Aug. 27, 2012
FIRST AND 10
BUCKEYES RANKED 18TH BY AP
Ohio State is ranked 18th in the initial Associated Press poll of the 2012 season. The Buckeyes, who have been ranked by the AP more times - 789 - than any school in the nation, are appearing in the AP preseason poll for the 24th consecutive season, the longest such streak in the nation. This initial ranking in 2012 also marks the 45th consecutive season Ohio State has appeared in the AP toll, tying Alabama for the longest active streak.
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE
Ohio State is one of five Big Ten Conference teams ranked in the AP preseason Top 25 poll. The others, all appearing on Ohio State's schedule this season, are No. 8 Michigan, No. 12 Wisconsin, No. 13 Michigan State and No. 17 Nebraska. The Buckeyes' first Big Ten game is at Michigan State (Sept. 29) and the team hosts Nebraska the following week. Ohio State closes its 2012 season at Wisconsin Nov. 17 and at home against Michigan Nov. 24.
33 CONSECUTIVE HOME OPENING WINS
Ohio State has won 33 consecutive home-opening games with the last loss happening 34 years ago - Sept. 16, 1978 - when Joe Paterno's No. 5 Penn State team defeated No. 6 Ohio State, 19-0, to open what would ultimately be Woody Hayes' final season as head coach. A few more home game notes:
WELCOME HOME Urban Meyer
The 2012 campaign will be the debut season as Ohio State head coach for Ohioan Urban Meyer. Born in Toledo, raised in Ashtabula and with degrees from the University of Cincinnati and The Ohio State University, Meyer returned to his home state - as did his wife, Shelley, who is from Frankfort, Ohio - to become the 24th head coach in the storied history of Ohio State football.
"MAKE THE GREAT STATE OF OHIO PROUD"
Back home in Ohio to live for the first time in nine years, Meyer addressed publicly early in his tenure that his goal was for his coaches and players and program to "make the great state of Ohio proud."
EIGHT ASSISTANTS WITH OHIO TIES
Meyer's coaching staff includes eight assistants who were either born, raised and/or schooled in the great football state of Ohio. Like Meyer, seven of his assistants grew up in the state.
CB coach Kerry Coombs is from Colerain, graduated from the University of Dayton and has coached in the state for 30 years; 24 years in the high school ranks and five years collegiately.
RB coach Stan Drayton is from Cleveland, graduated from Allegheny College and is in his fourth year coaching in the state.
Def. coord./LB coach Luke Fickell is from Columbus, graduated from Ohio State and has been a college coach in the state for 14 years.
Off. coord/QB coach Tom Herman was born in Cincinnati.
FB/TE coach Tim Hinton is from Amanda, graduated from Wilmington College and has coached collegiately or in the high school ranks in the state for 28 years.
WR coach Zach Smith, the grandson of Earle Bruce, grew up in the Columbus suburb of Dublin.
DL coach Mike Vrabel is from Akron, graduated from Ohio State and is in his second year coaching at his alma mater.
Co-off. coord/OL coach Ed Warinner is from Strasburg and graduated from Mount Union College.
199 YEARS OF COACHING EXPERIENCE
Meyer's Ohio State coaching staff has 199 combined years of NFL, college and high school coaching experience. The total includes three coaches on staff with college head coaching experience (Meyer, Luke Fickell and Everett Withers), two with a combined 32 years of high school head coaching experience (Kerry Coombs and Tim Hinton), two with 12 years of offensive coordinator experience on the collegiate level (Tom Herman and Ed Warinner) and two with 15 years of collegiate defensive coordinator or co-defensive coordinator experience (Withers and Fickell).
FICKELL: FOURTH DC RETAINED BY MEYER
Urban Meyer has held four head coaching positions and at each school he has retained the previous staff's defensive coordinator. It's an impressive list that now includes Luke Fickell, co-defensive coordinator for six years previously at Ohio State. The others: Tim Beckman at Bowling Green (Beckman is now head coach at Illinois); Kyle Whittingham at Utah (he is entering his seventh season as Utah head coach); and Charlie Strong at Florida (Strong is in his third season as head coach at Louisville.).
ABOUT THE REDHAWKS
The Miami RedHawks finished 4-8 last season and 3-5 in the MAC East Division, which tied for fourth. Miami was predicted to finish third in the MAC East Divison in 2012 at the conference's media day in July.
The RedHawks are led offensively by senior QB Zac Dysert, who was second in the MAC last season with 292.8 yards passing per game. He threw for 23 TDs and 11 INTs. Junior wide receiver Nick Harwell, a Biletnikoff nominee, ranked second in the MAC last season with 1,425 yards receiving, third with 97 receptions and tied for fifth in the league with nine touchdown receptions. Harwell averaged 129.5 yards receiving per game and had nine games with over 100 yards receiving, including his season high of 229 at Temple.
