Category Archives: Big Ten
Sitting on the couch while watching the full dose of NBA games, I pulled out my now-ancient iPod Touch (2G) and started to roam the Twitter scape. What I came across was something that could rock my world.
The Big Ten Network has just released the new conference divisions that will take place in solely football for the 2011 season and on. Included in this change is the separation of arch rivals Ohio State and Michigan. In the new alignment, the first conference includes Illinois, Indiana, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin. In the other division is Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska and Northwestern.
Fresh off a Rose Bowl victory and arguably his best performance thus far in his career at Ohio State, Terrelle Pryor has fans around the Buckeye State confident in his performance. Initially coming out of Jeanette High School in Pennsylvania, Pryor looked as if he was the best QB commit the Buckeyes had received in recent memory. With the signing of Braxton Miller, who according to ESPN is the no.2 signal caller in the nation, it’s clear to see that Jim Tressel found his replacement to TP, or did he upgrade? For Pryor, his running ability is what set him apart from the rest of the quarterbacks in his class. But for Miller, his legs are only an add on to an already superb passing game. And what makes Miller a more intriguing prospect is the fact that he has been clocked various times in the 40 running 4.4′s. Scary. It has been expected since he came onto campus that Pryor would be gone after his junior season, and if this does happen, it will clearly open the window for Miller to come in and take the job, with Kenny Guiton being the only reasonable competition for the spot. The thing Miller has over Pryor in this situation, is that Miller is well advanced for his age when it comes to the passing game. This is what ESPN Scouts had to say about Miller.
“ He has a big arm and can make every single throw. This offense provides him opportunities to stretch the field both outside of the numbers and between the hashes. Shows good velocity on his deeper throws. Can fit the ball into a lot of tight spots. He does a very nice job surveying the field and goes through his progressions.”
“Shows ability to change velocities and throw catchable balls underneath. He also shows good accuracy and touch in the short-to-intermediate passing game. Release mechanics are compact, but can be about 3/4. He is in the shotgun most of the time and needs more reps from under center to develop as a drop-back passer reading on the move. Possesses good lateral movement and shows the ability to slip pressure and create second-chance opportunities. He has very good speed for the position. He is elusive and quick for his size and displays some start and stop ability.”
For all of Buckeye nation, this scouting report is very promising. Not since the days of Troy Smith have the Buckeye had a consistent passing game. But with Miller, it seems that the Ohio State offense will be able to expand the spread offense, as this is what he has ran in all three years at Huber Heights Wayne. Dangerous once he is in open field, it’s very clear that the Buckeyes won’t lose anything in the ground game from their quarterbacks once Pryor is gone.
What will hurt Miller once he is on campus is the expectations that will be waiting for him. In two very solid seasons under center, Pryor has been criticized heavily, despite winning 18 of 21 games as a starter, including wins over Oregon in the Rose Bowl, at Penn State and home against Iowa, the defending Orange Bowl champions. Compiling 3405 yards and 30 TD’s through the air, the job Pryor has done thus far in his career is quite astounding. Considering the pressure that was thrust upon him upon arrival, there isn’t much to knock on Pryor. Going into the last three games of ’09, the inability to win “the big one” is what hurt Pryor the most. But after defeating the aforementioned Penn State and Iowa, and winning on the road against Michigan, the Rose Bowl victory only put those notions to rest. When Miller comes into the starting role, I expect his expectations to be much higher, as only two days after he committed to Ohio State, most analysts and fans are concluding that he will be better than Pryor. For now, I see him as a mere replacement to Pryor, but not yet an upgrade. For that to happen, Miller must improve the passing offense his freshman year, along with equaling the things Pryor has done on the ground. Either way, the quarterback position for the Buckeyes has been solidified for the next five years.
After an 11-year battle with cancer, Stefanie Spielman passed away today at the age of 42. Wife of ex-Ohio State linebacker Chris Spielman, Stefanie had been fighting cancer since she was first diagnosed on July 11th, 1998. Her cancer had come and gone three times before the final time she learned the cancer had come back in March 2007. She was the face of breast cancer awareness for millions of women from all walks of life.
LIVESTRONG founder Lance Armstrong had this to say about her passing today.
“Today we have lost a leader in the fight against cancer. Stefanie was a living example of courage and strength to everyone around her. Her perseverance was unmatchable. While the cancer community marks her passing, my family and I will keep the Spielmans in our thoughts as they say goodbye to their beloved wife and mother. For her sake, we will continue the battle she fought against a disease that claims too many women all over the world.”
Her husband, Chris, played at Ohio State from 1984-’87, and played high school football in Ohio at Massilon Washington High School.
On a day where the Ohio State offense had Terrelle Pryor complete 82% of his passes, Brandon Saine and Boom Herron both rush for a combined 200 yards and a backup quarterback making his first career start in a stadium ten times the size of his hometown, many would think the Buckeyes would roll. This was the opposite today as it took an overtime goal, I mean field goal from the former MLS pro Devin Barclay in a game where Ohio State defeated #10 Iowa 27-24 in front of 105,455 frantic fans.
