There will be a noticeable step up in competition and spotlight when Ohio State plays its Big Ten opener at Michigan State Saturday.
The eyes of the college football nation will be on East Lansing with ESPN's College GameDay in town. Expect an overarching story to be on the Buckeyes being undefeated but ineligible for postseason play.
But the Spartans will represent the biggest challenge for Ohio State this season. The Buckeyes have only played one FBS opponent this season – a 1-3 California team they held off 35-28.
The Buckeyes have yet to put together a game where both the offense and defense have performed well. That's not as concerning against the likes of UAB or Central Florida. But against Michigan State, it could become an issue. The Buckeyes' offense struggled greatly against the Spartans in a 10-7 loss a season ago.
When Ohio State has the ball:To read more or comment...
When it was revealed two weeks ago that Ohio State could still win the Leaders Division of the Big Ten, coach Urban Meyer said he was happy that possibility remained but that his team had far too much to worry about before that loomed very large.
Now, apparently, it's looming very large.To read more or comment...
COLUMBUS: There are wins and then there are small victories.
Garrick McGee has to settle for the latter.
In his first season as the coach at UAB, he's trying to upgrade a program that has struggled in the transition in the public's perspective from sneaky-good basketball power to big-time football contender. He knows he doesn't have as much talent as No. 16 Ohio State does coming into Saturday's game at Ohio Stadium.
So McGee measures a season in incremental improvements. That's what you do when your team is 0-2 and a 37-point underdog.To read more or comment...
At a news conference earlier this week, Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer announced that running back Carlos Hyde and defensive lineman Michael Bennett are sitting out Saturday's game against UAB.
Hyde is recovering from a knee ligament sprain and Bennett has a groin injury. Meyer told reporters that defensive lineman John Simon was limited in practice with a shoulder injury, but is expected to play.To read more or comment...
According to various reports, Ohio State has added its 17th football recruit for the 2013 class.
On Thursday, North Carolina defensive end Tyquan Lewis committed to the Buckeyes. Lewis, who is 6-foot-4, 220 pounds, had 63 tackles and 12 sacks a season ago.To read more or comment...
Urban Meyer's praise of sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller is effusive.
After referring to him as "a hell of a player," the Ohio State head coach thinks Miller is more talent than Tim Tebow.
In an interview with Lori Schmidt of 97.1-FM The Fan, here's what Meyer had to say comparing the two:
“Very similar guys,” Meyer said. “They’re both competitive human beings. They’re both very talented people. Braxton has more talent. Tim is probably more of a grinder.”To read more or comment...
Ohio State's Braxton Miller was named the Big Ten's offensive player of the week for his performance against California on Saturday.
Against the Golden Bears, Miller passed for 249 yards and four touchdowns and ran for 75 yards and another score.To read more or comment...
COLUMBUS: After four games starting at noon, No. 16 Ohio State finally gets a time change.
The Buckeyes' conference opener on Sept. 29 at No. 21 Michigan State will kick off at 3:30 p.m., the Big Ten announced on Monday.
The game will be Ohio State's first on the road after playing four non-conference games at home, all of which started at noon. The Buckeyes host UAB on Saturday.
Four other start times are known: 8 p.m. at home against Nebraska on Oct. 6, 8 p.m. at Indiana on Oct. 13, 6 p.m. at Penn State on Oct. 27 and noon in the annual rivalry game with Michigan at Ohio Stadium on Nov. 24.To read more or comment...
It may not have been a sensational one-handed catch, but wide receiver Devin Smith again had the play of the day in Ohio State's 35-28 win over California.
A blown coverage by Cal with less than four minutes left put Smith wide open for a go-ahead 72-yard touchdown from quarterback Braxton Miller.To read more or comment...
COLUMBUS: What's brewing with the 2012 Ohio State Buckeyes ...
BUCKEYES BUZZ: Urban Meyer has become Braxton Miller's biggest booster.
Speaking at his weekly news conference on Monday, Meyer heaped praise on his QB in a lengthy, impassioned speech.
"If you really studied the game with the copies we have, he delivers punishment; he goes hard. He's a hell of a football player," Meyer said. "I mean, I think, a hell of a football player. Better than even everybody in this country thinks right now. That's how good I think Braxton Miller is."
He even conjured up some bad memories by using the word "tattoo."To read more or comment...
COLUMBUS: Coach Urban Meyer knows there could be trouble brewing for his Buckeyes.
After No. 12 Ohio State's 31-15 victory over Central Florida on Saturday, Meyer questioned almost every area of his team — except for quarterback Braxton Miller.To read more or comment...
For the second consecutive week, quarterback Braxton Miler's legs led Ohio State to a win.
The sophomore again led the Buckeyes in rushing yards with 140, leading Ohio State (2-0) to a 31-16 win over Central Florida (1-1). On the game, Miller accounted for all four of Ohio State's touchdowns, with three running and one on the ground.
Miller was efficient throwing the ball, completing 19 of 25 passes for 168 yards. Miller got OSU's scoring started early with a 37-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.
Central Florida tied the game 10-10 in the second quarter on a Blake Bortles touchdown pass to Justin Tukes. But Ohio State scored three unanswered touchdowns to put the game out of reach in the third quarter.
