July 29, 2014

WFNY on the 2014 NFL Draft: Joe Gilbert’s Top Five Linebackers

khalil-mack-mid

Linebackers are the brain of an NFL team’s defense. These players are the guys on the field who must put their teammates in the right formation and optimal spots. They are asked to rush the passer, stop the run, and go into coverage. The linebackers are typically the most athletic guys on the defense because of their need to get all over the field. The 2014 NFL Draft linebacker position is a very talented group. The players at the top are very good with a lot of future stars. The position is also very deep with good prospects available in the later rounds who can contribute this season. The athleticism of this group is in full force especially in my top five players. Alas, here are my top five linebackers in the 2014 NFL Draft.

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Mike Pettine’s arrival likely means an upgrade at inside linebacker

DQWell JacksonOne thing that has been a hallmark for defenses under Mike Pettine has been inside linebacker. When he was with Rex Ryan in Baltimore, that meant Ray Lewis. When he and Ryan went to the Jets, Pettine is reportedly the man who wanted Bart Scott—badly. Also, it wasn’t until the Bills’ third pick last year, but it was the second round when they found it a priority to go get Oregon’s Kiko Alonso.1 With Mike Pettine coming to Cleveland, it’s safe to assume that the Browns will address the center of their defense.

D’Qwell Jackson, the team’s current middle linebacker and captain, is owed a lot of money this year. If they cut him, it will add about $4.2 million in dead money to the books, but if they keep him, it will cost them over $8 million. Maybe there’s a middle ground and a forthcoming re-negotiation that works for both parties. Craig Robertson had a year. That’s about the best I can say for him. It wasn’t the worst year ever, but it wasn’t the kind of year that will keep anyone thinking he’s much more than a backup.

Between the draft and free agency, I expect that to be a place the Browns make some moves. [Read more...]

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Footnotes:

  1. Browns fans should remember Alonso from his athletic leap over the entire goal line scrum to grab Willis McGahee and prevent him from scoring. []

Ohio State’s Shazier to leave for NFL Draft, Miller to stay

ryan shazier buckeyesOhio State linebacker Ryan Shazier will leave for the NFL Draft, multiple media outlets reported on Saturday afternoon. Quarterback Braxton Miller will stay for his senior season, however, as reported by Sports Illustrated’s Pete Thamel.

The news is fairly expected for Shazier. He was a First-Team All-American this season and is likely to be a first round draft pick in the pros. It’s not a surprise that one of the most decorated linebackers in the program’s prestigious history would take the jump to the riches of the pros.

This season, before Friday’s Orange Bowl, Shazier had 134 tackles (40 solo), 22.5 tackles for loss, six sacks, four pass deflections and four forced fumbles. He was a team captain and, on the emotional side, changed his number to No. 2 in support of injured senior co-captain Christian Bryant.

Miller was not likely to be selected in the first two rounds of the draft, thus making his decision a smart one. He won Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year for the second straight season, but was injury-prone throughout and disappointed at the end of the Orange Bowl.

Overall, Miller had 2,094 passing yards, 1,068 rushing yards and 36 touchdowns. He had been undecided in recent weeks about his NFL decision. The report of him staying for one more year certainly is a huge boost to the Buckeyes’ 2014 title hopes. He’s also likely to be among the favorites for the Heisman Trophy.

OSU cornerback Bradley Roby, who missed the Orange Bowl with an knee injury, officially declared for the NFL Draft earlier in the season. He was honored among the team’s seniors during Senior Day against Indiana on Nov. 23. Shazier was not honored during that day.

Thamel also reported that tight end Jeff Heuerman will stay for his senior year.

[Orange Bowl Recap: Watkins, costly turnovers too much for Bucks to overcome]

AP Photo/Jay LaPrete

Ohio State’s Ryan Shazier named USA Today All-American

Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier was named by USA Today a First-Team All-American in their rosters released yesterday.

The junior linebacker is the heart and soul of the Buckeyes defense. He joined Alabama’s C.J. Mosley and UCLA’s Anthony Barr on the First-Team roster. No other OSU players made the First- or Second-Teams.

In 13 games this season, Shazier has 134 total tackles (94 solo), 22.5 tackles for loss, six sacks and four forced fumbles. His numbers dwarfed those of many of his peers. Yet, Wisconsin’s Chris Borland was honored as the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and Mosley won the Butkus Award as the nation’s best linebacker.

