Mailbag, post-Toledo and pre-Illinois

Week two of the mailbag, lighter on OSU critcism as we transition from the 18-1 loss to USC and prep for the Big Ten with a 38-0 victory over Toledo. After watching OSU hammer the Rock-ettes, all I can say is, “How does Dan Hawkins keep his job.” Sheesh, how bad must Colorado be to allow To-Le-Do score 54 points? Bad enough to join the Big Ten, maybe? Whew.

All right, send your emails to Bruce@971thefan.com and we’ll answer the best of them here on the Buckeye Ford Blog.

Q. from Brian: If Ohio State is having trouble punching it in in the redzone, instead of trying to pound it in running the ball, why dont we bring in Joe Bauserman at QB  split out 6’5″ Jake Stoneburner, and 6’6″ Jake Ballard, and put 6’6″ Terrelle Pryor and 6’2″ Duron Carter in the slot.  Have the Jakes run fades to the pylons, have Carter come across underneath, and have Pryor run the back line of the endzone.  You’d have ridiculous size advantages outside,,, either hit the Jakes with a jumpball,  or throw the ball between the goalposts a foot over the cross bar where only Terrelle can go up and get it… if thats not open you have an athletic Carter working underdneath.  Is there any secondary in the country that could match up with that height advantage?????  Id try that 3 times vs trying to go goal line power sets and watching our RBs run into a wall over and over.

A: Anything’s worth a shot, I suppose, but the larger issue is pounding the ball for a tough yard when needed. Are you going to run that on fourth-and-one at midfield? I doubt it. Sooner or later, you have to be able to get a yard when the defense knows you’re running it.

Q from Rob: I think we, as fans, need to afford Pryor the status of first-year-quarterback and give him time to progress.  Last year, by design, he was nothing more than a compliment running back to Chris Wells.

A: Well, he’s not a first-year quarterback. He has 15 starts entering Big Ten play. He should be better than the two horrible interceptions he threw against Toledo.

Q from Ed: I’m optimistic about the rest of the season because of what I see out of our defense. They are talented and relentless, and appear very determined. Our offense still has some growing to do, but I’ve seen the same pattern in previous Tressel teams…they get better as the year goes along. No, we are not a great team at this point; but I see us being a very good team by the end of the season.

A: Ohio State teams have always improved under Coach Tressel as the season progresses. There’s no disputing that. The defense appears capable of stopping most teams, but it has to make a stop at crunch time when it counts. Going back to Illinois’ last visit to the Horseshoe in 2007, that hasn’t happened. The Illini killed the last seven minutes that day and since then, Penn State and Texas in 2008 and USC this year have all driven for the winning points when a late stop would have brought an OSU victory.

Q from Angela: Year after year, fans have to hear Mark May and all the pundits slam OSU for all those games of the past, and we never hear much about USC losing at least one game a season to an unranked team they should have handled easily. Nor do you hear about Oklahoma on the national stage. People love to hate OSU — whether because of the fans, the team’s overall success in its conference, or Tressel. But just once I would like to hear Mark May bask USC or Oklahoma for their issues.

A: Mark May is, in my opinion, an equal-opportunity basher. That’s his role. He’s playing a part. The show he’s on is as much entertainment as it is informative. When Trev Alberts left, Mark May inherited the job of stirring the pot. He does it well. Believe me, Oklahoma is not getting a pass nationally for its big-game failures. OSU fans just aren’t as sensitive to OU criticism as they are Buckeye bashing. The OU jabs go in one ear nad out the other. The OSU cracks rattle around in your head for weeks.

We also had a spirited discussion Thursday about the most painful loss in Ohio State football history. Why? Because Illinois is the opponent this week, and the Illini knocked off the No. 1 Buckeyes, 28-21. That memory apparently conjured hundreds of others, judging by the response on 97.1 The Fan.

From Brian: I was at the game in 1995 in Michigan Stadium, and let me tell you it was not fun. I remember the crowd chanting “Biaka-batuka, Biaka-batuka, Biaka-batuka” as he ran all over us. I also remember a true freshman named “Woodson” covering Terry Glenn like a blanket. Bad loss!

From Teresa: There are several MSU losses that still give me heartburn, but by far the worst was 1998. When you look at who we had on that team (David Boston, Michael Wiley, Dee Miller, Ryan Pickett, Katzenmoyer, Na’il Diggs, Antoine Winfield, etc.)…they were coached by that jerk Nick Saban (who stole our signals)…it was Cooper’s best chance to get to a national championship. It still stings.

From Jason: I find the loss to Florida in the NCAA basketball championship game the most painful  We had already been devastated by the Gators in the football championship the same year and thought we may get our revenge on the court, only to be disappointed again.

From Grant: For me it was the ’04 Iowa game.  33-7, on the heels of two big ten losses to NW and Wiscy, and then Iowa chicken-kicked us sooo bad that the 33-7 wasn’t even reflective of how bad it was. My wife and I were babysitting my nephew at his house and all we wanted to do was go home and we couldn’t even do that. Dang, I still feel sick to my stomach thinking about it.

From Jonathan: The 1999 game between Illinois and Ohio State in Ohio Stadium where Illinois won 46-20. Rocky Harvey ran for maybe 20 TD’s and 1,000 yards that game. My entire group had left and I sat in the South Stands alone for the entire fourth quarter and watched that debacle. Anyone who made it through that entire game (or the 1999 season) can make it through anything.

From Craig: The weekend of the OSU and MSU game in 98 was my high school jr year homecoming.  I grew up in Southern California so the game was pretty early there so I was able to watch the first half before going to a team meal and then to our game. I had my best game of the year with 3 sacks and our team won big. After the game we had our dance which I was really looking forward to with the girl I was taking. As soon as I got home to get ready for the dance my mom sat me down and told me the outcome of OSU’s game and I was so crushed I barely made it out the door and only lasted about half an hour at the dance. I will always remember that feeling and nothing else I have experienced as a sports fan compares.

From Adam: It’s 1996 vs Michigan, the fact that Shawn Springs slipped and gave up his only td should not have even mattered…. OSU had a high scoring offense that got inside the 5 yard line three times and could only score FG’s. That’s why OSU only had 9 points. OSU should have had a 21-0 lead or 17-0 lead and should have won 21-13 or 17-13 instead of losing 13-9. That’s exactly what happened this year vs USC when we got inside the 10 2x and got 2 FG’s instead of atleast one TD! Also Cooper, panicked and started Joe Germaine instead of Stanley Jackson. OSU was 11-0  when Jackson started and Germaine came off the bench (including the Rose Bowl win ) . When Cooper announced Germaine was starting early in the week, I knew OSU was in trouble.

From Ron: Wisconsin  1982 6-0, cold wet and third loss in a row, first time since the ‘Shoe opened in 1922!

From Ben: The first two Buckeye games I ever went to were the 1996 Michigan game, and the 1998 Michigan State game.  I thought I was a jinx!  I didn’t go to another game for five years.  I have been to a half dozen or so games since, and they’ve won every one, so hopefully the curse has been broken.

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