Discussion in 'Thread Archive' started by BigSmooth33, Aug 18, 2011.
Post all your happenings here boys...
2012 Buckeye Season Preview
Columbus, Ohio - As the new season approaches, many wonder if this might be a season that ends with yet another Buckeye championship. There were signs of greatness in last year's 10-3 finish (some would even say they were actually 11-2, losing their bowl game on a "technicality") but also many mistakes and shaky performances. If the Buckeyes are going to contend this season, a number of thigns will have to happen; a young kid will have to became a man at the quarterback position, a good group of backs will have to become great, and a defense that was at times unBuckeye-like will have to become the Silver Bullet defense of old. It's a tall order, but some think the parts are in place. Here are the key components to this year's Buckeye team:
Key #1 - Sophomore Quarterback Braxton Miller (82 OVR) - Miller played well last season when called upon, but his role was limited, and coach didn't play him in clutch situations, so we're not quite sure yet just what the kid can do. He's got the skills, though, and his feet will buy him yards when a play breaks down. Look for coach to put him safe situations early, and expect the option, since the big plays Miller broke last season came in the running game as often as through the air.
Key #2 - Defensive Line - As usual, the Buckeyes boast a strong front four, with three returning starters including senior DT John Simon (95 OVR). Simon led the nation in sacks last season, thanks in part to his linemate and walking eclipse Jonathan Hankins (86 OVR) whose massive bulk (6-3, 338) ate up blocks and freed up Simon to crush quarterbacks. The end spots see Adam Bellamy (85 OVR) return from a season ending injury to take back his starting spot on the right side, and his replacement from last year, Melvin Fellows (84 OVR) now starting on the left. As a group, they're proven, experienced, and best of all, mean.
Key #3 - The Secondary - After a performance last season that left quite a bit to be desired, the Buckeyes are optimistic that this year will be different. Ohio State returns all four starters in the secondary, led by senior free safety Ohrian Johnson (93 OVR) and senior strong safety CJ Barnett (86 OVR). Add returning corners Dominic Clarke and Travis Howard (85 & 84 OVR) and Nickelback Dionte Allen (82 OVR) and the nucleus for a top level pass defense is in place.
The Buckeyes will win the Big Ten if: The HB tandem of Jamaal Berry (91 OVR) and Jordan Hall (89 OVR) stay healthy and rush for over 1500 yards. If they can do that, the Buckeyes will control the ball, the tempo, and the games. The Buckeye defense and special teams (K Drew Basil - 87 OVR / P Ben Buchanan "Ray Guy Award Winner" - 89 OVR) should do the rest.
Key games - While any Big Ten game is a huge game, none figure to matter so much this season as the last two, back to back games at Michigan State and home against hated rival Michigan. It's possible, maybe even likely, that the Buckeyes won't know until the very end whether or not they can call their season a success.
2012 Season Preview
This is the year Michigan faithful has been looking forward to. Denard Robinson's senior season, the alumni hope Robinson can stay healthy enough to vie for a potential shot at the Heisman. Other important roles have blossomed to be serious contributors, specifically senior WR Roy Roundtree and RB Vincent Smith. Junior RB Stephen Hopkins looks to get a lot more touches this year to spell Smith, and prep him to become the work horse in 2013.Defensively, the Wolverines return a number of key guys. On the defensive front, Craig Roh and Will Campbell return for their senior seasons. Expectations are high for BWC (Big Will Campbell) and Death Roh. Roh struggled to get to the QB consistently, but he has bulked up this offseason, and DC Greg Mattison expects a big year from the senior.
At linebacker, Cam Gordon returns at LOLB and Kenny Demens at MLB. Both of these young men will continue their high level of contributions, but Mattison is most excited to get RS Sophomore Jake Ryan on the field.Ryan, wearing Michigan all time great Jarrett Irons' #37, has a nasty streak and a nose for the ball. He's a big time playmaker, and the fans in Ann Arbor are ecstatic to have him getting the starting playing time he deserves. Last season, Ryan was a big time contributor in Special Teams. Look for this kid to turn some heads this season.
