Archive for the 'Football' Category



03
Oct
11

back away from the ledge.

UPDATE: No Posey, no Herron and (surprise!) no Marcus Hall against Nebraska.

On the Friday before the opener against Akron, I met my dad, James Bond and Fred at the Varsity Club, for a kickoff lunch and the renewal of a high-stakes bet based on our predicted records for the season.

I don’t recall everyone’s predictions, but I think that at 9-3, I was the pessimist of the group.

And after Saturday, I think 9-3 would feel pretty good.

Because it’s not all that hard to imagine Ohio State not winning again until it plays Indiana. In November. Ouch.

But I don’t think that’s what’s going to happen. There could be another five losses on the schedule — but I don’t think that’s going to be the case. This isn’t going to be a championship season — and it’s not even going to be close, boys and girls — but things aren’t as bad as they felt at 7 p.m. Saturday evening. Look:

The defense is what we’re used to seeing at Ohio State. After Saturday’s game, our Buckeyes still had the 10th best scoring defense in the country. It’s easy to lose sight of this after a loss, but holding a senior quarterback and his very good offense to 10 points is a great day.

Help’s on the way. Returning to the field on Saturday: left tackle Mike Adams. He may or may not be joined by tailback Boom Herron and receiver DeVier Posey (it sounds like we’ll find out more about that this afternoon). The return of the skill players is important (Posey in particular — we’re already seeing injuries among the receivers and having an all-conference guy back can do nothing but help the confidence of whoever’s playing under center) but getting Adams back will be the biggest deal. The offensive line has struggled; having its anchor back in the huddle — and moving the other guys back to positions that more naturally suit them — is going to help.

It’s all in their heads. In 2008, there was a crushing road loss at USC and a devastating loss to Penn State at home; the team improved after both losses and won a bid to a BCS game. I’m not seeing a BCS berth at the end of this season, but we will see improvement. I’m not ready to make any predictions about wins and losses, but I guarantee we’re going to see a better team on the field against Wisconsin than we did against Michigan State. The current seniors were here for that 2008 season; they know what it takes to recover mentally, and they will bring the other guys along.

Youth movement. Think about it — four seniors, all starters, all among the better players at their positions in the country — and all gone for the first five games this year. Could we realistically expect the same kind of performance from replacements who A) had been perpetual backups or B) are true freshmen? Not if we’re being honest with ourselves, no. Think back to 2008 again. We saw occasional brilliance from that season’s freshman quarterback — but more often, we saw him play like he was a freshman quarterback. Braxton Miller’s in the same boat. We’ve seen great plays from him already, and I think he has a greater upside than did his predecessor. But if Ohio State is going to realize that potential for the next two or three years, we’re going to have to endure some mistakes now.

(Caveat to the above: We need to play Miller. Joe Bauserman’s performance against Akron had less to do with his ability than it had to do with what Akron lacked. It’s going to be better all the way around to suffer through Miller’s mistakes while he improves than to hope for a decent season from a mediocre caretaker — and have to go through Miller’s learning process next year.)

We’re going to be fine, boys and girls. We have the same talent on this team as we’ve had in the last decade. We have a ton of young guys — not to mention a young coach — and they’re not going to react like veterans when things get tough.

But later this season, they will. And they’re going to need us behind them when they’re ready.

Photo credit: The Ozone.

30
Sep
11

you get what you ask for.

As we approached the start of the 2011 season, I spent an entire post griping about the heat we were to experience during the Akron game.

And I was right, sort of. The temps didn’t peak that day in the upper 80s; they got close to 100 instead.

I know we’re always going to have some warm-weather games early in the season, but that doesn’t stop me from hoping for some actual football weather as soon as we can get it.

Even if that means we’re getting November on Oct. 1:

National Weather Service:

The Weather Channel:

Accuweather:

I wanted football weather, and I’m going to get it tomorrow morning. Y’all dress appropriately, and we’ll see you there.

23
Sep
11

thirsty.

Good lord, no -- not the beer.

Braxton Miller gets the start against Colorado. He’s going to make more mistakes than Bauserman would, but hooboy, the upside is tantalizing. And after last week’s debacle, I’ll take making some plays — and dealing with some mistakes — over doing absolutely nothing.

12
Sep
11

two weeks, one weak.

It was supposed to be like this anyway...

We’re two weeks into the season. The tailgates have been good, the parking has been ideal and the football … well, I’m not sure about the football yet. Here’s a rundown:

The Parking: Hooboy, this has been the best part about the season so far. you’ll recall that we felt pretty good about getting back to our usual lot before the season started, and so far, that’s worked perfectly. We have shade, we don’t have crowds and we have nearly all of the things — with the possible exception of grass — that we’ve enjoyed in the past. It could be that no one has questioned us about being there because no one has noticed us, but with each week, I’m feeling better about the prospects of us just being able to stay there.

The parties: As is often the case attendance was a little light the first week, but we recovered nicely on Saturday. The noon games are tough — tough on me, because I’m up at 5 a.m., and tough on the rest of y’all, because there just isn’t a whole lot of tailgate party to work with before it’s time to pack up and go inside. I am hopeful we won’t have many more noon starts for the rest of the year.

And did we eat well? Yes we did. Bud volunteered to make his breakfast hash for the first week; we’ve covered that recipe here before, and in spite of some technical difficulties with the propane skillet, it was as good as it always was.

