July 24, 2014

Rumble, Young Men, Rumble: Ohio State Season in Review

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Braxton Miller and Jamal Marcus

Today we look back. Forget the star-studded 2014 recruiting class. Forget the possibility of having someone not named Luke Fickell coaching the Ohio State defense next season. Today we have but one purpose, and that is to relive the peaks and valleys, twists and turns of another Buckeyes season in the books.

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Ohio State blows out the Boilermakers 56-0, now 21-0 under Meyer

Carlos Hyde is athletic.

Carlos Hyde is athletic.

This game was never going to be close, but Purdue did themselves no favors. We weren’t even a full minute into the game when Doran Grant returned Danny Etling’s interception to the house to put Ohio State up 7-0. Purdue proceeded to go three and out on their next possession but a crappy punt gave Ohio State the ball in Purdue’s territory. Two plays later, Braxton Miller found TE Jeff Heuerman for a 40-yard TD.

Less than five minutes into the game, Ohio State had a 14-0 lead and that was that.

Braxton Miller threw for 233 yards (19/23) and four touchdowns and Carlos Hyde ran for 111 yards to lead the Buckeyes to a 56-0 shellacking of Purdue. The Buckeye defense was equally as dominating as the Ohio State offense. The Buckeye D held the Boilermakers to just 116 total yards of offense. The victory improved Urban Meyer’s Ohio State record to 21-0 and their 21-game win streak is the longest in the nation.

It’s hard to take away anything concrete from a 56-0 game. I’ve seen Scarlet and Gray games that were more competitive. Ohio State certainly played well, but Purdue was fumbling away simple handoffs. Of course, I certainly prefer OSU to blow out the crappy teams (optics matter in college football), but as much as a love a victory, this wasn’t exactly a fun game to watch. And as much as I enjoy watching Michigan lose (as they did to Michigan State), the OSU-UM game only matters because Michigan used to be more than pretty good. The Big Ten is doing Urban Meyer and Ohio State no favors.

This is now back-to-back blowouts for Ohio State. It’s really the best thing they can do to help themselves. Yes, Purdue isn’t that good, but OSU took a bunch of flack for not hammering Iowa and Northwestern. With their schedule drawing so much ire and the Big Ten being, well, the Bit Ten, Ohio State has to dominate the Purdues of the world. I expect them to do the same thing in two weeks in Illinois and the following week against Indiana at home. These game have to be blowouts. If multiple teams end the season undefeated, Ohio State needs all the style points they can get.  [Read more...]

Urban Meyer, Mad Scientist: On the Dual-QB formation

Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE

Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE

Exchanges are some of the most fundamental actions in football. Center to quarterback. Quarterback to running back. If a team struggles to execute these simple things, then it is highly likely that team will not be successful.

Last week in the blowout of Penn State, Urban Meyer debuted a new formation and teased the possibility of a new exchange rarely if ever seen. With 4:01 left in the third quarter, backup quarterback dynamo Kenny Guiton lined up in the shotgun. Starter Braxton Miller was split out wide left. Guiton took the snap from Corey Linsley, calmly surveyed the Nittany Lion defense, and jazzed his way into the end zone from two yards out.

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Braxton and the Bucks hand Penn State record-breaking loss

braxtonrunpennst686 total yards. 408 yards rushing. 63 points. 9 touchdowns.

I could stop there, because in a way that really says it all. For the sake of storytelling, however, I’ll continue. Braxton Miller looked as good as he has in scarlet and gray. Carlos Hyde continued to build on the momentum of his last two performances. But, even more important than that, the defense was effective and forced turnovers. Because of it, Urban Meyer’s Bucks were able to avenge the 63-14 loss against the Nittany Lions in Happy Valley in 1994 by the same margin.

The first drive really set the tone for the rest of the night with the Bucks scoring in a 7-play, 75-yard drive that took just under two and a half minutes. Exploiting the perimeter of the PSU defense and throwing several times on first down, Miller was able to work his team down the field quickly with completions to Hyde, Spencer, and Smith before Hyde punched it in from 2 yards out. Penn State looked poised to answer back, driving the ball all the way down to the OSU 12 yard line. From there, on 3rd-and-5, freshman quarterback Christian Hackenberg threw an interception into the end zone as safety Corey “Pittsburgh” Brown dropped into coverage and picked it off to stop the Nittany Lion momentum. [Read more...]

Urban Meyer: “I almost put Kenny (Guiton) in there.”

