Wednesday, November 23

Moving on

The reasons I’m going to cut the recap of Ohio St’s loss to Penn St last weekend short are threefold.
1.) I’m on vacation and in a lazy mood.
2.) I hate writing about losses and frankly it’s starting to get old.
3.) We have more important things to talk about - namely playing that school up north in a few days and welcoming a new leader in Columbus.

Game Recap
For the third straight game, Ohio St’s defense put themselves in a 10-0 hole. The D then turned it on and kept their team in the game for the third consecutive contest as well, but the OSU offense was again too anemic to overcome the early deficit. Braxton Miller’s 24-yard TD run at the beginning of the second quarter made the score 10-7, but Stephfon Greene immediately answered with his second score of the game to put the Lions back up by ten. Jake Stoneburner, who has been virtually invisible since his hot start, caught a touchdown from Brax to cut the PSU lead back to three. That was as close as the Buckeyes would get. Penn St added another FG as time expired in the first half to make it 20-14 at the break.

Watching both Ohio St and Penn St’s offense struggle mightily all year long, I mentioned how no matter what the over/under is on this game that the under would be a good bet. The line was set at 38, and after 34 first half points, these two were well on their way to make me look like a fool. Then the inept offenses (as well as the dominating defenses) that we’ve come to expect from these two squads came out in a scoreless second half to hit the under after all.

Both teams squandered golden opportunities, starting with Ohio St when Jordan Hall, lined up in the wildcat, and Boom Herron fumbled the exchange near the goal line. I don’t know who was actually at fault, so I’ll just blame the play call. I talked about how stupid the wildcat is for OSU last week, and they did their best to prove me right in this game. I think it’s safe to say that we will not see this again. While I’m complaining about the play-calling, what the hell where we doing with Carlos Hyde? The man is pushing 250 pounds - he is a “pound it up the middle” guy. Yet Ohio St used him like his was Jamaal Berry in this game. He was returning kicks, catching swing passes, and running the aforementioned wildcat. As much as I hate the formation with Hall or Boom back there, it get’s infinitely worse when you run it with Hyde. It may sound like I’m piling on Carlos here, but I’m more upset with the coaching staff for using him incorrectly (as well as piling on Hyde - he did have a crucial fumble after all).

Penn St blew their chance when they had a first-and-goal and a couple of OSU penalties gave them eight cracks at the end zone. EIGHT. The Lions were unsuccessful each time, including a 4th down from the 1. I am usually aggressive and say teams should go for it on 4th down more often, but I think Penn St blew this call and should have elected for the field goal to put them up two scores. I didn’t matter, however, as Ohio St couldn’t manage even one score. An intentional grounding call on Miller on the game’s final drive halted any chance at a comeback, and the Buckeyes dropped their second in a row.

Urban Meyer
Although it won’t be official until next week, reports are that Urban Meyer has inked a seven-year, $40 million deal to become Ohio St’s next head ball coach. I’ve been saying this was going to happen all year long, and thought it was laughable that Penn St fans actually though he’d choose them over OSU. Critics of Ohio St’s choice say that he will be there for three or four years then leave, and they’d rather have a lifer like Jim Tressel (who would have been if not for the scandal). First of all, Jim Tressel’s just don’t grow on trees - we were very lucky to find him back in 2001. More importantly, if Meyer is only there for four years and brings us four Big Ten titles and a National Championship (certainly a plausible scenario), I’d be on board with that. Welcome to Columbus, Coach Meyer. I can’t wait to see what the future holds.

michigan Week
As I write this, it has been 2,923 days since Ohio St has last lost to that school up north. This is always one of my favorite weekends of the year, made even better by being able to celebrate a victory each of the last seven years. As an added bonus this year, I’ll be joining my FCF cohorts Nick and Andy in Cleveland for the Pigskin Classic, a pre-game 5k race and tailgate leading up to us watching Ohio St embarrass those asshole for an eighth straight time.

I think I’ve made it pretty clear that I don’t care for those fellows from Ann Arbor much, but I will give some credit - the 2011 wolverines are a better team than they have been in years past. Add that to the fact that Ohio St has their worst team since 2001, and michigan is favored by eight points. It’s just going to make it that much sweeter when the Buckeyes win in the gay house.

The game plan for Ohio St is clear - stop can’t-tie from running. Andrew Sweat returning to action would go a long way, but that doesn’t look probable. If he’s out, Storm Klein will likely get the task of spying can’t-tie, and his success could determine the outcome. On the offensive side of the ball, it will be a steady dose of Boom Herron. Boom has typically saved his best for his rival, scoring two TD’s as a freshman in a backup role to Beanie Wells in ’08 and rushing for 175 yards in last year’s beat down. I’ll expect a similar performance this weekend, and to keep the streak going.
Prediction: Ohio St 28 michigan 20


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