MOTSAG Pretend College Playoffs: #1 Ohio State vs. #8 Memphis

A couple seasons ago the pretend college football playoff matchup between top-seeded Ohio State and No. 8 Memphis would have scared the Michigan out of Buckeye fans.
But this isn’t a couple years ago. This is now.
And now does not belong to the Memphis Tigers. The Buckeyes scored on their first play of the game and rolled to a devilish 66-6 win over the AAC champs.

Memphis came in averaging 40 points and 485 yards of offense per game and a stingy defense that allowed less than 200 yards passing per game. All week the Tigers talked about how they felt they could slow down Ohio State’s high-octane offense. They were so confident that after winning the coin toss the deferred and sent their defense on the field first.

Whoops.

Following a 25-yard kick return by Garrett Wilson, JK Dobbins took a pitch from Justin Fields and motored 75 yards for a touchdown. Coach Ryan Day felt that was so easy, he called for a surprising onside kick, which was recovered by Chris Olave near midfield.

Since he made such a nice play on the kick, Day called his number again on the first play of the possession — a slant play that totally burnt the Memphis defense for a long and easy pitch and catch from Fields.

Memphis managed two yards on its next possession and was forced to punt. The Buckeyes took over on their own 35 and methodically marched down the field, covering the 65 yards on 10 plays, using some short runs and passes to physically wear down the Memphis defense.

Both teams punted on their next possessions, ending the first quarter at 21-0 Buckeyes.

With the ball on its own 30, Memphis tried some trickeration as QB Brady White pitched to Kenneth Gainwell, who then attempted a pass back to White.

OSU’s Jordan Fuller had other ideas and picked off the pass at the OSU 30, returning it 70 yards for the score.

Memphis was actually able to move the ball a little on the ensuing drive, partly because OSU had some backups in and partly because the officials were apparently backups as well, calling several bogus penalties.

But the Tigers had a drive stall and settled for a field goal to make it 28-3.

On their next drive, the Buckeyes went 70 yards on five plays, highlighted by a 50-yard from from Dobbins. Fields called his own number to score on a 15-yard run to make it 35-3.

Memphis got another field goal shortly before halftime to make the score 35-6 Buckeyes at halftime.

On the first play of the second half, Gainwell fumbled on the OSU 35.

Two plays later it was 42-6 after Wilson turned a crossing route into a 30-yard score.

That was it for both team’s starters as Day wanted to give some younger guys a chance, while making sure the starters stayed healthy. Memphis Coach Ryan Silverfield waved the provebial white flag as well.

OSU got three TD runs from Master Teague and a field goal to account for the final points.

OSU finished with 710 yards of offense, tons on the ground in the second half, and limited Memphis to 120 total yards.


MOTSAG Pretend CFP Playoffs: Quarter finals; #2 LSU versus #7 Oregon

This should be a match-up for the ages as far as playoff games go in this first ever quarter final, but #7 Oregon hasn’t had much of a break after winning the PAC12 championship game and coming right back and playing a very game Appalachian State the following week in a play-in game.

Justin Herbert had to lead the ducks down the field on the final drive to defeat the Mountaineers 35-28.

These two teams met in 2011 and it was mostly the Tigers as they won 40-27.

Joe Burrow and his on fire Tigers of the Bayou have had a nice rest since rolling over Jake Fromm and the Georgia Bulldogs 37-10 in the Mercedes-Benz Dome in Atlanta, Georgia and appear perched for a run to possibly meet his former Buckeyes in the final.

First Quarter – The Tigers wasted little time scoring and Joe Burrow had nothing to do with it. On the first play from scrimmage for the Ducks, Derek Stingley Jr. stepped in front of an Justin Herbert quick out and took it to the house 27 yards later. The next drive by the Ducks stalled at their own 43 and after a 45 yard punt, Joe burrow and the guys took over at their 17.

The expected winner of the Heisman Trophy completed a 12 play 83 yard drive eating most of the first quarter clock and made the score 14-0 at the end of one.

