Former Aurora defensive lineman Adam Bellamy has left the Ohio State football team for personal reasons, but the door is open for his return.
Continue Reading: Adam Bellamy, junior defensive lineman, has left the football team: Ohio State Insider
It really is a shame that Ohio State is ineligible to compete for the Big Ten championship in 2012, because while they would not be favored, they are more than talented enough to win it. After a lackluster 2011 campaign that sparked a youth movement of sorts in Columbus, new head coach Urban Meyer is inheriting a roster that not only has big game experience, but seems primed to take a step towards competing for Rose Bowl bids again.
That being said, the 2012 Buckeyes will be relying heavily upon some younger contributors in order to help them vault back into the national spotlight.
Let’s take a look at three youngsters, not named Braxton Miller or Ryan Shazier, that could have a big impact on OSU’s success this coming season.
Bradley Roby (CB, rSo.)
As a redshirt freshman last season, Bradley Roby turned out to be the team’s best cover cornerback. He picked off three passes, while defending six others. Roby displayed elite instincts and always seemed to have a knack for making…
Continue reading at Bleacher Report – Big Ten Football
In an effort to keep collectors updated on the status of those Panini America redemption cards that are currently being processed, we’ll post a list every week, like the one included in the attachments below, detailing the most recent cards being fulfilled this week.
The following list is intended to inform collectors about which redemption cards from which products are being processed this week. We’ll update this list every Friday afternoon, so stay tuned next week if you don’t see your card here.
This week’s report includes a high number of “rebatched” redemptions — cards from widely broken products that have been previously redeemed but required subsequent shipments due to high volume. In addition, we’ve also added yellow highlights for those cards that were redeemed via replacement. Finally, any multi-signed cards in this report featuring replaced players have been stamped “NO AUTOGRAPH” in that player’s designated signing area.
If you have specific redemption questions, you can contact the Panini America Customer Service department via email at email@example.com and the Panini America Customer Service Manager via Twitter.
Here’s this week’s report in Excel format: August 17 Redemption Update
Here’s this week’s report in PDF format: August 17 Redemption Update
For additional recent updates, click on the following links:
Panini America’s Weekly Redemption Card Update: Catching Up on the Last Two Weeks
Panini America’s Weekly Redemption Card Update: Hockey Steals the Show
Panini America’s Weekly Redemption Card Update: Quick, Kobe, Shaq, Deion & More
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Panini America’s Weekly Redemption Card Update: Rebatches, Replacements & More
On November 24th, the 2012 season will come to a close for Ohio State when Michigan visits the Horseshoe for the 109th edition of The Game. Ohio State will not be up for playing the part of gracious host, though. For the first time since 2004, the Buckeyes will have revenge on their minds as they look to get payback from That Team Up North for the previous season's loss.
Thank you, Reddit, for the best possible UM wallpaper
But even before the two rivals face off in 99 days, the Wolverines will be trying to show that the preseason buzz surrounding them is legitimate. Many pollsters are predicting that this is a Top 15, even Top 10, team with a Rose Bowl appearance possibly waiting for them at the end of the season.
When Brady Hoke was hired as the new head coach in 2011, he seemed to get the ineffable “it”, and while he made for an easy target1, he also went about immediately trying to improve his squad. He brought offensive coordinator Al Borges and defensive coordinator Greg Mattison on board, who have both proven to be savvy picks.
Mattison, in particular, helped turned Michigan around. In 2010, the Maize Sun and Blue ended the season ranked 110th in total defense and 108th in scoring defense, prompting former Ohio State linebacker Chris Spielman to referr to it as “the worst Michigan defense ever in the history of Michigan football.” With Mattison in charge of the unit in 2011, those rankings jumped to 17th in total defense and 6th in scoring defense2.
That was, arguably, the most stunning aspect of a team that finished with a surprising 11-2 record and a BCS bowl victory. Despite not earning a spot in the Big Ten Championship game, UM received a bid to the Sugar Bowl and defeated Virginia Tech in overtime. Their reversal of fortune in one year was thanks to a combination of better coaching, more experienced players, weak opponents, and a not small amount of dumb luck3.
Now, the question is whether Michigan can continue to improve or whether the lofty expectations of this season will be too much to live up to.
The ground game, led by quarterback Denard Robinson and running back Fitzgerald Toussaint, is the strength of the Wolverine offense. Last season, those two each hit the century mark, with Robinson rushing for 1,176 yards and Toussaint totaling 1,041 yards.
After a DUI arrest, Toussaint has returned to practice, though it's unclear if he'll miss any games. If he does, bruising sophomore RB Thomas Rawls will start in his place. It's a deep position for Michigan, who can also count on capable backups like senior Vincent Smith and sophomore Justice Hayes.
Opening holes for them will be a talented offensive line that can't boast the same kind of depth as the running backs. Taylor Lewan, UM's biggest bicycle enthusiast since Mike Hart, is one of the nation's top left tackles. Joining him is senior right guard Patrick Omameh, a Columbus native who took over as a starter during his redshirt freshman year. Ricky Barnum and Michael Schofield are veterans while freshman Kyle Kalis, a familiar name to many Ohio State fans, is competing for the left guard spot.
Passing situations will be more of a struggle for the Wolverines. Despite his playmaking skills and his magical pixie dust that enables his receivers to haul in jump balls, Robinson threw a conference-high 15 interceptions last season and only completed 55% of his passes.
Will Denard and Taylor Lewan have the time of their life?
Senior WR Roy Roundtree, who recently underwent knee surgery, is supposed to be ready for the season opener, and although his stats declined significantly from his sophomore year (72 receptions for 935 yards) to his junior year (19 receptions for 355 yards), he is expected to be a reliable target for Robinson.
Backup quarterback Devin Gardner has been taking snaps at wide receiver in practice, and if he sees time at the position during the season, his height could help out the often inaccurate Robinson4. Still, it's a smaller WR, Jeremy Gallon, who is the leading returner in receiving (31 catches for 453 yards). He should play a bigger role this season, but the Wolverines need other members of the receiving corps to step up.
Sophomore Jerald Robinson and senior tight end Brandon Moore have the ability to make an impact, and whether they can reach their potential could matter significantly to UM's success on offense.
Michigan may not have much star power on the defensive side of the ball, but the D is a solid, veteran bunch that welcomes back seven starters from last season.
The secondary fits that particular description. As a group, they're steady performers who get the job done. Once seen as an indictment of a Rich Rodriguez defense, safety Jordan Kovacs5 accounted for 75 tackles, including 8 TFLs and 4 sacks last season and is now viewed as a leader. Cornerbacks J.T. Floyd and Blake Countess also return and the latter could make a name for himself after a promising freshman season.
There's no change in starters at linebacker, with senior Kenny Demens holding down the middle between sophomores Jake Ryan and Desmond Morgan. Demens led the Wolverines in 2011 with 94 tackles and 3 sacks. That doesn't mean there's no room for new blood, however; freshman Joe Bolden could earn playing time as Demens' backup.
Urban Meyer would be the first one to tell you of the importance of an elite defensive line, so if Michigan regresses on defense, the DL could be to blame. Gone are three starters and Craig Roh, a senior who has played multiple positions, has bulked up to move over to strongside DE this season.
