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Tag:Dane Sanzenbacher
Posted on: January 5, 2011 2:40 am
 

Bowl Grades: Sugar Bowl

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Ohio State builds a 31-13 second-half lead and -- despite a safety, lost fumble, and blocked punt, all in the fourth quarter -- holds off a furious Arkansas rally to win a classic, 31-26.

OHIO STATE

Offense: Terrelle Pryor may never be remembered as the dominant force-of-nature his raw talent suggests he can be, but it won't be for his bowl performances. The Sugar Bowl MVP racked up 336 yards-from-scrimmage (221 passing, 115 rushing), accounted for two touchdowns without committing a turnover, and was sensational on third down, converting multiple hopeless-looking situations into third downs with his scrambling.

Add Pryor's night to big ones from Dane Sanzenbacher (only three receptions but two touchdowns, one on a fumble recovery), Boom Herron (87 yards, one score), and the Buckeye offensive line (5.0 yards-per-carry, no sacks allowed vs. the nation's 12th-ranked pass rush) and it's easy to see how the Buckeyes raced out to a 28-7 first-half lead. They had a much rougher second half -- only 110 yards of offense after 336 at halftime, and Herron's safety and fumble handed Arkansas two gift-wrapped opportunities -- but they also never made the killer mistake to let the Hogs all the way back. GRADE: B+

Defense: Start with Cameron Heyward, a night-long nightmare for the Hog offensive line who for all of Pryor's brilliance should have been the game MVP. Then there's the four sacks, the mediocre 5.9 yards allowed per pass play (despite the loss of top corner Chimdi Chekwa to a broken hand early in the game), and the one touchdown allowed over the course of Arkansas's final 12 possessions.

But most of all, there's this: with the Hogs within one possession following the Herron safety, their final four drives started at the 50-yard line, the Arkansas 44, the Ohio State 48, and the OSU 18. Total results of those drives? 39 yards, three points, two punts, and one backbreaking turnover. There's clutch defense, and then there's that. GRADE: A-

Coaching:
A bizarre first-half onsides kick attempt aside, Jim Tressel and his staff pushed the right buttons, kept the defense together in the face of multiple injuries, and had his team plenty ready to play on both sides of the ball. You beat a 10-win SEC team in the Sugar Bowl, you've done a lot of things right, GRADE: A-

ARKANSAS

Offense:
The Hogs finished with an impressive 402 yards against the No. 2 defense in the country, but no one's going to remember that. They'll remember the devastating parade of drops from the Hog receivers (six in all, half of them from particularly-butterfingered wideout Joe Adams) , the Swiss cheese pass protection, the wasted opportunity after wasted opportunity down the stretch, and finally the one game-icing mistake from Ryan Mallett. There's a lot to say for an offense that puts up those kinds of yards (including a quiet 139 yards rushing for Knile Davis, if there can be such a thing) and even the 26 points against a defense as stout as the Buckeyes, but as many chances as the Hog defense and special teams gave Bobby Petrino's favorite unit, there's also little question they should have found a way to finish the comeback. GRADE: C-

Defense:
For most of the first half, the Hogs looked like the rock-bottom group from 2009 rather than the much-improved outfit we saw in 2010, missing tackles left and right (Pryor is one thing, but when Sanzenbacher is juking his way out of tight spots, you've got issues) and leaving massive gaps both up front and in the secondary. 336 first-half yards to an attack as generally non-explosive as the Buckeyes' (not to mention the 28 points) pretty much says it all.

To their credit, the Hogs responded with a huge second half, giving up just one net point after yielding one field goal and scoring a safety of their own. But maybe the offense could have gotten all the way out of the hole if it hadn't been quite so deep to begin with. GRADE: B-

Coaching:
Defensive coordinator Willy Robinson deserves some kudos for his halftime adjustments and Petrino a handful for keeping his team's head in the game down big, but Petrino made some curious play calls (repeatedly asking for draws or screens on third-and-long when his quarterback possesses the strongest arm in the college game) and could have been more aggressive looking for six points late in the game rather than settling for three. Still, the Hogs' biggest problems -- his line's terrible play, the wretched drops -- were more player execution problems than coaching issues. We think. GRADE: B

FINAL GRADE:
Games simply don't get a whole lot more dramatic than this one, with the outcome seemingly riding on each and every play in the fourth quarter and momentum swinging back and forth like the needle of a metronome. If this was our appetizer for the BCS national title game, we can't wait for the main course. GRADE: A

 

Posted on: January 2, 2011 12:12 pm
 

CBS Bowl Bonanza: Sugar Bowl

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The Basics: Ohio State (11-1) vs. Arkansas (10-2), Jan. 4, 8:30pm ET

Why You Should Watch: This game will feature one of the more interesting matchups in the BCS this season, and in the bowl games.  On one side you have a program that is no stranger to the BCS, nor to facing an SEC opponent (Ohio State is 0-9 against the SEC in bowl games) while there in Ohio State.  The other side has a team that's looking around like "Wow."  Arkansas has had some success in the last decade, but the Sugar Bowl isn't a stage it's grown accustomed to.  In fact, this is Arkansas' first appearance in a BCS game, and first trip to the Sugar Bowl since 1980. 