Second Quarter – Justin Herbert, Oregon’s all-time leader in pass completions (827) and pass attempts (1,293), took a golden opportunity after a great kick-off return by Mykael Wright for 65 yards to LSU’s 35 yard line and then connected with Johnny Johnson III on a 35 yard scoring strike and pulled within 7 at 14-7.

That lasted for all of 15 seconds as Edwards-Helaire return the kick-off for a 100 yard score and put the Tigers back up two scores 21-7. That’s would be the score at the half and neither team had much offensive statistics to boast. Herbert finished 4-9 for 57 yards, one pick-six and one score. Joe Burrow wasn’t much better but was enjoying a perfect day throwing the ball, 8 of 8 for 75 yards and one score.

Third Quarter – Joe Burrow and the tigers got the second half kick-off and did what they have been doing all season. Continuing to be perfect in the passing category, he lead the team down the field and finished the drive with a 7 yard TD toss to a wide open Thaddeus Moss all but sealing the Duck’s fate. 35 – 7

Fourth Quarter – Justin Herbert tried to make things better for his draft prospects but finished he day with two pick-sixes and two scored himself finishing with stats he’d probably like to forget. Joe burrow finally had an incompletion but did what he has been doing to defenses all season. The former Buckeye finished the day 15 of 18 for 234 yards and three scores. Final Score from the Bayou, Tigers 42 the Ducks 14.

Georgia escapes from Miami

We are still sportless. COVID-19 has taken over our lives, but we here at the Men of the Scarlet and Gray present the strictly hypothetical “Expanded College Football Playoffs.” We have all dreamed of expansion, but here we have a cool little set-up that was created by our colleague Chris. Twelve teams with one goal, to make it to the championship game, have been selected. We have done it the right way, taking most of the conference bias away. All power five champions along with the group of five champions and a pair of at-large bids have given us a football version of the “Big Dance.”

And if you don’t like the at-large teams selected, get your own blog and do it your way.

One of the first-round games features No. 5 Georgia, an at-large selection from the eSpnEC, taking on No. 12 Miami University (not The U, the one in Ohio).

It wasn’t easy. In fact, the Bulldogs almost had an early exit, trailing the entire game until a pick-six tied the game, and then a 42-yard field goal with a minute left gave them a 27-24 win.

From the time they first showed up on the field, the Bulldogs had a swagger that went beyond arrogance. They acted like they shouldn’t have been in a first-round game and were goofing off and horsing around during pre-game warmups. Meanwhile, Miami was all business and appeared focused.

The RedHawks won the toss and took the ball, not wanting to waste any time.

QB Brett Gabbert led Miami on a masterful 12-play, 80 yard drive to take a 7-0 lead. The drive culminated with a 10-yard TD run by Jaylon Bester.

Georgia tried to get cute on its first possession, trying a halfback pass that was nearly intercepted. From there, D’Andre Swift took over, running five times for 65 yards. The drive stalled on the RedHawks 30 and Rodrigo Blankenship hit a 47-yard field goal to make it 7-3.

The defenses took over from there forcing punts on the next few possessions as the first quarter ended 7-3 Miami, which had the ball at its own 40.

Gabbert again worked his magic, unleashing a 60-yard TD pass to James Maye to make it 14-3.

Georgia appeared rattled at that point and could do nothing offensively as Miami was determined to shut down Swift and take its chances with Jake Fromm throwing the ball.

It worked and Fromm showed why he wasn’t a high draft pick, overthrowing and underthrowing wide-open receivers. The only thing saving the Bulldogs was Miami being equally ineffective on offense in the second quarter as the halftime score remained 14-3 Miami.

Georgia regrouped at halftime and took the opening kickoff to the Miami 49. From there, Fromm was able to dink and dunk the Bulldogs to the goal line, where Swift plunged in to make it 14-10.

The RedHawks answered with a 30-yard field goal from Sam Sloman to mae it 17-10 after a drive stalled.

