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A Pall Over the Horseshoe (Michigan 2022)

Plum Diamonds Lab Grown Diamond Rings
A Pall Over the Horseshoe

Don't come in here
You'll see something ugly
Not the kind of thing
You'd expect from a body
Don't come in here
I beg of you
Yes there's love in my heart
But there's hatred in my thoughts
Don't believe in me
Or anything that speaks
For you won't be deceived
By a human certainty​

Over the years, I have lost enough friends and acquaintances (figuratively and too often literally) to alcoholism, drug abuse, mental illness, and other less unnatural means that a bad result in a football game means fuck all to me - it's four hours of lousy television and then back to the regularly scheduled programming of everyday life, the stuff that allegedly really matters, the stuff from which sports is supposed to be our distraction (although we often invert the reality and the diversion therefrom, grieving over the entertainment whilst ignoring (or at least de-emphasizing) the trials and tribulations of real life). Losing a game, even The Game, can be painful, but that pain of loss is ephemeral and insignificant compared to the pain of loss that occurs every day in real life (on both the macro and micro levels). I'm already over it. I hope that you are as well - get back to the everyday pain that really matters, because I know that you have some to deal with.

1. As I've said before, I will say again: C.J. Stroud doesn't have the "it" factor, he isn't a dynamic football player. Stroud is robotic, and while robots might perform exceedingly well in Hollywood movies they have a difficult time succeeding on the gridiron in real life. If Stroud has a clean pocket, and if his receivers run precise routes, and if the timing is just right, and if there's no wind or rain or snow, and if the opposing defense isn't a bunch of big meanies getting in his face and disrupting plays, then Stroud is just fine, way better that fine actually, maybe even superb. But if some little thing goes just a little bit wrong, then we get what we got today in The Game, a performance that wasn't bad, exactly (31/48, 349 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs), but was far from a winning effort. Passes that were just a little bit behind receivers or just a little bit overthrown ... retreating in the pocket when stepping up or moving laterally would be far more likely to keep the play alive ... failing to take 5 or 10 or 15 yards on the ground when the defense is literally giving it to you ... panicked decisions that gave Browns fans PTSD flashbacks of Brandon Weeden. Stroud may be a perfectly fine NFL quarterback - he may even be the Next Big Thing in The League - but he is not really all that great at the college level, where a quarterback is supposed to lay everything that he has on the line to lead his team to victory. Craig Krenzel, with half the surrounding talent and a quarter of the natural ability, comes directly to mind....

2. Emeka Egbuka had 9 receptions for 125 yards and a touchdown, while Marvin Harrison Jr. had 7 receptions for 120 yards and a touchdown. Both were excellent in defeat, if there is such a thing as excellence in defeat.

3. The running game was working ... until it didn't. In the first half, the Buckeyes rushed 19 times for 128 yards (6.7 average, not counting a kneel down), but in the second half rushed only 8 times for 27 yards (3.4 average, not counting an 8-yard sack). The Buckeyes were gaining significant yardage running between the tackles but for reason the Smartest Guy on the Sidelines decided that what was working wasn't good enough to win The Game.

4. Outside of a hold (legitimate) and a couple of procedure penalties, the offensive line played just fine. Stroud had plenty of time to throw (not that all that time helped him very much) and there were running lanes for the backs (at least when the Buckeye Braintrust called for the run).

5. Counting punts and kick offs, there were 161 total plays in this year's version of The Game; in my humble opinion, exactly three of those plays doomed Ohio State's chances for a victory.

a. The first came with 11:31 left in the second quarter, Ohio State leading 10-3, and with possession of the football at the Michigan 34-yard line. Facing 4th-and-2, Stroud ran play action and threw a nearly-perfect pass to tight end Cade Stover, who promptly dropped the ball. Maybe it was a tough catch, maybe the defender did something to break up the pass, but in a game of this magnitude with a chance to drive an early stake into your opponent's heart Stover simply has to make that play. If he does, and the Buckeyes finish the drive with a touchdown and increase their lead to 17-3, then it's probably game over for the Good Guys. Instead, the Buckeyes let the Skunkbears hang around and a lucky play a few minutes later evened the score.

b. The second came with 8:03 left in the third quarter, Ohio State down 24-20 but with that ball at the Michigan 48-yard line after a three-and-out followed by a short punt. On the first play of the drive, Stroud threw a 24-yard completion to Chip Trayanum that was called back due to offensive holding (very bad) and a dead ball unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on tight end Gee Scott Jr. (much worse). Both penalties were enforced, leaving Ohio State facing a nearly impossible 1st-and-35 at their own 27-yard line when they should have been nearing the red zone after a long completion. Of course the drive stalled out, the Buckeyes punted, and the Skunkbears drove 80 yards for the game-clinching touchdown.

