Preview: #1 Syracuse vs. #2 Ohio State

By Joe Beale on March 24, 2012 at 6:00a
Photo by Sterling Boin - Daily OrangeJardine knows how to get to the hoop.
Ohio State Buckeyes #2 Ohio State 30-7, 13-5 Big Ten Roster | Schedule 7:05 PM ET - CBS —— TD Garden Boston, MA Syracuse Orange #1 Syracuse 34-2, 17-1 Big East Roster | Schedule

For the bracket engineers who designed the East Region, everything is working out the way it is supposed to. Tonight Ohio State takes on Syracuse in a battle of the #1 and #2 seeds in the East. The winner will cut down the nets in Boston's TD Garden and prepare for a berth in the coveted Final Four.

The Syracuse Orange(no longer men) took the hard road to the Elite Eight, having outlasted the insufferable Wisconsin Badgers on Thursday in a closer-than-expected 64-63 thriller. Meanwhile, Ohio State thanked Cincinnati for eliminating #3 seed Florida State by slapping, stripping, and mauling the Bearcats on their way to an 81-66 victory in the nightcap. 

OSU leads the all-time series with Syracuse 4-1, with the last meeting going to the Buckeyes 79-65 in the pre-season N.I.T. back in 2007. Ohio State has a winning record against all of the current Big East teams except Rutgers (0-1), South Florida (0-2), and West Virginia (8-8). Overall, OSU is 70-49 against the Big East teams, a mark that they improved with the victory over Cincy.

4 A. Craft SO 6-2/190 8.9 3.3 4.7 G 11 S. Jardine SR 6-2/195 8.3 2.3 4.7
32 L. Smith Jr. SO 6-4/205 6.3 4.6 2.0 G 20 B. Triche JR 6-4/205 9.3 2.5 2.7
44 W. Buford SR 6-6/220 14.4 4.8 2.7 F 32 K. Joseph SR 6-7/215 13.8 4.9 1.7
1 D. Thomas SO 6-7/225 15.4 5.0 0.9 F 5 C.J. Fair SO 6-8/212 8.6 5.5 1.0
0 J. Sullinger SO 6-9/265 17.6 9.2 1.2 C 25 R. Christmas FR 6-9/228 2.5 2.6 0.2



Jim Boeheim is in his 36th season as the head coach of the Orange, and he is currently 3rd on the all-time list in most victories, with 889. Among active coaches, Boeheim is 2nd only to Mike Krzyzewski of Duke who has 927. In many ways, Boeheim is the Joe Paterno of the NCAA basketball world, due to his longevity, his consistent record of success on the court, and...well...other things. Boeheim is known for using a match-up zone defense, similar to what former Michigan State coach Jud Heathcote used back in the 70's and 80's.  

Syracuse began the season by winning their first 20 games before being upset at Notre Dame on 1/21. They then proceeded to win 11 straight before losing to Cincinnati in the Big East championship game tournament semi-finals. The Orange have been one of the favorites to reach the Final Four since about midway in the season, but their hopes were somewhat dampened when center Fab Melo was declared ineligible for the NCAA's. After struggling to beat UNC-Ashevillie in their first tournament game, they rallied to beat Kansas State 75-59 before defeating the Badgers on Thursday.

The Orange will field a big, quick, and diverse group of players today and it is likely that many of them will see action at some point. The 'Cuse has 10 players who average 10 minutes or more per game, and so you can expect their starters to be well-rested and fresh when it gets to crunch time. Forwards Kris Joseph and C.J. Fair are tall but they have excellent quickness and the team as a whole moves well without the ball. Expect to see a lot of ball screens (what else is new) as OSU deploys their usual man-to-man defense. 

On defense, Syracuse has height and long limbs, which gives them a strong presence when they are defending in the lane or running out on shooters on the perimeter. As I mentioned, Boeheim prefers the zone, and he rarely switches to man-to-man. The team defends the perimeter well for the most part, but good ball movement will reveal vulnerabilities, as Wisconsin discovered on Thursday. Driving into the cracks and then making quick decisions with the ball (shoot in the lane or kick out for a triple) will be the key to solving the patented Syracuse zone.

