Sept. 3, 2012
UCF (1-0) at #18 Ohio State (1-0)
Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012 - Noon ET
Ohio Stadium (102,329)
Television: ESPN2 will televise the game with Beth Mowins and former Buckeye Joey Galloway on the call.
Radio: WBNS (FM 97.1 The Fan) is the fl agship station for the 73-station Ohio State radio network. The Urban Meyer pregame show airs 30 minutes prior to kickoff. Paul Keels will call the play-by-play with former Buckeye Jim Lachey in the booth and Marty Bannister on the sidelines. The game can also be heard live on Sirius channel 113 XM channel 196.
FIRST AND 10
KICKING THINGS OFF
Ohio State hosts UCF Saturday in Ohio Stadium in the first-ever meeting between the schools. The noon kickoff will be televised nationally on ESPN2 with former Buckeye and NFL wide receiver great Joey Galloway providing color commentary alongside the play-by-play of Beth Mowins.
OSU & UCF OPEN WITH 50-POINT GAMES
Ohio State is coming off a season-opening 56-10 win over Miami in front of 105,039 fans at Ohio Stadium. The Buckeyes shook off a slow start to amass eight touchdowns and 538 offensive yards - 368 by Braxton Miller - while the team's defense held the Redhawks to negative rushing yards (-1).
UCF rolled over Akron last Thursday, 56-14, in front of a partisan crowd of 12,616 fans at Akron's InfoCision Stadium. The Knights scored four rushing and four passing touchdowns and put the game away with a 28-point second quarter. Statistically, outside of a 206-69 rushing advantage for UCF, the numbers were similar (UCF had 386 yards to Akron's 325; Akron led in first downs 19-18, but the Zips also lost three fumbles).
BUCKEYES RANKED 18TH BY AP
Ohio State is still currently ranked 18th this week by the Associated Press with the new poll scheduled to be released Tuesday. The Buckeyes, who have been ranked by the AP more times - 790 weeks - than any school in the nation, appeared in the AP preseason poll for the 24th consecutive season two weeks ago, the longest such streak in the nation. This initial ranking in 2012 also marked the 45th consecutive season Ohio State has appeared in the AP toll, tying Alabama for the longest active streak.
OPENING SALVOS ...
The season-opening win by the Buckeyes was the first at Ohio State for Urban Meyer, who is now 4-0 in inaugural games. The win improved first-year coaches' records at Ohio State to 22-1-1 in their debut games and to 22-1-1 in their initial home game. Ohio State has won 33 consecutive home openers.
AND OPENING OUTBURSTS
The 46-point margin of victory by Ohio State in Urban Meyer's debut game as coach represented the fourth-largest victory margin in an opening game for an Ohio State coach. Meyer is the 24th head coach in school history and only three enjoyed a larger winning margin.
TOP 5 MARGINS OF VICTORY (COACHES' FIRST GAME)
58 - Ohio State 58, Ohio Wesleyan 0 (John Wilce)
55 - Ohio State 55, Otterbein 0 (John R. Richards)
54 - Ohio State 54, Missouri 0 (Carroll Widdoes)
46 - Ohio State 56, Miami 10 (Urban Meyer)
42 - Ohio State 42, Akron 0 (Luke Fickell)
While Ohio State is celebrating its 100th season of football in the Big Ten Conference - thus the reason for the "100" decal on the back of the team's helmet - UCF is completing its eighth and final season as a Conference USA member institution. Next year UCF will join the BIG EAST, along with Boise State, Houston, Memphis, San Diego State and SMU.
STATE OF OHIO vs. UCF
UCF may not be familiar with Ohio State, but it is quite familiar with the state of Ohio. The Knights were members of the Mid American Conference between 2002-04 and Saturday's game will mark the 14th game in the state for program. Prior visits to the state have netted the Knights a 6-7 record vs. Ohio schools. Overall, UCF is 13-14 vs. schools from Ohio.
CENTRAL FLORIDA VERSUS ...
|Ohio State||First Meeting|
STAFF'S FULL OF HEAD COACHES
The coaching staffs of Ohio State and UCF - combined - boast seven individuals with collegiate or professional head coaching experience. Ohio State's three such coaches have 12 years of head coaching experience while UCF's four have 40 years of experience.
HEAD COACHES ON STAFF ...