Most NFL mock drafts have Shazier lined up as a first-round selection in next year’s draft. There have been no formal announcements over his intention to leave college, but he is expected to do so. Redshirt junior cornerback Bradley Roby already has declared for the draft, was honored on senior day and is also expected to be a first-round pick.

On the emotional side, fans will recall that Shazier changed his number to No. 2 in early October to honor injured teammate Christian Bryant. The senior safety was a team captain and his loss was a huge blow for the Buckeyes defense, which faltered in the Big Ten Championship Game against Michigan State.

The Buckeyes are set to play No. 12 Clemson in the Orange Bowl on January 3.

[Related: Buckeye Thoughts: What happened to the defense?]

Hyde, Buckeyes extend streak to 22, but about that defense…

hydeleap

In another game in a weak schedule that the Buckeyes were heavy favorites, they took care of business yet again on the road. Braxton Miller moved the offense with his legs more than his arm, and Carlos Hyde exploded, particularly late, accounting for five total touchdowns and 270 yards of offense. The Buckeye defense missing some starters left a lot to be desired, but the important thing is the Buckeyes came back to Columbus with a 60-35 victory that keeps their BCS title game hopes alive.

Early, this game looked a lot like the Purdue game. The Buckeyes took just 36 seconds to get on the board as Braxton Miller took a quarterback keeper up the middle for 70 yards and the score. C.J. Barnett picked off a Nathan Scheelhaase pass in the first quarter, and Bradley Roby picked off a second that he took to the house to make it 21-0. The scarlet and gray opened up a 28-point lead early in the second quarter before Glenville’s V’Angelo Bentley put the Illini on the board with a 67-yard punt return for a touchdown. Following another Carlos Hyde score, his 2nd, Illinois answered back with a Scheelhaase touchdown toss to make the score 35-14 at the break. [Read more...]

Examining the Buckeye Defense at the Midpoint

Nebraska v Ohio StateOhio State is 6-0 and halfway to a second straight perfect regular season. But, flawless record or not, the Buckeyes haven’t been perfect.

I covered the improved and multifaceted offense earlier, but what about the defense? In recent weeks, much has been written about the unit’s struggles through the first two games of the Big Ten slate.

To this point, Luke Fickell’s defense has allowed an average of 19.2 points per game. That’s 24th in the nation, and stellar by any definition of the word. In fact, that number is more than two and a half points better than last season’s average of 22.8 allowed per game. Of course, this season’s number includes only two conference games, giving undue weight to dominant early season performances against San Diego State and Florida A&M. That fact could be used to argue that the Buckeyes points allowed should increase through the final six games, but that assumption doesn’t exactly hold up to closer examination.

[Read more...]

Buckeyes’ Ryan Shazier honors injured teammate’s jersey number

Star Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier will switch his jersey number from No. 10 to No. 2 tonight to honor injured teammate Christian Bryant, according to multiple media reports.

Bryant, the captain and senior safety, was lost for the season with a broken ankle in last week’s victory over Wisconsin. The Buckeyes’ secondary was already suspect in the early part of the season and his injury was seen as a huge blow for the rest of the year.

Shazier, also a captain, has usually worn the No. 10. He famously also switched jersey numbers to No. 48 last season for the Penn State game to honor a fried who had passed away after a battle with muscular dystrophy. Shazier responded that game with one of his finest performances: two sacks and an interception returned for a touchdown.

The No. 4 Buckeyes play at No. 16 Northwestern tonight in likely the biggest football game in Evanston’s history. Both teams remain undefeated so far. ESPN’s Gameday crew is there for the 8 p.m. start time.

[Related: Bradley Roby and Picking Nits]

Buckeyes win opener while showing their youth on defense

braxtonhallIn the season opener, you expect an inferior opponent and a lack of focus to come into play at some point for the heavy favorite. The only problem was, against the Buffalo Bulls (4-8 last year), the Buckeyes cut the engines a bit after cruising out to a 23-0 first quarter lead. The offense looked phenomenal, frankly unstoppable, to start. But, some careless turnovers, some key leaders missing on defense, and that aforementioned lack of focus contributed to the Bulls closing the gap before Ohio State eventually pulled away for the 40-20 win at the Shoe to open the 2013 campaign, one full of lofty expectations.

The most warm takeaway from this game has to be the development of Braxton Miller’s passing game. For extended stretches today, Miller looked like a night-and-day comparison from his 2012 self. He hit receivers in stride, he didn’t scramble at the first sight of trouble, and he surveyed the entire field instead of just working half the field for a given play. Miller connected on the first two drives of the season, capping them off with touchdown tosses to Devin Smith (47 yards) and Chris Fields (7 yards). [Read more...]

