Tag Archives: Ohio State

What Else Does UCF Football Have to do?

The UCF Knights, 2017 self-proclaimed National Champions want to prove you wrong. Courtesy: @UCF_Football

The UCF Knights have won 24 consecutive games dating back to the beginning of the 2017 season. A season in which they convincingly beat the team (Auburn), who convincingly beat the eventually College Football Playoff National Champions, Alabama, and the runner-up Georgia.

The self-proclaimed defending National Champions are once again undefeated and on the verge of winning another American Athletic Conference Championship and earning an invite to a New Year’s Six bowl game.

Still, they’re being ignored and on the outside looking in at the College Football Playoffs sitting at number 8, with two one-loss teams (Oklahoma & Ohio State) ahead of them and one two-loss team (Michigan) that was destroyed last time they took the field.

Barring a series of apocalyptic upsets in the conference championship games, they’ll be left out for the second straight season. Knight fans are left wondering what else they have to do to get the respect of the college football world and get an invite to the party. Here’s what they need to do.

1. Schedule home and homes series with middle of the pack teams from the Power 5 Conferences.

If the Knights could beat Kentucky or Vanderbilt from the SEC, Minnesota or Purdue from the B1G, Wake Forest or Pitt from the ACC, or Kansas or Iowa State from the Big 12, then the committee will have a common opponent to fairly judge UCF’s resume side by side against a one-loss Georgia, Oklahoma or Ohio State for an example.

While I don’t subscribe to transitive property in sports–I.E. UCF beats Purdue by 14 and Purdue beat Ohio State by 29, so that means UCF could beat the Buckeyes–but it would be a feather in the Knight’s cap to say “hey, we dominated one of their conference opponents who they lost to. That should prove we’re a more deserving team because we were better against them than they were.” We know the College Football Committee takes results against common opponents into account. They’ve said as much themselves.

In their defense, the Knights have had Georgia Tech (2017) and North Carolina (2018) on their schedules and those games had to be cancelled due to Hurricanes. If they would have played and won those games, I’m sure they would’ve had their ticket punched to the CFP already.

2. The entire American Athletic Conference needs to be more vocal in making a case for the Knights.

Michael L. Aresco is the commissioner of the American Athletic Conference, and he should bang the drum every chance he gets about how good this team is, but he shouldn’t be alone, each Athletic Director and Head Coach of each team the Knights beat should tout how good UCF is. It behooves them to. From a respect standpoint and financially. The payout for each conference in the CFP was $6 million in 2017-18, win or lose.

While it’s the Knights that keep getting overlooked right now, it’s also the entire conference that’s being disrespected. One day it could be Cincinnati, Houston or Memphis in UCF’s shoes. They certainly would hope they’d get a realistic shot at the CFP if they were undefeated. So they need to not wait until it’s them and speak up now before it gets to that point. An undefeated team in the Power 5 would NEVER be ignored. Hell, Notre Dame is a lock to get into the playoff with no conference title. Just past reputation.

Do I think the Knights can go undefeated if they played in the SEC, B1G, ACC, Big 12 or Pac-12? No!

Do I think UCF can beat Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame, Georgia, Oklahoma or Ohio State on any given Saturday with a month to prepare? Yes, it’s very likely. And they should get the chance.

If anything, last bowl seasons win over Auburn proved they can compete with the best and pull the upset. That’s what sports is about, it’s the ultimate meritocracy. Let the players on the field decide. Not the stuffy corporate suits that worry about television rating and ticket sales. I hope UCF gets a shot real soon. Just not over my Buckeyes. Lol.

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2018 NFL Buckeyes (Week 11)

Hopefully Buckeye Nation was able to recover from the “great escape” at College Park, Maryland and enjoy week eleven of the NFL season and the amazing performances of several former Bucks.