c. The third and final critical play, and the fatal blow as things transpired, came with 7:30 left in the game, Ohio State down 31-20 and facing 3rd-and-goal from the 4-yard line. Stroud made a nice throw to Cade Stover, who once again dropped a pass that he should have caught and that he had to catch in the most important game of his career. The Buckeyes decided not to go on fourth down and kicked the short field goal (their only points of the second half) to cut the deficit to 31-23. But the huge drop killed all of the Buckeyes' momentum and on the very next play Donovan Edwards ran 75 yards for a touchdown to make the Skunkbear lead virtually insurmountable. Edwards's subsequent 85-yard touchdown run was simply adding insult to injury.​

6. Leading up to The Game, Cade Stover said: "To be honest, I really don’t give a shit what anybody else says about our toughness. We know what we’ve got." Well, Mr. Toughness dropped a pass on fourth down to kill a drive, dropped a pass in the end zone to kill another drive, had a personal foul penalty, and generally failed to block anyone (a recurring theme for him). Anybody can talk tough, few can back up their bravado. Mr. Stover ain't that guy.

7. The defense gave up 45 points and 520 total yards, including long touchdowns of 45, 69, 75, 75, and 85 yards. It was perhaps the worst defensive performance in recent Buckeye history (they get somewhat of a pass for surrendering 52 points and 621 total yards to Alabama during the Covid season). Apparently, Jim Knowles hasn't changed much during his first year in Columbus, as Ohio State is still prone to giving up huge plays on defense (9 of the 25 touchdowns surrendered by the defense this season - that's 36% - were of 40+ yards), largely thanks to breakdowns in the secondary, linebackers not filling the proper gaps, and defensive linemen getting blown off the ball.

8. There were a couple of bright spots on the defense: Zach Harrison had 4 tackles, a TFL, 2 batted passes, and a QBH, while JT Tuimoloau had 4 tackles and 2 TFLs. Everybody else was decidedly below average.

9. Noah Ruggles was 3 for 3 on field goal attempts, with a long of 47 yards.

10. Continuing a bad year-long trend, Ohio State committed 9 penalties for 91 yards. Except for a questionable defensive pass interference call that had little to do with the final outcome, all of the penalties were justified.

11. Ohio State actually had more first downs than Michigan, 23 to 16 ... which makes sense because Michigan had so many long scoring plays.

12. The Buckeyes converted their first four third downs, and then went 1 for 12 the remainder of the game.

13. After the 2016 Clemson game, a 31-0 blowout loss in the Playoffs, I said:
8. J.T. Barrett is an enigma. Is he part of the problem or part of the solution?

At this point, the same can be said for head coach Ryan Day: Is he part of the problem or part of the solution? Although Day has an overall record of 45-5 (.900), he has a 1-2 record against Michigan, has a 2-2 record in bowl games, and hasn't had a signature win since beating Clemson in the 2020 playoffs (last year's Rose Bowl was fun but not really a satisfying consolation prize after losing to Michigan and missing out on the Playoffs). While Day is a great recruiter, program manager, and face of the franchise, he is stubborn, predictable, slow to adjust, and seems to lack both instinct and fire and p7erhaps even poise. Day may not be John Cooper (yet), but he might be Pat Fitzgerald with a bigger recruiting budget and lower admission standards - a guy who is too good to terminate but who will never lead his team to the promised land.

14. As you might imagine, I have written this drunk, not because Ohio State lost to Michigan, but because it's Saturday night and despite my advanced age I still often get drunk on Saturday nights: I like to do so, it's in my blood (I'm Welsh, which is like Irish on steroids), and my wife (the saint that she is) will stay sober and drive me home from the local watering hole while I play depressing songs (see above) way too loudly on the car stereo. It's a good system, it works for us, especially for me, life isn't fair but beatification comes with a cost just like everything else....

Tomorrow will be a new day. It will be a beautiful day for all the reasons that days are beautiful; it will be an awful day for all the reasons that days are awful; it will be one day closer to our human certainty. And if we're lucky, it will also be one day closer to Revenge.
 
Last edited:
A Pall Over the Horseshoe

Don't come in here
You'll see something ugly
Not the kind of thing
You'd expect from a body
Don't come in here
I beg of you
Yes there's love in my heart
But there's hatred in my thoughts
Don't believe in me
Or anything that speaks
For you won't be deceived
By a human certainty​

Over the years, I have lost enough friends and acquaintances (figuratively and too often literally) to alcoholism, drug abuse, mental illness, and other less unnatural means that a bad result in a football game means fuck all to me - it's four hours of lousy television and then back to the regularly scheduled programming of everyday life, the stuff that allegedly really matters, the stuff from which sports is supposed to be our distraction (although we often invert the reality and the diversion therefrom, grieving over the entertainment whilst ignoring (or at least de-emphasizing) the trials and tribulations of real life). Losing a game, even The Game, can be painful, but that pain of loss is ephemeral and insignificant compared to the pain of loss that occurs every day in real life (on both the macro and micro levels). I'm already over it. I hope that you are as well - get back to the everyday pain that really matters, because I know that you have some to deal with.

