Skull Session: Mark Dantonio Compares Spartans to 2002 Buckeyes, Cornelius Greene Named to Rose Bowl Hall of Fame, and Devin Smith Returns to the League

By Kevin Harrish on September 18, 2019 at 4:59 am
Ohio State football.
Ohio State Athletics

Dwayne Haskins showed off some (presumed) elite level shade just moments after Daniel Jones was named the Giants' starting quarterback.

I'm ready for this rivalry. My lone complaint is that it won't begin this year.


Word of the Day: Pontificate.

 GOOD TRY, GOOD EFFORT. This week, Michigan State actually managed to lose a game in which it held an opponent to 10 points and 216 yards of total offense, picking up right where it left off last year when it lost a bowl game to a team it held to 203 yards and 7 points.

When I see this football team in an era . But when Mark Dantonio looks at this football team, he's apparently reminded of a national title contender – Ohio State.

From Will Burchfield of 97.1 The Ticket:

"We need to be more productive," Dantonio said. "We need to score more points."

Especially in today's era of offensive football, it's critical that Michigan State catches up. Either way, Dantonio sees hope for this team in one of his former teams -- Ohio State in 2002, who went 14-0 thanks to a terrific defense. 

Dantonio was the Buckeyes' defensive coordinator. 

"We won a national championship at Ohio State by winning close games, low-scoring games. So it can be done," Dantonio said. "We must do things like that to win, and that's what we'll do. Only thing that I've ever asked from our players is to compete, play hard and play courageously, and I don't see any indication that we are not doing that." 

I'm sure he doesn't mean it this way, but Dino likening his dumpster fire of a team to one of the most talented Big Ten team of all time is one of the most hilariously disrespectful things I've read online in weeks.

That 2002 offense he's slandering with this comparison included a top-five receiver in program history, maybe the best tight end in program history, probably the best true freshman in program history at running back, three offensive linemen who played in the NFL, a quarterback who started multiple NFL games (with a winning record!), and the best kicker in program history.

Yes, that team played a lot of close games, but it wasn't because the offense was totally inept – like Michigan State's – it was because they scored enough, and were talented enough on both sides of the ball to control the game, the field position battle and the clock from start to finish.

But yes, your team that's scored a single touchdown against its last four non-Rutgers Power Five opponents is kind of like that.

See me in three weeks.

 ROSE BOWL LEGEND. Corny Green was already Rose Bowl royalty, but now it's a formality as the former Buckeye quarterback will be inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame.

From the Pasadena Tournament of Roses:

Cornelius Greene is in a small fraternity of football players who played in four Rose Bowl Games. Greene played for Ohio State in the 1973 Rose Bowl Game, then started in the 1974, 1975 and 1976 games. In the 1974 game, Greene was named MVP in a 42-21 victory over USC. The sophomore quarterback threw for 129 yards and ran for 45 yards and a touchdown. Buckeyes legendary head coach Woody Hayes described the 1974 Rose Bowl Game as “the best game we’ve ever, EVER played.” Greene’s third quarter touchdown run broke a 21-21 tie and gave the Buckeyes a lead they would not relinquish. Greene accumulated 454 yards of offense and scored two touchdowns in the 1975 and 1976 games. The 1975 Chicago Tribune Silver Football award winner as the Big Ten’s best player, Greene was 31-3-1 as a starter and was an eleventh-round draft pick of the Dallas Cowboys in the 1976 NFL Draft.

Greene probably wouldn't crack the list for the top-five Ohio State quarterbacks of all-time, but nobody else on that list has played in four-straight Rose Bowls. Hell, no other Buckeye quarterback has ever played in two-straight Rose Bowls.

Also, if video games were a thing back in 1976, Greene would have been fun as hell to play with. Braxton Miller is basically a cheat code in NCAA14, imagine scrambling around with Corny Greene in NCAA76.

 DEVIN SMITH BACK. I'll be honest: I never thought I'd see Devin Smith streaking down the field again. because the NFL ain't the friendliest to guys who've been out of the game for three years.

But he sure made an ass out of me on Sunday.

Smith wasn't feeling great about himself as he watched all his former teammates do some things in the league without him, so he had himself a little comeback.

From Jori Epstein of USA TODAY:

“I was so down just seeing everyone playing,” Smith said Sunday after his first NFL catch in three years and first touchdown in four. “I got real low on myself at times, really thinking about if I’m going to be able to come back and play again.

“Just like: What am I going to do with my life now? I can’t play football, what am I going to do? I’ve got two little ones I’m looking after, a whole family to look after so it was just a hard time.”

So when the Cowboys invited Smith for a visit in January, requiring a physical but no workout, Smith was ecstatic. He relished “getting my feet wet again” in offseason activities, and then putting on helmet and shoulder pads to run routes in training camp. Ezekiel Elliott told fellow Cowboys players that Smith, his former Buckeye teammate, was special.

On Sunday against the Redskins, Smith “proved that he belonged here,” Elliott said from the postgame locker room.


“I think he is living up to his pedigree,” (Jerry) Jones said. “That is how he made plays at Ohio State. You saw a classic out there today and that really adds a dimension for Dak and our offense.

“He’s got a big future.”

The important news is, the streak is still alive – Devin Smith has never lost a game at any level in which he caught a touchdown.

Given that, I'm honestly not sure why they even continued to play the game after he crossed the goal line. A Devin Smith touchdown should be treated like the golden snitch in Harry Potter – just call the game.

 RUNS IN THE FAMILY. Athleticism runs deep in the Fields family. Justin's sister, Jaiden, is out here showing her big brother that he ain't the only one with enough lower body strength to put a linebacker on his ass.

If she's looking to transfer too, I'd be down to give her some red zone carries. Ohio State is looking for a running back in the 2020 class, after all...

Let it be known that my body would collapse like a push puppet if you put 315 pounds on my shoulders.

 THIS IS WHAT A PRESSER IS FOR. I thought Damon Arnette treated us to the most delightfully hilarious press conference in the nation on Tuesday, but I was wrong. Mike Leach took the crown.

"Harry Potter activist" is now a term I am incorporating into my daily vocabulary.

Mike Leach has got to be my favorite head coach of all time that I want nowhere near my program. I'll admire the shit out of him from afar though.

 NOT STICKING TO SPORTS. The science of Breaking Bad... Ohio deputies pull over Amish men drinking while driving a buggy with a stereo system... Influencer culture has normalized charging money for all kinds of intimacy... Pictures from a high-wire artist's wedding on a tightrope... A massive semen explosion spawns after a blaze hits a bull artificial insemination facility... Elderly cruise passengers claim they were tricked into smuggling 20 pounds of cocaine... Experts warn that sex robots could suddenly malfunction and attack their masters...

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