Tag Archives: Buckeyes

NFL Buckeyes (2017, Week 15)

The Pittsburgh Steelers placed Ryan Shazier on the injured reserve list. But there is good news to report on the fourth-year linebacker. Shazier has begun the physical rehabilitation process at UPMC. On Sunday Night, he attended the Steelers game against the Patriots and watched from a suite and he saw the “Game of the Season.”
The Steelers’ Cam Heyward recorded his 10th sack of the season, becoming the first Steelers player to reach double figures in sacks since 2010. He finished the game with 2 hits on Tom Brady, 1 tackle, a tackle for loss, and 1 pass breakup in Pittsburgh’s 27-24 loss to the New England Patriots.

On Thursday Night Football, Denver Broncos tight end Jeff Heuerman caught a 54-yard touchdown from Brock Osweiler in their 25-13 win over the Indianapolis Colts. That was his only catch of the game. It was Heuerman’s 2nd touchdown this season. Defensively, Bradley Roby had 1 sack and 1 tackle for the winners. Jonathan Hankins made 5 total tackles, 1 sack and was credited with a half tackle for loss in defeat. 

Mike Thomas scored on a 4-yard touchdown catch to help the New Orleans Saints beat the New York Jets 31-19. Thomas finished with 9 receptions for 93 yards. The second-year wideout also made NFL history by being only the second player in league history to catch 90+ passes in his first two seasons. ODell Beckham Junior was the first and has accomplished the feat three consecutive seasons. Marshon Lattimore racked up 5 tackles, 1 for a loss, broke up 3 passes and picked off his 3rd career pass. Ted Ginn Junior was held out of the game with a rib injury. Darron Lee made 7 tackles, one for loss in defeat. 

Saturday night Joey Bosa made 4 tackles for the LA Chargers in a 30-13 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium.  

Adolphus Washington registered 3 total tackles for the Buffalo Bills in a 24-16 win over the Miami Dolphins. 

Carolina Panthers safety Kurt Coleman made 10 total tackles and broke up a pass in a 31-24 win over the Green Bay Packers. 

Carlos Hyde rushed for only 25 yards on 16 carries and caught 2 passes for 14 yards for the San Francisco 49ers in a 25-23 win over the Tennessee Titans.  

Rod Smith found the end zone again in a fourth consecutive game for the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football against the Oakland Raiders. He finished the game with 13 yards on 12 carries and caught 3 passes for 21 yards in the ‘Boys 20-17 win. Noah Brown caught 1 pass for 8 yards in the win. Dallas gets Ezekiel Elliott back next week from his 6-game suspension. The team went 3-3 without him.

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NFL Buckeyes (2017, Week 9)

Buckeye fans were probably in no mood to watch any more football this weekend after the Saturday afternoon massacre at Kinnick stadium. If you were one that avoided the NFL games on Sunday, you missed great performances by Buckeye alums.

Thanks to another appeal of his 6-game suspension by the NFL, Ezekiel Elliott was able to play for the Dallas Cowboys against the Kansas City Chiefs. Elliott carried the ball 27 times for 93 yards and a touchdown in Dallas’ 28-17 win over the Chiefs.

Carlos Hyde rushed for 41 yards on 12 carries and caught 9 passes for 84 yards for the San Francisco 49ers against the Arizona Cardinals. However, Hyde’s day ended early when he was ejected for fighting after a late hit by the Cardinals Antoine Bethea on Niners quarterback C.J. Beathard incited a brawl between the teams. San Francisco is 0-9.

The Denver Broncos Buckeye duo of Bradley Roby and Jeff Heuerman also suffered a huge loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on a short week after a Monday Night loss. Roby made 5 tackles and a pass breakup, and Heuerman was targeted once with no catches in the 51-23 loss. Malcolm Jenkins collected 3 total tackles and 2 pass breakups for the Eagles who are now 8-1.

The New Orleans quad of Buckeyes, Michael Thomas, Ted Ginn, Vonn Bell and Marshon Lattimore led the way for the Saints in their 30-10 win over their NFC South rivals from Tampa Bay. Ginn caught 4 balls for 59 yards and a touchdown; he also returned 2 kickoffs for 21 yards. Thomas caught 8 passes for 65 yards. Defensively, Bell made 5 tackles (3 solo), had 2 hits on the QB, 1 pass breakup and a half sack. The rookie, Lattimore, collected 4 total tackles and broke up a pass.