Again the defenses stepped up.

The teams exchanged punts and then the Bulldogs made field goals on back-to-back drives to make it 17-16 going into the fourth quarter.

Momentum was on Georgia’s side, but the lights nearly went out when Miami chewed up eight minutes of precious time, using short passes and four-yard runs to keep the chains, and clock moving.

The drive finished when Gabbert scored on a 10-yard keeper to make it 24-16.

Georgia drove down to the Miami 30 but the drive stalled there and Blankenship missed a 47-yard field goal with 5:30 left.

Miami was content to run the ball and chew up more clock. But facing a third and nine from its own 35, disaster struck as a Gabbert pass was picked off at the 50 and returned for a touchdown. Georgia went for two and tied it with 2:30 left after a Swift scamper.

Miami again tried to be conservative and went three and out. Georgia used its timeouts to save clock and after a nice punt return from Swift, started from its own 49 with 1:50 left.

Fromm dropped back to pass on first down, was forced from the pocket, and scrambled all the way to the Miami 25. The Bulldogs tried to run three times and were stuffed at the line. Miami used its timeouts and forced the Bulldogs to attempt a 42-yard field goal with 1:07 on the clock.

Blankenship nailed the kick with a minute left to give Georgia its first lead, 27-24.

The RedHawks went three and out on their next possession, shattering their dreams of a monumental upset.

Somehow Georgia managed to advance.

OSU Women’s Basketball String Ting with Special Guest Madison Greene

Charles, Scott and Chris hang out with Ohio State women’s star point guard Madison Greene. Have a great conversation about the rivalry and how the season went. Charles, Scott and Chris express their feelings once again of how this team would have finished!

Came on strong halfway through the season and started 21 games at PG for the Buckeyes

From ohiostatebuckeyes.com Played in all 33 games and started the final 21 at point guard; Averaged 7.7 points and 2.5 assists per game; Was fourth among Big Ten freshmen with 82 assists; Earned Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors on Feb. 17; Had three games of 20+ plus points including back-to-back efforts that led to her FOW honor; Led the team in free throws made and attempted (76-of-96); Scored 23 points on 8-of-10 shooting and carried the team to a win over rival Michigan on Jan. 9; Was 8-of-11 from the floor and 9-of-11 from the free throw line to finish with a season-high 25 points vs. Minnesota on Feb. 13. Also dished-out a season-high seven assists with no turnovers in the win; Followed that with a 22-point effort in the upset win at No. 20 Indiana on Feb. 16. She was 4-of-4 from the floor and 4-of-4 at the line for 14 points in the final eight minutes to help the Buckeyes erase a 10-point deficit; Had a solid Big Ten Tournament, averaging 10.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists and shooting 13-of-14 from the free throw line in the four games.

MOTSAG Pretend CFP: First Round; #8 Memphis versus #9 Boise State

The only matchup between two non-Power 5 teams, 9th seeded Boise State faced off against 8th seeded Memphis.  Both teams entered the game with matching 12-1 records with their one loss coming in upsets; Temple knocking off Memphis and BYU beating Boise State.  In this first year of the new 12 team format, both schools felt a lot of pressure to show that the non-Power 5 programs deserved to be included.

Boise State got on the board first with a passing touchdown by quarterback Hank Bachmeier on the opening drive of the game.  After a couple stalled drives by both teams, Bachmeier hit leading receiver John Hightower for a 60 yard touchdown to put Boise up 14-0 at the end of the first quarter.