Ohio State 40 Buffalo 20: Buckeyes coast in opener

Urban Meyer improved his record as head football coach at Ohio State to 13-0 as his Buckeyes kicked off the season with a 40-20 victory over Buffalo. Ohio State entered the season ranked second in the country and looked the part early on.

On the offense’s first drive of the game Heisman hopeful Braxton Miller connected with an open Devin Smith for a 47 yard touchdown strike. Following the score the Buckeyes lined up in the spread extra point formation that has become a recent fad in high school in college. By spreading the lineman out wide the offense can look for areas on the perimeter or up the middle where they have a numbers advantage to score an easy two. In this instance the Buckeyes used a direct snap to quarterback Kenny Guiton who took advantage of the spread out Buffalo defense and ran it in for the two.

After the defense forced a punt, Braxton Miller and the OSU offense flew back down the field for a 5 play, 61 yard touchdown drive. Meyer and Miller controlled the tempo to their liking with Miller completing all 4 throws on the drive, including the 7 yard touchdown to Chris Fields, and an 18 yard swing pass to speedy freshman Dontre Wilson. Once again the Buckeyes lined up in the spread extra point formation, this time with Guiton taking the snap and throwing out wide to Jordan Hall who was lined up directly behind Buckeye blockers.

Following a third straight punt by Buffalo, Meyer and Miller turned to the ground to gash up the Bulls’ defense. After showing Buffalo a heavy dose of read option with Jordan Hall and Braxton Miller, Hall was able to take Miller’s hand off up the middle untouched for a 49 yard TD run as the Buffalo defense over compensated for Miller keeping the ball on the play. The Buckeyes continued to line up in the spread extra point formation but shifted back into the traditional one as Buffalo had finally adjusted to the gimmick, drawing boos from the crowd thirsty for more points as the first quarter concluded

That would be the high point of the game as mental mistakes and sloppy play allowed Buffalo to gain some traction, but never seriously put the game in doubt.

A failed fourth down attempt by the OSU offense, a fumble by Dontre Wilson that led to a Buffalo touchdown, and then a pick six thrown by Miller to Buffalo stud passrusher Khalil Mack cut the lead to 23-13 in the second quarter. Mack gave the Buckeye’s fits all day long, especially new right tackle Taylor Decker who struggled in his first start.

Ohio State answered right back with a 51 yard kick return by Wilson to the Buffalo 37. The very next play Jordan Hall scooted 37 yards into the end zone sending the Bucks into half up 30-13. Hall would end the day with a career high 159 yards on 21 carries.

There was a scary moment for the Scarlet and Gray in the first half as All-American linebacker Ryan Shazier was carted off the field. It was later reported it was severe cramping  that was bothering Shazier and he was able to return to the field in the second half.

The defense gave up another touchdown to Buffalo early in the second half but the offense immediately answered with a 14 play, 91 yard drive by the Buckeye offense that featured both Miller and Guiton at quarterback. Guiton put the team in the end zone with a 21 yard TD to Chris Fields for his second touchdown catch of the day.

OSU would tack on a field goal in the 4th quarter to make the final score 40-20.

Braxton Miller did little to help or hurt his Heisman candidacy, carrying the ball 17 times for 77 yards and throwing for 2 scores going 15-22 through the air with an interception.

The Buckeyes host San Diego State next Saturday at 3:30 PM in The Horseshoe.

[Related: Evaluating Miller's Heisman odds]

 

While We’re Waiting…Dion Waiters next great SG, Ryan Shazier becomes leader, Browns receiving woes

While We’re Waiting is the daily morning link roundup that WFNY has been serving up for breakfast for the last several years. We hope you enjoy the following recent collection of yummy and nutritious Cleveland sports-related articles. Anything else to add? Email us at tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

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““I’m coming,” Waiters told HOOPSWORLD in a phone interview. “I just feel as though I’m next up as far as shooting guards. If you look around, you know, Kobe [Bryant] and [Dwyane] Wade and those guys, they paved the way for a player like me and they’re almost done. It’s not like that, but I’m just saying, I’m coming. I just want everybody to know that.