1. As I've said before, I will say again: C.J. Stroud doesn't have the "it" factor, he isn't a dynamic football player. Stroud is robotic, and while robots might perform exceedingly well in Hollywood movies they have a difficult time succeeding on the gridiron in real life. If Stroud has a clean pocket, and if his receivers run precise routes, and if the timing is just right, and if there's no wind or rain or snow, and if the opposing defense isn't a bunch of big meanies getting in his face and disrupting plays, then Stroud is just fine, way better that fine actually, maybe even superb. But if some little thing goes just a little bit wrong, then we get what we got today in The Game, a performance that wasn't bad, exactly (31/48, 349 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs), but was far from a winning effort. Passes that were just a little bit behind receivers or just a little bit overthrown ... retreating in the pocket when stepping up or moving laterally would be far more likely keep the play alive ... failing to take 5 or 10 or 15 yards on the ground when the defense is literally giving it to you ... panicked decisions that gave Browns fans PTSD flashbacks of Brandon Weeden. Stroud may be a perfectly fine NFL quarterback - he may even be the Next Big Thing in The League - but he is not really all that great at the college level, where a quarterback is supposed to lay everything that he has on the line to lead his team to victory. Craig Krenzel, with half the surrounding talent and a quarter of the natural ability, comes directly to mind....

2. Emeka Egbuka had 9 receptions for 125 yards and a touchdown, while Marvin Harrison Jr. had 7 receptions for 120 yards and a touchdown. Both were excellent in defeat, if there is such a thing as excellence in defeat.

3. The running game was working ... until it didn't. In the first half, the Buckeyes rushed 19 times for 128 yards (6.7 average, not counting a kneel down), but in the second half rushed only 8 times for 27 yards (3.4 average, not counting an 8-yard sack). The Buckeyes were gaining significant yardage running between the tackles but for reason the Smartest Guy on the Sidelines decided that what was working wasn't good enough to win The Game.

4. Outside of a hold (legitimate) and a couple of procedure penalties, the offensive line played just fine. Stroud had plenty of time to throw (not that all that time helped him very much) and there were running lanes for the backs (at least when the Buckeye Braintrust called for the run).

5. Counting punts and kick offs, there were 161 total plays in this year's version of The Game; in my humble opinion, exactly three of those plays doomed Ohio State's chances for a victory.

a. The first came with 11:31 left in the second quarter, Ohio State leading 10-3, and with possession of the football at the Michigan 34-yard line. Facing 4th-and-2, Stroud ran play action and threw a nearly-perfect pass to tight end Cade Stover, who promptly dropped the ball. Maybe it was a tough catch, maybe the defender did something to break up the pass, but in a game of this magnitude with a chance to drive an early stake into your opponent's heart Stover simply has to make that play. If he does, and the Buckeyes finish the drive with a touchdown and increase their lead to 17-3, then it's probably game over for the Good Guys. Instead, the Buckeyes let the Skunkbears hang around and a lucky play a few minutes later evened the score.

b. The second came with 8:03 left in the third quarter, Ohio State down 24-20 but with that ball at the Michigan 48-yard line after a three-and-out followed by a short punt. On the first play of the drive, Stroud threw a 24-yard completion to Chip Trayanum that was called back due to offensive holding (very bad) and a dead ball unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on tight end Gee Scott Jr. (much worse). Both penalties were enforced, leaving Ohio State facing a nearly impossible 1st-and-35 at their own 27-yard line when they should have been nearing the red zone after a long completion. Of course the drive stalled out, the Buckeyes punted, and the Skunkbears drove 80 yards for the game-clinching touchdown.

c. The third and final critical play, and the fatal blow as things transpired, came with 7:30 left in the game, Ohio State down 31-20 and facing 3rd-and-goal from the 4-yard line. Stroud made a nice throw to Cade Stover, who once again dropped a pass that he should have caught and that he had to catch in the most important game of his career. The Buckeyes decided not to go on fourth down and kicked the short field goal (their only points of the second half) to cut the deficit to 31-23. But the huge drop killed all of the Buckeyes' momentum and on the very next play Donovan Edwards ran 75 yards for a touchdown to make the Skunkbear lead virtually insurmountable. Edwards's subsequent 85-yard touchdown run was simply adding insult to injury.​

6. Leading up to The Game, Cade Stover said: "To be honest, I really don’t give a shit what anybody else says about our toughness. We know what we’ve got." Well, Mr. Toughness dropped a pass on fourth down to kill a drive, dropped a pass in the end zone to kill another drive, had a personal foul penalty, and generally failed to block anyone (a recurring theme for him). Cade Stover is the antithesis of tough - he is soft, both mentally and physically. He defines this team, he is the face of this team - SOFT. And he's a failure - failed at linebacker, failed at defensive end, now failing at tight end ... and failed to beat Michigan. Anybody can talk tough, few can back up their bravado. Mr. Stover ain't that guy.