In addition to the starters, one player might bear keeping an eye on. James Southerland averaged over 16 minutes per game throughout the season, and he averages 6.6 points and 3 rebounds per game. However, he played only 4 minutes against Wisconsin and did not score. It's possible that Southerland is banged up but Boeheim does not want to reveal it, but I think it's more likely that he's in a slump in practice and as a result we may see more of Fair and less of Southerland tonight.

Buckeye Breakdown:

The Ohio State offensive attack looked different against Cincinnati, and the main reason can be summed up in one word: Tank. Because of how effective Deshaun Thomas was against Loyola and Gonzaga, the offensive focus shifted toward getting him the ball vs. dumping it in to Sully. As a result, despite playing 37 minutes (one of his longest stints of the season) Sullinger took only 13 shots vs. 17 for Thomas. Tank has become "the man" in the Big Dance.

Richard Mackson/US PRESSWIREDeshaun Thomas continues to dominate.

Prior to Thursday, OSU's offense typically would work through Sullinger, and any shots that went to Thomas were usually at least the 3rd or 4th pass of the possession and he would rarely see the ball before Sully would. But due to the change in focus against Cincy, most of Sullinger's points in the first half came on put-backs. Not only that, but on two occasions Sully deliberately passed up a shot in the lane so that he could get the ball to Tank.

This shift to get the ball to the hot man vs. always dumping it in to Sullinger has paid dividends in other areas as well. Now all of the other players understand that if they make shots that the coaches will adjust the gameplan to take advantage of it. Since the tournament started I have noticed a more aggressive attitude on the part of Aaron Craft when it comes to looking for his shot, and even Lenzelle Smith Jr. is now looking to shoot a bit more. They are taking what the defense is giving them, and defenses are increasingly struggling to stop OSU's attack.

On defense, what we saw on Thursday was a bit of a mixed bag. In the first half, the team frequently defended with a ferocity that is seldom seen in any situation other than the last desperate moments of a close loss. Cincinnati had a reputation as a dribble-drive team, and the coaches must have briefed the team on this because the guards, especially Craft, seemed to anticipate every drive and made life miserable for Bearcat ball-handlers.

On the other hand, coming out of halftime the team seemed to rest on their laurels a bit, and without that energy the defense lapsed into slow motion compared to the UC players. Fortunately, they stepped it up after their 12-point lead turned into a 4-point deficit. Starting from the point where they trailed 52-48 with 11:34 remaining, the OSU defense clamped down on the Bearcats so hard that UC scored only 1 point in the next 6 minutes. During that period Cincy logged 4 missed field goal attempts, 1 missed free throw attempt, and 5 turnovers.

Syracuse is a different type of offense than what UC brought to the table, and they should present some match-up problems for the Buckeyes. Aaron Craft might have a harder time getting 6 steals against Scoop Jardine, and the Buckeye bigs might find it difficult to deal with the quickness of Kris Joseph and C.J. Fair. But if they bring the kind of effort that we saw in the first half against Cincinnati, I have to like our chances to walk out with a victory.


  • Thomas entered Thursday leading the NCAA field in points in the paint, and now has 42 in the three games OSU has played. 
  • Verne Lundquist will call the game for CBS, with Bill "MAN-TO-MAN!!!" Raftery providing commentary. Lesley Visser will also be around to stalk interview the coaches right before and after halftime.






ih8rolltyde's picture

Willy B to be the difference.

I'm shootin it Thomas has 20+.

Sully 16- 13

Crafty is beast mode on d (shock). Puts in 12, 7 helpers, 5 boards, 5 steals.

Louisville played cinci in an awful big east title game where both teams were gassed.

****igan smells like old water that hot dogs were boiled in.  FACT

Joe Beale's picture

I made the correction. Thanks for the assist!

awwwwwwop's picture

"But Willy B should be on the bench. He is literally worse than a player with no legs and no arms who has never played basketball before" - Insane people.

I think with his ability to drive, he can really attack the zone.  I thought he was ready to go off when he got that 4th foul and I am excited to see what he has in the tank today.  It probably did him some good to get a good 5-6 minute breather late in the game. Go bucks.

"Who cares? Go Bucks." - Aaron Untch

Baroclinicity's picture

I've also been vocal about the Buford bashing.  It's ok to be frustrated (we're fans, it's what we do), but the lengths this gets taken to bothers me.   I felt the same way about Bauserman.  He was terrible, but the guy was still a Buckeye.  I'm sruprised people weren't burning effigees of him in the streets after some of those games.  People need to take it easy.

