Tag Archives: Spartans

Buckeyes Bounce Back Big Over Sparty

The surprises in the B1G continue. As shocking as the Iowa Hawkeyes win over the Ohio State Buckeyes was, the way OSU manhandled the twelfth ranked Spartans 48-3 was just as shocking.

The Scarlet and Gray played angry, like a team wanting to wipe away the stench of last week’s embarrassing loss. The fashion in which they did it is the reason why last week’s loss was so baffling and frustrating for Buckeye Nation.

Here are my takeaways from the victory.

HELLO, RUNNING GAME!

Woody Hayes would’ve been proud of this performance. Even though they didn’t go to an I-Formation lineup, the Buckeyes played old school football with a heavy dose of J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber. The duo that only carried the ball 11 times for 78 yards last week, rushed for 290 yards on 27 carries. Weber gained a career high 162 yards and 2 touchdowns, 161 came in the first half. Dobbins added 128 yards on 6.9 yards per carry. J.T. Barrett also ran for 55 yards with 2 touchdowns.

The 335 total rushing yards on the day is the most ever allowed by a Mark Dantonio coached team. The Ohio State rushing attack gained more yards, 102, in the first quarter than MSU had given up per game this season (87.0).

Coming into this game, the Buckeyes were running the ball 52% of the time versus throwing it 48% of the time. Saturday, 65% of the offensive plays were run calls, 35% passing. With two homerun hitters in the backfield, that’s more like the formula Buckeye Nation would like to see going forward.

SILVER BULLETS FIRE BACK 

Defensive Coordinator Greg Schiano’s unit was completely embarrassed and outcoached a week ago. As bad as Barrett’s day was with 4 interceptions, Schiano’s may have been just as bad. This week was a complete 180.

After getting two first downs on the opening drive of the game, the Buckeye D clamped down and forced the Spartans into 4 consecutive 3 & outs with the last ending in a forced fumble and recovery at the MSU 17-yard line. The Silver Bullets only yielded 195 total yards (131 passing; 64 rushing) for an average of 2.8 yards per play. On the day, they collected 6 sacks for -57 yards and 9 tackles for loss for -60 yards, while holding “Sparty” to 4 of 17 on 3rd down.

The secondary picked off two passes, three if you count the one negated by a roughing the passer penalty, and also held MSU’s leading receiver Felton Davis III, who caught 12 passes for 181 yards and a TD last week, to no catches.

Also of note, the 3 points they allowed came after one of Barrett’s two interceptions.

KICK COVERAGE ISSUES SOLVED?

It appears the move to put more playmakers and starters on kickoff coverage is paying off. The Spartans average starting field position on kickoffs was the 22-yard line. Michigan State had -37 net yards per kickoff. Only one of their drives started at the 35-yard line and that came after a penalty when the kickoff went out of bounds.

WELL DISCIPLINED

Speaking of penalties, the Buckeyes are the most flagged team in the conference. For the season they were averaging 77.2 penalty yards per game. Against the Spartans they were penalized only twice for twenty-seven yards. The first didn’t come until three minutes left in the first half when Dre’Mont Jones was flagged for targeting and negated what would’ve been Damon Arnette’s 1st of two interceptions.

OTHER NOTES

Since Urban Meyer took over in 2012, this is the first time one team has won back-to-back games in the series and won at home.

Next up, the home finale and Senior Day against the 2-8 (0-7) Illinois Fighting Illini for the Illibuck trophy. Ohio State hasn’t lost to Illinois since 2007.

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9 Players From the B1G on the Top 50 Players in College Football For 2015 List


The SEC has been by far the best college football conference for the past decade, and it wasn’t even close. They had better teams, and clearly better individual talent. But, now that the Buckeyes have slayed the “King’s of the South” in Alabama on the way to winning the first College Football Playoff, the debate can begin again. But, the B1G is filled with talent at more than just OSU. The Big Lead’s Ty Duffy released his Top 50 College Football players in 2015, and a few notable names from around the conference made the cut.

#46 Christian Hackenberg, QB, Penn State. Many scouts at the Pro level say he has number one pick talent, but if you look at his stats—2,977 yards with 12 touchdowns, 15 interceptions on 56 percent—it wouldn’t suggest that. Another year in Head Coach James Franklin’s system should do wonders for his development and confidence. He also has his top target, Sophomore DeSean Hamilton (who led the Big Ten in receptions with 82) returning.

#44 Von Bell, S, Ohio State. The Junior tied for the Conference lead in interceptions in 2014 with 6. He also finished second on the Buckeyes in tackles with 92.

#27 Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State. Along with the three-headed monster down in Columbus, Cook could vie for the best at the position in the Big Ten Conference. In 2014, Cook passed for 3,214 yards and 24 touchdowns. He needs to improve on his 58 percent completion rating and losing his top target Tony Lippett to graduation won’t help. But, with a 24-3 record and a Conference Championship under his belt at the helm of Sparty, he’s a proven winner.