In the defensive secondary, the Wolverines return 3/4 starters. SS Jordan Kovacs, FS Marvin Robinson, and CB JT Floyd all return, and 2012's nickel back, Courtney Avery will take old Troy Woolfolk's spot at the other CB. The nickel and dime backs are up for grabs, although RS Soph Terrance Talbott appears to be the lead candidate for the nickel, but Blake Countess and and Delonte Hollowell vie for the dime spot.
Special teams will remain the same, with Matt Wile returning at K and Will Hagerup returning at P. The return game should be exciting, as it looks like RS Freshman Justice Hays and Raymon Taylor will field kick offs and punts. Justice Hays is an exciting player, with great speed and agility. Look for OC Al Borges to find ways to get this kid on the field throughout the season.
Despite all the high hopes for the season, wins won't come easy for the Wolverines. With one of the toughest schedules in the country, Michigan has Alabama to start off the season, coming to Ann Arbor for the first time in history.
Home: Alabama, Michigan State, Iowa
Away: Notre Dame, Nebraska, Ohio State
On the recruiting front, Michigan needs to snag a MLB and some big playmakers at the WR position.
Looking forward to getting this kicked off... Should be an exciting season.
2012 Spartan Football Report
MSU needed a lot of work in their Spring session to fill numerous holes left by graduating players and five underclassmen that tried their hand in the NFL Draft. Notable losses include:
QB Cousins: Three-year starter, team captain
HB Baker: Three-year starter, All-American and Heisman runner up
All three starting WRs
Both starting TEs
DT Worthy: Three-year starter, All-American and Lombardi winner
Two starting CBs
DE Hoover: Top-rated DE
FS Robinson: Three-year starter
All in all, MSU needed to replace 8 starters on offense and 5 starters on defense. The Spring session helped to do just that. Andrew Maxwell will take over at QB as a RS-JR. Le Veon Bell had an excellent off-season and is poised to be the next great MSU running back. MSU returns 4 of 5 offensive linemen, who should be able to open holes for Bell. And while the D-Line lost several playmakers, they return William Gholston and have enough big bodies there to help them keep the O-Line away from their seasoned LB crew. The secondary is not the best that MSU has had because of the lack of depth. If the starters can remain healthy, they should be able to compete.
Up ahead this season for MSU:
Hosting South Carolina in the Kickoff Classic: MSU looks to slow down returning Heisman winner Marcus Lattimore.
Hosting Notre Dame: MSU looks to steal another one from the Irish.
At Michigan: In what could be their toughest game of the year, MSU will need to slow down Big Blue in Ann Arbor.
At Wisconsin: Look for a fierce running attack in Camp Randall, fueled with speed at both backs.
Hosting Nebraska: MSU looks to avenge their lone loss of 2011 when the Cornholes return to East Lansing.
Hosting Ohio State: MSU stole the game late in Columbus last year. A win here would make a statement in the B1G.
Week 1 - Ohio State 42 - Miami (OH) 9 - "A Day of Firsts"
Columbus, Ohio - It was a good day for football, even ugly football.
While the Buckeyes came away with a pretty convincing win on Saturday, they were far from polished in their season opener. While their talent is undeniable, their lack of experience is equally so. The mix of the two made for interesting viewing, including the moments when coach was throwing his hat, only to jump with joy on the next play. At the center of the show were two relative newcomers - Sophmore quarterback Braxton Miller, and true freshman return specialist Tyler Hall, the prize recruit from last year's class.
Miller was shaky, but spectacular as well. His first pass, an out route to open TE Jake Stoneburner, sailed several rows into the stands. The next time Miller went to the tight end, the result was a touchdown, but not exactly a pretty one. Even tipped passes count, though, and a touchdown is a touchdown.
Miller would later score on a pretty option keeper that went 47 yards, and he would also throw balls into the ground and test coach's patience time and time again. Some fans thought Miller might even get benched after pitching the ball inside his own ten yard line, but when junior wide receiver Corey Brown snagged the high pitch and took it 93 yards for a score, fan confidence was restored. If coach can settle the kid down, he may just break records before his time is done.
Freshman Tyler Hall had the same kind of day. When he was good, he was spectacular, and when he was bad, he was awful. Hall dropped his first punt return of the season, and then took a kickoff to the house with his next touch, scoring his first ever touchdown as a Buckeye. There was no telling what was going to happen when he touched the ball, but everyone stood up so see, and for good reason.
