Archive for the ‘Football’ Category

Mike Nugent is Living the Dream!

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

Mike Nugent is living the dream of a Dayton kid. The dream of watching your two favorite football teams growing up – the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Cincinnati Bengals – and hoping to play for both teams someday. Not only is he able to play for both of them, but he has been a superstar for both teams.

As a kicker at Ohio State, he broke or tied 22 records, including the most points by any player at OSU.  He was a consensus All-American and he won the Lou Groza award in 2004, as the nation’s top kicker.  He also became the first Buckeye kicker in history to earn team MVP (Wikipedia). 

The past several football seasons had been sub-par for Nugent until he recently signed with the Bengals back in April.  Since signing with the Bengals, he is having a breakout season so far.  In Week 2, he led the Bengals offense by making all 5 field goals in a 15-10 victory over the Ravens.  Nugent is off to an excellent start with the Bengals and was named AFC Offensive Special Teams Player of the Month.

Buckeyes Rose Bowl Flashback

Monday, December 28th, 2009


The last time the Ohio State Buckeyes played in the Rose Bowl was against Arizona State on January 1, 1997. I remember I was eight years old when I watched the game and started to cry when Arizona State scored the go-ahead touchdown with less than 2 minutes to go as players celebrated on the sidelines as if they had won the game.  My dad assured me that Ohio State was going to drive down the field and win the game.   He was right.  With the help of some pass interference calls, QB Joe Germaine drove the Buckeyes down the field and found David Boston in the end zone for the game winning touchdown.  I have followed Ohio State football for about 15 years now and I definitely rank this game as a top 10 game, a top 10 finish and one of the greatest moments of Ohio State football. 

I hope Ohio State can end their three game bowl losing streak and finish off the season with a win against a top team on the national stage at the Rose Bowl and send their seniors off with a bowl win.  I see the 3 point underdog Buckeyes winning in double digits against Oregon in Pasadena on Friday.

Flyers and Buckeyes and Bengals! Oh My!

Monday, November 16th, 2009

 It was a great weekend for my favorite teams that I follow. 

The #21/22 Dayton Flyers tipped off the season at home in a high scoring contest beating the Creighton Blue Jays 90-80 on Saturday afternoon.  One can conclude from the game that Chris Johnson is a basketball stud (18 pts and 15 rebounds) and we can expect to see big things from him this year. 

Later in the day, the Ohio State Buckeyes beat Iowa 27-24 at home in an overtime thriller.  The win for the Buckeyes clinched a fifth straight Big 10 football title and a trip back to Pasadena to play in the Rose Bowl for the first time in thirteen years. 

On Sunday, the Cincinnati Bengals beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 18-12 to give them sole possesion of first place in the division and an undefeated record against division opponents.  The Bengals improved their record to 7-2 and we can keep our hopes up for the playoffs and a shot at playing in the Super Bowl. 

In summary, it was an exciting and victorious weekend for the Flyers, Buckeyes and Bengals.

Another Loss on the National Stage

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

The #8 Ohio State Buckeyes football team had another disappointing loss on the national stage Saturday night losing to the #3 USC Trojans 18-15 at home at the Horseshoe in a record-setting crowd of over 106,000 fans.  This is the Buckeyes sixth loss in a row on the national stage against a top 5 team.  There are three things I can conclude from this game. 

The first thing I can conclude from the game is the poor play calling and coaching by Jim Tressel and offensive coordinator Jim Bollman.  On the drive at the end of the first quarter, the Buckeyes have the ball on 2nd and goal on the USC 2 yard line and the play is to give the ball to Herron to run up the middle two times in a row with no gain and 1 yard gain.  How many times did the Buckeyes run that same play throughout the game and Herron only gain a yard or get stuffed at the line of scrimmage?  Now it is 4th and goal on the 1 yard line, instead of opting to go for the touchdown like USC did in the same scenario on its first possesion of the game(and it succeeded), the Buckeyes chose to kick a field goal instead to make the game 10-7.  Also do Tressel and Bollman realize that Pryor isn’t a natural dropback passer and they need to make plays better suited for him to roll out and scramble more?   There was another poor coaching call that was very critical in the fourth quarter.  Coach Tressel opted to play it conservative by punting the ball instead of deciding to try and kick the 53 yard field goal to make the score 18-10.  Kicker Aaron Pettrey has the leg to kick a 50 yard + field goal.  Last week he made a field goal from about the same distance against Navy. 


