• Follow us on Twitter @buckeyeplanet and @bp_recruiting, like us on Facebook! Enjoy a post or article, recommend it to others! BP is only as strong as its community, and we only promote by word of mouth, so share away!
  • Consider registering! Fewer and higher quality ads, no emails you don't want, access to all the forums, download game torrents, private messages, polls, Sportsbook, etc. Even if you just want to lurk, there are a lot of good reasons to register!
thought i might try and fire some people up


<table border="0" width="640" cellspacing="0"> <tbody><tr><td bgcolor="#660033" width="57">
Sept 16

</td> <td bgcolor="#000000" width="575">
[font=helvetica,arial] [/font] Keys to the Top Sept. 18 Games
Ohio State vs. NC State
</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <hr> <table border="0" width="300" align="right" cellspacing="7"> <tbody><tr> <td width="100%"> <!-- FASTCLICK.COM 300x250 Medium Rectangle CODE for collegefootballnews.com --></td> </tr> <tr> <td width="100%">

</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> By John Harris

a. What’s up Holmes? – Since the Jim Tressel era began back in 2001, the Buckeyes have had some good receivers, but the best of the lot may be Santonio Holmes, who’ll be a key figure in Saturday’s game in Raleigh. From the midway point of last year, he has just exploded on the scene, even in what most of us would call a conservative offense. He registered over 200 yards receiving against Marshall and against the much-maligned Pack secondary, that’s not an unapproachable number. The Pack must find a way to slow Holmes down, whether that’s doubling him downfield or being physical with him at the line of scrimmage. The X factor for the Pack is Andre Maddox. The senior safety from Miami can play at the LOS and also play in coverage. So, new Pack DC Reggie Herring can utilize #36 to ‘float’, so to speak to look up #4 in pass coverage. With a maturing young quarterback like Justin Zwick at the helm, when it gets ‘tight’ on Saturday, he’ll most definitely look up Holmes. But, in that regard, so will the Wolfpack ‘D’.<o:p> </o:p> <o:p> </o:p>

b. What a Hall of a player – Reggie Bush at USC gets a ton of publicity for what he has done and will continue to do in the USC offense. Whether it’s running the ball out of the backfield or running routes from the slot, Bush is the epitome of dual threat. But, Tramain Hall runs a close second to the President, you just don’t know that much about him. Hall is utilized much the same way that Bush is used – lining up as a running back in the gun, but also as the #3 receiver (slot). He mentioned earlier this summer that he ran the ball a lot more out of the gun in the spring, lining up right next to TA McClendon. Regardless if it’s the perpetually injured McClendon or whippet quick youngsters Bobby Washington and Darrel Blackmon, Hall in the backfield with anyone, makes offense as dangerous as any in the ACC. Because he has running back skills, you can’t see him come into the game and automatically play nickel or dime. Defensive coordinators must respect what he can do as a tailback when he’s lined up as such. But, he’s equally as tough to cover when he’s in the slot. Last year, linebackers tried to cover this kid early on in the season, and, well, suffice it to say, that didn’t work well. So, how do you cover him – safety? Corner? Then, how do you adjust when he goes in motion? A lot of questions for new Buckeye co-DC Mark Snyder and Mel Tucker to try and answer. Either way, the presence of Hall makes it real easy for Philip R….oops, got to break that habit – Jay Davis, new starting QB for the Pack, who played very well in the season opener.<o:p> </o:p> <o:p> </o:p>

c. Well, isn’t that special? – If there was ever a game that the Church Lady would have a field day, it’s this one. There’s no question that the special teams aspect of the game has reared its head throughout the early season. Oregon State. Clemson. Arkansas. Marshall. Special teams have cost them dearly, and there have been others. So, going into this game, you’d expect the kicking game to have a profound effect due to the focus these teams have on that aspect of the game. Both States have been equally proficient blocking punts and kicks and gaining good field position on kickoff returns throughout the two head coach’s reign at their respective university. The only distinct advantage that OSU may have is their field goal kicking game, where all-american Mike Nugent has already hit a clutch 55-yard field goal to beat Marshall last week. And, in this game last year, the kickoff team cost NC State an early touchdown when Richard Washington and Hall collided on a kickoff return, with the Buckeyes recovering and going in for six early in the game. Take that special teams snafu away, and it’s plausible that the game wouldn’t have even gone into overtime. Regardless, both punt team units need to be on full alert as these are two of the best in the nation at blocking punts.<o:p> </o:p> <o:p> </o:p>