Click image for replay
The Buckeye defense played well, even if the stats don't agree. The Silver Bullets were victimized by a couple of unlucky bounces in the secondary, as the Redhawk QB threw into coverage again and again only to be bailed out by circus catch after circus catch. But when push came to shove, and Miami needed to get into the end zone, the Buckeyes stopped them cold, including a three play stand from inside the Ohio State two yard line. Of all the big plays that day, coach said that stand made him the happiest:
Boy, I sure am proud of the defense. No matter what they had to deal with, they stepped up. This Miami team is no slouch (B- across the board) and they had us up against it more than once, but these kids simply refused to let anyone across our goal line today, and that's a heck of a thing.
Click image for replayNext week, the Buckeyes host Cincinnati out of the Big East. Look for the inter-state hate to be flowing when the Bearcats come to town.
ANN ARBOR, MI - The Alabama Crimson Tide traveled to Ann Arbor for a week 1 showdown with potential BCS implications on the line in this epic matchup between two of the most storied programs in college football history.
Michigan's defense had a lot to focus on with QB AJ McCarron leading the way for the Bama offense. Luckily for the Wolverines faithful, DC Greg Mattison had the young men focussed, as Wolverines defense forced 3 INT's, including the first play from scrimmage for the Crimson Tide. After the first INT deep in Bama territory, Michigan's offense was held to only a field goal for an early 3-0 lead.
Into the second quarter, with 4:30 left to play in the half, senior QB Denard Robinson found Brandon Moore across the middle of the end zone for the first TD of the game, giving the Wolverines a 10-0 lead.
Michigan would add another TD late in the 1st half, thanks to an efficient 2 minute offense, as Denard Robinson would cap off the drive with a 5 yard TD pass to freshman WR Jon Foster. Michigan took a 17-0 lead into half time and would not relent. Alabama never gave up, as they drew within 7 with under a minute to go but failed to recover the onside kick.
Good game John Crow. Hope to get a rematch next year in Tuscaloosa.
ANN ARBOR, MI -
Week 2 welcomed the Broncos of Western Michigan to make the bus ride over from Kalamazoo to the Big House. Just as it was last year, The Big House and its inhabitants were not so welcoming to the Broncos though, as the Wolverines cruised to a 41-14 victory. The Wolverines jumped out to an early 28-0 lead in the first half and didn't give up.
Everyone got to see the field this week, as the first big play from Justice Hays came early in the first half with a nice punt return. 3rd string QB Ron Bellomy even saw action in mop up duty.
The key to the game again was Greg Mattison's ball hawking defense. Forcing 2 more interceptions this week, the Wolverines defense looks to finally have turned the corner from the day's of GERG Robinson and his silly 3-3-5 base defense.
SOUTH BEND, IN -
After a tough and disappointing loss at the hands of the Irish in Ann Arbor, Denard Robinson looked to leave his stake on the Michigan/Notre Dame rivalry with 3-1 record against Notre Dame.
Robinson did just that, with a lot of help from lil' Vincent Smith and his 153 yards and 2 TD's. "Shoelace" has yet to get his own ground game going this season, but has shown much improved decision making, with only 1 INT so far this season, and unparalleled leadership.
Michigan took a 21-3 lead into halftime and let Greg Mattison's defense do the rest of the work. Holding ND to a 22% 3rd down efficiency rating and a mere 0.4 yards per carry, Michigan's defense came to play in a big way this week. The biggest play of the game came late in the 4th quarter, with ND QB Tommy Rees connecting with WR Theo Riddick at the Michigan 5 yard line. Riddick made a quick move and got to the Michigan 1 yard line, where he met FS Marvin Robinson who promptly knocked Riddick stiff and the ball loose. Michigan recovered the fumble and that about did it for the ball game.
Through three tough games, Michigan comes out with a 3-0 record going into week 4 as they host a small FCS school. Michigan faithful's Heisman hopes for Robinson don't appear to be very realistic, especially with carolinaeasy and Marcus Lattimore running wild, however, Denard's leadership and the entire defense have Michigan looking forward to B1G play in hopes of securing a trip to Indy for the B1G Title.
Columbus, Ohio - On another beautiful Saturday afternoon in Ohio, the home crowd experienced a bit of deja vu as once again, freshman phenom Tyler Hall took a kickoff to the house. This one was even prettier than the last as Hall caught the opening kick three yards deep in his end zone, and then managed to blow by everyone on his way to a 103 yard score. Not a bad way to start a ballgame.