In the third quarter of Ohio State’s 40-30 victory over Northwestern on Saturday night, head coach Urban Meyer came close to pulling his star quarterback Braxton Miller in favor of capable back-up Kenny Guiton.

How close was Meyer to pulling the trigger?

“Real close.” said Meyer in his post game press conference.

Down 23-13, Braxton Miller drove the offense from their own 35 to Northwestern’s seven yard line. There Miller fumbled for the second time in the game. He also threw an interception on a ball that floated down-field after a defender hit his arm while he was throwing it.

When the Buckeyes came back to the sidelines you could see the frustration. One offensive linemen threw his helmet in disgust. That’s when Kenny Guiton picked up a football and started to warm up.

Meyer felt for his star quarterback. “My heart bleeds,” Meyer said, “but I almost put Kenny in there.”

Ultimately, Meyer decided that pulling Miller wasn’t the “appropriate thing to do at that point”. Perhaps Meyer didn’t want to start a quarterback controversy. Perhaps he wanted to give Miller the chance to rebound, to overcome adversity.

That’s exactly what Miller did in the fourth quarter, although the heavy lifting was done by running back Carlos Hyde, who finished the game with career highs in carries (26) and yards (168).

Give Meyer credit for admitting that he was thinking about pulling Miller.

NCAAF News: Guiton and Miller listed as co-starters for Wisconsin game

While Braxton Miller will play this Saturday night when the fourth ranked Buckeyes take on No. 23 Wisconsin, but it’s still unclear just how many snaps he’ll see. In the Ohio State depth chart released on Wednesday, Miller and fifth-year senior Kenny Guiton.

Urban Meyer was noncommittal in his latest press conference, saying the team’s starting quarterback is Miller “or” Guiton. “I think if [Miller] has a great week of practice, he will [start],” said Meyer. “I want to make sure I’m doing right by Kenny Guiton, so it’s more complicated than that.”

While Miller was the 2012 Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, Guiton has deputized impressively since the preseason Heisman favorite left the first quarter of the Buckeyes’ week two victory over San Diego State with a sprained left knee. Over the last two games – his first two collegiate starts – Guiton has completed 45 of 66 passes for 491 yards, 10 touchdowns, and only one interception. He has also added 15 rushes for 97 yards on the way to consecutive Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week honors.

On the year, Guiton has thrown for 664 yards, 13 touchdowns and two interceptions on 65 of 95 passing (68.4%) and rushed for 186 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries. In just over one game of action, Miller is 17 of 24 (70.8%) for 208 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. He has also rushed 18 times for 82 yards.

The Buckeyes face the Badgers at Ohio Stadium at 8:00 PM ET on Saturday.

[Related: Nothing to see here: Why the Buckeyes must stick with Braxton Miller]

Nothing to see here: Why the Buckeyes must stick with Braxton Miller

Kenny Guiton is the truth. If the video below (fast forward to the 2:50 mark if you wish) did not do the trick, I told you last week, and then he went out and made me look prescient against Cal.

Last Saturday in Berkeley, Buckeyes fans witnessed a coming out party. Guiton had proven himself in relief many times before—in crunch time against Purdue last season, this year against San Diego State—but coming out as the starting quarterback is a whole different kind of test. Kenny G played his smooth jazz to perfection from start to finish in a wire-to-wire dismantling of the Cal defense.

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NCAA News: Braxton Miller a gameday decision for Ohio State

“He [Braxton Miller]‘s moving much better. He conditioned pretty hard after practice [on Wednesday]. Today’s another big day. Tomorrow’s another big day. We’re going to keep working until the foot hits the ball and then we’ll make a decision on game day.”

– Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer on the status of Buckeyes star quarterback Braxton Miller, who missed last week’s game against California with a sprained left knee ligament. In his place, backup quarterback and (fellow co-captain) Kenny Guiton led the Bucks to a 52-34 victory and received national player of the week nods.

OSU has one final non-conference tuneup this week at noon Saturday against Florida A&M. They’re over 50-point favorites for the lopsided matchup, which was set up with a cost of $900K from OSU to the Rattlers. Many fans are likely hoping for Miller to at least participate somewhat, in order to be prepared for the first big showdown of the year on Sept. 28 against Wisconsin.

[Related: The Other Quarterback: Kenny Guiton and his smooth jazz keep the Buckeye offense in rhythm]

Ohio State’s Kenny Guiton wins national player of the week honors

After his first career start, Ohio State captain and backup quarterback Kenny Guiton received some extraordinary news today: He’s the recipient of a national college player of the year award.