On Thursday Night Football, Adolphus Washington from the Buffalo Bills had 5 tackles (3 solo), 2 of them for a loss and a pass deflection in a 34-21 loss to the New York Jets. 2-year linebacker Darron Lee made 8 tackles (5 solo), 2 tackles for loss, 2 hits on the QB and a sack in the win.

New York’s other team, the Giants, with Eli Apple and Curtis Grant suffered a loss as bad as their former school. Apple had one tackle, while Grant made 6 total tackles in the G-Men’s 51-17 loss to the Los Angeles Rams.

John Simon and Malik Hooker missed the Indianapolis Colts 20-14 victory over the Houston Texans. Johnathan Hankins made 2 total tackles and broke up a pass in the win. Braxton Miller registered no stats for the Texans.

Carolina safety Kurt Coleman made 10 total tackles for the Panthers to help them get a 20-17 win against the Atlanta Falcons. Curtis Samuel caught 3 passes for 23 yards and carried the ball once for 14 in the win.

Washington’s Terrelle Pryor caught 2 passes for 17 yards in a 17-14 win over the Seattle Seahawks. Last week he had no catches.

On a Bye this week were Ryan Shazier and Cam Heyward of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Joey Bosa and Cardale Jones from the LA Chargers, and Pat Elflein of the Minnesota Vikings.

Buckeyes Fall into the Trap at Iowa

Hawkeye fans storm the field after watching their team blowout #6 Ohio State.

The roller coaster of emotion from last week’s thrilling comeback win to this week’s crushing defeat is only surpassed in my mind by the 2006 win over “TTUN” followed by the National Championship blowout loss to Florida a little over a month later. The Iowa Hawkeyes stomped out the Ohio State Buckeyes College Football Playoff hopes with a 55-24 victory.

Buckeye Nation knew it was going to be difficult. The warnings of a “trap game” were everywhere around Columbus. Iowa had Penn State on the ropes until the final seconds earlier this season. The Hawkeyes have completed a handful of historical upsets over Top 5 Associated Press ranked teams at Kinnick stadium since 2008. So when J.T. Barrett threw his second interception of the season for a 30-yard touchdown return eight seconds into the game, Buckeye Nation sensed they were in for a long uneasy day.

Here are my takeaways from a game Ohio State will love to forget.

* SILVER BLANKS?

The vaunted Silver Bullets defense got punked up and down the field by the Hawkeyes giving up 487 total yards (244 passing, 243 rushing) and 48 points. That’s the most points Iowa has EVER scored on an Ohio State team. On the season Iowa averaged only 28 points per game and 345.9 yards per game coming into Saturday’s game. Both of those stats rank 10th out of the 14 teams in the Big Ten.

The linebackers have shown no ability to effectively cover opposing team tight ends. The combo of T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant caught 9 passes for 135 yards and 4 touchdowns receptions. The ability to come up with a scheme to cover tight ends has been a problem for this team all season. Mike Gesicki made key plays for Penn State to move the chains last week. And that’s where I start to point the finger at the coaching staff.

Iowa ran a pro style offense that defensive coordinator Greg Schiano clearly wasn’t prepared for. During the ESPN broadcast, color analyst Brian Griese said Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz went back to Schiano’s days as Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach for film to prepare for this game. His last season there was 2013. 2013! That’s how you out coach someone, by looking for any and every edge you can get. All Schiano had to do was watch Iowa’s loss to Penn State.

* DOES URBAN STILL HAVE IT?

This has been itching at me for some time. At some point we need to question Urban Meyer’s ability to get his team’s ready for big games. I don’t care what Iowa’s record was coming into Saturday this was a big game (It was 5-3). Especially when you look at what was at stake for the Buckeyes in the College Football Playoffs. From Clemson in last season’s CFP, Oklahoma this season, Michigan State in 2015, the 2013 B1G championship game loss to the Spartans and the Orange Bowl loss to Clemson after the 2013 season, Coach Meyer has lost his luster in the games that Buckeye Nation has come accustomed to watching him win. That belief in him goes back to his 2006 National Championship victory over the Buckeyes with Florida. Did he lose it? We’ll find out in the next coming weeks.

* J.T. IS WHO WE THOUGHT HE WAS

All season I’ve been in his corner when Buckeye fans were calling for anyone to be under center but him. Then he goes out there last week and plays the best game of his career in a scarlet and gray jersey and tossed his name in the Heisman race only to come up with this 4-interception dud. His first interception in 190 passing on the first play from scrimmage of the game definitely set a bad tone and continued throughout the game. He looked like a true freshman playing his first Big Ten road game, not a 5th-year senior. Barrett was rattled and making terrible reads when his first receiver wasn’t open. He finished 18 of 34 for 208 yards and 3 touchdowns to go along with those 4 picks.

