The Cleveland Fan on Facebook

The Cleveland Fan on Twitter
Buckeyes Buckeye Archive
Dan Wismar

Shazier3Spring football is underway in Columbus and the expectations of Ohio State football are the customary ones. As Urban Meyer begins his second season at OSU, the next game he loses will be his first, and the talk of a second consecutive unbeaten season is everywhere. Which is of course, nuts.

The 2013 schedule is manageable, if not embarrassingly soft on paper, but Buckeye fans anticipating 13-0 (counting a B1G title game win) should remind themselves just how difficult it is to pull off an unbeaten season in today’s game. The Alabama Crimson Tide, supposedly the greatest assemblage of football talent and coaching prowess since the ‘72 Dolphins, couldn’t manage it in either one of their back to back national championship years.

One out of 126 FBS programs went undefeated a year ago.


Dan Wismar

Meyer2After Urban Meyer’s 2013 recruiting stretch run culminated on national signing day with OSU landing all three of his prime out-of-state targets, Buckeye fans were officially on notice that the game had changed. Could this be the new normal?

Meyer finished with a flourish last year too, when he had only two short months to cap off the 2012 class after agreeing to coach the Buckeyes in late November. But for most of the previous decade, signing day was an anti-climax for Ohio State...with the best players in Ohio long since committed to Columbus, and all too often, OSU finishing second with the blue-chip late-deciders. Well...that stuff is so over.

Ohio State had put together a consensus Top 5 class in the weeks and months leading up to signing day, but when Meyer pulled in Florida wide receiver James Clark, Texas athlete Dontre Wilson, and finally, Georgia safety Vonn Bell at the wire, the experts vaulted the OSU class to the top of the rankings.


David Regimbal

craftComing into Sunday’s game against Michigan State, Ohio State was just 1-7 against top 25 teams this year and in desperate need of a signature win.

The Buckeyes got that win Sunday evening in Columbus, using a 24-5 second-half run to overcome a nine-point deficit in a 68-60 victory over the Spartans.

Aaron Craft was fantastic, scoring a game-high (and career-high) 21 points to go along with six assists for the Buckeyes (20-7, 10-5 Big Ten). He helped Ohio State overcome a rough first half (where they missed 19 of their 29 shots) to shoot a blazing 57 percent from the field in the second half.

Michigan State coach Tom Izzo talked about why Craft was so effective getting to the basket, "He beat us every way you could beat us. It was a joint effort. It wasn’t one guy who did not cover those ball screens very well.”

The Buckeyes were able to beat the Spartans despite a lackluster outing from Deshaun Thomas. The Big Ten’s leading scorer was just four of 16 from the field for 14 points, but because of Craft’s aggressiveness, Ohio State found offense outside of Thomas.


David Regimbal

thomasComing off consecutive losses to a pair of top-five teams in Michigan and Indiana last week, the No. 13 Ohio State Buckeyes were supposed to have an easy bounce-back game against the Northwestern Wildcats Thursday night.

Despite playing in front of its home crowd and facing an overmatched opponent with just seven healthy scholarship players, Ohio State struggled mightily against Northwestern. The Wildcats had the Buckeyes on the ropes for much of the game before a late 12-0 run boosted Ohio State to a 69-59 victory.

Ohio State (18-6, 8-4 Big Ten) struggled defensively, but the Buckeyes tightened up down the stretch,
"Our defense at the end was key,” Ohio State coach Thad Matta said. “We challenged shots a little better and the game came down to us contesting shots. At the end of the game we had one of our best defensive lineups."

Northwestern (13-12, 4,8) shot lights out on Thursday night, connecting on nine of its first 17 3-pointers against the Buckeyes. The hot shooting helped the Wildcats build a five-point lead midway through the second half, and it appeared as though Northwestern was on its way to pulling off a major upset.


David Regimbal

Fueled by 25 points from Deshaun Thomas, the No. 11 Ohio State Buckeyes (16-4, 6-2 Big Ten) cruised past the Wisconsin Badgers (14-7, 5-3) for a 58-49 victory in Columbus Tuesday night.

Through nearly 30 minutes of game action, the two teams went back-and-forth trying to gain an edge. Trailing by four points with 12 minutes to go, Thomas scored 10 of his 25 points in a 15-0 Ohio State run that blew the game wide open.

Wisconsin answered back with back-to-back 3-pointers, two of the 11 triples they connected on against the Buckeyes, but Ohio State was able to hold off the Badgers down the stretch for the nine-point victory.

When asked about the Buckeyes’ game-defining run, Badgers coach Bo Ryan blamed it on defensive breakdowns by his team, “Guys missed some assignments defensively and that allowed [Ohio State] to get some easy baskets.”


More Articles...

Page 9 of 173


The TCF Forums