CBS Sports’ Bruce Feldman initially shared the news that Guiton had won the Walter Camp National Player of the Week honor. In the Buckeyes’ 52-34 victory at California, the redshirt senior Guiton tallied 368 total yards and four touchdowns. His 90-yard touchdown pass to Devin Smith in the first quarter stands as the longest play in school history.

No. 4 Ohio State concludes its regular season non-conference schedule with a noon home game against Florida A&M (sans marching band) next Saturday in Columbus. There’s obviously still no word on whether Heisman contender Braxton Miller will return for that game.

One might assume that the Bucks will be focusing on their conference opener, Sept. 28 against Wisconsin, for Miller’s return. Injuries have been a constant thorn in his side the past two seasons and despite 77 career passing/rushing attempts before Saturday, this was the first time he got the start. And he certainly capitalized on the opportunity.

[Related: The Other Quarterback: Kenny Guiton and his smooth jazz keep the Buckeye offense in rhythm]

Ohio State 52, Cal 34: Guiton leads Bucks to road victory

The No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes cruised to another quick first quarter lead en route to a fast-paced 52-34 victory against California in Berkeley on Saturday night.

Backup quarterback Kenny Guiton, in his first-ever career start in place of the injured Braxton Miller, shined with 368 total yards and four touchdowns. His 90-yard touchdown pass to Devin Smith on OSU’s second play from scrimmage went down in the records books as the longest play in school history.

The mostly scarlet-clad Memorial Stadium in Berkeley cheered on as the Buckeyes romped to a 21-0 advantage within the game’s first six minutes. It was the third time in as many weeks that Ohio State had taken a three touchdown lead within the first quarter. Similar to week one against Buffalo, the game was back-and-forth from there.

OSU’s defense didn’t look pretty, as they preceded to allow over 500 yards of offense to the Golden Bears, who entered the game with one of college football’s fastest-paced offenses. True freshman quarterback Jared Goff threw for 371 yards, by far the worst game of his young career (he had 450 and 481 in his first two games).

Yet the game was never really much in doubt. Although the Bears had an opportunity to cut the margin within one score at the end of the first half, they had to settle for a field goal and a 31-20 intermission deficit. From there, Jordan Hall picked up the second of his three touchdowns en route to a 168-yard game. The Buckeyes then again increased their lead to 45-20.

It certainly wasn’t a seamless performance by any means, but the Buckeyes will take the career-best performances from Guiton and Hall with the victory. They have one more final non-conference tuneup — next Saturday at noon against Florida A&M at The Horseshoe — before Big Ten play arrives at the end of the month. Then, these post-first quarter lapses could actually come back to bite them big time. For now, it’s just another win.

[Related: The Other Quarterback: Kenny Guiton and his smooth jazz keep the Buckeye offense in rhythm]

While We’re Waiting…Trent’s workload, Tribe’s rotation, Buckeye’s read option

While We’re Waiting is a space on the WaitingForNextYear website where we share links every day. We’ve been doing it for about four years or so. Denny Mayo used to be much more amusing with his intros, if you recall. You know the drill: Email us with suggestions at tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

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“In 2012, over a five game stretch, Richardson carried the ball at least 20 times during those games and the Browns won three of the five, while Richardson averaged just under 100 yards per game. He had 24 rushes for 122 yards and a score in a win over the Chargers, followed by a 25 for 105 yards in a loss to the Ravens.

In Week 10, Richardson had 28 carries for 95 yards in a loss to the Cowboys, followed by 29 rushes for 85 yards and a touchdown in a win over the Steelers. He had 20 carries for 72 yards and a score in a win over the Raiders in Week 12. The next week, the Browns beat the Chiefs 30-7 and Richardson had 18 rushes for just 42 yards and two touchdowns.

In the other 10 games of the season, Richardson had less than 20 carries, averaged 47 yards a game and the Browns were 2-8. He didn’t play in the season finale against the Steelers.” [Greetham/Orange and Brown Report]

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The Other Quarterback: Kenny Guiton and his smooth jazz keep the Buckeye offense in rhythm

purdue kenny g

Urban Meyer has made public his thoughts about Braxton Miller’s status for Ohio State’s game against Cal this Saturday night. The Buckeyes’ coach believes that his Heisman candidate quarterback will be on the field in the team’s first road game of the season.

But I’m not interested in that today. The most interesting storyline under center – or, more accurately, in the shotgun – for Ohio State this week is backup Kenny Guiton. Miller’s knee is undoubtedly more important to the Buckeyes’ long-term prospects, but most of the quarterback intrigue this week centers on the man they call Kenny G.