Once a highly-touted recruit, DT Will Campbell's greatest accomplishment so far in his Michigan career has been going all Dukes of Hazzard on a car. The fate of the DL potentially rests in the senior's hands. If he finally has his breakout year, Michigan should be fine. If he fails to produce, the Wolverines will have problems up front.
Sophomore DE Frank Clark, who emerged in the second half of last season, was supposed to build off his freshman campaign, but he pulled a pre-Auburn Cam Newton and has a court date scheduled for September 11. Like Toussaint, he's practicing with the team, though it remains to be seen whether he'll have to sit out any games.
The DL has been a fairly cursed unit recently. Freshman Chris Wormley figured to see the field until an ACL tear ended his season before it even began. Earlier today, DT Ondre Pipkins, another freshman who was expected to work his way into the rotation, was taken to the hospital with a neck injury. Fortunately, he is in stable condition and can move all his extremities, but as of right now, the severity of the injury and recovery time is unknown.
Catch up on everything you need to know ahead of the season kickoff.
11W 2012 Season Preview
Thanks to the power of brunettes, kicker Brendan Gibbons came through on 13 of 17 field goal attempts. While those aren't Lou Groza-type numbers, it's quite a bit of progress for a unit that only connected on 4 of 14 the season before. Nevertheless, he's not much of a long-range threat.
This guy remains in contention for the punting job, which should tell you all you need to know about the status of that position. Justice Hayes will use his speed to return kicks, which is an area Michigan is almost guaranteed to improve upon considering they finished that category ranked 117th in the nation a year ago.
Jeremy Gallon will continue to return punts, and he was competent in that regard last season, averaging 10.1 yards per return.
Overall, this special teams group would not get the stamp of approval from Urban Meyer or Jim Tressel. Coupled with question marks at DL, it's not hard to see why this team might fail to match the 11-2 record from 2011. Yet, Michigan could still wind up playing for a Big Ten title in Indianapolis. That's contingent on how well they navigate their schedule.
Most teams probably don't want to open the season against the defending national champs, but too bad for Michigan, because that's what they're doing. At Cowboys Stadium in Texas, the Wolverines, as 12-point underdogs, will take on Alabama. Their nonconference slate concludes three weeks later in South Bend, where Notre Dame will try to redeem themselves for the atrocity of last season's matchup.
Michigan's conference schedule is a bit more favorable. Although they are riding a four-game losing streak against Michigan State, that contest will be in Ann Arbor and the Spartans have a few concerns on offense (their defense, however, will be tough). The following week, UM will play their other most likely challenger for the Legends crown when they head to Lincoln, Nebraska.
Despite Michigan facing stiff competition in consecutive weeks, Michigan State and Nebraska will deal with a more difficult Big Ten lineup. UM, for example, does not meet Wisconsin for the second year in a row.
Because of the postseason ban, Ohio State will be playing for nothing but pride when Michigan invades Columbus. The Wolverines, on the other hand, could have a shot at a conference championship and a BCS bowl bid. It all depends on what happens in the next 99 days.
1 It's hard to miss a target that big.
2 Yet somehow they gave up 34 points to Ohio State's 107th ranked offense.
3 Michigan vs. Notre Dame game was the stupidest game I saw last season, and I watched Penn State vs. Iowa.
4 To prepare for catching Denard's passes, Gardner should also be practicing with Trey Burke, who can throw hims some alley-oops.
5 A former walk-on, in case you missed it the first 6 million times.
© 2012 Eleven Warriors.
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Friday marks the final day of two-a-day practices for the Ohio State football team. And after talking to several coaches and players today, it's a welcome relief — for the players.
Running backs coach Stan Drayton talked about breaking down the players bodies and then building them back up for the season. Everyone is already aware of strength coach Mickey Marotti's infamous workouts. Needless to say, the Buckeyes might be the most physically prepared team in the country. For head coach Urban Meyer, that was a goal. He learned long ago from Michael Jordan that games become easy if you're pushed to the max in practice.
The WRs are on track thanks to Smith.
The great mystery of Adam Bellamy was solved, and it sounds like a sad situation. He has left the team due to personal reasons involving his family. When and if he he returns, defensive line coach Mike Vrabel said he'd be welcomed with open arms. Another piece of bad news learned today: sports information director Jerry Emig said freshman offensive lineman Joey O'Connor will redshirt this season because of a knee injury. He underwent surgery earlier this week.
Zach Smith said Philly Brown has been the most impressive wide receiver.
Smith also mentioned Devin Smith as coming along nicely. “He has every talent and skill you want in a wide receiver.”
Brown and Smith are the clear top two wideouts.
The group is progressing nicely and the staff feels good about where they’re going to be, but if there was a game tomorrow, it would be a problem.
Smith said on Sept. 1 they should be where they want them to be.
Evan Spencer is back at practice after suffering a bone bruise.
Michael Thomas has been dinged up the past two days, but it is nothing major.
After last year, Smith said the wide receivers see 2012 as an opportunity. What they’ve done in practice is very encouraging.
Verlon Reed is running well, not favoring his knee. Smith said he still has a ways to go, but hopes he’s one of the guys on Sept. 1.
Smith said his grandfather, Earle Bruce, is at the WHAC frequently and added that everything he’s said has been positive.
That he’s coaching at Ohio State hasn’t sunk in yet, Smith said. “Is it awesome? Absolutely.” He said he’s not shocked at anything he’s seen because he knew everything about OSU was the best in the country since he was a kid.
Smith said Jake Stoneburner is naturally gifted and is able to do wide receiver things in a tight ends bosy.
Stoneburner is a mismatch problem for any team.
Stoneburner’s move to wide receiver was more a program decision than a Stoneburner decision, Smith said.
The staff knew the talent was big at tight end and lacking some at wide receiver.
Smith said Tyrone Williams was as average as a receiver can be in the spring. Now, though, he’s completely taken off.
Smith said Urban Meyer has been influential in how he leads his life. If you don’t have balance, the profession can consume you, he said.
The wide receivers have embraced the hurry-up offense. Smith said they understand that if they are fresher than the defensive backs, it’s a lot easier to get open.
Continually running in practice is going to condition them and make games easier. That’s a lesson Meyer learned from Michael Jordan.
Tim Hinton said he is pleased with the development of Jeff Heuerman and Nick Vannett.
Heuerman is a great point-of-attack blocker and has also developed into a dependable pass catcher.
Who starts is still up in the air, but Hinton said both are going to play a lot.
Hinton said there will be multiple personnel sets when both tight ends are in the game.
Hinton referred to Heuerman and Vannett as “tremendous competitors.”
Urban Meyer said this week would be the toughest of training camp – Hinton said they’ve embraced it and responded well. This team gets it, Hinton said.
“I can see this football team getting better.”
Hinton said the competitiveness this week has been far greater than any time previously.
While the offense has made improvement, they aren’t quite game-ready.
Hinton said the offense is loaded with weapons, plenty of damage could be done.
Hinton described the wide receivers as having good skills.
From the spring to now, the offensive line has made great strides.