* B1G CHAMPS IS STILL A POSSIBILITY

Even with all the negatives, there is still something to play for. The Big Ten East division is still up for grabs with Michigan State’s win over Penn State. Next week’s showdown between the Spartans and the Buckeyes at the ‘Shoe all but decide who heads to Indianapolis to play for the conference championship and a New Year’s Six Bowl game. Hopefully they can bounce back. Kickoff is set for Noon.

 

 

Takeaways From Buckeyes Shucking of Nebraska

J.T. Barrett has record performance in victory over Nebraska. Photo Credit: OhioStateBuckeyes.com

Here come the Buckeyes, out for blood and clicking at a time when it matters the most.

Ninth ranked Ohio State defeated the Nebraska Cornhuskers 56-14 Saturday night in Lincoln. It was a complete beat down from opening kickoff to final horn.

Here are my biggest takeaways from their matchup with Nebraska.

* Barrett starts hot, stays hot.

J.T. might as well stand for Just Touchdowns. Barrett was 8 of 10 for 72 yards in the first quarter, connecting with six different receivers. He finished the game with 27 completions on 33 attempts for 325 yards and 5 touchdowns, connecting with 10 different receivers. He also rushed 10 times for 48 yards and 2 touchdowns. Those seven touchdowns he accounted for tied a school record for most responsible in a game in Buckeye history.

The young receiving core has finally gained his trust and he’s showing it by letting it rip. Two of his attempts down field drew pass interference penalties. Even if they’re not connecting on them, the threat of going deep with the speed at receiver is enough to get defenses off-balance, opening up more room to be exploited in the run game.

J.T. is looking like the guy from 2014. The one Buckeye Nation believed in whole-heartedly. He is sneakily getting his name back into the Heisman Trophy conversation.

* Offensive line doesn’t miss a beat, dominates.

Eight consecutive possessions to start the game end all in touchdowns.

Even with the shake up in the trenches with the injury to Branden Bowens, the line kept things together and kept Barrett clean. They only allowed one sack and that was pretty much a coverage sack. On 3rd and 4th down conversions they were 12 of 16 and gained 41 total first downs. The “Slobs” led the way for 633 total yards of offense with earned them a school record of five consecutive games with 500+ yards of offense.

* The Silver Bullets are firing on all cylinders, but the pass defense still needs work.

Nebraska managed 393 total yards, but it wasn’t as impressive as the box score would lead you to believe. For the game the Cornhuskers gained 15 first downs, and were 5 for 15 on 3rd downs and 2 of 4 on 4th down.

The disappointment for the Silver Bullets were the two big pass plays they gave up to J.D. Spielman, one a 77-yard touchdown for the ‘Huskers first score of the game. The nephew of Buckeye legend Chris Spielman caught 11 passes for 200 yards and a touchdown.

The Pass defense had bounced back to allow less than 100 passing yards in the previous four games after struggling against Indian and Oklahoma to start the season. Nebraska gained 349 yards through the air.

* J.K. Dobbins sets the tone.

Nebraska was giving up 147 rushing yards per game coming into the match up with the Buckeyes. So it was their weakness versus the Buckeyes strength. Ohio State took advantage to the tune of 279 yards for an average of 5.9 yards per carry.

The young freshman Dobbins set the tempo when he raced for a 52-yard touchdown run on first possession. He had 3 carries for 67 yards and one catch for 11 receiving yards on the first drive. He finished the game with 106 yards on 12 carries and a touchdown.

* Not-so-Special Teams and penalties.

The opening kickoff was kicked out of bounds giving the Cornhuskers the ball at their 35-yard line. That was the only miscue on Special Teams, but coming off of last week’s debacle, the last thing you wanted to do was start the game this week with such a flub. That and the penalties (7 for 53 yards) should be enough to give Coach Meyer the ammunition to stay on these guys during the weeks to come.

Next up… the highly anticipated match-up with Penn State in The ‘Shoe after the Bye week.

OTHER NOTES

With the victory, the Buckeyes got their 500th B1G conference win. It took them six fewer seasons than “That Team Up North” who got their 500th victory Saturday as well with their 27-20 overtime win over Indiana. The win also tied the Buckeyes with Nebraska for 4th most wins in NCAA history at 892.

