2011 Jersey Scrimmage
April 27, 2011 6:15 pm EST
                                                          
There has been a lot of speculation that Urban Meyer has moved to Columbus and is positioning himself to be the next coach at Ohio State.  No one knows for sure but according to his daughter, he is not heading to OSU.  Nicki Meyer is a student and volleyball player at Georgia.  She recently posted on Twitter: 

"Stop txting me abt my dad. HE IS NOT repeat NOT, GOING TO OHIO STATE. Thanks," 
 
 

Saturday, December 24, 2005

12:15 Eastern

Merry Christmas!!

The skinny on OSU's recent Verbals

--Chimdi Chekwa, WR/DB, Clermont, FL (East Ridge) 6-1, 185, 4.4.  Made it to the state track finals the past two years, competing in the 300-meter hurdles.  Sr. stats: 44 tackles, 7 int's, 4 fumble recoveries and 1 caused fumble.  3-Star and #50 CB nationally by Rivals.  Chose OSU over offers from Ole Miss, So Carolina, Ga Tech, Maryland, Wake Forest, Clemson and Iowa State.

--Dexter Larimore, DT, Merrillville, IN, 6-3, 270, 4.85.  One of the top heavyweight wrestlers in the nation, ranked as the #58 overall wresting prospect by Scout.com.  #34 ranked DT nationally by Rivals.  Good student.  Very strong.  Chose Ohio State over scholarship offers from Michigan and others.

Buckeye Odds and Ends

--Buckeye fans keep asking about the progress of redshirt freshman QB Todd Boeckman.  Not that Todd is doing anything to make him fall out of favor, but true frosh Rob Schoenhoft continues to impress practice observers.  Boeckman has more experience than Schoenhoft, but Schoenhoft may have the best true QB skills of any quarterback OSU has signed in some time.  After Smith and Zwick move on, this will be an interesting battle.

--Devon Lyons has been moved to free safety.  Lyons was rated as the 5th best safety prospect by Rivals, coming out of high school.  The early word is that Lyons is looking pretty good on the defensive side of the ball.

--A name many people may have forgotten about (or never heard of), is Austin Spitler.  There was some talk of moving Spitler out of his linebacker position during this, his freshman season.  That apparently is not going to happen, with Spitler supposedly turning some heads in practice recently.

--A starting Buckeye player told me (one week ago today) that Ashton Youboty was likely going to be back and that Donte Whitner could go either way.  He also confirmed that there is basically no chance of Santonio Holmes coming back.  Just a hunch, but I think Whitner stays.

--Nothing concrete, but the grapevine has been active lately, saying Mike D'Andrea is still slow to recover from his knee problems.  Don't look for MDA in the Fiesta bowl, and if his knee won't heal properly, we may have seen the last of him on the football field.  Hope this is not the case.

--Although it isn't a done deal until he signs on the dotted line, it appears that one time Buckeye verbal commitment Freddie Lenix will enroll at Cincinnati next month.

blb

Sunday, December 11, 2005

8:00 PM Eastern

Buckeye Odds and Ends

--Ashton Youboty and Donte Whitner still appear to be on the fence in terms of a decision to stay or go.  If both decide it is best to leave a year early, that would leave Ohio State with just two starters returning on defense, Quinn Pitcock and David Patterson.

--The Ohio State secondary will have their hands full against Brady Quinn, who finished 4th in the Heisman voting.  ESPN NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper thinks Quinn could be the second overall pick in the draft if he comes out this year.  Tyler Everett, Ashton Youboty and Malcolm Jenkins had better be on their games against Quinn's top two targets Jeff Samardzija and Maurice Stovall.  The tandem combined for 131 catches, 2,213 yards and 26 TD's.  But Ohio State did lead the Big Ten in pass defense as well as sacks this year, so this should be interesting.

--A quick check of ticket broker prices for the game shows Fiesta Bowl tickets going for $400 to $1,860.

--Recruiting....the list of verbal commitments is very nice, but a pretty short list for this late in the recruiting season.  Ohio State needs a strong finish or this may turn out to be Tressel's lowest rated class.  The biggest names that could fill some of the remaining spots are: CB A.J. Wallace from Pomfret, Maryland; WR/ATH Raymond Small from Cleveland Glenville; DE Robert Rose from Cleveland Glenville; OL/DL Bryant Brown from Cleveland Glenville.  Others that could be Buckeyes include: Dexter Larimore, Merriville, IN; Colin McCarthy from Clearwater, FL; Andy Miller, TE from Washington, PA.

--Next year's lineup?  It's never too eary to play this game is it?  Let's take a shot...