7. The defense gave up 45 points and 520 total yards, including long touchdowns of 45, 69, 75, 75, and 85 yards. It was perhaps the worst defensive performance in recent Buckeye history (they get somewhat of a pass for surrendering 52 points and 621 total yards to Alabama during the Covid season). Apparently, Jim Knowles hasn't changed much during his first year in Columbus, as Ohio State is still prone to giving up huge plays on defense (9 of the 25 touchdowns surrendered by the defense this season - that's 36% - were of 40+ yards), largely thanks to breakdowns in the secondary, linebackers not filling the proper gaps, and defensive linemen getting blown off the ball.

8. There were a couple of bright spots on the defense: Zach Harrison had 4 tackles, a TFL, 2 batted passes, and a QBH, while JT Tuimoloau had 4 tackles and 2 TFLs. Everybody else was decidedly below average.

9. Noah Ruggles was 3 for 3 on field goal attempts, with a long of 47 yards.

10. Continuing a bad year-long trend, Ohio State committed 9 penalties for 91 yards. Except for a questionable defensive pass interference call that had little to do with the final outcome, all of the penalties were justified.

11. Ohio State actually had more first downs than Michigan, 23 to 16 ... which makes sense because Michigan had so many long scoring plays.

12. The Buckeyes converted their first four third downs, and then went 1 for 12 the remainder of the game.

13. After the 2016 Clemson game, a 31-0 blowout loss in the Playoffs, I said:


At this point, the same can be said for head coach Ryan Day: Is he part of the problem or part of the solution? Although Day has an overall record of 45-5 (.900), he has a 1-2 record against Michigan, has a 2-2 record in bowl games, and hasn't had a signature win since beating Clemson in the 2020 playoffs (last year's Rose Bowl was fun but not really a satisfying consolation prize after losing to Michigan and missing out on the Playoffs). While Day is a great recruiter, program manager, and face of the franchise, he is stubborn, predictable, slow to adjust, and seems to lack both instinct and fire. Day may not be John Cooper (yet), but he might be Pat Fitzgerald with a bigger recruiting budget and lower admission standards - a guy who is too good to fire but who will never lead his team to the promised land.

14. As you might imagine, I have written this drunk, not because Ohio State lost to Michigan, but because it's Saturday night and despite my advanced age I still often get drunk on Saturday nights: I like to do so, it's in my blood (I'm Welsh, which is like Irish on steroids), and my wife (the saint that she is) will stay sober and drive me home from the local watering hole while I play depressing songs (see above) way too loudly on the car stereo. It's a good system, it works for us, especially for me, life isn't fair but beatification comes with a cost just like everything else....

Tomorrow will be a new day. It will be a beautiful day for all the reason that days are beautiful; it will be an awful day for all the reasons that days are awful; it will be one day closer to our human certainty. And if we're lucky, it will also be one day closer to Revenge.

Life is funny. Literally right at kickoff my wife calls me to say one of her employees was found deceased this morning. He was a PT employee who called off alot, a young kid with some mental problems but still a living breathing person who is now gone. Definitely put things in perspective right from the jump....maybe it's why I didn't lose my shit repeatedly for 3 hours? Who knows ..
But dammit I'm still alive...all 4 of my kids are safe, my wife's passed out next to me. Yes I'm pissed about the game but like LJB said

I'm already over it. I hope that you are as well - get back to the everyday pain that really matters, because I know that you have some to deal with.
 
Upvote 0
A Pall Over the Horseshoe

Don't come in here
You'll see something ugly
Not the kind of thing
You'd expect from a body
Don't come in here
I beg of you
Yes there's love in my heart
But there's hatred in my thoughts
Don't believe in me
Or anything that speaks
For you won't be deceived
By a human certainty​

Over the years, I have lost enough friends and acquaintances (figuratively and too often literally) to alcoholism, drug abuse, mental illness, and other less unnatural means that a bad result in a football game means fuck all to me - it's four hours of lousy television and then back to the regularly scheduled programming of everyday life, the stuff that allegedly really matters, the stuff from which sports is supposed to be our distraction (although we often invert the reality and the diversion therefrom, grieving over the entertainment whilst ignoring (or at least de-emphasizing) the trials and tribulations of real life). Losing a game, even The Game, can be painful, but that pain of loss is ephemeral and insignificant compared to the pain of loss that occurs every day in real life (on both the macro and micro levels). I'm already over it. I hope that you are as well - get back to the everyday pain that really matters, because I know that you have some to deal with.