The next thing is poor execution by Pryor and the offense.  The defense played above average in the game, however, Pryor and the offense did not.  Pryor even admitted that he takes the blame for it.  He had a sub-mediocre game completing less than half of his passes for 11-of-25 for 177 yards 0 touchdowns and 1 interception.  Pryor couldn’t see any receivers open and he couldn’t even see Brutus open on the sidelines.  The 1 interception he threw was crucial because USC almost ran it back for a touchdown.  USC capitalized and scored a touchdown off of the turnover that Pryor gave to them.  The Buckeyes had first and goal two times in the game and could not execute with a touchdown on the two series, instead they kicked two field goals.  In the second half, the Buckeyes offense only scored 3 points.  If the offense executes, the Buckeyes win this game by at least 10 or more points. 

The final thing is that OSU needs to change its coaching and strategy to win these games on the national stage.  The Buckeyes played, but they didn’t play to win.  If the Buckeyes play to win against a top 5 team, they need to take more risks like going for the 53 yard field goal and going for the touchdown on fourth and goal at the 1.  In other words, they need to be a little less conservative with the play calling against top 5 teams.  Some of the coaching changes could be bringing in a new offensive coordinator or changing the offensive plays to better suit Pryor and his natural athletic abilities.  There is a Bucknuts discussion poll question, “Do you approve or disapprove the way Jim Tressel is handling his job as head coach?”  Out of 82 respondents, only 34% approve of the way Jim Tressel is handling his job as head coach, while 62% disapprove of the way he is handling his job as head coach.  Jim Tressel’s conservative style of play may get him wins against other teams, but when it comes to the top competition on the national stage he needs to alter his conservative style of play.

What is the reason OSU has performed poorly in these three big games on the national stage?

Sunday, September 14th, 2008

Ohio State brought a perfect undefeated 2006 regular season record into the title game before getting blown out to Florida 41-14.   The following year, Ohio State lost to Illinois in the regular season, but somehow made it back into the title game before getting whipped to LSU 38-24.  This season the #5 Buckeyes played their third regular season game at #1USC where they were embarassed 35-3.   These three games were not close or respectable losses, but were just humiliating losses for the Ohio State football program.

What is the reason that OSU has performed so poorly in these three games? The list of reasons to question are the player personnel, Tressel and his coaching staff being outcoached, the Big 10 Competition weaker than other BCS conferences competition they face, or is it just plain bad luck?

Is it the player personnel?  Does OSU not recruit or have the same type of talented players as Florida, LSU, and USC?    Perhaps these teams have better football players than Ohio State.   Maybe Ohio State recruits great athletes, but not as great of football players as these three teams. Since Tressel and Carroll became coaches at USC and OSU, it appears that USC has been able to produce not only better college football players, but those college players have become better NFL football players, such as Carson Palmer and Reggie Bush than probably any current OSU NFL player.  Watching the game tonight, it obviously appeared that USC’s quarterback was a much better QB than both Boeckman and even the #1 recruit Terelle Pryor, their running backs seemed to be more elusive and tougher to tackle than our running backs (including Chris Wells, even though he didn’t play and the score would have still been similar).

Perhaps it is not just necessarily the talent, but the core problem is the offensive line.  In all three games, the offensive line looked slow and sluggish, allowing the three teams to make our QB’s life a living hell. Hence, Troy Smith was running for his life when he was QB against Florida, Boeckman and Pryor couldn’t escape if their life depended on it because of the other teams defensive pressure on the quarterback. Maybe we need to recruit offensive linesman that can actually block and are faster and more mobile han these slow 300 plus pound guys. All three teams just blew right by the OSU’s offensive line. I think Ohio State should concentrate on recruiting faster and better offensive linesman in the future. Maybe our running backs and quarterbacks would have better protection to throw and run the football if we had better offfensive linesman.