The second quarter started with both teams struggling to get anything going on offense but Memphis took advantage of a better punting game to win the field position battle and midway through the second quarter, the Tigers started a drive at midfield and quickly took advantage thanks to a 6 play drive that ended with quarterback Brady White finding receiver Kedarian Jones in the corner of the endzone to make it a 14-7 game.  Boise State’s offense couldn’t do anything on their next drive but their defense came up big, intercepting a Tiger pass to give the Broncos the ball deep in Memphis territory.  However the Bronco’s offense could only manage one first down and they had to settle for a field goal to give themselves a 17-7 lead.  Boise State looked like they had the chance to score again late in the half but Bachmeier was intercepted and Memphis took advantage, putting together an excellent final two minutes that culminated in Brady White hitting leading receiver Damonte Coxie for a 27 yard touchdown right before half.  Both teams headed into the locker room with Boise State up 17-14.

Memphis received the kickoff to start the second half and a nice 30 yard return set them up in good field position.  The Tigers continued their momentum from the end of the first half, putting together a nice drive that culminated with running back Kenny Gainwell punching it into the endzone from the 2-yard line to give the Tiger’s their first lead of the game, 21-17.  The teams exchanged punts before Gainwell once again showed off, this time breaking a few tackles to turn a short pass into a 60 yard gain and a 1st and goal at the 4.  After an incomplete pass by White, Gainwell finished the drive himself with a 4-yard scamper to extend the Memphis lead to 28-17.

Boise State was on the ropes and after a three and out, Memphis landed what looked like the knock out punch as White and Gainwell teamed up for what would be the third touchdown of the day for each of them, giving the Tigers a 35-17 lead to start the fourth quarter.  The Broncos weren’t done though, keeping calm despite the large deficit, they put together an efficient mix of running and passing plays that ended with Bachmeier’s third passing td of the day to make it a 35-24 game with 8 minutes to go.  Momentum seemed to be swinging the Broncos way as they forced a three and out and then quickly moved the ball into Tiger territory.  The clock was becoming an issue though, forcing Boise to abandon their running game and rely on the passing game, which had been hit or miss all season.  This time it missed as Bachmeier threw his second interception of the game, ending the Broncos drive.  Memphis managed to burn a few minutes off the clock, ending the Broncos hopes and coming away with a 35-24 win to advance to the second round.

Memphis quarterback Brady White and running back Kenny Gainwell were the stars of the game.  White had 325 yards passing and 3 touchdowns, with only 1 interception, while Gainwell ran for 2 touchdowns and caught one other.

MOTSAG Pretend CFP: First Round; #7 Oregon v. #10 Appalachian State

#MOTSAGPretendCFP #MOTSAGRising

It’s the final #6 CFP and winners of 3 straight as well as PAC12 champions taking on winners of 7 straight and winners of their fourth straight Sun Belt Conference title, finishing the season 20th in the final committee poll.

Both teams combined only lost 3 games all season and present a pretty good challenge for each other with their high scoring offenses and conference MVP’s in tow. Justin Herbert and Darrynton Evans put on a good show for everyone.

Justin Herbert gave himself some more publicity for the 2020 NFL draft finishing the game 18 of 21 for 242 yards, 4 TD’s and no INT’s.

Darrynton Evans finished the game with 26 carries for 154 yards and three scores but it wasn’t enough as the Ducks stopped a late drive to defeat the Mountaineers 35-28 to move on to round two.

They await their fate until the rest of the first round is finished. Stay Tuned!

Kansas Jayhawks win 6th NCAA Title

Dominating run by National POTY runner-up Udoka Azubuike against the national POTY Obi Toppin propels Jayhawks to title.

1 Kansas vs. 1 Dayton- Udoka Azubuke continued his “disappointed he did not win the NPOTY award” tour and wasted little time taking down Obin Toppin and the Flyers.

Azubuke accounted for all but two of the Jayhawks points through the first ten minutes of the game but held Toppin in check on the big stage. Devon Dotson had another remarkable game from the free throw line and matched Azubuke in scoring as they both finished with 19 a piece.

The Jayhawks continued their destruction of other teams offense and held Dayton to their lowest point total of the season with 61 and Toppin with 15 points and 6 turnovers. Kansas moves on to their 12th NCAA final(5-6) 79-61.