1. As I've said before, I will say again: C.J. Stroud doesn't have the "it" factor, he isn't a dynamic football player. Stroud is robotic, and while robots might perform exceedingly well in Hollywood movies they have a difficult time succeeding on the gridiron in real life. If Stroud has a clean pocket, and if his receivers run precise routes, and if the timing is just right, and if there's no wind or rain or snow, and if the opposing defense isn't a bunch of big meanies getting in his face and disrupting plays, then Stroud is just fine, way better that fine actually, maybe even superb. But if some little thing goes just a little bit wrong, then we get what we got today in The Game, a performance that wasn't bad, exactly (31/48, 349 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs), but was far from a winning effort. Passes that were just a little bit behind receivers or just a little bit overthrown ... retreating in the pocket when stepping up or moving laterally would be far more likely to keep the play alive ... failing to take 5 or 10 or 15 yards on the ground when the defense is literally giving it to you ... panicked decisions that gave Browns fans PTSD flashbacks of Brandon Weeden. Stroud may be a perfectly fine NFL quarterback - he may even be the Next Big Thing in The League - but he is not really all that great at the college level, where a quarterback is supposed to lay everything that he has on the line to lead his team to victory. Craig Krenzel, with half the surrounding talent and a quarter of the natural ability, comes directly to mind....

2. Emeka Egbuka had 9 receptions for 125 yards and a touchdown, while Marvin Harrison Jr. had 7 receptions for 120 yards and a touchdown. Both were excellent in defeat, if there is such a thing as excellence in defeat.

3. The running game was working ... until it didn't. In the first half, the Buckeyes rushed 19 times for 128 yards (6.7 average, not counting a kneel down), but in the second half rushed only 8 times for 27 yards (3.4 average, not counting an 8-yard sack). The Buckeyes were gaining significant yardage running between the tackles but for reason the Smartest Guy on the Sidelines decided that what was working wasn't good enough to win The Game.

4. Outside of a hold (legitimate) and a couple of procedure penalties, the offensive line played just fine. Stroud had plenty of time to throw (not that all that time helped him very much) and there were running lanes for the backs (at least when the Buckeye Braintrust called for the run).

5. Counting punts and kick offs, there were 161 total plays in this year's version of The Game; in my humble opinion, exactly three of those plays doomed Ohio State's chances for a victory.

a. The first came with 11:31 left in the second quarter, Ohio State leading 10-3, and with possession of the football at the Michigan 34-yard line. Facing 4th-and-2, Stroud ran play action and threw a nearly-perfect pass to tight end Cade Stover, who promptly dropped the ball. Maybe it was a tough catch, maybe the defender did something to break up the pass, but in a game of this magnitude with a chance to drive an early stake into your opponent's heart Stover simply has to make that play. If he does, and the Buckeyes finish the drive with a touchdown and increase their lead to 17-3, then it's probably game over for the Good Guys. Instead, the Buckeyes let the Skunkbears hang around and a lucky play a few minutes later evened the score.

b. The second came with 8:03 left in the third quarter, Ohio State down 24-20 but with that ball at the Michigan 48-yard line after a three-and-out followed by a short punt. On the first play of the drive, Stroud threw a 24-yard completion to Chip Trayanum that was called back due to offensive holding (very bad) and a dead ball unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on tight end Gee Scott Jr. (much worse). Both penalties were enforced, leaving Ohio State facing a nearly impossible 1st-and-35 at their own 27-yard line when they should have been nearing the red zone after a long completion. Of course the drive stalled out, the Buckeyes punted, and the Skunkbears drove 80 yards for the game-clinching touchdown.

c. The third and final critical play, and the fatal blow as things transpired, came with 7:30 left in the game, Ohio State down 31-20 and facing 3rd-and-goal from the 4-yard line. Stroud made a nice throw to Cade Stover, who once again dropped a pass that he should have caught and that he had to catch in the most important game of his career. The Buckeyes decided not to go on fourth down and kicked the short field goal (their only points of the second half) to cut the deficit to 31-23. But the huge drop killed all of the Buckeyes' momentum and on the very next play Donovan Edwards ran 75 yards for a touchdown to make the Skunkbear lead virtually insurmountable. Edwards's subsequent 85-yard touchdown run was simply adding insult to injury.​

6. Leading up to The Game, Cade Stover said: "To be honest, I really don’t give a shit what anybody else says about our toughness. We know what we’ve got." Well, Mr. Toughness dropped a pass on fourth down to kill a drive, dropped a pass in the end zone to kill another drive, had a personal foul penalty, and generally failed to block anyone (a recurring theme for him). Cade Stover is the antithesis of tough - he is soft, both mentally and physically. He defines this team, he is the face of this team - SOFT. And he's a failure - failed at linebacker, failed at defensive end, now failing at tight end ... and failed to beat Michigan. Anybody can talk tough, few can back up their bravado. Mr. Stover ain't that guy.

7. The defense gave up 45 points and 520 total yards, including long touchdowns of 45, 69, 75, 75, and 85 yards. It was perhaps the worst defensive performance in recent Buckeye history (they get somewhat of a pass for surrendering 52 points and 621 total yards to Alabama during the Covid season). Apparently, Jim Knowles hasn't changed much during his first year in Columbus, as Ohio State is still prone to giving up huge plays on defense (9 of the 25 touchdowns surrendered by the defense this season - that's 36% - were of 40+ yards), largely thanks to breakdowns in the secondary, linebackers not filling the proper gaps, and defensive linemen getting blown off the ball.

