Things can’t go much better than they did in 2014 for Ohio State football, the winner of the national championship despite having to change signal-callers before and during the season, but this was not even the first season in which a senior watched while a sophomore led Ohio State to the promised land. Continue reading Replacing senior QB has gone better than you might expect for Buckeyes
Am I the only one who feels like Mike Weber probably handled the whole circus surrounding his recruitment and the related coaching change better than anybody else?
Granted, his Tweet about being “hurt as hell” was a catalyst for the first wave of reactions, but it’s hard to blame anyone for having an emotional reaction to something affecting his or her future and expressing that reaction. That’s especially true with a teenager who just made a big life decision then saw some of the information he probably used to make it change almost immediately.
Feeling and expressing emotions is an important part of life no matter our age. But actually being part of the process is also kind of key to having an emotional attachment, isn’t it? Continue reading Ohio State football recruiting Mike Weber: Winners and losers
Of course when something like “winning a national championship” happens, everyone has something to say.
The theme of my reaction column at BuckeyeSports.com was simple: Ohio State not only won a fancy gold trophy on Monday night, it also wiped out every narrative people have used against the Buckeyes — sometimes more correctly than others — since that stunning night in the desert in January 2007.
Need proof? After the jump, find a sampling of the new narrative from around the web, including writers who cover Ohio State and others more national in scope. Continue reading Ohio State football: The new narrative
The time has finally come for Ohio State and Alabama to face off in the Sugar Bowl. The winner not only gets a cool trophy but the chance to play for the national championship.
It’s been a busy week here in New Orleans, so I don’t blame you if you missed any of the great coverage from a variety of sources.
Here’s a rundown of my contributions….
OSU WRs Bridging Gap from Good to Great – The Buckeyes’ receivers say they are better now because of last year’s poor finish
Overheard at Ohio State’s Sugar Bowl Media Day – Tidbits from Tuesday in New Orleans
Tide Defense Presents New Look for Buckeyes – Ohio State has not faced a defense as big as Alabama’s this season.
BSB’s Take: Sugar Bowl Thoughts – Our four writers in New Orleans break down the keys to the CFP semifinal.
Overheard at the Sugar Bowl: OSU Defense – Luke Fickell, Joey Bosa and other Buckeyes talked about their matchup with Alabama and more
Defensive Progress Gratifying for Fickell – Ohio State’s defensive coordinator prefers to pass praise around, but others expressed happiness
Overheard at the Sugar Bowl: OSU Offense – Cleaning out the reporter’s notebook from New Orleans
Jones Still a Secret Weapon for Buckeyes? – Alabama defenders acknowledged Ohio State prep hindered by lack of film
And from FOXSportsOhio.com:
Doran Grant called the Sugar Bowl the biggest game in college football history, but the Buckeyes say they will not be fazed by the rise in the stakes — like they were the last time they were on this stage. LINK
What will Tom Herman tell Cardale Jones about how to beat Alabama? Just be himself. VIDEO
Taylor Decker called Jones a goofball, but he has seen a lot of growth from the QB. VIDEO
No need to wait until the end of the last game of the rest of the season.
Top takeaways from reviewing the win at Minnesota:
With quarterback J.T. Barrett busting off long runs the last two games, this really is the Urban Meyer spread offense in full bloom now at Ohio State. Power back inside, speedy slot receivers who can run and catch, outside receivers who can go the distance via slant or fade. Powerful offensive line greasing the skids. Tight ends who are powerful blockers and can at least chain movers in the passing game.
If the offense has arrived as an all-around threat as opposed to one revolving around just an outstanding talent or two, the defense is still finding its way. The stop unit was respectable at Minnesota against a Golden Gopher offense that does certain things very well and others pretty poorly, but it will probably need to continue refining its process as the season wears on.
A return to the Big Ten Championship Game is in sight for Ohio State, but first the Buckeyes must dispatch Indiana at home this weekend.
Urban Meyer was happy to acknowledge this has been a big goal of the team since the end of last season, when they saw their national championship hopes snuffed out in Indianapolis by Michigan State.
The Buckeyes’ pass defense was their undoing at the end of last season, but that has looked much better under the direction of Chris Ash.
The run defense? Not so much. Continue reading Buckeyes looking to lock up Big Ten East division against Indiana
With another week of football season in the books, here’s a roundup of the marks I left on the Internet as Ohio State and Minnesota got ready for a big November football game.
Of course we spent a lot of time looking back at the Buckeyes’ big win at Michigan State, including what that taught us about both programs, but the Golden Gophers deserve some respect after already winning seven games this season, including a spanking of Iowa last season.
There was also time for a little fun from the world of Major League Baseball.
OSU Football: Scouting Minnesota – We take a look at the Buckeyes’ next opponent on the gridiron
OSU Football Second Thoughts: Michigan State – The Buckeyes made use of their various talent advantages
Cus Words: Better Not Look Down – The Buckeyes are back on top of the Big Ten, but they can’t afford to overlook Minnesota
OSU Assistants: Warinner and Ash – Buckeye coaches talk win at MSU, look ahead to Minnesota
I circled the Minnesota game as a potential trap game in August. I was thinking about that even before the Michigan State game was moved to a night affair, and that loss of preparation time led me to pick the upset in our preseason predictions for Buckeye Sports Bulletin and here on the blog.
A mental letdown is also natural coming off such an emotional win against the Spartans, and in the summer it was easy to see the Buckeyes having a hard time getting up for a nondescript Minnesota team almost 50 years removed from its last Big Ten championship.
The Golden Gophers at 7-2 and coming off a thrashing of Iowa are too good to call this a trap game, though. I do believe they will have the Buckeyes’ attention, but that doesn’t mean there can’t be an upset.
Heading into last week, I felt pretty confident Ohio State had better players than Michigan State, but I was not at all sure they were ready mentally to utilize that skill. The first 25 minutes or so of game action validated this belief, but then they righted themselves and turned on the afterburners.
That response — and an even greater talent disparity — makes me think the Buckeyes will take care of business in Minneapolis, but there is certainly a path to victory for Minnesota.
The Golden Gophers dominated Iowa with the help of turnovers, and such miscues were part of their undoing in an upset at Illinois. If they can come out ahead in this department and hit some shots in play action (although Ohio State is curiously enough 2-0 when losing the turnover battle this season), they have a formidable running attack and defense that can shorten the game.
Here’s my full scouting report at BuckeyeSports.com.
My takeaway from the reviewing Ohio State’s breakthrough win last week at Michigan State is this: The most encouraging sign for Ohio State football fans moving forward from last week’s win at Michigan State could be the offensive coaches trusting their guys to carry out their philosophy — then seeing J.T. Barrett and Co. do that with ruthless effectiveness.
As I wrote last week would probably be the best plan of action, the Buckeyes made most of their hay running up the middle and throwing over the top when the time was right. They did what they do better than what Michigan State normally does. I got the vibe in the postgame interview room this came as a big surprise to the people asking MSU defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi what went wrong, but he didn’t offer much in the way of excuses. He might have suspected this was coming. Continue reading Ohio State football rediscovers itself