The position battles and offense vs. defense competitions have been very physical. “It’s not a pillow fight.”
Mike Vrabel said the coaching staff is treating the players like professionals. If they do something well, they’re going to be rewarded.
On the black stripes, Vrabel said it should be an honor and a privilege to play at Ohio State. He said it’s been a good motivator. He hears players talk about the stripes every day.
Hinton said he sees improvement all around.
Adolphus Washington had his stripe removed on the field after beating an unnamed first-string offensive lineman on three consecutive plays.
Vrabel said John Simon is such a great asset because you can just say “go” and he knows what to do and does not make mistakes.
You almost have to pull him back some, Vrabel said. He goes too hard at times.
Chris Carter has been making strides on the defensive line. Vrabel said it’s one day at a time for him. He said Carter is self-motivated and works hard to get to where he needs to be.
Reid Fragel said the offensive line is steadily improving, leaders have stepped up.
Personally, Fragel said he’s improved simply from going against Simon and Michael Bennett every day.
Simon has also been fighting an injury. No word on what it is, but it's said to be minor.
Fragel and Taylor Decker are still 50/50 on first-team reps. The coaches tell them to compete and don’t give a hint on who might be leading the battle to start.
The mental part of the game is what Fragel needs to improve on most, he said. Recognizing defensive looks, footwork and pass protection are the Big 3.
Fragel said even when he was at tight end that he felt like a blocker at heart.
Since the end of last season, Fragel has put on 20-30 pounds of “good weight.”
Noah Spence is the young guy that has stuck out to Fragel most. He said he’s great off the edge and will be a “special player.”
Stan Drayton said the players knew it was going to be a grueling week and they’ve answered the bell.
Drayton said the players’ bodies are supposed to be broken down during two-a-days and then built back up before the regular season.
Jordan Hall proved himself during the spring, so other than getting reps, there was nothing for him to prove in fall camp, Drayton said.
Carlos Hyde has stepped up and is becoming a leader.
Drayton said Hyde and Rod Smith have both raised for the bar for the younger running backs.
Last season, Hyde was lazy, but he’s completely changed his approach this year. “He’s escalated his value to the team.”
Drayton said Smith’s full capabilities haven’t been on display, whether it's because of injuries or not having a firm grasp of the playbook.
Hall and Hyde are the only two running backs that have the offense down completely.
The backup spot, behind Hyde, is up for competition.
Drayton said Bri’onte Dunn is having a good, physical camp. He needs to work on his pass-blocking, though.
Warren Ball is still getting a feel of the offense since he missed spring drills, Drayton said.
Adam Homan said the coaches have created an atmosphere where every rep is like a game.
Something explosive can happen on any offensive play, Homan said. There is always the potential to score.
Throughout workouts and practices, Homan said the team has taken the philosophy to grind every day.
He said he’s been in the flat a lot more.
Zach Boren’s responsibilities have grown exponentially.
Homan said it was a big relief in the spring when fullbacks got some handoffs.
Despite only blocking, Homan said he had full faith in the previous coaching staff.
Homan described Boren as someone who puts his head down and goes to work.
Mickey Marotti’s workouts made Homan leaner. He said he’s lost 15 pounds, down to 245 from 260.
© 2012 Eleven Warriors.
With the Ohio State Buckeyes coming off one of their worst seasons ever, but heading into an optimistic new era of Buckeye football, I rounded up the Eleven Warriors contributors to get their takes on the upcoming year.
They predict 2012 MVPs, let you know what game on the schedule worries them the most, give their take on what would make Urban Meyer's first year at Ohio State a success, and more. But, enough of my rambling, let's get to it!
A new era in Ohio State football officially begins September 1st.
With an elite coach firmly in place, and the season right around the corner, how do you feel about the current coaching staff? What are any lingering questions you may have? Are you completely over Tressel?
Chad: It's honestly difficult to imagine a better coaching staff than the one we currently have. In some ways it's simply addition by subtraction of a few individuals, though I don't see a reason to beat that dead horse any longer. My only question is how long Urban can keep all of these guys around, because they're likely to get offers from other schools to move up the coaching ranks within a few years.
I'll never be completely over Tressel, but I wouldn't have it any other way.
Joe: I'm very excited about the current coaching staff, because it seems as if Urban has cherry-picked the best available talent from wherever he could find it. Also, it's an excellent mix of veteran hands with up-and-coming youngsters. Finally, they all have impressive track records in the college ranks. But I would be lying if I said I didn't miss Tressel. I'll notice it most the first time some reporter approaches Coach Meyer right before halftime or after the game and he gives a straight answer instead of the old “well, you know, the guys are playing hard, UAB's a great football team, we'll be fortunate to come out of here with a win, and so forth, etc.” Miss you, coach T.
Chris: I feel reinvigorated by the coaching staff. I appreciate the intensity, increased focus on daily competition and a willingness to call it like they see it when dealing with players or media. The only real lingering question I have about a coach is how well the defense will perform with Luke at the controls. Sure, he’s been around the program forever but this will be his first year calling the defensive looks and I’m anxious to see how he performs in that role. As for Tressel, I’m over what happened. Sure, he left a mess but he’s paying for his misdeeds and the fact is, unless he commits murder or harms a child, I’ll have nothing but love for him because he delivered the one and only national championship of my lifetime.
What are you most curious to see in the first few games of the season?
Sarah: I Bart Scott (that's a verb now, right?) to see how Braxton has improved and how the team has adjusted to the new offense. And who will fill in for Jordan Hall at the hybrid position before he's able to return? Beyond that, given that Urban has mentioned that a lot of freshmen will earn playing time, I'm interested in finding out who those rookies will be.
Ramzy: I'm looking forward to watching Ohio State play a football game without being able to correctly predict 90% of the play calls before they happen.
Jeff: I'm most curious to see the interaction between the coaching staff and players on the sidelines. For the past 10 years we were never really given a window into that emotional interplay. I can remember after the Arkansas game when someone posted a YouTube clip of Tressel screaming and firing up players in the tunnel during halftime. I can honestly say it was the first time I had heard Tressel with a little bit of an edge. I'm sure it was happening behind closed doors during his tenure, but as fans we never got to see it. Urban and company seem to wear their hearts on their sleeves at all times, and I'm excited to see that in a coaching staff.
Jason: Obviously, it will be fun to see how far Braxton Miller has progressed after spending most of the year with a real quarterback coach. Ditto for the offensive line. And I think everyone is excited to see the depth and talent along the defensive line.
Alex: I think the offense is what most people will be excited to see. Between the spread, no-huddle, Braxton developing as a passer, the actual use of tight ends in the passing game, and more, it will be exciting to watch this team and how they adapt to the new system.
Simon is a heavy favorite for Defensive MVP.
What are your expectations for the team this season?
Kyle: I expect the defense to grow and be dominant, especially if the secondary can find some depth. The offense will need some time to move up from a “4″ as Herman rated it. I think we'll lean pretty heavily on Hyde and Braxton early on, and then passing game matures sometime during the soft middle part of the schedule – the Indiana-Illinois stretch. The lack of a really-well developed passing game might cost us one of the Nebraska and Michigan State games.