I’m back!!! After a long and grueling two month period without an internet connection at my house, I am back on reporting duty for Behind The Box Score. To start my process back, I would like to talk about the Ohio State Buckeyes, a team led by a sometimes hated quarterback, a heavily conservative coach and a defense that would even make Arnold Swartzenegger cringe. Ten games into the season, it looks as if this team is going to another BCS Bowl Game, no not the Fiesta Bowl, this time the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. Another good part of the situation, the Buckeyes, with a win on Saturday, are likely to play the newly re-instated LeGarette “KO” Blount and the Oregon Ducks, no, not the USC Trojans.
Fresh off a 24-7 victory over Penn State in Happy Valley, the Buckeyes (8-2, [5-1]) face an Iowa team coming off a shocking loss at home to Northwestern, which the Hawkeye faithful sa Kirk Ferentz’s team lose not only their undefeated season but clutch quarterback Ricky Stanzi to an ankle injury that will have him sidelined for the rest of the season. A team that had been so great in the fourth quarter behind the calm and collected Stanzi, now face a tough rest of the season, with sophomore Ryan Vandenburg behind center and a trip to Columbus. The complete opposite was the case for Ohio State, as the Buckeyes ACTUALLY won a big game Saturday. Behind the arms and legs of Terrelle Pryor, the Ohio State offense found a groove, roaring out to an early lead behind a seven yard scamper from Pryor, getting the Buckeyes into the endzone. By halftime, Tresselball had paid off and Ohio State led 10-7. Going into the second half, to the average Buckeye fan, the situation looked all too similar. Throughout the past three big games, Ohio State had played well the entire game and then faltered late to lose the game. This wasn’t happening on Saturday, as late in the third quarter Pryor and DeVier Posey hooked up for a 62 yard touchdown pass on first down noless, really shows that Hell can freeze over. Holding a 17-7 lead, this Buckeye defense would not relent. Behind the mercilessness of Cameron Heyward, who had two sacks and was wrecking havoc on any lineman the Nittany Lions put on him, Ohio State limited Penn State to 201 yards of total offense, well below their normal average. Grinding out the final fifteen, Ohio State scored again on a six yard pass from Pryor to Brandon Saine that put any comeback virtually out of reach. Leaving Beaver Stadium unscathed, a showdown in the ‘Shoe was eminent to happen.
The game Saturday against Iowa is one that could either make or break Ohio State’s season. Favored by 17 points, it’s very likely that the Buckeyes will once again win with defense and have a few spectacular plays sprinkled in from Pryor. If TP can cut down on his mistakes, and keep the defense guessing with his superior blend of athleticism, there is no reason Ohio State won’t roll. Vandenburg completed a measly nine of 27 passes on a Wildcat defense that saw the Buckeyes drop 45 on them in Evanston last year. With that said, this game is Ohio State’s and there is nothing the Hawkeyes can do to take it away. Allowing only 14 points the past three weeks, Hawkeyes RB Brandon Wehger will need to have a great game for this one to swing Iowa’s way. Shutting down star back Evan Royster last week, Wehger, who lacks the athletic ability of Royster, will be another name on the long list of running backs to not reach the 100 yard milestone against this defense. When it’s all said and done, Ohio State wins 28-7.
For the Michigan game this year, you can expect something different in the look of the game. As it seems every single football team from college to the NFL has done so far in 2009, Ohio State is donning retro uni’s for the 106th installment of The Game. Ex-Buckeye Brandon Smith placed pictures on his Twitter feed of the new jerseys and helmet. The only other time that Ohio State wore throwbacks were in
After another loss in a big game against a top five team, Ohio State coach Jim Tressel has now made it a habit for the Buckeyes to falter in these games. While many Buckeye fans will object to any such coaching change, after thinking thoroughly for the past five days, note zero posts in that time period, Jim Tressel may not have the superior job security he boasted only three years ago. Tressel’s predecessor, John Cooper, was fired because he couldn’t beat Michigan, something Jim has made a habit in his nine year tenure. But with losses to primetime non conference foes in bowl games and early regular season matchups, Tressel’s fate may be going down the same path. Lacking a true play calling ability and an overly conservative gameplan in the games that matter most, the Baldwin-Wallace grad has upset many fans with his inability to coach and win the game the past three seasons. Now, I will go into why Tressel and Cooper may be similar with the end of their careers on the horizon.
Once upon a time the Ohio State Buckeyes were heavily respected within college football circles. Winning big time games against non conference foes, Ohio State was one of the most feared teams in America. Winning BCS bowl games, matching up athletically on both sides of the ball and game planning correctly, the Buckeyes were a version of this year’s Floridas, Texas’ and USC’s.
In Terrelle Pryor’s first game of his highly anticipated sophomore season, the former number one player in the country showed the potential and talent that was expected out of him from Jeanette, Pennsylvania. With all this said, the 6’6″ 235 pound burner didn’t do it alone. In the post Beanie Wells era, the Buckeyes featured Boom Herron and Brandon Saine, both who had quality games, and in my opinion, Saine looked the best, on each carry the junior was impossible to bring down on first contact. The Buckeyes featured a trio of new receivers, with Duron Carter impressing making spectacular catches similar to the ones his father made. As the offense moved efficiently, the defense had troubles of their own.