Countdown Until THE GAME 2018

Monday, July 11, 2016

East Lansing Equals Even Level For Buckeyes In 2016

“ Hell, there are no rules here – we’re trying to accomplish something…” ~ Thomas Edison
Leave it to Thomas Edison, an Ohioan and considered “The Father Of Invention”, to appropriately summarize the goals for the 2016 Ohio State football team. No rules – just accomplish something.
“Something” is a pretty vague and open concept. Considering how much talent Ohio State lost to graduation and the NFL Draft, considering how I have written throughout spring practice about how 44 players on Ohio State’s roster are either redshirt freshmen or true freshmen…Damn right, Mr. Edison. There are no rules. Ohio State fans are just looking to see what this team can accomplish against a much tougher schedule in 2016 than 2015, with tremendously talented, yet inexperienced, players.
at Michigan State Spartans (Game 11)
2016 OSU Opponent Ranking: 3 out of 12
Players Recruited By Ohio State:
Players Recruited By Ohio State: DL Malik McDowell, DB Montae Nicholson, DB Demetrius Cox, OL Dennis Finley, RB L.J. Scott, OL Noah Listermann, WR Donnie Corley, WR Justin Layne. There are many players from the state of Ohio on Michigan State’s roster (more on that later), but did not receive offers from Ohio State. A shout-out to Avon Lake FB Collin Lucas, from my hometown. I am more than willing to bet I may have inadvertently missed on some players; please let me know and I am happy to correct my error(s).
Game Date: November 19, 2016
Kickoff Time: TBD
Location: Spartan Stadium
Rationale For The Ranking: Ohio State returns to Spartan Stadium, determined to avenge last year's heartbreaking, waterlogged, last second 17-14 defeat to Michigan State.  

Ohio State fans will eagerly point out how the Buckeyes went up to East Lansing in 2014, and avenged the 2013 B1G Championship Game defeat to Michigan State, 49-37.  Good point.
Here's something to contemplate - Ohio State Head Coach Urban Meyer is 50-4 since becoming the head coach for Ohio State in November 2011.  Want to know which team has contributed two of those four losses?
Yep - Michigan State, in 2013, and 2015.  Ohio State has defeated the Spartans twice, both in East Lansing (2012, 2014).  Hence my title of this article - one of these teams will pull ahead in this grudge match.  This game will go a long way towards determining the B1G Eastern Division representative for The 2016 B1G Championship Game, and may also impact the college football playoff discussion.
Prediction: I have been stating the importance of this young Ohio State team developing experience and toughness for the November stretch run.  All of the other games leading up to this one will be crucial in having the Buckeyes ready for what should prove to be a raucous and rowdy environment in East Lansing.  Even though it is a later November game, I will not be surprised if this game is a night game; at worst, I expect it to be a 3:30pm kickoff.  The number of Ohio players on Michigan State's roster who did not get offers from Ohio State always give the Spartans that little extra motivation to truly play their hearts out; Michigan State Mark Dantonio always seems to push the right psychological buttons to have the Spartans ready for this game against Ohio State.
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