Not only on the offensive side of the football, but also the defensive side as well. The defensive linesman seemed to have trouble pressuring the quarterback and getting sacks or stopping the run.  Florida, LSU, and USC all were able to pressure the offensive front and make it tougher for the quarterback to throw or the running backs to run.  Why couldn’t OSU’s defensive line do that against Florida, LSU, and USC?  It all starts up with the defense up front to get by the offensive line to let the linebackers and cornerbacks make plays.  Maybe it is not the defensive line, but the defense in general on the national stage. After all, the defense gave up 41 points to Florida, 38 points to LSU and 35 points to USC.

Has Tressel and the coaching staff been outcoached against these three top teams?  After taking over as head coach at Ohio State, he has beat Michigan 6 out of 7 times, won a national championship in his second season, but now his record and reputation is starting to tarnish a little because of these three big embarassing losses.   Did Florida, LSU, and USC’s head coaches come up with a better game plan and better on game coaching than Tressel?  Does Tressel not come up with any second-half motivation for the Buckeyes?  Is Tressel to soft as a head coach?  Maybe, these coaches know how to maximize their talent on the field better than Tressel can.  Kirk Herbstreit even made a comment during the game it looks like USC is playing a junior varsity team out there.  Maybe its not all of Tressel’s fault, but the other coaching staff, such as Heacock and Bollman’s poor coaching for the offense and defense.  

Is the Big 10 competiiton just weaker than the other BCS conferences competiton that they face?  Maybe if Ohio State was in the SEC or PAC 10, they wouldn’t be winning conference championships and would truly convey the type of football team they really are.  The rumor is some of the SEC teams have faster players than Big 10 Players. When Florida played OSU, they looked much faster on the field than Ohio State. Perhaps if they were in a more competitve conference, they would be better prepared to play teams that were just as good of teams on the national stage.

Is it bad luck? Does Ohio State just have trouble and choke in big games on the national stage? Their player personnel could possibly be equal to USC, Florida and LSU, their coaching just as good and the conference competition just as good as Florida, LSU and USC conference’s competiton they face. Could Ohio State in general just have bad luck and can’t win big games when they are on the national stage?

What do you think is the reason OSU has performed poorly in these three big games on the national stage?

Buckeyes Win Ugly Against Ohio University

Saturday, September 13th, 2008

The other Ohio school called the Ohio University Bobcats came to Columbus wearing shirts that said O-S-WHO?  

Although the final score was 26-14 Ohio State, they certainly made a point as the #3 Ohio State Buckeyes needed to come from behind in the fourth quarter to win against the 35 point underdog Ohio Bobcats Saturday afternoon.  Ohio University was not victorious, but they definitely had a moral victory and played with more heart than the Buckeyes did on September 6th.  

Here is a breakdown of how the Ohio State Buckeyes quarterbacks, running backs, receivers, offense overall and defense performed Saturday afternoon.

Quarterbacks – Todd Boeckman played most of the game throwing 16-of-26 for 110 yards for 0 touchdowns and 0 interceptions.  Definitely not a very impressive performance by Boeckman against a MAC team.  His longest pass in the game was 25 yards and he only averaged 4.2 yards a completion. He will need to play much better and bring his A game against #1 USC.

Terelle Pryor only played two series resulting in a three and out with a punt and no result as he came in the last series to runout the game clock. In the two series, he threw 0-for 2 and rushed 5 times for 37 yards. It was a suprise that Pryor only saw the field for two series. In his first two games playing quarterback, Pryor’s first natural instinct is to run the football before throwing a pass. This is okay in certain situations, but he will need to improve on looking more for the open receivers before thinking about running the football. Pryor is the best quarterback if Ohio State runs the spread offense. This gives Pryor a chance to be more dangerous while getting outside the pocket and having the ability to confuse opposing teams’ defenses.

