Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A HEART-TO-HEART WITH MEYER TURNED STONEBURNER AROUND

Jake Stoneburner
TBT/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell
COLUMBUS — Ohio State senior wide receiver Jake Stoneburner was supposed to be a major focal point of the newly installed spread offense this season.

New Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer visualized Stoneburner out on the edges, creating major defensive mismatches with his athleticism and 6-foot-5, 245-pound frame.

However, the former tight end didn't seem to grasp what Meyer was intending when moving the senior to wide receiver in fall camp. The transition wasn't working the way the coach had intended. In fact, just three weeks ago, Stoneburner had become invisible out on the field. His effort seemed lax, his production was nonexistent. He just couldn't seem to come to grips with the switch.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

MEYER ADMITS BRAXTON MILLER IS A HEISMAN TROPHY CANDIDATE NOW

Braxton Miller
TBT/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell
COLUMBUS — When asked earlier this season about his quarterback Braxton Miller being a Heisman Trophy contender, Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer simply shook his head and replied, "Oh, gosh ... there will be no discussion of that."

He also said he wouldn't be posting any "billboards" for his campaign, either.

Well, 2,620 yards, 24 touchdowns and nine wins later, the Buckeyes' boss is starting to come around.

Monday, October 29, 2012

BUCKEYES MAY NOT BE GREAT YET, BUT COACH SAYS THEY ARE SPECIAL

Urban Meyer, left, Braxton Miller. (AP)
COLUMBUS — Ohio State is ranked sixth in the nation (AP), sits atop of the Big Ten Leaders Division, is currently undefeated and possesses a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate in quarterback Braxton Miller.

However, OSU head coach Urban Meyer has stated numerous times recently that this year's Buckeyes, albeit 9-0 (5-0 Big Ten), are not a great football team as of yet.

But special, maybe?

Saturday, October 27, 2012

OMG! BRAXTON MILLER MAGICALLY LEADS BUCKEYES TO VICTORY!

Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller, left, and head coach Urban Meyer celebrate after the Buckeyes 35-23 win at Penn State on Saturday evening. (AP)
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — "Oh, my God!"

Those are the words Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer kept hearing in his headset after his sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller juked, dipped and dived his way in the end zone — in the third quarter — to give the Buckeyes a double-digit lead, as well as making the Penn State defense resemble the Keystone Cops.

"We work on that," Meyer joked after their 35-23 victory Saturday night, improving their season record to 9-0 (5-0 Big Ten). "We have a drill. Make seven people miss, dive across and hold the ball. I was on the field level so I couldn't see it. 

"All I heard on my headset was, 'Oh, my God!'"

RYAN SHAZIER WEARING NO. 48 TODAY IN HONOR OF LATE FRIEND

Ryan Shazier
TBT/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell
COLUMBUS — If Ohio State football fans notice a linebacker wearing No. 48 wreaking havoc on Penn State ball carriers this evening, no need to scurry for a roster, he's already a household name in Buckeye Nation.

OSU leading tackler, sophomore Ryan Shazier, will be shedding his normal No. 10 jersey for Saturday's Big Ten showdown with the Nittany Lions, in order to sport the No. 48 in honor of a childhood friend who passed away a few months ago.

Friday, October 26, 2012

GAME PREVIEW: 'INELIGIBOWL' STILL HAS A WHOLE LOT AT STAKE

Carlos Hyde
TBT/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Although the game has been labeled by many as the "Ineligibowl" — being that each team is prohibited from participating in post-season play this year — it doesn't mean there isn't a whole lot at stake for both Ohio State (8-0, 4-0 Big Ten) and Penn State (5-2, 3-0) this Saturday evening at Beaver Stadium.

Each team is currently unbeaten in Big Ten play, and even though neither are allowed to participate in the conference title game at season's end, both squads can still scoop up the hardware as the Leaders Division champions.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

SORRY MAUTI, BUT PENN STATE JUST AS DESERVING OF SANCTIONS AS OSU

Mike Mauti
Some may look at this weekend's showdown between Big Ten foes, Ohio State and Penn State, as two teams who have traveled similar paths.

Sure, both schools are perfect in conference play, have brand new coaches roaming the sideline, and are currently two of the hottest programs in the country — winning 13 straight games between them. 