I think 10-2 is a fairly safe prediction for this season, barring any significant injuries.
Derek: In general, I expect them to start fast and rejuvenated. The lingering cloud of last year's tumultuous season is in the distant past and they will be able to showcase on the field that last season may have been a fluke.
The tough games on the schedule are Michigan State, Nebraska, Wisconsin, and Michigan. I do not see this team losing at home in revenge games against Nebraska and Michigan. The road tests at Michigan State and Wisconsin are where speed bumps may lie. I don't see them winning both. An accurate prediction from me would be 10-2 or 11-1, leaning towards 10-2.
Corey: I expect them to average over 30 points a game and get back to the true Silver Bullet defense that ranks nationally in total defense and scoring defense. If they do that, there is no doubt they have a chance to win every game, but as a homer, I think they are going to be 12-0 every season.
What record does OSU need for Urban Meyer's first season to be considered a success?
Miles: I think 8 or 9 wins would be a success. People forget this was a 6-7 team last year. An improvement of 2-3 wins on team that's still growing would be a success in my mind.
Chad: At least ten wins and he HAS to beat Michigan.
Kyle: Eight wins is a number fans can probably live with, but I think nine or 10 would go a long way. My prediction is 10-2. The biggest key to the puzzle is who are the losses? You don’t want to lose to Michigan in Year 1.
Sarah: Since I'm predicting a 9-3 record, I'll say that or better. What I'm hoping for is that unlike last season, they learn from their mistakes and show progress as the season goes on.
Chris: I think anything less than nine victories would be underachieving from a won-loss standpoint but I’ll personally decide how successful this season is based on how well I think it sets the team up for a legit run at the title in 2013. I want to see a high volume of kids get significant playing time – even if that costs Ohio State a game – in hopes of building depth and identifying who deserves the most playing time when things really start to count again next year.
Catch up on everything you need to know ahead of the season kickoff.
11W 2012 Season Preview
What record in 2012 would be considered a failure?
Ramzy: Fewer than nine wins with one of the losses coming at the end. Losing to Michigan at home as they go bowling would be an indignity not felt since, well, pretty much all of last season watching Jim Bollman guide four and five-star recruits to the worst offense in school history.
Derek: With the way the schedule is mapped out, below 9 wins would be a failure. They have the talent to win at least 9 of the games on their schedule. With what is considered one of the best college coaching staffs in the nation, not being able to match that would be a disappointment.
Alex: Anything less than 9-3 in my book would be considered a failure, but really, without a bowl, my main goal is to beat Michigan this year, so if that game is a loss than the season is a failure, even if the team is 11-1 overall.
What is your bowl prediction for… oh, oops. Never mind. Are you over the postseason ban yet, or should I ask you in November, once you know what could have been?
Ramzy: I'm not over the postseason ban because Ohio State should have self-imposed one no later than November when the second NOA was sent for Bobby DiGeronimo. This hiatus should have been a sentence to time already served and nobody remembers that Taxslayer Whatever Bowl anyway.
Kyle: The bottom line is it’s about what you do on the field. If Ohio State goes 12-0, 10-2 or 8-4, that’s what it’s all about. Sure it would be nice to play in the Rose Bowl or national championship game, but success is success. Nothing will take that away.
Jason: The postseason ban still stings because if things break the right way, this team could be a BCS Bowl team, but 2013 is when things really line up nicely, so if forced to take a ban, it's better to have it this season. That said, I can't help but feel terrible for guys like John Simon.
Who do you predict will win the Leaders division? Who do you predict will win the Legends division?
With the exception of three votes (Corey, Sarah and Kyle) for Michigan to win the Legends division, everyone expects a rematch of the 2011 B1G Championship Game, between the Badgers and the Spartans.
What one game on OSU's schedule makes you most nervous, and why?
Chris: The B1G opener against Michigan State causes me the most angst. Obviously, playing on the road is always tough no matter how well a team might have fared at a particular venue in previous years and the fact it’s the first roadie of the season only causes additional concern. Additionally, I don’t like that it’s just the fourth game of the season for an Ohio State team installing a new offense against a Sparty defense returning eight starters and a legit defensive line.
Corey: At Wisconsin, there is just something about how Ohio State plays there. They usually come out flat and the home crowd energizes the Badgers into a close game or win.
Kyle: Cal. Playing them at Noon on the east coast may play into the Buckeyes’ hands. But the Golden Bears are a team that is well-coached, has solid talent and will be hungry to get a signature victory. In mid-September, the Ohio State offense won’t be up to speed and Jordan Hall could still be out. As I said previously, I think the Buckeyes will lose a game no one expects and this one may be it.
David: UCF. They are actually really good and no one is talking about that game. It could potentially be two top-25 teams.
Ramzy: Michigan. Pretty much the only game that makes me nervous every year. Not even a Tressel-like run can change that.
The Buckeyes ranked 107th nationally in total offense last year. How much of an improvement are you expecting in 2012? What is your biggest concern for the Buckeyes, offensively?
Chad: I think a good baseline expectation for passing yards is around 2200. If Braxton explodes for more than that (say ~2500 or more) then I'd bet Braxton becomes the leading Heisman candidate for next year and the team rolls. I think the running game is similarly productive, with Hyde being as close to a feature back as Urban has ever had. Braxton will make a lot of defenders look really foolish in the run game this year.
It's hard not to have some concern for the wide receivers. They look uniformly solid according to most reports from camp, but no individual is really standing out.
David: O-Line play is the biggest concern. There are a lot of new faces and potentially true freshmen getting snaps day 1.
Sarah: I'm not expecting the offense to suddenly turn into Houston's from last season, and it won't always be pretty. Still, there will be noticeable improvement, and not just because there's really nowhere for them to go but up.
Although I like the offensive line, I do worry about their depth. My biggest concern, however, is probably the same as most fans: who's going to step up to be a reliable target for Braxton?
What are you curious and/or looking forward to seeing defensively this year?
Jason: The defensive line. It's loaded, talented and deep. I mean, opposing offensive lines will have to line up against Simon, Hankins and Williams? Yikes!
Joe: I want to see if there will be any significant changes from previous seasons when Heacock was the coordinator. I'm curious about what new wrinkles Coach Withers brings to the philosophy. I'm also curious to see if Christian Bryant steps up to become the premier player that many of us think he can be.
Kyle: Everyone loves watching greatness, so the defensive line is an easy answer here, but I won’t take the easy way out. I’d say the linebackers. Curtis Grant’s improvement from the end of the season to now has been fascinating and somewhat unexpected, Etienne Sabino has one season to finally live up to the hype and can Ryan Shazier build off a stellar rookie campaign. Lots of intrigue at that position.
Who are your predictions for the 2012 Offensive and Defensive MVPs?
Braxton Miller and John Simon won this vote in a landslide, but here are some other takes…
Chad: Braxton runs away with this award on offense, though I think Hyde surprises all of us with how well he does in Urban's offense. Hopefully we'll hear the end of the “but Urban hates big running backs!!1″ after we see how well Hyde does.