Don Treadwell is in his second year as head coach.
OSU-MIami Series History
The Buckeyes lead the all-time series with Miami, 4-0:
1904: at Ohio State 80, Miami 0
1911: at Ohio State 3, Miami 0
2000: at Ohio State 27, Miami 16
2005: at Ohio State 34, Miami 14
OHIO STATE vs. OHIO SCHOOLS
Ohio State is 179-48-15 all-time vs. in-state schools and has won 37 consecutive games dating to a 7-6 loss to Oberlin in 1921.
123rd FOOTBALL SEASON
The 2012 football season will be the 123rd season for the Ohio State football program. Football became a varsity sport at Ohio State in 1890. Ohio State ranks fifth all-time in NCAA Division I history with 825 wins. Ohio State's all-time record is 825-315-53.
100th BIG TEN SEASON
The 2012 season will be Ohio State's 100th season of play in the Big Ten Conference. Ohio State joined the former Western Conference during the 1912-13 academic year, but it could not compete in the conference in football until 1913. Ohio State ranks second in all-time Big Ten wins with a record of 457-171-24. Ohio State also ranks second with 34 outright or shared Big Ten championships.
90th YEAR IN OHIO STADIUM
Ohio Stadium, grand and venerable and registered on the National Register of Historic Places, will host its 90th football season in 2012. Ohio Stadium is endearingly nicknamed the "Horeshoe" or the "Shoe" because of its open south end. It is also referred to as the "House that Harley Built" after Chic Harley, Ohio State's first three-time All-American who fans flocked to see at Ohio Field in 1916-17-19. Just one year after Harley's career at Ohio State was over, things were in motion for a new stadium for the Buckeyes.
From authors Marv Homan, a former Ohio State radio announcer and sports information director, and reporter Paul Hornung, who co-wrote "Ohio State - 100 Years of Football," the stadium took shape this way:
1919 - Led by Harley, Ohio State recorded its first win over Michigan, 13-3, and the program was becoming a major force in the Western Conference. Ohio Field could not support the legions of fans that wanted to see the team play.
1920 - Professor and athletic board member Paul French, and Director of Athletics Lynn St. John, started an extensive stadium fund raising campaign while interest was soaring. The goal was to raise the "unrealistic" amount of $600,000 for the stadium campaign. Five weeks later more than $900,000 had been pledged. Ohio State went undefeated that season and received its first invitation to the Rose Bowl, further raising interest in the program.
1921 - A ground-breaking ceremony was held Aug. 3 with Ohio Governor Harry Davis part of a crowd of over 2,500 at the event. It was speculated the stadium would hold 35,000 fans. Upon completion, it would seat over 60,000.
1922 - The $1.5 million dollar stadium, of which more than $1.0 million was donated by proud and dedicated Ohio State football fans, was christened when Ohio State defeated Ohio Wesleyan, 5-0, in front of a crowd of 25,000. Ohio Stadium was dedicated prior to the Oct. 21 game against Michigan. With temporary stands in the south end of the stadium, a crowd of 72,500 was on hand.
1928 - L.W. St. John announces that all stadium debt has been paid, a remarkable achievement considering Ohio Stadium had only been standing for eight years.
OHIO STADIUM STATS
Ohio State has an all-time record of 396-109-20 in Ohio Stadium and the stadium has an official capacity of 102,329. The Buckeyes have not played before fewer than 100,000 fans in the last 70 games, or since the completion of a three-year renovation project in 2001 that restored and improved the stadium but also boosted attendance from an 88,000-plus capacity to over 100,000. Ohio State has played before more than 105,000 fans 43 times with a record crowd of 106,033 vs. USC on Sept. 12, 2009.
OHIO STADIUM SIGHT AND SOUND
A $7 million improvements project this summer replaced the 11-year-old Ohio Stadium scoreboard and audio system with a larger, high definition screen flanked by two clusters of speakers with new LED ribbon boards running the length of the south stands. The new Panasonic scoreboard is 42-feet-by-124-feet. The improvements project also included the conversion of 223 standard televisions in the stadium to HD sets.