8. There were a couple of bright spots on the defense: Zach Harrison had 4 tackles, a TFL, 2 batted passes, and a QBH, while JT Tuimoloau had 4 tackles and 2 TFLs. Everybody else was decidedly below average.

9. Noah Ruggles was 3 for 3 on field goal attempts, with a long of 47 yards.

10. Continuing a bad year-long trend, Ohio State committed 9 penalties for 91 yards. Except for a questionable defensive pass interference call that had little to do with the final outcome, all of the penalties were justified.

11. Ohio State actually had more first downs than Michigan, 23 to 16 ... which makes sense because Michigan had so many long scoring plays.

12. The Buckeyes converted their first four third downs, and then went 1 for 12 the remainder of the game.

13. After the 2016 Clemson game, a 31-0 blowout loss in the Playoffs, I said:


At this point, the same can be said for head coach Ryan Day: Is he part of the problem or part of the solution? Although Day has an overall record of 45-5 (.900), he has a 1-2 record against Michigan, has a 2-2 record in bowl games, and hasn't had a signature win since beating Clemson in the 2020 playoffs (last year's Rose Bowl was fun but not really a satisfying consolation prize after losing to Michigan and missing out on the Playoffs). While Day is a great recruiter, program manager, and face of the franchise, he is stubborn, predictable, slow to adjust, and seems to lack both instinct and fire and p7erhaps even poise. Day may not be John Cooper (yet), but he might be Pat Fitzgerald with a bigger recruiting budget and lower admission standards - a guy who is too good to terminate but who will never lead his team to the promised land.

14. As you might imagine, I have written this drunk, not because Ohio State lost to Michigan, but because it's Saturday night and despite my advanced age I still often get drunk on Saturday nights: I like to do so, it's in my blood (I'm Welsh, which is like Irish on steroids), and my wife (the saint that she is) will stay sober and drive me home from the local watering hole while I play depressing songs (see above) way too loudly on the car stereo. It's a good system, it works for us, especially for me, life isn't fair but beatification comes with a cost just like everything else....

Tomorrow will be a new day. It will be a beautiful day for all the reasons6 that days are beautiful; it will be an awful day for all the reasons that days are awful; it will be one day closer to our human certainty. And if we're lucky, it will also be one day closer to Revenge.

number 6……Ding Ding Ding..u and your teammates are soft Cade. U Gotta deal with that. Tsun was right…
 
Upvote 0
A Pall Over the Horseshoe

Don't come in here
You'll see something ugly
Not the kind of thing
You'd expect from a body
Don't come in here
I beg of you
Yes there's love in my heart
But there's hatred in my thoughts
Don't believe in me
Or anything that speaks
For you won't be deceived
By a human certainty​

Over the years, I have lost enough friends and acquaintances (figuratively and too often literally) to alcoholism, drug abuse, mental illness, and other less unnatural means that a bad result in a football game means fuck all to me - it's four hours of lousy television and then back to the regularly scheduled programming of everyday life, the stuff that allegedly really matters, the stuff from which sports is supposed to be our distraction (although we often invert the reality and the diversion therefrom, grieving over the entertainment whilst ignoring (or at least de-emphasizing) the trials and tribulations of real life). Losing a game, even The Game, can be painful, but that pain of loss is ephemeral and insignificant compared to the pain of loss that occurs every day in real life (on both the macro and micro levels). I'm already over it. I hope that you are as well - get back to the everyday pain that really matters, because I know that you have some to deal with.

1. As I've said before, I will say again: C.J. Stroud doesn't have the "it" factor, he isn't a dynamic football player. Stroud is robotic, and while robots might perform exceedingly well in Hollywood movies they have a difficult time succeeding on the gridiron in real life. If Stroud has a clean pocket, and if his receivers run precise routes, and if the timing is just right, and if there's no wind or rain or snow, and if the opposing defense isn't a bunch of big meanies getting in his face and disrupting plays, then Stroud is just fine, way better that fine actually, maybe even superb. But if some little thing goes just a little bit wrong, then we get what we got today in The Game, a performance that wasn't bad, exactly (31/48, 349 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs), but was far from a winning effort. Passes that were just a little bit behind receivers or just a little bit overthrown ... retreating in the pocket when stepping up or moving laterally would be far more likely to keep the play alive ... failing to take 5 or 10 or 15 yards on the ground when the defense is literally giving it to you ... panicked decisions that gave Browns fans PTSD flashbacks of Brandon Weeden. Stroud may be a perfectly fine NFL quarterback - he may even be the Next Big Thing in The League - but he is not really all that great at the college level, where a quarterback is supposed to lay everything that he has on the line to lead his team to victory. Craig Krenzel, with half the surrounding talent and a quarter of the natural ability, comes directly to mind....

