Dave Thurman (7:25 am)

Although I was attending a conference this weekend and unable to watch all of the action live, it was a great Saturday and Sunday for Buckeye Nation.  As I took time to watch what I missed thanks to DVR, and poured over the stat sheets, a number of random thoughts came to mind.  So here goes, in no particular order:

-The Buckeye defense, coming off promising performances against Penn State and Illinois, really is improved.  However, they will need to be at their best next week when Fred Flintstone brings his ugly helmets to Columbus, featuring a spread offense with lots of speed.

-Not sure how the Two Jim's (Tressel and Bollman) managed to get into the booth in Madison, but I am sure they were calling the game, because it was incredibly conservative and predictable.  Better hope Herman and Meyer are back in charge this weekend. 

-Thad Matta had a pretty nice weekend for himself, winning the Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament with victories over Rhode Island and Washington plus bagging his first big recruit in a couple years in 2014 forward Keita Bates-Diop from Illinois.  Bates-Diop certainly needs to bulk up his 6-8 190 pound frame, but has major skills.  I'm sure TV announcers aren't nearly as excited by this addition as Buckeye fans.  

-Hopefully it was an aberration but Braxton Miller looked like the 2011 version not the 2.0 edition we have seen most of2012.  Wisconsin had a good defensive scheme, but the truth is Miller looked hesitant to throw, and when he did, was fairly inaccurate.  Brax didn't tear it up on the ground either, and seemed to hold onto the ball on the read option several times when he should have handed off to Carlos Hyde.  

-Speaking of taking a step backwards, what is the deal with Jake Stoneburner?  I thought he would have a huge year in 2012, and he started out fairly strong, but of late he is dropping more balls than he is catching.

-Has DeShaun Thomas ever met a shot he didn't like?  Although he is a shoot first, shoot second, and pass if triple covered kind of player, it is a good thing OSU has him on a squad lacking big time offensive threats.  On Saturday he dropped 25 on the R.I. Rams and then came back with 31 against the UW Huskies Sunday, when he started out en fuego.  Thomas can score a lot of different ways and should lead the B1G in points this year.  

-John Simon may go down as my favorite Buckeye of all time.  I have confessed my man crush on more than one occasion, and it is not just because of his physique.  I love the way #54 plays the game, and he is a quality young man.  In fact, tell me another school in the NCAA who can match John Simon and Aaron Craft as poster boys for their football and basketball teams?

-Speaking of Craft, he is definitely looking to score more this season, averaging nearly 17 ppg thus far, while playing his usual great floor game.  We all know he is a defensive stud, but Craft has worked on his shot and is a complete player.

-In spite of Thomas and Craft, I am still not convinced the 2012-13 Buckeyes deserve their lofty ranking.  Amir Williams' offensive game still needs work, and LaQuinton Ross has yet to be as advertised.  This is a good team, for sure, but maybe not a great one.

-Nice to see Devin Smith get back involved in the offense against the Badgers.  OSU needs a big play or two out of him next week against the skunk weasels from up north.  

-Bradley Roby continues to play like a guy headed to the NFL, although I hope he will return for one more season in scarlet and gray.  He got some help in the defensive backfield Saturday afternoon, though, and I thought safety Christian Bryant played one of the best games of his career.

-Ryan Shazier has had a 2012 to remember, although for a few minutes Saturday I wasn't sure if he was going to remember anything.  His vicious hit caused Shazier to have to leave the game, but he came back to force a fumble at the goal line.  With a little more coaching, he is going to become an All-American.

-Have you ever seen a player like Lenzelle Smith Jr. capable of scoring 20-plus one night and zero the very next game?  I love his defense, but his offensive lapses baffle me.  

-How about that unlovable buffoon Bret Bielema, now 1-5 against the Buckeyes, who he despises? When the Badgers scored late to put the game into overtime, I told Drew that Wisconsin had the momentum at home and should win.  But he replied, "Yeah, dad, but they're coached by Bielema."  Thank heavens for that.

-Well this is the week of all weeks, made even better by the prospect of a perfect season.  Let's get ready for "the Game" and start a new streak over that school up north. 


11/20/2012 08:44

Yeah, that was pretty unispired play-calling, IMO. I hope that Herman was 'saving it' for Saturday. I thought the defense looked really good; Ball had his yards, but the WI offense wasn't very effecient, but then neither was ours.

Looks like Thad got a good forward in KD-B. Now, Sam Thompson will have someone to work out with to put on a few pounds.

Good point about the basketball team; Craft & Thomas will need a 3rd, and eventually a 4th scorer (or at least threat of scorer) as the season progresses.

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