Game balls go to J.T. Barrett and K.J. Hill Junior. Hill caught 7 passes for 80 yards and 2 touchdowns.

NFL Buckeyes (2017, Week 2)

Week two in the National Football League several Ohio State Alumni didn’t fare as well as their alma mater did on Saturday evening.

Houston Texans 2nd-year WR Braxton Miller made his first trip back to the Buckeye state as a pro player Thursday night against the Cincinnati Bengals. He had 2 catches for 10 yards in Houston’s 13-9 victory, and also made a key block to spring quarterback Deshaun Watson for the only touchdown scored of the game.

Sunday a couple fellow Buckeyes faced off in the trenches in Western Pennsylvania. Pat Elflein of the Minnesota Vikings against Cam Heyward, Ryan Shazier and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Shazier had 8 tackles (5 solo) and 1 pass breakup, while Heyward had 6 tackles (4 solo), 1.5 tackles for loss and 2 hits on the QB in Pittsburgh’s 26-9 victory.

Indianapolis Colts Rookie Malik Hooker got his first career start and recorded his first interception and returned it 32 yards in the Colts 16-13 overtime loss to the Arizona Cardinals. He also made 2 tackles and broke up another pass. Linebacker John Simon had 5 tackles (4 solo), 1 sack and 3 hits on the Quarterback. Defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins had 2 tackles (1 solo).

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott had a game he’d like to quickly forget against Bradley Roby, Jeff Heuerman and the Denver Broncos. Elliott rushed for 8 yards on 9 carries, the worse performance of his young career. He also added 4 catches for 14 yards in the ‘Boys 42-17 loss. With 80+ yards rushing, Zeke would’ve broken Hall of Famer Marcus Allen’s 31-year old record for most consecutive games with 80 or more rushing yards. The record is 14. Meanwhile, Roby had 2 tackles and broke up a pass, and Heuerman made 1 catch for 15 yards in the victory.

San Francisco 49ers’ running back Carlos Hyde rushed for 124 yards on 15 carries against the Seattle Seahawks. 102 of those came in the first half alone. He also finished the game with 3 catches for 19 yards in the 12-9 defeat.

Mike Thomas, Ted Ginn Junior, Marshon Lattimore and Vonn Bell of the New Orleans Saints faced the defending Super Bowl Champion New England in the “Big Easy.” Thomas made 5 catches for 89 yards, Ginn had 3 catches for 24 yards, while on defense Lattimore had 7 tackles (6 solo) and 2 pass breakups, while his secondary mate Bell had 5 tackles (3 solo) in the 36-20 loss.

Closing out the weekend, Malcolm Jenkins of the Philadelphia Eagles had 5 solo tackles in their 27-20 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Kurt Coleman of the Carolina Panthers made 3 tackles (1 solo) in their 9-3 victory of the Buffalo Bills. San Diego Chargers reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year Joey Bosa had 5 solo tackles in his team’s 19-17 loss to the Miami Dolphins.

Detroit Lions starting offensive tackle Taylor Decker missed Monday Night Football against Eli Apple and the New York Giants with a shoulder injury. He was mistakenly acknowledged by ESPN Play-by-play announcer Sean McDonough as an alumnus of “That Team Up North”, which probably added more insult to injury.  

Apple, however, moved into the top cornerback spot with Janoris Jenkins out with an injury. The 2nd-year defensive back got beat on a 27-yard TD by Marvin Jones. He also had 5 solo tackles in the 24-10 loss.

J.K., This is Your Team Now

J.K. runs 52-yards for his second touchdown against Army. Photo Credit: Ohiostatebuckeyes.com


Fifth-year Senior J.T. is NOT the focal point of the Buckeye offense. 
The Freshman J.K. is. He proved that in the Buckeyes 38-7 bounce back victory over Army.

Buckeye Nation learned how special Dobbins was in the season opener against Indiana when he rushed for a freshman debut record 181 yards, breaking a record set by Maurice Clarett in 2002. Dobbins was just as impressive against Army, going for 172 yards on 13 carries while getting into the end zone twice, one a 52-yarder.

Young J.K. is special like Ezekiel Elliott, the previously mentioned Clarett, Eddie George and dare I say Archie Griffin. Redshirt-Sophomore Mike Weber Junior has officially been Wally Pipped. Sorry, I’m not sorry.