2. Emeka Egbuka had 9 receptions for 125 yards and a touchdown, while Marvin Harrison Jr. had 7 receptions for 120 yards and a touchdown. Both were excellent in defeat, if there is such a thing as excellence in defeat.

3. The running game was working ... until it didn't. In the first half, the Buckeyes rushed 19 times for 128 yards (6.7 average, not counting a kneel down), but in the second half rushed only 8 times for 27 yards (3.4 average, not counting an 8-yard sack). The Buckeyes were gaining significant yardage running between the tackles but for reason the Smartest Guy on the Sidelines decided that what was working wasn't good enough to win The Game.

4. Outside of a hold (legitimate) and a couple of procedure penalties, the offensive line played just fine. Stroud had plenty of time to throw (not that all that time helped him very much) and there were running lanes for the backs (at least when the Buckeye Braintrust called for the run).

5. Counting punts and kick offs, there were 161 total plays in this year's version of The Game; in my humble opinion, exactly three of those plays doomed Ohio State's chances for a victory.

a. The first came with 11:31 left in the second quarter, Ohio State leading 10-3, and with possession of the football at the Michigan 34-yard line. Facing 4th-and-2, Stroud ran play action and threw a nearly-perfect pass to tight end Cade Stover, who promptly dropped the ball. Maybe it was a tough catch, maybe the defender did something to break up the pass, but in a game of this magnitude with a chance to drive an early stake into your opponent's heart Stover simply has to make that play. If he does, and the Buckeyes finish the drive with a touchdown and increase their lead to 17-3, then it's probably game over for the Good Guys. Instead, the Buckeyes let the Skunkbears hang around and a lucky play a few minutes later evened the score.

b. The second came with 8:03 left in the third quarter, Ohio State down 24-20 but with that ball at the Michigan 48-yard line after a three-and-out followed by a short punt. On the first play of the drive, Stroud threw a 24-yard completion to Chip Trayanum that was called back due to offensive holding (very bad) and a dead ball unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on tight end Gee Scott Jr. (much worse). Both penalties were enforced, leaving Ohio State facing a nearly impossible 1st-and-35 at their own 27-yard line when they should have been nearing the red zone after a long completion. Of course the drive stalled out, the Buckeyes punted, and the Skunkbears drove 80 yards for the game-clinching touchdown.

c. The third and final critical play, and the fatal blow as things transpired, came with 7:30 left in the game, Ohio State down 31-20 and facing 3rd-and-goal from the 4-yard line. Stroud made a nice throw to Cade Stover, who once again dropped a pass that he should have caught and that he had to catch in the most important game of his career. The Buckeyes decided not to go on fourth down and kicked the short field goal (their only points of the second half) to cut the deficit to 31-23. But the huge drop killed all of the Buckeyes' momentum and on the very next play Donovan Edwards ran 75 yards for a touchdown to make the Skunkbear lead virtually insurmountable. Edwards's subsequent 85-yard touchdown run was simply adding insult to injury.​

6. Leading up to The Game, Cade Stover said: "To be honest, I really don’t give a shit what anybody else says about our toughness. We know what we’ve got." Well, Mr. Toughness dropped a pass on fourth down to kill a drive, dropped a pass in the end zone to kill another drive, had a personal foul penalty, and generally failed to block anyone (a recurring theme for him). Cade Stover is the antithesis of tough - he is soft, both mentally and physically. He defines this team, he is the face of this team - SOFT. And he's a failure - failed at linebacker, failed at defensive end, now failing at tight end ... and failed to beat Michigan. Anybody can talk tough, few can back up their bravado. Mr. Stover ain't that guy.

7. The defense gave up 45 points and 520 total yards, including long touchdowns of 45, 69, 75, 75, and 85 yards. It was perhaps the worst defensive performance in recent Buckeye history (they get somewhat of a pass for surrendering 52 points and 621 total yards to Alabama during the Covid season). Apparently, Jim Knowles hasn't changed much during his first year in Columbus, as Ohio State is still prone to giving up huge plays on defense (9 of the 25 touchdowns surrendered by the defense this season - that's 36% - were of 40+ yards), largely thanks to breakdowns in the secondary, linebackers not filling the proper gaps, and defensive linemen getting blown off the ball.

8. There were a couple of bright spots on the defense: Zach Harrison had 4 tackles, a TFL, 2 batted passes, and a QBH, while JT Tuimoloau had 4 tackles and 2 TFLs. Everybody else was decidedly below average.

9. Noah Ruggles was 3 for 3 on field goal attempts, with a long of 47 yards.

10. Continuing a bad year-long trend, Ohio State committed 9 penalties for 91 yards. Except for a questionable defensive pass interference call that had little to do with the final outcome, all of the penalties were justified.

11. Ohio State actually had more first downs than Michigan, 23 to 16 ... which makes sense because Michigan had so many long scoring plays.