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WFNY Roundtable: Concern For Ohio State Over Braxton and Polls?

The Ohio State Buckeyes are 2-0 on the young season, but they face their first road game of the year against the Cal Golden Bears on Saturday night in primetime (on this coast, anyway). With plenty of storylines after the first two wins, we dove into some of the hot button issues for the scarlet and gray.

WFNY_roundtable

 

Ohio State has dropped in the polls (from #2 in both polls to #3 in the coaches’ and #4 in the AP) over the last two weeks. Is there any concern there with Oregon and Clemson in addition to Alabama shutting OSU out of a potential title game shot?

Craig: I just can’t possibly think about them at this stage of the game. Ohio State hasn’t played any of the meat in their schedule and we all know they just have to keep winning. If I take too much time thinking about the polls now and they lose some game they should have won in a week or two, then I’d feel really silly. Maybe I’ll start watching the polls if Ohio State is undefeated after taking on Wisconsin at the end of September.

Scott: I’ll be interested to see how the BCS shakes out if the top five remains undefeated. Margin of victory isn’t supposed to have much impact and that appears to be what’s forced the Buckeyes down the ranks—apparently a win is not a win. [Read more...]

The Baffling Buckeyes

Well, as I said last week, our little run-in with Purdue in 2002 took several years off my life and this past Saturday only aided in yet another subtraction. While the expectations are much different for this season, it was still Purdue in spite of the fact that we knew they would give our defense trouble. The thing is, the defense was actually what stood tall for the most part.

Each and every week we are learning something about this team which is great, but instead of me droning on about the same topic, there are a handful of things that stood out to me in which I thought were worth addressing.

“I’m still trying to figure this bad boy out,” Meyer said. “We won, right?”

First and foremost, the obvious star of the weekend, backup junior quarterback from Houston, TX: Kenny. Freaking. Guiton. I still cannot believe what we witnessed on Saturday afternoon given how the game had progressed. Normally I would say that Ohio State had no business winning that game and if Purdue had any sort of reasonable play-calling, I would, but they fought for that win. And somehow they did it giving up an opening 83-yard touchdown pass, a 100-yard kickoff return and 4 turnovers along with several injuries that continue to plague this team. Kenny G came into the game late in the third quarter after Braxton Miller went down and assumed a role that nobody thought he was ready for. Well, apparently not nobody: [Read more...]

Box Score: No. 7 OSU Buckeyes 29, Purdue Boilermakers 22 (OT)

Wow, what a game. Anyone that would have ever guessed that Kenny Guiton would be the hero in a Buckeyes victory likely would have been labeled as crazy before this one.

But Braxton Miller’s injury forced Guiton into the ballgame, where he miraculously saved the Buckeyes’ perfect season by leading the team to two TDs and a two-point conversion in the final minute of regulation and overtime.

The Ohio State defense then held the Boilermakers on fourth down, securing the 29-22 victory.

Scoring Summary

1st Quarter PURD – OHST
15:00 Purdue Boilermakers PURD TD Caleb TerBush passed to Akeem Shavers to the left for 83 yard gain (Paul Griggs missed PAT) 6 – 0
6:02 Ohio State Buckeyes OHST TD Braxton Miller rushed to the right for 8 yard gain (Drew Basil made PAT) 6 – 7
5:29 Purdue Boilermakers PURD TD Ohio St. kicked off, Akeem Hunt returned kickoff for 100 yards (Paul Griggs made PAT) 13 – 7
2nd Quarter PURD – OHST
None 13 – 7
3rd Quarter PURD – OHST
8:19 Ohio State Buckeyes OHST TD Carlos Hyde rushed to the right for 2 yard gain (Drew Basil made PAT) 13 – 14
4:24 Purdue Boilermakers PURD TD Caleb TerBush passed to Gary Bush to the right for 31 yard gain (Paul Griggs made PAT) 20 – 14
4th Quarter PURD – OHST
10:51 Purdue Boilermakers PURD SAF Safety 22 – 14
0:12 Ohio State Buckeyes OHST TD Kenny Guiton passed to Chris Fields to the left for 2 yard gain (2pt attempt converted, Kenny Guiton pass to Jeff Heuerman) 22 – 22
OT PURD – OHST
0:00 Ohio State Buckeyes OHST TD Carlos Hyde rushed up the middle for 1 yard gain (Drew Basil made PAT) 22 – 29

