Tag Archives: Scarlet & Gray

NFL Buckeyes (2017, Week 16)

New Pro Bowlers Joey Bosa and Michael Thomas exchange jerseys after their teams met in the 2017 Preseason on 8/20/17. Photo Courtesy: NFL

 
Before we get to the action on the field, the Buckeyes were big winners before the games were even played. Five former Ohio State players were selected to the 2017 Pro Bowl rosters. That’s the most for any school this season.

Joey Bosa, Michael Thomas, Marshon Lattimore, Malcolm Jenkins and Ryan Shazier. Can Heyward is the notable snub after having racked up a career high in sacks and adding this season. However, all these guys are hoping they won’t be to play in the game in Orlando in February due to preparing for the Super Bowl the following week in Minneapolis. 

Now to the week 16 games. Dallas Cowboys running Ezekiel Elliott returned from his six-game suspension and ran for 97 yards on 24 carries in a 21-12 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Elliott also caught 4 passes for 21 yards. His backup during his suspension, Rod Smith, ran the ball twice for 10 yards and caught 3 passes for 23 yards in defeat. Dallas has been eliminated from the playoffs.

Ted Ginn Junior returned from an injury that kept him out of action last week and caught a 54-yard touchdown pass for the New Orleans Saints to help them beat the Atlanta Falcons 23-13. He caught 4 passes for 76 yards on the day. He also rushed the ball 2 times for 14 yards. Michael Thomas also caught 4 passes for 66 yards. Vonn Bell made 3 total tackles for the Saints defense. Marshon Lattimore made 6 tackles, broke up 4 passes and caught a ridiculous interception that will be known as the “Butt pick.” It’s his 4th this season and pretty much etches his name on the Defensive Rookie of the Year trophy. If he wins he’d be the second consecutive Buckeye to do so. Joey Bosa won it last season. 

Speaking of Bosa, the 2nd-year LA Chargers defensive end racked up 4 total tackles in a 14-7 win over the New York Jets keeping their playoff hopes alive. Darron Lee led New York with 8 tackles.

Cam Heyward extended his career high sack total to 12 with 2 on Christmas Day in a 34-6 win for the Pittsburgh Steelers over the Houston Texans. On the afternoon he had 4 total tackles, 2 for a loss, 2 hits on the QB and a forced fumble. Braxton Miller was targeted 2 times and caught 1 passes for 5 yards. He also returned 1 punt for 7 yards in defeat. 

On Christmas Night, Malcolm Jenkins forced and recovered a late 4th quarter fumble of the Oakland Raiders to help the Philadelphia Eagles win 19-10. Jenkins also made 7 total tackles, 1 for a loss in the victory. Philadelphia clinched home field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. 

Adolphus Washington made 2 tackles for the Buffalo Bills in a 37-16 loss to the New England Patriots. 

Bradley Roby made 3 total tackles and had 1 pass breakup for the Denver Broncos in a 27-11 loss to Washington. 

Carolina Panthers safety Kurt Coleman made 10 total tackles in a 22-19 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 

Carlos Hyde rushed for 54 yards a touchdown and caught 3 passes for 19 yards for the San Francisco 49ers in a 44-33 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. It’s the Niners fourth consecutive victory.

Mike Nugent made two of three extra points for the Chicago Bears in a 20-3 win over the Cleveland Browns.

Advertisements

NFL Buckeyes (2017, Week 14)

We begin this week with an update on the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Ryan Shazier. The 4-year linebacker was severely injured when he made a tackle against the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football early in the first quarter last Monday. He underwent surgery on Thursday to stabilize his spine. No other updates have been released on his current condition.
Without him the Steelers struggled on defense giving up 38 points and 152 rushing yards to the Baltimore Ravens, 120 to their starting running back Alex Collins. Cam Heyward had only one tackle and 1 pass breakup to help the Steelers secure a late 39-38 win and the AFC North division title.  
Thursday Night Football started week 14 with the New Orleans Saints’ Buckeye Quadruplets of Mike Thomas, Ted Ginn Junior, Vonn Bell and Marshon Lattimore facing off against the Atlanta Falcons. Thomas, the Saints leading receiver on the season, had another monster game catching 10 passes for 117 yards and a touchdown, while Ginn made 2 catches for 10 yards and rushed once for -3 yards in the 20-17 loss. 

On the defensive side, Lattimore returned from missing the last two games with an injury to pick off his 3rd pass of his rookie season and returned it 33 yards. He also had 3 tackles and broke up another pass. Lattimore is the leading candidate for defensive Rookie of the Year. Bell made 2 tackles in a losing effort.  

Malcolm Jenkins had 3 tackles for the Philadelphia Eagles in their 43-35 win over the Los Angeles Rams. The Eagles clinched the NFC East division championship. 

Carlos Hyde rushed for 78 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries in a 26-16 win over the Houston Texans.  

Running back Rod Smith had a huge day in the Big Apple in place of Ezekiel Elliott. Smith caught 5 passes for 113 yards, one he took 81-yards for a touchdown. He also scored on the ground and rushed for 47 yards in the Dallas Cowboys 30-10 win over the New York Giants. Rookie wide receiver Noah Brown was targeted twice but did not catch a pass. The Giants’ Eli Apple was sidelined with an injury and linebacker Curtis Grant didn’t register any stats in the loss. 

Joey Bosa made 3 tackles for the Los Angeles Chargers in a 30-13 over Washington. Bosa is a leading candidate for Defensive Player of the Year. 

Bradley Roby made 1 tackle and had 1 pass breakup, while Jeff Heuerman caught 1 pass for 5 yards for the Denver Broncos in a 23-0 win over the New York Jets. Darron Lee made 5 total tackles in defeat for the Jets. 

Nick Vannett was targeted once but did not catch a pass in a 30-24 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. 

Taylor Decker started on the offensive line for the Detroit Lions that didn’t give up a sack in a 24-21 win over the Tampa Buccaneers.  

Kurt Coleman made 5 tackles and broke up a pass for the Carolina Panthers in their 31-24 win over the Minnesota Vikings. Pat Elflein missed the game with a shoulder injury. 

Adolphus Washington made 5 tackles for the Buffalo Bills in a snow plagued 13-7 overtime win over the Indianapolis Colts. Jonathan Hankins collected 8 total tackles and one for loss in a losing effort. John Simon missed the loss with a shoulder injury. The 5th-year defensive end/linebacker was placed on injured reserve on Tuesday (12/5).

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.