Conclusion: Even with losing 14 players to the NFL, the Buckeyes still possess as talented a group of players as any team in the country. But, the loss of Dustin Fox, not only as the starting corner, but as leader and captain of the defense is enormous. Going against the Pack, it’s paramount that the corners be at the top of their game, and that they have the proper depth to be able to play nickel and dime coverage. One less corner, not to mention how valuable Fox is, is not the optimum situation. On the other side of the ball, Zwick has shown why he was such a highly touted recruit, but the Pack defense is a sterner test than Cincinnati or Marshall. DE Mario Williams and Manny Lawson must get upfield pass rush on Zwick to force poor decisions and possible turnovers. That can happen, so roll with the Pack – NC State – 24 vs. Ohio State - 21

Game of the Week
Ohio State (2-0) at NC State (1-0), 3:30 PM ET ABC
Keys and further breakdown of the game
Why to watch: If this is half as good as last season's three overtime 44-38 classic, it'll be the must-see game of the weekend. Ohio State is already considered one of the nation's best teams while NC State is barely registering a blip on the national map. That's a huge mistake as everyone is back for the Wolfpack, with one very notable exception, along with some tremendous freshmen, but only a win would give Chuck Amato's team the respect it's looking for. Ohio State is coming off a shaky 24-21 win over Marshall and wants to prove that it belongs in the Orange Bowl mix with what would be a huge road win.
Why Ohio State might win:
This might be a Wolfpack team loaded with experience, but the one area of concern is still at quarterback where Jay Davis only has one game under his belt and that was a 42-0 laugher against Richmond. Ohio State is battle tested after two nasty games against Cincinnati and Marshall. NC State needs to run the ball to win, but that could be a major problem if T.A. McLendon is still hurting.
Why North Carolina State might win:
Ohio State hasn't exactly been sharp on offense and its run defense was soft against Marshall allowing 182 yards. Yeah, QB Justin Zwick and RB Lydell Ross have led the way for a bunch of yards, but it hasn't been a consistent attack and Zwick is still unproven on the road. NC State has the defensive line to pressure Zwick and tremendous talent in the secondary to keep WR Santonio Holmes in check. Even after two games this is still a Buckeye team growing and maturing; this is a tough first road game.
Who to watch: Can McLendon go? The oft-injured star Wolfpack running back is one of the best all-around threats in the country and gave the Buckeyes fits last year. But he can't stay healthy having problems with a hamstring. If he can't go or is limited it'll be up to Darrell Blackman and Bobby Washington to handle the load. Ohio State's newest star is WR Santonio Holmes who caught ten passes for 224 yards and two scores against Marshall and needs to have another big day for the Buckeyes to win.
What will happen:
If Jay Davis plays well, NC State will win. This is an experienced and athletic team with enough playmakers and enough time to prepare to make life miserable the Buckeyes. The Wolfpack will run surprisingly well pulling off the win and finally getting some respect.
CFN Prediction: NC State 27 ... Ohio State 20 ... Line: Ohio State -2
| Discuss this game with experts
Must See Rating:
(5 lock yourself in a room to watch - 1 The Benefactor) ... 5
Final Score:
<table border="0" width="300" align="right" cellspacing="7"> <tbody><tr> <td width="100%"> <!-- FASTCLICK.COM 300x250 Medium Rectangle CODE for collegefootballnews.com --></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> San Diego

Ohio State (-1.5) at North Carolina State
Jim Tressel’s Buckeyes head to Raleigh in a rematch of one 2003’s classics. Ohio State escaped 44-38 in a triple overtime thriller a year ago and is the first top 10 non-conference foe to visit Carter-Finley Stadium since Alabama in 1996. Speaking of escaping, the Buckeyes eked out a 24-21 win last week against Marshall thanks to Big Ten co-special teams player of the week Mike Nugent, whose 55-yard field goal at the gun saved the day. Nugent claims he was not nervous prior to the kick, and, considering OSU is 13-1 in its last 14 games (including 4 in overtime) decided by 7 points or fewer, he has little reason to be - close shaves are a way of life in Columbus. The passing game came to life against Marshall as QB Justin Zwick threw for 324 yards and three TD’s, which was the tenth best single game output in school history. Santonio Holmes is in line to become the next great Buckeye WR; he torched the Marshall secondary for 10 catches, 224 yards, and 2 TD’s, one of which went for 80 yards. What is very distressing to Tressel, despite the 2-0 record, is an abysmal turnover ratio. OSU has committed seven turnovers in two weeks and has yet to record a takeaway of their own. Senior CB Dustin Fox broke his forearm last week, so freshman sensation Ted Ginn could see some more snaps in the secondary. The Wolfpack are hoping RB T.A. McLendon will finally be able to see action this week. He missed much of camp as well as the opening 42-0 win against Richmond with a hamstring injury. He finally was able to practice this week and coach Chuck Amato hopes his presence can take some pressure off QB Jay Davis who made his first start two weeks ago. If he can’t go, Darrell Blackman and Bobby Washington will share the load.