Passing

Purdue Boilermakers Comp Att Yds Pct Y/A Sack YdsL TD Int Rating
Caleb TerBush 19 30 232 63.3 7.7 0 0 2 1 143.6
Rob Henry 0 0 0 0.0 0.0 1 5 0 0 0.0
Ohio State Buckeyes Comp Att Yds Pct Y/A Sack YdsL TD Int Rating
Braxton Miller 9 20 113 45.0 5.7 2 10 0 1 82.5
Kenny Guiton 6 11 77 54.5 7.0 0 0 1 1 125.2

Rushing

Purdue Boilermakers Rush Yds Avg Lng TD FumL
Ralph Bolden 9 33 3.7 8 0 0
Akeem Shavers 7 30 4.3 14 0 0
Akeem Hunt 5 15 3.0 14 0 0
Brandon Cottom 5 15 3.0 7 0 0
Caleb TerBush 8 13 1.6 6 0 0
Rob Henry 2 4 2.0 9 0 0
Cody Webster 1 4 4.0 4 0 0
Antavian Edison 2 1 0.5 1 0 0
Ohio State Buckeyes Rush Yds Avg Lng TD FumL
Carlos Hyde 18 91 5.1 20 2 0
Braxton Miller 12 47 3.9 37 1 2
Corey (Philly) Brown 1 9 9.0 9 0 0
Rod Smith 2 3 1.5 2 0 0
Kenny Guiton 3 2 0.7 2 0 0

Receiving

Purdue Boilermakers Rec Yds Avg Lng TD FumL
Akeem Shavers 3 93 31.0 83 1 0
Dolapo Macarthy 6 49 8.2 13 0 0
Gary Bush 2 39 19.5 31 1 0
Akeem Hunt 2 21 10.5 20 0 0
Crosby Wright 2 14 7.0 8 0 0
Antavian Edison 2 10 5.0 7 0 0
Gabe Holmes 2 6 3.0 5 0 0
Ohio State Buckeyes Rec Yds Avg Lng TD FumL
Devin Smith 2 48 24.0 39 0 0
Corey (Philly) Brown 3 44 14.7 19 0 0
Chris Fields 3 44 14.7 35 1 0
Jake Stoneburner 1 17 17.0 17 0 0
Evan Spencer 2 15 7.5 8 0 0
Michael Thomas 1 11 11.0 11 0 0
Carlos Hyde 2 6 3.0 4 0 0
Jeff Heuerman 1 5 5.0 5 0 0

Kicking

Purdue Boilermakers XPM XPA FGM FGA Lng Pct Pts
Paul Griggs 2 3 0 2 0 0.0 2
Ohio State Buckeyes XPM XPA FGM FGA Lng Pct Pts
Drew Basil 3 3 0 1 0 0.0 3

Punting

Purdue Boilermakers Punt Avg Blk In20 TB
Cody Webster 7 47.3 0 1 2
Ohio State Buckeyes Punt Avg Blk In20 TB
Ben Buchanan 5 43.2 0 2 0

OSU Spring Game: Scarlet 20, Gray 14

In lousy weather at Ohio Stadium, the Buckeyes opened the Urban Meyer Era with plenty of passing and offensive flashes as offensive coordinator Tom Herman’s scarlet team defeated defensive coordinator Luke Fickell’s gray team 20-14 in front of over 80,000 in attendance.

The two headliners were Scarlet’s Braxton Miller and Michael Thomas. Miller was 24-for-31 passing for 258 yards with 0 touchdowns and 1 interception. Thomas, a 6’2″ freshman receiver out of Los Angeles, caught 12 passes for 131 yards and turned a lot of heads in a receiving group in need of strong performances. For the Gray squad, quarterback Kenny Guiton was 17-for-26 for 191 yards with 2 touchdowns (1 rushing) and 1 interception. Sophomore receiver Corey “Philly” Brown added 7 catches for 90 yards for Gray. Scarlet got a pair of rushing touchdowns from running backs Carlos Hyde and Rod Smith.

For a full list of stats from the game, OhioStateBuckeyes.com has you covered. Patrick will have more on the OSU Spring Game in the coming days.

While We’re Waiting Will Be On The Sidelines Next Year

While We’re Waiting – A PLACE FOR CLEVELAND SPORTING LINKS. If you see something you like send it to us via the EMAIL MACHINE. If you don’t I will CAPRICIOUSLY capitalize RANDOM WORDS.

I think a term I’ve heard describing the front office methods of the Mike Holmgren regime are “refreshing”. I think that’s appropriate. This is why: Colt McCoy will not be playing in 2010. [ESPN.com]

A list of the Browns’ Undrafted Free Agent signings. [Dawgs By Nature] [Read more...]