What stood out:To read more or comment...
An Ohio team will host Central Florida for the second consecutive week. Last week it was Akron, now it's Ohio State.
The Buckeyes are coming off a 56-10 win against Miami (Ohio), but should face a tougher task against UCF. This will be the first time the two teams will meet, but it's not the first time OSU coach Urban Meyer has faced UCF. In 2006, his Florida Gators beat UCF.
The tougher test for OSU will be because of the talent on UCF''s roster. The Knights have a legit talent at quarterback in Blake Bortles. Yes, it was against the Zips, but Bortles looked good in the opening week against Akron. He completed 13 of 16 passes for 168 yards and three touchdowns running shotgun and pro-style formations. He has NFL size and an arm to complete passes all over the field. Late in the Akron game, UCFalso played backup Tyler Gabbert. His brother, Blaine Gabbert, starred at Missouri before being a first-round draft pick.
The Knights are expected to be without running back Latavius Murray, who had 108 yards last week. He'll be replaced by Storm Johnson, a former top recruit at Miami.To read more or comment...
COLUMBUS: Even though Penn State and Ohio State are banned from playing in the Big Ten title game or a bowl as part of NCAA sanctions, both are still eligible to win the conference's Leaders Division and receive a trophy this season.
The Big Ten office confirmed to The Associated Press on Wednesday that the Nittany Lions (0-1) and 14th-ranked Buckeyes (1-0) could still be officially recognized as division champs. Neither can play in the Big Ten title game, however.To read more or comment...
Ohio State rises from 18th to 14th in the new Associated Press college football poll, released today.
Following a 41-14 loss to Alabama, Michigan dropped from eighth last week to 19th.
For the Buckeyes, of course, polls this season are meaningless since the team isn't eligible for the postseason. Here's the full top 25:
1. Alabama (45) 1-0
2. USC (11) 1-0
3. LSU (4) 1-0
4. Oregon 1-0
5. Oklahoma 1-0
6. Florida State
7. Georgia 1-0
8. Arkansas 1-0
9. West Virginia 1-0
9. South Carolina 1-0
11. Michigan State 1-0
12. Clemson 1-0
13. Wisconsin 1-0
14. Ohio State 1-0
15. Virginia Tech 1-0
16. Nebraska 1-0
17. Texas 1-0
18. Oklahoma State 1-0
19. Michigan 0-1
20. TCU 0-0
21. Kansas State 1-0
22. Notre Dame 1-0
23. Louisville 1-0
24. Florida 1-0
25. Stanford 1-0
COLUMBUS: Not so long ago, college football players with time on their hands would pick up an Xbox game controller.
Now, instead of playing a simulated college or pro game, Ohio State's players most likely reach for their iPad — and a scouting report on their real upcoming opponent.
"That's something guys utilize a lot now," Buckeyes starting right tackle Reid Fragel said. "Whether we're just bored, have some down time, whatever. It's something that we can just pull out and they send us the practice film and the game film within hours after we're done, so it's up and we have easy access to it. It's great."
Each Buckeye has an iPad that allows him to watch clips personally tailored for him and his position, both from the last Ohio State game or practice, as well as to preview an upcoming opponent. The coaches are able to draw up specific plays and emphasize techniques and talking points that are sent to their position groups. There are breakdowns by down and distance, personnel and other game data.
The iPads were provided free as loaners this fall to all 1,100 or so Ohio State student-athletes. The university's intention was to enhance tutoring and mentoring services, but the tablets have become a valuable coaching and communication tool for the 14th-ranked Buckeyes.To read more or comment...
Expectedly, it was a decisive victory in Urban Meyer's head coaching debut for Ohio State. The Buckeyes tallied 35 second half points to dispatch the Miami RedHawks 56-10.
In the win, sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller perhaps started a march toward the Heisman Trophy, combining for more than 360 yards and three total touchdowns on the day.
The Ohio State ground game had 294 yards on the day, with Miller having 161 and Carlos Hyde finishing with 82 and two touchdowns.
What stood out:
Against Miami, Miller looked more comfortable throwing the ball than he did a season ago. He completed more than 50 percent off his passes for 207 yards and two touchdowns. Seven different OSU receivers caught passes. But more impressively, he ran the ball for 161 yards and another touchdown.To read more or comment...
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Years ago when Woody Hayes prowled Ohio State's sideline, the Buckeyes would line up against some overmatched, undersized team and thick-necked farmboys would open up gaping holes for speedy backs.
Six or eight or even 10 touchdowns later, Hayes would call off the dogs and start gameplanning for the next victim.
But the man who holds Hayes' job now says that era of physical domination by teams is all but over.
"The days of anybody really just rolling over someone is more and more difficult than it ever has been," said Urban Meyer, who makes his debut as Ohio State's 24th head coach on Saturday against Miami (Ohio). "Because there is parity in college football."
There are a lot of reasons that teams don't run up lopsided scores like Ohio State did in beating TCU 62-0 in 1969, Wisconsin 56-0 in 1975 and 56-7 over Minnesota in 1973.To read more or comment...