Brad: The stingy OSU defense could jeopardize the Wolfpack’s school record 105 consecutive game scoring streak, but to do so it will have to finally force a turnover or two. Amato is unbeaten in 11 non-conference home games, but if Zwick and the Buckeyes passing game continue to develop and McLendon is unable to handle a full load, it won’t be a happy day for the home team. Ohio State 23, NC State 14.

Tom: The iffy status of McLendon and the inexperience at quarterback will doom the Wolfpack’s attempt to avenge last year’s heartbreaker so long as Zwick takes care of the ball. Ohio State 27, NC State 23.

<table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="1" width="490"> <tbody><tr><td valign="top">http://ohiostate.theinsiders.com/2/294766.html

me Data: Ohio State at N.C. State

By Steve Helwagen Managing Editor
Date: Sep 15, 2004

We go inside the numbers with the pertinent data, ABC-TV coverage map, depth charts and one man's prediction on how Saturday's key nonconference game at N.C. State (3:30 p.m., ABC regional telecast) may play out. Click this free link for more.
</td></tr> <tr> <td colspan="3">
Game Data * Date, Time: Sat., Sept. 18; 3:30 p.m. (Eastern)

* Location: Carter-Finley Stadium; Raleigh, N.C.

* TV: ABC regional telecast (WSYX-TV, Ch. 6, in Columbus); Announcers: Brad Nessler, Bob Griese, Lynn Swann.

<left>ABC Coverage Map</left>

* 2004 Records, Rankings: Ohio State, 2-0, ninth in AP poll, seventh in ESPN/USA Today coaches poll; N.C. State, 1-0.

* 2003 Records: Ohio State, 11-2, 6-2 Big Ten; N.C. State, 8-5, 4-4 ACC.

* Coaches: Ohio State, Jim Tressel (fourth year at OSU, 34-7; 19th year overall, 169-64-2; vs. N.C. State, 1-0); N.C. State, Chuck Amato (fifth year at N.C. State, 35-17; vs. Ohio State, first meeting).

* Series History: Ohio State leads 1-0 (won 44-38 in triple overtime last year in Columbus).

* N.C. State Schedule: Sept. 4, Richmond, W 42-0; Sept. 18, Ohio State; Oct. 25, at Virginia Tech; Oct. 2, Wake Forest; Oct. 9, at North Carolina; Oct. 16, at Maryland; Oct. 23, Miami (Fla.); Oct. 30, at Clemson; Nov. 6, Georgia Tech; Nov. 11, Florida State; Nov. 27, East Carolina.

* N.C. State Key Players:QB Jay Davis (16 of 22 passing, 168 yards, 2 TDs in 2004), RB T.A, McLendon (130 carries, 608 yards, 9 TDs in 2003), HB Tramain Hall (6 catches, 60 yards, 1 TD in 2004; 69 catches, 799 yards, 7 TDs in 2003), WR Richard Washington (44 catches, 500 yards, 6 TDs), S Andre Maddox (145 tackles in 2003), LB Pat Thomas (130 tackles, 8 sacks in 2003), LB Freddie Aughtry-Lindsay (105 tackles in 2003).

* N.C. State Fast Facts: Location: Raleigh, N.C.; Enrollment, 29,637; Nickname, Wolfpack; Colors, Red and White; Stadium, Carter-Finley Stadium (surface, grass; capacity, 53,800).

Depth Charts

Ohio State Offense

SE 8 Roy Hall, 6-3, 228. So.

