Was at that game. Very odd feeling. Felt like a win in that during the final minutes Michigan just wanted out of the stadium and out of Columbus, wasn't interested in doing anything with the ball except to make the clock go to 00:00. Meanwhile, OSU was so fired up. I just remember feeling like, given another 30 seconds, something would have happened for us to win that game. Had there been overtime then, it would have been over quickly.
My son was born in September of 2004. It's been difficult to communicate to him about the magnitude of the rivalry. I mean, he knows to hate TTUN, but he has asked a few times, "Dad, why is it such a big deal? They never beat us." That's when I tell him about the 1990s.
So right about last year. Haven't been to The Game in person in 15 years and I was 1500 miles away from it last year, but I remember the mixed emotions of being happy for the win but really concerned about Kosta and about Barrett.
Loved that win, such an important one, but it was so agonizing to watch. TTUN led much of the way, our offense was so sluggish. Held on to that win by our fingernails.
Agree that in my lifetime, 2006 stands out. And as Michael attests, it was satisfying because of how high the stakes were, and also because the game itself was so entertaining. 2nd for me was 1994, when we briefly got the monkey off our backs. It was my senior year. Neither team was having a great season, but the relief and joy it brought, hard to put into words. 3rd place for me would be 2007, because Hart and Long and Henne came back wanting so badly to go out as winners, and we shut the door on that dream in Ann Arbor. 4th would be last year's win, because of the stakes for us. 5th for me would be Earle's last game as OSU's head coach.
Yeah. The fact that this week of all weeks ANYONE would need reminded that there's still a lot to play for. That worries me. The fact that anyone thinks that needs to be said to this team.
Thanks. This makes me feel better. I'm not sure that we were ever going to want a win in this game as badly as TTUN wants it, but that doesn't mean we can't beat them.
There's a lot that concerns me about this year's game. How lethargic our offense has looked, how challenged our line has been for two weeks now (Illinois' front four also gave us problems for much of the game), the fact that it's in AA, and the fact that we've not, I think, played our "A" game against them the past three years. I know that with the rivalry it's all about heart and who wants it more and that means it's always full of surprises in terms of teams rising to the occasion. But 2010, or maybe 2011, seems like the last year that the rivalry seemed to bring the best out of us. 2010, we shredded a weaker Michigan team in spite of them hanging around by riding the emotion of the game for a quarter. 2011, we were experiencing our worst season in decades and fought them down to the final possession in AA, a year when they went 11-2 with a win in the Sugar Bowl. Those seasons, we seemed to really get rise to the occasion. 2012, we came in undefeated and they spent the whole second half within a TD of taking the lead. We couldn't put them away. 2013, they rose to the occasion and could have taken us to OT. 2014, a struggling TUN stayed within a TD until the final 5 minutes, in Columbus.
I know this rivalry is all about all kinds of crazy and surprising performances, but it has been a few years since OSU has been the team to benefit from those things. That really has to turn around in a big way this weekend.
I would expect the university to officially call for the end of the Lake Jump, but I doubt that will mean people stop jumping. Students will still try to go in every November.
I was there 1991-1995. For first two years, some called it "Phantom Band" as it started with band members gathering, and then hundreds pouring out of the dorms to join them, then the march through campus (usually north and south campus coming together at the Oval, and proceeding to Mirror Lake and the Stadium). Sometime in my years there, the band stopped officially being able to give leadership on account of some vandalism that had occurred in 1991. But it has obviously continued to happen. Until now. Very, very sad. Prayers to this man and his family.
I jumped in once. In 1993. That was enough. Icy water, random assortment of objects on the bottom of the lake to step upon. It got old after about 30 seconds in the water.
Interesting take on Cardale. I think it over-simplified the situation the other night. If JT was getting lots of time to throw and was simply missing, say several open throws in a row, then I'd say bring in Cardale. But I don't see how "Cardale throws an errant pass under duress" is any better than "JT throws an errant pass under duress." Truth is, we should have tried to throw more in spite of the conditions, but we didn't. In hindsight, I think there are several things we should have really attempted to change the momentum of the game (Cardale, jet sweeps, more attempts by our Heisman candidate), but we didn't. Whether Barrett with time or Cardale with time would have been able to back MSU's offense out of the box, we'll never know. It would be a better observation had we really tried to establish the pass game and found Barrett ineffective. Barrett was not good, but I don't think the sample size is enough for us to say that the problem was him, or the blocking, or the conditions.