1 Gonzaga vs. 3 Michigan St.- Cassius Winston and Xavier Tillman took on Filip Petrusev, Corey Kispert and Killian Tillie in a showdown for the ages.

Both teams already knew the winner would get Kansas but did not want to spend everything they had on this victory. They traded punches early and often and Xavier Tillman hits a three at the buzzer to end Gonzaga’s season.

The Spartans move on to take on Kansas in the title game and not with many fresh legs after several OT’s to get there. MSU 98-95 3OT.

Championship Game:

1 Kansas vs. 3 Michigan St.- The Spartans and Jayhwaks have faced each other 14 times in historic fashion. The series is tied 7-7 with the last win coming for the Jayhwaks in 2018 via 92-87.

This rivalry is one that can go either way every-time the two teams meet(kansas leads in scoring 1125-1118) and the match up between two future HOF coaches in Bill Self and Tom Izzo is one to enjoy.

It also provided us fans with a one on one match-up between Udoka Azubuke and Cassius Winston and neither player backed down.

Regulation would not be enough and the Spartans had no answer for Azubuke in OT as the Jayhawks made everything in the extra period and MSU couldn’t make anything. Kansas wins their 6th overall title 89-81 in OT

The last time they met – November 2018

Michigan St reigns as NCAA men’s basketball tourney champions for the first time since 2000

Final Four Matchups:

1 Kansas vs. 1 Dayton-Dayton 86-80: Dayton takes down Kansas in a back and fourth matchup that featured a few ESPN top 10 Obi Toppin Dunks.

1 Gonzaga vs. 3 Michigan St.- Michigan St 79-75 (OT): Cassius Winston and Xavier Tillman provide 50 of the 79 points scored to lead MSU to the title game.

Championship Game:

1 Dayton vs. 3 Michigan St.- Michigan St 81-79: Tom Izzo captures his first National Title since 2000 behind All American Cassius Winston.

I just wanted to say thank you to all of you who have voted on the polls and have followed along with us on the site!

Dayton wins the Natty!

MOTSAG Pretend March Madness: Final Four Scott Style
The Final Four is set and three of the four teams are perennial powers that shocked nobody by advancing: Kansas, Gonzaga, and Michigan State.Then there was the Atlantic 10 Engine That Could, the Dayton Flyers. Always a top 25-30 team in attendance, one of the winningest teams in the NCAA in the 1960s, and the team that’s hosted the most NCAA Men’s Tournament games, Dayton, despite losing just twice — in overtime on neutral courts – was a prohibitive underdog in a rematch with another No. 1 seed, Kansas. The Jayhawks were one of two teams to beat Dayton during the regular season, with Colorado being the other.
The second matchup features Gonzaga and Sparty.

No. 1 Dayton 76, No. 1 Kansas 72: This game was just as exciting as the first meeting early in the season. Neither team could build more than a five-point lead. Kansas tried to neutralize Obi Toppin by bringing double-team help from weird angles, hoping he wouldn’t be able to kick the ball out to the open player.
But Toppin, a likely NBA lottery pick, showed that he’s more than highlight-reel dunks and silky smooth three-point chucks. He continued to find the open man, but the Flyers struggled from long range early on, looking like Shaq at the free throw line.
Clank.
Clank.
Clank.
Clank.
Meanwhile, Kansas couldn’t solve Dayton’s ball-hawking defense, turning the ball over 8 times in its first 10 possessions.
However after the under 12 media timeout, both teams made adjustments and Kansas enjoyed a 30-28 lead at halftime.
Both teams scrapped their first-half game plan in the second half and Toppin and Udoka Azubuike took over. Topping scored 20 of his team-high 25 points in the second half, while Azubuike scored all 17 of his in the second, many times going one-on-one at both ends.
Dayton tried to pull away midway through as a Jalen Crutcher three pointer gave Dayton a 50-45 lead. Kansas went on a 10-0 run in about a minute to open a 55-50 lead before Dayton eventually tied it two minutes later.
From there, the teams traded baskets, misses and turnovers, heading into the final four minutes tied 70-70.
Dayton came out of the final timeout with possession and ran the picket fence to get Toppin a three pointer. Azubuike made a layup at the other end and was fouled, but he missed the free throw keeping the score at 73-72.
That remained the score until Trey Landers buried a three pointer as the shot clock was about to expire with 14 seconds left in the game. Kansas, without any timeouts, rushed the ball up the court and got two shots off, neither of which went in and time expired sending the Flyers to their first championship game since 1967.