7 Ted Ginn Jr., 6-0, 170, Fr.

LT 77 Rob Sims, 6-4, 310, Jr.

62 John McLaughlin, 6-6, 300, Sr.

LG 50 Doug Datish, 6-5, 295, So.

59 John Conroy, 6-3, 295, Jr.

C 55 Nick Mangold, 6-4, 290, Jr.

73 Steve Winner, 6-6, 290, Jr.

RG 52 Mike Kne, 6-4, 303, Sr.

72 T.J. Downing, 6-5, 305, So.

RT 68 Tim Schafer, 6-5, 290, So.

74 Kirk Barton, 6-6, 305, Fr.

TE 80 Ryan Hamby, 6-5, 250, Jr.

86 Rory Nicol, 6-5, 245, Fr.

FL 4 Santonio Holmes, 5-11, 185, So.

3 Bam Childress, 5-10, 185, Sr.

QB 12 Justin Zwick, 6-4, 225, So.

10 Troy Smith, 6-1, 215, So.

TB 30 Lydell Ross, 6-0, 225, Sr.

28 Maurice Hall, 5-10, 205, Sr.

FB 43 Brandon Schnittker, 6-2, 250, Jr.

89 Stan White Jr., 6-3, 242, So.

K 85 Mike Nugent, 5-10, 180, Sr.

23 Josh Huston, 6-1, 195, Sr.

Ohio State Defense

DE 75 Simon Fraser, 6-6, 280, Sr.

97 David Patterson, 6-3, 285, So.

DT 94 Marcus Green, 6-3, 290, Jr.

97 David Patterson, 6-3, 285, So.

DT 90 Quinn Pitcock, 6-3, 295, So.

98 Joel Penton, 6-5, 275, So.

DE 99 Jay Richardson, 6-6, 270, So.

50 Vernon Gholston, 6-4, 250, Fr.

SLB 42 Bobby Carpenter, 6-3, 255, Jr.

17 Marcus Freeman, 6-2, 230, Fr.

MLB 5 Mike D’Andrea, 6-3, 248, Jr.

51 Anthony Schlegel, 6-2, 245, Jr.

WLB 47 A.J. Hawk, 6-1, 238, Jr.

1 Thomas Matthews, 6-2, 220, Sr.

CB 26 Ashton Youboty, 6-1, 188, So.

13 Harlen Jacobs, 6-1, 197, Sr.

FS 21 Nate Salley, 6-3, 215, Jr.

32 Brandon Mitchell, 6-3, 205, So.

SS 9 Donte Whitner, 5-11, 200, So.

6 Tyler Everett, 5-11, 196, Jr.

CB 2 E.J. Underwood, 6-1, 175, Jr.

41 De’Angelo Haslam, 5-9, 170, Fr.

P 86 Kyle Turano, 6-0, 205, Sr.

23 Josh Huston, 6-1, 195, Sr.

LS 60 Kyle Andrews, 5-11, 245, Sr.

68 Drew Norman, 6-0, 230, So.

N.C. State Offense

QB 10 Jay Davis, 6-2, 206, Jr.

9 Marcus Stone, 6-4, 228, Fr.

TB 44 T.A. McLendon, 5-11, 232, Jr.

26 Bobby Washington, 6-1, 200, Fr.

FB 49 Chance Moyer, 6-2, 242, Sr.

37 Avery Gibson, 6-2, 227, Sr.

HB 21 Tramain Hall, 5-10, 185, Jr.

32 Chris Hawkins, 6-3, 188, So.

SE 87 Brian Clark, 6-3, 205, Jr.

13 Lamart Barrett, 6-1, 190, So.

FL 6 Richard Washington, 5-11, 171, Jr.

5 Sterling Hicks, 6-2, 181, Jr.

TE 80 T.J. Williams, 6-3, 260, Jr.

15 John Ritcher, 6-3, 244, Jr.

LT 70 Chris Colmer, 6-6, 325, Sr.

78 John Newby, 6-5, 281, So.

LG 64 Leroy Harris, 6-3, 295, So.

72 Luke Lathan, 6-4, 290, Fr.

C 53 Jed Paulsen, 6-2, 290, Sr.

64 Leroy Harris, 6-3, 295, So.

RG 77 John McKeon, 6-5, 300, Jr.

76 Ricky Fowler, 6-2, 316, Sr.

RT 71 Derek Morris, 6-6, 340, So.

