Does Ohio State need a win at MSU to become Ohio State again?

Urban Meyer made no attempt to hide the fact Ohio State has something more than a win or even prime position in the conference race on the line Saturday night at Michigan State.

The Buckeyes are also playing to regain their position as the top dog in the Big Ten, or as he put it, “the respect Ohio State deserves.” (Read more: Meyer: Buckeyes playing for ‘respect Ohio State deserves’ | FOX Sports.)

The head coach was sure to point out Ohio State still has only one true rival, though, reiterating something he said during the summer.

Meyer: Buckeyes playing for 'respect Ohio State deserves' | FOX Sports

 

When Meyer was done, assistant coaches Tom Herman, Tim Hinton and Luke Fickell had a lot of interesting things to say about the Buckeyes and the Spartans, including some flashbacks to last year’s Big Ten Championship game and a fair amount of Xs and Os. That comes as no surprise given the stature Michigan State’s defense – imported from Ohio – has gained over the past few years under Mark Dantonio and Pat Narduzzi.

Monday was also a big day for the program’s future as Torrance Gibson, on of the top quarterback prospects in the country, gave a verbal commitment to Ohio State from his school in Florida.

Gibson is the second signal caller to commit to Ohio State for 2015, joining Joey Burrow of Athens, Ohio. While signing two quarterbacks in one year has been rare at Ohio State over the past 15 years, history shows it could have some tremendous results for the Buckeyes.

Week in review includes Archie Griffin’s clever costume

Another week of football season has come to a close. Here’s a look back in case you missed anything… OldPennState-Antique

From BuckeyeSports.com:

Ohio State Football: Scouting Illinois – We take a look at the Buckeyes’ next opponent on the gridiron

Second Thoughts: Ohio State-Penn State – Lessons from a review of the film from the Buckeyes’ last game

Cus Words: Time Running Out On Ohio State? – Taking a look at where Ohio State’s close call in Happy Valley leaves the Buckeyes

OSU Assistant Coachspeak: Coombs and Drayton – We recap what Urban Meyer’s assistants had to say Monday in preparation for the next game

Meanwhile, at FOXSportsOhio.com:

Check out Archie Griffin’s awesome Halloween costume

Ohio State hoping to pick up QB commit Monday

Ohio State 16th in first College Football Playoff rankings

Buckeyes hope close call pays dividends down the road

Buckeyes look back at Penn State, ahead to Illinois

Ohio State’s preparation for its eighth game of the season began Monday with the typical press conferences at the Woody Hayes Athletics Center.

Coach Urban Meyer was asked about the release of the first College Football Playoff standings (to be released Tuesday night) and said he felt style points will count the same now as they did in the BCS (video).

There are bigger concerns after an undermanned Penn State squad pushed the Buckeyes to the brink of their first conference loss before Ohio State prevailed in double overtime, 31-24.

Ohio State running backs coach Stan Drayton
Ohio State running backs coach Stan Drayton

Meyer hopes that adversity — coming on the heels of four straight blowouts — will help his young Ohio State squad improve as the middle of the season turns into the stretch run.

“You just were in a street fight, and you’re winning,” Meyer said. “You started getting your tail kicked and you came back and won. That builds toughness.” (Read more)

Meanwhile, assistant coaches Stan Drayton and Kerry Coombs talked about their takeaways from the game after Meyer was finished. Drayton and Coombs both agreed they were proud of the way the Buckeyes responded to adversity in overtime, but Drayton admitted issues with execution were a factor in the struggles of the offense in the second half. For a full rundown of what they had to say, click here.

Cus Words Week In Review: Ohio State, Penn State, Cavaliers, etc.

So the blog was quiet this week, but I kept plenty busy. Here’s a rundown of writings in case you missed anything…

Ohio Stadium Sept. 8, 2012

From BuckeyeSports.com

Cus Words: Moving Along – After another blowout win, where do the Buckeyes stand?

OSU Assistant Coachspeak: Johnson and Smith – A rundown of what some of Urban Meyer’s assistants shared with the media this week

Second Thoughts: Ohio State-Rutgers – Observations and opinions after a review of the tape of Ohio State’s last game

Ohio State Football: Scouting Penn State – We take a look at how Ohio State’s next opponent looks on film

Over at FoxSportsOhio.com

Meyer more pleased with Buckeyes’ attitude than performance

Cavs big three put on show for Central Ohio

Devon Still jersey sales raise more than $1.25M for cancer research

Recent history hasn’t favored freshmen QBs in OSU-PSU series

Cleveland LB flips to Ohio State from Florida

When a tie feels like a loss

With Ohio State off this weekend, Ohio had a chance to focus on its pro football teams, and the Browns and Bengals certainly delivered plenty of storylines to get us through. Some thoughts on the men in stripes…

OK, so it wasn’t all bad. And it isn’t all bad. But it sure felt bad. And a day later it really hasn’t started feeling better.

The Bengals did some good things Sunday against the Panthers. They also did some bad things. The latter could have been erased with one kick by Mike Nugent, but the home-state hero didn’t come through.

The result was a 37-all final score that left the Bengals in first place in the AFC North but lots of questions about the rest of the season.

The way the Browns whipped the fading Steelers made the result all the more meaningful, leaving the division lead feeling more precarious, but the tie was not really the top story in Cincinnati.

Continue reading

The Best Is Yet To Come

The future is bright for Ohio State, but how long will it take to get here?

That’s the question in my weekly football column for BuckeyeSports.com.

Marshall

So far we have seen a young team flummoxed by a unique scheme look bad one night this season but bounce back with three straight wins over opponents that were overmatched to varying degrees.

There was a lot to like about the win in Maryland, including growth into the scheme on both sides of the ball.

Click here for more: Cus Words: The Best Is Yet To Come – Ohiostate – Scout.

Sights from Ohio State’s win at Maryland

Ohio State and Maryland met on the football field for the first time last Saturday, and the Buckeyes won handily to improve to 4-1.

Here’s a look at some of the sights from Byrd Stadium.  Continue reading

An intriguing name for Michigan’s next head coach

This Bill Connelly piece on a potential (now inevitable?) Michigan head coach search in the near future is interesting for a lot of reasons, but the one that caught my eye most was the inclusion of Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen.

As a student of the history of the game and of course the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry, this possibility (if it’s even real, which may or may not be) is truly fascinating.

Why? Because it would almost perfectly recreate the dynamic of the most intense period The Game has ever seen: The 10-Year War.  Continue reading