No. 1 Gonzaga 87, No. 3 Michigan State 44
Nobody was shocked to see Michigan State in another Final Four, the school’s ninth under Tom Izzo. But everyone had to be shocked at how easily the Bulldogs dismantled Sparty. Gonzaga jumped out to a 19-2 lead, forcing turnover after turnover, totally befuddling Michigan State.
At one point, Izzo looked over at Gonzaga Coach Mark Few and shrugged his shoulders and laughed.
Gonzaga led 42-20 at halftime and continued to sizzle in the second half, making 65 percent of its shots while turning the ball over once.
Izzo was so frustrated with his team that at the under 12 timeout, he sent his five starters to the locker room and was heard telling them not to come out until they were ready to play. Five minutes later they returned and did play better, but by then they trailed by 40. In keeping with the regular season theme, six Bulldogs scored in double figures, led by Joel Ayayi’s 15. Cassius Winston scored 20 to lead Michigan State.

Championship
Dayton 70, Gonzaga 65, OT
Dayton wins its first NCAA Men’s Tournament title by outscoring Gonzaga 5-0 in the overtime period. Gonzaga discovered that there is stoppin’ Toppin, holding him to 11 points. But the Bulldogs couldn’t figure out Crutcher and Landers, who combined for 42 points and Dayton received great support from the rest of the roster.
Ayayi again led Gonzaga in scoring, pouring in 20 points, while Filip Petrusev added 15. But the Bulldogs struggled with consistency the entire game, turning the ball over 20 times and making just 38 percent of its shots.
Dayton wasn’t that great either, committing 17 turnovers and shooting just 65 percent from the free throw line.
Leading 34-31 at halftime, Dayton started the second half on a 10-2 run to open up an 11-point lead, but Gonzaga battled back by intentionally putting Dayton at the free throw line and converting second-chance opportunities at the other end.
Gonzaga took a 45-44 lead with 11 minutes left and neither team led by more than four the rest of regulation. Both teams had chances to win the game in the final minute, but Dayton missed three free throws and Gonzaga missed a three pointer and a somewhat-uncontested layup.
Crutcher made a three pointer to start overtime and then made a pair of free throws with 10 seconds left to ice the title.

MOTSAG Pretend March Madness Elite 8/ Final 4 matchups (South Region)

Welcome back to the South Region! Today we have the final 4 teams battling it out where 2 will make it to the Elite 8 of the Tournament. Will 2 B1G teams make it out of this Region? Who will be the South Regions Final 4 representative? Below are the matchups with the final results:

  • 1 Baylor vs. 5 Ohio State: Ohio State 78-77-Ohio State keeps the magic alive and pulls the upset over the #1 seeded Baylor. 3 pt shooting and just enough defense get the job done.
  • 3 Michigan State vs. 2 Creighton: Michigan State 75-68- Michigan State ends the Creighton run with the more tournament experienced lineup. Izzo back to the Elite 8 (has to be some kind of record right?)

To go to the Final 4:

  • 5 Ohio State vs. 3 Michigan State: Michigan State 81-75- Unfortunately Ohio State’s run comes to an end here to the more experienced team . The Buckeyes only trailed by 3 and needed a stop to potentially tie the game. Cassius Winston hit a dagger 3 at the end of the shot clock to put the game out of reach in the final seconds.

South Region Final 4 team: 3 Michigan State

Tune in Next week as we send 2 teams to the championship game and as usual we would love your feedback!