But what makes them 'two peas in a pod' to many is the fact that both have been ruled ineligible by the NCAA to participate in this year's post-season — Penn State for another three years following — for failing to monitor their respective programs.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

BUCKEYES ARE UNBEATEN, BUT URBAN MEYER IS FAR FROM SATISFIED

Urban Meyer
TBT/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell
COLUMBUS — Ohio State may be 8-0 on the season and ranked in the top 10, but ask head coach Urban Meyer about it and he'll tell you he is far from satisfied.

You see, Meyer isn't just a win-loss coach, he is a guy who demands supreme effort and passion. He isn't the type who is satisfied winning games, 20-17, by playing passive, punting the ball on 4th-and-1, and hoping to pull out a win with a field goal in the waning moments. No, he expects greatness, not mediocrity. 

He absolutely despises average.

Monday, October 22, 2012

BRAXTON MILLER HAS SORE NECK, EXPECTED TO PRACTICE TUESDAY

Braxton Miller
TBT/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell
COLUMBUS — When Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller was slammed hard to the ground during the Buckeyes' football game against Purdue on Saturday, head coach Urban Meyer admitted that the entire season flashed before his eyes.

Miller's injury appeared to be extremely serious, forcing him to leave the game and be rushed to a nearby hospital. Many on hand weren't just worried about the Buckeye star's prospects of playing again, but more concerned if he had some sort of dangerous internal damage after watching him stagger on the sideline. 

In fact, immediately after being carted off the field and into an ambulance, social networks such as Twitter and Facebook were overcome with hundreds of prayer requests for the popular OSU quarterback.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

MILLER GOES DOWN, GUITON STEPS UP IN BUCKEYES' COMEBACK VICTORY

Kenny Guiton (AP)
COLUMBUS — Ohio State star quarterback Braxton Miller always refers to his backup, junior Kenny Guiton, as his "big brother."

On Saturday afternoon against Purdue in Columbus, Guiton had little brother's back.

After Miller was thrown hard to the turf on a long third quarter run — which sent him to hospital with what seemed to be a devastating head injury — Guiton entered the contest and led the Buckeyes on an improbable comeback in the final seconds, driving his team for a touchdown and a two-point conversion to take the game into overtime.

BOREN IDENTITY? FOOTBALL PLAYER

Zach Boren
COLUMBUS — Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer has stated numerous times that Buckeyes senior Zach Boren is a "great football player."

Think about that for a moment. He didn't say he was a great fullback, great blocker or a great goal line ball carrier. No, he said "great football player."

That statement was proven fact last Saturday night, when the fourth-year starting fullback was asked by Meyer and staff to move to linebacker for the Buckeyes — a unit that has turned anorexic thin in recent weeks.

Friday, October 19, 2012

GAME PREVIEW: DEFENSE IS THE WORD FOR BUCKEYES ON SATURDAY

The Buckeye Times/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell
COLUMBUS — There is no mistaking Urban Meyer's impact on the Ohio State offense this season.

So far through seven games, the Buckeyes (7-0, 3-0 Big Ten) have averaged 40.4 points and 452.4 yards per game under their new head coach — 15.9 points and 134.2 yards more per contest than in 2011 under interim mentor, Luke Fickell. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

EXTREMELY GRATEFUL TO BE BACK

Lee Hudnell
Some readers of The Bryan Times and The Buckeye Times have been wondering why I have been missing from the sports page and blog during the past couple weeks. 

Did The Times finally wise up and fire me as sports columnist and Ohio State football writer? Did I inherit millions from a dead uncle and decide to give up the journalism game for years of endless partying and traveling?

I could only wish.

No, the reason for my absence, unfortunately, has been health related.

Friday, October 5, 2012

GAME PREVIEW: BUCKEYES WITH ANOTHER MAJOR TEST SATURDAY

COLUMBUS — In last season's tilt between Ohio State and Nebraska out in Lincoln, the Buckeyes jumped to a 27-6 lead midway through the third quarter — powered by an incredibly dominating performance from then-freshman quarterback Braxton Miller.

However, with five minutes to play in the third, the Buckeyes' do-it-all star was forced to leave the game after suffering a painful ankle injury on a QB keeper. Miller would not return to action ... and apparently, neither did any of his teammates.

From that point on, the Huskers smelled blood in the water and attacked like a shiver of sharks, scoring 28 unanswered points to defeat the Buckeyes, 34-27.