Running Backs – The three running backs Herron, Wells, and Saine rushed 26 times for 113 yards and 2 touchdowns. Daniel Herron carried the ball 12 times for 50 yards and 1 TD, Maurice Wells rushed 9 times for 48 yards, and Bradon Saine had 5 rushes for 15 yards and 1 TD. One of the running backs quoted that he gave their performances as running backs a B-. I would agree that they did decent overall and I don’t know if the outcome of the game would have really made a signficance difference if Beanie Wells was able to play.

Receivers – The two go to receivers, Brian Hartline and Brian Robiskie combined only had 5 receptions for 22 yards. Hartline was not afraid to speak how he felt to reporters after the game remarking how pathetic their performance was and that Ohio University should have won the game and didn’t know how they came out winning. Besides the 25 yard catch by tight end Jake Ballard, the longest pass reception by a receiver came from Dane Sanzenbacher for 12 yards.

Offense – The offense overall struggled and played poorly and I would give them a D grade. On third downs, the Buckeyes only converted 5-of-15 times overall. One series in the game, the Buckeyes gambled on 4th and 1 and were stopped. The other turnover was a high snap that went over Boeckman’s head that Ohio University recovered in the end zone. Boeckman had trouble throwing passes longer than 10 yards. In fact, the only two passes greater than 10 yards were Sanzenbachers 12 yard reception and Ballard’s 25 yard catch. The offense combined for 272 total yards on offense. Ohio University turned the ball over 5 times in the game, but the Buckeyes could only score 19 points on offense (excluding Small’s touchdown punt return).

Defense – The defense played a little above average and I would give them a grade of B-. They forced Ohio University to turnover the football 5 times, and 4 of those 5 turnovers were interceptions in the game. They defense only gave up 7 points, while the offense gave up the other 7 points. The only cause of concern would be Ohio’s 9-of-17 third down efficiency. The Buckeyes will have to step it up a notch on third down when they play USC. Sometimes, when Ohio ran the spread the Buckeyes looked a little lost and they reminded me of how they played against Illinois. They also had a few key missed tackles and a few missed sacks in the game.

The next game against USC will be a challenge. This game is a similar matchup with Texas during the 2005 and 2006 seasons. If the Buckeyes lose, their chances are more slim than last year that they still have a chance to make it to the national championship game. Ohio State comes into the game as 11 point underdogs. The last time I can remember Ohio State being a double-digit underdog was when they won the national championship against Miami in 2003. If the Buckeyes bring their A game, I see them either winning by less than 10 points, or I see them getting blown out by at least 2 or 3 touchdowns in the Coliseum. Let’s hope they bring their A game and beat #1 USC.

Buckeyes Shutout Youngstown State

Monday, September 1st, 2008

The Buckeyes opening game against subdivision Youngstown State was what was expected – a 43-0 shutout – except for two things: Chris Wells leaving the game due to his injury and the inefficiency to score in the Red Zone. 

Before Chris Wells hurt his foot and left the game in the 3rd quarter, he rushed 13 times for 111 yards and 1 touchdown.  On the Buckeyes opening posession, on 4th and short, Wells conveyed his explosiveness by scoring his touchdown on a 42 yard run.  When the Buckeyes were in the Red Zone in the third quarter, Wells seemed to have slipped and messed up his footing and immediately fell down fumbling the football.  Now, the news and talk from Buckeye football fans is about how bad the injury is and what week will Wells come back?  


If the Heisman contender is gone for the whole season (I don’t think he will be), is the Buckeyes season over and do they not stand a chance against USC?   No, the Buckeyes are still loaded with talent and just have to work around it.  The other running backs like Saine, Herron are still solid, but the built and explosiveness of a guy like Wells cannot be replaced. 

In the Red Zone, the Buckeyes struggled to score touchdowns and found themselves relying on special teams to kick field goals.  After Chris Wells touchdown on the opening posession, the next two series, the Buckeyes failed to score touchdowns and kicked two field goals.  All the Buckeyes touchdowns – except Pryor’s TD Run –  were big plays from outside the Red Zone (Wells 43 yard run, Robiskie’s 31 yard catch, & Posey’s 25 yard grab).