On defense, I think it'll be between Simon, Shazier, and Roby. If Shazier doesn't accumulate ridiculous stats this year then it's only because other linebackers have also stepped up – not because Shazier doesn't produce.
Alex: Offensive MVP is Braxton Miller. I think he is going to just explode this year, setting up a Heisman campaign in 2013. Defensive MVP I will give to Curtis Grant. I think he is going to have a break through year that includes leading the team in tackles, while also notching some sacks, forced fumbles, fumble recoveries, and interceptions. We could be looking at a Laurinaitis type of campaign.
Kyle: Offense – Jake Stoneburner. Defense – Johnathan Hankins.
Which Buckeye, that isn't yet well known among non-OSU diehards, do you think makes a name for themselves this season?
Ramzy: I anticipate Jamal Marcus figuring things out quickly and having a Shazier-like second half of his freshman season. The opportunity is especially ripe there.
Kyle: Does Michael Thomas count? If so, he’s a lock. Mark it down right now, he’ll be starting at some point this season. Thomas is a star in the making. We saw it in spring practice, he carries it into the spring game and he continued it over the summer and in fall camp. He scream playmaker.
Jason: Most of the players that should make names for themselves this season are on the radar of diehards. I'm going to go with Taylor Decker. I think he emerges as the starting right tackle and starts to turn heads by the end of the season.
Alex: I will go with two players. On offense I am going to say Corey Linsley at center. I think he is going to do an outstanding job stepping in for Mike Brewster and handling the transition to a new position. On defense I will go with Steve Miller. I think he will see a lot of time in the LEO position and on the field in pass rushing spots. He has all the physical tools to be successful at Ohio State and all I have heard this spring and fall are rave reviews about his ability.
© 2012 Eleven Warriors.
Urban Meyer, winner of two national championships at Florida, returned from a one-year coaching hiatus as an ESPN analyst to take over an Ohio State program mired in NCAA sanctions and beaten down by a year of negative headlines.
Continue Reading: Urban Meyer has re-energized Ohio State Buckeyes after down year
Ryan Shazier grew up in South Florida and committed to Florida, Etienne Sabino watched the classic Miami Hurricane teams of the 90s and 2000s while growing up in the shadows of the Orange Bowl and Michael Thomas hails from Los Angeles, the nephew of former USC standout Keyshawn Johnson.
33: the same number as his father.
They’re all Buckeyes now, and no one is questioning their loyalty. But none of the three know the history and tradition of the Scarlet and Gray quite like freshman wide receiver Frank Epitropoulos. A native of Upper Arlington, Epitropoulos’ father, John, and uncle, Ernie, suited up for Ohio State under both Woody Hayes and Earle Bruce from 1978-1980, and his mother, Alice, earned her degree from the university.
More than three decades later, Bruce’s grandson, Zach Smith, is Epitropoulos’ position coach. In a sense, it is history repeating itself and both are living out a fantasy of sorts. When Epitropoulos runs out of the tunnel in Ohio Stadium on Sept. 1 as a member of the Ohio State football team, a lifelong dream will have been fulfilled.
“I've been coming to games hoping I’d be playing for Ohio State someday,” Epitropoulos said. “I grew up wearing Ohio State jerseys. Now I’ll have my own. All that hard work finally paid off. Hopefully, I can get out there and contribute on the field.”
He calls his greatest thrill sitting in Sun Devil Stadium watching the Buckeyes beat Miami to win the 2002 national championship. Epitropoulos’ adoration for Ohio State is unwavering. He committed to Ohio State during the height of the TatGate saga, proving through thick and thin that he was a Buckeye.
“It was very frustrating, especially because we lost Coach (Jim) Tressel,” Epitropoulos said. “He gave me the opportunity to come to OSU, so it was heartbreaking to see him go. But I committed to the program and the school, not the person. I wasn’t going to break a commitment.”
The loss of Tressel hit Epitropoulos especially hard. The two had developed a close relationship from the time Epitropoulos was a middle schooler. When you’re father and uncle played at Ohio State and you live a short jaunt from the Horseshoe, the chances of seeing the Ohio State head coach are fairly high.
After Tressel was ousted, he still called Epitropoulos to check in on his progress with the Upper Arlington Golden Bears. The answers undoubtedly were good, because Epitropoulos produced despite being injured. He missed four games but still managed to snag eight touchdowns. After a three-year hiatus from the state playoffs, Upper Arlington ventured to the postseason in 2011.
During his junior season, Epitropoulos caught 25 passes for 459 yards and seven touchdowns. He was also the punter, averaging 39.2 yards per punt last season, down from 42.2 as a junior. His punting prowess earned him All-State honors for two seasons.
Epitropoulos grew up hearing classic Earle Bruce stories.
Epitropoulos was rated as one of the top players in the state last season and in the Top 100 nationally as a wide receiver. In February, he represented Team USA in the International Bowl in Austin, Texas, where he finished with three catches for 98 yards, including a 59-yard touchdown reception.
Ohio State’s freshman class of 2012 has developed a special bond after enduring harsh treatment from other recruiters and constant uncertainty surrounding possible NCAA sanctions. For Epitropoulos, who committed in April, the unknown lasted the better part of a year.
The level of confidence inside the walls of the Woody Hayes Athletics Center 16 months after Epitropoulos’ declaration is striking compared to the depths the program fell to.
“There’s relief because everything is stable,” he said. “We have a head coach that is going to stay here for a while, and he's going be great.
“The intensity oozes out of him. He’s very intense. He encourages you, but his intensity makes him special.”
The 25-member recruiting class is also bound together by black stripes on their helmet, signaling that they’re not yet Buckeyes until it’s removed. Epitropoulos is one of the more than a dozen freshmen who still have the stripe.
“It gives you something to work for,” he said. “You go in to practice every time with the mindset of what do I have to do to get it off. It motivates you and you work that much harder to prove yourself.”
In an interesting twist, Bruce is the mentor of head coach Urban Meyer. Epitropoulos has known Bruce for years and the words he uses to describe the Buckeye legend – demanding, intense, challenging – sound like the same adjectives people use when labeling Meyer.
And like Epitropoulos and Bruce, Meyer is a Buckeye, born and bred.
Zach Smith probably won't be as stern as his grandfather.
“He’s a great fit for this program,” Epitropoulos said. “He is doing great things here already. He’s had success wherever he’s been, and I think that will carry over to Ohio State.”
As seen on ESPNU’s All Access Training Days production, Smith has some of his grandfather in him: a yeller. In the second episode, a segment on the wide receivers featured Smith raising his voice to the receiving corps. It wasn’t all harsh; motivation is the coaching staff’s objective.
Wide receiver is the position that has been under the biggest need to improve. It’s been a well-documented process. So far, Epitropoulos believes the fall has been a step in the right direction.
“Practice has been going well,” he said. “The staff has been on us. They’re definitely intense. Everything is competitive. We’re all trying to do our best and improve. We've got a great group of wide receivers, and people will see that in the fall.”
Listed as 6-foot-1, 197 pounds, Epitropoulos is in the mold of former Buckeye Dane Sanzenbacher. Following his commitment to Ohio State, Epitropoulos was immediately compared with Sanzenbacher, who may have been somewhat undersized, but made up for it by catching anything thrown his way.
