Friday, September 30, 2011

GAME PREVIEW: BUCKEYES HOST NATION'S TOP DEFENSE IN SPARTY

COLUMBUS — Ohio State true freshman quarterback Braxton Miller made his starting debut in victorious fashion last Saturday afternoon in Columbus, injecting life into a reeling Buckeyes football team who were in dire need of being energized.

Miller essentially came riding into Ohio Stadium on his white horse — with the reins tightly grasped in his hands — and led the Buckeyes to a 37-17 win over Colorado. The freshman left the 105,000-plus fans on hand in awe of his dual-threat capabilities. Ok, I may have embellished a little there, but the fact remains, he left them calling for an encore.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

FICKELL, DANTONIO'S BOND WON'T KEEP THEM FROM BRINGING IT SAT.

Luke Fickell
The Buckeye Times/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell
COLUMBUS — When Saturday's football showdown between Big Ten foes Michigan State and Ohio State comes to a close in Columbus, there's a pretty good chance the congratulatory handshake at midfield isn't going to consist of any Akron-esque whining and sobbing from the head coaches.

Spartans mentor Mark Dantonio and Buckeyes interim coach Luke Fickell are too close of friends to be pointing fingers and crying about a lack of sportsmanship. In fact, Saturday's showdown can be looked at as the teacher versus the pupil.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

TUESDAY NOTES: FICKELL IMPRESSED WITH MILLER, TWO OTHER FRESHMEN

Braxton Miller
(The Buckeye Times/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell)
COLUMBUS — Now that Ohio State interim head football coach Luke Fickell has had a few days to evaluate new quarterback Braxton Miller and his performance during Saturday's 37-17 win over Colorado, the Buckeyes' boss is not only impressed with his true freshman's play, but also the way he handled such a pressure situation.

"He did a good job," Fickell said of Miller's starting debut, during his media luncheon Tuesday in Columbus. "The No. 1 thing he did was hold onto the football. He made some plays with his feet, settled down, threw some good balls later in the game.

Monday, September 26, 2011

MONDAY QUARTERBACKING: FICKELL NOW A HEAD COACH, NOT ASSISTANT

Ohio State interim head coach Luke Fickell leading his team onto the field Saturday against Colorado at Ohio Stadium. (The Buckeye Times/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell)
COLUMBUS — If Luke Fickell is to remove the interim tag from his office letterhead at the end of this season, the decision to go all-in with true freshman quarterback Braxton Miller will be the moment we consider the turning point of his coaching career at Ohio State.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

MILLER ERA BEGINS IN WINNING FASHION 37-17 OVER COLORADO

Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller (5) and receiver Devin Smith celebrate after connecting on a 32-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter of Saturday's win over Colorado in Columbus. (The Buckeye Times/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell)
COLUMBUS — He looked like a true freshman at times, and the second coming on others, but most importantly for the Ohio State Buckeyes, the Braxton Miller-era began in winning fashion.

Miller dazzled with his feet, made some big plays with his arm, and showed the 105,096 fans on hand why he was touted as the most versatile high school quarterback prospect in the nation last year, as he totaled 166 yards and two touchdown passes in the Buckeyes' 37-17 victory over Colorado on Saturday at Ohio Stadium.

"He gave us a lift," OSU head coach Luke Fickell said of Miller following the game. "He gave us some things we needed offensively, as well as keeping plays alive."

OHIO STATE-COLORADO GAME NOTES

Jordan Hall (7) celebrates after a long kickoff return during Saturday's 37-17 win over Colorado at Ohio Stadium. (The Buckeye Times/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell)
COLUMBUS — Game notes from Ohio State's 37-17 victory over Colorado on Saturday at Ohio Stadium ...

First quarter

— On the second series of the afternoon, freshman starting quarterback Braxton Miller led the Buckeyes on a 7-play, 43 yard drive. It was capped by a Jordan Hall 1-yard touchdown run.

Friday, September 23, 2011

GAME PREVIEW: REELING BUCKEYES DOING SOME SOUL SEARCHING

Ohio State interim head coach Luke Fickell, right, speaking to his Buckeyes before kickoff. Ohio State (2-1) will host Colorado (1-2) Saturday at Ohio Stadium. (The Buckeye Times/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell)
COLUMBUS — It is no secret that the Ohio State football team is reeling against the ropes after the beating they took in Miami last Saturday night.