QB  T. Smith, Zwick           DE Richardson, Barrow or Gohlston
TB  Pittman, C. Wells         DT Pitcock, Green or Abdallah
FB  S. White, D. Johnson   DT D. Patterson, Penton
FL  Ginn, Dukes  DE Wilson, Worthington
SE  R. Hall, Robieski or Lyons     
        X    Gonzales, Hartline               WLB Laurinaitis, Terry or Lenix
TE  Nicol, Frost                  MLB Kerr, Hoobler or Homan or D'Andrea
LT  Boone, C. Smith           SLB Freeman, Spitler
LG  Rehring, Mitchum       CB Jenkins, Amos
C    Datish, Cordle       FS Mitchell, N. Patterson
RG Downing, Person        SS Whitner, O'Neal
RT  Barton, Skinner   CB Youboty, B. Underwood 

blb

Monday, December 5, 2005

7:30 AM Eastern

We will be updating the board more frequently this week with thoughts on the Notre Dame matchup, a recap of the season, and finally...a recruiting update.  Some quick hitters....

--Ohio State will once again be the away team in the Fiesta Bowl....a formula that has worked well for the Bucks in the past.

--It is doubtful that Bobby Carpenter will be able to play against the Domers, but there is a slight chance.

--Kickoff is 5:10 EST, January 2, 2006.

--Other Big Ten matchups:  Penn State vs. Florida St (Orange Bowl Jan 3)
                                            Wisconsin vs. Auburn (Capital One Bowl Jan 2)
                                            Iowa vs. Florida (Outback Bowl Jan 2)
                                            Northwestern vs. UCLA (Sun Bowl Dec 30)
                                            Minnesota vs. Virginia (Music City Bowl Dec 30)
                                            Michigan vs. Nebraska (Alamo Bowl Dec 28)

--This will be the 5th game between these two long time football powers, with the current score knotted at 2 games a piece.

--Some sources feel Ashton Youboty will make himself eligible for the 2006 NFL draft this coming spring.  The prevailing thought is that Santonio Holmes is very likely to be a gonner and Donte Whitner could go either way.

--Ohio State's next verbal commitment may be from defensive tackle Dexter Larimore (Merryville, IN).  If so, Larimore would help the Buckeyes in two sports; he is one of the top (if not the very best) heavyweight wrestling prospect in the nation.

blb

Friday, November 25, 2005

12:25AM Eastern

Joe-S-U's weekly TOP 25 is now available.  Click HERE.

Pat


Friday, November 25, 2005

11:55AM Eastern

Want to review/relive THE GAME again?  Here is perhaps Joe-S-U's finest post game write up ever.  It is well worth the read!


OHIO STATE 25,  MICHIGAN 21


"I was surprised that ESPN Classic announced that they would be replaying OSUs win over TBGUN on Thanksgiving Eve.  Oh, I wasnt surprised because of the epic way the game played out, nor was I shocked that they waited barely an hour after the contest ended to announce the replay.  I was amazed that Classic found time between endless airings of the absolutely moronic piece of crap called Cheap Seats to actually squeeze in a classic sporting event.

 And classic it was.  Troy Smith didnt put up as many total yards as last year, but the ones he got last Saturday were in the clutch.  The defense lost a big piece of its heart on its very first play but completely stifled the UM ground game.  Anthony Gonzalez earned himself a permanent spot in the lore of The Game.  And the Bucks were able to overcome a costly fumble by a back who shouldn't even have been in the game and their worst special teams display of the year to win at the Big House.  

 Things didnt look good right at the outset.  Antonio Pittman lost 4 on the first play of the game and then after an incompletion OSU was already looking at 3rd-and-14.  But Troy Smith delivered as he found Santonio Holmes open down the left side for 15 and a first down.  Ted Ginn, Jr.s first option carry of the year gained 8 but a hold wiped it out.  No problem- it was Smith-to-Ginn for 12 and Pittmans 10-yard burst gained a first down.  From there the Bucks marched to the Michigan 21, where it was 3rd-and-1.  This time it was Smith to Roy Hall for 11 and 1st-and-goal at the Wolverine 10.  Two plays later Smith rolled right on the option for a 4-yard touchdown- Smith's 11th rushing score of the year- and the Bucks were up 6-0, which is where it stayed at Josh Huston missed his first point-after kick of the year, touching off a terrible afternoon for special teams.

On Michigan's first play Bobby Carpenter got his leg twisted under him and sustained a fracture as UM tackle Jake Long buried him.  One couldnt help remember the 2001 contest when Shane Olivea broke his ankle in the first half yet Ohio State was able to hold on and win the ballgame.  Chad Henne was able to get the air game cranked up as Mario Manningham and Tim Massaquoi made key 3rd-down receptions to help move the Wolverines to the Buckeye 37.  OSU forced a 4th-and-1 situation and Hennes throw to Jason Avant was off the mark, enabling the Bucks to take possession.

Starting from the 28, the offense continued to click along and as the first quarter ended the Buckeyes were up 6-0 and had the ball on Michigans 40.  Troy Smith had already scored on the ground and was 9 out of 10 passing to SIX different receivers for 88 yards.  

The Bucks gained a first down at the UM 35 but faced a 3rd-and-9 moments later.  Tight end Marcel Frost made a super one-handed catch and although the play only went for four yards, it may have meant the difference between a field goal and a punt.  Coach Jim Tressel called on Josh Huston and he responded with a 47-yard effort, matching his career best and increasing the OSU lead to 9-0 at the 12:49 mark.  