79 Jon Holt, 6-6, 277, So.

K 12 John Deraney, 6-4, 202, So.

N.C. State Defense

DE 9 Mario Williams, 6-7, 271, So.

33 Raymond Brooks, 6-3, 260, Fr.

DT 63 John McCargo, 6-2, 289, So.

41 Martrel Brown, 6-2, 274, Fr.

DT 72 DeMarcus “Tank” Tyler, 6-2, 294, So.

62 Dwayne Herndon, 6-3, 280, Jr.

DE 91 Manny Lawson, 6-5, 220, Jr.

96 Renaldo Moses, 6-6, 211, Jr.

SLB 31 Freddie Aughtry-Lindsay, 6-1, 234, Sr.

29 LeRue Rumph, 6-2, 211, Fr.

MLB 22 Oliver Hoyte, 6-3, 247, Jr.

56 Patrick Lowery, 6-2, 232, So.

WLB 52 Pat Thomas, 6-2, 232, Sr.

50 Stephen Tulloch, 5-11, 230, So.

ROV 36 Andre Maddox, 6-1, 202, Sr.

19 Garland Heath, 6-2, 212, So.

CB 14 Dovonte Edwards, 6-0, 170, Sr.

8 Jimmy Sutton, 5-11, 175, Fr.

FS 1 Marcus Hudson, 6-2, 191, Jr.

27 Troy Graham, 6-3, 204, Sr.

CB 28 Lamont Reid, 6-0, 193, Sr.

3 A.J. Davis, 5-10, 183, So.

P 12 John Deraney, 6-4, 202, So.

Breaking It Down

* When Ohio State Has The Ball: The Wolfpack has nine starters back from last year, so they have the decided experience edge over Ohio State in this particular match-up. There will be several keys for Ohio State. First, OSU must move the ball on the ground so the passing game will have some room to operate. If OSU can’t show an ability to run the ball, NCSU’s talented linebackers and safeties will creep closer to the line of scrimmage with each snap, making Justin Zwick’s life a living hell. Of course, it would help if Branden Joe and Antonio Pittman are truly available to take some of the heat off of Lydell Ross.

Second, Zwick must avoid costly turnovers, particularly in OSU’s own end. The noise will probably be deafening at times for the young QB and NCSU will do everything it can to rattle him (i.e., pressure on pressure). He will need to make great pre-snap reads and distribute the ball in rhythm. Santonio Holmes needs to continue his incredible play and he’ll need help from Roy Hall, Ryan Hamby and others as well. This is probably the key match-up in this game. If Ohio State can succeed in scoring three or four touchdowns, the Buckeyes will have a chance.

* When N.C. State Has The Ball: Will the real Ohio State defense step up. The vaunted run defense doubled its yards allowed from the Cincinnati game (76) to Marshall (150). If T.A. McLendon is healthy, I have to believe NCSU will lean on him to try and take pressure off young starting quarterback Jay Davis.

Davis also has several veteran play makers to throw to in Brian Clark, Tramain Hall and Richard Washington. We know, from experience, that NCSU will utilize trick plays and unorthodox alignments. The defense must be prepared and play assignment sound football. OSU will also try and get after Davis to force him into key mistakes.

We also can not underscore enough the loss of veteran cornerback Dustin Fox. N.C. State will throw the ball 35 times (at least). They're going to go after Fox's replacement, Ashton Youboty. And that absence will force Tyler Everett and/or Donte Whitner into full-time roles at nickel and safety as well. The only player in the secondary with more than just a handful of starts is Nate Salley. We'll see how good these guys are at this stage in their careers this weekend.

* How It Will Go: The moment of truth has arrived downtown at the stadium. They either are or they aren’t, in effect. I know that’s overly simplified because Ohio State, regardless of this result, can still go on and win the Big Ten. And, as you’ll see below, that’s a good thing.

At any rate, I can’t see Ohio State, averaging 3-1/2 turnovers lost per game so far this year, going into a hostile environment and playing error free football – particularly against a veteran team. I like the match-up of the OSU defense against the NCSU offense. But I just see the youth of OSU’s offense serving as the Buckeyes’ undoing. Maybe the Buckeyes will have a real shot at the win with a great special teams showing. But something tells me this one goes to the home team: N.C. State 27-23

-- Steve Helwagen

</td></tr></tbody> </table>
Upvote 0