“Without a doubt, I really believe that [I’ll eventually be the best shooting guard in the NBA]. This year, I’m going to show a lot of people who doubted me and still doubt me. I’m going to show them. And I don’t need praise and all of that. I just want to be respected. I’m coming. That’s all I have to say. I’ve taken my work ethic to another level and I feel as though I still have something to prove. So, watch out.” [Kennedy/HoopsWorld] [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… Ryan Shazier, Bubba Baker, and Fantasy Football

While We’re Waiting is the daily morning link roundup that WFNY has been serving up for breakfast for the last several years. We hope you enjoy the following recent collection of yummy and nutritious Cleveland sports-related articles. Anything else to add? Email us at tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

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Leading off, there’s a lot expected of junior linebacker Ryan Shazier this season, but if he lives up to the expectations, there’s a long list of OSU linebacking royalty to join. Kyle Rowland at 11W explains, “Numbers can be manipulated to tell many different stories. But there’s nothing false about the equation when it comes to Ohio State’s linebackers. Twelve All-Americans, eight first-round draft picks, two Butkus Awards and two Lombardi Awards. Other schools – Penn State – claim to be Linebacker U. Upon further review, though, the Buckeyes have a legitimate claim to the honor. Ryan Shazier, a tackling machine that moves from sideline to sideline like a circling shark, would like to add more separation between Ohio State and other linebacker factories. He’d also like to etch his name alongside the likes of Spielman, Gradishar, Katzenmoyer, Hawk, Laurinaitis and other Buckeye greats.” [Eleven Warriors]

A lot of us are fantasy football junkies (I will have at least three teams this year, which is probably two more than I should), and Chris Pokorny at Dawgs By Nature give you the lowdown on where to pick your favorite Brownies, “The average draft position for Richardson is at pick 12.8 overall, which is right at the beginning of the second round. Realistically, that means he could go at any point of the first- or second-round. ” [Dawgs By Nature]

[Read more...]

Athlon Sports gives Ohio Stadium top spot in Big Ten Rankings

Athlon Sports ranked the stadiums in the Big Ten, and the pride of Columbus, Ohio came out on top.

“There is little doubt that the Horseshoe is the Big Ten’s best place to watch a game. A great nickname, awesome traditions, tremendous fan support and commitment, elite level of success, High Street and the Banks of the Olentangy make Ohio Stadium a bucket list destination for fans of every team. And with a brand new video board, audio system and LED lighting, Ohio State boasts one of the top college football venues in the nation. Watching the “Dotting of the I” before a Buckeyes game is something all college fans should experience. Finishing No. 2 in average attendance doesn’t hurt either.”

Ohio Stadium was followed by Beaver Stadium (Penn State), Memorial Stadium (Nebraska), Camp Randall (Wisconsin) and Michigan Stadium.

Personally, I believe Camp Randall should be second, but not by that wide a margin as to shout about it.

The publication also released the preseason all-conference teams. The Buckeyes were well represented:

First Team Offense

QB Braxton Miller, Ohio State

C Corey Linsley, Ohio State

OG Andrew Norwell, Ohio State

OT Jack Mewhort, Ohio State

First-Team Defense

DE Noah Spence, Ohio State

LB Ryan Shazier, Ohio State

CB Bradley Roby, Ohio State

Second-Team Offense

RB Carlos Hyde, Ohio State

Second-Team Defense

DE Adolphus Washington, Ohio State

S C.J. Barnett, Ohio State

S Christian Bryant, Ohio State

Third-Team Offense

WR Corey Brown, Ohio State

Third-Team Specialists

PR Jordan Hall, Ohio State

In all, 13 Buckeyes were named. Ohio State had more total players named (13) than any other school, and the most on the first team (7). Athlon is putting a lot of faith in second year defensive linemen Noah Spence and Adolphus Washington.

 

The Buckeye Leaves

The Big Ten has been busy the last two days handing out conference awards. Keep something in mind as we talk about which Buckeyes did and didn’t make these all conference teams and individual honors: Ohio State finished 8-0 in Big Ten play. Nebraska finished 7-1, Michigan 6-2 and Penn State 6-2. I mention those next three teams because they were the second, third and fourth best records in the conference.

And Ohio State beat all of them. (And Wisconsin for good measure.)

There were two sets of all-conference team. The coaches voted for one team, and a media panel voted on the other. You would have to wonder if some of the hurt feelings surrounding Urban’s recruiting didn’t spill over onto a ballot or two.

The Buckeyes named to the coaches All-Big Ten Conference team: [Read more...]

Buckeye Six Pack: The Game

It feels so strange that there will be no more Ohio State football games. Especially after the team finished undefeated. Let’s get to it…

1) Stepping Up. In big games, nobody has been bigger for Ohio State in the last three years than John Simon. Seeing him in street clothes to start the game made me nervous. Extremely nervous about this defense. The first half didn’t do much to calm my nerves.