Hopefully the Buckeyes can improve their Red Zone performance and do better in the Red Zone next week against Ohio University and future opponents.  Also, let’s hope Chris Wells will be back on the field soon.  USC will be a lot tougher to matchup against and their defense will not give up big plays and scores like Youngstown State did on Saturday.

2008 Ohio State Football – Is this the year?

Wednesday, August 13th, 2008

After losing two consecutive times in the national championship game – a 41-14 meltdown two seasons ago to Florida and a 38-24 whipping last season to LSU  – the Buckeyes are poised to go back to the National Championship Game in Miami this season.

In fact, cornerback Malcom Jenkins, linebackers James Laurinatis and Marcus Freeman decided to return to school and try for a national championship – instead of playing in the NFL. The team returns 18 starters – 9 on offense and 9 on defense. Since the Buckeyes return most of their starters, the expectations are high this season. Ohio State has been selected by the media as the Big 10 preseason favorite and will be aiming for their fourth straight Big 10 Championship.


In Sports Illustrated, the Buckeyes are ranked #2 and in USA Today #3 with 14 first place votes.  Georgia is ranked #1 in both polls.  According to ESPN Bowl Game Projections, Georgia is predicted to play Ohio State for the National Championship Game.

Before the Buckeyes can think about playing again for a national championship, they will need to worry about the teams on their schedule.  The season kicks off on August 30th and the first two games of the schedule are both noon home games against Youngstown State and Ohio University.  The first two games should not be a problem and I expect the Buckeyes to win by at least 2 or 3 touchdowns. 



Date Opponent Location Time (ET) Results Media
  Sat, Aug 30  Youngstown State Columbus, Ohio   12:00 p.m. Alumni Band Day Big Ten Network
  Sat, Sep 06  Ohio Columbus, Ohio   12:00 p.m. Hall of Fame Day ESPN/ESPN2
  Sat, Sep 13  USC at Los Angeles, Calif.   8:00 p.m.   ABC
  Sat, Sep 20  Troy University Columbus, Ohio   12:00 p.m.   Big Ten Network
  Sat, Sep 27  Minnesota * Columbus, Ohio   TBA    
  Sat, Oct 04  Wisconsin * at Madison, Wis.   8:00 p.m.   ABC, ESPN or ESPN2
  Sat, Oct 11  Purdue * Columbus, Ohio   TBA    
  Sat, Oct 18  Michigan State * at East Lansing, Mich.   TBA    
  Sat, Oct 25  Penn State * Columbus, Ohio   8:00 p.m. Homecoming ABC, ESPN or ESPN2
  Sat, Nov 08  Northwestern * at Evanston, Ill.   TBA    
  Sat, Nov 15  Illinois * at Champaign, Ill.   TBA    
  Sat, Nov 22  Michigan * Columbus, Ohio   TBA    


The first real test and possibly the make or break of a third national championship appearance will be at Los Angeles, September 13th against #2/#3USC at 8PM. After playing at USC, they will return home to play two games – one to closeout their non-conference schedule against another patsy football team called Troy and then play their Big 10 Opener against Minnesota.  The home non-conference schedule looks like cake, but I should watch what I say becauase Youngstown State, Ohio U, or Troy could become the next Appalachain State.


After the home confernece opener against Minnesota, the Buckeyes have a night date with USA Today preseason #12Wisconsin at 8 PM on national television.  Ohio State lost to Wisconsin at Camp Randall Stadium back in 2003 in an ugly 17-10 primetime television game where frustrated Buckeyes LB Rob Reynolds choked the throat of Wisconsin QB Jim Sorgi. 


After Wisconsin, the Buckeyes play Purdue at home and then travel to East Lansing and take on Michigan State.  Purdue and MSU are not ranked and I don’t see OSU losing.  Penn State will get a chance at revenge when they play at the Horseshoe in a nationally televised 8PM  game.  Last season, OSU routed Penn State at Beaver Stadium in a prime time television matchup. 


