Through two games, one of the best features of this Ohio State squad is its ability to hold on to the ball. The coaches made it a point of emphasis over the summer (likely still smarting from Purdue Harbor), and as Ken Gordon writes, it appears to be having an effect:
After a 36-24 win over the University of Miami last week, the Buckeyes lead the nation in turnover margin, at plus-3.5 per game. They have seven takeaways, which is impressive enough to tie for seventh nationally. But maybe more significant is they are one of just four teams (out of 120 in major-college football) to have played two games with no giveaways.
If the Buckeyes are going to get bit by the turnover bug at any point this season, you have to hope it'll be over the course of the next few weeks, with games against Ohio, Eastern Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois. These teams are wretched, and the only ones remaining on the schedule (excepting perhaps Minnesota, who is similarly awful) who Ohio State can afford to turn the ball over against. Everyone else - and I'm wary bordering on paranoid after the aforementioned Purdue game - will be able to make them pay for stupid mistakes. Best to get it out of their system now.
It appears Michigan's basketball team has become a haven of sorts for the progeny of ex-NBA stars. Jordan Dumars (son of Joe), Tim Hardaway Jr., Glenn Robinson III, and Jon Horford (brother of Al and son of Tito) all will be suiting up someday soon for the Michigan Wolverines. I'm not sure if it's all coincidence or what, but Rivals has each of them ranked at three stars apiece. Funnily enough, Michigan did not land a kid who many would assume to be a shoo-in:
If recruiting the sons of NBA players is going to be coach John Beilein's unusual niche, then maybe the greatest irony is the lone legacy he tried to bring to Michigan but failed to land. That would be Glen Rice Jr., the son of the former Michigan star who now starts at guard for Georgia Tech.
Rice Sr., of course, won a national championship for Michigan a little under two weeks before I was born.
There are three big Pac-10-Big 10 match-ups this weekend, and Adam Rittenberg and Pac-10 blogger Ted Miller go over each of them here. Ohio State should take care of Ohio rather easily, which leaves us to focus on and root for the rest of the Big Ten. Two of these games are litmus tests for some of the Big Ten's best. It's a given that USC will do mean things to Minnesota, but Iowa and Arizona should be excellent, and Wisconsin needs to play better than it did against San Jose State if it wants to impress against Arizona State. ASU is likely no better than mediocre, having housed not one, but two FCS squads as tune-ups for the trip to Madison. Whether we like to admit it or not, how the Big Ten fares in these three games will reflect on the strength of the conference, which in turn will reflect on the Buckeyes. The Pac-10 is probably down this year, and going 2-1 this weekend is a must.
This is pretty cool, fluff piece or not: DeVier Posey will be squaring off against his brother Julian this Saturday in the 'Shoe. Big brother is a starting cornerback for the Bobcats and played in the 2008 game against the Buckeyes. And as anyone who has a brother knows, talking crap is inevitab
"It's going to be intense," DeVier Posey said. "It's probably going to be the most intense game I've ever played in just because I know the guy going across from me is going to be going 120 percent every play just because he doesn't want to get embarrassed."
When a reporter told him that his older brother was quoted as saying that DeVier should "bring his ‘A' game" and that he "was ugly," Posey — who leads OSU in receiving with eight catches, 146 yards and two touchdowns — shot back.
"Well, one, he knows I'm not ugly," Posey said. "And two, I'll bring my ‘A' game. He just needs to be sure he brings his ‘A' game. I'm not too worried about (Number) 9 this week, tell him that. He's the one who needs to bring his ‘A' game."
Ah yes, the old "ugly" jab. Timeless, no? If one of these guys holds down the other and farts on him in the middle of the 2nd quarter, brothers everywhere will raise a glass to cherished memories.
Unsatisfied with Pryor's performance against Miami, the Buckeye staff is looking to give him some help in the coming weeks. They're not specific (are they ever?), but I'd expect a little more Stoneburner, encouraging fewer Grossman moments ("screw it, I'm going deep") and more passes to the backs, a la the Brandon Saine touchdown against Miami. I doubt the playbook will be emptied for the Poor Sisters of Mercy, but "padding completion percentage" would be a good way to get Pryor's confidence up for the Big Ten season.