(Collegiate and Professional)
OC/QB Charlie Taaffe - 16 (The Citadel, Montreal Alouettes, Hamilton Tiger Cats)
HC George O'Leary - 15 years (Georgia Tech and UCF)
HC Urban Meyer - 10 years (Bowling Green, Utah, Florida, Ohio State)
RB Danny Barrett - 7 (Saskatchewan Rough Riders)
DC Jim Fleming - 2 (Sacred Heart)
DC/LB Luke Fickell - 1 (Ohio State)
Co-DC/Asst. HC Everett Withers - 1 (UNC)
Note: If you include head coaching experience on the high school level, Ohio State has 44 years of head coaching experience and UCF has 45 years.
SOME RANDOM TIES
Urban Meyer and George O'Leary were on opposite sidelines during the 1999 Gator Bowl: O'Leary was coach of a 9-2 Georgia Tech team and Meyer an assistant for Bob Davie's 9-2 Notre Dame team. Georgia Tech won, 35-28. ... Former Ohio State assistant coach Tim Salem (1997-2000) spent eight seasons on O'Leary's UCF staff before taking over as Illinois running backs coach earlier this year. ... Former Ohio State assistant coach Gary Blackney (1984-90) was a UCF assistant in 2008. He is now retired.
BRAXTON BREAKS & TIES RECORDS...
Braxton Miller set an Ohio State quarterback's record with 161 rushing yards against Miami and at the same time tied the OSU QB record with his fourth career 100-yard game Cornelius Green also has four 100-yard games and he held the previous single game record of 146 yards vs. Wisconsin (in 1974). Miller's 65-yard touchdown rush around left tackle on the first play of the second half broke the Miami game open.
AND SETS CAREER TOTAL OFFENSE HIGH
Braxton Miller finished with a career-high 368 yards of total offense against the Redhawks, a figure that topped Ohio State's total offense totals in 11 of 13 games last year. He did this in three quarters. On a hot and humid day in Columbus, he left the game with cramps near the end of the third quarter and did not return. He's fine, though.
TWO PICKS GIVE HOWARD SIX
Travis Howard had the first multi-interception game of his career with a third-quarter interception on a fourth-and-2 play (John Simon was all over quarterback Zac Dysert on the play) and a fourth-quarter interception that set up an Ohio State touchdown. It was the first multi-interception game for a Buckeye since Chimdi Chekwa had two vs. Miami (Fla.) in 2010. Howard, who also had a pass break-up for a total of three passes defensed on the day, now has a team-high six interceptions for his career.
GREAT TO SEE NATHAN
One year ago to the game - Ohio State's 2011 season opener - was the last time senior DE Nathan Williams played in a game...until Saturday. Having recovered from nearly 11 months worth of knee surgery and rehabilitation, Williams went into the game on Ohio State's second defensive series and played extensively, finishing with two solo tackles and just missing out on what would have been his 11th career sack.
DOUBLE THE FUN
Zach Boren doubled his career carries and scored the first rushing touchdown of his career against the Redhawks. Boren, a 28-game starter who entered the Miami game with more tackles (three) and as many forced fumbles (one) as rushes, had two rushes for 10 yards, including a two-yard touchdown that was his second career score but first since catching a 8-yard pass in a 2009 road game against IU.
2ND QUARTER WAS MILLER'S TIME
While Miami jumped out to a 3-0 lead over Ohio State behind the passing of Zac Dysert (165 yards), it took the Buckeyes a quarter to get things figured out in its new spread offense. By the second quarter, things were running smoothly. After having just five yards passing and 35 rushing in the first quarter, Braxton Miller had 184 passing yards in the second quarter and 64 rushing yards. He also directed three consecutive scoring drives to erase the 3-0 lead.
14 RUSHES OF PLUS-20 YARDS
Two long runs vs. Miami - a 65-yard touchdown down the left sideline and a 33-yard gainer - increases Braxton Miller's total of 20-or-more yard rushes to 14 (in 13 games played).
HERE'S HIS TOP FIVE GAINERS:
1. 81-yard touchdown vs. Indiana
2. 65-yard touchdown vs. Miami (Ohio)
3. 44-yard touchdown vs. Wisconsin
4. 35-yard gain vs. Illinois
5. 33-yard gain vs. Miami (Ohio)
DEVIN'S CATCH...OH MY!
Don't know how else to best describe Devin Smith's leaping, one-handed catch in the corner of the south end zone for a touchdown other than by using two favorite words from the great broadcaster Dick Enberg: "OH MY!!" Well covered by Miami's Dayonne Nunley, Smith leaped, snared and palmed the football with his right hand before falling onto his back for his fifth career touchdown reception.