But Cincy would be so easily outdone, and they managed to throw cehddar, swiss, and several kinds of guda into a waiting Buckeye secondary, only to see ball after ball magically fall into Bearcat receivers' hands as three different quarterbacks bombed away without thought or punishment or much sense.
So, in reaction, the Bucks simply kept pouring it on, runing the ball with seven different players, and with QB Braxton Miller hitting on 14 of 17 for his first ever 200 plus yard throwing performance. None of the throws went for TDs, but Miller ran two in for scores, which is just as good.
Next week, the Buckeyes host UAB out of Conference USA. Look for the Bucks to be out to avenge some of their defensive miscues.
Spartans Win Kickoff Classic
MSU builds an early lead and holds on in the second half for the win. Full story here.
Spartans Thrash Central Michigan
MSU traded blows with CMU through the first quarter, which saw 5 lead changes. After MSU held CMU to a short FG attempt in the 2nd Quarter, it was all MSU. Central would have a disastrous 4th Quarter with multiple turnovers inside their own 30 and poor defensive play that resulted in multiple scores for the MSU second team.
After the game, coach Dantonio had this to share:
Week 1???? Where's the rest of it Brog???? You're bringing down the B1G blog...
Has anyone seen the infamous Goose around here either????
Spartans Hold Off Northwestern
Northwestern looked unstoppable on their first drive, but the MSU defense recovered and played a great half after that. RS-SO WR Keith Mumphrey got his first opportunity to shine when true freshman Cory Cox was hurt in the 1st Quarter. Mumphrey (6-1, 98 speed) caught the attention of the coaches and QB Andrew Maxwell after pulling in a big gain on a corner route. On the last play of the half, Mumphrey out ran the Northwestern secondary to pull in a 65-yard TD strike with no time left on the clock, giving MSU a 28-7 halftime lead.
The Wildcats would fight back in the 2nd half with the first two scores, pulling with 11 at 28-17. Just one play later, however, Le'Veon Bell got outside and outran the NW safety as he scampered 70 yards for the score. NW was down, but not out. They found a big play of their own and scored on a 41-yard pass to pull back within 11. MSU would look to the hot hand in Mumphrey one more time and he came down with another deep pass from Maxwell to eclipse the 200-yard mark and setup a short score by backup HB Larry Caper.
The game marked an unexpected change in direction for the run-first Spartan offense. Maxwell finished just shy of 300 yards passing and a new playmaker emerged from a very inexperienced receiving corp (zero starts prior to this season among 1 JR, 1 RS-SO and 2 true freshman). Offensive Coordinator Dan Roushar had this to share after the game:
Spartans Host Recruits, Rival Notre Dame in East Lansing
Michigan State had their first two official visits while hosting rival Notre Dame. G Fred Harrison and SS Matt Smith were on the sidelines to witness another great game in this battle for the Megaphone.
MSU's defense started strong and forced a Notre Dame punt after a quick 3 & out. The offense executed well and scored to take an early 7-0 lead. Notre Dame came out and quickly erased that lead after a long reception setup a 1st and goal, which lead to the first rushing TD of the day for the Irish. On the ensuing drive, MSU battled downfield to the Notre Dame 40 where they faced a 4th and 7. Outside of FG range, OC Dan Roushar rolled the dice and sent the offense (temporarily lead by their backup QB) onto the field. Notre Dame jammed all four receivers at the line, but could not generate enough pressure with their defensive front. True freshman Lee Cleveland got some separation with the defender and Badovinac found him for the first down. The drive, however, would stall at the 2 yard line and MSU would add their first of two short FGs. Nearing the half, the Spartans got back into the Irish redzone. With their starting QB back from injury, MSU continued to show their increased focus on their passing game and found RS-SO TE Dion Sims for the score. MSU would lead 17-14 at the break.