Through three games this season — which included a narrow escape of Toledo, and a 24-6 throttling by the Miami Hurricanes — the unranked Buckeyes (2-1) are in desperate search to right a ship that seems to be taking on water.

With just one game remaining before Big Ten conference play begins, the Buckeyes must do some serious soul searching.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

FICKELL CONFIRMS IT'S MILLER TIME

Braxton Miller
The Buckeye Times/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell
COLUMBUS — It seemed earlier in the week — judging by the body language of Ohio State head coach Luke Fickell — that major changes were coming soon for the Buckeyes' football team.

On Thursday, those physical tells were confirmed.

Fickell officially named true freshman Braxton Miller as his starting quarterback for Saturday's home contest against Colorado, getting the nod over fifth-year senior Joe Bauserman, who started the first three games of the season.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

READING THE TELLS ... TELL ME THIS SATURDAY IS BRAXTON MILLER TIME

Braxton Miller
The Buckeye Times/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell
COLUMBUS — I pride myself on being a formidable poker player, you know, having the ability to read people's body language, hearing the differing pitches of their voice, identifying the nervous ticks, shoulder shrugs, eye contact, mixing of words, etc ...

After listening to and watching Ohio State interim head football coach Luke Fickell speak on Tuesday afternoon — as well as some of the current Buckeye players who were on hand to meet with the media — I believe that Saturday will be the official beginning of the Braxton Miller-era in Columbus.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

TUESDAY ROUNDUP: FICKELL FOCUSED ON HOW TO GET BETTER

Head coach Luke Fickell, right,
and quarterback Joe Basuerman
(The Buckeye Times/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell)
COLUMBUS — Following Ohio State's embarrassing 24-6 loss at Miami (Fla.) on Saturday night, Buckeyes interim head football coach Luke Fickell has a simple message for his team: "How do we get better?"

Fickell said during his weekly media luncheon in Columbus on Tuesday that his team has had its "17-hour" mourning period and must now focus on how each and every person can improve the team's chances of success moving forward.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

OSU'S PERFORMANCE WAS GOOD, BAD AND A WHOLE LOT OF UGLY

Ohio State tailback Jordan Hall was one of the few bright spots for the Buckeyes in Saturay night's 24-6 at Miami. (AP/Lynne Sladky)
MIAMI — Ohio State's 24-6 loss at Miami (Fla.) on Saturday night had a little good, a little bad, some ugly, and even a bit of embarrassment sprinkled in between.

THE GOOD? Being the eternal optimist that I am, I did actually see some good come out of Saturday night's blowout loss for Ohio State. It was difficult to dissect the tiny diamond amongst the piles and piles of manure, but after digging diligently, I found it in the offensive backfield.

HURRICANES DROWN NO. 17 BUCKEYES, 24-6, IN MIAMI

Miami tailback Lamar Miller (6) runs past Ohio State linebacker Etienne Sabino in Saturday night's 24-6 win over the Buckeyes in Miami. (AP/Wilfredo Lee)

MIAMI (AP) — When Miami's buses arrived at the stadium Saturday, swarms of eager fans started shaking them so much that new coach Al Golden couldn't make his way down the stairs.
"I'm not a very good athlete to begin with," Golden said.
It's about the only thing the Hurricanes had difficulty with in their home opener.

Friday, September 16, 2011

GAME PREVIEW: BUCKEYES, 'CANES VIEWED MORE OFF FIELD THAN ON IT

Miami quarterback Jacory Harris (12)
(The Buckeye Times/Josh Stueve)
MIAMI — Less than nine years ago, Ohio State and Miami (Fla.) did battle in what was arguably the greatest BCS national championship game ever.

The classic 2003 Fiesta Bowl tilt took two overtimes to decide its fate, as the second-ranked Buckeyes eventually outlasted the No. 1 Hurricanes, 31-24, to win their seventh national championship in school history. The game is still broadcast regularly on channel's such as ESPN Classic and the Big Ten Network ... nearly a decade later.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

TWITTER QUESTION OF THE DAY: WHAT IS NO. 1 CONCERN VS. MIAMI?

Here is The Buckeye Times' Twitter question of the day for Wednesday, Sept. 14 ...

"What is your No. 1 concern for Ohio State going into Saturday's game at Miami (Fla.)?"

Here are some answers from the tweeters ...


stadium guy
@TheBuckeyeTimes Coaching will Fick coach to win, or coach not to lose?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

HALL, HOWARD, BROWN REINSTATED BY NCAA TUESDAY; TO REPAY CASH

Jordan Hall
TBT/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell
COLUMBUS — Ohio State tailback Jordan Hall, cornerback Travis Howard and safety Corey Brown have been reinstated by the NCAA, the university announced Tuesday evening.