Michigan found itself in a hole on their next possession as a holding call had them facing 3rd-and-16 at their own 24.  Henne connected with Michael Hart on a screen pass but A.J. Hawk sniffed it out right now and decked Hart for a loss of 4.  In yet another example of why A.J.s football smarts will be missed, Hawk didnt dance or showboat as so many athletes do these days but instead immediately went to the official to ensure he had seen Michael Hart catch the ball since Hart was campaigning that he had dropped the pass.  The loss stood and the Buckeyes set up shop in great shape at their own 40 after UMs punt.  

At this point Antonio Pittman had carried 8 times for 35 yards, which must have left him terribly winded as backup tailback Maurice Wells entered the game.  Wolverine DT Gabe Watson immediately stripped the ball from Wells and recovered the fumble at the Buckeye 36, completely turning the game around.  On third down the play clock was clearly at zero to everybody but the officials, and Henne took advantage with a 7-yard pass to Steve Breaston for a big first down.  Michigan moved to OSUs five but faced a 3rd-and-1.  Henne missed Jason Avant on a slant but Ashton Youboty was flagged for interference and the Maize and Blue were now first-and-goal at the 2.  On the next play Henne tossed a beautiful fade pass to Avant who got both feet in for the score, narrowing the Buckeye lead to 9-7.  At this stage Chad Henne was 13 of 15 passing for 83 yards and, like his counterpart Troy Smith, had completed throws to six different players.

Anthony Gonzalez helped jump-start OSUs ensuing series with a 14-yard reception.  3 plays later on a second down call Ted Ginn dropped the ball on a crossing route, but he made up for it right away.  On a throw that would be eerily similar to his throw to Gonzo on the winning drive, Smith rolled right and found Ginn along the sideline for 23 and a first down at Michigans 30.  On 2nd-and-7 Pittman got loose around the right side behind super blocking for 15 down to the Maize and Blue 12.  But the drive stalled and Huston drilled his second field goal of the day from 25 yards out, giving the Buckeyes a 12-7 halftime advantage.

Steve Breaston finally got a shot at a return on the second-half kickoff but was torpedoed by Rob Harley at the UM 16.  OSUs D forced a quick 3-and-out but Ted Ginn, Jr. fumbled the ensuing punt and the Bucks lost 10 yards of field position after Antonio Smiths recovery.  On third down Lamarr Woodley blew right between Doug Datish and Rob Sims to force Troy Smith to fumble.  Alan Branch shoved Datish and Sims out of the way and fell on the football at OSUs 20.  Chad Henne immediately hit Tim Massaquoi for 13 and the Wolves were 1st-and-goal at the 7.  Two runs netted two, then Michigan was hit with a delay of game despite Lloyd Carrs insistence that they had called time.  Henne overthrew tight end Tyler Ecker in the back of the endzone so Garrett Rivas knocked through a 27-yard field goal to narrow the Buckeye lead to 12-10.

 The teams then exchanged punts, with OSUs being its first of the day.  On Michigans punt, Ginn fumbled again and Santonio Holmes recovered after an 18-yard loss back to the Buckeye 13.  The offense couldnt get anywhere, and to make matters worse A.J. Trapassos punt got caught up in the wind and only traveled 18 yards.  UM quickly moved from OSUs 37 to the 15, where Tyler Everett was called for interference on Jason Avant to give the Maize and Blue a first-and-goal at the 2.  Michigan hurried to the line of scrimmage while the Buckeye defense was still lining up and freshman tailback Kevin Grady breezed in for the touchdown, giving UM their first lead all day at 16-12.  Chad Henne ran in for a 2-pt. conversion to extend the lead to 18-12.

As Ohio State has done on other occasions this season, their ensuing drive was all running plays as they moved from their own 26 to Michigans 36.  Smiths first pass of the drive was knocked down, then on 3rd-and-9 a swing pass to Pittman only gained 7.  Josh Huston came in for a 46-yard field goal try but missed it to the right and with 12:02 to go it remained 18-12, UM.

Chad Henne ran a quarterback sneak for 2 yards on a 4th-and-1 play to extend Michigans next drive.  Then when it appeared Ohio State had held on a 3rd-down incompletion, Anthony Schlegel, who was having a monster game picking up the slack for Bobby Carpenter, was called for holding to give the Wolverines a first down on OSUs 47.  Henne immediately hit his longest pass of the day- a 38-yarder to Mario Manningham to put Michigan at the Buckeye 9.  The defense rose to the challenge and forced a 19-yard Rivas field goal, which he drilled to make it 21-12 with 7:49 left.
 