I know that we want to stretch the field, some here even suggesting that we bring in Cardale to do it. But to stretch the field, we've gotta have time to throw, which we have not. We failed to stretch the field against MSU on our two deep balls in part because of the wind (as Beck/Barrett chose to throw a deep ball down the sideline from the end zone into the wind that was woefully short and mercifully not picked off) and in part because of protection problems again on the throw to Braxton.
But even if deep balls are a problem because we need quicker plays, there are still WR screens, slants, out routes, hook routes, flares into the flat, so many ways to move the ball outside of the box, QUICKLY.
I've wavered back and forth throughout the year about how much the fault is play-calling and how much it's just development. Watching what Jones and Barrett did with last year's offense and then seeing them both look so uncomfortable and indecisive has been really sad. I sometimes wonder how much having only 3 (at most) true receivers active in the offense is just dragging down everything. I get that Corey and Noah both suffered major injuries, but we are entering week 13 and apart from a brief appearance by Parris Campbell and one good game out of Jeff Greene, there is no one else emerging from the receivers. I realize our base offense only has room for three receivers on the field, but for it to work as we saw last year, there have to be 5-6 guys that can hurt you. I know Zach Smith was dealt a bad hand with two season-ending injuries in the WR group, but at this late time in the season it is just about inexplicable that no one else in that group is emerging.
Absolutely right. Meyer's not a idiot. He saw that there were execution, rhythm, identity issues with offense all year, that we weren't clicking. But what's he to do about that. Be head coach and take over the offense, and maybe even special teams, too, as field goals have been a struggle all year. No! That's why he has a staff. And even when they are struggling, as long as they're here, he's gotta give them the benefit of the doubt. The fact he's stepping in says to me that Beck's days are numbered. I don't sense the same closeness at all with the two of them that Meyer had with Herman in terms of philosophy and just buying into Urban's way.
Because Urban trying to micro-manage too much of the program was what almost killed him at Florida. He's going to entrust and delegate to his assistants as much as he can, for as long as he can. The Illinois game was far from perfect, but was solid enough of a win for us to think that the offensive strategy was coming together. Now, we see it wasn't, so Urban is stepping in.
As a buckeye living out here in Nebraska, their offense under Beck had its moments, but they were rarely consistent. And worse, their QBs did not develop well, and improve much over the years. I was skeptical of the hire. Seeing how poorly we've done with getting the ball into the hands of Marshall and Miller has been infuriating. I know we lack depth at WR (and for that, Smith needs to be held to account and challenged to get better, fast), but no excuse for our inability to best utilize what we have.
It's going to be a battle. Assuming MSU will handle the Nittany Lions on Saturday, The Game is once again the final word on the season. The one down-side to the conference title game to me is for either team to have such an emotional and physical war only to have to play again in a week. I'd rather have Iowa on the horizon, but this year (not true the previous two years) guys can leave it all on the field without concern for whether they've got anything left in them to play again in 7 days.
We've got a tough task and a lot to turn around. Meyer is 3-0 in The Game, but given how close they played us in 2012 and 2013, and really stayed with us into the fourth quarter last year even though those were three "down" years for them, it seems that TTUN has been the one rising to the occasion and benefiting from that edge that the rivalry tends to give in recent years. Might help us if we are named as the underdog for Saturday. I can see how it could happen.
Hope to see OSU really click, really execute. If they do, we have the guys to make plays, and we have the defense to shut down their run game and receivers. But we'd have to be "9 units strong" in a way we haven't seen except the Rutgers game this year.
Part of Urban's philosophy is having very high expectations of his staff. I remember the "training days" thing, where players and coaches were challenged to out-work and out-perform those who are the best in their role from around the country ("did Kerry Coombs out-perform Bama's CB coach, etc.). Based on that, I don't see how Beck stays on staff. Offensively, in terms of strategy, we've taken a significant step back. Our QBs, one returning from setting records last year and the other returning from a monster championship run, both looked tentative and not as comfortable with the offense. Their pass efficiency took a hit. I realize we didn't have the receiving group of last year, but the offense just did not come together. Don't see what there was this year to look at Beck's work and say, "Yes, he has earned another year."
I wouldn't blame the weather. You're right - both teams are affected by it. I do think, though, that Cook's injury meant MSU spent the week game-planning for a ball control, field position, "Tressel-ball" sort of grind. And when that's what the game became in large part due to the rainstorm and snow, their strategy was already exactly what it needed to be. Again, not an excuse. Just something that helped them a bit.
