Folks, we've nearly done it. A few more hours and the weekend will be upon us.
- William White is keeping positive and taking pride in his son as he fights ALS.
- Five things to know about Michigan State.
- Across the Field: Q&A With Matt Wenzel.
- House Money: Our weekly picks against the spread.
- Looking back at Urban Meyer and Mark Dantonio's matchups over the years.
- Michigan State game trailer.
Word of the Day: Vulpine.
LIKE A FAST BREAK ON TURF. I have found it. I have found the definitive fix for Ohio State's offense. The Buckeyes just need to do this.
My favorite part of this video is the receiver diving in the middle of the field, for some reason, and then inexplicably extending the ball laterally towards the sideline. They also just neglected to give the Arizona player a chinstrap.
"Who you gonna cover?"
I appreciate the hell out of Ohio State's video team cranking out theater-worthy masterpieces, but truthfully, I wouldn't be pissed if one day they just uploaded a video exactly like this onto their YouTube channel and called it a day.
BEWARE THE WEATHER. The bad news about this weekend is the weather is going to be far from spectacular, and that might not be great news for the Bucks.
It doesn't look like they'll be any rain, but it will be damn cold and it looks like there is plenty of wind in the forecast.
It's looking chilly for Ohio State's trip to East Lansing Saturday, but at least the rain is expected to stay away. pic.twitter.com/E2HX14G4Xj— Eleven Warriors (@11W) November 8, 2018
Wind is especially terrifying, because the last time Ohio State played in heavy wind, it did just horrible things for the Buckeye passing attack.
Remember Dwayne Haskins missing wide open receivers down the field in the first half of that game, then magically having no problems dropping balls into the corner of the end zone in the fourth?
Well, in the first half he was dealing with extremely heavy wind.
Terry McLaurin for what could have been a deep-ball touchdown, but Dwayne Haskins with the wind at his back overshot him. Two 15-yard penalties in a row by Purdue's defense, however, has Ohio State in the red zone.— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) October 21, 2018
Now, the good news is, those winds were over 20 miles per hour in Purdue and it looks like the windspeed will be in just the high teens on Saturday.
Still, forgive me for being a little bit nervous about mother nature rendering it impossible for the Buckeyes to throw the ball downfield against the No. 1 rush defense in college football when Ohio State's already been struggling to run the ball this season.
Am I paranoid? Maybe. I just don't think this team needs any help not playing to its potential.
JUST TRYING TO WIN GAMES. The whole vibe around the 2014 squad just felt completely different than any other Urban Meyer Buckeye team, and the players even felt it too.
It just feels like they were able to play loose, worry-free football in a way no other team really has since, and it worked.
A couple of other things we had- an early loss and no real controversy surrounding the 14 team- that allowed us to fly under the radar until it really mattered. This team has eyeballs all over it, so everything is magnified. https://t.co/07mXvt0rLH— Joshua E Perry (@RIP_JEP) November 7, 2018
No mantra. 2014 was unique as hell. We dropped to 22nd after losing to VA Tech. That was our 3rd loss in 4 games, counting the end of 2014. There was no playoff talk. We were just trying to win games out of straight pride for our school... and it worked. Extremely unique. https://t.co/JsyIxh2Ldg— Joshua E Perry (@RIP_JEP) November 7, 2018
And when there are no real expectations, you've got elite athletes playing extremely loose and having a ton of fun, even in season-defining games.
Tyvis: Ay man what the hell going on with the run fits— Darron Lee (@DLeeMG8) November 8, 2018
Raekwon: Ay everybody shut the hell up we good
It was a very profound question at the time. I was very perplexed https://t.co/JnP3IZhUcc— Tyvis Powell (@1Tyvis) November 9, 2018
Bro easily funniest moment mid game....At that moment I knew them fools were gunna hold an L. We cracking jokes in a game that determines how the rest of our season plays out https://t.co/pvbhuOr9Sf— Darron Lee (@DLeeMG8) November 9, 2018
That was normal for that 2014 Buckeye team. Especially @jbbigbear and I. We recited 3 spongebob episodes during the Sugar Bowl, thats how I knew we were gunna win— Darron Lee (@DLeeMG8) November 9, 2018
Ever since that season, expectations have changed and everyone just seems to be so damn tight all the time.
It's one thing to have an expectation that you're going to win – we know that 2014 squad expected to win those games down the stretch – but it's another to be so afraid of losing that you overthink things, play too tight and forget who you are as a football team.
Maybe that's why a guy like Brendon White did so well. The dude was buried on the depth chart at Ohio State's worst-performing position and lowkey had one foot out the door already then got tossed into the game. He had literally nothing to lose and he balled out as a result.
I don't know how you get everyone to play like that, or if that's really even the problem, I just can't imagine any team since 2014 acting like Darron Lee describes, including the year immediately following that featured the same players.
BRINGING DROPKICKS BACK. Speaking of playing loose and having fun, imagine how awesome it would be if Ohio State just started dropkicking extra points for the hell of it in a game where the Buckeyes can afford to mess around a bit.
This week, Ruan Venter of Shepherd University in West Virginia became the first known player since September of 2013 to score on a dropkick, hitting three extra points.
From the Associated Press:
A standout punter who has drawn the attention of NFL scouts, Venter is the first player known to have scored on a dropkick since Matt Newman of Division III Illinois College did it against Grinnell in September 2013.
"I had no idea about the history of it," Venter said. "I did dropkicks my whole life, and by doing them again I thought about back home, being outside and doing the dropkicks with friends in my home country. Maybe I miss it a little bit. But it also made me excited I could bring that kind of kicking back into the game and, with that, making the people happy and making some history for them as well."
Shepherd coach Ernie McCook knew about Venter's special talent and had the team practice extra points and field goals with Venter dropkicking in case an emergency came up.
Venter's time came after the team's regular kicker, who had struggled with back tightness for a week, missed two straight extra points. McCook wanted to preserve the freshman backup kicker's redshirt year, so Venter was the next option.
Venter is a capable place-kicker, but he is the team's regular holder, and McCook wasn't comfortable with anyone else doing the holding.
"At that point," McCook said, "the dropkick was the best option for us."
There's no way Drue Chrisman can't do this, because there's no way he doesn't mess around and do it in practice. And I absolutely want to see it.
Really, I just want to see a game get so out of hand that we can afford to try it, because it seems like it's been an eternity since the last comfortable blowout win.
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