MSU received in the 2nd half and, again, used a balanced attack to get deep into the Notre Dame redzone. Their drive would, again, stall and SR K Dan Conroy would take the field to kick his second short FG of the day. On the ensuing drive, SR OLB Chris Norman would drop back into zone coverage, read the curl route on the outside receiver and show great athleticism when he turned and moved into position to make a great play on the ball (awesome highlight included). The INT setup MSU near the ND redzone and the renewed focus on the passing game was apparent when QB Andrew Maxwell found rising star Keith Mumphrey on the short-fielded fade route (awesome highlight included). OC Dan Roushar had this to say about the play:
The play would give MSU a 10 point lead. Down 10, Notre Dame was starting to feel a sense of urgency. They strung together a long, painful drive (filled with a crazy mix of no-huddle play calling with guys lining up in very inappropriate positions) that culminated with TE Tyler Eifert lining up at HB and running it in for the score. The run would put Notre Dame back in the game with all three timeouts left and a three-point deficit. The Spartan offense took the field and backup HB Larry Caper was great as his runs fueled several MSU first downs, which allowed the Spartans to end the game in victory formation.
Coach Dantonio had this to share after the game:
I know - I was slacking. Not to worry, we're all caught up now. As for my productivity today ... well ... that's another story.
Week 4 - Ohio State 55, UAB 3 - "Beatdown in the 'Shoe"
Columbus, Ohio - This one got ugly quick, boys and girls. UAB came out aggressive, blitzing often and pressing on the corners. There's just one problem with that strategy; OSU has the better athletes. Again and again the Buckeyes made UAB pay for their blatant disrespect by going over, around, and right over UAB's base 3-3-5 defense for score after score, the first of which came on a dandy play action pass over the top to junior Corey Brown.
Miller and Brown hooked up for a pretty TD pass & catch on OSU's first drive.
The Silver Bullet defense surrendered an early FG on a busted coverage mistake, but locked it down after that, sending the UAB offense off the field again and again with stops, sacks, and deflected passes. Take away a couple of early mistakes, and it is easily their best performance of this young season.
The Buckeye offense was balanced throughout. They ran the ball using a number of players, spread it around in the passing game, and didn't turn the ball over. It was a solid effort, capped off by a 74 TD scamper by the unlikeliest of players. Junior backup fullback Adam (newly nicknamed "The Jet") Homan, all 6-0, 245 pounds of him, took the ball from backup QB Kenny Guiton on the option, barreled over a couple of defenders, and found himself running free all the way to the endzone. Coach had this to say about the play:
Well, you could have timed that run with a sundial, but it sure was fun to watch. I think Adam's still taking oxygen in the locker room.
Next week, the Buckeyes host the Golden Bears of Cal. While the Golden Bears aren't expected to contend for a Pac 12 title this year, they have some real talent on their roster, especially at the tailback spot, where Cal boasts three of the Pac 12's best runners.
Look for the Buckeye front seven to get all they want and more when Cal visits the 'Shoe. Still, if the Bucks play like they have been lately, they should still be heavy favorites at home.
The Spartans were terrible in the dome at Syracuse. They converted a 4th down while down 3 with just under 4 minutes to play to keep the drive alive, which resulted in the winning score. Full recap to follow tomorrow.
Not even close... This one was over before it even really started... Vincent Smith started off the game, first play from scrimmage for Michigan's offense, and rattled off a 70 yard TD. A stalled drive by FCS MW resulted in a gamebreaking punt return by Justice Hays.
After another 3 and out, Michigan's Vincent Smith rattled off another long TD run...
Overall, Michigan only threw the ball twice all game, both from Denard Robinson to Roy Roundtree for long TD's.
Defensively, Craig Roh led the Wolverines defense, with 2 sacks and a fumble recovery returned for a TD.
Other game notables:
Next week, Michigan welcomes a number of key recruits to Ann Arbor as Michigan kicks of B1G play with the Northwestern Wildcats coming to town.
Spartans Ugly in Win in New York
What was supposed to be an easy trip for the #3 Spartans turned into a shootout. The Spartans would come out on top in this one, but their struggles have made many second-guess their standing in the polls.
The Orange started with the ball and marched down the field with computer-like execution as they scored to take an early lead. MSU struck back on after Le'Veon Bell cut back to the inside and then plowed over an under-sized DB for the score. Syracuse found themselves at the MSU 4 after a deep jump ball was won by the Orange receiver. Senior OLB Chris Norman blew up two consecutive plays for losses and forced the Orange to kick. Bell would find the endzone again on the next drive when he got some excellent blocking on a counter play (a favorite play and the only time I ran it all game). With their first lead of the game, MSU thought the rest of this game would be easy. It didn't go that way.