Ohio State will unveil its spread attack offensive formation Saturday against Miami for the first time. The offense is geared toward getting as many as six offensive players "in space" and making the defense have to cover all six...or try. Behind a rebuilt and reconditioned offensive line that features a pair of 13-game starters from 2011 on the left side (LT Jack Mewhort and LG Andrew Norwell), Ohio State's go-to men will include:
QB Braxton Miller, who had 11 rushes of 20-or-more yards in 2011 including an Ohio State QB record 81-yarder vs. Indiana and a 44-yarder vs. Wisconsin;
RB Jordan Hall, who is out for at least the first two games, has 2,513 career all-purpose yards (26th at Ohio State) and he had 10 plays of 20-or more yards last season, including a 90-yard kickoff return vs. Colorado and a 38-yard reception vs. Purdue;
WR Corey Brown, whose 14 receptions in 2011 featured four of 20-or-more yards including a 54-yard touchdown vs. Michigan;
WR Devin Smith, who averaged 22.6 yards per reception as a freshman with touchdown receptions covering 40, 36, 32 and 31 yards;
RB Carlos Hyde, whose 63-yard touchdown rush off right tackle against Nebraska was most impressive and who had three more carries above 20 yards while totaling 556 yards and averaging 5.3 yards per carry last year; and
WR Jake Stoneburner had four receptions above 20 yards as a tight end, including a 32-yard screen pass vs. Nebraska. He finished with seven touchdown receptions.
The defensive line, featuring 68 combined starts among the unit, will be the foundation on this side of the ball, but solid play from a veteran secondary that has five players who have started nine or more games apiece will be huge while the young linebacker starters get acclimated. The line should be formidable, and it could be like an "SEC" defensive line, according to Urban Meyer, if Nathan Williams is able to make a return off his knee surgery. Here's a few to watch on defense:
DL John Simon, who was a third-team All-American last year, all-Big Ten and who has 28 TFLs among his 110 career tackles;
SIMON 7th TWO-TIME CAPTAIN
John Simon is just the seventh two-time captain in Ohio State history and the first since All-American linebacker and St. Louis Ram James Laurinaitis was so honored in 2007 and 2008.
Ohio State Two-Time Captains
John Simon - 2011-12
James Laurinaitis - 2007-08
Joe Cooper - 2000-01
Steve Belisari - 2000-01
Pepper Johnson - 1984-85
Archie Griffin - 1974-75
Richard Ellis - 1891-92
Ohio State returns 15 returning starters from its 2011 team; eight on defense and seven on offense. The seven on offense include skill position players QB Braxton Miller, FB Zach Boren and WRs Jake Stoneburner, Corey Brown and Chris Fields, and linemen Jack Mewhort and Andrew Norwell.
The defensive side includes three of four linemen - John Simon, Johnathan Hankins and Garrett Goebel - and all four starters in the secondary: safeties C.J. Barnett and Christian Bryant and cornerbacks Bradley Roby and Travis Howard. LB Storm Klein started 10 times in 2011 but will miss at least the first two games of the season.
MORE START STATS
The cumulative experience of Ohio State's team features players who have combined for 138 starts on defense and 127 starts on offense. Here's the breakdown by position:
DL - 68 (John Simon leads with 26 starts with Johnathan Hankins, Garrett Goebel and Nathan Williams all with 13);
DB - 62 (C.J. Barnett and Orhian Johnson have each started 15 times; Bradley Roby/13, Travis Howard/11 and Christian Bryant/nine are vets);
OL - 42 starts (LG Andrew Norwell and LT Jack Mewhort have 13 starts apiece, and Marcus Hall has six; Reid Fragel has started nine times as a tight end);
RB - 33 (Zach Boren has 27 starts and Carlos Hyde and Jordan Hall three apiece);
WR - 24 (Corey Brown has nine, Chris Fields eight and Verlon Reed five);
TE - 18 (Jake Stoneburner, now a WR, has started 18 times at TE);
LB - 18 (Storm Klein has 10 starts while Etienne Sabino has five and Ryan Shazier three); and
QB - 10 (Braxton Miller).
A SENIOR BOWL WATCH LIST
The Senior Bowl released its first-ever watch list for players it will consider - players will be added to this list - for its post-season all-star game. Ohio State was represented by eight players on the list, a total that ranked in a tie for fourth nationally behind three schools - Oklahoma, Nebraska and Georgia - that had nine players represented apiece.
BLACK STRIPE WATCH LIST
The Ohio State freshman have been watched closely this fall. Coach Urban Meyer had a black stripe taped on each of their helmets at the beginning of camp. Getting the black stripe removed is a signal that a freshman is ready to become a full fledged Buckeye. Each freshman is assigned a big brother, a leader on the team, who helps the younger player get through the rigors of fall camp while teaching what it takes to be an Ohio State Buckeye. It is a program that Meyer has implemented throughout his head coaching career, beginning in 2001 at Bowling Green. Eight have had their stripe removed so far.
Way to Go Bucks!