Ezekiel Elliott led the way once again for the Dallas Cowboys with 122 rushing yards on 23 carries and a 23-yard touchdown run in a 22-19 win over the Atlanta Falcons. Elliott also caught 7 passes for 79 yards. His backup Rod Smith caught 2 passes for 8 yards in the victory.

Pittsburgh Steelers All-Pro defensive lineman Cam Heyward had a game sealing fumble recovery, 2 tackles for loss, a sack and 5 total tackles in a 20-16 come from behind win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Carlos Hyde was apart of a monster rushing attack by the Jags that racked up 179 yards on the ground. Hyde chipped in 44 yards on 8 carries for an average of 5.5 a carry in defeat.

Michael Thomas had a ho-hum day–by his standards–for the New Orleans Saints in a 48-7 win over the defending Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles. @CantGuardMike caught 4 passes for 92 yards and a 23-yard touchdown. The Bayou Buckeyes on defense suffocated the Eagles offense. Marshon Lattimore led the team with 4 total tackles; 2-pass break ups and an interception. Vonn Bell collected 3 total tackles, Eli Apple 2 total tackles and Kurt Coleman one tackle. The Saints are now 9-1 and in first place in the NFC South and hold the tie-breaker for the number one seed in the NFC playoffs. On the Eagles side, Malcolm Jenkins made 9 total tackles and Cam Johnston punted 4 times for 159 yards (39.8 avg.) downing 2 inside the 20-yard line.

Curtis Samuel found the end zone again for the third time this season in a 20-19 loss to the Detroit Lions. The Carolina Panthers’ wide receiver caught 5 passes for 55 yards and the 12-yard touchdown reception from Cam Newton.

Gareon Conley picked off a pass and returned it 28 yards and collected one tackle to help the Oakland Raiders get their second win of the season over the Arizona Cardinals 23-21. Jonathan Hankins also made 2 tackles to aid the victory.

Joey Bosa returned to the LA Chargers lineup from a foot injury that caused him to miss a majority of the season and collected one tackle, but it wasn’t enough to lift the team to victory. They lost to the Denver Broncos 23-22. Jeff Heuerman caught 4 passes for 20 yards and Bradley Roby collected 3 tackles and broke up 2 passes in the victory.

Cincinnati Bengals rookie Sam Hubbard collected 5 total tackles and sack and a tackle for loss in a 24-21 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

Nick Vannett caught one pass for 17 yards for the Seattle Seahawks in their 27-24 win over the Green Bay Packers on Thursday Night Football.

2018 NFL Buckeyes (Week 7)

The current Buckeyes embarrassing performance on Saturday night against Purdue must’ve really hurt a few of the alums in the NFL, because they had some rough days of their own on Sunday.

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 33 yards on 15 attempts in a 20-17 loss to Washington. The 33 rush yards are the second fewest he’s rushed for in a game in his three-year career. He also caught 2 passes for 9 yards.

Bradley Roby picked off a pass, broke up 4 more and made 2 tackles for the Denver Broncos in a 45-10 route of the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday Night Football.

Nate Ebner made one tackle on special teams for the New England Patriots in a dramatic 38-31 win over the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field.

Malik Hooker made one tackle for the Indianapolis Colts in a 37-5 win over the Buffalo Bills.

Rookie Sam Hubbard made 2 total tackles for Cincinnati in a 45-10 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

Cleveland Browns rookie cornerback Denzel Ward made 4 tackles, a tackle for loss, and broke up 2 passes in a 26-23 loss in their fourth overtime game of the season to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

New York Giants cornerback Eli Apple led the G-Men with 6 total tackles in a 23-20 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. Apple was traded the day after the game to the New Orleans Saints for a 4th round pick.

Speaking of New Orleans, Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas caught 7 passes for 69 yards and a 5-yard touchdown in a 24-23 comeback win over the Baltimore Ravens. On the defensive side, Marshon Lattimore made 3 total tackles and broke up 2 passes, Vonn Bell registered 3 total tackles, and Kurt Coleman added 2 tackles to aid the victory.