The three players, who were suspended for first two games of the regular season for receiving improper benefits at a charity event earlier this year, must repay the $200 they were given before becoming eligible to participate in Saturday's game at Miami.

"The university appreciates the NCAA's expeditious response in reinstating these three student-athletes," said Gene Smith, OSU Director of Athletics.

Hall and Howard were listed as starters coming into the season.

TUESDAY ROUNDUP: FICKELL NOT REGRETTING KEEPING MILLER ON ICE

Braxton Miller
The Buckeye Times/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell
COLUMBUS — Ohio State interim head football coach Luke Fickell spoke on many different issues Tuesday afternoon during his media luncheon in Columbus, ranging from not playing true freshman quarterback Braxton Miller against Toledo, to the playing status of several key players going into Saturday's road tilt at Miami (Fla.), to the similarities between what the Buckeyes and Hurricanes have gone through in recent months.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

BUCKEYES NARROWLY ESCAPE DEFEAT SATURDAY AGAINST TOLEDO

Chris Fields, right, gets mobbed by his Ohio State teammtes after returning a punt 69 yards for a touchdown in Saturday's 27-22 win over Toledo at Ohio Stadium in Columbus. (The Buckeye Times/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell)
COLUMBUS — Toledo, known for being giant killers, had the entire crowd at Ohio Stadium shivering in their seats for most of Saturday's showdown with 15th-ranked Ohio State, as the men from northwest Ohio gave the Buckeye fans on hand nightmarish thoughts of another Rockets' knockout of a college football heavyweight.

It took a 69-yard punt return by receiver Chris Fields, a broken up pass on a deep ball by cornerback Dominic Clarke on Toledo's final offensive series of the game, and a lot of help from the officials to prevent the Rockets from claiming another giant's head, as the Buckeyes edged the pesky visitors, 27-22.

OHIO STATE-TOLEDO GAME NOTES

Ohio State tight end Jake Stoneburner catches his fourth touchdown of the season on the Buckeyes opening series against Toledo Saturday at Ohio Stadium. (The Buckeye Times/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell)
COLUMBUS — Game notes from 15th-ranked Ohio State's 27-22 victory over Toledo on Saturday at Ohio Stadium ...

— Ohio State junior tight end Jake Stoneburner started right where he left off against Akron in last week's season opener, making a magnificent one-handed grab on a 26 yard touchdown early in the first quarter from quarterback Joe Bauserman.

Friday, September 9, 2011

HALL, HOWARD, BROWN WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE AGAIN ON SATURDAY

Jordan Hall
The Buckeye Times/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell
COLUMBUS — Ohio State tailback Jordan Hall, cornerback Travis Howard and safety Corey Brown have not been reinstated by the NCAA and will again be unavailable for Saturday's football game against Toledo, the university announced Friday evening.

The three players were suspended from the season opener last week after accepting improper benefits (of $300 or less) at a charity event earlier this year.

OSU assistant athletics communications director, Jerry Emig, issued a statement on Thursday saying that "the university continues to work with the NCAA on the reinstatement process and is hopeful that the student-athletes will be reinstated soon."

FRIDAY TWITTER QUESTION: WHICH OSU BACK SHOULD GET MOST TOTES?

Here is The Buckeye Times' Twitter question of the day for Friday, September 9 ...

"With all four tailbacks — Jordan Hall, Jaamal Berry, Carlos Hyde and Rod Smith — available for Ohio State, who do you want to see get the most totes against Toledo on Saturday?"

Here are some answers from the tweeters ...


Johnny Lunsford
@TheBuckeyeTimes Jordan Hall, his experience and almost 5.0 ypc in 09 should count for something.

GAME PREVIEW: OSU AWARE OF TOLEDO'S 'GIANT KILLER' REPUTATION

COLUMBUS — Toledo may reside in the Mid-American Conference, but they're certainly never afraid of stepping out and going toe-to-toe with the big boys of college football.

Just ask Pittsburgh, if you don't believe me.

The Panthers came into their 2003 showdown with the Rockets flying high, ranked No. 9 in the nation according to the Associated Press. Toledo didn't show Pittsburgh such high regard in the tilt, burning the Panthers for 551 yards of offense, en route to a stunning 35-31 victory.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

THIRTY-SEVEN FORMER OSU PLAYERS ON NFL OPENING DAY ROSTERS

Former Buckeyes linebacker Brian Rolle one
of 37 former OSU players on NFL rosters.
The Buckeye Times/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell
Below is a release sent to The Buckeye Times Thursday morning by Ohio State assistant athletics communications director, Jerry Emig ...