When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

awwwwwwop's picture

exactly.  He only took 8 shots. and when his shot wasnt falling he took it to the rack, tried to draw some contact and got a few bad rolls.  If 2 of those roll in he is 4-8 with double digit points.  He was neither worthless nor should be on the bench. people are just ridiculous.

"Who cares? Go Bucks." - Aaron Untch

argyle182021's picture





I looked up Buford's stats.

2011-12 33.6 5.3-12.6 .420  1.6-4.4  .356  .832  4.8  2.7  0.9 2.2  14.4
2010-11 32.4 5.6-12.0 .462  1.7-3.8  .442  .843  3.9  2.9  0.8 1.8  14.4
2009-10 34.4 5.3-12.2 .438  1.3-3.5  .383  .754  5.6  3.1  1.1 1.8  14.4
2008-09 29.3 4.3-9.6   .448  1.3-3.6  .361  .849  3.7  1.1  0.8 1.2  11.3


It's essentially identical production with lower efficiency as compared to the previous two years.  So I don't think it's fair to say he's terrible, like so many are.  One could make the argument that he hasn't actually improved and the numbers would back that up.  It's disappointing he didn't explode during his senior year to lead this team, but he's still a good player and I hope he finds his rhythm during however many games are left in this tournament for the Buckeyes.

Joe Beale's picture

The trouble with Buford is that he has declined as the season has wore on. His worst games have been late in the season, with the only exception being the Purdue and 2nd MSU games in the regular season. Part of this might be the fact that he never gets rest during the game, but that's not all of it because he was dreadful in the early going against Cincy and in other games. His production is the same as previous years in absolute numbers, but when you look at shooting percentage it is significantly lower and getting lower with each game. I agree that terms like "worthless" are counter-productive, but I think at this point he ought to be the last of the starters that we look to for a big shot when we need points.  If he gives us any production, it's a bonus. The rest of the team is carrying him along at this point.

moopdawg's picture

The point I rarely hear or read about is that Buford is a rhythm shooter who does his best work running off of curls -- move, catch, and Ray Allen or Richard Hamilton.  I'm not saying that this will solve ALL of his problems, but we rarely run sets for Buford to do this.  He has been coached to feed the post and be the beneficiary of double teams.  Consequently, he is often stationary when he catches the ball and shoots.  Buford ultimately wants to get his shots, and that's when you see him doing something ill-advised, like overdribbling and trying to force his offense. 

I bet Buford's production increases if we run some set plays for him, and we run them early.  Have him come off screens to knock down 15 to 18 feet jumpers.  He is money on those and it's beautiful when those plays are well executued. 

Buford takes a lot of criticism.  However, I see a kid who really is trying to do what Matta wants him to do: feed the post and spot up.  But Buford is NOT his best when he's spotting up.  He's best when he's on the move, and the Buckeye half court set doesn't ask him to do that too much.

Buckeye in Illini country's picture

I agree.  He has tried to (or been coached to) replace Diebler's role from last year; feed the post and wait for the kick out.  He is much better coming off of screens (which he and 3bler did well last year - other than the UK game for WB).

Columbus to Pasadena: 35 hours.  We're on a road trip through the desert looking for strippers and cocaine... and Rose Bowl wins!

Joe Beale's picture

If you cannot make a wide-open shot while standing still, you don't belong on the wing. Where else do you foresee him playing? He's too small to play the post and he's not enough of a creator to play the point. He needs to be able to make shots from the wing, and sometimes those will be set shots off the pass out of the post.  If he cannot make those, then he will not be able to play in the NBA. In any case, I dispute the assertion that they don't run plays for him. It seems to me that they do it all the time, he just doesn't make the shots. There's not a lot of analysis necessary to see that the guy is in a slump. He may break out at any time, but until he does the rest of the team is carrying him.

RedStorm45's picture

I think he's actually best when he gets the ball moving (perhaps off a screen) but then talks a dribble or two and just "rises and fires."  See:MSU game winner.

cplunk's picture


He's doing what he's been asked to do in the offense, which is laudable. He WILL come up big at some point in this tournie.

argyle182021's picture

If his shot isn't falling he can contribute immensely through dribble penetration (without charging) and finding the open man.  We'll especially need that against the zone.  I also like his height for this role better than Craft or Smith.  But if his shot is falling let him set up on the perimeter.  Hopefully he doesn't need 10-12 shots before his role for the game is determined.



faux_maestro's picture

He's REALLY looking good tonight, isn't he....