I think he still needs some time, some work. He's very good, but can be better. Elliott has all the tools. Can't say the same for Apple. Or Bell.
Good point. Though Beck has clearly done NOTHING to help the development of JT or Cardale, and has added nothing that I can tell to our offensive identity, can't help but think of parallels from yesterday to the 2013 game when Miller, and not Hyde, continually got the ball when the stakes were highest and Sparty beat us. The one consistency in play-calling for both is Meyer. Not meaning to bash the guy. He's a phenomenal coach and leader, thank God we have him. But he has a "blind spot," a weakness, in terms of offensive philosophy. And it's to do with putting things on his QB even when he's got an amazing RB to carry the load.
The most important "take" in this article is Vico's observation that selfish players don't pass protect and lead block the way Zeke does. All. The. Time. Folk implying that his statement is a sign of his character being about self instead of team are ignoring a MOUNTAIN of evidence to the contrary.
Good point. It seems to me that OSU has more than enough money to pay big for an OC, and in addition a quality QB coach. Warriner and Beck sort of shared the duty along with some input from Meyer, and in the process of that the play calling has been unimaginative and unable to play to our strengths and the units that Warriner and Beck coach (OL and QB) look like we've regressed a bit in the process. Jones and Barrett have both looked less decisive and trusting this year than last, both in their teammates and themselves. An offensive line that Warriner did so incredibly well with last year when that was his primary charge is struggling to protect, and not handling shifts and stunts very well.
Also in terms of coaches, I gave a lot of credit to Zach Smith last year for the work and improvement we saw in the receivers in 2014. But this year, I get that we lost Noah Brown and Corey Smith to injuries. But with Campbell, and McLaurin, and Clark, and a couple others in the fold, I know that they're young and inexperienced and still learning, but our offense desperately needed some rapid development to help the receiving corps, and it didn't happen. Line struggles meant Vannett/Baugh have been needed to help protect and that said someone else had to step up. Not saying "fire Zach Smith" because he was dealt a really lousy hand this year, starting out with really only Thomas and Marshall with a lot of experience being on the perimeter, and Samuel and Miller converting to it and learning on the fly. Hopefully, Thomas returns along with Marshall, and we get a healthy Noah Brown next year. Don't remember if Smith is a senior. And we get a couple of these other 4 star athletes up to speed and ready to contribute.
I know that the weather was horrendous, but so many things that did not happen last night. Hardly any zone read. No quick slants to take advantage of the stacked box. Almost no inclusion of Zeke in the offense in the second half. I mean, even if the line isn't opening things up, how would JT be more apt to create some yards. Zeke is usually good to at least push the pile a few yards. And if we didn't trust our line enough to try to spread the field vertically, we have a LOT of fixing to do, more than can be done in a week.
We missed on our deep shot to Miller, but he was open, the play was there for us to execute, and we never returned to it. We didn't light up the field on that short TD drive, but we did some things that worked well in moving the chains and getting momentum and confidence. And then we stopped doing those things for the rest of the night?
On defense, we battled hard and didn't yield a ton of yards but we didn't seem to make adjustments as it became clear that MSU was not much more inclined to throw than us. Also, while we didn't tackle poorly, so many plays where we brought guys down but yielded 2 or 3 yards after contact before bringing them to the turf. That, and we kept a couple of drives alive for them with offsides calls.
Thinking back to the Training Days" video, the philosophies that Meyer expects all to buy in to. Did you push yourself today? Did you give your best today? Not sure that all the coaches and players are still "all-in." How they respond and show up inAA will be very important for 2016. Either we play inspired and execute well in what will likely be the most hostile environment these kids have ever seen, or we panic and crumble.
Not sure how much Beck is responsible for, but he and Alford are the only staff changes and the offense is where we have struggled most. Hard not to be critical, especially given his credentials were not as glowing as Warriner, Alford, and others.
It wasn't just a QB controversy. The two WRs who were primed to step in for Smith and Spencer both were lost for the season, and the offensive line struggled all year. Just lacked consistency all over. I think the QB situation slowed us in having an "identity" but I don't think it was the problem. When JT led us the second half of PSU and Rutgers, it looked like 2014 all over again. I think this team sort of lost the "fire" and drive. Today I saw an MSU team playing with an urgency that we seemed to lack.