Posts Tagged ‘coverage


not superstitious.

In 2012, my helmet-stripe underpants — picked by you guys — served me very well.

And that’s why I’m asking for your help again this year.

As you may recall, a year ago I asked for your help with picking out the boxer shorts I wear for each Saturday during the season, a habit I choose to refer to as a “tradition” rather than a “superstition.” And going with the pick you guys made, Ohio State ran through an undefeated season.

And maybe those helmet-stripe boxers are a good place to start. Do they have another 12 straight wins in them? Or 13? Or even 14? Or did I use up all of their luck in 2012?

I’m counting on you guys to come up with those answers.

Your contenders:

Helmet stripe.

Helmet stripe.


Bright red plaid.

Bright red plaid.





Gray pattern.

Gray pattern.


Block O.

Block O.


Not-as-bright red plaid.

Not-as-bright red plaid.


And here’s the deal: I’ll have all six pairs with me in Columbus this weekend. Once I finish loading the truck — probably about 6:30 Saturday morning, if all goes as planned — I’ll check the vote totals. The leader at that point will be the pick for the season.

Thank you once again for your support.







click. click. boom.

The song above is apparently a staple at Beaver Stadium; we heard snippets of it several times during Saturday’s game.

It’s also a pretty apt analogy for the game itself, especially if we’re talking about Ohio State.

First quarter: Click.

Second quarter: Click.

Second half: BOOM.

Here’s what I saw:

  • In the first half, Braxton Miller continued to look like he was trying too hard to not run; yes, we’re all concerned about his health — and we were all terrified last weekend against Purdue — but I think he can swing too far in the other direction. He’s a better passer than his predecessor, but he’s not a drop-back quarterback and his running game must be part of his offense.
  • But when he did run? Somewhere between being scraped off the field against Purdue and the start of the Penn State game, Braxton learned A) how to slide and B) where the sideline is.
  • And when he has room to run, he is magic.
  • I do not understand the special teams breakdowns. Ohio State — and special teams coordinator Urban Meyer — has been lucky that one of them hasn’t cost us a game so far this season. Against Wisconsin, or Michigan — or even against Illinois — it could.
  • The touchdown Ohio State gave up on the blocked punt was balanced out by Adam Griffin’s play to break up Penn State’s fake punt. Outstanding.
  • Does anyone else think Rod Smith looks a lot like Eddie George did in his first season or two? Big, physical, deceptively fast long stride? Even the occasional fumble?
  • We heard a lot of grumbling about penalties from those wearing white in Beaver Stadium. Penn State gave up 85 yards on nine penalties. Ohio State gave up 75 yards on seven. Hm.
  • To save the best for last: Saturday’s game against Penn State was easily Ohio State’s best defensive effort of the season. One stat: Penn State had 32 yards rushing on 28 attempts. That’s a good day.


Hi. It’s been a while. Let’s get caught up, shall we?

  • By a narrow margin, we have decided that Ohio State plays in the Pork Division. Excellent decision, you guys.
  • Boy, the Nebraska game was fun. I didn’t feel like there were huge defensive lapses — in spite of Nebraska’s 38 points — and the offense … hooboy, the offense. The weather was gorgeous, the halftime show — that was the video game theme show, the one that went viral in the days that followed the game — and with the exception of Mrs. Crappy’s absence for illness, that was a great time all the way around.
  • Boy, the Nebraska tailgate was, uh, even funner. We had a huge crowd for the all-day party, and we had two excellent meals. Suzanne was the star of the lunchtime show; her Mexican tarts — known to Juan as “our special guests” — were delicious, and the corn I made to go alongside turned out pretty well, if I do say so myself. For dinner, we went through about 18 pounds of the family sloppy joe mix. Everyone went above and beyond the call of duty in bringing along snacks and sides, and our other special guests — all part of Lovely Rita Meter Maid’s entourage — were awesome people to hang out with all afternoon.
  • We got home from the night game and finished unpacking around 2 a.m. Sunday. I love night games, but I’m glad they happen just once a year.
  • Recipes? We have recipes. Specifically, the recipes for Suzanne’s tarts and my corn will be coming soon.
  • Bud and Pat visited Pittsburgh for my birthday weekend, which meant we watched the Indiana game at home, accompanied by pizza from our favorite local place. That part was good; Ohio State’s defense was not. But I knew that might be the case when I saw a tweet from Tim May, who saw that Zach Boren was warming up with the linebackers. My folks went to bed with about five minutes left in the game, and joked about me coming to get them if Indiana came back. And they didn’t believe me when I told them the final score on Sunday morning.
  • If you’re ever looking for pizza on Pittsburgh’s North Side, look up Pizza Pescara. Seriously.
  • And now we’re in Columbus, watching the weather and eyeing an early bedtime, so we can be ready to do it all over again in the morning. It’s a little difficult to believe that there are just three more home games this season, but there you go … Purdue, Illinois and our bowl game for the season against the Team Up North. That’ll make for a good finish, boys and girls, even without postseason play — and it’s time to get ready for the 2012 Pork Division Championship.

anxiety unfounded.