He made an immediate impact by catching a touchdown pass on his first career reception. Sanzenbacher developed into a reliable receiver his sophomore season and then took off his last two years, hauling in a combined 91 receptions for 1,518 yards and 17 touchdowns. He tied the school-record with four touchdown receptions in one game and was named the Team MVP for his senior season.
Sanzenbacher reached out to Epitropoulos, telling him hard work, being smart on the field and studying the playbook were three must-do tasks.
“He gave me some great advice,” Epitropoulos said. “I’ll use it throughout my career. It takes hard work and dedication, putting in extra work before and after practice. That’s how you succeed. I want to be remembered like he is, as a great receiver. I just want to be the best player I can be.”
Epitropoulos flashed his potential in the International Bowl.
No one has a guaranteed spot at the position yet, and it’s something Epitropoulos is aware of. But two veterans have stuck out to him. One – Corey “Philly” Brown – is no surprise; Meyer has mentioned him numerous times. But the other has gone under the radar.
“Every day and every practice is a new opportunity to try and earn a spot,” Epitropoulos said. “Corey Brown has been impressive. Chris Fields has too. I think each guy has done good things. Everyone is improving.”
That includes the guy getting them the ball: Braxton Miller. Not only have his mechanics gotten better from a season ago, but he’s become a leader in the locker room and inside the huddle, Epitropoulos said.
Epitropoulos isn’t just a one-trick pony. He has an entire arsenal, one of which includes punting. With Ben Buchanan in the midst of his final season, Epitropoulos could find himself behind a long snapper next season, as well as split out wide.
He’s been working in limited time with the punters in practice, and he’s delivered some booming kicks into the sky. Place kicker Drew Basil is listed as the backup, but it looks like Epitropoulos could be getting groomed for the fulltime job next season.
“If I am one of the best punters on the team, I’ll do it,” he said. “I’ll do whatever it takes to help the team. It’s the coaches’ decision on that. We’ll see how it goes.”
In the meantime, Epitropoulos will continue a grueling camp that pushes players to the limit. At night when he’s exhausted and calls it a day, he’ll lay his head on his pillow and fall asleep.
The dreams, however, won’t compare to real life.
© 2012 Eleven Warriors.
Ohio State’s offense was bad in 2011. 24.5 points per game (72nd in the country). 318.2 yards per game (106th). 4.8 yards per play (96th). The Buckeyes’ normally stout defense kept games close and helped them to six wins, but the offense was downright ugly at times.
A large reason for that was the passing game. Braxton Miller and Joe Bauserman couldn’t be relied upon, and as a result the Buckeyes had to rely on the run (65.93 percent of their plays were runs, 10th-most in the nation), causing the offense to be predictable.
If Ohio State is going to find more success under Urban Meyer, the pass game is going to have to be better, or at least more consistent.
Let’s take a look at players ready to make that happen.
Devin Smith, WR
This offense regaining that “wow” factor is going to start with sophomore Devin Smith.
The youngster led the Buckeyes with 14 receptions and 294 yards and was second with four touchdowns in 2011, but believe me, considering his…
Continue reading at Bleacher Report – Big Ten Football
Happy Friday everyone, and welcome to your morning Skull Session! As my main man Verlon Reed has astutely pointed out, today ends two-a-days for the Ohio State football team, probably much to the delight of all players involved. Meyer and company have been rocking these guys hard in preparation for the season, and frankly at this point, they probably need a little bit of pull back from the 24/7 punch to the groin that is a double session of practice.
Allow me to interject a little of my own life experience. I played soccer all throughout high school, and I was terrible. But my team was not, and we also had two-a-days as run by a former Marine with an artificial hip who seemed hell-bent on forcing us to run all of the miles that he was no longer able to.
Soccer isn't football, and high school isn't college, and my coach wasn't Urban Meyer. But every day I would wake up and understand that for the entirety of two-a-days, soccer (and more specifically, running plus cone drills) was going to be my life for the foreseeable future. And for a kid whose highest (unrealized) athletic ambition was to not look like a complete dork in front of any girls bored enough to watch a high school soccer game after school, this was a tough pill to swallow.
My point is that I feel you pain and know your joy, Mr. Reed. Get through today without looking too much like a nerd, and it's easy sailing all the way through November. Right? RIGHT???
A POOR ANALOGY. The exodus continues. Another player has left Penn State, which means I'm sure that someone somewhere has made a “like rats on a sinking ship” analogy, which is patently unfair to both Penn State players (because who would blame any of these guys for leaving?) and sinking ships (because boat regulations have made great strides oversight since the 1950s whereas Penn State has not). But lest we gloat too much, let's not forget a little departure of our own.
COLUMBUS — A former Ohio State University linebacker's request to have his criminal case dismissed was denied Thursday.
Storm Klein, 21, was charged with domestic violence and assault, each a first-degree misdemeanor, for reportedly “violently and purposefully” grabbing his girlfriend by the forearms and throwing her into the front door of his apartment July 6, according to a Columbus police report.
Yeah, whatever small glimmer of light that might've existed for Klein in the OSU program has just been blotted out, although I have a feeling that football is fairly low on his priorities list right now. Honestly, I kind of enjoyed the Stoneburner/Mewhort thing in a weird juxtapositional kind of way—puts other things in perspective and makes you acknowledge where the real problems are. Well, if Storm did what he's accused of, then he's one of those Real Problems. Goodbye forever.
BOOM OR BUST. Boom Herron got some playing time for the Bengals in their preseason victory over Atlanta last night, and despite drawing some good reviews from the coaches in practice, he was less than stellar. Those stats come with something of a caveat; he did have a nice run that was called back on a holding penalty, and only one errant pass was thrown his way. Still, he just didn't look big enough for any kind of inside running game, and if he gets any playing time it'll have to be on the strength of his pass catching.
Yeah, I just called this guy small. Smart move there, Johnny
BEST BETTER NOT HAPPEN. In Brian Bennett's latest fever dream, he projects Michigan to be able to potentially top out at 12-1 with a BCS championship, which would effectively end the age of man and usher in a dark era of demons and hellspawn before the Earth is engulfed in the eternal black flame of Barzak-A'Thiim, Bile of the Deep.
Hoke improves to 2-0 against “Ohio” with a 31-0 shutout. Every recruit in the stands that day commits to Michigan. The NCAA finds more Jim Tressel violations and adds another year to the Buckeyes' bowl ban. Urban Meyer retires, citing health and family reasons. Arizona finishes 0-12 under Rich Rodriguez.
Oh that's adorable. I just imagine Brian Cook reading this in bed at night while wearing footy pajamas and giggling himself to sleep. In reality, though I think Michigan is going to have a good team this year, they stay static or take a step back at virtually every unit, especially defensive line. Denard might put together an insane year, but he's a double-edged sword. Plus I'm fairly sure that Michigan somehow beating Ohio State in Columbus this year would lead to Congress banning football altogether so I'm not too worried about it.