I did the Groundhog-standard eggless breakfast casseroles on Saturday, and they were apparently popular. The basic recipe is here, but of course, I made some changes. One was simple — the base, but I substituted two pounds of bacon for the two pounds of sausage. The other was tweaked a little more. I used a pound of regular ground sausage and a pound of spicy; I also added a couple diced jalapenos to the mix, enough for flavor but not so much that it would blow anyone’s head off.

And it was good.

The pigskin: Damn, we looked good against Akron. Bauserman had the kind of day I didn’t know he was capable of, the receivers were sharp — THREE TOUCHDOWN CATCHES BY A TIGHT END WHAT? — and we didn’t appear to miss the suspended starters a whole bunch. It was the kind of game that made you feel good — but you realize that the opponent was good enough that you learned a whole lot about what to expect from your team later on.

And then there was Toledo.

I’m hoping that the near-upset was because of a couple of things: the fact that the Rockets are really good (we’ll find out more about that this weekend, when they host Boise State), and the attention of the Buckeyes was focused more on Miami this week than the game last week. Whether or not that’s the case, here’s one thing that’s certain — if Toledo hadn’t racked up the penalties they had, we would have lost that game. To an in-state team. For the first time since 1921.

Ouch.

I don’t think a lack of focus will be a problem this weekend, but hooboy the competition gets a lot better. We don’t know if the NCAA will let us have the Charity Three — as opposed to the Tat Four — back for the game against the Hurricanes, but their guys who were suspended in Week One, including quarterback Jacory Harris, will be back on the field, ┬áif they don’t crash any more Jet Skis into yachts in the interim.

How good is Ohio State? I think we’ll know the answer to that question by about 11 Saturday night.

07
Sep
11

respect. toughness. history. tradition.

New video, first posted on Facebook today, by Archie:

 

29
Aug
11

let’s play some football.

Speechless.

28
Aug
11

it’s time.

Did you feel it this morning? I did.

I’m sure it has more to with the northerly wind pulled down towards Pittsburgh by Hurricane Irene than it does an actual change of seasons, but when we walked out of the house today to hunt down some breakfast, I was hit by a cool breeze crossing our front porch.

And it felt like fall.

We’re just a few days away from the start of the season, one that felt like it would never actually get here. It’s going to be an unusual one, with the suspensions, the addition of a new rival that could win the conference in its first season … and the possibility that the NCAA could still drop a nasty surprise in our laps before the end of November.

That’s all real, and it will all have a bearing on what happens in Columbus in the fall of 2011.

But once I felt that breeze this morning, none of it mattered.

What does matter? Arriving in Columbus on Friday. Visiting Buckeye Corner and The Andersons and Giant Eagle. Checking on all the gear Friday afternoon. Checking it again Friday night. Trying, unsuccessfully, to get enough sleep on Friday night that the alarm going off at 5 Saturday morning won’t be too painful. Getting in the lot — whichever lot it turns out to be — at 8, pulling out chairs, starting up the stove, having the first bloody mary, welcoming friends back for the first time since the end of November — that’s what matters.

In terms of the weather, I don’t think it’s going to feel much like fall on Saturday — it’s supposed to be close to 90 by the time the game against Akron is done — but that won’t matter either.

Fall is here. Football is here. And I’m ready to go.

16
Aug
11

spotlight.

2003: Kellen Winslow Jr. and Nevin Shapiro during happier days.

Dear Nevin Shapiro:

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Jim Tressel

13
Aug
11

ready?

Yes. Yes I am.

22
Jul
11

old faithful.

It seems to happen every year. A picture of Nike’s planned alternate uniform for Ohio State leaks, and I freak out.

While I am happy to have something to write about besides the unpleasantness, I am so not happy about this year’s apparent choice. As has been the case in the past, this is a leaked photo, and there are no guarantees that this is how Nike will actually dress the team.

(But I should also point out — in both of the previous years, the leaked pix were accurate.)

With that background, boys and girls, I give you this, the 2011 Ohio State Football Nike Pro Combat Uniform (as posted on No Two-Minute Warning, via my friend Kelly):

OK. Let’s take a second and point out a couple things:

1) The uniforms are black.

2) They will be worn for the Oct. 29 game, when Ohio State hosts Wisconsin. At night.

3) Someone at Nike thinks it’s a good idea to wear all-black uniforms during a night game.

4) That person needs to be smacked in the head with something heavy. Like maybe one of those black helmets.

I’m at the point where I know this is going to happen every year. Fine. Nike shows off the latest in football uniform design and technology, and Ohio State makes a shit-ton of money selling replica jerseys. Woo, everyone’s happy.

If this is in fact OSU’s design for 2011, it will be the first time, though, that the Pro Combat unis might be a detriment to the team when it’s on the field. And I’m not OK with that.




2017 schedule

Aug. 31: vs. at Indiana, 8 p.m.
Sept. 9: Oklahoma, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 16: Army, 4:30 p.m.
Sept. 23: UNLV
Sept. 30: at Rutgers
Oct. 4: at Maryland
Oct. 7: Maryland
Oct. 14: at Nebraska
Oct. 28: Penn State, 3:30 p.m.
Nov. 4: at Iowa
Nov. 11: Michigan State
Nov. 18: Illinois
Nov. 22: Indiana
Nov. 25: at Team Up North, noon
Dec. 2: B1G Championship, 8 p.m.

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