12. The Buckeyes converted their first four third downs, and then went 1 for 12 the remainder of the game.

13. After the 2016 Clemson game, a 31-0 blowout loss in the Playoffs, I said:


At this point, the same can be said for head coach Ryan Day: Is he part of the problem or part of the solution? Although Day has an overall record of 45-5 (.900), he has a 1-2 record against Michigan, has a 2-2 record in bowl games, and hasn't had a signature win since beating Clemson in the 2020 playoffs (last year's Rose Bowl was fun but not really a satisfying consolation prize after losing to Michigan and missing out on the Playoffs). While Day is a great recruiter, program manager, and face of the franchise, he is stubborn, predictable, slow to adjust, and seems to lack both instinct and fire and p7erhaps even poise. Day may not be John Cooper (yet), but he might be Pat Fitzgerald with a bigger recruiting budget and lower admission standards - a guy who is too good to terminate but who will never lead his team to the promised land.

14. As you might imagine, I have written this drunk, not because Ohio State lost to Michigan, but because it's Saturday night and despite my advanced age I still often get drunk on Saturday nights: I like to do so, it's in my blood (I'm Welsh, which is like Irish on steroids), and my wife (the saint that she is) will stay sober and drive me home from the local watering hole while I play depressing songs (see above) way too loudly on the car stereo. It's a good system, it works for us, especially for me, life isn't fair but beatification comes with a cost just like everything else....

Tomorrow will be a new day. It will be a beautiful day for all the reasons that days are beautiful; it will be an awful day for all the reasons that days are awful; it will be one day closer to our human certainty. And if we're lucky, it will also be one day closer to Revenge.
Damn that's a little strong. I wouldn't say he's soft at all but I agree he's not the bad ass we thought he was. Well written article though. Thank you for that!
 
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Damn that's a little strong. I wouldn't say he's soft at all but I agree he's not the bad ass we thought he was. Well written article though. Thank you for that!
Number 6 is WAY out of line.

People were talking about him for the Mackey.

The guy played with one arm all season and was a gamer all year. Just so happened that his worst game was this one.

Cade Stover is not soft and I feel that what you typed is borderline “banable.”

These are 18-22 year old kids. You type about keeping perspective but spit vitriol like this.

I expect better from you LJB.
 
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Number 6 is WAY out of line.

People were talking about him for the Mackey.

The guy played with one arm all season and was a gamer all year. Just so happened that his worst game was this one.

Cade Stover is not soft and I feel that what you typed is borderline “banable.”

These are 18-22 year old kids. You type about keeping perspective but spit vitriol like this.

I expect better from you LJB.
Fair enough.

Stover put a target on his back with his "toughness" comment and I took the easy (you might think "cheap") shot. Some fans will say that I should have refrained, others that I left too many arrows in my quiver.
 
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That is player-bashing which is not tolerated here.

Things have changed on that front though. Yes they are 18-22 year olds but they are also, by definition, professionals now. With NIL they get paid.

That has always been the reason I agreed with no player bashing, they aren't paid professionals. Some of these players are now multi millionaires. Same as the coaches. They aren't exempt from being called out by name anymore.
 
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That is player-bashing which is not tolerated here.
Things have changed on that front though. Yes they are 18-22 year olds but they are also, by definition, professionals now. With NIL they get paid.

That has always been the reason I agreed with no player bashing, they aren't paid professionals. Some of these players are now multi millionaires. Same as the coaches. They aren't exempt from being called out by name anymore.
I agree with Jax. I also agree with Thump that we shouldn't bash our own team, regardless of whether they are getting paid, so I deleted some of my comments on Cade Stover.
 
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I texted my buddy "Ryan Day = John Cooper" when scUM took the lead. He responded simply "I hope not."

With about 5 minutes left in the game, he texted back "Fuck, Ryan Day = John Cooper."

I could buy the excuses last year because the only marks on his record were a blowout win and a scUM surrender. But, flu or no flu, some of the Coop hallmarks were there in AA last November. Well, yesterday was a John Cooper game if I've ever fucking seen one.

Ryan Day has many great qualities but I heard one thing yesterday that solidifies (in my mind) that he's not the guy - C.J. Stroud saying that (paraphrasing) "This game doesn't define us."

Yes, C.J., yes it does. That's what you sign up for here whether you like it or not. I'm sorry your HC hasn't made that clear.

With Urban Meyer and Jim Tressel it was never any doubt how important the last Saturday in November is. With Ryan Day, it's another game. His QB just said so.
 
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The Stover critic is over the top and reeks of you being a giant tool.
The 2 "drops" you sight were more a result of great plays by well coached lowly rated DB's.
Not sure Travis Kelsey makes those catches.
The first "drop" wasn't a "nearly perfect pass". It was high and a bullet. I believe Stover only got one hand on it.
He didn't block well yet again.
Why our million dollar offensive savants continually ask him to stalk block out in space is on them. He isn't good at it.
Stover has selfishly moved all over the place for the good of the team.
He may have issues as a TE a position he has played less then a year, but softness isn't one of them.

You should edit your post lest you be deemed a weird moron.
 
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