Your mom told me she wants a Dicken Cidar.

Seabass1974's picture

Ohio State wins by 15+. I called 10+ against Cinci.

The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender. - Woody Hayes

Baroclinicity's picture

Hope you're right...

When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

Doc's picture

Boy, Seabass, I hope you are right. I'm pretty worried about tonight. Come on On Willie B play like a Senior tonight. Go Bucks!

I'm hiding baby and I'm dreaming
I'm riding down your moonlight mile

old_rasputin's picture

It does scare me how well the Orange match up against us, though.  Jardine's offense might be diminished by Craft's insatiable hunger for turnovers and Sully will have an advantage on the block, but Tank is going to have more trouble against C.J. Fair than anyone else in the Tourney.  If Buford hits his shots and Smith Jr. plays aggressively as we have seen recently, I expect tOSU to win, but this will be a closer game than I would like.  

"We hate to lose, but when we do, rest assured we'll be back, and someone will pay the price." Coach Hayes

BrewstersMillions's picture

At their worst, I was saying this team was no better than the Sweet 16, then the light went on in late Feb. Whatever happens at this point, I'd consider this year a good one. They advanced beyond what I thought they were capable of but the manner in which they did it has been fun to watch. If OSU continues their 5 man game, as opposed to their 5 one on one man game Syracuse is in some deep trouble. This Cuse team isn't great without Melo and haven't done a lot to impress me. Syracuse's best game isn't enough to beat OSU's best game. I like OSU in a close-ish one. I see a 7-9 point W that in reality is a 3 or 4 point win padded by late FT's.

Tonight's Willie B's night.

Do I come off as arrogant? Shame on me, I was hoping it would be more obvious.

RedStorm45's picture

Anybody notice how bad we looked on the fast break Thursday night? Just curious, no one's really mentioned it.

LadyBuck's picture

To be honest, I don't remember too many horrible transition defensive problems outside of that 6 minute stretch Cincy had. I would have to watch it again to see if they occured the whole game and why.

BrewstersMillions's picture

I think he means offensivley. I don't know if it was bad play on our part of insane effort by the Rodman lookalike (before the hair) UC marched out escapes me but that dude was fast, long, and had some serious ups.

Do I come off as arrogant? Shame on me, I was hoping it would be more obvious.

Is it Saturday Yet's picture

Because we got like 3 shots blocked? I love it when we run and push the pace. I think we are a much better team.

RedStorm45's picture

No, I mean Buford missed a dunk/lay-up, there was a couple times where we almost fumbled the ball away and had ro reset, etc.

LadyBuck's picture

I think it was the Cincy dude and it won't be that much of a problem since Fab Melo isn't eligible to play. He definitely had his way blocking us. 

LadyBuck's picture

After watching the Wisconsin game, I am not as scared of the zone; more cautiously optimistic. The biggest thing going for us is that they rely on teams not having a midrange game. And, well, we kind of have that. I think if we use Thomas at the FT and elbows, he'll be able to shred up the zone quite efficiently. The only reason Wisconsin lost is because Evans didn't make a few of thoe 12-15 foot jumpers that Thomas and Sully tend to make. 

The defensive side is what worries me. They used the high pick and roll around the 3 point line all day against Wisky, and the cheeseheads could not keep up. That has been our kryptonite for the past two years, and I don't want us going out now due to it.

Is it Saturday Yet's picture

We will need to limit turnovers and move the ball well. That probably goes without saying. No lazy passing today.

RBuck's picture

Good news. Lesmarises of the PD predicted OSU 75-71 and he's been pretty much right on all year.

Long live the southend.

Is it Saturday Yet's picture

If it's that close I'm going to be waaaaay too stressed out and will compensate by drinking too much.

buckeyefanatic's picture

I would like to see the averages of Orange players without Fab Melo playing in the game ... I suspect what we are seeing is season averages which are all depleated with Melo taking his share.

