them pay. Against Penn State he did not. Offensive Coordinator Ralph Friedgen will take what the defense gives him. If Ohio State commits to stopping the run look for Friedgen to get Nova some confidence with easy completions early on before taking the deep shot.

Jerry Most definitely! It is shame that James could not play in this stretch of games for Rutgers. His absence is missed not only by Scarlet Knights fans, but for the fans of the other teams to see him play. However, Offensive Coordinator has been a difference maker so as much as they may be working on the run they are surely game-planning to attack the untested parts of this defense. I would expect safeties Vonn Bell and Tyvis Powell to see a lot of action as the Rutgers has to attack the back-middle of this defense.

MotSaG: Speaking of Paul James what are your thoughts on Ohio State offering his brother Ronnie this week who is already a Rutgers commit?

Sal Well Urban Meyer changed recruiting in the Big Ten a few years ago with his disregard for gentlemen’s agreements. You can argue if that is good or not that isn’t the debate. Rutgers’ fans might be upset at Meyer for the timing of the offer but certainly it speaks highly of Rutgers Coach Kyle Flood’s ability to evaluate talent as the younger James is a borderline two or three star recruit based off of the recruiting services. Not usually the type of athlete Ohio State offers.

Jerry It surely shows the high-stakes game that is called recruiting. The timing was surely somewhat premeditated. On the flipside, it also validates that Ronnie James is potentially a great reel-in for the Scarlet Knights, as Urban Meyer is not just going to throw around scholarship offers.

MotSaG: Point spread is 19.5 do you feel that is disrespectful to Rutgers and what they have done so far this season?

Sal Many feel the line is disrespectful and it crept to 21 earlier today so I’m not sure where the line will finish up. The line seems about right to me. Ohio State buried Maryland by almost 30 points at Byrd Stadium two weeks ago. 19 on the road for Rutgers seems like a compliment if you look at it that way!

Jerry One thing we can all agree is that Vegas tends to know what it is doing. It is a good number. Rutgers could play very well and still come out of this down by two touchdowns or more. On the other hand they are a 5-1 team that has been playing well. Is it disrespectful? No. But it is to be expected, after all this Ohio State and this is Rutgers. This season is about perception for the Scarlet Knight program. They are playing to prove they belong here and they are playing to show a state that is deep in talent that they are not far off from playing for Big Ten titles with their help. We are no longer into moral victories, but a close game here even with a loss could go a long way as well.

MotSaG: Keys for Rutgers to pull off an upset?

Sal First, Rutgers needs to weather the first quarter storm. If the Knights are within one score after the first quarter that will bode well. The obvious key is Rutgers needs to get to the passer. Their pass rush against Ohio State’s pass protection appears to be the Scarlet Knights’ biggest strength. But the key is in putting Ohio State in predictable passing downs and that starts with defense on first down. If Rutgers can keep Ohio State in second and third and long that will give the aggressive blitzing scheme of Rutgers defensive coordinator Joe Rossi a shot. Beyond that, Rutgers needs to win the turnover battle and get either a blocked punt or a big punt/kickoff return.

Jerry Nova has to continue to play well and not revert back to the turnover laden QB he has been in the past against top competition. Michigan was a start for him and if the offensive line could protect him he will have to stretch the Buckeye defense.

On the flipside of the ball, Rutgers will have to pressure J.T Barrett and hope he reverts back to being the red-shirt freshman who struggled against Virginia Tech.

MotSaG: Final score prediction?

Sal Since most people are predicting more points I’ll go less and say Ohio State 31 – Rutgers 17. I think Rutgers can hang around for a while but Ohio State’s tempo and ground game could wear down the Scarlet Knights defensive line resulting in a stressful, but in the end happy Homecoming for the Buckeyes.

Jerry I don’t do predictions, but I will tell you this: I am fairly confident they can beat the 19+ point spread! Many knock the Scarlet Knights for losing to Penn State and beating a struggling Michigan team as well, but Ohio State is one of only two Top 25 teams that has not played another ranked team as well. This is a very talented roster for Ohio State and they start some highly rated young players. But the Buckeyes are also very young. How will the young players respond to adversity if tested? Whatever the outcome, this is the type of game that makes inclusion in the Big Ten so much fun.

I’m not going to give my whole take on what I think the Buckeyes need to do this week as I pretty much summed that up in yesterdays pieced in my preview.

Once again I am so thankful for Sal and Jerry helping me discuss Rutgers for you Buckeye fans to see what they are thinking in the Garden State. You can follow Sal on Twitter @SalSoothsayer and Jerry @RUFANJERRY. Don’t forget to check out Sal’s site (plus you can see my weekly power poll there also) and check out Jerry’s podcast they do a great job covering Rutgers football. Hope you all enjoyed todays post. Have any questions feel free to send me an email to AskMotSag@gmail.com