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Former Ohio State players playing in the National Football League this season will number at least 37 as that many Buckeyes made 53-man opening day rosters around the league. The 2011 NFL season gets under way Thursday night when Green Bay hosts New Orleans in a game that will feature four former Buckeyes: A.J. Hawk and Ryan Pickett will suit up for the defending Super Bowl champions and Malcolm Jenkins and Will Smith are members of the Saints. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

IT'S EARLY BUT OSU'S FRESHMAN CLASS MAY BE NATION'S BEST

Braxton Miller
TBT/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell
COLUMBUS — With a month of football practice and a regular season win now under their belts, it's going to be quite difficult to find a better true freshman class than what Ohio State possesses in 2011.

Not only did 13 true freshmen participate in Saturday's 42-0 rout of Akron, many of them starred, making us take account of how extremely gifted this young class at Ohio State is and will be.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

TUESDAY ROUNDUP: BUCKEYES USED TO HAVING TARGET ON THEIR BACK

Ohio State head coach Luke Fickell, right, leads his team on the field during Saturday's 42-0 win over Toledo. (The Buckeye Times/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell)
COLUMBUS — Having a bull's-eye on its back is nothing new to the Ohio State Buckeyes.

That target has been magnified with a "giant killer" in town for a showdown between the 15th-ranked Buckeyes and the Toledo Rockets at Ohio Stadium on Saturday. Head Coach Luke Fickell said at his weekly press conference on Tuesday that he wants his players to know their opponent as much as they know themselves.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

UPDATED: BAUSERMAN GREAT START, MILLER STRONG FINISH; DEF. NASTY

Joe Bauserman
TBT/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell
COLUMBUS — Ohio State quarterback Joe Bauserman's start to Saturday's opener against Akron couldn't have begun any better for the fifth-year senior, as he led the 18th-ranked Buckeyes on an eight-play, 74-yard scoring drive during the team's opening series.

Bauserman completed both of his passes for 37 yards on the opening drive and capped it off with a Terrelle Pryor-like touchdown scamper from 15 yards out to give the Buckeyes a 7-0 lead. Ok ... the run was maybe more Craig Krenzel-like, but it had the crowd buzzing nonetheless.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

BUCKEYES BLANK AKRON 42-0 IN FICKELL'S HEAD COACHING DEBUT

Joe Bauserman (14) celebrates after his 15-yard scoring run in the first quarter Saturday against Akron. (TBT/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell)
COLUMBUS — Senior linebacker Andrew Sweat was ready to hit somebody else for once. And boy, did the Ohio State Buckeyes hit hard.

The 18th-ranked Buckeyes opened its 2011 season with a sharp 42-0 victory over Akron at Ohio Stadium, as Ohio State manhandled the Zips for 48 minutes in front of 105,001 fans on Saturday. After an offseason of internal turmoil that included suspensions and resignations, the Buckeyes returned to do what they do best.

Friday, September 2, 2011

GAME PREVIEW: OSU 'EXCITED' TO FINALLY BE PLAYING AGAIN SAT.

COLUMBUS — It isn't any secret that the Ohio State football team has gone through a little bit of adversity during the off-season.

You know, kind of like how Hurricane Irene dumped "a little bit" of rain on the northeast.

Since defeating Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl this past January, the Buckeyes have lost their head coach (Jim Tressel) and star quarterback (Terrelle Pryor) — who were essentially kicked of the team due to violating NCAA bylaws — suspended four starters for the first five games of the 2011 regular season (two other starters for the first game) and vacated all of its wins from last season, including their thrilling bowl victory over the Razorbacks.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

THREE BUCKEYE PLAYERS SUSPENDED FOR AKRON GAME

Jordan Hall, left, is one of three players suspended for Saturday's opener against Akron (TBT/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell)
COLUMBUS — Ohio State has suspended three football players for Saturday's season opener against Akron, according to the university Thursday.

Junior tailback Jordan Hall, junior cornerback Travis Howard and safety Corey "Pittsburgh" Brown will miss Saturday's contest after receiving improper benefits at a charity event they attended earlier in the year.

According to the university, the players were provided $300 or less in benefits after receiving gift bags.