(note - I am too lazy busy to go pull those games and run the numbers)

How many batteries does it take to beat Michigan football?   1AA
Want to beat Michigan? There's an App for that.

nickma71's picture

 Driving into the cracks and then making quick decisions with the ball (shoot in the lane or kick out for a triple) will be the key to solving the patented Syracuse zone.





Alex's picture

On my way to the game so pumped for this one and would LOVE to walk into my Syracuse filled office on Monday with a W

BuckeyeSki's picture

^Cheers to that


Banned from BlackShoeDiaries since 2008. Crime: Slander/Defamation of Character Judgement: Guilty

Idaho Helga's picture

Sure felt good collecting on 2 lunches and a $5 bet at my office after the Gonzaga win. You shall feel the joy on Monday. :)

buckeye76BHop's picture

I hope OSU wins but this team has a deep bench...and we don't.  I think Matta will somehow try to duplicate this by subbing in Ravey and Scott.  If he doesn't do something to counteract that it could be a difficult night for the starting five because Syracuse can run the floor and shoots well.  I know we do too before ppl shread me...but coaching will play a large role in this game.  I absolutely hate Boeheim but he can coach well and what they've done so far without their big guy is remarkable.  Nothing would make me more happy than to see OSU walking off the court with a win and that guy going back to his office to pack up his s@#t because he'll be retiring due to the touchy touchy going on that he knew about.  To the guy above with the Raven Riley pic and a Buckeye 15+ point win...WOW!  If OSU wins by 1 or 2 I'll be happy.


"There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you."

"I love football. I think it is most wonderful game in world and I despise to lose."

Woody Hayes 1913 - 1987 

buckeyefanatic's picture

Raven Riley is teh win.

How many batteries does it take to beat Michigan football?   1AA
Want to beat Michigan? There's an App for that.

Corey Carpenter's picture

Does anyone know why Syracuse is allowed to have 20 players listed on their roster and 19 of them have recorded some sort off stat this year. I thought the limit was 13.

Are they allowed to have extras in case they decide to start enforcing their drug policy? Or if you got "touched" as a ball boy, do you get to sit on the bench for four years?

LadyBuck's picture

Maybe they have 7 walk ons? I really don't know how that can be allowed...

SLVRBLLTS's picture

Never.. I repeat NEVER compare Buford to Bauserman. Buford's inconsistency is no match for how bad Bauserman was. Yes, he was a buckeye, but that doesn't make him invincible to criticism. 

"Because we couldn't go for three"

PharmBuck's picture

This. I about coughed up a lung when I saw the comparasion. If Buford = Bauserman than most of Bufords shots would end up going over the hoop 10 rows deep.

"You're pissed because we went after a committed guy? Guess what, we got 9 guys who better go do it again," said Meyer. "Do it a little harder next time."

Buckeye in Illini country's picture

Space Jam- style when Ewing lost his talent

Columbus to Pasadena: 35 hours.  We're on a road trip through the desert looking for strippers and cocaine... and Rose Bowl wins!

Idaho Helga's picture

My thoughts exactly; some old lady in the nosebleed section might get hurt from an errant pass. I liked the stats in the preview; Buford was consistent and has slumped last 1/2 year. I'm not so sure about the level depth on the bench is inferior. Our bench never gets to play, it's a Matta thing. Going to be key to keep Sully and I think more important, Craft outta foul trouble. Craft is the X-Factor.

Fear The Elf's picture

So if we start off with the ball, what will Raftery say

Joe Beale's picture

He'll wait until Syracuse has the ball and then do his usual schtick.

BuckeyeSki's picture

Can't wait for this game. 'Cuse is gonna go down tonight and I'll be in full Buckeye gear surrounded by their parking cone colored fans

Banned from BlackShoeDiaries since 2008. Crime: Slander/Defamation of Character Judgement: Guilty

Rooster Buckburn's picture

This shift to get the ball to the hot man vs. always dumping it in to Sullinger has paid dividends in other areas as well. Now all of the other players understand that if they make shots that the coaches will adjust the gameplan to take advantage of it. Since the tournament started I have noticed a more aggressive attitude on the part of Aaron Craft when it comes to looking for his shot, and even Lenzelle Smith Jr. is now looking to shoot a bit more.