#24 Shilique Calhoun, DE, Michigan State. The 2013 Big Ten Defensive Lineman of The Year registered 8 sacks and 12.5 tackles for loss in 2014 while being the focal point of attention for opposing offenses to stop.

#18 Taylor Decker, OL, Ohio State. The Senior lineman will lead an offensive line that rapidly improved from game one to fifteen in 2014. Who ever wins that QB battle, he will be charged with protecting their blind side, while also opening up holes for the Heisman Trophy front-runner, Ezekiel Elliott.

#14 Darron Lee, LB, Ohio State. The Junior registered 81 tackles, 16.5 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks in 2014. Lee along with his counterpart Perry really burst on to the scene late in the season through the College Football Playoffs. The Buckeyes have a long-standing tradition of great linebackers from Tom Cousineau, Chris Speilman, Andy Katzemoyer, A.J. Hawk to James Laurinitus, and Lee along with Perry are admirably continuing it.

#5 Braxton Miller/J.T. Barrett/Cardale Jones, QB, Ohio State. One is the two-time Big Ten Player of the Year. The other set the school record for all-purpose yards in a season in his first season. The latter, lead the team to the three biggest wins of the season. All of them are on the preseason Maxwell Award watch list and will probably be on the Walter Camp Award list when it is released on Friday July 17th. Urban Meyer has an embarrassment of riches in Columbus. Which ever one wins the job of starter will be a favorite to win many of the most coveted awards in the game, as well as expected to lead this talented bunch to another title.


#3 Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State.
He is hands down the leading candidate for the Heisman Trophy this season. We’re not sure who will be lining up next to him at QB in the backfield, and it probably won’t matter. Everything in Columbus will be going through number fifteen in Scarlet & Gray.

#1 Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State. Bosa is already projected to be a top three pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, if he decides to leave Buckeye City after this his Junior season. In 2014 he had 21 tackles for loss, 4 forced fumbles and 13.5 sacks including this game winner that turned Beaver Stadium into “Not-so-happy Valley.”

Once Again Little Brother Stands in The Buckeyes Way!

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Fifteen years ago I was a freshman at The Ohio State University—Actually, I attended classes on the Newark Campus, where I also played on the Varsity Basketball team. But, on November 7, 1998, I came home to Columbus for the weekend to spend some time with my family before the schedule of my basketball season got too hectic for me to do so again. Like most fall Saturdays in my house we watched the Buckeye football game. This particular Saturday it was against that “other team from up north.” The one we didn’t hate as much because, well, they were never as good as us. 

The 1998 season was no different. The Buckeyes were in the midst of a dream season, one that appeared to be leading to an appearance in the first ever BCS National Championship Game. The Spartans were 4-4 and posed no real threat to our championship dreams. No one, I mean no one, thought this team could ruin a season the way their in-state big brother had done several times before. 

Most in Buckeye City were already looking ahead to the match up with scUM, but a funny thing happened. The Spartans did what their Big Brother had done, spoiled another dream season. The Spartans won 28-24 after being down 15 points in the second half, and ended any hopes of OSU getting a shot at college football glory. Once again our season was ruined by that “state up north.”

The Spartans Upset #1 Ohio State 28-24; 11/07/98


I was so crushed I considered quitting basketball to tryout as a walk-on to the football team for the 1999 season. I wanted to be apart of the redemption. I rethought that, and kept playing basketball—great decision for me.

Here we are fifteen years later, and the “little brother from up north” once again stands in the Scarlet and Gray’s way to a BCS National Championship. Ironically, the last BCS National Title game. The Big Ten Championship game is the first time the Buckeyes will face a team ranked this high in the two seasons under Head Coach Urban Meyer. The entire country is watching to see if OSU can validate their number two ranking, others hoping they’ll lose so they can say “I told you so” and keep them from another title game. When you are one of the top programs in the land, it be like that some time (I know, that was bad grammar. I do it for emphasis rather than profanity.)

But I NEED Ohio State to win this game and eventually win the National Title. My father got me hooked to the Buckeyes as a kid. He was born and raised here, then raised his family here. It was one of the things we constantly talked about in the last two months of his life—he passed away on October 16th. Every Saturday while he was in the hospital he would ask “does State play today?”, that’s what he called his Buckeyes. I would say “yes”, then immediately turn the channel to the game and we’d watch every second, just like we did when I was growing up. For years I saw the frustration on my father’s face anytime “State” blew an opportunity to win it all. Then 10 years ago—my senior year at OSU—I saw the elation in his face when they finally hoisted the coveted National Championship trophy after beating the vaunted Miami Hurricanes.

This one means more to me, with him gone I NEED this. I NEED to see the Buckeyes do it one more time. With my dad looking down, to see his Buckeyes win the last BCS Title, after losing out on a shot to win the first one, would be the perfect redemption. 

November 7, 1998 has been on the minds of several Buckeye and Spartan Fans. A decade in a half later the Buckeyes have the chance to right a wrong. This would be the perfect way to wipe that painful November Saturday memory away. The biggest Buckeye Fan I know will be watching from the best seat in the house, don’t let him down.