Anthony Gonzalez was able to bring Michigans ensuing pooch kickoff to his 33, and from there it didnt take Smith long to cut into the lead.  Gonzo picked up 27 on a crossing route, and then after 2 incompletions Smith made his biggest play of the day to that point.  Rolling to his left, Troy eluded Lamarr Woodley with a great stop-and-go move and picked up 14 to keep the drive alive at UMs 26.  On the very next play Smith fired a pass right over Prescott Burgess shoulder to Santonio Holmes, who took it the distance for a touchdown.  Seeing safety Willis Barringer closing in on him near the goal line, Holmes dove into the endzone which drew an absolutely ridiculous unsportsmanlike conduct call.  With the count now 21-19 the Bucks had to kickoff from their own 20.

It looked for a fleeting moment as if the penalty wouldnt matter as upback Will Paul fumbled the kickoff return after being stripped by Nick Patterson.  But Steve Breaston fell on the football and UM took over at their own 48.  After Breaston converted one first down, Michigan was called for a hold on a 2nd-and-12 play but the Buckeyes gambled and declined it.  On third down Breaston only picked up 8 to the OSU 34, and Rivas, from field goal formation, pooch punted out of bounds at the Buckeye 12.  With 4:18 to play, the stage was set for a drive that will go down in Buckeye history.

Ted Ginn, Jr. lit the fuse with a juggling 9-yard catch, and a Pittman run got the first down.  On 2nd-and-10 from the OSU 23, Smith did a 360 to avoid Pierre Woods and once again found Ginn who backstepped out of bounds for a first down at the Buckeye 34.  Teddy picked up 6 more by making a dynamite one-handed catch on the next play, and when Smith hit Holmes at the left sideline for 7 the Bucks had a first down at their 47.  It was Smith-to-Holmes again for 11, then Troy scrambled for 4.  On 2nd-and-6 from Michigans 38, Smith double-pumped before firing to Holmes for 12- a pass that just eluded Grant Mason and where Santonio lost his balance or he wouldve scored.  Tressel called OSUs second timeout with :47 to go and Josh Huston began to loosen up on the sideline.

 From the Michigan 30, Troy looked to take off but UM linebacker Dave Harris filled the hole.  Troy backed up and rolled to his right.  At the same time, Anthony Gonzalez had been forced out of bounds but came back in and took off down the right sideline.  In a moment that recalled when Bobby Hoying somehow threaded a pass between 3 defenders to Rickey Dudley in the 95 Penn State winning march, Smith fired deep to Gonzalez, who went up to make an acrobatic snag at the Wolverine 4.  Michigan called timeout to stop the clock at :37, then utilized their last T.O. after Smith picked up 1 yard on a keeper.  With the Bucks seemingly looking to position Josh Huston for a winning field goal, Antonio Pittman took a handoff.  Behind tremendous blocks from Andree Tyree and Stan White, Pitt bounced off safety Brandont Englemon and took it to the house standing up for a 25-21 Ohio State lead.  The 28-point comeback against South Carolina in the 2002 Outback Bowl may have required more points, and the Holy Buckeye play at Purdue later that year may have been more dramatic.  But when the day comes that the Jim Tressel era is reflected upon this come-from-behind achievement at Ann Arbor will shine brightly in Buckeye annals.

OSU tried for two after Pittmans gamer but the pass was incomplete, leaving Michigan just 24 seconds to navigate 80 yards with no timeouts.  Henne picked up 22 on a pass to Jason Avant, but on the next play Tyler Ecker caught a pass at the sideline and came back into the field of play where he was dropped by Tyler Everett and James Laurinaitis.  In yet another heady move, Everett ripped the ball away from Ecker and although the official was signaling that Ecker was down, Everett-and the football- were way upfield and the clock ran out on Ohio States 39th win over the Maize and Blue.

With Penn States win over Michigan State, the Nittany Lions share the Big Ten title with the Buckeyes at 7-1, but PSUs win over OSU in October gives them the automatic BCS bid.  Ohio State looks to capture one of the two BCS at-large bids but neither OSU nor Penn State will probably know where theyre headed for the holidays until December 4th.  Michigan ends their season at 7-4 overall and 5-3 in the conference.


RANDOM THOUGHTS- Jim Tressel is the second coach in Ohio State history to win 4 of his first 5 games with Michigan.  Francis Schmidt actually won his first 4 UM games all by shutout from 1934-1937 before losing in 38Santonio Holmes 26-yard touchdown reception was his fourth career TD catch against the Wolverines, more than any receiver in OSU history.  Holmes had been tied at 3 with Cris Carter and David BostonIn the modern T-formation era, Troy Smith is now only the 3rd quarterback in Buckeye history to win back-to-back starts against Michigan, joining Craig Krenzel (2001, 2002) and Cornelius Greene (1974, 1975)Smiths 337 yards of total offense was his 3rd 300+ effort this year (Iowa, Illinois), and his 300-yard passing total was the second time a Buckeye QB pitched for 300 or more against Michigan (330-Joe Germaine, 1998)"

Joe-S-U
  true of a Buckeye this man is.