But give them all the credit in the world. They stepped up in the second half and took care of business. They held Michigan to 61 yards in the second half and 9 for the fourth quarter. Outstanding performance.

Does it help that Michigan abandoned the most efficient and explosive part of their offense for the last three drives? Of course. But Ohio State had bottled up Robinson and the Michigan running game in the third quarter and Hoke was desperate to try something. [Read more...]

Ohio State’s one-game season

On Saturday afternoon I drove to the barbershop to get a haircut where I was greeted by the owner who happens to be a war veteran that has more opinions than there are topics. Just my kind of place. I was sporting an Ohio State hoodie and upon sitting down, he asks me if I think the Buckeyes will beat Wisconsin this afternoon. I replied, emphatically.

“I sure so. I hope that they mash them and Urban runs up the score on them too.” He then proceeded to talk about how great it would be to see this team finish undefeated in Urban’s first year coming off a 6-7 season prior to his arrival.

“I agree, but you know what?” I said, “this is a single game season and it starts and ends next week against the Wolverines. No question I would love a win today, but given the circumstances of this season, next week is all that matters.”

He steps back, “WOW! There’s a lot of hate in there. You are a true Buckeye fan.”

[Read more...]

Box Score: No. 6 Ohio State 21, Wisconsin 14

Ryan Shazier was going to be the hero, but the Buckeyes gave Wisconsin one more chance to tie and force overtime. So they did, but then Ohio State won fair and square in the extra period by scoring first and then finally stopping the Badgers on fourth down.

In yet another close-fought game between these two emerging rivals, Ohio State improved to 11-0 on the season despite one of its most disappointing offensive performances of the season. Braxton Miller looked average at best and Carlos Hyde only had 15 carries (yet 87 yards), but the defense led by Shazier, Ryan Boren and Christian Bryant (who made the final play in OT) saved the day.

Next up: “The Game” on Saturday against Michigan in Columbus.

Scoring Summary

1st Quarter OHST – WIS
2:23 Ohio State Buckeyes OHST TD Drew Meyer punt. Corey (Philly) Brown returned punt for 68 yards (Drew Basil made PAT) 7 – 0
2nd Quarter OHST – WIS
11:45 Ohio State Buckeyes OHST TD Carlos Hyde rushed up the middle for 15 yard gain (Drew Basil made PAT) 14 – 0
8:17 Wisconsin Badgers WIS TD Montee Ball rushed up the middle for 7 yard gain (Kyle French made PAT) 14 – 7
3rd Quarter OHST – WIS
None 14 – 7
4th Quarter OHST – WIS
0:13 Wisconsin Badgers WIS TD Curt Phillips passed to Jacob Pedersen down the middle for 5 yard gain (Kyle French made PAT) 14 – 14
OT OHST – WIS
0:00 Ohio State Buckeyes OHST TD Carlos Hyde rushed up the middle for 2 yard gain (Drew Basil made PAT) 21 – 14

Passing

Ohio State Buckeyes Comp Att Yds Pct Y/A Sack YdsL TD Int Rating
Braxton Miller 10 18 96 55.6 5.3 0 0 0 0 100.4
Wisconsin Badgers Comp Att Yds Pct Y/A Sack YdsL TD Int Rating
Curt Phillips 14 27 155 51.9 5.7 0 0 1 0 112.3

Rushing

Ohio State Buckeyes Rush Yds Avg Lng TD FumL
Carlos Hyde 15 87 5.8 18 2 0
Braxton Miller 23 49 2.1 10 0 0
Corey (Philly) Brown 2 5 2.5 3 0 0
Wisconsin Badgers Rush Yds Avg Lng TD FumL
Montee Ball 38 189 5.0 25 1 1
James White 8 33 4.1 12 0 0
Jared Abbrederis 1 13 13.0 13 0 0
Derek Watt 1 3 3.0 3 0 0
Melvin Gordon 1 -1 -1.0 -1 0 0
Curt Phillips 6 -34 -5.7 2 0 0

Receiving

Ohio State Buckeyes Rec Yds Avg Lng TD FumL
Corey (Philly) Brown 4 48 12.0 18 0 0
Devin Smith 4 41 10.3 14 0 0
Nick Vannett 1 5 5.0 5 0 0
Jeff Heuerman 1 2 2.0 2 0 0
Wisconsin Badgers Rec Yds Avg Lng TD FumL
Jacob Pedersen 6 66 11.0 29 1 0
Jared Abbrederis 3 41 13.7 15 0 0
Jordan Fredrick 2 18 9.0 14 0 0
Kenzel Doe 2 17 8.5 9 0 0
Derek Watt 1 13 13.0 13 0 0