Curtis Samuel scored his first career-rushing touchdown on a 14-yard carry to start the Carolina Panthers 17 point comeback against the Philadelphia Eagles. He also caught one pass for 16 yards in the 21-17 win over the defending Super Bowl Champions. Eagles Safety Malcolm Jenkins collected 7 total tackles and broke up 2 passes in the loss. Cameron Johnston punted 3 times for a total of 135 yards (45.0 yard average) and pinning one inside the 20-yard line.

New York Jets linebacker Darron Lee registered 2 tackles, one pass breakup and one hit on the QB in a 37-17 loss to the Minnesota Vikings.

Friday the Cleveland Browns traded running back Carlos Hyde to the Jacksonville Jaguars. He didn’t play in Sunday’s loss to the Houston Texans, but is expected to suit up next week.

On the injury front, the New Orleans Saints placed Ted Ginn Junior on injured reserve with a knee issue that’s caused him to miss the last 2 games. The New York Jets released Terrelle Pryor with a tear in his groin. He’s expected to miss the next two weeks. New York would like to resign him then.

2018 NFL Buckeyes (Week 3)

Week three of the NFL season saw the arrival of a new Buckeye, while another was apart of a record-breaking day. We start in Northeast Ohio for Thursday Night Football.

Carlos Hyde had an eventful 24 hours. First he rushed for 98 yards and two touchdowns on his 28th birthday to help the Cleveland Browns win 21-17 and get their first victory since December 24th, 2016. Hyde is the first Browns player to rush for a touchdown in the team’s first three games of a season since 2011. He also caught two passes for 5 yards. On Friday Morning, he welcomed a newborn son at 8 pounds and 11 ounces. I expect him to be a member of the 2036 recruiting class at THE Ohio State University.

Back to Thursday night, Browns’ rookie defensive back Denzel Ward made a key strip fumble and recovery to turn the tide in the game. He finished with 4 tackles, one for a loss. On the Jets side, Darron Lee made 7 tackles, two for losses and one QB hit. Terrelle Pryor caught one pass for 25 yards on the night.

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas was apart of another record setting day in Atlanta against the Falcons in the game of the week. Thomas caught Drew Brees’ 6,301-career completion, which surpassed Hall of Famer Brett Favre for the most in NFL history. Thomas, the NFL’s current leading receiver, caught 10 passes for 129 yards in a 43-37 overtime win. The rest of the New Orleans Buckeyes of Ted Ginn Junior, Vonn Bell, Marshon Lattimore and Kurt Coleman played a key role in the victory as well. Ginn only caught 3 passes for 12 yards, but had a 6-yard touchdown catch and one carry for 20 yards. Bell made 5 tackles, while Lattimore and Coleman made 2 each to help the Saints improve to 2-1 on the season.

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott looked like the “Zeke” that ran the Buckeyes to the 2014 National Championship against the Seattle Seahawks. Elliott carried the ball 16 times for 127 yards and caught 3 passes for 11 yards, but had a key fumble in Dallas’ comeback attempt that fell short 24-13. For Seattle, tight end Nick Vannett caught 4 passes for 27 yards to help the ‘Hawks get their first win of the season.

Miami Dolphins linebackers Jerome Baker and Raekwon McMillian played a huge role in helping their team stay undefeated. Baker had 9 tackles, while McMillian had 4 tackles in the 28-20 win over the Oakland Raiders. 2nd-year defensive back Gareon Conley made two tackles in defeat for Oakland, while defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins made one tackle in the loss. Raiders’ kicker Mike Nugent scored 8 points on two extra points and two field goals, one for 52 yards.

Safety Malik Hooker made 6 tackles and broke up one pass for the Indianapolis Colts in a 20-16 loss to the defending Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles. His fellow safety on the other sideline, 10-year veteran Malcolm Jenkins, made 4 total tackles and broke up one pass in the win. Eagles punter Cameron Johnston punted 3 times for a total of 128 yards for an average of 42.7 yards.