I hope sometime soon to provide a link to the picture taken of Antonio Pittman pulling away from the Notre Dame secondary.  For me, it equals the famous picture of Eddie pulling away from the Irish in 1995, having of course the same results; 6 points.

GO BUCKS!!

Pat


Sunday, January 1, 2006


HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

LINK  Here is the link regarding a breaking story on Maurice Clarett, who at this exact moment, is a fugitive wanted by the Columbus police on two counts of aggravated robbery (sigh...).

Also, with all the speculation about Lloyd Carr, we put together a short photo essay regarding his future.  Officially, I want Lloyd to stay at TBGUN.  However, if not, we have investigated possible career alternatives for him LINK.

Pat

Saturday, December 24, 2005

12:15 Eastern

Merry Christmas!!

The skinny on OSU's recent Verbals

--Chimdi Chekwa, WR/DB, Clermont, FL (East Ridge) 6-1, 185, 4.4.  Made it to the state track finals the past two years, competing in the 300-meter hurdles.  Sr. stats: 44 tackles, 7 int's, 4 fumble recoveries and 1 caused fumble.  3-Star and #50 CB nationally by Rivals.  Chose OSU over offers from Ole Miss, So Carolina, Ga Tech, Maryland, Wake Forest, Clemson and Iowa State.

--Dexter Larimore, DT, Merrillville, IN, 6-3, 270, 4.85.  One of the top heavyweight wrestlers in the nation, ranked as the #58 overall wresting prospect by Scout.com.  #34 ranked DT nationally by Rivals.  Good student.  Very strong.  Chose Ohio State over scholarship offers from Michigan and others.

Buckeye Odds and Ends

--Buckeye fans keep asking about the progress of redshirt freshman QB Todd Boeckman.  Not that Todd is doing anything to make him fall out of favor, but true frosh Rob Schoenhoft continues to impress practice observers.  Boeckman has more experience than Schoenhoft, but Schoenhoft may have the best true QB skills of any quarterback OSU has signed in some time.  After Smith and Zwick move on, this will be an interesting battle.

--Devon Lyons has been moved to free safety.  Lyons was rated as the 5th best safety prospect by Rivals, coming out of high school.  The early word is that Lyons is looking pretty good on the defensive side of the ball.

--A name many people may have forgotten about (or never heard of), is Austin Spitler.  There was some talk of moving Spitler out of his linebacker position during this, his freshman season.  That apparently is not going to happen, with Spitler supposedly turning some heads in practice recently.

--A starting Buckeye player told me (one week ago today) that Ashton Youboty was likely going to be back and that Donte Whitner could go either way.  He also confirmed that there is basically no chance of Santonio Holmes coming back.  Just a hunch, but I think Whitner stays.

--Nothing concrete, but the grapevine has been active lately, saying Mike D'Andrea is still slow to recover from his knee problems.  Don't look for MDA in the Fiesta bowl, and if his knee won't heal properly, we may have seen the last of him on the football field.  Hope this is not the case.

--Although it isn't a done deal until he signs on the dotted line, it appears that one time Buckeye verbal commitment Freddie Lenix will enroll at Cincinnati next month.

blb

Sunday, December 11, 2005

8:00 PM Eastern

Buckeye Odds and Ends

--Ashton Youboty and Donte Whitner still appear to be on the fence in terms of a decision to stay or go.  If both decide it is best to leave a year early, that would leave Ohio State with just two starters returning on defense, Quinn Pitcock and David Patterson.

--The Ohio State secondary will have their hands full against Brady Quinn, who finished 4th in the Heisman voting.  ESPN NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper thinks Quinn could be the second overall pick in the draft if he comes out this year.  Tyler Everett, Ashton Youboty and Malcolm Jenkins had better be on their games against Quinn's top two targets Jeff Samardzija and Maurice Stovall.  The tandem combined for 131 catches, 2,213 yards and 26 TD's.  But Ohio State did lead the Big Ten in pass defense as well as sacks this year, so this should be interesting.

--A quick check of ticket broker prices for the game shows Fiesta Bowl tickets going for $400 to $1,860.

--Recruiting....the list of verbal commitments is very nice, but a pretty short list for this late in the recruiting season.  Ohio State needs a strong finish or this may turn out to be Tressel's lowest rated class.  The biggest names that could fill some of the remaining spots are: CB A.J. Wallace from Pomfret, Maryland; WR/ATH Raymond Small from Cleveland Glenville; DE Robert Rose from Cleveland Glenville; OL/DL Bryant Brown from Cleveland Glenville.  Others that could be Buckeyes include: Dexter Larimore, Merriville, IN; Colin McCarthy from Clearwater, FL; Andy Miller, TE from Washington, PA.

--Next year's lineup?  It's never too eary to play this game is it?  Let's take a shot...