1. DB Devan Bogard (Orhian Johnson)
2. DL Noah Spence (Michael Bennett)
3. DL Tommy Schutt (Garrett Goebel)
4. OL Taylor Decker (Jack Mewhort)
5. DL Adolphus Washington (Johnathan Hankins)
6. RB Warren Ball (Jordan Hall)
7. QB Cardale Jones (Braxton Miller)
8. LB Joe Burger (Adam Griffin)
9. RB Bri'onte Dunn (Carlos Hyde)
A number of players have changed numbers and positions since Ohio State last took the field for a game. Among the more notable changes:
Bradley Roby is now wearing jersey No. 1;
Jake Stoneburner is more wide receiver than tight end;
Former TE Reid Fragel is battling for the starting right tackle position and wearing No. 77;
Daryl Baldwin has switched from the d-line to the o-line and he's now in jersey No. 76;
Chase Farris kept No. 57 but he switched from d-line to o-line this spring; and
IT'S ALL ABOUT THE TEAM STATS
Urban Meyer's 10 previous collegiate teams have been extremely balanced in all phases of the game. His teams have led their respective conference in a statistical category 43 times, including in 17 offensive categories, 12 defensive, nine special teams and five times in turnover margin. Some highlights:
His team's have led in total offense four times, including three times by Florida;
Four times his teams have led in scoring offense and passing efficiency;
His defenses have led a league three time against the rush and twice in scoring;
His return teams - punt and kickoff - have led a total of five times; and
His teams have led in net punting three times.
Meyer's teams have been ranked among the nation's Top 10 in team statistical categories 49 times, including NCAA statistical champions in passing efficiency (Florida; 2009) and kickoff returns (Utah; 2003).
DEFENSE AMONG THE NATION'S BEST
Ohio State's defensive units the last seven years under Fickel and the now retired Jim Heacock have been good...real good! The defense has been an NCAA statistical champion four times in that span - 2005 rushing; 2007 total, scoring and pass defense - and it has been among the Top 5 15 other times.
The FieldTurf at Ohio Stadium will wear the logo of the Big Ten Conference this season. B1G logos will be at both ends of the field between the 20 and 30 yard lines and facing the press box. This year the team's jerseys will also sport the B1G logo on the front right chest.
In honor of the 2012 season being Ohio State's 100th season playing football in the Big Ten Conference, team members will be sporting a decal on the back of their helmets with the number 100 on it.
THE SILVER BULLET DEFENSE
The Buckeyes have a long-standing tradition of producing the best defenses in the Big Ten and the nation year in, year out. Here are some bullets that put into perspective the Silver Bullets dominance.
Fewest 100-yd rushers allowed:
(FBS Teams Since 2007)
|Year||PPG Allowed||FBS Rank|
NO B1G CHAMPIONSHIP OR BOWL IN 2012
Due to an NCAA major infraction, the Ohio State University football program is ineligible for post-season play during the 2012 season. This penalty was imposed by the NCAA Committee on Infractions in response to extra benefits and preferential treatment violations involving institutional memorabilia and apparel. Additional penalties for the football program include the imposition of a three year probationary period from December 20, 2011 to December 19, 2014; the reduction of scholarships from 85 to 82 during the 2012-13, 2013-14, and 2014-15 academic years; and the vacation of all wins from the 2010 season.
In response to the major infraction, the institution has increased its compliance educational and monitoring efforts regarding preferential treatment, extra benefits, institutional memorabilia and apparel. Further, a greater emphasis has been placed on the education of the Columbus community, local businesses, boosters and other constituents to ensure knowledge of NCAA, Big Ten, and institutional regulations. The Ohio State University continues to strive to create a compliance conscience within the university and throughout Buckeye Nation.
Michigan - 888
Texas - 853
Notre Dame - 845
Nebraska - 836
Ohio State - 825
Alabama - 825
Oklahoma - 806
NOT SINCE 1922-24
Ohio State ranks first among all NCAA Div. I programs with 86 consecutive seasons since last posting back-to-back losing records. The Buckeyes have not been under .500 for two or more consecutive seasons since 1922-24. Tennessee had been first until last season; the Vols hadn't had back-to-back losing seasons since 1909-11, a span of 98 consecutive seasons, until going 6-7 and 5-7 in 2010 and 2011, respectively.
There will be a number of team reunions and teams being honored at Ohio Stadium this season. The list of past team honorees and recognitions - to date - includes the following:
Central Florida - Scarlet and Gray Day;
California - Hall of Fame Game and 1942 team recognition;
UAB - Alumni Band/Cheerleaders Day;
Nebraska - Homecoming and 1972 team recognition;
Purdue - Breast Cancer Awareness and 1957 team recognition;
Illinois - Military Appreciation Day and 2002 team recognition; and
Michigan - Senior Day and the Tunnel of Pride.