Denver Broncos tight end Jeff Heuerman caught 2 passes for 7 yards, while cornerback Bradley Roby made 2 tackles in a 27-14 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

On Sunday night football, offensive lineman Taylor Decker started for the Detroit Lions against the New England Patriots and helped lead the way for Detroit’s first 100-yard rusher since Reggie Bush on Thanksgiving Day 2013 (70 games). Detroit beat the Patriots 26-10. Special teams ace Nate Ebner made 2 total tackles in the loss.

Pittsburgh All-Pro defensive lineman Cam Heyward made 1 tackle, 1 for loss and registered a QB hit to help the Steelers get their first win of the season, 30-27 over the Tampa Buccaneers on Monday Night Football.

Eli Apple missed the New York Giants 27-22 win over the Houston Texans with a groin injury. Cincinnati Bengals center Billy Price missed his first career game, a 31-21 loss to the Carolina Panthers, with a foot injury he suffered in week 2 on Thursday Night Football. Curtis Samuel also missed the Panthers-Bengals game with a chest injury.

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.

Buckeyes Over Badgers, By the Numbers

J.K. Dobbins breaks the Buckeyes freshman rushing record and wins B1G game MVP. Photo Credit: Ohiostatebuckeyes.com

 
The Ohio State Buckeyes are B1G champions after defeating the 4th ranked and 12-0, Wisconsin Badgers 27-21 in a slugfest in Indianapolis. Ohio State had a 14-point lead late in the second quarter and had to hold off Bucky Badger for the win. 

The Buckeyes have positioned themselves to get a bid from the College Football Playoff committee to be in the final four. It’s between them and the Alabama Crimson Tide. Will Ohio State beat the Tide again? Before that is settled, here’s a breakdown of the Scarlet and Gray’s win by the numbers.

3 – That’s how many times the Silver Bullets sacked Wisconsin quarterback Alex Hornibrook. 

4 – Ohio State plays that went for over 50+ yards. On the night, the Buckeyes registered the longest pass (84) and rush (74) the Badgers had given up all season. However, Barrett was 1-8 on passes 15+ yards. The one completion was the 84-yard touchdown to Terry McLaurin. 

5 – The amount of passes B1G Tight End of the Year Troy Fumagalli caught. He finished the game with 45 receiving yards and no touchdowns. The Buckeyes defense has struggled covering opposing tight ends all season. The Oklahoma and Iowa games come to mind. Coming into the game the Buckeyes were giving up 47% completions rate to RB/TE, the worst in the nation. 

18 — Points off 3 Ohio State turnovers (2 interceptions, fumble). The Badgers scored two touchdowns and a field goal off those Buckeye miscues. 

27 – Wisconsin had only allowed 12 points per game all season. The 27 points are the most the Badgers opponent had scored in a game all season. 

31 – The Wisconsin Badgers’ offense was 5 of 16 on third down (31%). Coming into the game they were 2nd in all of FBS on 3rd down conversions at 51%. 

36 – J.T. Barrett set a new school record for passing touchdowns in a season. The achievement breaks his own record he set back in his freshman season in 2014.

36 – Big Ten football titles for the Buckeyes. They are now six behind “That Team Up North” for the most in conference history. 

37 — With the win J.T. Barrett became the Buckeyes All-time wins leader passing Art Schlichter.

41 – The Silver Bullets defense held standout freshman running back Jonathan Taylor to 41 yards on 15 carries, for an average of 2.7 yards per carry. Taylor had rushed for 1,806 yards in the regular season and with 120 would’ve broke Adrian Peterson’s FBS freshman record. 

As a team the Badgers only rushed for 60 yards on 32 attempts. That’s an average of 1.9 yards per carry.

174 – J.K. Dobbins ran over the number one ranked defense in the country all the way to the podium and the Most Valuable Player of the game award. He carried the ball 17 times for an average of 10.2 per carry.