All three of us in the truck were a little anxious when we approached campus around 7:30 Saturday morning. We had settled on giving the lot behind Campbell Hall a try with the 12th and Cannon lots as our rather unpleasant backup option.

We cruised past our old space — or, rather, spaces — on Herrick Drive, approached the lot we saw the day before … and saw orange cones blocking the entrance.


But. There were guys taking money for the adjacent parking garage at the end of the street that runs behind our desired home; we drove up and asked.

The answer? On football Saturdays, the lot we scoped out was a public disability lot. All you needed to park there was a handicapped hang-tag and fifteen American dollars.

And we had both.

It’s possible that I did a jumping happy dance after I parked the truck in the corner space, under a broad tree and next to a wide expanse of grass. I might have done that again when Mrs. Crappy wandered two blocks away — a short stroll past Mirror Lake — and found the William Oxley Thompson Library, with a coffee shop and large, clean restrooms. In a library. Which will always be open. As in, never closed. And then I might have danced a third time, when Bud asked and was told that Neil Avenue Parking Garage, just next door, was also public, save for spaces reserved for media. No more walks from 12th and Cannon lots for our fellow Killer Nuts Tailgaters.


It’s all right there. It’s all available to all of us, with only the possible hindrance of making sure we’re there early enough to get the spaces we want.

To summarize: We’re set, boys and girls. Unless the OSU Medical Center decides to swallow another chunk of campus, our parking worries are over.


Toward the end of the first quarter, there might have been a little anxiety about the football as well. Two breakdowns in pass coverage had given Miami two long gains; decent defensive recoveries — along with a missed field goal and a dropped pass or two — kept the Redhawks Redskins from building the 14-0 lead they probably deserved.

But the defense wasn’t the problem. It was the offense — the power spread we’ve all been dreaming about — that was. For the game’s first 15 minutes, it felt a lot like 2011. Running backs going nowhere. Braxton Miller scrambling. And nothing that resembled a drive, because there were no first downs. Ohio State finally started to move the ball towards the end of the quarter, and just a couple minutes into the second, the Buckeyes broke the ice in spectacular fashion.

And, really, that’s when the game was over. Miami quarterback Zac Dysert is a good one, and he rolled up 313 passing yards on the day — but got just one touchdown to show for it. After taking the first quarter off, Ohio State’s offense had a 500-yard day, and Braxton racked up Nintendo numbers: 161 yards rushing, with one touchdown; 14 of 24 yards passing for 207 yards and two touchdowns. We got a decent look at how the offense is going to work, as well. Miller’s targets were everywhere — receivers, tight ends, backs — and most of the passes were short routes, with potential for long gains after the catch. And especially after Miller’s 65-yard touchdown run at the start of the second half, play-action off an option look is going to be a killer play as the season progresses.

We started Saturday — both the tailgate and the game — wondering what was to come. By the time we were headed home in the afternoon, we had a much better idea.


spring forward.

I am happily watching the replay of Ohio State’s spring game, happy because I finally have some actual football to sink my teeth into.

Of course, it’s impossible to separate this afternoon’s game from the shitstorm my football team has been involved with for the past few months, and much of the discussion during the broadcast — and many of the thoughts I have about what transpired today — touch on the suspensions and how the Buckeyes deal with them in September.

  • I’m kind of digging the camo helmets.
  • Announced attendance was around 45,000. Product of the weather forecast or are people still irritate about the Tressel situation?
  • (To answer my own question — I think I’m pretty much the only one who’s still irritated about the Tressel situation.)
  • I wish Joe Bauserman had stepped up to lead the race to replace Pryor in the season’s first five games; he’s put in the time, he;s a senior, he’s been the backup for two seasons. But I didn’t see it today.
  • I’m not willing to anoint him yet, but Braxton Miller, pictured above, show flashes of why we should be excited having him in Columbus. He throws a good ball — although he needs to learn a little touch — and once he has a better sense of being in the pocket, he’s going to run as well as Troy Smith or Terrelle Pryor.
  • Like Bauserman, I was hoping to see more from an experienced quarterback like Kenny Guiton. He had one excellent touch pass for a touchdown, and a bunch of clunkers.
  • The Graham kid? Terrific arm, but just about zero sense in the pocket. Think he got sacked 38 times during the game.
  • The quarterbacks struggled early, in part, because the offensive line was shaky, especially against the defensive ones. For me, that underscores what I think will be the biggest loss of the Tat Five suspendees — left tackle Mike Adams. How Ohio State does in September will depend on finding a replacement.
  • Boom Herron’s out for the first five games too, but running back is the least of my concerns. Jordan Hall looked exceptional running and catching the ball, and Rod Smith looks like a keeper.
  • Wide receiver: who are these guys? They look young, but I think we’ll see a couple develop into clear-cut starters by the fall. I hope T.Y. Williams is one of them, because his size will be a challenge for opposing corners; I hope Philly Brown is the other, because how can you not root for a guy named Philly Brown?
  • Defense is tough to judge, especially if we’re talking about the DBs and all the injuries that unit has dealt with this spring. Front seven? No worries, at least not for me.