Quarterbacks Braxton Miller (14 of 24) and Kenny Guiton (5 of 9) found seven different receivers a total of 19 times against Miami. Wideouts and tight ends accounted for 17 of those receptions, including a personal-best seven catches for 87 yards by Corey Brown and a career-best three-for-54 yards for Evan Spencer. Last year, the most receptions in one game by the receivers and tight ends combined was nine vs. Florida. One has to go back to the 2010 Indiana game - 21 games ago - to find more receptions by receivers and tight ends - there were 18 - than Saturday vs. Miami.
A few more notes on the receiving numbers: The 244 yards passing was also a 21-game high, going back to the 348 yards passing in 2010 vs. Indiana ... Six different Buckeyes had multiple receptions Saturday, including the first two receptions for red-shirt freshman tight end Nick Vannett ... The last time six different Buckeyes had multiple catches in a game: 2010 vs. Indiana ... Verlon Reed, who missed the final eight games of the 2011 season after injuring his knee against Michigan State, returned to game action for the first time and caught one pass for 13 yards. He was the team's second-leading receiver (9 for 132 yards) at the time of his injury last year ... Corey Brown is already halfway to his team-leading reception total of 14 that he had last year along with Devin Smith and Jake Stoneburner.
THIRD MULTI-TD GAME FOR HYDE
Carlos Hyde's two touchdowns vs. Miami - from the 4- and 8-yard lines, respectively - represent the third multi-touchdown game of his career. He also scored twice last year vs. Toledo (36 and 2) and Nebraska (63 and 1). Hyde has scored eight career touchdowns.
BUCKEYE TOUCHDOWN MAKERS ...
10 - Jordan Hall
9 - Jake Stoneburner
8 - Braxton Miller
8 - Carlos Hyde
5 - Devin Smith
3 - Corey Brown
2 - Zach Boren
1 - Kenny Guiton, Evan Spencer, Chris Fields, Rod Smith, Bri'onte Dunn
SPECIAL, SPECIAL TEAMS
Ohio State scored a special team's touchdown against Miami when Bradley Roby wrestled and recovered a bobbled high punt snap in the end zone.
Ohio State's punt return unit did not allow a yard off any returns. Coach Urban Meyer's teams - Florida and Ohio State - have now not allowed a single punt return yard in 26 of the last 34 games.
And one more cool stat: Looking back to the start of the 2005 season, Meyer's teams have allowed just 361 punt return yards, or an average of 4.5 yards per return per game or about 59 yards per season. FIRST STARTS/FIRST GAMES
Two Buckeyes made their first career start Saturday: center Corey Linsley and safety Corey Brown. Brown wasn't actually lined up on the field for the opening play of the game; LB Curtis Grant was. But a dead ball penalty was called before the play and Ohio State coaches used the time to substitute Brown for Grant to get a fifth defensive back into the game. So Brown is credited with the start...at least for now.
They didn't start, but 12 more veteran players experienced that proud feeling of making their Ohio State debut in a game. The dozen include Chris Carter, Craig Cataline, Kyle Clinton, Conner Crowell, Chase Farris, Adam Griffin, Bryce Haynes, Eric Kramer, Ross Oltorik, Vincent Petrella, Ron Tanner and Nick Vannett.
FRESHMAN PLAY AT OHIO STATE
This is unofficial until we get the official participation list, but unofficially 14 true freshmen played Saturday against Miami: Devin Bogard, Jacoby Boren, Taylor Decker, Bri'onte Dunn, Jamal Marcus, Najee Murray, David Perkins, Joshua Perry, Armani Reeves, Tommy Schutt, Noah Spence, Michael Thomas, Adolphus Washington and Camren Williams.
Last year, 13 true freshmen played in the opening game of the season, including 11 who were on the two-deep chart for the 2012 opener against Miami and three who started the game: QB Braxton Miller, LB Ryan Shazier and WR Devin Smith.
GOT STATS, TOO
The 14 true freshmen who got into the game against Miami on Saturday made plays, too. Consider:
BOREN'S RUN CONTINUES
When Jacoby Boren played as a true freshman Saturday, it marked the third time a Boren brother has played major college football as a true freshman. Brother Justin played as a true freshman in 2006 for Michigan and brother Zach played as a true freshman for Ohio State in 2009.
ODDS & END ZONES
"MAKE THE GREAT STATE OF OHIO PROUD"
Back home in Ohio to live for the first time in nine years, Urban 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.
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).
LUKE: 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).
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 826 wins. Ohio State's all-time record is 826-315-53.
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 397-109-20 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.
SIMON 8th 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
Glen Cobb - 1981-82
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 entering the 2012 season:
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.
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:
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).
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.
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 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.
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.
Buckeyes in the NFL - Week 17