Big Throttling

By Jason Priestas on June 19, 2011 at 8:00a
Massillon's Devin Smith, headed to Ohio State, scored twice in the Big 33 ClassicDevin Smith: 3 for 103 and 2 TDs against PA's best

The top seniors from Ohio and Pennsylvania went head-to-head for the 24th time last night in the Big 33 Classic and for the third year in a row, the good guys emerged triumphant. But while the previous two affairs were one score games, this one was never really close.

Behind a dominant defensive front, the Ohio squad forced an interception on the game's first play and then turned things up a notch while holding the Pennsylvania side to zero first downs deep into the 2nd quarter. The offense did its part as well, scoring repeatedly on the ground and through the air on the way to a 50-14 rout1.

Six future Buckeyes were on hand for the drubbing (the 50 points were the 2nd-most scored in the game's history), but wide receiver Devin Smith of Massillon and cornerback Doran Grant of Akron SVSM had the highlights. Leading 14-7 in the 2nd quarter, Glenville quarterback Cardale Jones (who likely will be a part of OSU's 2012 class) found Smith wide open on a skinny post for a 54 yard strike to extend the lead.

After Pennsylvania had driven deep into Ohio territory on their next possession, Grant stepped in front of a pass in the endzone and returned the ball 101 yards behind a caravan of blockers to put his team up 28-7 with just under two minutes left in the half.

The second half was more of the same, with Smith getting another touchdown and the defense, led by Buckeyes Chase Farris and Steve Miller limited Pennsylvania to -8 yards rushing on the evening.

Akise Teague, Ohio's Mr. Football, captured team MVP honors, finishing with 102 yards on eight carries and 66 more on two receptions. The future Bearcat was electrifying, scoring Ohio's first two touchdowns on runs of 52 and 20 yards in the first half and then followed it up with a 40-yard touchdown reception from Jones in the third quarter.

Teague, from Youngstown's Ursuline High School, would have been a Buckeye if the school had offered him, but the staff took a pass on the 5-9, 176-pounder. This did not please a very vocal subset of fans and you can expect them to resume the "Why not Teague" chatter after this performance, which means you'll hear "Tyrell Sutton" and "Javon Ringer" thrown about.

In other news from the night, OSU signee Ejuan Price confirmed that he has been released from his scholarship and plans to attend Pittsburgh. This had been rumored, confirmed, re-rumored and re-confirmed for some time now, so it doesn't come as a shock. After all, Price took guidance from a coin when making his initial decision:

"It had nothing to do with the allegations. I know what kind of people they are. Everybody makes mistakes, but that’s just not where my heart is. I don’t think that’s where I wanted to go in the first place. They’re still good people whether all of that stuff happened or not. Coach Tressel is still a good guy. They’re still all right with me."

That's a pretty classy exit line from Price and if the kid is homesick, we want him to go to where he'll be happy. Curtis Grant will help mitigate Price's departure from a talent/depth standpoint and if we're being honest, the 50 points he watched go up last night will go a long way towards calming the fears of fans.

  • 1 Perhaps paying homage to Woody, head coach Matt Dennison (New Philadelphia) went for two -- and got it -- to put his team up 43-7 late in the 2nd half.

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scrappled's picture

Pretty much expected, based on what people in PA were saying about the rosters and practice sessions.

We were recruiting Teague a little -- I think Cincy's getting a really good one there.

Jason Priestas's picture

Yeah, looked to be a bit of a down year in PA. I think there were only two PSU kids on the roster, right?

scrappled's picture

This is second hand to a degree, as I'm not *that* plugged into PA prep stuff.  The consensus seems to be that it's not necessarily a down year for PA talent, but a lot of guys decided not to play in the Big 33 game.  Pretty much everyone who follows this stuff closely knew the PA team was in trouble.

And yes, only two PSU kids on the roster.  One is a 6'8" defensive end (Shawn Oakman) that will need a few years to work on technique, the other was a high-motor guy (Jordan Kerner) that most are projecting as a depth/special teams guy if he can't put on sufficient weight.

I should really go to the game some year.  I live 15 minutes away from Hershey.  And *no*, I don't have to take the Hershey Highway to get there.  Jerks.

gravey's picture

When I think of recruiting ratings, I think we need a revised look that assesses not only who were busts and who was great, but also includes those whom we passed on (like Sutton and maybe Teague).  Those are costly as well.  I recently downloaded the data and if I've got the time, I'll post it.

Love pasting PA though...they probably hurled beer cans at our fans on the way out.

GunnersApe's picture

Anyone know when this will be aired on cable? I thought ESPNU or NFL Network carried it the last couple of years.