The freshman is different. This is a man-child. He’s one of those rare backs that could’ve played in the NFL right out of high school, like Herschel Walker, Bo Jackson, Adrian Peterson, Leonard Fournette and Derrick Henry. At 5’10” 208 pounds, he’s got the power to run over defensive lineman, the wiggle and the break away speed to beat out defensive backs. 

Ohio State’s offense looks and runs better, pun intended, when they play through the freshman. The passing game opened up in the second half versus Army after Dobbins successfully ran over and around every Black Knight defender. J.T. Barrett rebounded from last week’s poor performance against the Oklahoma Sooners with a stat line of 25 of 33 passing for 270 yards and 2 touchdowns. Those Scarlet and Gray receivers were a lot more open when there were more defenders in the box and less in the secondary in coverage. 

Barrett may have 24 Ohio State passing records, and the B1G record for most touchdowns (107) responsible for in a career, but running the offense through Dobbins is the only way the Buckeyes will be able to run the table, win the conference and get back into the National Championship picture. Think of it like 2014 when Urban Meyer and then Offensive Coordinator Tom Herman ran through Zeke. 

There are several similarities to the 2014 story for this 2017 squad. An embarrassing home loss in a highly anticipated night match-up (Virginia Tech 21-35), followed by a blowout win. That season they also beat a Service Academy (Navy 34-17). Hopefully the coaching staff will follow the same formula by focusing the “O” on their supremely talented running back.

Thankfully for Ohio State fans, they’ll have three more seasons of Dobbins to be the lead dog. OSU is Running Back University once again.

Enough With the J.T. Bashing 

I’m not proud to be a Buckeye today. It’s not because they lost 31-16 to the Oklahoma Sooners in “The Shoe.” It’s not because of the blatant disrespect by the very sensitive Baker Mayfield when he planted the OU flag into the middle of the field after their victory.

It’s because of how Buckeye fans have reacted in the wake of the loss. Especially towards quarterback J.T. Barrett. Or as I like to call him, Just Touchdowns Barrett.

Barrett struggled mightily versus the Sooners. That was obvious. He did so in his last three game, against the Indiana Hoosiers for a half last week, and the entire night against the eventual National Champion Clemson Tigers. I can’t ignore that.

But what I can say is it’s not entirely on him. Most fans don’t watch all twenty-two players on the field. Most don’t know how to read what’s happening and why. So all they pay attention to is the guy with the ball. And who has it the most? The QB. That’s why they unfairly get all the blame, and undeservedly get all the credit.

So let me tell you what I see. I’ve seen an offensive line that hasn’t given Barrett enough time to throw. Especially the right side of the line. I see wide receivers with elite speed, but poor route running not get separation from defensive backs, while also dropping touchdown passes on the few occasions they got behind coverage and J.T. had enough time to sling it down field. I also saw receivers not come back to the ball when it was thrown to them. There’s also been some lack luster play calling, no matter who the offensive coordinator is. Why hasn’t Urban Meyer been called into question for not making proper adjustments, a la Nick Saban.

 

Nobody’s talking those issues. But hey, I’m here to get folks to stop bashing J.T. so I’ll practice what I’m preaching by not bashing anyone else. So back to J.T.

What he is, is a great example of what us Ohio State Alumni want in a student-athlete. Let me repeat that last part. STUDENT-ATHLETE. He’s already earned his bachelors degree, while being the first three-time captain in Buckeye history.

On the field he’s been responsible for more touchdowns than any player in school history (104 as of 9/10) and most passing touchdowns (72 as of 9/10). He’s passed for over 6,800 yards, which is second in the OSU record books, and by the end of this season, if he stays healthy, will pass Art Schlichter (7,547) for first all-time. Most importantly, he’s led the Scarlet and Gray to 27 victories (27-5 record). He also holds 22 Buckeye records and two Big Ten regular season records.

Will he win a Heisman like Troy Smith? Probably not.

Will he play in the NFL like Art Schlichter, Bobby Hoying and Joe Germaine? Highly doubtful.

Will he lead a team to a National Title like Craig Krenzel or Cardale Jones? There’s still a VERY good chance.

Will he beat “That Team Up North” for a fourth consecutive season? I’m pretty confident he will.

Will he finish his career as the most accomplished QB in Buckeye history? Absolutely.

Stop talking about what he isn’t and celebrate what he is. They say you never know what you have until it’s gone. Next season when a new QB debuts for the Buckeyes, I can guarantee you at some point the same Buckeye fans will wish they had another J.T. Just wait.