As I’ve stopped dwelling on the whys of the suspensions and started thinking about actual football, and I’m feeling better about September. The road game at Miami isn’t as scary as it might sound — new coach, and a half-full stadium — which means we may not see a really tough test until the fifth game, against Michigan State. I think Miller’s going to be starting at quarterback by the second game, and if the O-line is OK, the team will be OK as well.




hit of the week.

As I didn’t see any of Saturday’s game — and saw very few highlights later that night — I’m guessing this was probably the best tackle my alma mater could muster against Ohio State all day:

Also: I’m hoping someone is going to step up and fill us in on Saturday’s festivities. Anybody? Bueller?


tropical depression.

My voice is mostly back, I’m kind of caught up on sleep and I’m still pretty pleased about the day we had Saturday. Here’s a look at what happened:
FOOTBALL: Ohio State’s special teams are indeed, uh, “special.” When Marshall broke a long kick return the week prior, I mentioned to Juan that Miami would likely have faster, better return guys and if the Bucks couldn’t get that straightened out, we might have some problems. And we did, to the tune of a kick return and a punt return for touchdowns. It wasn’t all bad — we had a couple of long returns our own selves — is everyone else happy to see Jamaal Berry finally on the field? — but the negative outweighs the positive here.
And that’s a shame, because it took away from an excellent defensive performance. Yes, the team gave up a lot of yardage, but they did so to a fast, solid offense; even with those numbers, the D surrendered just 10 points, for a total of, uh, 10 points on the season. My guess is that the defensive coaches were doing their best to guard against big plays, and that was largely successful. I’ll take that kind of effort every single time.
The offense was not spectacular, but it got the job done, scoring when the defense gave them the ball after a turnover or four, and although we didn’t hold the ball as long as I would have liked, putting points on the board is the name of the game. TP didn’t have a great game throwing the ball, but he showed off the other side of his game — largely ignored a week ago because it wasn’t needed — and turned in over 100 yards rushing.
PARKING: I mentioned last week that I wasn’t sure how this was going to go. As it turned out, we had little to be worried about. Crappydad got a pass for the South Lincoln lot — wihch the university’s parking and transportation folks said should be open through October — but we parked at Parks Hall, where we’ve always parked. Our usual spot has some kind of construction stuff going on, but our secondary spot — which was actually our original spot — was as accomodating as ever. It may turn out that we’ll be forced to park in the polo field lots by the end of the season, but for now, we have plenty of more pleasing options.
PARTY: In part because of the parking concerns, we got there early, as in about 8:15 Saturday morning. That’s leaning towards crazy-early for a 3:30 game, but it ensured we got to park where we wanted. And it was a nice morning, too — that extra time would have dragged if it had been as hot as it can be for the second game of the season, and it certainly didn’t feel like we were out there for six and a half hours by the time we packed up. Pat’s going to post the full menu, and Mrs. Crappy ┬áhas promised a post about the specifics of the main dish, but I can say that we ate and drank well.
NEXT: Mrs. Crappy and I are skipping the OU game (I know!) in favor of Podcamp Pittsburgh 5, so I’m going to be relying on the other KNTers to fill in the blanks for this week’s party. Y’all ready?


The start of fall camp meant the return of the Dispatch’s Buckeyextra podcast, featuring the paper’s two Ohio State football writers, Tim May and Ken Gordon. A new ‘cast showed up last night, and we’ll probably see one more before they pick up a weekly schedule once the season starts.

I wanted to mention the podcast here, because Ken and Tim do a nice job with it for a couple of old-media dinosaurs*. Tim has been covering the team for years, is a native of Alabama and tosses around folksy Southernisms a little like John Cooper used to (although my sense is that much of that schtick is done ironically — and at least Tim understands the importance of the Michigan game). And I actually went to school with Ken — I think he had started at The Post the same year I began my Army vacation — and he does a nice job on the mic as well. Also, he’s already started hassling Tim about ‘Bama’s national title, and I’d bet that’ll continue through the season.

There are a couple of ways you can get to the podcasts: you can listen at the Dispatch’s podcast page or you can download them from iTunes and listen in the car as you pass dozens of Steelers bumper stickers on your way to work.

OK. Maybe that’s just me.

*That’s a joke only I am allowed to make, boys and girls.



And no, the jinx doesn’t apply — this is one of four regional covers.

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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