The freshman also surpassed Maurice Clarett for greatest rushing season by a freshman. As a team, Ohio State ran for 238 yards. The Badgers were only allowing 80.5 on the season for 1st in the B1G. The 238 rushing yards allowed was more than they allowed in total yards per game all season (236.9).

Now Buckeye Nation waits to see if they will be alive for a National Title chase for the third time in four seasons or a New Year’s Six bowl.

Thank You, J.T.!

J.T. Barrett rushes for a 21-yard touchdown. Photo Credit: Ohiostatebuckeyes.com

The Ohio State Buckeyes beat “The Team Up North” 31-20 for the sixth consecutive time and 15th time in the last 17 seasons. Yes I’m still counting the 2010 win that was vacated. They still played the game right?!

J.K. Dobbins rushed for 101 yards and a touchdown in his induction to “The Game.” Mike Webber carried 12 times for 57 yards and a game-sealing touchdown with 1:44 remaining left in his return to his home state. The Silver Bullets held T.T.U.N to 295 yards (195 passing, 100 rushing), got 5 sacks and forced 1 interception that led to a touchdown.

But I’m not here to give you post-game analysis. I’m here to give credit to the guy who put them in position. Joe Thomas Barrett IV, or as I call him, Just Touchdowns Barrett.

When the Buckeyes were down 14 points, looking lifeless like at Iowa, the fifth-year senior put the team on his back on an eleven play 75-yard drive that ended with his 21-yard touchdown run. He followed that by leading them on a three play 53-yard drive finished off with a 25-yard touchdown pass to Marcus Baugh to tie the score and settle them down late in the second quarter.

Unfortunately, Saturday was a microcosm of Barrett’s career. J.T. left the game with a knee injury and Dwayne Haskins entered the game in relief and the Buckeyes went on to dominate the game the rest of the way. Kind of like the end of the 2014 season that ended with a B1G title and College Football National Championship, each played without him.

J.T. will never get the credit he deserves and too much blame in the losses. In most people’s mind it was Cardale Jones who won the 2014 National Championship. Never mind Ezekiel Elliott ran like a grown man playing against elementary school kids versus Wisconsin, Alabama and Oregon. Or the defense shutting down Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota. When the Iowa Hawkeyes dropped kicked the Buckeyes 55-24 on November 4th, it was J.T.’s four interceptions everyone pointed to, even though at the same time the defense was carved up like it had never played the game before giving up 487 total yards (244 passing, 243 rushing).

While most are eager to start the Haskins era, J.T. I just want to say thank you. Thank you for putting this team on your back down 14 in the “Big House” to give the redshirt freshman a chance to get the win. Thank you for bouncing back from the ugly 2014 loss to Virginia Tech and putting the Scarlet and Gray in position to make a run at the National Championship before getting hurt in “The Game.” Thank you for being so consistent for four seasons, that when you don’t play like yourself (Iowa) we are in total shock. Thank you for completing sixteen consecutive passes and four touchdown passes against Penn State to complete the 18-point comeback. Thank you for 36 wins and counting. Thank you for the most passing touchdowns in B1G history. Most importantly, thank you for being the first QB in the rivalry to win four games over our hated rivals.

Haskins is going to be good. He showed on the biggest stage that he is who all in Buckeye Nation hopes he will be. He completed six of his seven passes for 94 yards, and all those passes were at key moments. But we can’t let his era begin without acknowledging the one he’s following.

If Barrett is healthy and able to play in the B1G championship game against Wisconsin and win, he’ll become the all-time wins leader in Ohio State history. He already has every important passing record. He’s already earned his degree. He’s everything WE Buckeyes fans should want from our signal caller. I know there’s more football to play, but from one OSU Alum to another, J.T. Barrett, I wholeheartedly say thank you for being a Buckeye.

And no I didn’t have this saved in drafts.