MONTEE'S BIG ADVENTURE. Bielema offered up some more details about exactly what went down with Montee Ball that led to him being assaulted, and apparently it involved literally a fifth of the entire football team? According to Coach 80s Jock Stereotype, 15-20 members of his team “were at some type of gathering and something briefly went down.” Yes hmm, “some type of gathering.” I'm sure it was a backgammon tournament or something.
I mean, yes, kids party, it's college, whatever. People do dumb stuff on a regular basis and no one is exempt. But honestly? If 20 of his players were at a party where his star player gets assaulted, that's probably something where the fans and the media are owed a little more of an explanation. I dunno! If we get to hear in extreme detail about how a couple of Ohio State players peed on a building and hid in some bushes, maybe Wisconsinites should be given the same luxury with regard to their starting RB.
WELL EXCUUUSSSEEE ME, LINKESS! From Honey Badger to just Badger… I react the same way… Big Ten posters, OSU lucked out… I enjoy ample posteriors, this is true… Bane Kiffin… OLD MAPS!!!… Notre Dame fans are really, really mad… DOGGY DOG.
© 2012 Eleven Warriors.
Any good offense not only needs a good quarterback, but an equally talented player in the backfield capable of making dependable plays.
For Braxton Miller, that man is Carlos Hyde.
Hyde will start at running back to begin the season because of the foot injury Jordan Hall sustained before the start of fall camp.
Hall is the more shifty of the two backs, but Hyde is a big, big guy.
At 235 lbs, Hyde is certainly a power back, but he also has deceptive speed for a player of his size.
In a way, he looks a little bit like a poor man’s Beanie Wells, without of course the open-field shiftiness and one of the best stiff-arm moves you’ll ever see.
Hyde got a chance to show what he was made of last season, as he got significant playing time during the suspensions of Hall and Dan Herron at the start of last year. He made sure to put that time to good use.
In 13 games played, Hyde carried the ball 106 times for 556 yards and six touchdowns, including a 63-yard touchdown run in the road loss at…
Continue reading at Bleacher Report – Big Ten Football
On the day he was introduced as Ohio State’s 24th head coach last November, Urban Meyer outlined a relatively simple list of expectations for his players, his staff and himself.
“I want a bunch of coaches that coach like their hair’s on fire, and I want a football team that goes four to six seconds of relentless effort,” he said. “You do that, you have a chance to win in every game you play.”
Meyer, winner of two national championships at Florida, returned from a one-year coaching hiatus as an ESPN analyst to take over an Ohio State program mired in NCAA sanctions and beaten down by a year of negative headlines.
So far, he’s injected some fresh thinking, a new offensive philosophy and renewed intensity into a program which had been consistently good in a decade under Jim Tressel, before he was bumped off his pedestal for covering up a scheme involving several top players trading memorabilia for tattoos and money.
Among several other NCAA penalties, the Buckeyes are banned from going to a bowl after this season. So, with Meyer preaching he wants an “angry” team, they’ve taken it to heart by vowing to run the table and obliterate all the bad publicity from a year of suspensions, violations and sanctions.
“Our goal’s to go 12-0,” running back Carlos Hyde said. “Even though we can’t go to a bowl game, we still have to play. So we’re just going to get out there and have a chip on our shoulders since we can’t go to a bowl game — to let the world know who the Buckeyes are this year.”
Meyer took over an Ohio State team coming off a dreadful 6-7 season that included a four-game losing skid entering this season. Luke Fickell, the interim coach then, was retained as a defensive co-coordinator.
The attitude was bad, someone was suspended for a violation almost every week and it seemed everyone was waiting for the NCAA to hand down the penalties that came just before the Buckeyes lost to Meyer’s former employer, Florida, in the Gator Bowl.
“There was a lot of (NCAA and disciplinary) stuff going on last year. You can’t really point out what it was,” cornerback Bradley Roby said. “There was so much stuff going on, I feel like it really affected everybody.”
Meyer has told his players to forget 2011 and concentrate on turning around the program. But he doesn’t have three multiyear starters on the offensive line, the top running back and best linebacker from a team whose seven losses were the most for an Ohio State team since 1897.
He has, though, instilled a lot of energy and optimism.
“Expectations always are high,” said the focal point of Meyer’s vaunted spread attack, second-year quarterback Braxton Miller. “When I was in high school looking at Ohio State, I was like, ‘Man, they aren’t ever going to lose. They’re always going to be good.’ That’s the expectations of the fans.”
Miller and the new offense are a radical change from the days of Tressel, who once famously called the punt “the most important play in football.” Meyer would prefer not to punt at all.
His Buckeyes will play uptempo, throw the ball a lot to a lot of different receivers, and should prevent fans from leaving their seats for a bathroom break for fear they’ll miss a 70-yard pass play — or maybe a turnover.
Jordan Hall would have been the H back in the offense, the guy around whom most plays revolve. But he’s out for the first couple of games after cutting a tendon while walking barefoot outside his apartment this summer. In his stead, Hyde, freshman Bri’onte Dunn (who sidestepped legal problems this summer) and Rod Smith also figure to be playmakers.
Much depends on wideouts Evan Spencer, Verlon Reed, Devin Smith, Michael Thomas and converted tight end Jake Stoneburner. If one or more of them proves to be a threat to take a short pass the distance, it’ll make things considerably easier on Miller.
The line needs rebuilding, with first-year players dotting the two-deep.
On defense, the brutes up front will be a strength, with Meyer gushing about the play of John Simon, Johnathan Hankins, Garrett Goebel and — when he returns from microfracture surgery — Nathan Williams.
The linebacker position is thin but talented, with a lot riding on the improvement of Ryan Shazier and Curtis Grant. Cornerbacks Roby and Travis Howard and safeties Christian Bryant, C.J. Barnett and Orhian Johnson anchor the secondary.
“I feel that everybody has bought into coach Meyer,” said Shazier, a promising sophomore who sports a shaved head. “With everybody adjusting to it, I think we’re going to have a really good season.”
Meyer, who twice quit the Florida job due to stress, health and family considerations, swears that he’s feeling reinvigorated and taking steps to make sure he doesn’t burn out again.
His first Ohio State schedule won’t cause him any heartburn. The Buckeyes play their first four games at home against the likes of Miami (Ohio), Central Florida, California and UAB, and in a down year for the Big Ten almost every conference game is winnable. The toughest will be at Michigan State on Sept. 29, Nebraska at home a week later, and the 1-2 punch to close the regular season, at two-time defending champ Wisconsin and home against archrival Michigan.
Then … the season ends. With no bowl game, Meyer and his team will have to be content with whatever they can accomplish in 12 games.
Meyer has no idea how everyone, including himself, will handle the abrupt end of the season.
“We’ve never not played for a championship in November,” he said. “Ten years as a head coach, every November we were playing for a championship. Do we have to create our own championship? I don’t know. We’ll see how it goes.”
Ohio State cornerback Bradley Roby clocked in at a 4.31 second 40-yard dash during spring practice, which turned out to be the fastest time on the team.
According to The Columbus Dispatch, however, wide receiver Corey Brown thinks he’s faster.
Brown underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus in a knee during team 40′s and seems very antsy to prove everybody differently.