Kicking

Ohio State Buckeyes XPM XPA FGM FGA Lng Pct Pts
Drew Basil 3 3 0 0 0 0.0 3
Wisconsin Badgers XPM XPA FGM FGA Lng Pct Pts
Kyle French 2 2 0 1 0 0.0 2

Punting

Ohio State Buckeyes Punt Avg Blk In20 TB
Ben Buchanan 9 38.8 0 2 1
Wisconsin Badgers Punt Avg Blk In20 TB
Drew Meyer 8 48.3 0 3 2

Kick/Punt Returns

Ohio State Buckeyes KR Yds Avg Lng TD PR Yds Avg Lng TD
Corey (Philly) Brown 0 0 0.0 0 0 3 68 22.7 68 1
Bradley Roby 1 14 14.0 14 0 0 0 0.0 0 0
Chris Fields 0 0 0.0 0 0 5 0 0.0 0 0
Jeff Heuerman 1 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0
Rod Smith 1 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0
Wisconsin Badgers KR Yds Avg Lng TD PR Yds Avg Lng TD
Kenzel Doe 3 53 17.7 36 0 0 0 0.0 0 0
Jared Abbrederis 0 0 0.0 0 0 9 5 0.6 4 0

 

 

Manti Te’o or Ryan Shazier?

Approximately 2.5 years ago, an undersized linebacker from Plantation, Florida decided to make a commitment to stay in his hometown to play football for the University of Florida. In spite of being somewhat undersized at 205-pounds, he was still a 4-star recruit with an enormous upside because of the intangibles he possessed.

Unquestionably, Ohio State was on the short list of possible schools and was a highly sought after candidate, but home cooking generally wins out. At the time, the coach that he made that commitment to was Urban Meyer. Months later in December of 2010, Urban infamously retired (act 2 of 2) putting a large question mark around the incoming recruit. Only nine days after Urban’s retirement announcement, Ryan Shazier decommitted from the University of Florida notifying The Ohio State University of his verbal acceptance, marking yet another reason for the Urban Meyer love affair.

I haven’t felt so great about being a backup plan since junior prom.

[Read more...]

Buckeyes’ Shazier, Dunn win weekly conference honors

For the second consecutive week, Ohio State LB Ryan Shazier was named the Big Ten’s defensive player of the week-

Defensive Player of the Week, Ryan Shazier, Ohio State So., LB, Plantation, Fla./Plantation

• Finished with a game-high 14 tackles, including 11 solo stops, and a pass breakup in Ohio State’s 52-22 victory over Illinois on Saturday

• Recorded two tackles for loss and needs just two tackles to become the first Buckeye sophomore to notch 100 tackles in a season since James Laurinaitis in 2006

• Was part of the Ohio State defense that limited Illinois to just 170 yards of total offense

• Takes home his second consecutive Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honor and second of his career

In addition, freshman RB Bri’onte Dunn was named the Big Ten freshman of the week-

Freshman of the Week, Bri’onte Dunn, Ohio State RB, Canton, Ohio/GlenOak

• Recorded career highs with 13 rushes and 73 yards and added a touchdown in Ohio State’s victory over Illinois on Saturday

• Scored on a three-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter, capping the Buckeyes’ scoring output of 52 points

• Wins his first Big Ten Freshman of the Week award

• Last Ohio State Freshman of the Week: Braxton Miller (Nov. 28, 2011)

[Related: Ohio State 52, Illinois 22]

Buckeyes’ Ryan Shazier earns Big Ten co-defensive player of the week honors

The Big Ten announced today the players of the week. Sophomore LB Ryan Shazier was the co-defensive player of the week for his performance against Penn State on Saturday-

“Ryan Shazier, Ohio State So., LB, Plantation, Fla./Plantation

Returned an interception 17 yards for a touchdown early in the third quarter against Penn State, giving Ohio State a 14-7 lead it would not relinquish. Recorded a team-high eight tackles, including two sacks for 22 yards, and a forced fumble. Was part of the Ohio State defense that limited Penn State to just 32 yards rushing. Takes home his first career Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honor. Last Ohio State Defensive Player of the Week: John Simon (Oct. 17, 2011)”

Shazier shared the award with Nebraska LB David Santos.

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...]