Syracuse continued to benefit from big plays and scored to regain the lead. MSU would match the score a couple minutes later (1:08 left) to begin a crazy end to the first half. After an incomplete pass on 1st down and a loss on 2nd down, MSU called a timeout to try and get the offense another shot before the half. Syracuse would make them regret that on the next play when the Orange HB would run into his own blockers (while the MSU defenders moved into terrible positioning) and then leaped over one of the fallen MSU defenders and broke free for a 77 yard score (0:39), giving Syracuse the lead at 24-21. MSU took the field, again, looking to add some points, but was picked off on a late throw across the middle. Syracuse threw into the endzone where the MSU DB watched (seemingly with great admiration) the Syracuse WR make the TD grab (0:18). The play was indicative of the terrible effort made by the Spartans against this average Big East team, who scored a whopping 31 on the Spartans in the first half.
Now down 31-21 with about 12 seconds left in the half, MSU had no time left for short passes. They lined up in the shotgun and sent their fastest WR - SO Keith Mumphrey - deep. QB Andrew Maxwell loaded up and heaved the ball down field while Mumphrey ran right past the zone coverage. Mumphrey was so far past the safety that he was able to turn back for the under thrown ball, make the catch and still get across the goalline before the defender could reach him (0:06). The score would narrow the gap to 31-28, but the Spartans still trailed at the half against an opponent they clearly underestimated.
The second half wasn't much better for the Spartans. They threw their third pick of the game and came up short on several 3rd and short scenarios. They took the lead late in the third, but that lead would be erased after another busted play in the early 4th. Syracuse had two receivers run (what seemed to be) exactly the same route and none of the MSU defenders covered either of them. When one of the guys made the catch, the other block the safety and the WR ran untouched for the score.
Down 38-35 with just under 6 minutes to play, MSU took over. They used a stead mix of runs and short (or safe) passes to setup a 3rd and short at the Syracuse 40. The Orange stuffed the run to force MSU to make a tough choice with just under 4 minutes to play. They were just outside of FG range so it was either punt or keep the offense on the field. They elected to keep the offense on the field and true freshman Lee Cleveland made a great play to pick up the first down. Several plays later, Bell would add his third score of the game to put the Spartans ahead with just two minutes to play.
Syracuse would make one of their few mistakes on the next drive and MSU's secondary made one of their few plays on the day, which gave the Spartans the ball back. They kept the ball on the ground and picked up a couple first downs, which allowed them to finish the game in victory formation.
A disgusted coach Dantonio had this to share after the game:
The trip to Syracuse was the first road game of the year for MSU, who plays 5 of their next 6 games (including this one) on the road. The Spartans resume Big Ten play next week when they face Minnesota.
Now that's funny right there.
ANN ARBOR, MI -
Another week goes by where Denard Robinson and Michigan's first string offense did not see a snap in the second half, as the Wolverines easily handled the Northwestern Wildcats 52-0. In the past two weeks, Michigan has outscored their opponents 111-7, summoning the days of old Fielding Yost's "point a minute" teams.
The running game has been outstanding, as backup running back, junior, Stephen Hopkins rushed for 160 yards and a TD. Denard Robinson finally got his wheels going in the first half, racking up 80 yards rushing on his own with 2 TD's. Running was the only thing the Wolverines needed, as only 6 passes were attempted this week, for 1 TD to Jeremy Jackson, RB Coach Fred Jackson's son.
Defensively, junior FS Marvin Robinson was the player of the game, hauling in 2 interceptions.
MLB Kenny Demens added another sack to his season tally, and back up CB Terrance Talbott picked off another NW pass to make a total of 3 turnovers for the day forced by DC Greg Mattison's squad.
Next week Michigan has a bye before they travel to Minneapolis in the Battle for the Little Brown Jug.
That's 8 passes in 2 weeks. I think Denard is going to be a little rusty when he needs to throw the ball again.
Let's hope he's really rusty in week 14
You boys can only hope...
If I'm hoping for anything, it's to see him on a stretcher for the 100th time and for EA to fix the injury bug. Dude is a 97-99-99 on running skills.
Separate names with a comma.