It's also a clash of styles.  Ohio State presents an offense that prefers to keep things close to its sweatervest, preferring to move the ball down the field slowly, and occasionally go for the big play.  Arkansas is a team that can score from anywhere on the field at anytime, and is literally trying to score on every play.  It'll be like a poker game where one guy is pushing all his chips in on every play, and the other is just sitting around waiting for pocket aces.

Keys to Victory for Ohio State: As I mentioned above, Ohio State and Jim Tressel have a very particular approach to football, and if they're going to win this game, it's a formula they'll likely need to stick to.  Ohio State's defense is pretty strong, but the best way to keep the Arkansas offense from putting points on the board is to keep the Arkansas offense on the sideline.  So while Terrelle Pryor has plenty of talent and nice weapons in Devier Posey and Dane Sanzenbacher, the Buckeyes best bet is to keep the ball on the ground and in the hands of Brandon Saine and Dan Herron.

On defense, the goal is simple, but not easy to execute: stop Ryan Mallett.  Mallett has thrown for 3,627 yards and 30 touchdowns this season, so it will be a key for Ohio State's defense to get pressure on him and not allow him to sit in the pocket and pick apart the secondary.  Of course, while focusing on Mallett, the Buckeyes can't afford to sleep on Knile Davis.  Davis has rushed for nearly 1,200 yards and 13 touchdowns, and is often overlooked due to the Arkansas passing attack.

Keys to Victory for Arkansas: Now, we know that Arkansas has a high powered offense.  One that is 4th in the nation in passing yards with 349.2 a game, but its average of 37.3 points per game is actually below Ohio State's output of 39.4 points a game.  So we know that Mallett, Greg Childs and the rest of the Razorback offense is going to make some plays.

The key will be whether or not Arkansas' defense can stop the Buckeyes.  The Hogs have lost two games this season.  One was a shootout against Auburn that saw its defense give up 65 points to Auburn.  The other was a game in which the Hogs only managed 20 points against Alabama.  Ohio State will be the toughest defense Arkansas has faced since that game, and the Arkansas defense will have to do its part to keep the Hogs in the game.  To do this the Hogs will have to make Pryor one-dimensional.  Either take away the pass and force him to beat you with his legs, or take away the running lanes and force him to beat you with his arm.

The Sugar Bowl is like: Well, it's like a big bowl of sugar.  It tastes really good, gets you incredibly excited, but in the end, you're just going to crash and it won't really mean anything in the bigger picture.  Of course, that won't stop you from doing it all over again.
Posted on: November 24, 2010 4:31 pm
Edited on: November 24, 2010 4:31 pm
 

Dane Sanzenbacher mocks LeBron, helps others

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Does making fun of LeBron James ever get tiring?  No, of course not.  Especially if you're from the state of Ohio and had your heart ripped out by him when he decided to take his talents down to South Beach to join a .500 basketball team.  Still, as awesome as making fun of LeBron James can be, there are ways to make it better.

Which is what Ohio State wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher figured out a way to do.  Not only does he openly mock James' latest Nike commercial, but his version isn't designed to get you to forgive him or buy shoes.  No, Sanzenbacher wants you to become an organ donor.



I'm not sure Woody Hayes was ever an organ donor.  Something tells me that while he wouldn't be averse to the idea on the surface, fear that a Michigan fan would end up with his kidney probably kept him from committing.

Hat tip: Dr. Saturday
Posted on: October 2, 2010 1:29 pm
Edited on: October 2, 2010 1:30 pm
 

Buckeyes struggling with the Illini

Posted by Tom Fornelli

I'm not sure what it is with Illinois that always proves so problematic for Ohio State, but the struggles are continuing today.  The Buckeyes are up 14-10 at the half, but for the first time this season they allowed their opponent to score first when Illinois forced a three and out from Ohio State to start the game, and then put together a nine-play drive that resulted in a touchdown.

The Buckeyes didn't waste time tying the game up when a 66-yard run by Terrelle Pryor set up an easy 8-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Saine.   Still, Illinois would take the lead back with a field goal -- the Illini also missed another field goal attempt -- and it wasn't until the final minute of the half that Pryor found Dane Sanzenbacher for a touchdown to give the Buckeyes their first lead of the game.

It wouldn't be fair to say it's been a sloppy game from the Buckeyes, though they have had some issues on the offensive line, as Pryor has been sacked a few times and hurried into other throws.  To me, though, Ohio State looked more like a team that was just expecting to show up in Champaign and beat Illinois.  As if the Buckeyes thought that by simply being the better team they were going to win.

Which is a very dangerous attitude to have, and not one I'd expect from a team coached by Jim Tressel.   If the Buckeyes don't wake up and start taking Illinois seriously in the second half then, crazy as it sounds, they might not leave Champaign undefeated today.

It happened last year at Purdue, it could happen again.

 
 
 
 
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