I think this alone has been the key to their tourney success.  If the Buckeyes do this again tonight - they will win by 10+

buckeyedude's picture

I just hope Matta is recruiting Nigel Hayes, from my alma mater(Toledo Whitmer), who bitch slapped St. Ed's yesterday in the state semi-final. OSU needs at least one Toledoan on it's team, IMO.



UrbanSully's picture

Marc Loving from Toledo St. John's is coming in 2013. Nigel is more of a MAC player, anyways.

Brutus's picture

Why?  So he can go on to become among the all-time leaders in points scored and career starts and then get trashed by his own fanbase for not doing enough?  Go elsewhere Nigel.  This fanbase doesn't deserve you.

JakeBuckeye's picture

Brutus killing it in the comments! Couldn't agree more with the sarcastic tone regarding our fan base. I'm so sick of some of us.

RedStorm45's picture

Complaining about complainers? Seems a bit ironic.

JakeBuckeye's picture

No, that's not ironic. It would be ironic if I was complaining about the simple fact that you're complaining. I'm not. What I'm "complaining" about is the things people like you complain about and the manner in which you complain about it. I will go the more John Locke-ish route and say that a majority (whether that means 51%, 60%, 70%, etc. etc. I'm not sure) of our basketball fan base and posters on here have a decent basketball IQ and are good basketball fans that positively contribute to the basketball discussion on here, whether they are being critical towards the team or not.

Then there's posters like you. Posters whom have seemingly no basketball IQ, and not only constantly negatively obsess over players like Willie Buford and complain, but also do it in the most classless manner.

RedStorm45's picture

So saying he's 22 of 66 from the field for 33% since the MSU game winner is classless?  My bad, I'll take my classless facts elsewhere.


By the way, saying you're "sick of some of our fans complaining" is essentially complaining about complaining on this site.


Thank you for the compliment on my basketball IQ, when's that exam?

JakeBuckeye's picture

By the way, saying you're "sick of some of our fans complaining" is essentially complaining about complaining on this site.

Must be nice to put words in my mouth! Never said the word "complaining" in my comments. Life would be so much nicer if we could just dictate what people said to better our arguments, but unfortunately its not like that.

And no, classless is inviting posters to a Willie Buford graduation party for the wrong reasons, among other things. Plently of people on here have been criticial of Willie in a constructive and intelligent way. You're not one of them. Go Bucks.

RedStorm45's picture

You know it is possible to complain without using the word complain, right? Just like you can "whine" without actually saying the word.  I can yell without saying the word yell.  Geez.

I'm glad you know the intentions of my words.  As I said, I celebrate all student athletes earning a degree.  But feel free to infer what you want.

NCBuck1's picture

This may have been asked before, but why isn't Thompson seeing the floor now? I've been impressed with his progression throughout the season.

RedStorm45's picture

I'd love to see him in for 5-6 minutes a half, preferable for Buford.  Matta's really found something with Craft/Scott combo, but Scott only comes in for Smith unless Buford has some foul problems.  Thompson used to replace Smith, but I guess his horrible shooting % from anywhere outside of 5 feet doesn't make him much of a scoring threat.  

741's picture

I think Sully's 37 pound weight advantage (all ass) over Syracuse's center is the difference in this one. Buckeyes win by 5+ and Sully is tonight's leading scorer.

The cherry on top is our boy WB will shoot 45% or better from the field. (Reversion to the mean.)


hammerhandle's picture

Vegas odds went to -3.  Must be a lot of folks loading up on the Buckeyes.

Huth's picture

All of you raise your hand if you said this team would go as far as Willie B would take them. You were wrong and so was I. He has been a non factor outside of some rebounding. They have adapted to him doing nothing and Thomas has picked up the slack or Craft on occasion.

Idaho Helga's picture

If Craft has another game like he did against Gonzaga today, we must all pledge to add/order extra cheese on the next meal eaten in his honor.

LadyBuck's picture

Cheese is delicious and does not need a basketball player to endorse it. That said, I probably will do extra arts or crafts, because that is more fun. Coloring, anyone?

LadyBuck's picture

And here comes Louisville. Come on, Gators, keep up the pressure.

osubuckeye4life's picture

It's going to one hell of a game. 

I'm thinking OSU by four. 

Seabass1974's picture

Dang, looks like I was off by 8 points. I called a 15+ victory but it seems the refs made sure neither team was going to run away with this game.

The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender. - Woody Hayes