QB  T. Smith, Zwick           DE Richardson, Barrow or Gohlston
TB  Pittman, C. Wells         DT Pitcock, Green or Abdallah
FB  S. White, D. Johnson   DT D. Patterson, Penton
FL  Ginn, Dukes  DE Wilson, Worthington
SE  R. Hall, Robieski or Lyons     
        X    Gonzales, Hartline               WLB Laurinaitis, Terry or Lenix
TE  Nicol, Frost                  MLB Kerr, Hoobler or Homan or D'Andrea
LT  Boone, C. Smith           SLB Freeman, Spitler
LG  Rehring, Mitchum       CB Jenkins, Amos
C    Datish, Cordle       FS Mitchell, N. Patterson
RG Downing, Person        SS Whitner, O'Neal
RT  Barton, Skinner   CB Youboty, B. Underwood 

blb

Monday, December 5, 2005

7:30 AM Eastern

We will be updating the board more frequently this week with thoughts on the Notre Dame matchup, a recap of the season, and finally...a recruiting update.  Some quick hitters....

--Ohio State will once again be the away team in the Fiesta Bowl....a formula that has worked well for the Bucks in the past.

--It is doubtful that Bobby Carpenter will be able to play against the Domers, but there is a slight chance.

--Kickoff is 5:10 EST, January 2, 2006.

--Other Big Ten matchups:  Penn State vs. Florida St (Orange Bowl Jan 3)
                                            Wisconsin vs. Auburn (Capital One Bowl Jan 2)
                                            Iowa vs. Florida (Outback Bowl Jan 2)
                                            Northwestern vs. UCLA (Sun Bowl Dec 30)
                                            Minnesota vs. Virginia (Music City Bowl Dec 30)
                                            Michigan vs. Nebraska (Alamo Bowl Dec 28)

--This will be the 5th game between these two long time football powers, with the current score knotted at 2 games a piece.

--Some sources feel Ashton Youboty will make himself eligible for the 2006 NFL draft this coming spring.  The prevailing thought is that Santonio Holmes is very likely to be a gonner and Donte Whitner could go either way.

--Ohio State's next verbal commitment may be from defensive tackle Dexter Larimore (Merryville, IN).  If so, Larimore would help the Buckeyes in two sports; he is one of the top (if not the very best) heavyweight wrestling prospect in the nation.

blb

Friday, November 25, 2005

12:25AM Eastern

Joe-S-U's weekly TOP 25 is now available.  Click HERE.

Pat


Friday, November 25, 2005

11:55AM Eastern

Want to review/relive THE GAME again?  Here is perhaps Joe-S-U's finest post game write up ever.  It is well worth the read!


OHIO STATE 25,  MICHIGAN 21


"I was surprised that ESPN Classic announced that they would be replaying OSUs win over TBGUN on Thanksgiving Eve.  Oh, I wasnt surprised because of the epic way the game played out, nor was I shocked that they waited barely an hour after the contest ended to announce the replay.  I was amazed that Classic found time between endless airings of the absolutely moronic piece of crap called Cheap Seats to actually squeeze in a classic sporting event.

 And classic it was.  Troy Smith didnt put up as many total yards as last year, but the ones he got last Saturday were in the clutch.  The defense lost a big piece of its heart on its very first play but completely stifled the UM ground game.  Anthony Gonzalez earned himself a permanent spot in the lore of The Game.  And the Bucks were able to overcome a costly fumble by a back who shouldn't even have been in the game and their worst special teams display of the year to win at the Big House.  

 Things didnt look good right at the outset.  Antonio Pittman lost 4 on the first play of the game and then after an incompletion OSU was already looking at 3rd-and-14.  But Troy Smith delivered as he found Santonio Holmes open down the left side for 15 and a first down.  Ted Ginn, Jr.s first option carry of the year gained 8 but a hold wiped it out.  No problem- it was Smith-to-Ginn for 12 and Pittmans 10-yard burst gained a first down.  From there the Bucks marched to the Michigan 21, where it was 3rd-and-1.  This time it was Smith to Roy Hall for 11 and 1st-and-goal at the Wolverine 10.  Two plays later Smith rolled right on the option for a 4-yard touchdown- Smith's 11th rushing score of the year- and the Bucks were up 6-0, which is where it stayed at Josh Huston missed his first point-after kick of the year, touching off a terrible afternoon for special teams.

On Michigan's first play Bobby Carpenter got his leg twisted under him and sustained a fracture as UM tackle Jake Long buried him.  One couldnt help remember the 2001 contest when Shane Olivea broke his ankle in the first half yet Ohio State was able to hold on and win the ballgame.  Chad Henne was able to get the air game cranked up as Mario Manningham and Tim Massaquoi made key 3rd-down receptions to help move the Wolverines to the Buckeye 37.  OSU forced a 4th-and-1 situation and Hennes throw to Jason Avant was off the mark, enabling the Bucks to take possession.

Starting from the 28, the offense continued to click along and as the first quarter ended the Buckeyes were up 6-0 and had the ball on Michigans 40.  Troy Smith had already scored on the ground and was 9 out of 10 passing to SIX different receivers for 88 yards.  