After Penn State, the Buckeyes will get a rest with a bye week before traveling on November 8th to Northwestern. Following Northwestern, OSU will have a chip on their shoulder and will want revenge when they play at Champaign against the Fighting Illini before heading home to take on Michigan.   Can Michigan Head Coach Rich Rodriguez be like Jim Tressel and upset his rival in his first year as head coach?  I doubt it.  He has not made any type of promise like Tressel and it will be a tough rebuilding season for Michigan.  Next year in Ann Arbor will be more of a realistic chance for Michigan to beat Ohio State.


I predict Ohio State will have a solid season and be either outright Big 10 Champions or share the Big 10 Championship with another team.  However, I am against the consensus of OSU playing for a third straight title game and see the Buckeyes losing against USC and against 1 other Big 10 team and end up playing in the Rose Bowl or a different BCS Bowl.



Will Ohio State be National Champions like they were in 2002?

Carson Palmer’s Rant

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008


Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer won the Heisman Trophy in 2002 in a USC uniform. The Bengals training camp began July 28th, but the regular season does not kick off until September 7th – six days before the highly anticipated matchup between Ohio State and USC.

Earlier last week, Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer was on an LA sports radio talk show and was asked what he thought of the matchup between OSU and USC.

“I don’t watch what I say. I cannot stand the Buckeyes, and having to live in Ohio and hear those people talk about their team, it drives me absolutely nuts . . . It’s amazing to hear what those guys think about that university and what they think about that football program and (Ohio State coach Jim) Tressel and all the crap I gotta put up with being back there. I just can’t wait for two years from now when SC comes to the ‘Shoe and I get to hopefully, hopefully we’ll have a home game that weekend and I can go up there and watch us pound on them in their own turf and kind of put all the talk to rest. Because I’m really getting sick of it and I just can’t wait for this game to get here so they can come out to the Coliseum and experience LA and get an old-fashioned Pac-10 butt-whoopin’ and go back to the Big Ten . . . I can’t wait.”

It was okay that Carson spoke his mind and rendered his opinion on how he felt about his own school where he is an alumnus and a Heisman Trophy winner. He was taking pride in his school. Not only was he taking pride in USC, but everyone could get an actual (not political) insight on how it must truly feel for a USC Heisman Trophy quarterback alum to be in Buckeye territory.

Although he is a public figure, he needed to be a little more political and watch what he says and whom he is addressing. Palmer could have said some of what he said, but added something a little more political before he went on a rant such as, “These are two great powerhouse football teams that should be exciting to watch on September 13th.  Ohio State coach Jim Tressel is a phenomenal coach, etc.”

Hypothetically, if an OSU football alumnus played for San Diego he would be a true OSU alumnus and want to blowout USC – just like how Carson wants USC to whoop on OSU.

Some fans won’t forget this and will take Carson’s rant seriously. Don’t be surprised if some fans are booing Carson back in Cincinnati at Paul Brown Stadium, particulary the next day on September 14th, when the Bengals kickoff their home opener against Tennessee.

Destroyers Close Out Season; Head Coach Will Not Return Next Season

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

The Columbus Destroyers finished out their season last Saturday night in Cleveland on a bad note – losing to the Cleveland Gladiators 35-47.

Ownership and Columbus Destroyers Head Coach Doug Kay have reached a mutual agreement that his contract will not extend beyond the 2008 season.

Coach Kay took over as head coach on July 14, 2005 and inherited a squad that finished 2-14 in 2005.  In 2006, he led the team to an 8-8 record and were one game shy of making the playoffs.

Last season, the Destroyers made the playoffs with a 7-9 regular season record. They went to its first ever National Conference Championship and won three straight playoff games on the road before losing to San Jose in the Arena Bowl.

The results this season were the opposite from last season for the Destroyers.  This season the Columbus Destroyers had a 3-13 record and tied for the worst record in the AFL.

It’s interesting that the Destroyers improved greatly under Coach Kay’s leadership during the first two years, but reverted to very poor performance in his third season. Evidently, the two good years were not enough for him to keep his job as head coach.