“I came off my surgery and ran my 40, I think it was 4.4 flat,” Brown told Tim May. “If I was healthy, I would have beaten Roby. Roby is very fast, though. Roby is definitely the second-fastest on the team.”
There’s no doubt that Brown is fast—he’s projected to start at the “H” receiver spot, which is the same position filled by former Florida Gator standout Percy Harvin.
Brown’s role is huge for sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller and the overall success of the Buckeyes’ offense, which now uses a spread-option attack.
An insane amount of speed is required for…
Continue reading at Bleacher Report – Big Ten Football
Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer won’t offer Bible study or chapel services to his players, according to a letter the university’s president sent this week to a group that works to support the separation of church and state.
Meyer told The Dispatch in January that he would hold the study groups and services, but President E. Gordon Gee is telling the Freedom From Religion Foundation, based in Madison, Wis., that that was wrong.
Continue Reading: Gee: Coach Meyer won’t be holding Bible study for Ohio State players
The Ohio State Buckeyes will be playing a second team from Oklahoma during their 2016 nonconference schedule.
Tulsa will be visiting Ohio Stadium to play the Buckeyes.
Ohio State already has a game at Oklahoma set for Sept. 17, 2016. Although Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith was unsure of the date assigned for the Tulsa game, it will most likely come the week before or after the Buckeyes’ trip to Norman, Okla.
Smith also confirmed that the one-year contract with Tulsa would pay the Golden Hurricane $1.03 million to come to Columbus.
The game was originally reported by The Tulsa World. The Golden Hurricane were scheduled to play at Oklahoma State in 2016 but pushed that game back a year to come to Ohio Stadium.
Athletic director Ross Parmley also confirmed three upcoming home-and-home series for Tulsa — against Colorado State starting next year at home, against New Mexico starting in 2015 on the road and against Toledo starting in 2016 at home.
In addition to already scheduled games with Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Iowa State, Fresno State and Bowling Green, the Golden Hurricane schedules for next few years are taking shape.
Tulsa is scheduled to play road games at Oklahoma and Bowling Green and home games against Iowa State and Colorado State in 2013. The following year, the Sooners pay a visit to H.A. Chapman Stadium and Tulsa plays at Colorado State.
The 2015 schedule features games at New Mexico and Oklahoma, with 2016 holding games at Ohio State and Fresno State and the home game against Toledo.
In 2017, the Golden Hurricane will go on the road to Fresno State — a return trip for this fall’s game in Tulsa — and also play at Oklahoma State and host New Mexico.
“We feel that our future schedules are shaping up to be attractive for our fans and competitive for our football team,” Parmley said. “(Coach) Bill (Blankenship) and I agreed that the Ohio State game is a great opportunity for our team and fans to play at one of the most prestigious programs in college football history.
“Naturally, we would like to keep Oklahoma and Oklahoma State in our scheduling plans as well, especially with return trips to H.A. Chapman Stadium.”
In recent years, Tulsa has played a difficult schedule with games against Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Arkansas and Boise State among the featured opponents. All four of the Golden Hurricane’s regular-season losses last year came to top 10 opponents.
Tulsa also won at Notre Dame two years ago.
The design is very basic as you would expect. Nothing fancy to brag about. The base set consists of 400 cards – 300 commons and 100 rookies. On those 300 commons, there is a large blank area located at the top of the card. It is directly to the left of the Score logo. I don’t know about you, but it just looks too empty. I think they should have put something there. The rookies have two stripes going from the Score logo across the top and down the side. Its not that big of a deal because they are just base cards, but its something that stuck out to me.
Boxes are very affordable at $30.00. If you’re a collector on a tight budget, but still need to scratch that pack busting itch this might just be the product for you.
DO NOT open this product if your sole intentions are set on the “hits”. The box price is set at $30.00 for a reason. There are no relics within ’12 Score, and autographs only come (4) per case. They aren’t that easy to pull considering there are (20) boxes per case.
I pulled the following:
Kirk Cousins RC Auto
Trent Richardson RC Red Zone #’ed/20
Robert Griffin III Gold Zone RC #368
Courtney Upshaw Gold Zone RC #317
Morris Claiborne Gold Zone RC #358
Brian Quick Gold Zone RC #309
LaRod Stephens-Howling Scorecard #75
Mike Williams Scorecard #129
Jacquizz Rodgers Scorecard #43
Doug Baldwin Scorecard #99
Michael Irvin Rookie Flashbacks #18
Drew Brees Numb3rs Game #9
David Akers Numb3rs Game #12
D’Owell Jackson Numb3rs Game #17
Wes Welker Numb3rs Game #2
Calvin Johnson, Jr Numb3rs Game Glossy #1
Ray Rice Numb3rs Game Glossy #8
Jimmy Graham In The Zone #12
Arian Foster In The Zone #9
Victor Cruz In The Zone #24
Greg Jennings In The Zone #21
Frank Gore In The Zone #27
Cam Newton In The Zone #6
Beanie Wells In The Zone Glossy #16
LeSean McCoy In The Zone Glossy #1
Tamba Hali Complete Players #16
Michael Vick Complete Players 11
Jason Pierre-Paul Complete Players #5
Ryan Mathews Complete Players #20
Chris Johnson Complete Players Glossy #8
Cam Newton Complete Players Glossy #1
Brock Osweiler Hot Rookies #18
Michael Floyd Hot Rookies #6
Trent Richardson Hot Rookies #3
A.J. Jenkins Hot Rookies #9
Ronnie Hillman Hot Rookies #29
Nick Toon Hot Rookies #21
Lamar Miller Hot Rookies Glossy #24
Brian Quick Hot Rookies Glossy #12
Michael Egnew Photo Variation RC #355
Andrew Luck RC #304
Overall, I give 2012 Score Football 2.5 helmets out of 5 (1=poor & 5=perfect). Score is a great brand if you don’t have a lot of disposable income to spend on cards. For $30.00 you can get a ton of new rookies, and just not the no-name players either. If your looking for “hits”, this isn’t the product for you.
Filed under: Reviews
A national title isn’t necessary.
At least not this year.
Urban Meyer has injected great expectations into the Ohio State football program. While the Buckeyes won’t be BCS Championship contenders until a year or two from now, that doesn’t mean 2012 is a throwaway season. There are certain matchups OSU must win in order for it to be considered a success.
And here they are.
California isn’t a ranked team. It isn’t a rival. But when the Buckeyes face off against the Golden Bears on September 5th, it’ll be nationally televised.
The game is in the Horseshoe too.
It’s a chance for Meyer and company to show the entire country—and more importantly their recruits—that they’ll be a legitimate title contender sooner rather than later.
2. Penn State
Not only is Penn State an Ohio State rival, but as a result of the sanctions dealt the Nittany Lions, the Buckeyes should have a superior program.
Continue reading at Bleacher Report – Big Ten Football
It's been obvious that Big Ten football has fallen behind at least the Southeastern Conference, and some of the league's top programs have problems. The Buckeyes are counting a lot on sophomore QB Miller. More Ohio State story links.
Continue Reading: Ohio State Buckeyes P.M. links: Big Ten has work ahead to restore football reputation; too much asked of Braxton Miller?