The Bucks gained a first down at the UM 35 but faced a 3rd-and-9 moments later.  Tight end Marcel Frost made a super one-handed catch and although the play only went for four yards, it may have meant the difference between a field goal and a punt.  Coach Jim Tressel called on Josh Huston and he responded with a 47-yard effort, matching his career best and increasing the OSU lead to 9-0 at the 12:49 mark.  

Michigan found itself in a hole on their next possession as a holding call had them facing 3rd-and-16 at their own 24.  Henne connected with Michael Hart on a screen pass but A.J. Hawk sniffed it out right now and decked Hart for a loss of 4.  In yet another example of why A.J.s football smarts will be missed, Hawk didnt dance or showboat as so many athletes do these days but instead immediately went to the official to ensure he had seen Michael Hart catch the ball since Hart was campaigning that he had dropped the pass.  The loss stood and the Buckeyes set up shop in great shape at their own 40 after UMs punt.  

At this point Antonio Pittman had carried 8 times for 35 yards, which must have left him terribly winded as backup tailback Maurice Wells entered the game.  Wolverine DT Gabe Watson immediately stripped the ball from Wells and recovered the fumble at the Buckeye 36, completely turning the game around.  On third down the play clock was clearly at zero to everybody but the officials, and Henne took advantage with a 7-yard pass to Steve Breaston for a big first down.  Michigan moved to OSUs five but faced a 3rd-and-1.  Henne missed Jason Avant on a slant but Ashton Youboty was flagged for interference and the Maize and Blue were now first-and-goal at the 2.  On the next play Henne tossed a beautiful fade pass to Avant who got both feet in for the score, narrowing the Buckeye lead to 9-7.  At this stage Chad Henne was 13 of 15 passing for 83 yards and, like his counterpart Troy Smith, had completed throws to six different players.

Anthony Gonzalez helped jump-start OSUs ensuing series with a 14-yard reception.  3 plays later on a second down call Ted Ginn dropped the ball on a crossing route, but he made up for it right away.  On a throw that would be eerily similar to his throw to Gonzo on the winning drive, Smith rolled right and found Ginn along the sideline for 23 and a first down at Michigans 30.  On 2nd-and-7 Pittman got loose around the right side behind super blocking for 15 down to the Maize and Blue 12.  But the drive stalled and Huston drilled his second field goal of the day from 25 yards out, giving the Buckeyes a 12-7 halftime advantage.

Steve Breaston finally got a shot at a return on the second-half kickoff but was torpedoed by Rob Harley at the UM 16.  OSUs D forced a quick 3-and-out but Ted Ginn, Jr. fumbled the ensuing punt and the Bucks lost 10 yards of field position after Antonio Smiths recovery.  On third down Lamarr Woodley blew right between Doug Datish and Rob Sims to force Troy Smith to fumble.  Alan Branch shoved Datish and Sims out of the way and fell on the football at OSUs 20.  Chad Henne immediately hit Tim Massaquoi for 13 and the Wolves were 1st-and-goal at the 7.  Two runs netted two, then Michigan was hit with a delay of game despite Lloyd Carrs insistence that they had called time.  Henne overthrew tight end Tyler Ecker in the back of the endzone so Garrett Rivas knocked through a 27-yard field goal to narrow the Buckeye lead to 12-10.

 The teams then exchanged punts, with OSUs being its first of the day.  On Michigans punt, Ginn fumbled again and Santonio Holmes recovered after an 18-yard loss back to the Buckeye 13.  The offense couldnt get anywhere, and to make matters worse A.J. Trapassos punt got caught up in the wind and only traveled 18 yards.  UM quickly moved from OSUs 37 to the 15, where Tyler Everett was called for interference on Jason Avant to give the Maize and Blue a first-and-goal at the 2.  Michigan hurried to the line of scrimmage while the Buckeye defense was still lining up and freshman tailback Kevin Grady breezed in for the touchdown, giving UM their first lead all day at 16-12.  Chad Henne ran in for a 2-pt. conversion to extend the lead to 18-12.

As Ohio State has done on other occasions this season, their ensuing drive was all running plays as they moved from their own 26 to Michigans 36.  Smiths first pass of the drive was knocked down, then on 3rd-and-9 a swing pass to Pittman only gained 7.  Josh Huston came in for a 46-yard field goal try but missed it to the right and with 12:02 to go it remained 18-12, UM.

Chad Henne ran a quarterback sneak for 2 yards on a 4th-and-1 play to extend Michigans next drive.  Then when it appeared Ohio State had held on a 3rd-down incompletion, Anthony Schlegel, who was having a monster game picking up the slack for Bobby Carpenter, was called for holding to give the Wolverines a first down on OSUs 47.  Henne immediately hit his longest pass of the day- a 38-yarder to Mario Manningham to put Michigan at the Buckeye 9.  The defense rose to the challenge and forced a 19-yard Rivas field goal, which he drilled to make it 21-12 with 7:49 left.
 
Anthony Gonzalez was able to bring Michigans ensuing pooch kickoff to his 33, and from there it didnt take Smith long to cut into the lead.  Gonzo picked up 27 on a crossing route, and then after 2 incompletions Smith made his biggest play of the day to that point.  Rolling to his left, Troy eluded Lamarr Woodley with a great stop-and-go move and picked up 14 to keep the drive alive at UMs 26.  On the very next play Smith fired a pass right over Prescott Burgess shoulder to Santonio Holmes, who took it the distance for a touchdown.  Seeing safety Willis Barringer closing in on him near the goal line, Holmes dove into the endzone which drew an absolutely ridiculous unsportsmanlike conduct call.  With the count now 21-19 the Bucks had to kickoff from their own 20.

It looked for a fleeting moment as if the penalty wouldnt matter as upback Will Paul fumbled the kickoff return after being stripped by Nick Patterson.  But Steve Breaston fell on the football and UM took over at their own 48.  After Breaston converted one first down, Michigan was called for a hold on a 2nd-and-12 play but the Buckeyes gambled and declined it.  On third down Breaston only picked up 8 to the OSU 34, and Rivas, from field goal formation, pooch punted out of bounds at the Buckeye 12.  With 4:18 to play, the stage was set for a drive that will go down in Buckeye history.

Ted Ginn, Jr. lit the fuse with a juggling 9-yard catch, and a Pittman run got the first down.  On 2nd-and-10 from the OSU 23, Smith did a 360 to avoid Pierre Woods and once again found Ginn who backstepped out of bounds for a first down at the Buckeye 34.  Teddy picked up 6 more by making a dynamite one-handed catch on the next play, and when Smith hit Holmes at the left sideline for 7 the Bucks had a first down at their 47.  It was Smith-to-Holmes again for 11, then Troy scrambled for 4.  On 2nd-and-6 from Michigans 38, Smith double-pumped before firing to Holmes for 12- a pass that just eluded Grant Mason and where Santonio lost his balance or he wouldve scored.  Tressel called OSUs second timeout with :47 to go and Josh Huston began to loosen up on the sideline.

 From the Michigan 30, Troy looked to take off but UM linebacker Dave Harris filled the hole.  Troy backed up and rolled to his right.  At the same time, Anthony Gonzalez had been forced out of bounds but came back in and took off down the right sideline.  In a moment that recalled when Bobby Hoying somehow threaded a pass between 3 defenders to Rickey Dudley in the 95 Penn State winning march, Smith fired deep to Gonzalez, who went up to make an acrobatic snag at the Wolverine 4.  Michigan called timeout to stop the clock at :37, then utilized their last T.O. after Smith picked up 1 yard on a keeper.  With the Bucks seemingly looking to position Josh Huston for a winning field goal, Antonio Pittman took a handoff.  Behind tremendous blocks from Andree Tyree and Stan White, Pitt bounced off safety Brandont Englemon and took it to the house standing up for a 25-21 Ohio State lead.  The 28-point comeback against South Carolina in the 2002 Outback Bowl may have required more points, and the Holy Buckeye play at Purdue later that year may have been more dramatic.  But when the day comes that the Jim Tressel era is reflected upon this come-from-behind achievement at Ann Arbor will shine brightly in Buckeye annals.

OSU tried for two after Pittmans gamer but the pass was incomplete, leaving Michigan just 24 seconds to navigate 80 yards with no timeouts.  Henne picked up 22 on a pass to Jason Avant, but on the next play Tyler Ecker caught a pass at the sideline and came back into the field of play where he was dropped by Tyler Everett and James Laurinaitis.  In yet another heady move, Everett ripped the ball away from Ecker and although the official was signaling that Ecker was down, Everett-and the football- were way upfield and the clock ran out on Ohio States 39th win over the Maize and Blue.

With Penn States win over Michigan State, the Nittany Lions share the Big Ten title with the Buckeyes at 7-1, but PSUs win over OSU in October gives them the automatic BCS bid.  Ohio State looks to capture one of the two BCS at-large bids but neither OSU nor Penn State will probably know where theyre headed for the holidays until December 4th.  Michigan ends their season at 7-4 overall and 5-3 in the conference.


RANDOM THOUGHTS- Jim Tressel is the second coach in Ohio State history to win 4 of his first 5 games with Michigan.  Francis Schmidt actually won his first 4 UM games all by shutout from 1934-1937 before losing in 38Santonio Holmes 26-yard touchdown reception was his fourth career TD catch against the Wolverines, more than any receiver in OSU history.  Holmes had been tied at 3 with Cris Carter and David BostonIn the modern T-formation era, Troy Smith is now only the 3rd quarterback in Buckeye history to win back-to-back starts against Michigan, joining Craig Krenzel (2001, 2002) and Cornelius Greene (1974, 1975)Smiths 337 yards of total offense was his 3rd 300+ effort this year (Iowa, Illinois), and his 300-yard passing total was the second time a Buckeye QB pitched for 300 or more against Michigan (330-Joe Germaine, 1998)"

Joe-S-U
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